Fintech venture firm Augmentum has raised £94 million in an IPO ahead of a listing on the London Stock Exchange. Set up by venture group Augmentum Capital, Augmentum Fintech is raising the money for a new fund investing in early-stage fintech companies in the UK and wider Europe.
FAO: Augmentum Capital is a venture group backed by Lord Rothschild.
Finance News (press release)
Edward Robinson – Bloomberg (subscription)
Funding Circle named Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Numis Corp. Plc to help manage its IPO, according to a person familiar with the deal, in a milestone for U.K. fintech.
FAO: Funding Circle raised a total of $413m in eight funding rounds since 2010. Reports last month said the company was planning to list on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of about £1.5 billion ($2.1 billion).
Charlie Taylor – Irish Times
Stripe has acquired a payments firm that previously secured financial backing from former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. Index, which was founded in 2012, is a San Francisco-headquartered retail software company that builds card-present software for popular in-store terminals and point-of-sale systems.
FAO: The technology provided by Index will be integrated with Stripe’s. Index has raised a total of $26m in funding since its birth.
Tova Cohen – Reuters
Viola FinTech expects to bring in new partners and increase the fund’s size to as much as $150 million in the next few months.Half the money for the $100 million fund was provided by Canada’s Scotiabank, The Travelers Companies, BNP Paribas and another unnamed European bank.
Megan Rose Dickey – TechCrunch
GV partner Lo Toney is looking to raise up to $50 million for his new fund, Plexo Capital, Axios first reported. Since 2017, Toney has been incubating Plexo Capital inside GV, formerly known as Google Ventures. The idea with Plexo Capital, which is backed by Alphabet, is to invest as a limited partner in seed funds led by people of color and/or female general partners, Toney said.
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John Detrixhe – Quartz
Shares of Square, the increasingly bank-like tech company run by part-time Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, have been on a blistering run over the past year, gaining more than 200%.
FAO: All eyes on Jack Dorsey’s company these days, as it forays more into banking territory. Last week, for example, they announced that their Cash app now supports ACH direct deposits.
Ant Financial’s consumer lending has reached at least 600 billion yuan despite the affiliate of Alibaba Group facing a tougher environment for securitizing its loans, people familiar with the matter said.
FAO: China’s tech giants are scaring its own banks and government. The latter does everything possible to diminish their influence. But Alibaba and Tencent have already crossed China’s borders and currently conquering all neighbouring markets. And they are very good at conquering new markets…
Spencer Soper & Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg (subscription)
Jeff Bezos changed the way America shops. Now, he wants to change how it pays for things.
With a foray into financial services, Amazon could disrupt the decades-old card payments system, a move that some say could save the retailer $250 million a year in swipe fees. That could be bad news for the likes of Visa and Mastercard, as well as a host of other players.
FAO: …that’s why Amazon for example is already on the move to transform itself ASAP.
Karl Flinders – Computer Weekly
The banking industry has seen an intense period of regulatory change and individual bank restructuring since the financial turmoil known as the credit crunch in 2008 – but little has changed in the minds of customers.
Michael Rapoport – The Wall Street Journal
Bank of America agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle SECn allegations that it didn’t do enough to investigate red flags at a Chinese company whose unregistered securities it sold. Merrill sold almost three million unregistered shares of financial-software company Longtop Financial Technologies, the SEC said, even though it was aware of multiple questions about Longtop.
Huw Jones – Reuters
The European Union’s banking watchdog set out a “roadmap” to help plug gaps in how the rapidly evolving fintech sector is regulated, but urged caution in tackling cryptocurrencies. New EU rules make it easier for start-ups to offer traditional banking services such as payments.
FAO: A cautious and diplomatic approach on regulating cryptocurrencies. Couldn’t agree more. Regulation is needed, but it will definitely be a challenge.
Jacqui Hatfield – Market Watch
In many respects, the U.K. is leading the way in innovation. London has demonstrated a noteworthy ability to attract talent and capital. That, coupled with Britain’s pro-business policies and approach to regulation, makes it a model for other governments. London often sees itself as the financial capital of the world, and its policies position it to maintain that status.
The Singapore unit of Lattice80, once touted as the largest fintech hub in the world, is being downgraded. Lattice80 announced it will switch its global hub to London, according to a statement. The fintech hub added it will keep the operations in Singapore to cover Southeast Asia.
The state government plans to make Mumbai the global hub for Fintech businesses, and in a bid to facilitate that the government has already chalked out a policy for development of Fintech ecosystem in the city.
Michael J. Coren – Quartz
If the midwest wants a piece of the technology economy, it’s on its own, at least at first.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced it has signed a MoU with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority to enhance fintech collaboration between the two authorities.
Lizette Chapman – Bloomberg (subscription)
The South by Southwest festival is normally a celebration of technology and a frenzied search for the hottest new startup. This year’s event will be dominated by somber assessments of the industry’s impact on society.
Danny Crichton – TechCrunch
The Midwest is back! At least, that’s the conclusion from a group of venture capitalists who went on a multi-day bus tour through the region recently. As Kevin Roose wrote in the New York Times this week, “The trip, which took place on a luxury bus outfitted with a supply of vegan doughnuts and coal-infused kombucha, was known as the ‘Comeback Cities Tour.’”
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News