ProCredit Bank moves up digitalization, and Bitpanda closes $52M Series A from Valar Ventures

PODCAST

This week's podcast recommendation belongs to the Canadian Fintech Forum's Million Dollar StartUp Podcast Series. Produced and hosted by John Siracusa, this series follows top early-stage Fintech founding teams as they compete for a million-dollar investment.

Subscribe to the latest podcast here.

INTERVIEW

"Neo-banks can, and will, have a great impact on emerging markets with high numbers of under-banked or unbanked. The digital banking revolution is just getting started."

Read more of my latest interview with Unravel, as we discuss the prospects and potential impacts of digital banks and Fintechs in emerging economies.

Read more here.

REPORT

Scientia Consulting's latest Fintech Bites Report looks closely at the Functionality Ranking of USA Challenger Banks. They take a closer look at the following banks: Chime, Current, MoneyLion, Simple, SoFi, Stash and Varo Bank.

Find out more here.

NOW, ON TO THE SUMMARY OF LAST WEEK'S DIGITAL BANKING SPACE

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:

Starling Bank, the British challenger bank founded by former AIB chief operating officer Anne Boden, is likely to raise fresh capital next year to expand its offering for small UK businesses and advance plans to use the Republic as a base for European expansion, according to a senior executive with the lender. Link here.

INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Why you probably need to shake up your startup’s board. Link here.
  • Buy now, pay later: The changing face of finance for a mobile generation. Link here.
  • Angel Investors Syndicate. Join now! Link here.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS:

ComplyAdvantage has expanded its executive team as the demand for regtech increases. Richard Orme will step into the role of chief technology officer. Link here.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards have selected Onfido CEO and Co-Founder Husayn Kassai as the 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for London and the East of England. The show is now in its eighth year and was established to recognize the accomplishments of entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom. Link here.

Berlin-based mobile bank N26 has appointed Dropbox executive Adrienne Gormley chief operating officer and ex-Adidas human resources SVP Diana Styles chief people officer. Link here.

UNITED KINGDOM

Crowdcube and Seedrs plan to merge, and Tymit raised additional funding.

Crowdcube and Seedrs plan to merge to create one of the world’s largest private equity marketplaces.  Link here.

Currensea is launching an open banking debit card for small businesses, enabling them to make international transactions through their existing bank account without any of the charges and with low fees competitive with the leading challenger banks. Link here.

Curve has seen a spike in Irish users after adding more features for mobile payments. Chief operating officer Nathalie Oestmann said the company saw a 78% boost in sign-ups in Ireland in August, and earlier this month it launched Google Pay. Link here.

Distribution Finance Capital (DF Capital), a niche lender providing working capital solutions to dealers and manufacturers across the UK, has received a full UK banking license from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Link here.

Draper Esprit, a listed venture capital fund has raised £110m in a new share issuance to invest in a number of new and follow on investments. The share price of the new issuance is equivalent to the latest NAV per share as at 31 March 2020. Link here.

Could the purchase of Wirecard Card Solutions (WCS) by Railsbank be the perfect opportunity to drive regulatory change? Railsbank founder and CEO Nigel Verdon thinks so, but stability must come first. Link here.

Following the success of Revolut metal plans for personal accounts, Revolut Business launched distinctive metal cards backed by the best of Revolut Business. Forged from 18g of stainless steel, metal cards have a striking, professional look and feel. Link here.

Every time customer recommends Starling Bank to someone and that person becomes a new Starling customer through the referral journey, Starling will plant a tree as a thank you. Link here. Also, three years after Starling Bank launched its third-party Marketplace, the team is shifting its strategy and exploring new business models. Marketplace initially let consumers share their financial data between these apps and services, becoming one of the first mainstream examples of Open Banking. Link here.

Tymit, the mobile-enabled instalment credit card that gives customers the power to plan the way they pay, announced that it has raised additional funding. The undisclosed investment comes from VentureFriends, an early stage VC that has backed the likes of Plum and Belvo and follows the £4m secured by Tymit last November. Link here.

Less than two weeks after launching its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, FCA authorized e-Money Institution Ziglu has successfully secured nearly £2.4 million from more than 800 Seedrs investors. Link here.

EUROPE

ProCredit Bank moves up digitalization, and Bitpanda closes $52M Series A from Valar Ventures

ProCredit Bank in Ukraine has successfully adapted to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic by accelerating its intense program of digitalization and expanding its online banking platform, with the result that clients not only have easier, faster and more reliable access to banking services, but also at a lower price. Link here.

ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and babysitting platform Charly Cares are launching a pilot to provide babysitters instant access to their earnings directly after they finished their job, instead of having to wait for days or even weeks to get paid. Link here.

Bitpanda, a crypto assets platform, has closed a $52 million Series A funding round from Valar Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel. Link here.

Tech stocks around the world have been booming to all-time highs this year, driving dozens of headline-grabbing listings on the public stock markets from Lemonade to Snowflake. The exception to this trend has been across Europe, which has been in a relative initial public offering (IPO) desert. Still, there are now some signs that the European IPO market is waking up. Link here.

UNITED STATES

Letter set to land in California, Step launches No Fee Banking App, and Marqeta ships Tokenization-as-a-service product.

SoFi has been on a meteoric rise. CEO Anthony Noto spoke at LendIt Fintech 2020 on why the company continues to be a standout and a go-to-choice for the next generation. Link here.

Letter, a California-based digital challenger, is gearing up to launch its “modern private banking” experience. The start-up is spearheaded by Drew Wilson letter, a senior software engineer manager at multibillion-dollar web hosting service GoDaddy. Link here.

Step, the new modern-day financial services company built for teens and families, announced its official launch, offering a free FDIC insured bank account and Visa card. Link here.

Digital account openings surged long before the pandemic. In 2019, half of all community banks and credit unions opened less than 5% of their new checking account applications in digital channels. Granted, there were some who opened far more than 50% of their checking accounts digitally—but they were few and far between. Link here.

Marqeta, Inc, the global modern card issuing platform, unveiled its new Tokenization-as-a-Service product, which allows any card issuer to access its industry leading tokenization technology. Link here.

LATIN AMERICA

Rapyd announced a deal with Bnext, Spain's first mobile neo-bank for cash collection with plans to expand services across Latin America. Link here.

The Brazilian unicorn Nubank has paved its way for arriving in Colombia, reports La República. According to the newspaper, the preamble to the landing of the neobank to the land where Nubank’s CEO, David Vélez, was born, has been marked by several events with the Colombian government. Link here.

AUSTRALIA

Douugh, a Sydney-founded neobank, is debuting on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) next week. With plans to launch in the US following its listing, Douugh is floating just a week after fintech lender Plenti’s initial public offering (IPO) saw a poor uptake. Link here.

The newest Australian digital banking challenger on the block Alex is looking to raise around A$10m (~£5.5m) in a Series B funding round, as first reported by the Australian Financial Review. Link here.

ASIA

BigPay expands into Singapore, Jumio talks Asia - Pacific growth, and SpareBank 1 exports personal finance app to Japan.

Google Pay in collaboration with Visa and banking partners on Monday rolled out tokenisation across its platform, enabling users to safely transact with their cards and use the Tap-to-pay feature on near-field communication (NFC)-enabled point of sale (POS) terminals and online merchants. Link here.

Jumio Corporation, an online identity verification FinTech based out of Palo Alto, is growing exponentially. Geographic expansion – particularly its Asia-Pacific business – is spurring triple growth rates. Its shift to a KYX platform is opening its services up to new types of integrations, which feeds into its third growth vertical: finding opportunities beyond financial services. Link here.

BigPay | Challenge Banking, Air Asia Group’s FinTech focused company, is now available in Singapore which is in line with the FinTech’s expansion plan into other South East Asian markets by early 2021. Link here.

SpareBank 1 Østlandet’s AR app, designed to improve young people’s understanding of personal finances, has been a great success. The solution is now being exported to schools in high-tech Japan. Link here.

Ant Bank (Hong Kong), the virtual banking arm of Ant Group, on Monday became the sixth branchless lender to start operations in the city and said that it would partner with AlipayHK to tap its two million users to avail of its services. Link here.

AFRICA

Mastercard has launched Fintech Express in the Middle East and Africa, a program designed to facilitate emerging Fintechs’ launch and expansion in the region. Link here.

It’s no secret South Africa has a financial services problem. Financial services are priced for those who are either already making money or were born into it – but not for those starting out with little financial literacy. This is the view of Bettr.App, a new challenger in the finance sector. Link here.

MIDDLE EAST

In the Middle East region, specifically in the Arabian Gulf region, there have been significant home-grown innovations to provide buy now - pay later solutions to consumers. The Fintech Times sat down with Hosam Arab, Founder and CEO of tabby. Link here.

NOTE: This article was featured in my weekly newsletter on October 6th, 2020. Do you want to be the first to read the next weekly overview? Sign up for my Weekly Digital Banking Newsletter here.
 
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