News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Bank Underground station sign

1. UK – FinTech 

 

Altfi reports: 


“Business banking provider Tide reached a fundraising milestone this morning, with news of its $100m funding round led by the Apax Digital Fund. 

Tide’s existing investors Anthemis, Augmentum Fintech, Jigsaw, Local Globe / Latitude, SBI, and SpeedInvest all participated in the round, which leaves Tide with a post-money valuation of $650m (or around £468m). 

Tide’s growth story to date has been hugely exciting, creating a diverse platform that serves small business owners, as well as generating significant market share,” said CEO Oliver Prill. 

“As we embark on taking Tide international, we couldn’t have a better set of investors to support us.” 

Indeed with Tide’s recently-announced India launch planned for 2022, this funding round is firmly marketed as being to fund global expansion. 

Prill said it would help Tide “realise our ambition of becoming a leading global business financial platform.” 

 

2. UK – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“RVU, owners of Uswitch, Confused.com and Money.co.uk, has just announced its plan to acquire Manchester-based Mojo Mortgages for an undisclosed amount. 

The challenger mortgage provider is specifically designed to help first-time buyers get ‘mortgage ready’ and has won several awards for its innovative products, such as its app Mortgagescore. 

“Three years ago, we started Mojo with a clear vision to make everyone feel more confident about finding a great mortgage deal. This significant next step in our journey makes that vision a reality on a scale we could have only dreamt of back then,” Richard Hayes, CEO and co-founder of Mojo Mortgages, said. 

“We'll look to revitalise the UK mortgage ecosystem while creating remarkable digital experiences for both our colleagues and our customers. Alongside RVU, we'll be at the forefront of positive change for the UK mortgage market. We can't wait to get going.” 

RVU’s bid for Mojo will help the firm delve deeper into the mortgage sector and help even more customers get the support they need from the moment they seek advice to securing a mortgage.” 

 

 

3. US – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Cryptocurrency exchange Bullish is set to go public at a $9 billion valuation through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) run by former Nyse president Thomas Farley. 

Bullish plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange later this year, via the merger with Far Peak Acquisition Corporation. Farley will take over as CEO.

Bullish was set up earlier this year by Block.one - the blockchain software firm backed by Peter Thiel - to launch a blockchain-based crypto exchange that will offer automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools to its users.

Bullish will run a private pilot programme to test its platform in the coming weeks ahead of a launch later this year. The exchange will utilise Block.one's EOSIO and the EOS Public Blockchain to produce a cryptographically validated, provable, and immutable audit trail of all transactions processed on the platform.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 


The Swiss government gets a prod from its own media on progress towards a CBDC. Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“At a time when reserve banks across the globe are increasingly focusing on their digital currency initiatives, Switzerland’s apparent lack of interest in seriously looking into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) might make the leading European economy less competitive. This, according to a recent analysis and report from the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). 

In a discussion shared recently, the SBA looks at the ongoing global development of virtual currencies and highlights both the opportunities and challenges that CBDCs might pose for the Swiss banking sector. 

The paper from the SBA notes that since the Swiss financial and payment systems already work quite well, there may be less pressure to take quick action when it comes to providing a CBDC. 

The paper’s authors argue that the short-term benefits of not looking into issuing a virtual currency might include avoiding potential risks for local banks, but it might not be a great idea to avoid CBDC research and possible implementation in the future. 

The paper states that it may be presumed that in the absence of an innovative means of payment, the digitalization of the Swiss economy and related business models may proceed more slowly. The paper adds that outdated, legacy systems for payment transactions might not work well with the fast-evolving digital economy. Interoperability with foreign digital markets might become a challenge, the SBA’s research study noted.” 

 

5. International – FinTech 

 

Finextra reports: 


“Mouro Capital, a venture capital fund focused on fintechs and adjacent businesses and backed by Banco Santander, has led a €16 million ($19 million) founding round in the tech-driven digital logistics and fulfilment platform byrd. 

Other investors were Verve Ventures, Speedinvest, Rider Global and VentureFriends.

byrd, founded in Vienna (Austria) in 2016 and now the leading independent e-commerce platform in Europe, will use the funding to expand its fulfilment network into five new geographies in eastern, northern and southern European markets. Funding will also go towards hiring talent and scaling offices already serving existing markets in Austria, France, Germany, and the UK. byrd’s growing workforce is anticipated to double to 200 by the end of the year as the company plans to hire across all departments and offices.”