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.
Affirm announced Thursday its raise of $500 million in a G Round led by GIC and Durable Capital Partners LP. Other investors included Lightspeed Venture Partners, Wellington Management Company, Baillie Gifford, Spark Capital, Founders Fund, and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC.
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The Memorandum of Understanding is for collaboration between the two entities for Pakistan’s payment systems. National Institutional Facilitation Technologies, Pakistan (NIFT), and checkout.com have agreed to collaborate on cross-border payment solutions. (ProPakistani) Incorporated in September 1995 as a joint venture between a consortium of six major Pakistani banks and entrepreneurs from the private sector, NIFT…
Ant Group, the holding company for Alipay, the mobile payment service with over 1 billion users, reported a solid streak of profitability during the first six months of 2020. The Jack Ma controlled company earned about 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) of profit in the recent June quarter and 15.3 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in the preceding March quarter. These numbers have been derived from the results for the June quarter declared by Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), which holds 33% of Ant Group.
FinTech/Alternative Investments: Real Estate Loan Investing Platform PeerStreet Launches Credit Fund
PeerStreet, a platform for investing in real estate backed loans, was a pioneer in the field of fractional investing in real estate loans. The crowdfunding platform made the process of investing in real estate loans as simple as buying stocks. It offered investors the resources to create and structure their own customized real estate debt investment portfolios. In response to investor demand, PeerStreet has now launched the Peer Street Credit Opportunity, LP.
Colibra is a Bulgarian startup that aims to make compensations for flight delays accessible to any traveler in EU countries. Travelers using the app need to pay nothing upfront and can hope to get a fair and guaranteed chance at compensation if the flight is delayed by just an hour, even due to weather. The app has now extended the option for travelers to receive compensation in bitcoin.
Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) has acquired CaseLines, a digitized, cloud-based judicial platform that manages evidence, court documents, and virtual hearings.
Loanpal, the fintech that is a market leader in financing of residential solar installations, announced Thursday that Blackstone (NYSE: BX) had committed to invest $300 million in solar loans originating on its platform. The amount committed will enable 10,000 homeowners to finance their solar systems, thereby reducing their homes’ carbon footprint.
Alternative Investments: iCapital To Provide Alternative Investment Solutions to PGIM’s Retail Clientele
PGIM Investments is the retail distribution arm of PGIM, Inc, the $1.4 trillion investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU). It has tied up with iCapital Network, a financial technology platform focused on alternative investing, for a customized technology solution to support PGIM’s high net worth clients and financial advisors. The latter will get access to PGIM’s real estate, private credit, and other private alternative investment solutions, hitherto only available to the firm’s institutional clients.
Revolut, the UK-based neobank led by Nikolay Storonsky, on Tuesday called an end to its beta mode operations in Australia. Country CEO Matt Baxby said the fintech was now readying for a launch of a “super app” in the country.
American Express (NYSE: AXP) the largest provider of credit cards to small businesses, is in advanced talks to acquire Kabbage, the online lender to small businesses, according to Bloomberg.
Revolut, the London fintech and neo bank, published its annual report for 2019 today. It reported a rather sizable loss of £107.4 million for the year. This was more than three times its loss during 2018, which was £32.8 million.
Grab Financial Group Expands Suite of Products Under ‘Thrive with Grab’ Strategy
India’s SME sector has been rocked on its heels by the COVID-19 pandemic. It contributes to 45% of the country’s manufacturing output and over 28% of GDP while employing 111 million people. The pandemic can have catastrophic consequences for these businesses, which were already suffering from an economic slowdown before the virus. This may be a challenging environment for the introduction of high tech credit appraisal tools. But this is exactly what the UK fintech Wiserfunding is proposing to do.
According to ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom that investigates abuse of power, the US Justice Department will investigate Intuit Inc (NASDAQ: INTU)’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Credit Karma announced in February. Intuit is an American business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software. It has a market capitalization of $81 billion. Credit Karma is a fintech that launched a free tax return service that became a formidable rival to Intuit.
Sifted revealed that London-based fintech Curve may raise an amount upwards of £100 million in a proposed Series C round. It reportedly started its efforts to raise money earlier this year and if the efforts pay off, it could be one of the biggest raises by a fintech in Europe this year amidst the pandemic.
Mobeewave, a Canadian tech startup that aims to convert smartphones into payment terminals, has been acquired by Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) for $100 million, according to Bloomberg.
The Mobeewave startup makes it easy for shoppers to use their credit cards and make payments using their smartphones. The firm will continue to function out of its Old Montreal location with all employees being retained by Apple.
Monzo reported a loss of £113.8 million ($149.5 million) in its 2020 fiscal accounts, up from the £47.1 million loss in 2019. However, revenues more than tripled to £67.2 million from £19.7 million. The bank made sizable investments on hiring, marketing and a U.S. expansion during the year.
The bank warned that the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic had cast in doubt its ability to continue to operate.
Immigrant focused remittance fintech Remitly announced Wednesday that it raised $85 million in a Series F round led by existing investor Prosus’s PayU. Generation Investment Management, Owl Rock Capital, Stripes, DN Capital, Top Tier, Princeville Global, and Threshold Ventures also participated.
Marqeta, a global card issuing platform, will provide its card tokenization capabilities to JPMorgan Chase’s (NYSE: JPM) virtual card program in 2021. The bank would, therefore, be able to issue its virtual cards into the mobile wallets of its commercial card clients.
Sezzle, a fintech that offers interest-free installment purchase plans to 1.4 million consumers at online stores and physical locations, has tied up with Plaid. Sezzle’s customers can now connect (via Plaid) their financial accounts maintained with the traditional banks to the Sezzle platform.
It’s as if the pandemic never happened for Revolut, the UK-based challenger bank and fintech. It just got another $80 million in its Series D kitty from TSG Consumer Partners, the private equity company focused on consumer product companies and running an AUM of $5 billion. TSG’s investment was made at the same Round D valuation of $5.5 billion struck in February. That valuation tripled from its previous one of $1.7 billion in April 2018.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Thursday that its Amazon Pay service had begun to offer two and four-wheeler insurance policies in India, in partnership with Acko General Insurance Ltd.
Online shoppers will soon have access to a new credit facility courtesy of Affirm, the credit startup run by PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) co-founder Max Levchin, and eCommerce giant Shopify (NYSE: SHOP). Best of all, the program, dubbed Shop Pay Installments, will be interest-free as well as zero-fee. Shopify merchants in the U.S. that want to offer a BNPL facility to their customers may opt for Affirm’s solution.
Insurtech startup Hippo, which specializes in digital insurance of homes and possessions, announced Tuesday its successful Series E funding of $150 million. The round valued Hippo at $1.5 billion post-money. Its aggregate funding since its launch in 2015 is $359 million.
The ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA: ARKF) invests in companies across the globe that are engaged in financial technology innovation. This can be through the introduction of a technologically enabled new product or service that potentially changes the way the financial sector works. Some examples of these are innovations in transaction processing, blockchain technology, new intermediaries or disintermediation, and risk transformation.