by Florin Oprea
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Line Corp said that it had entered an agreement with SoftBank to give the telecoms and technology firm a majority stake in Line’s mobile unit.
Pavel Alpeyev – Bloomberg (subscription)
Line Corp. is expanding into financial services including cryptocurrency trading, loans and insurance.
FAO: Today’s lead story! Better read Blockchain Daily News too for more details regarding Line’s plans for its “cryptoverse” voyage.
Aliya Ram – Financial Times (subscription)
Augmentum Capital, the venture group backed by Lord Rothschild, is planning to list a fintech investment fund on public markets in one of the sector’s biggest flotations in a decade.
Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg (subscription)
There is some logic behind the nation’s tech rivals teaming up.
FAO: Chinese “Tech Armies” are rallying! Don’t forget General Ma’s speech at Davos last week “It’s easy to (start) a trade war, hard to stop it,” – more here.
Chris O’Brien – Venturebeat
Spendesk said that it has raised $9.9 million in venture capital as it prepares to scale its platform and expand across Europe.
Dan Primack – Axios
Former Yammer and Zenefits CEO David Sacks appears to be raising a venture capital fund, according to an SEC filing.
Toby Sterling – Reuters
A new common mobile payments system for Dutch banks has been hobbled by the decision of two big lenders to focus elsewhere, highlighting the challenges major lenders face in fending off fintech rivals. ABN Amro announced it was pulling out of the system, Payconiq, on the day of its launch. Payconiq’s founder ING said it had paid 270 million euros ($334 million) for a controlling stake in a fintech payments company operating in an overlapping space.
FAO: ABN’s ‘Tikkie’, its own smartphone application, was the reason of pulling out of Payconiq.
Sergey Alifanov – Seeking Alpha
PayPal’s acquisition of Square would make a lot of sense strategically. Square’s share price appreciation means that it’s an expensive target.
FAO: Thorough analysis (as always) by Seeking Alpha.
The Portuguese online bank Banco BNI Europa and Funding Circle have entered into a strategic partnership to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in Germany.Investment will support the funding needs of c. 600 companies and thereby help to create c. 1,500 new jobs.
Urvashi Verma – Times of Israel
The Menora Mivtachim Group, which specializes in management of Israel’s largest pension fund, said would partner with startup accelerator MassChallenge to find Israeli companies that are developing technologies in finance and insurance industries.
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Robots are getting better at advising people about how to save money, a role that was once the exclusive domain of relatively well-paid professionals. The CEO of Vanguard, one of the reportedly said automated fund selection is now so easy that it could become the default setting for many clients. Morgan Stanley’s CEO has said changes in technology are what he worries about when he gets out of bed in the morning.
FAO: Check our FREE ARCHIVE to find out what a busy year 2017 was in the robo world…
Stephen Nellis – Reuters
Andrew Ng, who formerly led artificial intelligence projects at Alphabet Inc’s Google and Chinese firm Baidu has raised a $175 million fund to invest in AI startups, starting with one of his own aimed at computers detecting defects in products. Ng announced that he raised money from venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners as well as SoftBank.
FAO: Ammo ready? Checked! Now let’s go shopping! It’s AI year!
James Anderson – Channel Partners
Equinix has revealed very few details about the departure of its CEO. Steve Smith was leaving the organization. Smith resigned Jan. 19 after what Equinix described as “exercising poor judgment with respect to an employee matter.”The company has been quick to assure investors and customers that the move resulted from a personal issue and not from strategic differences.
FAO: Few more details after the unexpected resignation of Steve Smith the other day.
Martin Arnold – Financial Times (subscription)
Brexit could bring as many opportunities as challenges for Ireland’s fintech industry, as the country shapes up to be a natural destination for companies looking for an alternative EU base to the UK.
Klarna has announced a partnership with Maplin – the UK’s number one specialist technology retailer.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
SoFi announced that it has joined forces with WeWork to help WeWork’s more than 3,000 employees and over 175,000 members take on their student loan debt.
South Africa’s Reserve Bank has established a three-man fintech unit to monitor the impact of new technology developments on deposit taking, payments, lending, insurance, and investments.
Fabio Benedetti Valentini & Marie Mawad – Bloomberg (subscription)
The fintech dating game is on in Paris.
FAO: Oh la la! La technologie financière en parade!
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News