by Florin Oprea
Louise Lucas, Don Weinland & Shawn Donnan – Financial Times
Greg Roumeliotis – Reuters
Ant Financial’s plan to acquire MoneyGram International collapsed after a U.S. government panel rejected it over national security concerns, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)
Wealthfront just closed a $75m round of funding to help develop new products for its growing client base. The company has amassed just over $9 billion in assets under management since launching in late 2011.
Rebecca Fannin – Forbes
Diptendu Lahiri – Reuters
Chinese online lender LexinFintech shares surged in their U.S. market debut brushing aside worries related to Beijing’s recent crackdown on the booming micro-credit industry.
Josh Horwitz – Quartz
Over the past year, as the Chinese government continued to police the domestic internet and tech industry with its signature mix of protectionism and censorship, Silicon Valley and Washington responded differently.
Penny Crosman – American Banker
2018 looks to be a good year for U.S. fintech companies, as banks plan to step up their investments.
Ant Financial has tied up with international secure-payments consortium EMVCo, giving a boost to the operator of the world’s largest mobile and online payments platform at a time it is pushing to expand in the global marketplace.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg (subscription)
Lucy Peng, the executive chair of Alibaba Group fintech arm is negotiating an array of evolving rules spanning areas as diverse as payments systems, money management and micro-lending.
Danielle Keeton-Olsen – Forbes
With more consumers making mobile purchases and transfers with a mobile phone, Southeast Asia’s cashless payment companies are starting to stretch out regionally -with sights set on distinguishing themselves from the crowding mobile fintech market.
Kalyeena Makortoff – Independent
iZettle is eyeing further acquisitions in the UK where it expects to at least double its staff size as it prepares for a stock market debut.
Wang Liwei & Leng Chang – Caixin Global
Hong Kong is preparing to launch a real-time retail payment service in September, Norman Chan, the head of the city’s de facto central bank said. The service, officially called Faster Payment System and currently in use in the U.K., enables real-time or near-real-time retail payments, settlement and fund transfers between banks and nonbanks.
UK P2P lender Funding Circle is reportedly lining up advisors for a bumper £1 billion-plus stock market flotation. The company has told investment banks that it will hold a beauty parade towards the end of Q1 2018, with a listing possible as soon as the late autumn.
Heather Somerville – Reuters
Affirm, is attracting investment and large customers by using a new approach to underwriting that allows it to approve more borrowers than traditional store credit cards.
Emily Chang – Vanity Fair
Some of the most powerful men in Silicon Valley are regulars at exclusive, drug-fueled, sex-laced parties—gatherings they describe not as scandalous, or even secret, but as a bold, unconventional lifestyle choice. Yet, while the guys get laid, the women get screwed. In an adaptation from her new book, Brotopia, Emily Chang exposes the tired and toxic dynamic at play.
Sarah Lacy – Wired
The year 2017 put gender bias in focus again. Firms must study the numbers if they want to thrive, writes entrepreneur and author Sarah Lacy. In this extract from her new book, Lacy makes the case that hiring women isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes business sense too.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
Just a few months after he was dismissed from SoFi amid sexual harassment allegations, the founder and former CEO of the online lender, Mike Cagney, is now seeking $25 million for his new fintech startup.
Jim Brunsden – Financial Times (subscription)
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Banks have long been at an advantage when it comes to data on their customers. From current accounts to credit cards, established lenders have access to vast amounts of information that fintech competitors could only dream of.
Kim Jae-kyoung – The Korea Times
Financial regulators around the world are rushing to streamline rules to create an environment allowing market players to try new ways and introduce more innovative services. In contrast, the Financial Services Commission, Korea’s financial regulator, is hesitant to embrace such changes and has failed to catch up with the new trend.
The People’s Bank of China announced plans to regulate QR code payment to contain risks arising from the popular service. Payment institutions must obtain proper permits to offer barcode-based payment services, according to a document released by the PBOC.
China’s largest co-working space provider UrWork announced that it has received C round funding with an equivalent value of $45 M, prompting its market valuation to $1.3 billion.
The “UrWork” brand is no more. WeWork Cos.’s Chinese rival is re-naming its shared-office service “ucommune,” a re-tool that may help it side-step potential legal hassles as it pursues a global expansion. URwork retains its formal name but decided to drop the moniker from all of its hundred-plus locations after WeWork called off a trademark battle against its competitor
Matthew Lynley – TechCrunch
In 2017, an array of startups that are all working on their own variations of hardware that will power future devices built on top of AI received enormous amounts of funding. Some of these startups have nowhere near a massive install base (or have yet to ship a product) but already appear to have no trouble raising financing.
Victor Reklaitis – MarketWatch
It was quite a year for the fintech industry. Even jaded investors probably raised their eyebrows once or twice. The 2017 milestones for fintech ranged from the launch of bitcoin futures to robo adviser Betterment exceeding $10 billion in investor money.
Could the new year bring more big developments? Or major flops?
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News