TECHCRUNCH: FreeAgent, the cloud-based accounting software startup that targets freelancers and so-called “micro-businesses”, for which it claims to be the leader in the U.K., has raised a further $5 million in funding — money it plans to use to increase the rate of customer acquisition (read: marketing). (more…)
WIRED: Through bitcoin and other digital currencies, so many activists, entrepreneurs, and opportunists are chasing the dream. They envision a world where we can trade money as easily as we trade data, where anyone can send and receive currency from any machine on earth, where our financial system is controlled not by big banks or big government but by the people. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: The rise of e-commerce in India has triggered a wave of startups that are leveraging the increasing adoption of smartphones to provide mobile payment solutions. Alibaba invested in Paytm at an apparent billion dollar valuation earlier this year, and now MobiKwik is the latest to be flushed with new cash. New Delhi-based MobiKwik has pulled $25 million in funding, led by Singapore-based hedge fund Tree Line Asia. The deal included participation from a couple of interesting strategic investors — Cisco and American Express. (more…)
Ben Milne in The Dwolla Blog: Real-time is here for everyone and there’s no turning back. It’s not just an idea. FiSync allows money to move like you’d expect it to: instantly. Dwolla’s FiSync protocol facilitates secure real-time payments that bypass traditional networks. Transactions initiated via FiSync are fast, secure, and available now through BBVA Compass. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: WeFinance, launching today, is the latest startup to use a combination of technology and crowdfunding in order to offer borrowers lower interest rates on loans, while reducing lenders’ risk. The new peer-to-peer lending platform operates something like a Kickstarter for personal loans – largely those in the range of $10,000 to $20,000, and many of which are being used to help borrowers fund their educational expenses, including tuitions, bootcamps, financial support during unpaid internships, and more. (more…)
TOFLER: For the past few weeks, speculation has been rife that Russian Venture Capitalist Yuri Milner’s DST Global was set to invest $500 million in online cab aggregator Ola Cabs. The wait is now over. The latest funding round closed last week when ANI Technologies Private Limited, the owner of Ola Cabs, issued Series G of Preference Shares to various funds within the DST Global umbrella and to some of its existing investors. The company’s filings obtained from the Registrar of Companies reveals the list of investors and the money each has invested in these preference shares. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Cloud-based payroll processing startup ZenPayroll has closed on a $60 million Series B round, led by Google Capital. Emergence Capital Partners and Ribbit Capital also participated, along with existing investors General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Google Ventures. This now puts the total raised at $86.1 million at a $560 million post-money valuation for the startup. (more…)
TECHINASIA: Stripe may be making its way to the Singapore market, if certain reports from local entrepreneurs are accurate. The US-based company that provides web and mobile payment methods to online businesses has seemingly been testing the waters in the area, where competing service Braintree has already established a presence. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: What if buying something was as easy as Liking it? You’d probably buy a lot more, and buy it through whoever made it so damn simple. Becoming that conduit for payments means more than racking up transaction fees. For the portal to purchase influences not just how you buy, but what. Today, purchases are fragmented, and so too is that influence. We buy online and offline. Cash, Credit, PayPal, and now Apple Pay. In turn, influence splinters into ads run on television, print, digital, billboards, and other channels. Whether we want something already or not, the ads are supposed make us more intent on actually spending our money. (more…)
Medium.com: The five most influential people in the future of banking: Brett King (CEO Moven, USA), Matthias Kröner (CEO Fidor bank, GER), Bank of Dave aka @FishwickDavid (UK), Piyush Gupta (CEO DBS bank, SG), Matteo Rizzi (General Partner SBT, Belgium) – the first two are founders of Life.SREDA’s portfolio projects.
TECHCRUNCH: Two months after making its first investment in Israel, Alibaba is digging deeper into the country’s startup ecosystem. Venture capital firm JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) announced yesterday that it will partner with the e-commerce giant to give financial support to promising startups. The amount of money both companies will invest together was not disclosed. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Digital currencies have come and gone, and despite the astonishing rise of bitcoin’s popularity over the past 18 months, the majority of the population has yet to board the bitcoin bandwagon. One of the things that has plagued digital currencies in the past has been the perception that they are a solution in search of a problem. Does anyone really need digital currencies like bitcoin? Who are they intended for, and what purpose do they really serve?
THE VERGE: Guest editor Bill Gates. In the village of Sori along the banks of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, fishing has long been the lynchpin of the local economy. Jobs here are largely divided by gender: men catch the fish, and the women process the meat, take it to market, and handle finances. As detailed in a 2012 study from the SIT Graduate Institute, residents of Sori traditionally kept their money at home. Theft was a constant concern, and many of the women interviewed reported their husbands misappropriating their savings. For many, traditional banks were either too far away, or demanded minimum deposits the villagers could not afford. (more…)
The Wall Street Journal: Swiss banking giant UBS is to open a technology lab in London to explore how blockchain technology can be used in financial services. The lab, set to open this month and occupy a dozen desks at Canary Wharf-based fintech accelerator space Level39 – a hub in London for financial technology startups– will bring together technology experts from the bank and the wider fintech community, UBS said. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: Kickstarter has enabled a private beta feature that’s starting to show up for logged in project creators, offering a kind of community knowledge base that lets users ask questions and provide answers to other creators about crowdfunding and best practices. The so-called Campus seems designed to act as a central repository for the kind of advice that’s often being exchanged between crowdfunders anyway in conversations every day, only centralized, archived and indexed on Kickstarter itself. (more…)
E27.CO: Australian electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) provider Tyro Payments announced today that it has opened the country’s first first hub for financial technology startups in Sydney. According to Tyro, the Tyro FinTech Hub will offer co-working desks to FinTech startups and high growth companies, as well as spaces to host accelerators, conferences, hackathons, meetups and seminars.
TECHCRUNCH: China’s largest e-commerce companies are eager to leverage their millions of users and hoards of data for new projects. For example, Alibaba’s other businesses include healthcare management, financial services, and cloud data. Now JD.com, its smaller but still formidable rival, is branching out into crowdfunding for startups. (more…)
Crowdsourcing.org: Global crowdfunding experienced accelerated growth in 2014, expanding by 167 percent to reach $16.2 billion raised, up from $6.1 billion in 2013. In 2015, the industry is set to more than double once again, on its way to raising $34.4 billion. These are the figures from Massolution’s highly anticipated 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report, which was released today. Thanks to our sponsors, the first 50 copies of the report can be purchased at half price with the code FIRST50. (more…)
BUSINESS INSIDER: The world of payment technology may be a boring one for most people, but it’s difficult to avoid exposure to it. Whether paying for your morning coffee with contactless card, buying a new TV on eBay using PayPal or paying your rent through a mobile app payment systems are an ubiquitous part of modern life. (more…)
WIRED: The roof of the new Facebook building, about 70-feet up, offers a winding walk through nine acres of greenery. This walkway sits above the marshlands of Menlo Park, California, not the big city. But, Goler says, it feels a lot like the elevated railroad line that now serves as a park on the West Side of Manhattan. “It’s a half mile loop,” she says. “It gives space to think.” (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: During April, the nation will observe Financial Literacy Month – meaning it’s time to revisit the diverging roads to funding early-stage startups. The rise of non-traditional routes for raising capital, such as Kickstarter, has catalyzed a much-needed renaissance in funding options for entrepreneurs. With the passing of the JOBS Act, entrepreneurs have a bevy of new opportunities for raising seed funding, beyond the ever-illusive Silicon Valley checkbook. There are going to be complications associated with making sense of what funding route is best for your company and product needs, but sometimes the answer will reside in a combination of options. (more…)