by Florin Oprea
Peter Rudegeair – Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Lauren Gensler – Forbes
Affirm has raised another $200 million in equity. The San Francisco-based company’s Series E funding round was led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. It also had participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, Ribbit Capital and others.
FAO: As expected and discussed last week – Lending section. Affirm’s private-market valuation now sits between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Swedish Fund Vostok Emerging Finance led a 165 million reais ($50 million) investment in Brazilian financial-technology startup Creditas Soluções Financeiras Ltda, the company said on Monday .Creditas, founded in 2012 and specialized in providing loans with real estate or vehicles as collateral, had a 135 million loan book last year.
FAO: Total funds raised by Creditas since 2013 reach almost $78m. This is the second funding round in 2017, after a $19m one in February.
Michael Bailey – Financial Review
Avoka Technologies has raised $16m from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75% and the headcount moves towards 300.
Martin Arnold – Financial Times (subscription)
State Street has become the latest banking colossus to invest in a UK fintech start-up by backing PensionBee, which helps people who often move jobs to bring their pensions together into a single online platform. PensionBee has signed up 55,000 people to its pension consolidation platform since its launch in 2014 and aims to use State Street’s industry contacts to start licensing its technology to larger pension providers for use themselves.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
SoFi announced that it has closed its $769 million SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F). The lender revealed that the closing marked its 12th ABS transaction this year and brings the total amount of ABS issuance to $6.9 billion.
FAO: It was a “bitter” year for SoFi. After a summer marked by sexual harassment scandals which culminated with the departure of its cofounder and CEO Mike Cagney, the company withdrew its U.S. banking application in October.
Enoch Yiu – SCMP
Thomson Reuters is partnering with a Hong Kong government-backed body (Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute – ASTRI) to help the city’s banks and fintech firms develop new technology, cut costs and create new products.
FAO: Not 100% sure, but I think this is the first report about Thomson Reuters in FinTech Daily News… Hmmm
Jasper Jolly – City A.M.
Digital-only challenger bank Starling will “definitely” be in profit by the end of 2019, its chief executive said, as it announced a major step in its plans for European expansion. Anne Boden, who started work on the bank in 2014, said Starling will be “breaking even in about two years’ time” as it offers more of the profitable services dominated by traditional banks.
FAO: Which is AWESOME. Starling has raised $70m last year and recently launched its business service – more here.
Chia Yan Min – SCMP
UrWork is opening a second Singapore location in Q1 of next year. The company, which is backed by Alibaba’s Ant Financial and Sequoia Capital among others, launched its first overseas branch at Ayer Rajah Crescent in July.
FAO: I am sure you are all acquainted with UrWork’s legal battle with rival WeWork. The battle is developing on multiple “fronts”. More in our FREE ARCHIVE.
James Rundle – Waterstechnology
Fintech roared into life several years ago with the promise of revolutionizing finance, displacing incumbents, disrupting banks and disintermediating financial markets as we know them—but the results have been disappointing. James Rundle reports on how institutional capture has stopped fintech’s promised coup d’état in its tracks.
DNT: For fintech supporters, this story may seem a little bit harsh, but we have to admit that it underlines some problematic issues like the relationship with banks, fintech institutionalization and so on. So, after all…what do we have: disruption or collaboration? What do you think? Send us some thoughts.
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
For all its benefits, Fintech is cropping up as a concern because of its potential to disrupt financial stability.
Suparna Dutt D’Cunha – Forbes
In the Middle East and North Africa fintech is coming of age with regulators and governments across the region thinking more deeply about the impact that fintech companies will have on the broader economy.
FAO: Yeah, we know Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and others are investing “BIG TIME” in fintech and blockchain. Use the FREE ARCHIVE to find out more about their plans and investments.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News