Future of FinTech | Edition #29 – July 2022
Greetings, FinTech fanatics!
Let's ghost away your Tuesday worries with some refreshing intel from the Future of FinTech newsletter! Snack on your favorite treats while you sip our FinTech brew, and get ready to delve into six unique themes that'll keep you FinTechy all week long! But first, sign up for your weekly brew and get it right in your inbox every Tuesday! ☕️
Get your FinTech cuppa every week! Subscribe now!
Unstoppable Kingdom of Fintech: 2022 has been quite the rollercoaster ride for FinTech investments. Despite the hiccups, UK FinTech companies were able to raise a whopping $9.1B in funding in the first half of 2022, more than the rest of Europe combined, hot on its heels of the US’ $25B raise. Now that's some solid momentum. Take a bow! (Read More On This Here)
Edition #29 brings with it numerous FinTech happenings that are sure to act as a sweetener and add that extra perk to your week.
Here’s the TL;DR:
Big brands seem to be serving a green menu lately to their environmentally conscious customers, with Mastercard and AXA Hong Kong and Macau teaming up to create a greener future through the former’s Priceless Planet Coalition and giving customers the chance to fix forests. Not just this, but UBS also now offers an equity-focused Climate Aware Equity Index designed to help environmentally conscious clients save in a sustainable way. A definite green flag!
The payments sector also embraced the color green, as CRIF got the green light for registering as a Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) with the Central Bank of Ireland. AvidXchange also teamed up with MDT to promote AvidAscend, an invoice-to-pay solution, to MDT's 100+ credit union clients.
Klarna, which has been stealing quite some headlines recently, is gearing up for the launch of its American retail pop-up store in Los Angeles – “Klarna Oasis”. Speaking of new launches, Slice’s latest 'Purchase Power' feature will offer real-time transaction-based term loans instead of a credit line. The decision came after the RBI announced that it would stop non-bank PPIs from giving out credit. That’s some quick action!
A lot of the larger and developed economies are enhancing their ever-growing FinTech ecosystem. Last week saw UK-based CurveFinance planning to launch its own stablecoin. That's not all – major US commission-free stock trading and investing app Robinhood availed the options trading in cash accounts feature on their platform.
The launches don’t just stop there, with ecosystem participants bringing some more novel debuts to the table. While Adatree introduced Open Energy to its data platform, meaning its customers now have access to all the industry data available, Equifax announced a definitive agreement to acquire LawLogix in order to improve employment and regulatory services for both employers and law firms.
For the longer read, let's get going –
The Open Finance segment was astir with eye-grabbing launches and partnerships between players. Diving straight into the cuppa of brewing events –
The various collaborative affairs:
FICO joined hands with Open-Finance.ai to assist FinTechs in transforming decision-making for credit grantors, insurers, and other firms to drive speed and efficiency through an unparalleled customer experience.
Ping Identity partnered with Flinks to link their financial accounts with FinTech apps. This partnership also ensures that Flinks’ Open Banking API technology is secure and scalable.
Moneyhub partnered with Pennyworth to redesign digital banking for consumers while also seeking to democratize financial planning.
GoCardless also made the headlines with its partnership with Xero to provide its instant bank pay feature to Xero’s customers in the UK.
Some notable launches of the week:
Adatree launched open energy data sharing platform for companies wanting to access and leverage regulated energy data.
MX released MXapi processor tokens to verify a user’s financial account information in a secure, simplified API-data exchange.
ACCC rolled out Consumer Data Right (CDR) sandbox to help existing and potential CDR participants test and improve their CDR solutions.
In other news, CRIF announced its successful registration as a Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) with the Central Bank of Ireland.
The bustling Digital Finance segment brings some fresh updates that capture the significant developments that have taken place in the space.
When it comes to the partnerships:
Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia selected Feedzai to strengthen the security of its upcoming digital bank offering to help it detect and prevent financial crime and keep its customers safe. Financial Partners Credit Union announced its partnership with Upstart to offer more people AI-powered personal loans and better banking solutions. Universo selected Mambu to bring more accessible and modern financial services to the market that would enable Universo to innovate fast and deploy quickly, strengthening its position as a leader in financial services in Portugal. BNP Paribas also teamed up with Metaco and Fireblocks to venture into the crypto custody space. AvidXchange collaborated with MDT to provide Invoice-to-Pay solutions to more credit unions while allowing users to save time and costs by transitioning from antiquated paper-based systems. EXL, Oliver Wyman, and Corridor Platforms teamed up to launch a real-time risk decisioning solution for financial institutions whose offering would enable turnkey digital lending programs for mid-size banks, credit unions, and credit card providers. Qonto acquired German competitor Penta, which will allow Qonto to become the market leader in Germany and to accelerate profitable growth across all markets further.
On the funding front:
Neon raised $80M in its Credit Card Investment Fund to expand the access of its products to more customers.
Stori bagged $150M Series C-2 funding at a $1.2B valuation which it plans to utilize for growing its team and extending its product offerings.
Fi raised $45M in a Series C funding round led by existing backer Alpha Wave Ventures.
On the other hand, UK’s Atom Bank reported a year of significant financial progress as it continues to focus on serving the needs of savers and people who want to own their own homes or build their own businesses. Starling Bank was also in the news for scrapping its plan to launch a retail bank in Ireland as it shifts its priority to its banking as a service business.
The Embedded Finance landscape was surrounded by a bunch of newly formed partnerships and a variety of new launches the past week.
Klarna launched its American retail store pop-up store in Los Angeles to offer shoppers discounts from a range of fashion and beauty brands. Slice launched a new Purchasing Power feature, which will assess every transaction to determine the borrower’s worthiness of getting the credit. BNPL platform Ablr announced that it went live in Malaysia, offering a range of various products and services to Malaysian customers.
Coming over to partnerships,
Airwallex and Shopify announced a partnership to offer online merchants a streamlined integration for payment acceptance from customers around the world. Sage and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership to simplify workflows for small and medium businesses helping them save time and boost productivity. Funding Circle teamed up with Bird & Blend to support SME customers. The partnership will offer a range of tea blends to its more than 600 UK employees as part of its efforts to support small businesses. Simpl and Zymrat had entered into a partnership to facilitate the Pay-in-3 which aims to strengthen trust between D2C brands such as Zymrat and their customers. Canopy Servicing announced a referral partnership with Marqeta to power configurable BNPL solutions and to make installment programs more accessible to banks, credit unions, and enterprise Fintechs. Shopback acquires Hoolah to provide BNPL services and offer Malaysian customers various products and services. Abhi and Unveel.io teamed up to offer the facility of Earned Wage Access to ride-hailing and delivery drivers in Pakistan and UAE.
In other news, BankFi announced its expansion into North America with the launch of BankiFi Americas to support the unique digitization and payment modernization requirements of SMBs.
The DeFi segment was brimming with a mix of funding, partnerships, and launches offering the latest insights into the DeFi world.
Cake DeFi teamed up with Razer Silver to provide gamers access to crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFiChain. Plasma.Finance announced a partnership with Ren Protocol v3 that will supervise the projects offering DeFi cross-chain bridging support for EVM and non-EVM chains.
On the funding front:
Decentralized stablecoin protocol Bluejay Finance raised $2.9M in funding, which it plans to use for team development and stablecoin deployment, focusing on Asian stablecoins.
DeFi company Zharta raised $4.3M for speed growth in instant NFT lending.
Hashflow raised $25M Series A from Jump Crypto, Wintermute, and GSR which will enable the firm to continue to offer the best DeFi trading experience centered around professional market makers.
CVI Finance launched Impermanent Loss Protection to safeguard liquidity providers against impermanent losses while allowing them to enjoy the benefits of providing liquidity. DeFi protocol Symmetry announced the launch of the Symmetry Engine, an on-chain asset management infrastructure on Solana to enable programmers to create asset management applications that operate without any price impact and with no slippage. Sommelier announced the launch of Cellar on its platform to offer retail users a decentralized solution for automating yield optimization across DeFi platforms. Curve Finance hit the news to launch its stablecoin with the help of over-collateralization of funds to back the pegged value.
The Platform Finance segment highlighted some fascinating launches that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seats.
FinTech North hit the headlines for its partnership with NayaOne to build a dedicated marketplace for businesses to test their ideas. SurePayroll and FreshBooks integrated their services to simplify payroll and accounting responsibilities. Pockit teamed up with Youtility to bring financial security and stability to the lives of millions of people, meanwhile also allowing customers to make significant savings.
On the other hand, Robinhood introduced options trading for cash account holders.
EquiLend made the news for its plan to launch Swaptimization platform for financial institutions in the European Union.
What's more – Equifax made the bulletin for its plans to acquire LawLogix to expand its Workforce Solutions business. FNZ acquired New Access to boost FNZ’s presence in private banking and wealth management. Wizz Financial grabbed headlines for its plans to acquire UAE Exchange UK after receiving the regulatory nod from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Another buzz-worthy week for Green Finance segment as different climate-conscious initiatives stole the limelight with their moves.
UBS launched US equity-focused Climate Aware Equity Index to provide investment exposure to the long-term theme of transitioning to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy. Amundi introduced short-term global aggregate bond ESG ETF. ESG Book also hit the headlines for the launch of a sustainability scoring solution to help investors analyze and compare the sustainability profiles of thousands of funds.
On the partnerships front, Mastercard partnered with AXA Hong Kong and Macau to empower AXA’s customers to support forest restoration through Mastercard’s tree-planting initiative Priceless Planet Coalition. Neptune Flood joined forces with SIAA to fulfill a growing demand for private flood insurance options and alternatives to the coverage available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
On to the funding rounds, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $300M loan to back Costa Rica’s National Decarbonization Plan, which aims for net-zero emissions by 2050. Iberdrola secured a $560M green loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help fund the development of a portfolio of wind farms and photovoltaic parks in Spain.
In other news,
MetLife Foundation announced a strategy to drive inclusive economic mobility by addressing the needs of underserved and underrepresented communities around the globe.
BlackRock acquired Vanguard Renewables, valued at $700M, to produce renewable natural gas across the US by 2026.
Singlife With Aviva became an official signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI).
Mizuho moved its data centers to renewable energy, cutting carbon emissions by 20%.
Some other happenings in the FinTech universe 🪐
Looking beyond the six themes, a few more snackable affairs from the FinTechaverse –
B2B SaaS company TurnKey Lender raised $10M in new funding round,
Lightyear secured $25M in a Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners,
Salary payments FinTech Kadmos secured $29.5M via Series A led by Blossom Capital, and
Financial infrastructure company Pico snagged a $200M investment for M&A opportunities.
And that's a wrap 👋
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Weekly FinTech Brew, and we'll be back with more next week!
If you're hungry for more FinTech insights, check out some of our other work at WhiteSight.
Our latest publications include exploring the 2022 BNPL Roundup and Opening The Doors to Open Innovation in the Financial Services Sector in partnership with NayaOne.
If you're someone who likes to read think pieces, you will likely love our monthly blog Fintersections, where our team members analyze the convergence of FinTech with the world.
FinTech research is in the WhiteSight DNA, so if you'd like to get in touch with our strategic intelligence and research content services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.