TWIF UK & Europe (19/12) - Large European fintech slashes valuation 70%

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

According to Fintech Global, Saudi Arabian fintech investment is up nearly 20% this year through the first three quarters.  BNPL provider Tamara grabbed the largest deal, a $100m Series B led by Sanabil.

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

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Funding 💸

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

🇪🇺 SpeedInvest raised €500m in new cash for investing in early stage startups.

🇪🇺 Neobank and education app for children Bling Europe raised a €3.5m seed round from Peak and La Famiglia.

🇪🇺 Data analytics platform Opensee raised a €11m Series A led by Omnes Capital.

🇪🇺 Climate data provider The Upright Project raised a €5m seed round led by Planet A Ventures and First Fellow Partners.

🇪🇺 Restaurant POS and software provider Allo raised a €1.4m seed round from Keen Venture Partners.

🇪🇺Digital credit collateral solution Pono raised a €3m Series A from Kima Ventures, Newfund and 115k.

🇪🇺 Hotel management and payments system Mews raised a $185m Series C from Battery Ventures, Notion Capital, Salesforce, Goldman Sachs and others.

🇪🇺 Freelance insurance solution Alicia raised a €7m seed round from Volta Ventures, Randstad Innovation and Achmea Innovation.

🇪🇺 Accounting AI automation solution Vic AI raised a $52m Series C from Cowboy Ventures, GGV Capital, Costanoa Ventures and ICONIQ Growth.

🇬🇧 OneBanx, a provider of shared banking kiosks, closed a £1.28m crowdfund on Crowdcube.

🇬🇧 Business management platform Elementary B raised a $600k seed round from angels.

🇬🇧 Capital markets data provider Primary Portal raised a £5.3m seed round led by Flow Traders and Dutch Founders Fund.

🇬🇧 B2B smart credit platform Bondaval raised a £12m Series A led by Talis Capital and included Octopus Ventures, Broadhaven Capital and others.

🇬🇧 Risk data solution Acin raised a $24m Series B from Talis Capital, Notion Capital, Lloyds, JP Morgan, Citi, BNP and Barclays.

🇬🇧 Regtech Taina raised a round from Deutsche Bank and HSBC.

Challenger Banking 🚀

🇪🇺 Fintech working capital lender Novicap raised a €200m funding line from Fasanara Capital.

🇪🇺 Amazon is looking for a new partner for its German credit card after Landesbank Berlin cancelled its deal last year.

🇪🇺 Subscription cancellation provider Volders bought rival Aboalarm.

🇬🇧 Starling Bank is developing a mortgage product after customer feedback. It is also creating 1,000 jobs in Manchester.

🇬🇧 Auditor EY is starting a fintech lab and has hired the former head of Barclays Fintech Venture Studio.

🇬🇧 Atom Bank has quit Twitter in protest of a recent tweet from CEO Elon Musk regarding Dr Anthony Fauci.

Digital Assets ₿

🇪🇺 Bank of Italy has selected Algorand to provide a blockchain platform to support digital guarantees.

🇬🇧 The Bank of England is seeking application for its CDBC wallet prototype.

🇬🇧 Moonpay is now FCA registered in the UK.

🌍 The SEC is pressing public companies to fully disclose their losses due to crypto market meltdown.

🌍 OpenSea is changing its NFT royalty fee policy after complaints for its new tool from the community.

🌍 Coinbase is waiving fees for users to convert USDT to USDC. Cathie Wood’s Ark bought a $3m position in the exchange this week.

🌍 Crypto brokerage firm Falcon X has disclosed it had funds stuck on FTX.

🌍 Investment firm such as Apollo Global and Attestor are apparently seeking to purchase the claims from FTX users.

🌍 Binance and its executives are reported to be in the crosshair of US authorities for money laundering. The exchange also faced nearly $3bn in outflows this week amid concerns over its solvency and a lack of confidence in its proof-of-reserves. Exchange founder CZ expressed concern for users who self-custody their crypto.

🌍. Tron founder deposited $100m USDC at Binance.

🌍 The CEO of crypto news outlet The Block resigned after reports surfaced he received three loans totalling $43m from FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried without disclosing it to anyone.

🌍 FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas. He has also been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering as well as securities violations by the SEC.

🌍 Lawyers for Celsius Network are trying to clawback $7.7m from the estate of also bankrupt rival Voyager Digital.

🌍 US senators Warren and Marshall are pushing the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act which expands KYC to a broad part of the crypto ecosystem. NY State regulated banks will need prior approval for crypto activities.

🌍 MetaMask has partnered with PayPal to enable customers to purchase Ether using their PayPal accounts.

Traditional Banking 🏦

🇪🇺 Banco Santander is hiring 750 tech professionals across its tech hubs in Malaga and Warsaw.

🇪🇺 Bank of Ireland is to invest €11.5m across its remaining branch network next year.

🇬🇧 Santander has been fined £107.7m for repeated AML system issues for its business banking customers between 2012 and 2017.

🇬🇧 The UK Government announced plan for the biggest shakeup of financial regulation in thirty years in a bid to reduce bureaucracy and “turbocharge growth”.

🇬🇧 NatWest adds Confirmation of Payee to its A2A platform Payit.

🇬🇧 Lloyds Bank and neobank Starling have joined Code First Girls to actively search for female tech talent.

🇬🇧 Metro Bank was fined £10m by FCA for publishing misleading information to investors.

🇬🇧 Barclays is increasing its investment in climate tech startups to £500m.

🌍 Goldman Sachs is making cut in it retail banking business, cutting hundreds of staff and stopping personal loans.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

🇪🇺 Research by open banking platform Tink outline the struggle that UK online retailers are facing with over 50% planning to stop free delivery and free returns.

🇬🇧 FintechOS announced revenues from its insurance products have increased 300% YoY through winning new clients such as Admiral Insurance.

🇬🇧 Wealthtech provider WealthKernel is to power new teenage educational investment platform tendy.

🇬🇧 The London Stock Exchange has partnered with Microsoft in a 10-year deal to delivery cloud, data analytics and workspace products.

🇬🇧 Thought Machine has landed French lender Bpifrance as a customer for its core banking product.

🇬🇧 Capital markets fintech platform United Fintech acquired Cobalt, a risk and data provider.

🌍 Latam crypto platform Bitso has partnered with remittances solution Felix Pago to offer crypto remittances on Whatsapp.

🌍 The Fed has set up the Request for Payment Working Group to set out a framework for companies building user experiences on the functionality.

🌍 JP Morgan’s merchant acquiring business has settled $2trn in payments globally, a record for the company.

🌍 Galileo has launched a Direct Deposit Switch product powered by Atomic.

🌍 FIS is conducting a strategic review and change up its board after pressure from shareholders.

Payments 💰

🇪🇺 JP Morgan has hired former Visa executive Pat Brolly as its head of EMEA acquiring platforms operations.

🇬🇧 Stripe has made Louise Smith, UK Fintech Envoy and Chair of Innovate Finance, the chair of its board for its UK company.

🇬🇧 Shieldpay is partnering with Mollie to enable businesses to incorporate payment links into invoice to streamline the payment process for B2B transactions.

🇬🇧 The British Retail Consortium is continuing its calls to end the high cost of card payment by major card schemes.

🇬🇧 has slashed its internal valuation 70%, from $40bn to $11bn, due to the macro environment.

🇬🇧 Wise is planning on hiring 250 people in the US as it continues its US expansion.

🌍 Walmart backed fintech ONE is rumoured to be powering the grocery chains BNPL product, potentially leaving existing partner Affirm out in the cold.

🌍 Embedded finance platform Bond is working with Flow, the new real estate company from WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, to develop a digital wallet for renters.

🌍 Discover has stopped applications for it checking and cashback debit due to fraud.

🌍 Small US banks are seeking to push back on plans to reimburse Zelle fraud victims and could abandon the service.

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