This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (11/10)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

Tech Nation unveiled the next 30 fintech’s participating in its Fintech programme from across the UK with 18 calling London home. Participants include Weavr, Griffin, Ziglu, BondAval, BehaviourLab, Ecospend and Nuggets.


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to michael@thisweekinfintech.com.


Tweet of the week πŸ¦‰πŸ†


Funding πŸ’Έ

There were 15 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $326m. Some highlights are below.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Anyfin raised $52m in funding from Fintech Collective, Accel, EQT Ventures, Augmentum, Northzone and Global Founders Capital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Silverflow is rumoured to have raised a $47m round led by Coatue at a €200m valuation.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Monese raised a $90m Series C from Investec.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Ramp raised a $30m Series A at a $300m valuation led by Balderton Capital.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Chip raised Β£7m through another crowdfunding round via Crowdcube.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ JPMorgan is being tapped to support GoCardless next funding round.

🌍 Commonstock raised a $25m Series A led by Coatue.

🌍 Modern Treasury raised a $85m Series D at a $2bn valuation led by Altimeter and included Benchmark.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Orange Bank is increasing its commitment to mobile banking with a €250m capital increase and buying out its partner.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Minna Technologies is committing more resources to the UK and has opened a London hub.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Monzo has abandoned its plans to get a US banking license in what represents a retreat from the US market for the UK neobank.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Mortgage overpayment app Sprive officially launched this week after beta testing.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Fintech VibePay is going up against Klarna over its upcoming β€œVibe” rewards launch in a trademark dispute.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Starling Bank won the Which? Banking Brand of the Year award.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ BVNK has launched its digital assets platform to help businesses realise the benefits of cryptocurrencies through institutional custody and treasury.

🌍 A bug in a new upgrade for Compound Finance left $80m of COMP tokens being incorrectly allocated as rewards.

🌍 A BIS general manager warned against Facebook’s Diem and the concentration risk it poses.

🌍 MoneyGram is partnering with blockchain Stella to support its crypto-to-cash transfers via USDC.

🌍 The FDIC is looking into whether stablecoins are eligible for its insurance protection.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Bank of Ireland closes a third of their branches, 88 in total, as its shifts more towards digital banking.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Santander has begun to roll out its sustainable payment cards in Spain.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Standard Chartered is partnering with FinLync to help finance teams connect to its treasury APIs to make quicker decisions.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ NatWest has acquired RoosterMoney and also pleaded guilty to laundering Β£365m and faces a Β£340m fine.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Virgin Money has signed up as an early user of Microsoft’s financial services cloud.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί The EU is looking to hit Apple with an antitrust suit over its restricting access to its NFC chip which powers Apple Pay.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί The EU’s AI credit scoring framework has received recommendations from European banking Federation and European Economic and Social Committee.

🌍 The Monetary Authority of Singapore is launching a platform to let banks share customer information to tackle money laundering.

🌍 International

Don’t forget to subscribe to TWIF US & Global by Nik Milanovic and TWIF India & SEA by Osborne Saldanha.


Longer reads πŸ“œ


Want to be a TWIF UK & Europe sponsor? Reach out to me at michael@thisweekinfintech.com or find me on Twitter.

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This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (04/10)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

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


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to michael@thisweekinfintech.com.


Tweet of the week πŸ¦‰πŸ†


Funding πŸ’Έ

There were 13 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $151m. Some highlights are below.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Swan raised a €16m Series A led by Accel and included Bpifrance and Creandum

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Hedvig raised a €38.5m Series B led by Anthemis and included Cherry Ventures, Obvious Ventures, CommerzVentures, Novax and Nineyards Equity.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ TransferGo has raised a Β’50m Series C led by Elbrus Capital and Black River Capital.

🌍 Identity platform Alloy raised a $100m Series C at a $1bn valuation led by Lightspeed Ventures and included BVP, Canapi , Avid and Felicis Ventures

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί German fintechs Trade Republic and Scalable Capital experienced increased growth after a summer slowdown unlike counterparts Etoro and Bux

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί N26 was fined €4.25m by BaFin due to its lax money laundering.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wise co-founder Kristo Kaarmann is in hot water with HMRC over unpaid taxes. He was fined Β£350,000 but could cause issues at the FCA. Wise shares were down nearly ~8% over the last 5 days.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Reports of fraudsters using Monzo accounts to steal millions from Barclays accounts using PISP raising fresh questions about security at Monzo.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Savings app Chip is looking to raise Β£100m over the next two years for an aggressive growth strategy.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Head for Points reported that the issuer of IHG Rewards and Marriott Visa cards are closing all accounts that have been used with a Curve Card in an ongoing dispute with the UK fintech. Curve also reported increased losses (Β£37.9m in 2020 vs Β£28.5m in 2019) as a result of growth.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Reports of a huge gender pay gap (69p for every Β£1 men earn) at Revolut came to light which reflect a lack of women in senior positions but reports of same job pay discrepancies were denied.

🌍 Google has ditched its Plex checking account according to WSJ after missed deadlines and departing executives.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

🌍 Coinbase will allow direct deposit soon for US customers, with the Coinbase Card now having the ability to spend $.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - For me this has always made sense as a way to make it easy to get fiat into an exchange. It is unlikely that fiat currency ever goes away so having the ability to store both side by side on an exchange with a card should go a long way to further increasing adoption.

🌍 A prototype by the BIS of multiple CBDCs and four central banks has outperformed correspondent banking system in terms of cost and security.

🌍 Visa is building an interoperable payments channel for digital currencies.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - With numerous central banks pursuing their own CBDCs, we could see a scenario where they are not interoperable and a middleware layer is needed to bring domestic networks together. Alternatively governments could cooperate and develop interoperable CBDC’s but that seems unlikely. This is Visa’s β€œnetwork of networks” strategy being played out.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Santander is closing its Wise rival PagoFX, another notch against incumbent banks copying a fintech.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Barclaycard is enabling businesses to accept payments from cardholders in their local currency then auto converts into Β£,$ or € using a locked-in rate, designed to reduce FX volatility.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ JPMorgan partnered with 10x Banking for its new Chase bank it launched recently in the UK. Unsurprising given JPMorgan is an investor in 10x.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Starling is launching its BaaS product across Europe, continuing the trend of B2C fintechs launching B2B products.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - Starling’s Baas product has been around in the UK since 2018 but fell off the radar as it seemed to be de-prioritised but given moves by other consumer fintech’s into the B2B space, Starling is joining them.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ HSBC is using Google Cloud to run β€œwhat if” climate risk scenario analysis on credit rankings.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Worldline is stepping into the account-to-account (A2A) space with a white label product for businesses.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Europe’s European Payment Initiative looks set to receive total funding of €1.5bn, wit €148m being sanctioned by the German savings bank association.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Mastercard has created β€œInstallments”, a POS BNPL solution for online and offline commerce in UK, US and Australia.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Researchers from Bristol and Surrey Universities found an Apple Pay exploit that allows for unauthorised payments from cards due to an iPhone β€œexpress transit” mode.

🌍 Singapore has announced plans to link its faster payments system with Malaysia, shortly after it linked up with India.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK banks look set to launch an emergency hotline to consumers targeted for APP fraud.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The chair of the UK’s Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has quit after an independent investigation found a culture of bullying and intimidation there.

🌍 International

Don’t forget to subscribe to TWIF US & Global by Nik Milanovic and TWIF India & SEA by Osborne Saldanha.


Longer reads πŸ“œ


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - UK & Europe sponsor? Reach out to me at michael@thisweekinfintech.com or find me on Twitter.

Your feedback is a gift, please give below πŸ™

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Michael

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (27/09)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

CB Insights released a report on Europe fintech funding trends highlighting the busy pace of investments this year, already surpassing 2020 in H1 alone. Other highlights include a huge increase in funding for insurance and wealth tech with most deals in the banking, lending and SMB fintech sub sectors.

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


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to michael@thisweekinfintech.com.


Tweet of the week πŸ¦‰πŸ†


Funding πŸ’Έ

There were 16 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $954m. Some highlights are below.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Kernolab raised a $1m pre-seed round led by Lighthouse Ventures and Startup Wise Guys.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Doconomy raised $17m led by CommerzVentures.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Sorare raised a $680m Series B led by Softbank and included Accel, Atomico, Benchmark, BVP, D1 and a number of football players.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Envelop Risk raised a $130m Series B led by Softbank and included BlackPine.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Dopay raised a $18m Series A co-led by Force Over Mass Capital, FMO and NN Group.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ TrueLayer raised a $130m Series E led by Tiger Global and included Stripe.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wiserfunding raised Β£3m from BFG and signed Revolut as a client.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Ziglu raised Β£1m via crowdfunding on Seedrs.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Prodigy Finance raised $750m in debt funding.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Barclays creates a $30m fintech fund in partnership with Anthemis to fund female founders.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ MarketFinance raised Β£280m from Barclays and Black River Ventures.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Taptap Send raised $65m from undisclosed investors.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Juno raised $2.2m seed round from Lakestar, JME Venture Capital and SIX Group.

🌍 JPMorgan has acquired college fintech platform Frank.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί everyoneInvested has partnered with Mastercard to offer banks a platform to enable their customers to invest spare change.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ New bank Recognise has received regulatory approval to accept deposits from consumers with businesses to follow.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wise officially brought its new investing service, Assets, out of stealth mode.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Monzo has enabled card payments from its savings β€œPots”.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Revolut is rumoured to be testing a crypto wallet and transfer feature and got the green light for stock trading in US.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ PFM app Claro has taken to London with anti-BNPL signs to warn consumers off the latest buzzy innovation.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Solarisbank co-founder Peter Grosskopf is creating a new DeFi app, Unstoppable Finance, with other exec’s formerly at Stuttgart Digital Exchange and Trade Republic.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Revolut is paying for its Dallas WeWork space in bitcoin.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Celsius appears to be next in the sights of US regulators for selling β€œsecurities” to US residents in the form of interest-generating accounts i.e. same charges as BlockFi

🌍 NFT marketplace OpenSea admitted insider trader by head of product who was then asked to resign.

🌍 Coinbase dropped its Lend product after regulatory threats.

🌍 China has continued its crackdown on crypto deeming all β€œdigital currency activities” illegal.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Deutsche Bank has acquired payments provider Better Payment.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ JP Morgan launched Chase in the UK promising 1% cashback on everyday purchases, 24/7 support, numberless debit card and 5% interest on roundups.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Thought Machine have signed a deal with JPMorgan Chase to replace the core banking system in its retail unit in the US.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland will give customers control over their contactless limit when the new Β£100 limit comes into effect in October.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί ReceiptHero is integrated with both Visa and Mastercard to create digital receipts.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Mambu secured a deal to revamp customer digital services for BancoEstado

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Monese is adding BaaS to its product offering, signalling a move from B2C to B2B.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - This is a similar move to what Starling and Yolt have taken recently and demonstrates the challenging environment that consumer neobanks face in the UK and Europe. However, with that being said, if more companies are focusing on B2B, they need to sell to B2C companies so who will these new B2C customers be? The B2B BaaS space is already crowded with Railsbank, Solarisbank and Clear Bank. Not to mention the difficulty in switching from B2C to B2B. It’s a whole new ball game.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Mastercard is launching a Sustainability Innovation Lab in Stockholm.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Stripe is opening a fintech development office in London

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ British Retail Consortium is asking politicians to help reduce the cost of cards in the UK.

🌍 PayPal revamps its app as well as adding savings accounts, in-app shopping and messaging in its bid to become a superapp.

🌍 Affirm has developed dynamic checkout options based on what is bought and who is buying.

🌍 Square payments went down over the weekend, typically a busy time for small businesses and their workers.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Fintech advocacy group Coadec released a letter calling for quicker government action on β€œsmart data rights” in order to deliver on the promise of open banking and transition to open finance. Smart data rights would enable more sharing of data and power innovation and competition.

🌍 International

Don’t forget to subscribe to TWIF US & Global by Nik Milanovic and TWIF India & SEA by Osborne Saldanha


Longer reads πŸ“œ


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - UK & Europe sponsor? Reach out to me at michael@thisweekinfintech.com or find me on Twitter.

Your feedback is a gift, please give below πŸ™

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See you next week!

Michael

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (20/09)

Welcome back TWIF UK & Europe friends,

After a week hiatus, there is lots to cover this week so let’s get into it!


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to michael@thisweekinfintech.com.


Tweet of the week πŸ¦‰πŸ†


Funding πŸ’Έ

There were 30 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe since the last post, with a total investment of $790m. Some highlights are below.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Aiia has agreed to be acquired by Mastercard.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Scalapay raised a $155m Series A led by Tiger Global and included Baleen Capital and Woodson Capital.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Billogram raised $45m from Partech.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Peaks raised €5m from Haerlem Capital and Rithmesster.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Tomorrow raised €14m from Abacon Capital, Torben Schreiter and others.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Koyo raised a $50m Series A led by Force Over Mass Capital and included Forward Partners, Frontline Ventures and Seedcamp.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Integrated Finance raised a Β£2m seed round led by Octopus Ventures and included 500 Startups, Super Seed, Chris Adelsbach and others.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ex-Wise employees investment platform Lightyear raised another $8.5m led by Mosaic Ventures, Metaplanet and Taavet+Sten.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Fluency raised a $1.3m seed round at a $23.5m valuation.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Marshmallow raised a $85m Series B from Passion Capital, Investec and Scor.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Regtech PassFort raised a $16.2m Series A led by Level Equity and included Episode 1, Entrepreneur First and OpenOcean.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Form3 raised a $160m Series C led by Goldman Sachs and included Nationwide, Barclays, Lloyds, Mastercard, Draper Esprit and 83North.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§Coinfirm raised a $8m Series A co-led by Avaloq Ventures and SIX Fintech Ventures with participation from MiddleGame, CoinShares and Mission Gate.

🌍 Varo Bank raised $510m at a $2.5bn valuation from Lone Pine, Berkshire Partners, Declaration Partners, Eldridge and Marshall Wace.

🌍 QED raised over $1bn for two new fintech funds.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Tinkoff added Spotify to its app, giving users a discount and 25% cashback as it looks to build out into a superapp.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ British fintechs Revolut, Curve and Monzo piled into the hot BNPL space recently with their own offerings. The latter two both calling them β€œFlex”. As if fintech naming needed more confusion.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Starling Bank, Klarna and PrimaryBid are offering 6m returnship placements through a program created by Women Returners and Innovate Finance, looking to help people rejoin the workforce after taking time out to look after children, relatives, personal health issues or other reasons.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Non-profit IOTA has been selected by the EU to develop its European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (ESBI), a blockchain based cross-border service for public administrations and their ecosystems,

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί A hard stance taken by ECB banker Weidmann for commercial banks regarding CBDCs.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Two ex-Ripple exec’s have launched pingNpay, a global micropayment network based on blockchain technology, initially rolling out in the UK.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Mastercard is offering customers the chance to win an NFT created in partnership with football manager Jose Mourinho.

🌍 The SEC appears to be coming after crypto companies with the news that it’s probing into Uniswap, Coinbase and other DeFi platforms. It also intends to sue Coinbase over its β€œLend” product with Bloomberg’s Matt Levine having a great take. SEC Chairman Gensler was grilled by the Senate Banking Committee this week.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - Clashes between regulators and the crypto community are bound to increase in the future but its a no-win situation for both sides. Regulators would be better off working with the major players in the space to clarify boundaries and provide some more insight (as Brian Armstrong is asking for). Crypto firms will benefit from less regulatory overhang and by working with regulators will better understand what they can and cannot do. It seems pretty clear from a 1946 Supreme Court case that Coinbase’s Lend product is a security and it should have realised that, whether they agree with it or not. There is still a gulf between the two parties and it doesn’t look like that is changing any time soon. Coinbase has previously taken the approach of doing things by the books (unlike Binance) but now seems to be hardening its anti-regulatory stance. A unified crypto community response and outreach should follow and some pro-active voluntary steps as suggested by Simon Taylor, but will it?

🌍 A number of blockchain issues and hacks occurred recently. Solana experienced β€œintermittent instability” while there was an unsuccessful hack attempt of Ethereum.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί AIB is focusing on financial literacy for 12-18 year olds with its new Future Sparks program.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί ABN Amro is expanding its partnership with Subaio, a β€œdeath tech” company that provides subscription management services to a deceased’s family.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ JP Morgan is set to launch its new UK digital bank next week.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Solarisbank reported a loss of €28m for 2020 (up from €23m in 2019) as well as a large an increase in income from €8.2m to €26.2m. Rough estimates put its revenue at €27 per account.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί NexPay is to use Saltedge to run its SCA and authentication process.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Bunq partnered with Paysafe to allow its digital bank customers to make cash deposits.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) selected Capgemini for the delivery of its new technical architecture designed to give consumers access to their pension information online in one place.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Ecommpay’s whitepaper finds awareness and understanding of open banking is still not widespread. 28% of consumers had β€œno idea” what Open Banking is.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Yolt is shutting its consumer facing app to focus on its B2B open banking platform.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Gr4vy has integrated Banked and GoCardless as payment options for their checkout product.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ TrueLayer launched PayOuts, combining Open Banking verification and faster payments to speed up refunds and withdrawals to consumers. It also teamed up with Cazoo to launch

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Thought Machine signs a deal with Arvest, a US community bank for its Vault core banking solution.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The first variable recurring payments hackathon launched which is hosted by Open Future World, Ozone and UK Finance.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ BoE officials look set to be cracking down on tech companies that provide cloud banking infrastructure to UK banks to ensure resiliency.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί 75% of cashless transactions in Dach region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) are now contactless, almost doubling from 40% pre-pandemic.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ PayPal is increasing its transaction fees between the UK and Europe to 1.29% from 0.5%. This is a similar move post-Brexit as what Visa and Mastercard plan.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take -It will be interesting to see if the UK adopts rules to keep interchange at its current 0.2%-0.3% which is the same across Europe.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ A survey by consumer watchdog Which? found that 1 in 5 UK consumers have been blocked from paying with cash since the lockdown was eased between April and July, with 16% of those unable to pay for an item.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take -Whilst many readers will not think this is a problem, there are many consumers who are unable, for a variety of reasons, use cards or cash and so access to cash payments is important to maintain financial inclusion and the UK government has committed to keeping and enforcing cash acceptance as a payment method.

🌍 PayPal buys Japanese BNPL company Paidy for $2.7bn.

🌍 Amazon is working on a POS to challenge PayPal and Shopify and power third party retailers with online and offline with processing and data analytics.

🌍 Square sellers can now accept payments through Cash App Pay, something that has been alluded to and seen in the wild but now is official. Although QR based, the creation of its own closed loop network is super interesting.

🌍 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are to link their domestic faster payment systems together giving uses an instant, low cost transfer service between the two systems without needing to be onboarded to the other system.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - A global system of interlinked domestic faster payments systems could make some of the benefits of a CBDC disappear and it will be interesting to see this linking spread more globally.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Citizens Advice found that 1 in 10 BNPL shoppers are being chased by debt collectors.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Sifted reports on the slow approval of applications for bank licences at the FCA.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK Finance found the number of impersonation scams doubled in H1 2021 to 33,115.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Changes could be coming to consumers rescue with regards to APP fraud from the Payment System Regulator (PSR) on improving consumer protections. Data shows 75% of customers do not get reimbursements but after complaints to the FOS, 73% are reversed in the consumers favour.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The BoE has criticised some banks for failing to accurately provide data to help regulators identify risks in the financial system.


🌍 International

Don’t forget to subscribe to TWIF US & Global by Nik Milanovic and TWIF India & SEA by Osborne Saldanha.


Longer reads πŸ“œ


Want to be a This Week in Fintech - UK & Europe sponsor? Reach out to me at michael@thisweekinfintech.comor find me on Twitter.

Your feedback is a gift, please give below πŸ™

Good || Bad || Needs Improving

See you next week!

Michael

This Week in Fintech UK & Europe (06/09)

Hello TWIF UK & Europe friends,

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

Note: There will be no newsletter next week as I am off on holiday.


Editor’s Note: If you’re an early-stage startup founder raising equity or debt, I may be able to help - reach out to michael@thisweekinfintech.com.


Tweet of the week πŸ¦‰πŸ†


Funding πŸ’Έ

There were 19 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe with a total investment of ~$300m. See the below highlights.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Balance Re raised a $10m Series A from Anthemis, Global Brain, Roland Berger and Talabot Finance.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Mooncard raised a €20m round from Aglae Ventures, BlackFin Capital, Partech and RAISE.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ pawaPay raised a $9m seed round co-led by 88mph and MSA Capital.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Capitalise raised Β£10m from Experian, Gauss Ventures, Hambro Perks, PostFinance AG and QED Investors.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Sikoia raised a $2.3m pre-seed round led by Earlybird with participation from Seedcamp and angels from Auxmoney, ComplyAdvantage and WeFox.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wombat is preparing to raise a Β£10m Series A round.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ BankiFi raised Β£2.2m led by Praetura Ventures.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Thought Machine is rumoured to be raising Β£150m in a round led by Nyca Partners, valuing the fintech at unicorn status.

🌍 a16z announced a $400m seed fund after ditching the seed stage back in 2013.

🌍 Jeeves raised a $57m Series at a $500m valuation led by CRV.

Challenger Banking πŸš€

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Ecolytiq is partnering with Worldline to provide transparency on the environmental footprint of bank customers.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Doconomy is partnering with Parley for the Oceans to boost solutions to address both climate change and the plastic crisis in oceans.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί German neobank Tomorrow is removing its free account and moving completely to a paid model. They have attracted 85,000 customers in three years.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Revolut is set to offer a credit card product in the US as a way to differentiate itself from other neobanks.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wise is beta testing it’s upcoming investment product, β€œAssets”, giving users the ability to convert dormant cash into a passive investment fund, iShares World Equity Index, via a partnership with BlackRock.

  • πŸ™ŒπŸ» TWIF Take - I was shocked when I heard the cost was 0.7% initially, but upon further reading the platform fee to Wise is 0.55% and Blackrock’s product fee is 0.15%. Both are fairly reasonable although the market did seem to have settled on 0.45% (Hargreaves Lansdown, Nutmeg and MoneyBox charge this). Wise also seemed to pitch the product as liquidity management tool which I think is somewhat unsuitable given the risk (which they do disclose). You can spend directly from the value of your fund investment which is interesting.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Wombat has launched a β€œBattery Boom” ETF to give customers exposure to the growing battery and energy storage space.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Iwoca and Funding Xchange are lending cash advances to small businesses via a fully automated product powered by open banking.

🌍 The SEC is potentially looking to crack down on gamification by broker dealers and PFOF. The stock is down over 6% in the past five days.

Digital Assets β‚Ώ

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Coinbase is announcing ETH2 staking rewards for its UK customers, having already been available in the US.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Students in the UK are turning to crypto investing to address their Β£340 monthly shortfall.

🌍 MetaMask hit 10m monthly active users, accelerating from just over 500,000 in July 2020 to 10.4m in August 2021.

🌍 Centre Consortium, the group founded by Circle and Coinbase that oversees USDC, is expanding globally to create a β€œglobal network of stablecoins”.

🌍 NFT marketplace OpenSea recorded its largest transaction volume month in history at $2.8bn

🌍 SOL’s recent run up in price has seen it overtake Dogecoin as the 7th largest cryptocurrency

🌍 Much like Binance, BlockFi has now had a high level exec quit. Ex-Chairman of the CFTC Christopher Giancarlo has quit his position on the board of BlockFi after four months.

Traditional Banking 🏦

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί BBVA Switzerland has launched Next Gen, an investment account which allows users to build portfolios around themes such as climate change and robotics. They also included a crypto wallet.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Standard Chartered has joined crypto alliance Global Digital Finance (GDF).

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Former HSBC CEO John Flint will head up UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), a green and regional focused infrastructure bank helping finance a green revolution in clean energy, transport, digital, water and waste.

Fintech Infrastructure 🚧

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Railsbank and Status Money have partnered to create a cashback credit card that invests rewards in crypto.

🌍 Astra is now an official Auth partner of Plaid.

Payments πŸ’°

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Stripe found 94% of websites across Europe had 5 or more errors on their checkout pages which can lead to lost sales. They also found a lack of ability to save payment data for the future, few guest checkout workflows and social media account logins. 89% didn’t support Apple Pay and 97% didn’t support Google Pay.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Adyen has launched Score, a ML tool to identify unusual behaviour to help fraud and malicious users.

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Worldline has turned on crypto payments for its 85,000 Swiss merchants that use its POS and e-POS.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Laybuy is launching a shopping app to allow UK customers to pay in instalments at popular merchants.

🌍 PayPal is rumoured to be considering a stock trading platform according to CNBC as it pushes towards becoming a superapp.

🌍 Twitter upgraded its β€œTip Jar” to allow users to tip with bitcoin. Its β€œSuper Follows” feature will be powered by Stripe.

🌍 Apple announced it was allowing in-app links for media companies to bypass its 30% commission for subscriptions.

Regulatory Corner πŸ”Ž

🌍 The SEC has launched an investigation into Uniswap Labs concerning how it is used and marketed. This puts a one of crypto’s major players in the SEC’s crosshairs.


🌍 International

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