News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

horses, racing, as a metaphor for investment

1. UK - FinTech

AltFi reports: 


“Paxos, a blockchain infrastructure platform with a host of blue-chip clients, has closed a $142m Series C round of funding. 

Declaration Partners, the investment firm backed by the family office of David M. Rubenstein, led the round, which includes investments from Mithril Capital, PayPal Ventures, the Rothschild Investment Trust, Ken Moelis, Alua Capital, Senator Investment Group and more.  

Previous Paxos investors also participated in the round, including RRE Ventures and Liberty City Ventures. To date, Paxos has raised more than $240m in funding.  

Charles Cascarilla, CEO and Co-Founder of Paxos says that in the past year, global adoption of crypto and blockchain-based solutions by enterprises has accelerated.  

“We are proud to count among our clients global leaders in payments, banking, trading and fintech, such as PayPal, Credit Suisse, Societe Generale and Revolut. Paxos is uniquely positioned to address the digital asset needs of global brands and bring our solutions to enterprises with trillions in assets and billions of end users,” he said. 

The cash will be used for investment in developing enterprise-grade infrastructure and accelerate growth. The company also plans to double the size of its team.” 

 

2. UK – FinTech 


Insider.co.uk reports: 


“Scottish startup TravelNest has secured £1.8m from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Scottish Enterprise to help drive ‘staycation’ growth and rebound from Covid-19. 

In common with the wider travel industry, TravelNest experienced a bookings downturn in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but the vacation rental platform has seen bookings bounce back as traveller confidence returns. 

The product improves occupancy rates for vacation rental properties by automating marketing and increasing exposure on booking sites like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor, while reducing administration time for vacation rental owners. 

The funding is comprised of a £1.5m Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan from SVB and £300,000 from Scottish Enterprise’s Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund. 

The money will be used for product development and to grow TravelNest’s customer base.” 

 

3. US – FinTech 

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has filed a draft registration document with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a public listing, according to Finextra.  

Coinbase's submission comes as bitcoin hits a record high amid surging interest from institutional investors.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase has more than 35 million users in more than 100 countries.

The cryptocurrency exchange has merely confirmed the filing of the registration statement - which will be subject to review by the SEC - but has not specified whether its intention are to apply for a direct listing or go for a full-blown IPO.

The price of a single bitcoin currently stands at $23,000, driving a wave of investment in cryptocurrency markets. The excitement in the markets has led to heightened speculation over bitcoin's likely trajectory.

Simon Peters, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, says: “Looking ahead, I believe that $70,000 - $90,000 is a realistic target for bitcoin to reach by next Christmas. Demand continues to outstrip supply and institutional investors continue to seek exposure to bitcoin to hedge against inflation, both of which have helped to keep the price above $20k. If that trend increases in the months to come, then prices could be driven even higher." 

 

4. US – FinTech 

 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

 

Paxos, a blockchain infrastructure platform, today announced it has closed a $142 million Series C round of funding. Declaration Partners, the investment firm backed by the family office of David M. Rubenstein, led the round, with participation from Mithril Capital, PayPal Ventures, RIT Capital Partners plc, Ken Moelis, Alua Capital, Senator Investment Group. To date, Paxos has raised more than $240 million in funding. 

“Paxos is building a future where all assets—from money to commodities to securities—will be digitized and can move instantaneously, 24/7. Settlement risk will cease to exist, so trillions of dollars of trapped capital can go to work in a global, frictionless economy. Today, as the first regulated Trust company with blockchain expertise, Paxos is uniquely positioned to mobilize and custody assets digitally.” 

 5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Citi is building a marketplace of third party fintech apps, signing data access agreements to customer-approved accounts with eight startups and data aggregators. 

Citi customers will be provided with a way to permission and share their account information with financial apps and services through the use of API token-based technology.

“At Citi, we believe in giving our customers choice, convenience and control of their financial data,” says Mike Naggar, chief digital officer, Citi’s US Consumer Bank. “Through the use of APIs, these agreements will help provide a seamless and secure data sharing experience for Citi customers who choose to share their financial data with third party apps and services.”

The first companies covered by the data sharing agreement include, BillGO, eMoney, Envestnet Yodlee, Expensify, Finicity, Intuit, MX, and Xero.”