Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,
Please find another week of fintech news, financings and exits below.
Tweet of the week 🦉🏆
💼 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 £1.8bn 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.
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.
🇪🇺 Business neobank Qonto raised a $550m Series D co-led by Tiger Global and TCV.
🇪🇺 Digital assets platform SEBA Bank raised a CHF 110m Series C led by Altive and included Alameda Research, FTX, Julius Baer Group and more
🇪🇺 Crypto exchange Firi raised NOK 60m round from Schibsted.
🇪🇺 Loyalty solution for banks Cake raised a €4.6m round led by Truffle Capital and included Freshmen, Seeder Fund and SambrInvest.
🇬🇧 Checkout.com raised a $1bn Series D, becoming the UK’s highest valued fintech at $40bn, from Altimeter, Blossom Capital, Coatue, Dragoneer, DST Global and more.
🇬🇧 Global Processing Services has added $100m of equity investment from Temasek and MissonOG.
🇬🇧 Fintech Farm, a neobank technology provider, raised a $7.4m Seed round led by Flyer One Ventures.
🇬🇧 Fashion embedded finance platform Responsible raised a $6.6m seed round led by Barclays
🇬🇧 Circular economy fintech Twig raised a $35m Series A led by Fasanara Capital.
🇬🇧 Travel fintech Fly Now Pay Later raised $75m in debt from Atalaya Capital as it seems US expansion.
🌍 Alto IRA raised a $40m round led by Advance Venture Partners and included Coinbase Ventures, Acrew Capital, Unusual Ventures and others.
🌍 Brex confirmed its $300m round and $12.3bn valuation.
🌍 Zero Hash raised a $105m Series D.
Challenger Banking 🚀
🇪🇺 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. It received a banking license in Brazil a year ago.
🇬🇧 Starling Bank has removed all of its paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram until the platform tackles fraudulent advertising.
🇬🇧 Wise shares nosedived after analysts downgraded the stock due to overly optimistic long-term growth expectations.
🇬🇧 After securing its Lithuania banking license, Revolut has launched as a bank in 10 European countries and now offers deposit protection.
🇬🇧 Tandem Bank acquired UK based lender Oplo to broaden its lending products and creates a business with £1.2bn in assets and 171,000 customers.
Digital Assets ₿
🇪🇺 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.
🇬🇧 UK’s parliament has launched a crypto and digital assets group filled with MPs from across the aisle to help create a regulatory framework.
🇬🇧 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.
🇬🇧 A House of Lords committee, The Economic Affairs Committee, have said there does not appear to be a case for a UK CBDC.
🌍 New York State’s financial services regulator has appointed a virtual currency chief.
🌍 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.
🌍 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.
🌍 Crypto exchange Gemini has acquired digital asset platform BITRIA as it makes a push into asset management.
🌍 Celebrity Kim Kardashian and former boxer Floyd Mayweather are facing a lawsuit in California federal court for making “false and misleading statements” while promoting a cryptocurrency.
Traditional Banking 🏦
🌍 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.
🌍 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 🚧
🇪🇺 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. This could be why the PRA is looking into cloud tech as per the below.
🇬🇧 The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is four years old this week and celebrates adoption across almost 4m consumers and 600,000 SMBs.
🇬🇧 The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is asking cloud computing companies used by financial services companies for access to more data to help combat cyberattacks.
🇬🇧 Open banking platform Ecospend is partnering with BaaS provider Contis to provide the latter’s customers with A2A payment capabilities.
🇬🇧 Railsbank has built a white label BNPL product for merchants so they do not have to partner with BNPL platforms. It will be available in the UK and Germany in 2022.
🌍 US Bank is using TCH’s RTP network’s Request for Payment solution to power is consumer bill pay experience.
🇬🇧 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.
🇬🇧 BNPL provider Zilch is launching in Europe through a partnership with Mastercard.
🌍 PayPal has confirmed it is exploring a USD backed stablecoin dubbed “PayPal Coin”.
🌍 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.
🌍 Visa has announced Visa Acceptance Cloud, building on its “Tap to Phone” solution, which will let acquirers, PSPs, POS manufacturers and IOT platforms move payments processing into the cloud.
Longer reads 📜
- Money in the metaverse - Anna Wiener
- TPG:A tale in five trades - Marc Rubinstein
- BNPLs: Businesses Needing Provided Legibility - Patrick McKenzie
- Chris Adelsbach year end summary on his 65 angel investments in fintech
- BNPL is the new overdraft - Alex Johnson
- Jack Dorsey and the Unlikely Revolutionaries Who Want to Reboot the Internet - WSJ
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See you next week!