Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,
Please find another week of fintech news, financings and exits below.
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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.
🇪🇺 Payments platform Moss raised a €75m Series B led by Tiger Global.
🇪🇺 Climate fintech Doconomy raised $19m led by CommerzVentures and included Alandsbanken, Citi Ventures, Mastercard and Ingka Investments.
🇪🇺 Spendesk raised a €200m Series C at a $1.3bn valuation co-led by General Atlantic and Tiger Global.
🇬🇧 Wealth infrastructure platform WealthKernel raised a $7m Series A led by XTX Ventures.
🇬🇧 Alternative asset platform Koia raised a $1.4m seed round led by Seedcamp.
🌍 Checkout platform Bolt raised a $335m Series E at a $11bn valuation.
🌍 Customer personalisation fintech Personectics raised $85m from Thoma Bravo.
🌍 Sandbox parent company and metaverse platform Animoca Brands raised $359m at a $5bn pre-money valuation.
Challenger Banking 🚀
🇪🇺 German neobank N26 has begun to hold real estate as part of its treasury alongside stocks and other fixed income securities.
🇪🇺 Account aggregator Numbrs has pivoted into becoming a bitcoin storage vault after banks blocked its original business model.
🇬🇧 SMB bank Airwallex has recruited top executives from Deliveroo and Revolut as it looks to expand across Europe.
🇬🇧 Zopa has reached £1bn in bank deposits not even two years after they became a bank. They recently exited the P2P market.
🇬🇧 Revolut has launched its share trading product in the US as it takes on Robinhood head to head.
🇬🇧 Savings and investment app Chip has streamlined its subscription options, removing its £1.50 per month ChipAI plan leaving its free tier and ChipX £3 per month option.
🌍 SoFi has received approval to become a bank holding company.
🌍 Chime is rumoured to have engaged with Goldman Sachs about a possible IPO.
Digital Assets ₿
🇪🇺 Spain is restricting the promotion of cryptocurrencies by influencers with the UK Government and the Advertising Standards Authority also following suit.
🇪🇺 The vice chair of ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority, is trying to ban PoW mining in the EU due to environmental concerns.
🌍 FTX has launched a venture capital fund that will invest $2bn in web3.
🌍 Block (neé Square) is building an open bitcoin mining system.
🌍 Tether froze $160m of USDT across three addresses at the request of law. enforcement. This happened as the supply of USDC on Ethereum has surpassed that of USDT for the first time.
🌍 Walmart has filed trademark plans for its own cryptocurrency and NFTs.
🌍 Crypto.com suspended withdrawals after ~500 users reported “unauthorised activity” and a hacker stole $34m in ETH. The firm also launched a $500m web3 investment fund.
🌍 Mastercard and Coinbase are partnering to allow users to buy NFTs with their debit and credit cards.
🌍 OpenSea acquired consumer DeFi app Dharma Labs and focus it on NFTs.
🌍 The Federal Reserve released its discussion paper on the digital dollar.
🌍 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.
🌍 Anchorage is the first OCC-Approved National Crypto Bank.
Traditional Banking 🏦
🇪🇺 BBVA has created a single global software division that brings its 16,000 developers together to speed up coordination and delivery of digital products.
🇪🇺 Santander as acquired a stake in Atempo Growth, a venture debt manager as it looks to invest in high-growth tech companies.
🇬🇧 The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has proposed a special market for private companies to trade their shares publicly.
🌍 JPMorgan is to increase its spending on tech and talent. 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 “maintenance”.
Fintech Infrastructure 🚧
🇪🇺 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.
🇬🇧 Thought Machine has signed Nordic neobank Lunar as a customer as the latter looks to expand across the region.
🇬🇧 Fintech infrastructure platform Bud released Financial Product Finder, a tool that creates a summary of a customer’s financial products using their transaction history to allow customers to cross-sell and identify new product needs.
🇬🇧 Plaid has acquired ID and compliance platform Cognito for $250m.
🇬🇧 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.
🇪🇺 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.
🇪🇺 Klarna is partnering with the Chicago Bulls which will the former’s shopping service and BNPL products promoted to Bulls fans.
🇬🇧 Amazon and Visa announced that the planned ban of the latter’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.
🌍 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.
🌍 Google has hired PayPal’s Arnold Goldberg to take charge of its payments business after it suffered some setbacks.
🌍 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 🔎
In collaboration with Kat Cloud
🇬🇧 The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) released its 5 year plan with a focus on consumer protection and competition. It also handed out £33m worth of fines to Mastercard, allpay, Advanced Payment Solutions, Prepaid Financial Services and Sulion for operating a prepaid card cartel.
🇬🇧 The FCA released its latest Retail Banking Review which showed neobanks having an 8% market share of personal current accounts.
🌍 CFPB Director Rohit Chopra looks set to be coming for credit bureau’s with comments that they don’t compete on customer service or accuracies and the CFPB will try to remedy the situation. He also used the word “oligopoly” to make matters more concerning for bureaus.
Longer reads 📜
- Will open banking payments go mainstream? - Myself
- Off and On - Dave Birch
- World’s biggest crypto fortune began with a friendly poker game - Tom Maloney, Yueqi Yang and Ben Bartenstein
- Digital identity should be a big business for banks - Dave Birch
- My first impressions of web3 - Moxie
- How will BNPL evolve? - Tom Noyes
- The Super-App Trifecta - Sanjeev Kumar
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See you next week!