Author: PCN

blockchain crypto fintech funding investment open banking PCN pulse pulse regulation scaleup startup success

PCN Pulse

14/06/2021 – 20/06/2021

Stay on the weekly beat.

From Startups to Funding

Scale-Up Europe present to Emmanuel Macron.

Bringing together more than 200 members of the European tech ecosystem – the initiative aims at developing actionable proposals to support the emergence of 10 technology leaders valued at over $100 billion by 2030 while at the same time strengthening the continents digital sovereignty.

Early-Stage Fintechs Luring Gen Z

Let’s recap: Neobanks’ newest threat – Having shaken up finance for the past five years, the neobanks are now being taken on by a fresh wave of newcomers catering to a group that will soon outnumber millennials. 

What this means: Gen Z: the under 23s – today’s largest generation – are beginning to enter the workforce. That could prove dangerous to the early neobanks, whose core demographic is aged 32 to 35.

Klarna raises another mega-round – upping its valuation

Stockholm’s BNPL juggernaut Klarna has confirmed a new equity funding round of $639 million led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. With this raise, Klarna now sits at a post-money valuation of $45.6 billion, a figure only Stripe eclipses in the fintech world.

Open payments firm Volt raises $23.5m

London-based open payments gateway Volt announced a $23.5 million Series A funding round led by EQT Ventures, Augmentum Fintech, Fuel Ventures, and Angel investors, including Adyen co-founder Robert Kraal and FIS non-executive director Gabriel de Montessus. Founded in 2019, Volt offers seamless access to Open Banking payments in Europe, connecting over 5000 banks across the UK and EU.

Big Beats

China trials blockchain digital Yuan salary payments.

Implemented in the Xiong’an New Area, China has progressed with its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and used a blockchain-based payment platform to pay worker salaries. Engineering sub-contractors made payments directly to builders’ digital wallets. The pilot was supported by the Shijiazhuang-based PBoC branch, the Bank of China Hebei Xiong’an branch, and the National Development and Reform Commission.

Stripe launches new self-serve tool Stripe ID.

Companies can use the tool to verify user identities against government IDs with live selfies – while Stripe manages the encrypted customer data through computer vision and machine learning. Delia Pawelke, head of global risk strategy and onboarding policy at Stripe – “With Stripe Identity, we’re making our advanced compliance infrastructure available to all of our users. For an online business, verifying someone’s identity is now as easy as accepting a payment.”

On Success

Customer-Centricity is still central to success.

Startups, don’t worry about building tech – focus on your customers.

Consumer founders, you may feel like your startup is bordering on indestructible if you’ve managed to build proprietary technology or intellectual property — but you’re wrong, things are always changing.

What really drives innovation, says founder Elise Mouterlier, is nurturing your customers by listening to them and building with them in mind. 

Regulatory

Basel Committee urges recognition and management of crypto

Experts have welcomed the news that the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has proposed splitting cryptocurrency assets into two categories and managing them according to their current stability. The regulatory body has recommended that crypto be assessed on its operational risks to the bank, its credit, and its market liquidity. Well-established currencies, such as Bitcoin, will be managed in line with a “new conservative prudential treatment”, the committee said. 

More from PCN

Heckin Dogecoin? – A much wow spotlight

A gold coin reminiscent of old 8-bit video games. A shiba inu dog with a void expression on his face. Comic Sans. 

What exactly is Dogecoin, where does it come from, and why is it quickly turning into the most popular cryptocurrency on the market?

Like most good things in life, Dogecoin started out as nothing more but a joke. One night in late 2013, Jackson Palmer of Adobe, observant of the recent emergence of crypto alternatives to bitcoin – many of which have creative names. Now, Dogecoin has a market cap of $70 million.

It is a possible danger to the environment, and one can only hope miners will move towrad a more sustainable source of energy. Dogecoin is a light-hearted variant of an increasingly popular investment opportunity, but it offers a lot more: it is an opportunity, an alternative to the mainstream, it is comedy within finance, a joke that completely blew out of proportion. It is the anchor of a community willing to help out when needed. Simply, it is Doge.

Useful Reports

Mckinsey – AI-powered decision making for the bank of the future.

Banks are already strengthening customer relationships and lowering costs by using artificial intelligence to guide customer engagement. Success requires that capability stacks include the right decisioning elements. The ongoing transition to digital channels creates an opportunity for banks to serve more customers, expand market share, and increase revenue at a lower cost. Crucially, banks that pursue this opportunity also can access the bigger, richer data sets required to fuel advanced analytics (AA) and machine-learning (ML) decision engines. 

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