BusinessInsider: Our 2015 Silicon Valley 100 list highlights the coolest people and companies in Silicon Valley right now. While only seven companies on our list are in the consumer financial technology (fintech) industry, they’re a wildly successful bunch. According to recent numbers, the US is the leading country in investments in FinTech in the last year (up 200% from the previous year). (more…)
TechCrunch: British startup Revolut just raised $2.3M (£1.5M) from Balderton Capital to make you pay less exchange fees when you travel around the world. Also backed by Seedcamp, Revolut provides an app to seamlessly exchange or send money, and an optional debit card to pay around the world or online. (more…)
TechCrunch: Samsung has begun rolling out its answer to Apple Pay in Korea this week. The service is called Samsung Pay and it is powered by LoopPay, the Boston-based company that Samsung snapped up earlier this year. It’s due to launch in Korea and the U.S. first before expanding worldwide, but Samsung has nudged it into action with a pre-launch pilot program among Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge owners in its home country. (more…)
TechCrunch: What if you could get rid of your driver’s license? We’re not there yet, but ShoCard just raised $1.5M from Morado Ventures Partners, AME Cloud Ventures, Enspire Capital and Digital Currency Group to do just that. As a reminder, ShoCard certifies and stores ID documents into the Blockchain, so that you can securely retrieve them later and prove your identity whenever you need to. Its first use case is for bank and credit card identification processes. (more…)
TechCrunch: Shopping – both online and offline – is a great luxury of the modern era. People can enjoy a great selection at lower prices and shop from the convenience of their home, while still having the option of going to a local mall or retailer to peruse the aisles for instant gratification. But consumers can’t have their cake and eat it, too, and the retail world as we know it today can no longer give it to them. (more…)
TechCrunch: Mobikon, a Pune- and Singapore-based software developer that has its sights set on Asia’s food and beverage industry, has received $2.3M in new funding led by returning investor Jungle Ventures. The startup, which makes cloud-based software to help restaurants manage almost all aspects of their business, is targeting growth in India, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai. (more…)
TechCrunch: A year on from an Index Ventures-led $7M Series A, London-based fintech startup Credit Benchmark has extended its runway with a $20M Series B. The startup is building a platform aimed at improving financial market benchmarks and risk assessment analysis by aggregating anonymized credit risk data from multiple banks to build up consensus data. (more…)
TechCrunch: While Facebook moves deeper into using its Messenger platform as a vehicle for people to transfer money to each other, an app built for helping people transfer money is adding more messaging features. Seattle-based mobile remittance app Remitly — which lets people in the U.S. send money to India or the Philippines — has acquired Talio, a picture messaging app co-founded by ex-Amazon engineers with Snapchat-like features to let images and text disappear if you wish. (more…)
TechCrunch: Affirm, the lending startup co-founded by Max Levchin, is breaking into student loans for coding, design and business bootcamps from General Assembly, Bloc, Kaplan’s Dev Bootcamp and Metis. The company, which raised $275M this past spring, is branching out from its initial market in online retail. They were originally financing purchases at the point-of-sale online with e-commerce companies like mattress retailer Casper. (more…)
TechCrunch: Realty Mogul, a startup that connects investors with real estate projects, announced today that it has raised $35M in Series B funding. The company launched its online marketplace more than 2 years ago with a focus on equity deals funded by individual, accredited investors. (So it was offering a kind of real estate crowdfunding, but one where most people couldn’t invest.) (more…)
TechCrunch: Betterment is billed as a smarter way to invest money. But as a separate investment service, getting cash to Betterment has always been a hurdle. The company today is taking the wraps off a new service that monitors an account holder’s bank account and invests cash just sitting there. Betterment says this service, called SmartDeposit, will give members more control from their money. (more…)
Wired: In 2009, a man named Duncan Chege opened up a modest Internet cafe – if you could even call it that – in Nairobi, Kenya. In the beginning, the cafe, called Vision Computers, had just one machine. After 3 years of committed operation by Chege, that number grew to 8, some of those machines being slow and clunky second-hand desktops. (more…)
GROOVEMAESTRO: The Korean Government has announced “Plans for Boosting Investments” at the 8th Meeting Promoting Trade and Investment chaired by the President Park on July 9th. The plans are developed to encourage investments in sectors such as tourism, venture, and construction where growths can be accelerated.
TECHINASIA: E-Marketer predicts that by 2018 there will be 200 million new smartphone users in emerging Asia. To put that into context, that’s more users than there are currently in the whole of U.S. The opportunity is huge for the developers of these apps, but also for brands to tap into their potential to participate in peer to peer conversation in an engaging and meaningful way. (more…)
WIRED: The UK is a “world leader” in equity crowdfunding, with further democratisation set to open up everything from hedge funds to IPOs in the next few years. Speaking at WIRED Money 2015 Darren Westlake, co-founder and CEO of leading investment crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, said the future of crowdfunding in the UK and around the world was “more democratisation”. “Crowdfunding platforms are well positioned” to “put the P back into IPO,” he explained, pointing to the success of Crowdcube’s existing equity system as an example of public interest.
TechCrunch: As crowdfunding sites like Tilt and GoFundMe and lending site Funding Circle raise large rounds to take their businesses to the next level, a startup that sits in the same area of web-based fundraising is trying a new approach. CircleUp, a crowdfunding platform for consumer brands to raise money from accredited investors, has closed a $22M fund of its own to back a range of brands on the platform.
TECHINASIA: These are just a few quotes from the media about an industry that has received its fair share of global criticism over the years – the payday lending industry. In Australian media coverage, you’d be hard-pressed to find a positive word spoken about what is described as “the fastest-growing component of Australia’s finance sector” to date. Australia’s leading business publication, the Australian Financial Review, recently reported on Cash Converter’s $23 million double class action settlement, for overcharging customers on interest rates.
WIRED: Stefan Thomas, chief technology officer of Ripple Labs, wants to build something he calls the “internet of value”. “By value we’re talking about money but were also talking about stocks and bonds… intellectual property… anything you can think of that might have value,” he tells the audience at WIRED Money.
EU-STARTUPS: In the last decade, there were a bunch of really successful fintech companies that started in Europe. Companies like Klarna, Adyen or Transferwise (to name just a few) changed the way we do payments or the way we transfer money overseas. By pursuing radical new concepts, these fintech startups became some of Europe’s most valuable companies within just a few years.
TECHCRUNCH: Former Disrupt Battlefield participant Self Lender has raised a $1.5 million round of seed capital from Silverton Partners, who wrote the full check. The new cash comes after the firm raised a prior total of $535,000 from TechStars, Kickstart Seed Fund, and Galvanize Ventures. To date, Self Lender has raised $2.035 million.
TECHINASIA: Cermati, an online portal for finding and comparing financial products in Indonesia, announced earlier today that it has closed a seed funding round of an undisclosed amount led by local VC firm East Ventures and followed by Japan-based Beenos Plaza. According to the firm, the fresh capital will be used to expand the team and to bolster Cermati’s product offerings (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: As Apple continues to build out Apple Pay for transactions in retail stores, one of its key partners is making a move to own the payment experience more directly online. American Express today is launching a new feature for cardholders called Amex Express Checkout, which it says will let them pay for goods and services on web, mobile and in apps with a single password that cardholders already have and use to access their Amex accounts — not unlike PayPal’s password-based checkout option.
WIRED: In a world where Bitcoin wants to make your personal identity irrelevant, disruptive data scientists InVenture want to reinvent it. People are repositories of rich information and contextual data, Shivani Siroya, CEO and founder of InVenture told the audience at WIRED Money at London’s British Museum on 8 July. And yet in most economies a single number — the credit score — remains the blunt instrument by which we evaluate who can receive loans, and who is likely to pay them back.
E27CO: Singapore-based fin-tech startup Toast is raising a US$750,000 seed round, with half the funds already committed, e27 has learned. The Startupbootcamp (Fintech Singapore) incubated startup founded by British entrepreneur Aaron Siwoku, which just relaunched following a rebranding from Cryptosigma last week, has already received S$24,500 (US$18,000) in return for an eight per cent equity stake from the accelerator.
BLOOMBERGVIEW: What kind of chief executive does a big modern bank need? Apparently not a traditionally hypercompetitive investment banker like Anshu Jain, who lost his co-CEO job at Deutsche Bank last month — but evidently not a quiet retail banker like Antony Jenkins, Barclay’s freshly ousted chief, either.
WIRED: Funding Circle, a marketplace for business loans, is one of a growing number of companies working to upturn that trend, and bring an end to the lack of choice beyond the incumbents. The UK firm has leant more than $1.2bn in the past five years to thousands of businesses in UK and US, facilitating $100m of new lending every month. It has achieved this by operating in the same way some of the world’s most successful tech companies have. (more…)