This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (15/08)

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (15/08)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

Please find another week of fintech news, financings and exits below.


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Funding πŸ’Έ

Highlights below of deals since the last post in the fintech space across the UK & Europe.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Fintech Ageras has received €35m in growth capital from CIBC Innovation Banking.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Digital receipts startup anybill raised a €3m seed round.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Crypto wallet provider Unstoppable Finance raised a €12.5m Series A from Lightspeed, SpeedInvest, Backed VC, Fabric Ventures and others.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊE-KYC provider elKYC raised a €250k seed round from Czysta3.vc

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊRetail investment research provider Bavest Technologies raised a €100k seed round from angels.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ A new Β£1bn fintech find is in the works with former chancellor Lord Hammond among figures backing the venture.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Digital asset exchange Archax raised funding from Abrdn.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Equity book building platform Appital raised a Β£1.7m seed round from Frontline Ventures.

🌍 Payments infrastructure company Finix raised a $30m round.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί German investment app Tokenstreet wants to open up access to venture capital to more people.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Revolut released 22 new crypto assets available to UK and EU customers. Over 1m people also completed Revolut’s crypto course in its first month.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wise is increasing its fees which has frustrated customers. It also signed up with Β Plaid to enable its customers to connect their Wise accounts to many more apps.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§Challenger bank Dozens is winding up its consumer operations due to covid and funding constraints.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ New clearing bank, The Bank of London, is opening a HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina and will employ 350 people there.

🌍 Robinhood’s chief product officer has quit.

🌍 Hong Kong’s digital bank ZA Bank launched investment accounts.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί German crypto bank Nuri struggled to raise funds and announced it is shutting down and filing for insolvency.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Portuguese banks have banned digital currency exchanges due to risk management concerns.

🌍 Decentralised crypto service Tornado Cash has been blacklisted by the US Treasury department due to it allegedly laundering stolen crypto funds by North Korea.  Someone has been sending small amounts of ETH from Tornado Cash wallets to well known crypto individuals and celebrities as a protest.

🌍 Beleaguered crypto lender Voyager will start to process cash withdrawals next week.

🌍 Blockchain-based payments firm Ripple has registered its interest in acquiring assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius.

🌍 Traditional hedge fund Brevan Howard has raised more than $1bn for a new digital assets fund through its BH Digital unit.

🌍 The CEOs from Binance and Indian exchange WazirX have been butting heads as Binance reported acquiring the Indian competitor back in 2018 but appears to be backing away from it now.

🌍 Beanstalk has relaunched its decentralised stablecoin months after a $182m exploit.

🌍 Curve.Finance was hacked for nearly $600,000.

🌍 The third and final testnet merge of Ethereum was successful and paved the way for the mainnet merge towards the end of September.

🌍 Coinbase reported $1.1bn in net losses in Q2, with trading volumes down nearly 30% in the quarter.

🌍 Senator Warren is leading calls for the OCC to withdrawal legal guidance allowing chartered banks to offer crypto services.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί The number of β€œGerman” credit cards fell in 2021 for the first time, by 5% as penetration in Germany hits a peak and banks adjust their card strategy.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Barclays is rolling out Microsoft Teams as its global collaboration platform.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Β German identity startups Verimi and Yes are exploring a merger. The former is backed by banks including Deutsche Bank, Allianz and VW and the latter by German savings banks.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Former CEO of UK Chaps payment system, Tim Fitzpatrick, has become chairman of Synch Payments, a A2A payments service backed by Ireland’s top banks.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ A new working group has been set up by JROC, FCA and PSR to decide the future of open banking as the OBIE is retired.

🌍 Marqeta founder Jason Gardner is stepping down as CEO and transitioning to a chairman role.

🌍 Bank software provider Jack Henry is acquiring payments platform Payrailz.

🌍 BaaS provider Green Dot is in a contract dispute with Uber, alleging the ride-hailing service isn’t living up to agreements.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK fintech VibePay is defending its β€œVibePay” trademark against Japanese conglomerate Rakuten which wants to launch β€œViber Pay”.

🌍 Block (formerly Square) reported Q2 results which included gross profit +29% yoy,  driven by similar increases in Square and Cash App gross profits. AfterPay consumers spend 3x more than single channel consumers.  Cash App also had 47m MAU in June. Cash App Borrow has 1m users.

🌍 Stripe is partnering with Visa Direct to offer GoPuff  delivery partners the ability to cash out earnings instantly.

🌍 Mastercard is reporting retail spending is up 11% in July.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

🌍 Goldman Sachs credit card department is being investigated for fraud charges due to issues with processing refunds, errors, advertising and reporting back to the CFPB. Its two largest credit card programs are with Apple and General Motors.

🌍 The CFPB fined automated savings app Hello Digit for failings that caused its users to go into their overdrafts and incur penalties.


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