9 min read

Fintech Highlights - 3/19/2024

Klarna is making headlines again. Deel agrees to buy South Africa-based rival PaySpace. Embedded payments fintech Monite just raised $6M. And more...

Pinned to the Top

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Klarna has been in the news a lot lately.

A couple of weeks ago, a failed coup on the part of one investor, Sequoia Capital’s Matthew Miller, made headlines and resulted in his ousting.

Then, the Swedish BNPL giant posted a narrower year loss ahead of its potential IPO.

And finally - the company stirred up a bit of controversy when it said its new AI assistant is doing “the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

A spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch that since launching globally just over a month ago, the AI assistant had 2.3 million conversations, managing two-thirds of Klarna’s customer service chats. They emphasized, though, that the company had not made any cuts as a consequence of launching this AI assistant.

They added: “Klarna’s customer service is supported by 4-5 large global partners who collectively have over 650,000 employees and work with thousands of different companies around the world.

When one of the companies, like Klarna, requires less support, these agents are assigned to new tasks at another company … With the AI assistant, our customer service can operate with fewer people and require significantly less resources.

However, there still is a need for more experienced and senior staff, for example, with specialized training in complex or sensitive cases.”


Deel, a San Francisco-based payroll and HR platform valued by VCs at over $12 billion, agreed to buy South Africa-based rival PaySpace.

Why it's the BFD: This reflects a dizzying amount of consolidation within the payroll sector, in which large providers are seeking to quickly add both services and geographies.

Details: No financial terms were disclosed, although sources put the price-tag at above $100 million.

  • PaySpace, which was bootstrapped more than a decade before last year raising money from Netcash, claims to have 14,000 customers in 44 countries.

The bottom line: Deel also today announced that it's hit $500 million in ARR, on top of being profitable with around $600 million in the bank. But don't expect an IPO in 2024, as it is expected to follow the stay-private path of fellow fintech unicorns Stripe and Plaid.

BREAKING: Deel said it is also scooping up Zavvy, a Munich-based AI-based “people development” startup building tools for personalized career progression, training, and performance management. More here -


Bharcap Partners bought Insurvia, a Las Vegas-based insurer focused on the Hispanic market, from Gemspring CapitalMore here ->

PublicSq (NYSE: PSQH) acquired Credova, a Bozeman, Mont.-based BNPL startup focused on shooting sports and firearms sales.  More here ->

Request Finance, a French crypto payments startup backed by VC firms like Balderton Capital, acquired Consola Finance, an Austrian crypto accounting platform seeded by firms like Speedinvest.  More here ->

FairMoney, a digital bank based in Lagos and headquartered in Paris, is in discussions to acquire Umba, a credit-led digital bank providing payroll and financial services to customers in Nigeria and Kenya, in a $20 million all-stock deal. More here ->

Paris-based business banking startup Qonto is using an undisclosed portion of its cash reserve to acquire Regate, an accounting and financial automation platform. More here ->


remofirst, a startup out to take on the likes of Deel and Rippling, too, securing $25 million in Series A funding. More here ->

Another hot on Deel's heels - UAE-based RemotePass announced it had raised $5.5 million in Series A funding led by Istanbul-based 212 VC. There’s no question that this space is hot, hot, hot. More here ->

Embedded payments fintech Monite just raised $6M in a round co-led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Monite offers a comprehensive suite of financial automation solutions for businesses, including invoicing, bill pay, and integrated payments. Monite enables platforms to streamline financial processes, allowing customers to pay invoices easily through various methods like bank transfers, cards, open banking, BNPL, and FX. More here ->

Freed, an Indian debt relief platform, raised $7.5m led by Sorin Investments and Multiply Ventures. Freed is India's 1st Debt Relief Platform, offering debt-burdened consumers a way to resolve their debt and regain financial freedom More here ->

Ubirider, a Portuguese transportation payments startup, raised $2m in seed funding. Ubirider's platform focuses on digital and open-loop ticketing, offering seamless travel experiences through contactless payment methods and smartphone usage. More here ->

Nearly two years after securing $20 million in Series A capital, Colombian B2B financial solutions startup Simetrik is back with additional investment to the tune of $55 million in a Goldman Sachs-led Series B funding. More here ->

Embat, a Spanish fintech which does what they call “real-time treasury management,” closed a financing round of $16 million Series A led by Creandum. More here ->

Griffin, a British banking-as-a-service startup, raised £19m in Series A extension funding. The company offers an API-driven banking-as-a-service platform that enables businesses to provide banking, payments, and wealth solutions to their customers. More here ->

Two-year-old Colombian payments startup Yuno has reached a $150 million valuation with $25 million in Series A funding. Yuno offers a payments orchestration platform that services clients across 40 countries worldwide, providing transaction routing, webhooks, reconciliation, checkout functions, audit logs, and other business services. More here ->

London-based challenger bank Monzo raised a late-stage funding round of $430 million at a post-money valuation of $5 billion. More here ->

More fintech:

Argyle Raises $30 Million to Expand Automated Income, Employment Verification
Argyle has raised $30 million to fuel the continued adoption and expansion of its automated income and employment verification platform.
Synctera Raises $18.6M in Series A-1 Funding
Synctera, a San Francisco, CA-based leader in embedded banking and finance, raised an $18.6m Series A-1 extension to its 2021 Series A funding


Harness Wealth has expanded into the tax advisory space and raised a $17 million extension to its Series A round. More here ->


Baanx, a British crypto payments startup, raised $20m in Series A funding from Ledger, Tezos, Chiron and British Business Bank. More here ->


 Vouch, a leading provider of business insurance services tailored for high-growth companies, has announced the successful closure of a $25 million Series C-1 funding round, with Ribbit Capital leading the investment. More here ->

bolttech has announced a new strategic partnership with stc Group, a prominent entity in telecommunications and digital innovation across the Middle East region. More here ->

Sostengo, a leading insurtech based in El Salvador, has successfully closed a financing round amounting to $3.8 million, aimed at fueling its user growth across Latin America More here ->

Fijoya, a specialised platform catering to health and wellness services tailored for employers, has successfully raised $8.3 million in a recent seed funding roundMore here ->

Empathy, a pioneering company revolutionising the approach to grief and loss, announced the successful closure of a US$47 million Series B funding round. More here ->


Sealed, a New York-based residential energy efficiency startup, raised $30m. It focuses on making homes more energy-efficient by providing solutions like HVAC upgrades, smart home technology, and insulation. The company covers the upfront costs of these upgrades and homeowners pay back based on their energy savings, with Sealed only making money if it helps reduce a customer's energy usage. More here ->

Niko, a Mexico City-based solar installation startup, raised $3.3m in seed funding. The company focuses on sales and installation of solar panels for residential and small commercial companies, offering innovative financing where customers don't need to put any money down and are guaranteed savings on their utility bills.   More here ->

From the Stash

CFPB: Open banking update - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra released an update today on the bureau’s Personal Financial Data Rights rule-sharing based on his remarks given March 13 at the Financial Data Exchange Global Summit in Washington, D.C.   Chopra discussed at the FDX event how the bureau is identifying standard-setting organizations.   More here ->

Navy Federal developing omnichannel platform - Navy Federal Credit Union is developing an omnichannel lending platform as credit unions and captives prioritize technology upgrades in the face of increased competition and changing consumer preferences.  Along with migrating more processes to the cloud, Navy Federal is aiming to give consumers the same financing and servicing experience regardless of what channel or device they use. More here ->

3 ways community banks can win the day - In this article, we unpack 3 key areas where community banks have the inside track against their big bank and fintech counterparts. Winning the SMB market, financial inclusion, and leaning into digital - it's a must-read. More here ->

Another fintech recording positive financial results - Neobank Dave told has achieved profitability for the first time as a public company, notching adjusted EBITDA of $10 million in the fourth quarter and GAAP net income of $200,000. The company also beat guidance for the 2023 fiscal year and reported a 26% increase in non-GAAP operating revenue with a big boost from its ExtraCash offering. Its stock skyrocketed on the news — starting the week opening on March 4 at $22.46, reaching a new 52-week-high of $43.99 on March 7, before closing at $36 on March 8.

PayPal announced that it’s launching “Tap to Pay” -  for merchants with an iPhone through the Venmo and Zettle apps in the U.S. More here ->

More from the stash:

Capstack Technologies Receives Strategic Investment from Citi Ventures
Capstack Technologies, a Miami, FL-based bank-to-bank marketplace designed to mitigate asset risk, received an investment from Citi Ventures.
Treasury Prime has laid off half its staff
The banking-as-a-service platform is shedding its fintech-bank liaison duties — and about 40 to 50 employees — to focus exclusively on providing software to banks.
Brazilian Fintech CloudWalk Announces $320.5 Million Revenue, Plans U.S. Expansion with Cutting-Edge Payment Solutions
CloudWalk’s achievement of $320.5 million in revenue and $22.3 million in profits for 2023 highlights its successful year…
TomoCredit launches TomoScore
TomoCredit launches TomoScore, utilising real-time, cash-flow based performance data as an alternative to traditional credit scores

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