Weekly Fintech Newsletter | 2021 #17

Hi, there! Welcome back to another Fintech Weekly Newsletter. In this newsletter, I cover all the major weekly news related to the fintech industry. The newsletter begins with recommended articles, reports, and Fintech maps. Thank you for subscribing!

ARTICLE

Global investment in FinTech has grown more than tenfold over the past few years. The major trend that helped to drive this growth was the emergence of Open Banking as a transformative tool for the financial sector. 

Open Banking is a banking practice that provides third-party financial service providers open access to consumer banking, transactions, and other financial data.

👉 Read more here.

REPORT

Check out WhiteSight’s latest report on Open Banking: A Gamechanger for the Financial Ecosystem.

Key topics covered in the report are:

  • Global Open Banking Trends

  • Open Banking Approach of Various Countries

  • Traction of Open Banking

  • Open Banking Trends in Mena

  • Evolution of Open Banking Key Roles & Capabilities for Banks

  • Industry Point of Views

👉 Read more here.


FINTECH MAPS

EUROPE

LATAM

APAC


NOW, ON TO THE SUMMARY OF LAST WEEK'S FINTECH SPACE

FINTECH SPOTLIGHT

BlockFi latest promotional offer has gone topsy turvy after the platform mistakenly paid out oversized rewards in Bitcoin (BTC). One BlockFi user allegedly received a staggering 701.4 BTC on Friday.

👉 Read more here

FINTECH HIGHLIGHTS

  • A Lithuanian FinTech is under investigation by prosecutors for possible involvement in the Wirecard scandal. Link here

  • One. That’s the number of African tech companies that have gone public on the NYSE in the last 10 years. Link here

  • 🇺🇸 SoFi is expected to trade on the Nasdaq on June 1st, according to a public statement. Link here

  • 🇸🇪 Klarna said its decision on whether to move ahead with a blockbuster listing in London hinges on the U.K. government’s post-Brexit financial services regulation. Link here

  • 🇸🇪 Also, Klarna was already big in Europe, and now the Swedish buy-now-pay-later company is becoming big in America. Link here.

  • Fintech is going through a similar transition to what ECommerce faced with the arrival of Shopify, Nuvem Shop, and others. Link here.

OPEN BANKING

🇨🇴 Floid has launched in Colombia to include and bring people closer to the financial system. Link here.

🇨🇴 Finerio Connect and 🇧🇷 Guiabolso have created a strategic alliance in order to expand Open Banking solutions in several countries in Latin America and prepare financial companies in the region for the next wave of opportunities based on new sources of data and analytics. Link here

CRYPTO

🇩🇰 Saxo Bank is launching a new cryptocurrency offering enabling clients to trade BitcoinEthereum, and Litecoin against EUR, USD, and JPY from a single margin account without the need to maintain a crypto wallet. Link here

🇬🇧 Ziglu is expanding the list of digital currencies it offers with LINK. Link here.

Bitcoin fell below $37,000 this week for the first time since February following China’s national ban on cryptocurrency services. Link here

INVESTMENTS

🇺🇸 Robinhood is starting to roll out IPO Access, a new product that will give you the opportunity to buy shares of companies at their IPO price, before trading on public exchanges. Link here.

🇦🇪 Baraka is launching a commission-free trading platform that it hopes will reduce the gap between inexperienced and professional investors. Link here

PAYMENTS

Shares in 🇺🇸 Square have jumped after Bloomberg reported that the San Francisco-based firm was preparing to take on traditional banks with the launch of checking and savings accounts for small and medium-sized businesses. Link here

🇷🇴 PayByFace SRL, the first biometric payment system commercially available in Europe, has announced a partnership with GoCab Software SA and together have signed an agreement to install PayByFace interactive touchscreen tablets in selected GoCab taxis across Bucharest. Link here

🇬🇧 Tribe Payments announced that it has been selected by VIALET, an alternative financial solutions provider, to provide both issuer and acquirer processing services. Link here

🇬🇧 Sokin, the new payments-focused fintech, has signed a comprehensive partnership agreement with Mastercard to provide its fixed-price payment services across Mexico and Brazil. Link here

🇨🇴 Ontop wants to be a company’s tax, onboarding, and payroll manager for its international teams. It is now buoyed by $4.5 million in seed funding. Link here

🇨🇦 Mogo Inc. announced that its wholly-owned payments platform, Carta Worldwide, has been granted a Visa Ready certification through its Visa Ready for Fintech Enablers program. Link here

🇺🇸 Square is partnering with 🇺🇸 Plaid to streamline ACH payments to cut transaction costs for retailers, or other large businesses, particularly those with "high ticket items where card processing fees can be cost-prohibitive," the company wrote in the press release. Link here

🇬🇧 Paysafe Group, a leading specialized payments platform, announced that the Skrill USA Inc. digital wallet has unveiled a virtual version of its existing Skrill Visa Prepaid Card. Link here.

BNPL

🇲🇽 Yusef Jacobs is changing microfinance and giving people access to life-changing appliances with a simple notion: Even those who don't have a lot of money will pay for what they really need. Link here

🇸🇪 Klarna has launched a major new nationwide campaign entitled #WhyPayInterest. Link here

🇳🇿 Laybuy has successfully undertaken a capital raise for A$35m to further its push into the UK market. Link here

🇸🇦 Tamara, which recently raised $110m as part of series A round, is now looking at further expanding its product portfolio, said CEO Abdulmajeed Alsukhan. Link here

🇺🇸 Sezzle announced the launch of its long-term financing options with 🇺🇸 Ally Lending, the personal lending arm of 🇺🇸 Ally Bank, the banking subsidiary of 🇺🇸 Ally Financial. Link here

🇦🇺 Zip Co has made a major push for expansion into Europe and the Middle East with the acquisitions of European BNPL provider Twisto and UAE-based Spotii, according to an update to ASX. Link here.

The Asia-based omnichannel Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) ecosystem 🇸🇬 hoolah has announced its partnership with the payments intelligence platform BridgerPay. Link here.

DEFI

A team based out of Sydney is building what it claims is the world’s first “Shariah-guided” decentralized finance platform to navigate a course between the advantages of DeFi and the beliefs of Islamic finance. Link here

🇺🇸 Current announced its partnership with Acala, a decentralized finance platform built on the Polkadot blockchain network. Link here

DeFi has been touted as the silver bullet that tackles the inherent flaws in the banking sector.  Some experts even claim that decentralized finance protocols have an opportunity to render banks obsolete. Link here

FUNDING

🇬🇧 Curve announced it’s going live with its crowdfunding campaign following a surge in demand from customers. Link here

🇮🇪 CleverCards, is closing out a €10m capital raise, which should be completed in the next month. Link here

🇧🇷 TradersClub is seeking a 3 billion real ($565.65 million) valuation in its initial public offering, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Link here

🇺🇸 SVB has provided Wise with a £160m capital facility to help Wise refinance its existing line of credit. Link here

🇺🇸 Lance closed a $2.8 million seed round with investors such as Barclays. Link here

A successful funding round of $40 million for 🇦🇺 Stake will hopefully see the four-year-old investment platform take on the globe. Link here

🇸🇬 Thunes has raised US$60 million in a Series B growth round led by top tier US investor Insight Partners. Link here

🇩🇪 Trade Republic raised $900 million in a Series C round of funding that values the Berlin startup at $5.3 billion, the startup confirmed. Link here.

🇧🇷 CloudWalk, Inc announced that it has raised US$190 million in Series B funding led by Coatue Management. Link here

🇮🇱 ThetaRay completed a $31 million fundraising round. Link here

🇺🇸 Pipe raised $250 million in a funding round that gives it a $2 billion valuation within a year of launching. Link here.

🇪🇸 StudentFinance secured a $5.3m (€4.5m) seed round co-led by Giant Ventures and Armilar VP; with the intention to expand its operation into the UK later this year. Link here

FOUNDERS & INVESTORS

Latin America is going through an inflection point in 2021 as it comes to Venture Capital, and KASZEK is leading the way. Link here

🇩🇪 Bitwala changes its name to Nuri and is launching a redesigned web and mobile app. Link here

The team of the 🇩🇪 deineStudienfinanzierung platform has reached profitability after investment from 🇩🇪 finleap, and announced their new financial platform for Generation Z. Link here

MOVERS AND SHAKERS:

🇬🇧 Zilch is looking to recruit 100 new hires on the back of an $80 million fundraise secured in April. Link here


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This ends my weekly digital fintech newsletter. Thank you for reading to the end! If you liked it, I invite you to like, share and/or leave a comment below. You may find more information regarding my newsletter here.

If there is anything else you think I’m missing, please don’t hesitate to reach out by email at bonjour@marcelvanoost.nl.

If you are looking for my weekly digital banking newsletter (the one divided by regions), you may find it here.

Let me know if there are any questions or news/insights worth mentioning in next week's newsletter. Until the next!

Regards,

Marcel van Oost

marcelvanoost.com