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The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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Playing catch up - TWIF UK & Europe (04/12)

TWIF UK & Europe - The latest fintech news across the UK and Europe

Playing catch up - TWIF UK & Europe (04/12)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

Welcome back readers. How is it December already?

After a short hiatus, TWIF UK & Europe is back. I have tried to cover the main news over the past three weeks while I was out but apologies for anything I missed.

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Funding πŸ’Έ

Highlights below of deals since the last post in the fintech space across the UK & Europe. Deal data powered by Dealroom.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Insurtech Wefox raised $55m from Deutsche Bank and UniCredit.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Payment solution Qomodo raised €34.5m in debt funding from Fasanara Capital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί B2B lending marketplace Levenue raised an €8m Series A led by Truffle Capital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Digital wealth solution Performative raised a €5.5m seed round from iGlobe Partners, Fintech Collective, Upfin, Denmark's Export and Investment Fund.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Usage based billing solution Solvimon raised €9m from investors including Northzone.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί B2B lender Defacto raised a €10m Series A extension from Headline, Northzone, Global Founders Capital, Citi Ventures and Motier Ventures.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Commodity trading AI data platform Vesper raised a Series A led by Keen Venture Partners and Piton Capital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Fincrime startup Lynx raised an $18m Series A led by Forgepoint Capital and included Banco Santander.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Payment solution Silverflow raised €15m round led by Global Paytech Ventures and included Picus Capital, Coatue, Crane Venture Partners and more.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Embedded lending solution Banxware raised €15m from investors including Unicredit.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Cashflow management solution Change Capital raised s €2.5m round from Banca Valsabbina.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Pet insurtech Lassie raised a €23m Series B from Balderton, Passion Capital, Felix Capital, Inventure and Philian Invest.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί ESG investing platform WeeFin raised a €7m Series A from IRIS, Asterion Ventures, Ring Capital and Investir & +.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Invoicing solution for the construction sector Obat raised a €12m Series A from Kima Ventures, Truffle Capital, NewAlpha, Credit Mutuel Innovation and more.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Employee benefit startup HappyPal raised a €7m Series A from Anthemis and Educapital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Digital financial advice startup Ammonite raised a Β£250k seed round from Industrial Thought.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ New digital wealth management solution Prosper raised a Β£3.2m round from angels including Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield and Capital One Banks's Matt Cooper.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Blockchain payments startup Due raised Β£3.3m in seed funding from Speedinvest, Fabric Ventures, BlockTower Capital and more.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Neobank Monument raised a $50m Series B from Dubai Investments.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ AI powered financial analysis platform Eilla AI raised a $1.5m seed round from Eleven Ventures and Fuel Ventures.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Global blockchain payment system Fnality raised a Β£77.7m Series B co-led by Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Neobank Kroo exceeded its Β£1m crowdfunding target on CrowdCube.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ raised a $110m Series E led by Kingsway Capital and also included Lakestar, Lightspeed and Coinbase.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Neobank Monzo is set to sell a Β£300m stake to Capital G, an investment fund of Google parent Alphabet, at a Β£4bn valuation.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Paysend raised a $65m Series B from One Peak and included Mastercard.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wealthtech solution WealthOS raised a Β£2m seed round led by Barclays and included angel investors.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Card issuer and processor Enfuce raised a €8m round from Vitruvian Partners, Visa and

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Digital wealth solution Plum raised €10m from Eurobank.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Childcare payments fintech Ponchopay raised a Β£400k crowdfunding round on Seedrs.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ B2B payment solution Crezco raised a $12m Series A from MMC Ventures and 13books Capital.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK lender Triver raised a Β£20m debt facility from Avellinia Capital.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Smart web3 wallet solution Pimlico raised a $4.2m round led by A16Z.

🌍 AI tool for financial services builder Black Ore raised $60m in funding from a16z, Oak HC/FT and angels.

🌍 Digital wealth management solution Era raised a $3.1m round led by Northzone and included Protagonist and Designer Fun.

🌍 Private investment digital admin solution Arch raised a $20m Series A from Citi Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Carta, Craft Ventures and others.

🌍 Co-branded card issuer Imprint raised a $75m Series B from Kleiner Perkins, Thrive Capital, Ribbit Capital and Moore Capital.

β‚Ώ Cross-chain bridge Wormhole raised $225m at a $2.5bn valuation.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Revenue-based financing lender Recap launched a more longer term credit product in partnership with HSBC.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Neobank N26 is pulling out of Brazil and focusing on core domestic market whilst it targets profitability in 2024.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί US asset manager Vanguard is to stop offering its robo-advisor business in Germany.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Lending marketplace Levenue acquired Belgian fintech Cake.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Cash App has withdrawn its application for a Virtual Asset Licence in Ireland.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Credi2 is partnering with Marqeta to provide card issuing banks across Europe an instalment solution for cardholders.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Agriculture bank Oxbury Bank secured a Β£100m guarantee deal with the British Business Bank allowing it to lend an additional Β£45m to SMEs.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Monzo hired Phoebe Chibuzo Hugh, the founder of digital insurance startup Brolly as it seeks to push into the insurance market.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Former Tandem executives and Nutmeg COO launched Prosper, a consumer digital wealth management business.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ SME lender OakNorth is to offer it's customers banking services alongside its lending products.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Starling Bank has created a tool to help couples track and split household chores and tasks.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Heavily scrutinised fintech Lanistar has appointed former UK minister Gavin Williamson to its advisory board. Lanistar also ended its relationship with Modulr.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ PensionBee is expecting to be profitable on an EBITDA basis in Q4 2023.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Revolut has increased the monthly fees for premium customers and are adding access to Tinder, Deliveroo and the FT. The neobank is also offering its in-house HR software as a product and is to offer fixed income trading for EU customers. Revolut was also sued by Allianz for breach of obligations in relation to the provision of travel insurance.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Savings and investment app Chip had a profitable quarter and is crowdfunding again.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wise reported pre-tax profits of just under Β£200m for H1 2023, an increase of 280% YOY. Active customers increased over 30%.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Apple Pay's open banking integrations to Wallet for UK customers is now live.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Embedded finance solution Enfuce is partnering with Funding Circle to launch a credit card for SMBs.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ SMB lending comparison marketplace FundOnion has launched.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Digital wealth management app MoneyBox was named the fast growing UK tech company after reaching 1m customers and Β£5bn in AUM.

🌍 PFM Status Money has closed.

🌍 Alphabet, parent company of Google, has sold its stake in neobroker Robinhood. The neobroker launched in the UK.

🌍 US lender Enova was fined $15m and banned from offering short-term loans by the CFPB.

🌍 Credit card issuer Petal is looking to sell itself after failing to raise capital.

🌍 Neobank HMBradley is pivoting to focus on its B2B services and is shutting its consumer business.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Crypto bank Bitwala has been launched from the insolvency of Nuri.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Commerzbank has received a crypto custody licence in Germany.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Santander is working with digital asset custody provider Taurus.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The BoE and FCA had published proposals for stablecoin regulations.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ HSBC is launching a digital asset custody service for tokenized securities through a partnership with Ripple owned Metaco.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Former Revolut, Coinbase and Spotify staff have launched crypto wallet Zeal.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK investment funds have received authorisation to tokenize, allowing them to represent fund shares as digital tokens on a blockchain.

🌍 Binance has launched a self-custody Web3 wallet. It also settled with the DOJ and is to pay $4.3bn in fines and founder CZ is stepping down. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was hit with $1bn lawsuit over promotions of NFTs with Binance. The Philippines blocked access to Binance.

🌍 BlackRock has filed to register an Ethereum ETF.

🌍 JP Morgan's Onyx business has launched programmable payments for accounts on its JPM Coin, allowing users to use an IFTT approach to program transactions.

🌍 Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis has settled a $1bn claim by bankrupt crypto hedge fund 3AC for $33m.

🌍 Disney is to licence its IP to Dapper Labs for an NFT offering.

🌍 Jump Trading has made its cross-chain bridge Wormhole a separate business.

🌍 Celsius has received approval to start to repay customers through a new company owned by creditors and managed by Fahrenheit.

🌍 Poloniex was hacked for over $100m.

🌍 50 countries including the US, UK, Brazil and Japan have signed up to the OECD's Crypto Reporting Framework combat crypto tax evasion from 2027.

🌍 The SEC alleged that crypto exchange Kraken has commingled customer funds and operates as an unregistered broker.

🌍 Digital Currency Group and subsidiary Genesis have settled their dispute over possession of $620m in loans.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Bidders for the German retail business of Barclays included Warburg Pincus, Centerbridge, Credit Agricole and Bawag.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Irish banks have ditched their plans to launch mobile payment app Synch.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Commerzbank is to build a new digital assistant powered by AI through a partnership with Microsoft.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ NatWest is adding generative AI capabilities to its digital assistant Cora. It also launched a home energy hub.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Lloyds Bank has warned that Revolut is the most common destination that customers exposed to crypto investment scams send money to. Lloyds will also enable customers applying for a bank account to scan the chip in their passport to pre-populate data. The bank is also to close 45 branches next year.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Metro Bank has been placed on a financial crime watchlist by the FCA. It is also to review its branch opening hours and has cut 20% of staff.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Barclays is considering a bid for Tesco's banking business. The bank is also reported to be looking to reduce costs by Β£1bn by cutting 2,000 jobs are dropping unprofitable investment banking clients.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ HSBC customers were hit with a mobile banking outage on Black Friday.

🌍 In its continued retreat from consumer banking, Goldman Sachs is to offload its General Motors credit card program. Apple has also pulled the plug on its credit card partnership with Goldman Sachs.

🌍 Commonwealth Bank of Australia is to make its AI and ML techniques it uses to find abusive transaction messages available for free to any bank. The bank also rolled out a payment orchestration platform through a partnership with Paydock. Australian banks are to invest $100m in a new Confirmation of Payee system through its new Scam-Safe Accord.

🌍 US credit card Ness is to shut down after failing to raise new funding.

🌍 The FDIC is to approve a proposal that requires the largest banks to refill the fund use to support uninsured depositors, with banks that have $50bn or more assets to pay 95% of the near $16bn bill.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί An agreement in the EU on a digital wallet linked to a user's identity could see Big Tech providers such as Apple and Google be forced to accept the new government-ID connected wallet as a sign-in to their platforms.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί EMI solution Contis has been fined €840k by the Bank of Lithuania over AML violations.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Open banking aggregator Bud launched Drive, a AI powered customer data platform.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Open banking payments infrastructure TrueLayer has had its A2A payment app go live on the Shopify App Store. The infrastructure provider also signed Lendable to use its AIS and VRP products.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Open banking payments infrastructure solution Yapily signed Danish Openpay as a customer for its payment product.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Starling Bank has signed its first customer for its BaaS product, Engine. Salt Bank, an Romanian bank is to use the platform.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Capital markets solution PrimaryBid is working with Lloyds to connect retail investors to public company debt and equity raises.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Core bank provider Mambu is partnering with neobank Aldermore.

🌍 Plaid has launched a new entity which will be a CRA as it pushes further into lending. It also hired an Adyen exec to lead its European expansion and focus on A2A payments.

🌍 Visa has launched an advisory practice for its customers to utilise AI.

🌍 Swift launched OCT Inst, a cross-border real-time payment system that connects domestic payment schemes together.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Klarna reached a deal with its union workers for a new collective agreement. It also set up a UK holding company as it prepares for an IPO.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί The EU is set to make the provision of instant payments and access to central bank payment rails by non-banks mandatory.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Payments provider Nexi has sold its Nordic eID business to IN Groupe for €127.5m.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Shares in Adyen jumped after it provided investors with lower growth targets for the next three years. The payment processor also launched Capital, an SME funding solution for its platform customers.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Payment platform NomuPay acquired Total Processing.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Payment app Cardeo is closing after failing to raise new funding.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Real-time payment platform Volt is expanding to Australia. It also partnered with web3 gateway TransFi to improve web3 onramps.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ PaymentSense is applying for an EMI licence in Ireland.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ PSP Ecommpay has partnered with GoCardless to add direct debits.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Klarna received approval in the UK to offer credit products.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Mangopay has launched an end-to-end FX solution to streamline platforms and marketplaces cross-border operations.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Payment provider Worldline received a Payment Institution licence from the FCA.

🌍 Earnings from Block and PayPal show that lending standards to SMEs have been tightening. PayPal is also updating its user agreements to help combat chargebacks.

🌍 The CFPB wants to regulate digital wallets from the likes of Apple and Google and has proposed new rules that would apply the same rules to non-bank financial companies that handle more than 5m transactions per year. This follows moves in Australia to govern the use of digital wallets like credit cards.

🌍 Financial operations platform denied reports it wants to buy Melio Payments.

🌍 International corporate spend management provider Jeeves has partnered with FX and payments provider Bexs to create a B2B cross-border platform for Brazilian businesses.

🌍 Mastercard and NEC are working together to push the use of facial recognition technology for in-store payments in APAC. The card network has also received formal approval to begin domestic payment processing in China.

🌍 PayPal owned Venmo has released a feature to make it easier to split and manage group expenses.

🌍 The US Federal Reserve is raising the price for payment services by 1.8%.

🌍 Payment processor Nuvei is to acquire Australian payment solution Till Payments for $30.5m.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The FCA has warned banks to bolster their anti-crime systems as APP fraud continues to rise. The UK regulatory body is also asking for industry evidence on data asymmetry between Big Tech and FI's.

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