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.
“We will be profitable in the next financial year,” TS Anil said at the summit on Thursday, though Monzo reported pre-tax losses of £119mn for the 12 months to the end of February 2022 in the financial results it declared in July. Anil’s statement also marks a sea change from 2021, when auditors expressed “material uncertainties” over its ability to remain in business.
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A third of U.S. consumers have gone without medical care, citing affordability as the main cause of the neglect. This is particularly acute in the case of dentistry, which can lead to sizable bills. New BNPL options are healthier for patients’ teeth, and dental practices.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) notes that Australian digital bank Volt Bank (Volt) has refunded its customers’ deposits. The process began on June 29 when Volt declared it would no longer be a bank and that it would return its ADI licence to APRA.
Tomocredit, a credit card provider that does not insist on a FICO score from borrowers such as credit-invisible immigrants and international students with no credit history in the U.S, announced its raise of $122 million in equity and debt. The oversubscribed round met with participation by Morgan Stanley’s Next Level Fund, MasterCard, and debt from Silicon Valley Bank. Major fintech investors and culture funds including GoldHouse, Asian Hustle network, and Hyphen Capital, also participated.
Starling Bank, the UK-based digital challenger bank, announced a maiden profit in its accounts for the financial year ended on March 31, 2022. Compared to a pre-tax loss of £31.5 million for the 16-month period to 31 March 2021, Starling earned a pre-tax profit of £32.1 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2022. Revenue for the latest year was £188 million, nearly doubling from the previous year.
British digital challenger bank Starling told staff Monday that it had withdrawn its application for a European banking license from Ireland’s central bank after it spent four years on the process. The bank said in its memo to employees that it will focus instead on new opportunities in lending as well as selling its software-as-a-service product.
Airbase, a spend management platform catering to mid-market and enterprise companies, announced today the close of its $150 million debt financing round led by Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS). Airbase will apply the funding towards the expansion of its corporate charge card program, a component of the spend platform.
Stripe, the payments giant founded by the Collison brothers, has cut its internal valuation by 28% according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Stripe’s so-called 409A valuation is the fair market value of the common stock of a private company as valued by a third-party appraiser, and is used to grant employees stock options. According to WSJ’s sources, Stripe informed employees in an email Friday that this value was $29, compared with $40 in the most previous 409A assessment.
Wave, the fintech aiming to make Africa a cashless continent, has laid off about 15% of its 2,000 staff amidst a global slump in the values of publicly listed fintech companies, and a massive down round in storied BNPL fintech Klarna.
Berlin-based insurtech wefox has raised $400 million in a Series D equity round led by Mubadala Investment Company with participation from EDBI, Eurazeo, LGT, Horizons Ventures, OMERS Ventures and Target Global. In the present environment rife with down rounds (e.g. Klarna), layoffs and collapsing public market values of listed fintechs, wefox said it bucked the trend currently experienced in the insurtech market and more broadly across the tech sector.
Agrotoken, which is developing a tokenized infrastructure for trading agrocommodities, announced Monday its partnership with Pomelo (a provider of technological infrastructure for financial services) and Algorand (a layer-1 blockchain) to develop a card for the agrocommodity sector. Agrotoken previously entered an alliance with Visa (NYSE: V) to create a payment method allowing agricultural producers to use their grains as a form of payment through a card.
It’s a monster down round (one in which the startup is forced to accept a lower valuation than that in a previous round) for Klarna, showing how risk averse venture firms have become in an environment that punishes tech companies first and asks questions later. It is also a pointer to the slowing allure of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), a fintech product that is Klarna’s bread and butter line. The fintech’s latest round received investment from existing investors including Sequoia, the founders, Bestseller, Silver Lake and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. New investors included the Mubadala Investment Company and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
London-based fintech Plum, known for its personal finance app, has built these features into its debit card – the Plum Card. Said to be the company’s latest addition to its money management toolkit, it aims to give you better visibility and control over your finances.
Wirex, the London-headquartered digital payments platform which aims to blur the gap between traditional currencies and crypto, has announced Wirex Credit, a product that offers highly competitive interest rates and no origination fee for crypto-backed loans. Users can easily borrow, within the Wirex app, up to $100,000 in stablecoins, with a loan to value (LTV) of up to 80%.
Alleged money laundering by fintechs has drawn regulatory wrath in unconnected matters in Kenya and India. A court in Kenya has frozen more than $40m in accounts belonging to Africa-focused fintech payments giant Flutterwave under the country’s anti-money laundering laws. In India, the country’s Enforcement Directorate attached 86.6 crore rupees (about $11 million) from various fintechs and finance companies under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Klarna, the Swedish fintech known for its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) financial product, is negotiating to raise $650 million at a valuation of $6.5 billion, which is a very sharp comedown from the $45.6 billion tag in a June 2021 funding round led by SoftBank Group.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) has added yet another credit product geared towards making small businesses’ financial lives easier. The company has launched the PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard, its very first business credit card, said to be a simple way for businesses to pay for both everyday business expenses and those that may unexpectedly arise, while also earning cashback rewards on all purchases.
Digital challenger bank Revolut has commenced the rollout of a BNPL offering in Ireland this week. It will compete with established BNPL players in the country such as Swedish fintech Klarna and Humm, owned by Australia’s Flexi-Fi. However, Revolut’s product comes with fees and a credit limit must be approved prior.
Last week, fintech Brex caused a stir by announcing it was discontinuing services to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in favor of focusing on venture-backed or “professionally funded” and larger client accounts. The company likely received a lot of flak for the both the decision and the manner it was communicated; hence a conciliatory and apologetic blog post by Pedro Franceschi, founder and co-CEO, issued Thursday.
Brex will now focus on venture-backed technology startups and larger companies. Brex, the Silicon Valley-based lender to small and medium sized businesses and startups, has announced a shift in its business priorities. It will now focus only on venture-backed technology startups and larger companies. Announced last week, the change puts tens of thousands of small…
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Klarna, the fintech company famous for its ‘buy-now-pay-later’ product, is in talks to raise funding at a valuation of $15 billion, nearly a third of its 2021 valuation of $46 billion.
SaaS cloud banking platform Mambu will power the new, next-gen digital mortgage brand, Unloan, by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), the country’s largest bank. Unloan is a highly innovative product for the Australian mortgage industry launched in May 2022. It provides loan refinancing applications in as little as 10 minutes and a discount that increases every year for up to 30 years.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) has launched “PayPal Pay Monthly,” its latest BNPL product, aimed at offering customers more choices and flexibility for making payments. The product is addressing the issue of credit card debt, now a serious problem amidst 40-year record inflation, rising interest rates and fears of an impending recession.