8 min read

Fintech Highlights - 7/4/2023

Happy July 4th to you all. Here's what we've been watching this week….🧐

Revolut launches a premium offering.  Citizens acquires Wisetack. Root is a takeover target. 👇

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Revolut launches its latest premium subscription plan

UK challenger Revolut has announced the launch of its latest premium subscription plan - complete with insurance, cashback, subscriptions, unlimited fee-free international money transfers, access to airport lounges, and a platinum-plated card.

The plan costs £540 per year (that’s £45 per month), but the juicy add-ons apparently add up to around £4,100 in return.

The partnerships list includes some impressive flexes, such as: Classpass tokens, WeWork access, Financial Times and NordVPN subscriptions, and…Tinder Gold.

With the perks involved (FX, travel insurance, airport lounges) it’s clear this is Revolut’s affluent play – looking to compete in the same rarified air as American Express gold and platinum cards.

Attracting those well-heeled-jet-setters could be key to Revolut shoring up those profitability figures and finally securing that banking licence.


Citizens selects embedded payments provider Wisetack

Citizens Financial Group selected embedded pay-over-time provider Wisetack Thursday for its new consumer financing platform, Citizens Pay.

Citizens Pay will use Wisetack’s existing connections to merchants and software-as-a-service integration capabilities to offer customers the ability to finance home improvement purchases with low interest and individualized timetables, according to a news release.

The big picture: Citizens has been working with retailers and business to build out the network for well over a year now.  And hasn't had the traction that a BNPL offering requires.  Acquiring Wisetack gets them a push forward.


Car-insurance firm Root gets takeover bid (Interestingly, the company’s stock got a big boost when the news came out, spiking from an opening price of $5.92 per share to close at $12.62that day.) More here ->

IBM to acquire Apptio for $4.6B - Tech giant IBM will buy technology expense management provider Apptio from Vista Equity Partners for $4.6 billion. Apptio provides services to Bank of America, Allstate, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, and was acquired by Vista Equity in 2019 for $1.94 billion, according to the company. More here -> 

Properly, a Toronto-based real estate brokerage startup, hired Raymond James to explore strategic options that could include a sale, per The Globe & Mail. It’s raised over US$150m in VC funding from firms like Bain Capital Ventures, Golden Ventures, Interplay Ventures, AlleyCorp, FJ Labs and Prudence Holdings.  More here ->

Ares Management acquired a $3.5b specialty finance loan portfolio from PacWest Bancorp (Nasdaq: PACW).  More here ->

Ramp, a corporate finance automation startup valued by VCs at $8.1b, acquired Cohere.io, a New York-based customer support startup that raised $3m from firms like Initialized Capital and YC.  More here ->

Brookfield said that its reinsurance unit has offered to buy American Equity Investment Life (NYSE: AEL) for nearly US$4.3b, or $55 per share (35% premium to Friday's closing price). More here -> 

Fidelis Insurance, a Bermuda-based specialty insurer and property reinsurer, raised $241.5m in its IPO. It priced 15m shares at $14, compared to plans to offer 17m shares at $16-$19, and will list on the NYSE (FIHL). Shareholders include Crestview, Goldman Sachs, CVC Capital Partners and Pine Brook Partners. More here -> 

Nasdaq to acquire financial services software company Adenza from Thoma Bravo for $10.5B More here ->

Fintech firm Rho in talks to buy startup formerly known as Party Round. More here ->

Embedded Fintech

Embedded payments solution provider Fortis has expanded to Canada, while also adding a fee collection feature, and acquired SmartPay. More here ->

Finfra, an Indonesian startup that provides the tech infrastructure for online businesses that want to offer embedded finance products, has raised $1 million in new funding It provides a loan management system so businesses can offer credit to clients through their platforms. The most popular way Finfra is used is by businesses that want to add invoice financing or purchase financing solutions. Finfra primarily serves B2B, but can also be used for B2C applications. More here ->


Dallas-based Yendo raised $24M in Series A funding.  Via Yendo, consumers who own their car can tap into the value of their vehicle to gain access to up to $10,000 in revolving credit at a fixed, affordable rate, agnostic of their credit score.More here ->

Cleo, a ChatGPT-powered AI tool can help you haggle to save money on bills. The tool is currently capable of negotiating rent, credit card interest rates, and car insurance. More here ->

Utu, a Singapore-based tax-free shopping fintech for travelers, raised $33m in Series B funding. It also acquired CardsPal, a Singaporean provider of commerce deals and promotions. More here ->

Mypinpad, a Wales-based payments startup, raised €11.9m. Mypinpad is a B2B SaaS business that develops payments and identity authentication software designed to authenticate and accept card payments. More here ->

Resistant AI, a Prague-based provider of fintech anti-fraud tools, raised $11m in Series A extension funding. Resistant AI's products prevent a safe guard from attacks on financial systems, using AI and machine learning to prevent the likes of money laundering and fakes opening bank accounts. More here ->

Maza, a provider of tax identity solutions to immigrants, raised $8m in seed funding. Maza is able to provide immigrants with access to individual taxpayer identification numbers, otherwise known as ITINs, to access banking and credit in the US. Maza is able to offer customers the identification number by working with the Internal Revenue System, or IRS, as a certified acceptance agent. More here ->

Embat, a Spanish financial planning and treasury management company, raised €5m. The cloud based SaaS solution allows companies with several banking relationships and working in several currencies, managing a high volumes of banking transactions 'connecting in a matter of minutes to all the company's banks and then connects to the ERP so that the information flows in real time'. More here ->

Innoviti Technologies, an Indian payments company, is raising $25m at around a $350m valuation, per Bloomberg.  Founded in 2002, Innoviti processes more than $10 billion of purchases annually from customers in over 2,000 cities. More here ->

Brubank, an Argentina-based digital bank founded by former Citibank executive Juan Bruchou, shared  that since launching in 2019, it has brought in nearly 3 million clients, making Brubank “the largest Spanish-speaking digital bank in Latin America, with a 50% activity rate,” according to the company. It also has been sustaining bottom line profitability for the past 12 months. More here ->

At least two companies are poised for a credit card launch this summer: Snowfoll, one of three startups that pitched at TC Early Stage Boston in April, will launch a credit card in July that is tailored to users in the U.S. and India so they can more easily transmit cash cross-border. The company said users in the U.S. are eligible for limits as high as $30,000, and the card reduces the need for having separate bank accounts in the U.S. and India. In addition, the process is instant and cost-free. Meanwhile, Step, the financial platform tailored to teens, their families and young adults, opened up a waitlist for its latest card, Step Black Card. Cardholders will be eligible for perks, including earning 5% on savings balances up to $1 million and up to 8x the points on purchases. More here -> and here ->

Volt, an open banking fintech for payments and more, raised $60M at a $350M+ valuation. The company currently integrates with some 5,000 banks in the regions where it’s active — currently the U.K., Europe and Brazil — and then signs up customers — online retailers and others doing transactions online — to use its rails to be able to take and make payments and run other services for customers of those banks, as another option to pay for goods or services alongside, say, making a card payment or using a mobile wallet service. More here ->

With Equifax in its sights, TransUnion invests $24M in income verification platform Truework. Founded in 2017, San Francisco-based Truework integrates with third-party services, such as payroll providers, to help mortgage providers and similar lenders verify users and approve loans directly from within their own applications. It can also be used by landlords or would-be employers to carry out background checks. More here ->

Neo-lender Gulp Data secured $25m, bringing data-backed loans to startups. Gulp Data is on a mission to help startups leverage their data as a balance sheet asset to access capital in the form of data-backed loans. This helps modern companies receive a more accurate assessment of their overall assets so they can avoid giving up equity in order to free up cash flow More here ->


Alternativ, a San Francisco-based technology company, secured a $10 million financing round to launch what it calls a “wealth management operating system.” Alternativ’s technology includes digital account opening across Schwab Advisor Services, Fidelity Institutional, Folio Investing and other smaller custodians that focus on alternatives. The goal is to offer an account opening experience as seamless as those deployed by robo-advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront, Haigh said. More here ->

TreasurySpring, a London-based corporate cash management platform, raised $29m in Series B funding. Baldteron Capital led, and was joined by Mubadala Capital and insiders ETFS Capital, MMC Ventures and Anthemis Group.  More here ->


EDX Markets launched as a new crypto exchange, with backing from such firms as Fidelity, Citadel Securities, Charles Schwab, Sequoia Capital, Paradigm and Virtu Financial. More here ->


Slide Insurance, an Insurtech firm with a specialised focus on homeowners insurance, has announced a noteworthy stride in its financial journey. Regions Bank has invested in Slide Insurance with a robust $35m. More here ->

Raincoat, a startup developing scalable climate insurance solutions that enable instantly processed individual claims,  announced the closing of an additional $6.5 million seed round bringing its total raised to date to $11 million. More here ->


Picket, a Nashville-based residential real estate investing startup, raised $20m in Series B funding.  Picket is revolutionising the real estate industry by providing investors with an all-in-one platform to identify, evaluate, acquire, and manage single-family rental (SFR) properties across markets using robust data and analytics. More here ->

BidSight, a New York-based commercial real estate software startup, raised $2m in pre-seed funding.   More here ->

From the Stash

Why are a16z opening a London office? - Anna Irrera covers the crypto industry for Bloomberg News and joined our latest Fintech Insider News recording to discuss why Andreesen Horrowitz was hopping across the pond. More here ->

Goldman Sachs is likely to take a major write-down on GreenSky - the Atlanta-based installment lending platform it bought for $2.24b in 2021, after takeover bids have been coming in lower than expected, per CNBC. Suitors reportedly have included Apollo, Sixth Street and Warburg Pincus.  More here ->

Discover Financial Services’ approach to responsible AI - Vetting new technology and jumping through compliance hoops is nothing new for financial institutions — and implementing AI should be no different. In theory. As large language models (LLM) improve daily, financial institutions (FI) are finding new applications for them.  More here ->

Embedded Insurance: Is it Just Hype, or Reality? Kyle Nakatsuji, CEO and Founder of Clearcover, examines the landscape of embedded insurance and the 'hype vs reality' of today's swiftly scaling marketplace. More here ->

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