Weekly Fintech Newsletter | 2021 #18

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!

INFOGRAPHIC

There are more payment options than ever — so what is it about BNPL that has attracted such strong adoption from both consumers and merchants?


Another great newsletter/blog post from Jason Mikula, with assistance from Jeroen de Bel from 🇳🇱 Fincog, on the subject, Buy Now Pay Later. 

👉 Read more here.


FINTECH MAPS

EUROPE

LATAM

APAC


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

FINTECH SPOTLIGHT

A$AP Rocky joins 🇸🇪 Klarna as investor and CEO for a day.

🇸🇪 Klarna, the leading global payments provider, bank, and shopping service, today announced that Rakim Mayers, better known as A$AP Rocky, has become a shareholder and will assume the role of company CEO for a day. 

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of 🇸🇪 Klarna commented: 

“A$AP Rocky defies categorization; a musician, actor, philanthropist, an opinion leader in style, and fundamentally someone who understands what the public wants from so many vantage points. He challenges the status quo each day. As the consumer experience in retail now demands discovery, curation and sustainability, we at Klarna have a lot to learn from him. Besides, after sixteen years since founding Klarna, I think I deserve a day off.”  

👉 Read more here.

FINTECH HIGHLIGHTS

  • If you haven’t heard of 🇺🇸 Pipe yet, it’s about time you did. The US fintech was valued at $2bn last week, reaching unicorn status less than a year after launch. Link here.

  • 🇸🇪 Klarna is close to securing a new funding round at a valuation of more than $40 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. Link here

  • Fintech startups in Singapore have collectively raised S$656 million (US$492.8 million) in equity funding in the first quarter of 2021. Link here

  • 🇺🇸 Visa announced its aim at helping facilitate banks and fintechs’ ability to work together. Link here

OPEN BANKING

🇧🇷 Belvo raised $43 million in a Series A round of funding. Belvo aims to work with leading fintechs in Latin America, spanning across verticals like the neobanks, credit providers, and personal finance products Latin Americans use every day. Link here

🇬🇧 Wealthify has teamed up with open banking provider 🇩🇪 Tink to transform the way its users top up their accounts. Link here

CRYPTO

🇬🇧 Starling Bank announced it had suspended all payments to crypto exchanges. According to the firm, the reason for the suspension is nothing else but crypto-related financial crimes. Link here

🇺🇸 TechCrunch founder and crypto investor Michael Arrington is selling an apartment in Kiev via a non-fungible token (NFT). Link here

Sky News host Paul Murray has spoken to 🇦🇺 Finder CEO Fred Schebesta about integrating Bitcoin into a payment system for employees at the company. Link here

🇺🇸 Wirex introduced Five New Cryptocurrencies to their App. Link here

9% of the fintechs in Argentina are dedicated to the industry around bitcoin and blockchains. Link here

🇺🇸 PayPal plans to allow its users to withdraw cryptocurrencies stored within its platform to third-party wallets. Link here

European cryptocurrency startups scooped up €805 million as of April 2021 – more than the sector has ever raised in any one single year. Link here

A franchisee of many Domino’s Pizza locations in the Netherlands announced that its workers would have the choice of being paid in Bitcoin. Link here

🇺🇸 Wicket by Paybby, a challenger bank offering services targeted toward Black and Brown communities, plans to launch cryptocurrency investing on its platform this summer, the startup’s founder and CEO said. Link here

INVESTMENTS

🇬🇧 Crowdcube announced the launch of a new IPO platform as minister plan to reduce the dominance of institutional investors in listings. Link here

🇺🇸 Aspiration, a financial technology company that’s gained the backing of high-profile actors, is laying the groundwork for a public listing. Link here.

🇬🇧 Chip has launched an investment platform with three funds from the BlackRock Consensus multi-fund range. Link here

🇺🇸 Acorns to go public through a blank-check merger valued at $2.2 billion. Link here

🇪🇸 HeyTrade, a new investment app in Spain, has signed with UK-based open banking platform TrueLayer “to deliver a new investment experience to the Spanish investors using open banking payments”. Link here

PAYMENTS

🇨🇦 WorkerAppz will expand across the GCC following a pre-seed funding round where they raised $1.5 million, and they’re now setting their sights on a $10m fundraising round. Link here

🇸🇬GrabPay and 🇺🇸 Stripe formed a partnership to enable regional businesses to offer GrabPay Wallet as a payment method through Stripe. Link here

🇬🇧 Paysend closed a round of $125 million, a sizable Series B that the company’s CEO and founder Ronnie Millar said it will be using to continue expanding its business geographically, to hire more people, and to continue building more fintech products. Link here

🇺🇸 Mastercard has announced that the Bahrain-based NEC Payments is now a global partner of 🇺🇸 MastercardFintech Express, which connects tech-savvy startups with traditional players such as banks. Link here

🇺🇸 Wyre and Plaid announced further development in their partnership. Link here

BNPL

🇨🇴 ADDI has secured $65 million in debt and equity funding and formed a strategic relationship with Banco Santander. Link here

🇺🇸 Quadpay, a Zip company, the fastest-growing Buy Now, Pay Later company in the U.S., announced a partnership with Newegg Inc. an online retailer of computer hardware and consumer electronics. Link here

🇸🇪 Klarna came under fire on Thursday after users complained they were being accidentally logged in as other people. Link here.

🇬🇧 Resolve was spun out from buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Affirm in 2019 to focus exclusively on B2B billing. It says that it has since seen “overwhelming demand” for its offering. Link here.

🇬🇧 Deko, has announced a partnership with Zip Co, the global Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) pioneer, which has been added to Deko’s multi-lender platform. Link here

FUNDING

🇺🇸 Chipper Cash, a three-year-old startup that facilitates cross-border payment across Africa, has closed a $100 million Series C round to introduce more products and grow its team. Link here.

🇺🇸 Tiv, a payments platform for gamers, emerged from stealth this week, announcing a $3.5 million seed round led by 4490 Ventures. Link here

🇩🇪 re:cap announced the successful closing of a USD 1.5m pre-seed funding round. Link here

🇧🇷 StoneCo is gearing up for a big investment. Link here

🇺🇸 PayPal and Fidelity Investments have joined a $40 million funding round in digital asset trading technology firm 🇺🇸 Talos. Link here

🇮🇪 Wayflyer a revenue-based financing platform for e-commerce merchants, has raised $76 million in a Series A funding round led by 🇺🇸 Left Lane Capital. Link here

🇲🇽 Clara announced that it closed a new, $30 million funding round and secured a $50 million revolving debt facility. Link here.

🇳🇬 OPay is reportedly in talks to raise $400 million from investors at a valuation of $1.5 billion. Link here.

🇺🇸 Vise has raised $65 million in a Series C funding round. The raise puts it at a valuation of over $1 billion. Link here

🇺🇸 VERITUITY announced the closing of a $10 million Series A funding co-led by ForgePointCapital and Ardent Venture Partners. Link here

FOUNDERS & INVESTORS

Spanish angel investors can be a tricky bunch to get hold of. But for a country with a historic shortage of local VC money, they play a crucial role in supporting Spain’s most promising young startups. So who is Spain’s most active angel investors right now? Link here

A group of fintech start-ups is funding entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across India through a model that does not require promoters to dilute any stake or provide any form of collateral. Link here

🇧🇷 EBANX is looking at acquisitions in Latin America as it prepares for a possible initial public offering (IPO), Bloomberg LP reported. Link here

🇺🇸 Mission Lane, a purpose-driven financial technology company, announced the acquisition of Honeydue. Link here

🇳🇬 Mono announced its acceptance into Y Combinator, and, at the time, it wanted to build the Plaid for Africa. Link here

MOVERS AND SHAKERS:

🇺🇸 Credit Karma is expanding in Charlotte with its new East Coast headquarters, spending $13 million and adding 600 jobs in the next five years, local and state officials announced Tuesday. Link here

🇸🇪 Klarna is launching a new tech hub in Madrid with plans to hire 500 new jobs, a large proportion of which will be focused on engineering. Link here

Iana Vidal, former head of policy and government affairs at fintech trade body Innovate Finance has been hired by buy-now-pay-later fintech 🇪🇸 Clearpay (Afterpay Ltd). Link here.

🇲🇽 Marcus Dantus from StartupMexico joins the fintech Credijusto.com with the aim of enhancing the opportunities of Mexican entrepreneurs. 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


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