This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (17/01)

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (17/01)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

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


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Tweet of the week ๐Ÿฆ‰๐Ÿ†


๐Ÿ’ผ Open Role Spotlight

Octopus Ventures is looking to grow its European investment team. As of today, OV has over 90 fantastic portfolio companies, manages over ยฃ1.8bn of assets and is one of the most active funds in Europe. We are looking to bring on both operators and those who have a track record in more traditional financial environments. If this sounds like you, please apply through this LINK.


Funding ๐Ÿ’ธ

There were 20 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $1.8bn. Some highlights are below.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Business neobank Qonto raised a $550m Series D co-led by Tiger Global and TCV.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Digital assets platform SEBA Bank raised a CHF 110m Series C led by Altive and included Alameda Research, FTX, Julius Baer Group and more

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Crypto exchange Firi raised NOK 60m round from Schibsted.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ ย Loyalty solution for banks Cake raised a โ‚ฌ4.6m round led by Truffle Capital and included Freshmen, Seeder Fund and SambrInvest.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Checkout.com raised a $1bn Series D, becoming the UKโ€™s highest valued fintech at $40bn, from Altimeter, Blossom Capital, Coatue, Dragoneer, DST Global and more.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Global Processing Services has added $100m of equity investment from Temasek and MissonOG.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Fintech Farm, a neobank technology provider, raised a $7.4m Seed round led by Flyer One Ventures.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Fashion embedded finance platform Responsible raised a $6.6m seed round led by Barclays

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Circular economy fintech Twig raised a $35m Series A led by Fasanara Capital.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Travel fintech Fly Now Pay Later raised $75m in debt from Atalaya Capital as it seems US expansion.

๐ŸŒ Alto IRA raised a $40m round led by Advance Venture Partners and included Coinbase Ventures, Acrew Capital, Unusual Ventures and others.

๐ŸŒ Brex confirmed its $300m round and $12.3bn valuation.

๐ŸŒ Zero Hash raised a $105m Series D.

Challenger Banking ๐Ÿš€

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ N26 is looking to create 350 jobs in Brazil as it expands its presence and tries to circumvent the customer growth limits it faces in its domestic market. ย It received a banking license in Brazil a year ago.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Starling Bank has removed all of its paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram until the platform tackles fraudulent advertising.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Wise shares nosedived after analysts downgraded the stock due to overly optimistic long-term growth expectations.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง After securing its Lithuania banking license, Revolut has launched as a bank in 10 European countries and now offers deposit protection.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Tandem Bank acquired UK based lender Oplo to broaden its lending products and creates a business with ยฃ1.2bn in assets and 171,000 customers.

Digital Assets โ‚ฟ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ The BIS has tested an integration of a wholesale CBDC settlement across the core banking systems of Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and UBS which saw the the settlement of interbank, monetary policy and cross border transactions as part of Project Helvetia.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UKโ€™s parliament has launched a crypto and digital assets group filled with MPs from across the aisle to help create a regulatory framework.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Checkout.com will be using its new war chest to expand its Web3 strategy to help merchants navigate and bridge the gap between fiat and crypto. It already provides the backend to Crypto.com and MoonPay.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง A House of Lords committee, The Economic Affairs Committee, have said there does not appear to be a case for a UK CBDC.

๐ŸŒ ย New York Stateโ€™s financial services regulator has appointed a virtual currency chief.

๐ŸŒ ย Five US banks, New York Community Bank (NYCB), NBH Bank, FirstBank, Sterling National Bank, and Synovus Bank, have come together to form The USDF Consortium, as they plan to mint a stablecoin.

๐ŸŒ ย Visa is partnering with ConsenSys to build crypto on-ramps with existing payment rails with the card networks CBDC Payment Module allowing central banks to distribute CBDCs via commercial banks and create CBDC-linked cards.

๐ŸŒ ย Crypto exchange Gemini has acquired digital asset platform BITRIA as it makes a push into asset management.

๐ŸŒ ย Celebrity Kim Kardashian and former boxer Floyd Mayweather are facing a lawsuit in California federal court for making โ€œfalse and misleading statementsโ€ while promoting a cryptocurrency.

Traditional Banking ๐Ÿฆ

๐ŸŒ Citigroup are reportedly taking the extreme step of sacking any US employees who have not been vaccinated by January 14th unless they have an exemption.

๐ŸŒ Goldman Sachs is launching a new credit card with General Motors, taking over from Capital One as the issuer and sees Goldman expanding further into the retail market.

Fintech Infrastructure ๐Ÿšง

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Digital transformation is putting huge pressure on the IT infrastructure of financial services firms according to a survey of executives across North America, Europe and APAC. ย This could be why the PRA is looking into cloud tech as per the below.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is four years old this week and celebrates adoption across almost 4m consumers and 600,000 SMBs.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is asking cloud computing companies used by financial services companies for access to more data to help combat cyberattacks.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Open banking platform Ecospend is partnering with BaaS provider Contis to provide the latterโ€™s customers with A2A payment capabilities.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Railsbank has built a white label BNPL product for merchants so they do not have to partner with BNPL platforms. ย It will be available in the UK and Germany in 2022.

๐ŸŒ US Bank is using TCHโ€™s RTP networkโ€™s Request for Payment solution to power is consumer bill pay experience.

Payments ๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Global payments platform Apexx Global is expanding to the US to try and offer merchants a compete payments solution as the BNPL market expands and merchants consider their options.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง BNPL provider Zilch is launching in Europe through a partnership with Mastercard.

๐ŸŒ ย PayPal has confirmed it is exploring a USD backed stablecoin dubbed โ€œPayPal Coinโ€.

๐ŸŒ ย Apple is to allow third party payment options in South Korea with a reduce service fee to comply with a new law from September 2021.

๐ŸŒ Visa has announced Visa Acceptance Cloud, building on its โ€œTap to Phoneโ€ solution, which will let acquirers, PSPs, POS manufacturers and IOT platforms move payments processing into the cloud.


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