This edition is jam packed. Largest one ever. So let's get into it....here's what we're watching this past week 👇
Pinned to the Top
Crypto payments firm Ripple announced that it had acquired Switzerland-based startup Metaco for $250 million to expand into offering crypto custody services.
Metaco will continue to operate as its own brand and business unit after the acquisition and will be led by its founder and CEO, Adrien Treccani. The company counts banks Citi, BNP Paribas and DBS among its current clients.”Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a statement.
The acquisition comes as Ripple is awaiting a ruling in its ongoing legal case with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued the crypto company in 2020 over allegations that it violated U.S. securities laws by selling the XRP token, which was created by Ripple developers, without registering it with the regulator.
U.S. regulators sued Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao on Monday for allegedly operating a "web of deception," piling further pressure on the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange and sending bitcoin to its lowest in almost three months.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint, filed in a federal court in Washington, D.C., listed 13 charges against Binance, Zhao and the operator of its purportedly independent U.S. exchange.
What's the problem? The SEC alleged that Binance artificially inflated its trading volumes, diverted customer funds, failed to restrict U.S. customers from its platform and misled investors about its market surveillance controls.
The SEC also claimed that Binance and Zhao, its billionaire founder and one of the crypto industry's highest-profile moguls, secretly controlled customers' assets, allowing them to commingle and divert investor funds "as they please."
Binance created separate U.S. entities "as part of an elaborate scheme to evade U.S. federal securities laws," the SEC also alleged, citing a number of practices first reported by Reuters in a series of investigations into the exchange published this year and in 2022.
More to come....
Greenwood, an VC-backed neobank focused on Black and Latino customers, acquired Kinly, an Overland Park, Kan.-based rival that raised around $20m from Forerunner Ventures, Point 72 Ventures, Anthemis, Kapor Capital and Maple VC. More here ->
Hyphen Group, a Hong Kong-based personal finance fintech, is in talks to gogo public via Bridgetown Holdings (Nasdaq: BTWN), a SPAC backed by Richard Li and Peter Thiel, per Bloomberg. Hyphen backers include Li's Pacific Century, Alibaba, Goldman Sachs, Experian and IFC. More here ->
Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) completed the $1b sale of its Netspend consumer business Rêv Worldwide and Searchlight Capital Partners. More here ->
Blackstone is considering a sale process for Dutch merchant bank NIBC, per Reuters. More here ->
NCR Corp (NYSE: NCR), the ATM and financial software vendor preparing to break into two publicly listed companies, is considering a sale of its digital banking business that could fetch more than $2 billion, per Reuters. More here ->
Warburg Pincus agreed to acquire over a 90% stake in Vistaar Finance, an Indian lender to SMBs, for around $250m. More here ->
Equiti, a Jordanian fintech, acquired Cloud Invest, a Moroccan digital payments tech provider. More here ->
Franklin Templeton agreed to buy Putnam Investments from Great-West Lifeco (Toronto: GWO) for $925m in cash and stock upfront, plus up to $375m in possible earnouts. More here ->
Ribbit, an alternative bank and payment data startup backed by ABS Capital Partners, acquired ValidiFi, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of fraud, compliance, and risk mitigation solutions. More here ->
Verisk (NAS: VRSK) acquired Morning Data, a British provider of software to insurance brokers and managing general agents. More here ->
Madison Dearborn completed its $1.8b take-private buyout of Dallas-based money transfer company MoneyGram International. More here ->
Aurum Proptech of India agreed to buy Indian home rental platform NestAway for less than $11m. NestAway had raised around $115m from firms like Sequoia Capital India, Goldman Sachs, IDG India, Tiger Global, UC-RNT Fund and Chiratae Ventures. More here ->
Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) agreed to buy Velocity Black, a London-based digital concierge service that had raised over $40m from investors like T Bridge Venture Partners, Nicoya Capital Group, Chrystal Capital and Tom Glocer. More here ->
Origin, a Boston-based financial wellness app for employees that’s raised $70m in VC funding, acquired Burlingame, Calif.-based financial education startup Finny, per Axios Pro. More here ->
Fabrick, an Italian embedded finance startup, raised €40m from Mastercard. It offers a digital payments and financial services platform for banks, payment service providers, and enterprises of various sizes. More here ->
Nymbus, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based provider of digital transformation solutions for banks, raised $70m in Series D funding. Nymbus offers cloud-based core banking technology, including digital banking, mobile banking, and open banking services. The company's customers include community banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. More here ->
Checkmate, an LA-based automated savings platform for online shopping, raised $15m in Series A funding. Checkmate's platform makes it effortless for users to save money while shopping. When users make purchases at participating merchants, Checkmate automatically rounds up the purchase to the nearest dollar and saves the difference in a savings account. More here ->
Pesto, an asset-backed consumer credit card startup, raised $11m from Activant Capital and Plural. Pesto's credit card is unique in that it allows users to spend up to their credit limit, which is backed by assets such as their residential property or financial investments. More here ->
Transak, a New York-based web3 payments startup, raised $20m in Series A funding. Transak utilizes blockchain technology to enable fast and secure peer-to-peer transactions between individuals and businesses. Its platform supports various cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, making it easy for anyone to conduct cross-border transactions. More here ->
Duetti, a New York-based music financing startup focused on independent artists, raised $32m. Duetti provides artists with upfront funding to support their careers without the need for traditional record labels and their associated contracts. More here ->
Holdings, an SF-based business cash diversification startup, raised $7m in seed funding . More here ->
Percent, a New York-based credit marketplace, raised $29.7m in Series B funding. Percent's platform connects institutional investors with creditworthy borrowers, enabling borrowers to receive loans at competitive rates and investors to earn attractive returns. The company focuses on creating bespoke loan products for underserved markets like healthcare, transportation, and trade finance. More here ->
Vault, an online bank for Canadian SMBs, raised US$3.7m in seed funding. More here ->
Bloom Finance, a Toronto-based home equity fintech for homeowners over 55 years of age, raised C$7m in Series A funding. More here ->
Paydock, a British payment orchestration platform, raised £25m in Series A funding. Paydock's platform includes a suite of tools to help businesses streamline their payments and payment integrations with various banks and payment providers. The platform provides a consolidated view of payment data, allowing businesses to manage payments more efficiently and securely. More here ->
Kapital, a Mexican fintech for SMBs, raised $20m in Series A funding co-led by Niya Partners and Tribe Capital(plus $45m in debt). Kapital's platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze various data points, including financial statements and credit history, to determine the creditworthiness of a business. More here ->
Nomba, a Nigerian payment services startup, raised $30m at over a $150m valuation. Nomba's platform allows users to perform various financial transactions using their mobile phones, such as peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, and airtime purchases. More here ->
Advance Intelligence Group, the Singaporean fintech behind BNPL lender Atome, raised $80m in a round led by Warburg Pincus and Northstar Group. More here ->
Kreditz, a Swedish credit scoring and verification service, raised €10m. Kreditz offers a range of credit scoring and verification tools to help lenders and other financial service providers make informed lending decisions.. More here ->
Kiwi, an Indian credit card platform, raised $6m in pre-seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners. Kiwi's platform provides users with a virtual credit card that can be used for various online transactions. The company's platform uses machine learning algorithms to analyze users' transaction data and provide tailored credit offers, allowing users to better manage their finances. More here ->
Axis, an Egyptian mobile wallet and digital payments platform, raised $8.25m in seed funding. The AxisPay open-loop mobile wallet will enable employees to access a range of financial services, such as sending and requesting money from any mobile wallet in Egypt, paying bills, etc. More here ->
Payrails, a German payment processor, has raised $13m. Payrails enables high-growth companies to craft their payment experiences and financial services globally. More here ->
XFlow, an Indian cross-border payments startup, raised $10.2m in seed funding. The company makes "your international money transfers as easy as the domestic ones - safe, simple, and speedy." More here ->
Klearly, a Dutch mobile payments app for SMEs, raised €2.1m in pre-seed funding. It is a "Tap-to-Pay" app that provides a wireless payment solution for merchants. More here ->
Red Flag Alert, a British credit risk data and risk intelligence startup, raised £4.5m. More here ->
Jia, a blockchain-based business lender for emerging markets, raised $4.3m in seed funding. More here ->
Azteco, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup seeking to make it easier to buy bitcoin in emerging markets, raised $6m in seed funding led by Jack Dorsey. More here ->
River, a bitcoin financial services company, raised $35m in Series B funding. Kingsway Capital led, and was joined by Peter Thiel. It also recently launched River Mining, a seamless, investment-grade Bitcoin mining product that offers the full suite of Bitcoin brokerage, custody, and mining services in one easy-to-use mobile app and on river.com More here ->
InvestorHub (fka Fresh Equities), an Australian shareholder engagement platform, raised A$4m led by EVP. InvestorsHub, also known as iHub, is an online research forum community that focuses on low-cost and penny stocks. It offers message boards covering various instruments, including stocks, currencies, forex, and crypto currencies. More here ->
RealBlocks, a New York-based alternative investment platform, raised $10m in Series A extension funding co-led by Crosslink Capital and Left Lane Capital. More here ->
WeFox, a Berlin-based digital insurer, raised $55m in new Series D funding from Squarepoint and existing backers, plus secured a $55m credit facility from JPMorgan and Barclays. The company previously announced a $400m Series D equity and debt round at a $4.5b valuation. More here ->
Bolttech, a Singaporean embedded insurance startup, raised $196m at a $1.6b valuation. there are four key capabilities to the firm – device protection, technology services, digital general insurance and digital brokerage. More here ->
Obie, a Chicago-based embedded insurance startup, raised $25.5m in Series B funding. Obie simplifies the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. More here ->
Cover Genius has announced its new strategic partnership with Volaris, the low-cost Mexican airline serving various regions including Mexico, the United States, and Central and South America. More here ->
Munich Re Ventures has led a US$10 million Series A funding round for the digital-first travel insurtech, Faye. Faye is a US-based fin-tech travel insurance platform that offers whole-trip travel insurance policies underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. More here ->
Generative AI looks set to revolutionise risk assessment for insurers as innovative insurtechs like Sixfold raise the interest of investors. More here ->
HostGPO, an LA-based group purchasing platform for vacation property hosts, raised $6m. HostGPO is a buying community that provides discounts on furniture, décor, and other supplies to short-term rental hosts that become members of its community. More here ->
Hostaway, a Toronto-based provider of vacation rental and management software, raised US$175m. More here ->
Boom, a New York-based rent reporting platform, raised $4.5m in seed funding. Launched in late 2021, the Boom allows renters in the US to build credit using their rent payment.The company reports to all three credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - and claims that users have seen an average increase of 28 points in their credit scores within just two weeks of using the app. More here ->
Measurabl, a San Diego-based provider of real estate portfolio management software, raised $93m in Series D funding. Measurabl is the world’s most widely adopted ESG (environmental, social, governance) data management solution for commercial real estate. More here ->
From the Stash
US Bank brings embedded payments to PaperTrl - U.S. Bank is offering embedded payments capabilities to accounts payable automation software solution PaperTrl. The bank launched Instant Card in 2020 — a payment method for its business clients to use within the U.S. Bank app — but its clients were asking for a way to embed the capability into their own apps. More here ->
Truist Long Game hits the app store - Truist Financial’s innovation division, Truist Foundry, launched financial literacy app and game Truist Long Game on Wednesday to help clients build financial awareness while rewarding them for saving. Fintech Long Game was acquired by the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank last year, and the Long Game team and its founder Lindsay Holden, have found a home within. More here ->
Just 12% of consumers would convert to digital banking - While banks continue to invest in their digital capabilities, most consumers are not ready to fully commit to a digital bank with no physical presence. A survey by research company UserTesting found that just 12% of consumers say they would use a fully digital bank. The survey included 3,800 bank consumers from the United States. More here ->
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