Staying on the beat; 6 July – 12 July 2021
From Startups to Unicorns
UK business banking platform Tide has raised over $100 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $650 million.
Tide, which has recruited 350,000 SMEs and opened over 410,000 business accounts since its launch in the UK in 2017, says the funding will be used to support its international expansion strategy.
The cash injection comes just weeks after the firm announced plans to kickstart its international expansion strategy in India, with a commitment to invest £100 million and create 1000 jobs over the next five years.
Pine Labs closed a $600 million financing round as the Asian merchant commerce platform sets the goal to explore the public markets within two years.
Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, Ishana, and a fund advised by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers, and IIFL and Kotak invested in the round, which values the startup at $3 billion. Pine Labs unveiled the new round, a name of which it hasn’t disclosed, earlier this year.
London-based fintech companies have attracted over a third of Europe’s venture capital funding in 2021 so far.
London’s strong performance has also helped drive investment into Europe’s tech sector. European firms have raised $13.9bn, up 51 per cent on 2020’s full-year investment levels. London firms accounted for over a third of overall European fintech funding.
Investment into London’s fintechs is 2.4 times greater than in the same period during 2020, showing confidence in the UK as the economy recovers from Covid-19. The capital ranks second place on the worldwide list for VC investment so far this year, slightly ahead of New York ($5.2bn) and behind San Francisco ($7.2bn).
Younited, a Paris-based credit and payment platform, has raised $170 million in a funding round joined by Goldman Sachs and Bridgepoint.
Founded in 2009 to simplify the credit process for consumers and businesses, Younited operates a cloud-only SaaS platform that uses data from open banking to make lending decisions.
Danish digital challenger bank Lunar has raised €210 million in a Series D funding round led by family-owned investment company Heartland, alongside European growth investor Kinnevik and Chinese tech giant Tencent.
With operations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Lunar now serves more than 325,000 users on its platform.
In the last year, Lunar’s total customer base grew by more than 90%, and the bank received applications from more than half of newly established Danish SMEs in 2021. During the last month, Lunar has further added €130 million in deposits.
Bunq has hit a €1.6 billion valuation on a €193 million Series A funding round that also sees the Dutch digital bank buy Irish lending firm Capitalflow Group.
Pollen Street Capital is contributing €168 million, with bunq founder Ali Niknam – who has funded the firm until now – putting in another €25 million. The arrangement sees bunq acquire Capitalflow Group from Pollen Street Capital.
Big Beats around the world
So far this year, global fintech VC investment has reached a record high, with $54.1bn pumped into fintech companies around the world, ahead of the total amount raised in any full year before. New research from London & Partners and Dealroom.co today shows that Bengaluru ranks 8th globally for total fintech VC investment between 2016 and 2021 and attracted $800m in fintech VC investment in the first six months of 2021.
Solarisbank AG, the tech company with a banking license, announced that it has launched in France, Italy and Spain to offer local IBANs. In addition to covering the entire European Economic Area (EEA) via passporting, this step now provides Solarisbank’s partners uninhibited access to the local financial ecosystems of Europe’s four largest markets. Solarisbank has managed to set up local operations in the three new markets and build up a first-class team of international professionals around three highly experienced general managers.
Google is in talks to acquire Tokyo-based cashless payment provider Pring in a deal that could enable Google to offer financial services of its own rather than being reliant on partner banks and credit card companies.
Pring is currently owned by Mizuho Bank and a number of investors and Google is reportedly set to pay between $180m and $270m for all of the company’s shares.
The cashless payment market in Japan is in a relatively immature state compared to other countries where there has been wider adoption of alternative payment methods. Japan’s share of cashless payment in retail transactions was just under 30% in 2020, compared with 70-90% in South Korea and China.
Cryptocurrency has been here for a long time now. However, its mainstream adoption has boosted lately with 2020 being a remarkable year to add to its significance. But 2021 is a major push as countries across the globe have tried accepting cryptocurrency in some form or the other. Similarly, these countries have also been working on cryptocurrency regulations to govern the process of exchanging through crypto.
Click here for an overview of the crypto regulations across the globe.
The industry is on the verge of a seismic, tech-driven shift. A focus on four areas can position carriers to embrace this change.
Welcome to the future of insurance, as seen through the eyes of Scott, a customer in the year 2030. His digital personal assistant orders him a vehicle with self-driving capabilities for a meeting across town. Upon hopping into the arriving car, Scott decides he wants to drive today and moves the car into “active” mode. Scott’s personal assistant maps out a potential route and shares it with his mobility insurer, which immediately responds with an alternate route that has a much lower likelihood of accidents and auto damage as well as the calculated adjustment to his monthly premium. Scott’s assistant notifies him that his mobility insurance premium will increase by 4 to 8 percent based on the route he selects and the volume and distribution of other cars on the road. It also alerts him that his life insurance policy, which is now priced on a “pay-as-you-live” basis, will increase by 2 percent for this quarter. The additional amounts are automatically debited from his bank account.
More from PCN:
In his debut as our podcast host, our very own Andre van der Westhuizen is joined by Amrit Santhirasenan, the founder and CEO of hyperexponential (hx), a cutting-edge fintech startup transforming the world of insurance – which just landed $18 million in funding. We cover the importance of digitalisation, securing wealth in the new era of increased access, mathematical modeling software for commercial insurance, maker vs user software, and more!
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