Challenger bank Revolut is launching a business banking vertical and is accepting pre-registrations now. Revolut for business will allow businesses to hold, exchange and transfer funds in 25 different currencies across the UK and all of Europe at the interbank exchange rate. The digital only bank says that users will be able to sign up for a multi-currency account in minutes. (more…)
BY Steve O’Hear for Techcrunch.com
What’s more mythical than a unicorn? A unicorn that is profitable. Six years after launch, TransferWise, the London-headquartered international money transfer startup, which was most recently valued at a reported $1.1 billion, has announced that it has finally reached profitability this calendar year and is “cash-generating”. (more…)
BBVA is embedding more deeply with social and messaging networks through a new bot that lets Spanish customers access financial information via Facebook and Telegram, and a tool for making payments from Whatsapp. (more…)
By Natasha Lomas for Techcrunch
Social payments app Verse has closed a $20.5 million Series B round of funding from its existing investors. The round is led by Spark Capital, with eVentures and Greycroft Partners also participating. It raised its Series A in October last year, when it took in $8.3M. (more…)
The value of global P2P mobile payments is set to increase 40% to $540 billion by end-2017, Juniper Research forecast.
Growth in the segment is predicted alongside a trend of increasing popularity of digital payment methods. The UK-based analyst company predicted the value of digital payments across the world would reach $3.9 trillion in 2017, an increase of 14% year-on-year. (more…)
Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit announced today it has partnered with Millicom’s subsidiaries Tigo Money to open up new remittance routes to El Salvador and Guatemala, enabling Salvadorans and Guatemalans abroad to send money transfers instantly to more than one and a half million Tigo Money users in those countries, directly from the WorldRemit app. (more…)
Score another win for Facebook with Western Union’s latest announcement at the social media giant’s F8 annual developer conference. (more…)
Global SME lending platform Bitbond and African payment services provider BitPesa announced today that they are joining forces to improve access to financing for SMEs in Africa. (more…)
Ayannah launches Juan Credit™, an AI-powered Credit Scoring Service for the Unbanked in Emerging Markets
Manila, Philippines – Press release
Ayannah, the leading provider of affordable and accessible digital financial services for emerging markets has partnered with Bayad Center, the bills payment subsidiary of Meralco, the Philippines’ largest electric utility to launch Juan Credit™, the first artificial intelligence-powered credit scoring system for the unbanked in emerging markets. (more…)
By Casey Hynes for Forbes
Sixty-nine percent of Filipinos were underbanked as of 2015. But the country also has the fastest-growing smartphone market in ASEAN–not to mention that it’s home to the selfie capital of the world. The combination creates an interesting opportunity for fintech entrepreneurs, and Mark Vernon has taken advantage of it. (more…)
Messaging app Viber is today announcing a new feature that taps into the bigger trend of messaging apps becoming multi-functional platforms, and also its ownership by e-commerce company Rakuten. Viber will start to present users with items for sale, inspired by your current chat, when you press a small shopping bag icon at the bottom of the screen and search for items. (more…)
By Katie Roof for TechCrunch
We are told that investors will be getting back about $12 million in cash, but the deal value is tens of millions of dollars higher if you include employee retention packages, which were paid for in cash and stock. Many of Tilt’s San Francisco employees including CEO James Beshara were asked to stay on board, but most of the remote team was not.
Airbnb is obtaining the Tilt assets and will keep the app operational, at least for now. But some sources are characterizing this as more of an acqui-hire, because Airbnb is spending most of the money on retaining the team.
While it’s better than shutting down, this was certainly not the dream outcome that Tilt investors had been hoping for when they invested over $60 million. Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel and other big Silicon Valley names including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian all made bets that Tilt would be a leader in mobile commerce.
Founded in 2012, Tilt was an early pioneer in peer-to-peer money transfers. It is geared more toward group payments than individual transactions, but in some ways competes with PayPal’s Venmo and Square Cash. It is also used for crowdfunding anything from “activities” to “causes,” which makes it an alternative to fast-growing GoFundMe.
The deal makes sense for Airbnb, because it is gaining top talent in the payments space, an area which could complement trip-booking. Airbnb has already built a big lodging business, but wants to expand its travel offerings.
Airbnb’s VP of product, Joe Zadeh, has provided us with the following statement. “Airbnb and Tilt have a common vision for building community-oriented products that make it easy to bring people together. Tilt’s experience and expertise complement our ongoing efforts to transform the way people travel. By joining forces, we’ll reimagine how groups travel and enhance Trips, our new platform that brings together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place.”
Airbnb, which has a valuation of $30 billion, has been using its clout to buy up smaller startups. They recently agreed to buy Luxury Retreats and in the past year have also acquired ChangeCoin and Trip4real. They’ve additionally been making investments in startups like Resy.
Airbnb itself is likely too expensive to be acquired, so there has been a lot of speculation about IPO possibilities. While this is an eventual goal of the company, we are hearing that they are unlikely to go public this year
First appeared at TechCrunch
Sending money on Facebook is finally international. (more…)
By Jon Russell for TechCrunch
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial is making yet another M&A deal. The firm is investing $200 million into a fintech project belonging to Kakao, the $5 billion firm that runs Korea’s dominant messaging service. (more…)
Madrid-based online reputation startup Traity has launched a chatbot that uses an “open blockchain balance sheet” to provide micro-insurance for people carrying out P2P transactions (more…)
By Khari Johnson for VentureBeat
PayPal today launched its first bot for users of team messaging app Slack. The bot lets people send peer-to-peer (P2P) payments with the shortcode /paypal and a user’s Slack handle. Watch those keystrokes though: $10,000 can be sent in a single transaction, a PayPal spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. (more…)
By The Business Times
PayPal Holdings Inc offered a subdued outlook on Thursday, as it faced unpredictable currency fluctuations and an increasingly competitive digital payments market. (more…)
By Elena Mesropyan for LTP
There is enough said about the scale of the FinTech industry, its inclusive agenda and massive surrounding ecosystem, but the real value of this industry is not in millions that are moving around in funding, expansion and acquisition deals. The value is measured in micro-processes, in the real, everyday difference FinTech startups make for small businesses and individuals. (more…)