TECH IN ASIA: Japan’s GMO Internet is often in the news as an investor, but today the Japanese internet service and online payment provider was the one receiving funds. The firm announced a JPY 8 billion (US$65 million) investment by multinational banking giant Mitsui Sumitomo to strengthen its GMO Payment Gateway e-commerce payment solution and aid the startups that it serves.
TECHCRUNCH: In the rush of companies crowding into the mobile payment space, a startup out of Europe has announced more funding to grow its footprint and add contactless hardware.SumUp, a startup originally founded in 2012 in Berlin that competes against the likes of iZettle and Rocket Internet’s Payleven, has raised an undisclosed amount led by Swiss backer Venture Incubator. The exact figure is not being disclosed, but SumUp’s CEO Daniel Klein confirms that the total raised by the company to date is now $45 million (€40 million) and that this latest round values the company in the “healthy hundreds of millions.”
TECHCRUNCH: As PayPal moves closer to its spinoff from parent eBay, the company continues to expand the services it will have to generate revenue as a standalone business. In the latest development, today PayPal is expanding One Touch on the web — a widget that lets people use PayPal to pay for goods on third-party websites without needing to re-enter passwords or their user IDs — outside of the U.S. The first markets for its international rollout will be the Canada and the UK. (more…)
The Financial Brand: Banks are often ridiculed for their lack of innovation, but some seem to be taking it pretty seriously, at least from the looks of the innovation centers they’ve created. Take a tour around these digital playgrounds, idea labs and test kitchens built by banks looking to keep pace with the wave of digital disruption sweeping the industry.
TECHCRUNCH: Fintech, the home of the fabled unicorn, is hot. There are now 36 fintech unicorns in the wild, which is up 25 from 11 over the last year. This staggering growth is a reflection of the hype around fintech, where a plethora of startups are using technology to compete against or collaborate with established financial players. The result is a dramatic increase in company valuations as investors look to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing. (more…)
The Economist: Crowdfunding is just one of a number of ways in which European SMEs, typically far more reliant on bank financing than their American counterparts (see chart), are trying to compensate for the continuing decline in bank lending. Others include issuing publicly tradable debt or equity; placing securities privately with institutional investors; and accepting loans from non-bank financial institutions (“shadow banks”). Banks and others are also securitising loans to SMEs (ie, pooling them, dividing the pool into tranches with different degrees of risk, and selling the resulting securities to investors). Governments are keen to promote all this, to limit the economic harm done by sickly banks. (more…)