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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tweet of the week 🦉🏆
There were 19 deals in the fintech space across the UK and Europe with a total investment of ~$300m. See the below highlights.
🇪🇺 Balance Re raised a $10m Series A from Anthemis, Global Brain, Roland Berger and Talabot Finance.
🇪🇺 Mooncard raised a €20m round from Aglae Ventures, BlackFin Capital, Partech and RAISE.
🇬🇧 pawaPay raised a $9m seed round co-led by 88mph and MSA Capital.
🇬🇧 Capitalise raised £10m from Experian, Gauss Ventures, Hambro Perks, PostFinance AG and QED Investors.
🇬🇧 Sikoia raised a $2.3m pre-seed round led by Earlybird with participation from Seedcamp and angels from Auxmoney, ComplyAdvantage and WeFox.
🇬🇧 Wombat is preparing to raise a £10m Series A round.
🇬🇧 BankiFi raised £2.2m led by Praetura Ventures.
🇬🇧 Thought Machine is rumoured to be raising £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 🚀
🇪🇺 Ecolytiq is partnering with Worldline to provide transparency on the environmental footprint of bank customers.
🇪🇺 Doconomy is partnering with Parley for the Oceans to boost solutions to address both climate change and the plastic crisis in oceans.
🇪🇺 German neobank Tomorrow is removing its free account and moving completely to a paid model. They have attracted 85,000 customers in three years.
🇬🇧 Revolut is set to offer a credit card product in the US as a way to differentiate itself from other neobanks.
🇬🇧 Wise is beta testing it’s upcoming investment product, “Assets”, giving users the ability to convert dormant cash into a passive investment fund, iShares World Equity Index, via a partnership with BlackRock.
🙌🏻 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.
🇬🇧 Wombat has launched a “Battery Boom” ETF to give customers exposure to the growing battery and energy storage space.
🇬🇧 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 ₿
🇬🇧 Coinbase is announcing ETH2 staking rewards for its UK customers, having already been available in the US.
🇬🇧 Students in the UK are turning to crypto investing to address their £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 “global 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 🏦
🇪🇺 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.
🇬🇧 Standard Chartered has joined crypto alliance Global Digital Finance (GDF).
🇬🇧 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 🚧
🇬🇧 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.
🇪🇺 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.
🇪🇺 Adyen has launched Score, a ML tool to identify unusual behaviour to help fraud and malicious users.
🇪🇺 Worldline has turned on crypto payments for its 85,000 Swiss merchants that use its POS and e-POS.
🇬🇧 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 “Tip Jar” to allow users to tip with bitcoin. Its “Super 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 🔎
🌍 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.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the other TWIF newsletters below!
Longer reads 📜
One ETH to rule ‘em all - Nakul Gupta
The franchise value of finance - Ilya Kulyatin
Algorithmic Stablecoins - Nicola Santoni
Scarcity Networks: Social Networks on Web3 - Justine Humenansky
Still grappling with crypto basics? You’re not alone - Gillian Tett, FT
The Great data debate - Scott Harkey
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See you next week!