🌶️It's looking to be spicy year for fintech fundraises (TWIF 1/7)

🌶️It's looking to be spicy year for fintech fundraises (TWIF 1/7)
Skiing Party, by Chaloner Woods

Hello Fintech Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed the one week with no fintech fundraises, because it is 2023 and fintech venture rounds are back, with 4 rounds of over $100 million in this week's newsletter.

Many of these announcements are probably from months-old rounds, teeing up investor interest for the next round. It will be interesting to track VC appetite for up-rounds this year, given the valuations at which fintechs raised over the last three years. If Fred Wilson’s benchmarks are any indicator, startups will be coming back to a smaller and more judicious table of investors in the first half of this year.

With that said, we’re about 60% through deploying Fund I of The Fintech Fund and still looking to talk to great pre-seed and seed-stage founders building in fintech, and fintech-adjacent areas like e-commerce, SaaS, and healthcare.

As I think through our forthcoming Fund II and broad investing themes, one that I keep coming back to is what I call the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ phase of fintech. The last decade was dominated by nimble startups stealing market-share from banks. But the incumbents have woken up to the fintech threat and have three powerful weapons in their arsenal: distribution, licenses, and low cost of capital.

I think the next decade will be defined in-part by banks partnering with fintechs (rather than build or buy them - both expensive and counter-productive). To use Shopify’s analogy: the bank service providers set up to arm the empire will find customers with deep pockets looking for solutions. That is what makes me so excited about our Fund I investments like Themis, Minerva, and TrueBiz - all of whom are innovating in the basic building blocks of financial services.

I’ll use more of this space in the Saturday newsletter to talk about our investing themes and learnings. It’ll be an interesting year!

<p>American lawyer and businessman Alexander Cochrane Cushing (in yellow) with others at the Squaw Valley resort, which he developed, in California, in 1961</p>

On that note, please find another week of fintech financing events below.


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American Banker reports that, as fintech funding starts to slow, more fintechs are turning to accelerators.

💸 Venture Financing
  1. Toss, a South Korean payments and financial superapp, raised a $405 million Series G at a $7 billion valuation (a 7% increase).
  2. Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto exchange, shook off the global crypto malaise and raised a $300 million Series C.
  3. Akulaku, an Indonesian mobile banking and credit platform, raised $200 million from Japanese bank MUFJ.
  4. KreditBee, an indian consumer lender and credit-scoring company, raised an additional $100 million in its Series D at a $700 million valuation.
  5. Money View, an Indian builder of a personalized credit and banking product, raised a $75 million Series E at a $900 million valuation.
  6. CyberCube, a risk detection firm for insurance and lending portfolios, raised $50 million.
  7. SarvaGram, an Indian rural household lender, raised a $35 million Series C.
  8. Acin, a banking operational risk network, raised a $24 million Series B.
  9. Moneyhub, a UK open finance data platform, raised £15 million.
  10. K1x, a provider of end-to-end tax solutions for investment firms, raised $15 million.
  11. Eduvanz, an Indian education lending startup, raised a $12.6 million Series B.
  12. Updraft, a financial habit-forming platform, raised £8 million in equity and £100 million in debt.
  13. Fiscozen, an Italian provider of accounting software for freelancers, raised an €8M Series A.
  14. Primary Portal, an equity market deals aggregation and communications platform, raised £5.3 million to tee up its US expansion.
  15. Utorg, the developer of a fiat currency-to-crypto exchange service, raised $5 million.
  16. Vint, an investment firm for wine and spirits as an asset class, raised a $5 million seed round.
  17. Arrakis Finance, a decentralized market making protocol, raised $4 million (or 10 million Solaris).
  18. Ocho, a personal finance platform for business owners, raised $2.5 million.
  19. Aviva, a Mexican working capital provider to underserved consumers, raised a $2.2 million pre-seed.
  20. Manafa, a Saudi small business lending startup, raised $1.6 million in Series A equity and $26.7 million in lending debt.
  21. Nivo, a secure messaging and digital ID provider for financial institutions, raised £1 million.
  22. QuantCube, a real-time economic intelligence provider, raised a Series B.
  23. In-Solutions Global, an Indian payment solutions provider, raised strategic funding from JP Morgan.
  24. Bynder, a Dutch digital asset management company, received a majority investment.
  25. Ant Group, the Chinese financial superapp builder, received Chinese regulatory approval to raise $1.5 billion.
💵 Debt Financing
  • Novicap, a Spanish working capital solution provider, raised a €200 million debt facility for its credit platform.

Pssst - if you like early-stage fintech investing, come join our angel syndicate.