FinTech Daily News – Edition 138, 30.01.2018
January 30, 2018
FinTech Daily News – Edition 140, 01.02.2018
February 1, 2018

FinTech Daily News – Edition 139, 31.01.2018

FinTech Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 139, 31.01.2018

Deals, Investments & M&As

SoftBank Group To Take Majority Stake In Line’s Mobile Unit

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.

Line Expands Into Cryptocurrency Trading, Loans, Insurance

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.

Rothschild-Back Augmentum Plans Fintech Investment Fund IPO

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.

China’s New National Team

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.

Spendesk Raises $9.9 Million For Its Business Expense Platform In Round Led By Index Ventures

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.

Ex-Zenefits CEO David Sacks Raising VC Fund

Dan Primack – Axios

Former Yammer and Zenefits CEO David Sacks appears to be raising a venture capital fund, according to an SEC filing.

Payments

Defections Weaken Dutch Banks’ Fintech Defense

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.

PayPal & Square: Analysing A Potential Acquisition

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.

Lending

BNI Europa To Fund German SME Loans Via Funding Circle

Finextra

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.

Insurance

Israel Insurer Menora Mivtachim Group Joins Forces With Startup Accelerator To Tap Into Insurance Tech

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.

Wealth & Personal Finance

Robots Want To Help You Buy A House

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…

Artificial Intelligence

Google Brain Co-Founder Andrew Ng Raises $175 Million Fund For AI Startups

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!

Data Centers

Equinix CEO’s, Steve Smith, Sudden Resignation Leaves Questions Unanswered

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.

FinTech People

Google And Facebook Set Off A Second Wave Of Fintech Talent

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.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Klarna Signs Maplin For Online Pay-Later

Finextra

Klarna has announced a partnership with Maplin – the UK’s number one specialist technology retailer.

WeWork Joins Forces With SoFi To Help Employees & Members To Tackle Student Debit

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.

Regulation

South African Central Bank Sets Up Full-Time Fintech Unit

Finextra

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.

Accelerators & Hubs

Fintech Startups Parade In Paris In Hopes Of Luring Bank Deals

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