FinTech Daily News – Edition 120, 22.12.2017
December 22, 2017
FinTech Daily News – Edition 122, 08.01.2018
January 8, 2018

FinTech Daily News – Edition 121, 06.01.2018

FinTech Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 121, 06.01.2018

News Round-Up – Winter Holidays

Deals, Investments & M&As

Data Take Centre Stage As Ant Financial Fails In MoneyGram Bid

Louise Lucas, Don Weinland & Shawn Donnan – Financial Times

U.S. Blocks MoneyGram Sale To China’s Ant Financial On National Security Concerns

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.

Wealthfront Raises $75 Million Led By Tiger Global Management

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.

China IPOs In New York Rebound To 16 In 2017, Online Lender Lexin Aces Nasdaq

Rebecca Fannin – Forbes

Chinese Online Lender LexinFintech Surges In U.S. Market Debut

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.

In 2017, Silicon Valley Got Cozier With China. In 2018, Washington Will Get Frostier

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.

Where Fintech Dollars Will Go In 2018

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 Ties Up With Secure-Payments Giant EMVCo

Zhang Yuzhe

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.

Ant’s Quiet Kingpin In The Storm

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.

How Southeast Asia’s Local Digital Money Apps Can Edge Out Alipay And WeChat Wallet

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.

iZettle Eyeing UK Acquisitions And Staff Expansion As Firm Prepares For IPO

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.

Hong Kong Prepares Real – Time Retail Payment System

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.


Funding Circle Readies £1 Billion-Plus Stock Market Float


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.

High-Tech Lenders Target The Decades-Old Store Credit Card

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.

FinTech People

“Oh My God, This Is So F—ed Up”: Inside Silicon Valley’s Secretive, Orgiastic Dark Side

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.

Data Doesn’t Lie: Tech Firms Need To Hire More Women To Succeed

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.

SoFi’s Former CEO Mike Cagney Seeks $25 Million For His New Fintech Startup

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.


Brussels Moves To Boost Europe’s Fintech Sector

Jim Brunsden – Financial Times (subscription)

Europe’s Banks Brace For A Huge Overhaul That Throws Open The Doors To Their Data

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.

Korea Urged To Speed Up Regulatory Reform

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.

China’s Central Bank To Standardize QR Code Payment


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.

Accelerators & Hubs

China’s Co-working Unicorn UrWork Completes C Round Funding, Cementing Its Market Leader Position In China

Business Insider

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.

WeWork’s Chinese Rival Nixes ‘UrWork’ Label In Global Makeover

Bloomberg (subscription)

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

Other news

The AI Chip Startup Explosion Is Already Here

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.


I Need A Blockchain Vacation’ – Here’s What Looks Overhyped In Fintech For 2018

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