This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (24/01)

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (24/01)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

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


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Funding ๐Ÿ’ธ

There were 15 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $835m. Some highlights are below.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Payments platform Moss raised a โ‚ฌ75m Series B led by Tiger Global.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Climate fintech Doconomy raised $19m led by CommerzVentures and included Alandsbanken, Citi Ventures, Mastercard and Ingka Investments.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Spendesk raised a โ‚ฌ200m Series C at a $1.3bn valuation co-led by General Atlantic and Tiger Global.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Wealth infrastructure platform WealthKernel raised a $7m Series A led by XTX Ventures.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Alternative asset platform Koia raised a $1.4m seed round led by Seedcamp.

๐ŸŒ Checkout platform Bolt raised a $335m Series E at a $11bn valuation.

๐ŸŒ Customer personalisation fintech Personectics raised $85m from Thoma Bravo.

๐ŸŒ Sandbox parent company and metaverse platform Animoca Brands raised $359m at a $5bn pre-money valuation.

Challenger Banking ๐Ÿš€

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ German neobank N26 has begun to hold real estate as part of its treasury alongside stocks and other fixed income securities.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Account aggregator Numbrs has pivoted into becoming a bitcoin storage vault after banks blocked its original business model.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง SMB bank Airwallex has recruited top executives from Deliveroo and Revolut as it looks to expand across Europe.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Zopa has reached ยฃ1bn in bank deposits not even two years after they became a bank. They recently exited the P2P market.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Revolut has launched its share trading product in the US as it takes on Robinhood head to head.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Savings and investment app Chip has streamlined its subscription options, removing its ยฃ1.50 per month ChipAI plan leaving its free tier and ChipX ยฃ3 per month option.

๐ŸŒ SoFi has received approval to become a bank holding company.

๐ŸŒ Chime is rumoured to have engaged with Goldman Sachs about a possible IPO.

Digital Assets โ‚ฟ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Spain is restricting the promotion of cryptocurrencies by influencers with the UK Government and the Advertising Standards Authority also following suit.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ The vice chair of ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority, is trying to ban PoW mining in the EU due to environmental concerns.

๐ŸŒ FTX has launched a venture capital fund that will invest $2bn in web3.

๐ŸŒ Block (neรฉ Square) is building an open bitcoin mining system.

๐ŸŒ Tether froze $160m of USDT across three addresses at the request of law. enforcement. ย This happened as the supply of USDC on Ethereum has surpassed that of USDT for the first time.

๐ŸŒ ย Walmart has filed trademark plans for its own cryptocurrency and NFTs.

๐ŸŒ Crypto.com suspended withdrawals after ~500 users reported โ€œunauthorised activityโ€ and a hacker stole $34m in ETH. ย The firm also launched a $500m web3 investment fund.

๐ŸŒ ย Mastercard and Coinbase are partnering to allow users to buy NFTs with their debit and credit cards.

๐ŸŒ OpenSea acquired consumer DeFi app Dharma Labs and focus it on NFTs.

๐ŸŒ The Federal Reserve released its discussion paper on the digital dollar.

๐ŸŒ Facebook and Instagram are getting into the NFT space and will allow users to display NFTs on their profiles with parent company Meta also discussing launching an NFT marketplace.

๐ŸŒ Anchorage is the first OCC-Approved National Crypto Bank.

Traditional Banking ๐Ÿฆ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ BBVA has created a single global software division that brings its 16,000 developers together to speed up coordination and delivery of digital products.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Santander as acquired a stake in Atempo Growth, a venture debt manager as it looks to invest in high-growth tech companies.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has proposed a special market for private companies to trade their shares publicly.

๐ŸŒ JPMorgan is to increase its spending on tech and talent. ย Spending on new investments will increase 30% to $15bn and tech spend will reach $12bn although it was reported half of the $12bn will be for โ€œmaintenanceโ€.

Fintech Infrastructure ๐Ÿšง

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Step2, the European payments system will be upgraded later in 2022 by EBA Clearing so that it processes transactions 24/7 and settles them in minutes.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Thought Machine has signed Nordic neobank Lunar as a customer as the latter looks to expand across the region.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Fintech infrastructure platform Bud released Financial Product Finder, a tool that creates a summary of a customerโ€™s financial products using their transaction history to allow customers to cross-sell and identify new product needs.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Plaid has acquired ID and compliance platform Cognito for $250m.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Regtech ComplyAdvantage hired two senior executives, Nabeel Vilcassim as CFO and Oliver Furniss as CPO whilst also reporting 80% growth in ARR and 1bn in searches across 150m entities.

Payments ๐Ÿ’ฐ

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Commerzbank is exiting the European Payments Initiative due to a lack of market coverage and high investment requirements in a bad sign for its future.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Klarna is partnering with the Chicago Bulls which will the formerโ€™s shopping service and BNPL products promoted to Bulls fans.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Amazon and Visa announced that the planned ban of the latterโ€™s credit cards on Amazon in the UK will not go ahead and they are working on a solution to the issues Amazon raised, namely high interchange.

๐ŸŒ Stripe has signed a deal with Ford Credit to scale the latter's e-commerce business in the US and Europe and could signal the start of the trend of embedding finance into the automotive industry. Stripe also announced it was acquiring BBPOS, one of its Terminal manufacturers.

๐ŸŒ Google has hired PayPalโ€™s Arnold Goldberg to take charge of its payments business after it suffered some setbacks.

๐ŸŒ ย Mastercard has introduced Track Instant Pay, a B2B payment solution that comprises of a virtual card and machine learning for instant payment of supplier invoices to intelligently authorise the payment of invoices.

Regulatory Corner ๐Ÿ”Ž

In collaboration with Kat Cloud

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) released its 5 year plan with a focus on consumer protection and competition. ย It also handed out ยฃ33m worth of fines to Mastercard, allpay, Advanced Payment Solutions, Prepaid Financial Services and Sulion for operating a prepaid card cartel.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The FCA released its latest Retail Banking Review which showed neobanks having an 8% market share of personal current accounts.

๐ŸŒ CFPB Director Rohit Chopra looks set to be coming for credit bureauโ€™s with comments that they donโ€™t compete on customer service or accuracies and the CFPB will try to remedy the situation. He also used the word โ€œoligopolyโ€ to make matters more concerning for bureaus.


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