via Business Insider
The first half of 2019 is proving to be a lucrative one for neobanks, which raised $2.5 billion this year through the end of July across 55 deals, reports Business Insider citing CB Insights data. (more…)
The funding round was led by PTB Ventures, with help from Accion Venture Lab, Financial Venture Studio and Techstars.
Founded by Lamine Zarrad and George Kurtyka in 2017, Joust aims to help independent professionals find more financial stability and avoid late payments amid the irregular payment system for freelance work. The bank guarantees invoice payments and has a “PayArmour” feature for same-day funding, which is available as an app in Google Play and the Apple App Store. (more…)
Starling Bank has created not only a digital bank offering but a digital marketplace where both businesses and individuals may access a growing array of 3rd party services. Other examples of approved 3rd party providers include the Department for Work and Pensions, Raisin UK and Fintechs Currency Cloud, Pockit, PelicanPay, and Vitesse. SumUp is the latest offering.
SumUp is said to be currently in use at over 1.5 million businesses. The terminals can be used with an accompanying app or via a standalone 3G card reader. (more…)
Another day, another mega round for a fintech startup. And this one is mega-mega.
Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.
Katie Roof and Peter Rudegeair of The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the company secured a valuation above $10 billion, potentially making it one of a short list of startup decacorns. That’s up from the $4 billion valuation we wrote about back in October 2018. (more…)
Fintech startup Revolut announced changes to its business accounts this week. The good news is that if you were thinking about trying Revolut for your business needs, it’s now cheaper to get started. But there are some limits.
While Revolut is better known for its regular consumer accounts that let you receive, send and spend money all around the world, the company has been offering launched business accounts for a couple of years.
The main advantage of Revolut for Business is that you can hold multiple currencies. If you work with clients or suppliers in other countries, you can exchange money and send it to your partners directly from Revolut’s interface. (more…)
Another hopeful among Europe’s so-called challenger banks — startups taking on the big names in consumer banking by targeting niche groups of users with a more modern set of tools to manage users’ money — has raised a sizeable round of funding to expand its business.
Atom Bank — which targets mainly millennial-aged consumers (current slogan: “It’s all about you, you, you”) with mobile-first savings accounts and mortgages as well as small business loans — has raised a further £50 million in funding. It’s not disclosing its valuation officially, but sources confirm it’s £530 million (or around $660 million at current rates), up from £450 million previously. (more…)
Fintech startup N26 is raising $170 million a few months after raising $300 million. While it’s technically structured as a new round, the company considers today’s new funding as an extension of the Series D round.
N26 has only reached out to existing investors. All the investors in the Series D round are investing again, as well as a few investors that have been around for a while. So that’s Insight Venture Partners, GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund), Tencent, Allianz X, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Greyhound Capital. (more…)
N26 is keeping its three-tier system with a free basic bank account, a premium account (N26 You) and a super premium account (N26 Metal). With N26’s free plan, you can pay anywhere in the world without any foreign transaction fee, but there’s a 1.7% markup on ATM withdrawals in a foreign currency.
N26 You costs the same price as the previous premium plan N26 Black, €9.90 in the Eurozone and £4.90 in the U.K. In addition to a travel and purchase insurance package, you can withdraw money without any foreign transaction fee (€9.90 is roughly what you’d pay in fees if you withdraw the equivalent of €580 with a free N26 account). (more…)
There are a handful of firms gunning to become leaders in the challenger bank space. There are the usual suspects, like Revolut and N26. But there are others firms that are growing their userbases and assets. One of those companies is CARD. It has 600,000 accounts and $3 billion in customer deposits to date. With some new growth initiatives, CARD claims it is on track to surpass 1.5 million new accounts in 2019.
CARD’s kind of an unbank bank — meaning, the product focus is on branded debit cards, including logos from popular sports teams, athletes, and music groups.
CARD CEO Tim Coltrell joins us to talk about how he’s doubling his account base year over year and what he’s doing to evolve into a competitive challenger bank brand. We discuss Card’s product pipeline and how the company acquires new customers. (more…)
Challenger bank Tandem Bank has been recognized as “Best Credit Card Provider” and “Innovation of the Year” at the Consumer Credit Awards, according to a release. The Consumer Credit Awards are run by Smart Money People.
Tandem CEO Ricky Knox said the Consumer Credit Awards mean a lot to his company because the winners are voted for by consumers. (more…)
Digital challenger bank Monese announced on Thursday it has formed a new collaboration with payments platform giant PayPal. Monese reported that customers in the UK will be able to do the following:
UK challenger bank Revolut has released a new in-app feature called Donations, which allows customers to round up their card payments and donate the difference to charity.
What is it: Using a round up feature, five million Revolut users can donate spare change to charity. There’s also the ability to make one time and recurring payments. Revolut doesn’t require a minimum donation amount and the feature can be turned on and off by customers at any time. (more…)
Monzo, the fast-growing U.K.-based challenger bank with more than two million account holders, has raised £113 million (~$144m) in additional funding.
Confirming TechCrunch’s scoop in April, the Series F round is led by Y Combinator’s “Continuity” growth fund, and gives the company a new £2 billion (~$2.5b) post-money valuation. That’s double the £1 billion valuation it garnered in October last year. (more…)
In its list of offerings, the firm includes a single card for both debit and credit, app-based loans, money transfer and request, end to end expense management, Bharat QR, three minutes’ account opening, among others – and all this with zero paperwork.
A chatbot is included in the app, called Ello. It was made for conversations regarding users’ finances and provides suggestions. (more…)
Step, a financial services startup that offers fee-free money management accounts to teens, today announced that it has secured $22.5 million in a series A round led by Stripe, with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital, Collaborative Fund, and Sesame Ventures. The round — which also saw contributions from Will Smith’s Dreamer’s fund, hip hop musician Nas, consumer tech holding company WndrCo, former NFL player Ronnie Lott, Matt Rutler, Kevin Gould, and Noah and Jonah Goodhart — brings Step’s total raised to over $25 million. CEO and cofounder CJ MacDonald said the new funds will be used to expand Step’s offerings, workforce, and user base. (more…)
Not many people in the US are familiar with Nubank, a digital bank that has become the most valuable startup in Latin America by extending credit cards to the unbanked and challenging the financial system of one of the world’s biggest markets, Brazil.
But Nubank is trying to become one of the most valuable financial technology startups in the world — aiming for a valuation of between $8 billion and $10 billion as it prepares to expand beyond Brazil to all of Latin America, Recode has learned. (more…)
via FinTech Futures
UK-based money management app, Money Dashboard, has released integrations with Revolut, Chip and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
The integrations help consumers track spending and progress towards their savings goals in real time.
Money Dashboard is the first UK personal finance app to release an integration with Revolut and follows the recent integration with cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase. (more…)
BankMobile has the most customers of any mobile-only bank, according to Cornerstone Advisors. The bank reports 1.064 million active accounts, and 1.8 million open accounts. It has built those numbers through student banking by acquiring HigherOne which provides student checking accounts that are linked to their school’s disbursement of refunds and student aid and more recently through a partnership with T-Mobile. (more…)
With a growing number of challenger banks taking on the U.S. market, one of the original startup banks, Simple — now owned by BBVA — has taken the unusual step of removing a core banking feature: bill pay. The company claimed the feature was under-utilized and usage was trending downwards, which is why it decided to sunset the option to pay bills through its app. That decision, not surprisingly, has angered a number of customers who are taking to social media and online forums like Reddit, threatening to switch banks as a result.
It’s likely true that fewer people today use bill pay than in the past. (more…)
via American Banker
The German smartphone bank backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing has been ordered to bolster safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Germany’s financial regulator told N26 to “take appropriate internal safety measures” and “comply with general customer due diligence obligations.” The measures are likely to lead to higher security costs.
BaFin also said in the order, publicly released on Wednesday, that the lender must “remove backlogs in IT monitoring” and “ensure the existence of an adequate personnel and technical-organisational equipment in order to comply with its obligations under money laundering law.” (more…)
Meet French startup Kard, a challenger bank that works a lot like N26 or Revolut. But Kard is all about convincing teens that their first bank account is going to be a Kard account — a bit like Step in the U.S.
When I talked with Kard co-founder and CEO Scott Gordon, he kept saying that Kard was a product for Generation Z. While I’m not a fan of that buzzword, it still looks like a well-designed app with some personality. (more…)
via WIRED UK
Digital banks aren’t going anywhere – with Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut and N26 starting to rival legacy banks. Perhaps best known for their personal finance apps, they are now also starting to sell financial products. And there’s a lot more to come.
Meanwhile, traditional high-street banks are trying to up their game by investing in – and imitating – their digital offerings. Last month, for instance, NatWest began trialling Mimo, a new personal finance app with budgeting tools, spending insights and reminders. It will be rolled out later in 2019. Barclays, HSBC and others are also jumping on the bandwagon and adding features to their existing mobile banking apps. (more…)
The banking regulator in Hong Kong has issued an additional four online-only banking licenses to Ping An, Alibaba, mobile phone maker Xiaomi and a joint venture (JV) consisting of Tencent, ICBC and Hillhouse Capital.
Reuters is reporting that this totals eight total licenses handed out by the government.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which handed out the licenses, expects the banks to launch in about six to nine months. The new ventures would be closely regulated, with special attention given to customer reactions and the response of the banking industry. (more…)
It’s easy to push a narrative of fintech upstarts versus the big incumbent banks, but the more subtle reality is that as well as competing on numerous fronts, there are partnerships being formed across the board. The latest such move sees Tink, the Sweden-based banking platform that raised €56 million in new funding in February, partner with British bank NatWest.
The agreement gives NatWest access to Tink’s Personal Finance Management (PFM) and “Data Enrichment” products, which will be integrated into NatWest’s core mobile banking app. This will allow NatWest to improve its mobile banking offering by giving NatWest customers personalised insights into their finances based on transaction history. The features built with Tink’s technology are planned to go live in Q4 2019. (more…)