Digital payments alone could become a $100 trillion industry, according to PwC. And that’s just one component of the global Fintech industry. This channel tackles the lenders and buyers, the obstacles and achievements, and the trends and trend makers leading the ongoing technological evolution in global finance.
Clip, a Mexican digital payments and commerce platform founded in 2012, announced June 10, its raise of $250 million in a round led by the SoftBank Latin America Fund and Viking Global Investors LP. The round valued Clip at approximately $2 billion.
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A Bloomberg report says Zhang Yiming, the AI genius who built ByteDance into a global behemoth via apps such as TikTok, is already flexing his muscles for the next battle. Not content with queering the pitch for media rivals such as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Zhang this time has e-commerce, and Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), in his sights.
Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) left analysts’ estimates in the dust with its numbers for the first quarter. The payments giant clocked quarterly revenues of $5.1 billion, well above analysts’ consensus of $3.34 billion and last year’s tally of $1.38 billion. It reported adjusted earnings of 41 cents per share, compared to expectations of 17 cents and last year’s loss of 2 cents a share.
Departmental store chain Macy’s (NYSE: M), which operates more than 750 stores nationwide, is partnering with fintech Klarna to offer its Pay in Four service. Macy’s customers can opt to pay for their purchases in four interest-free installments at checkout.
Tala, a personal finance app and financial services provider active in emerging economies, and Visa (NYSE: V) will collaborate to bring cryptocurrencies, such as the USDC stablecoin, to underbanked people across the world.
Porsche owners in Melbourne can now look forward to super-easy off-street parking in Melbourne, Australia, thanks to the all-new Porsche Park app. Advantages: Zero contact parking – just search, navigate, access, and pay.
FinTech: “Speculative, Casino-Like” (Buffett On Robinhood); “Insulting Old Guard” (Robinhood On Buffett)
At the Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) annual meeting on Saturday Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger criticized commission-free brokerage Robinhood for fanning gambling behavior by people “who have money in their pockets for the first time.” Their charges drew an equally acidic response from Robinhood, which is likely to go public this year.
Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has launched its robo-advisory investment solution titled the “CBD Investr App,” developed in collaboration with Belgium-based wealthtech company InvestSuite. The algorithm-powered app makes it easy for investors to access global stock portfolios.
Paxos, which operates a regulated blockchain infrastructure platform, announced Thursday its close of a $300 million Series D round of funding led by Oak HC/FT. Returning investors Declaration Partners, PayPal Ventures, Mithril Capital, Senator Investment Group, Liberty City Ventures, WestCap, and others also participated.
Greenlight announced today its close of $260 million in Series D funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Existing investors TTV Capital, Canapi Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, BOND, Fin VC, Goodwater Capital, as well as new investors Wellington Management, Owl Ventures, and LionTree Partners also participated.
Uplift, which spreads the cost of your purchases over fixed monthly installments, a fintech service that is also known as Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL), has tied up with Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) to offer travelers this payment method. The option is now built into the Southwest Airlines booking system and a traveler availing of it will see both the total cost of the trip as well as the monthly payment amount at the time of booking.
Toast, the provider of Point of Sale (POS) systems to restaurants, announced Thursday its partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help provide customers with access to funds made available through the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).
Global fintech and challenger bank Revolut is planning to set up shop in India and has appointed Paroma Chatterjee, previously of Lendingkart, Via.com, Flipkart, and Airtel Money, as its CEO for the Indian venture. Chatterjee was named as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of Asia for 2020.
Boden said at the event that Starling now had the wherewithal to buy out another lender. Further, responding to the U.K. Government’s newly-announced fast-track “scale up” visas proposal, she said there was no need for these because home-grown talent was available in plenty within the U.K.
Volt Equity, the boutique investment firm based in Silicon Valley, has joined with Simplify Asset Management to launch a new class of ETFs that are highly concentrated in their exposure and come with an inbuilt options strategy. These ETFs allow investors to “bet big” on companies that are disruptors in their field, or are creating new industries, yet also offer a cushion against downsides. The target audience for these ETFs is Robinhood-era bull investors.
Social payments, or P2P, app Venmo has launched the facility to buy, sell or hold cryptocurrencies from within its app. Users can buy bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, or bitcoin cash with as little as $1 and enjoy the thrills of owning cryptocurrencies.
Starling, the U.K.-based digital bank, announced today its raise of £50 million ($69 million) from Goldman Sachs’ growth equity investment arm. The funding came as an extension of the £272 million Series D round announced in March 2021, taking its total fundraising to £322 million. The round had valued the bank at £1.1 billion.
Even, the earned wage access platform announced that it had completed the distribution of $2.5 billion in on-demand pay, a facility it has provided since 2017. Earned wage access is a fintech service that allows users to receive on-demand a portion of their wages for hours they have already worked but not yet been paid for by their employer.
Clearcover, a startup selling car insurance digitally, has raised $ 200 million in a Series D funding round led by Eldridge, with participation from existing investors American Family Ventures, Cox Enterprises, OMERS Ventures, as well as other new investors.
Berlin-based neobank N26 announced today its offering of smartphone insurance in collaboration with Simplesurance. Offered for the time being only in Germany, the product allows users to buy insurance, initiate claims and manage plans for their smartphones.
FinTech: Checkout.com Launches Payouts Product For Real-Time Direct Payments To Cards And Bank Accounts
Checkout.com, the payment solutions provider announced the launch of its Payouts Product that enables merchants to make real-time payments to billions of cards and bank accounts globally – through just a single technical API integration with Checkout.com.
Grab, the Southeast Asian giant that straddles ride-hailing, online food delivery, and digital wallet payments in the region through a super app, has agreed to go public in the U.S. through a SPAC transaction. The SoftBank-backed startup will merge with Altimeter Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: AGC) and thereafter trade on the NASDAQ with the ticker GRAB.
Venture Capital: Supervest, A Platform That Matches Loan-Seeking Merchants With Investors, Is Seeking Funds
Supervest calls it a new asset class. Merchant cash advances (MCA) are a form of short-term financing for merchants in the form of a sales agreement in which capital is exchanged for a proportion of future sales. Typically, an MCA is availed by small businesses or startups that need to receive a large amount of money quickly with minimal strings attached. Supervest is a platform where accredited investors and individuals can invest in the high-yielding MCA space.
A new report by EY and Automation Anywhere titled “Saudi Arabia: showing the way to the world,” says Saudi Arabia’s use of intelligent automation could double the size of its economy to $1.6 trillion, adding an additional $293 billion by 2030. A combination of AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), intelligent automation could make huge strides in the improvement of technology-led productivity.