Jessica Resnick-Ault – Reuters
Goldman Sachs bought Clarity Money, a personal finance startup, to bolster its Marcus online lending business . Buying Clarity Money, a free app that helps consumers manage their personal finances, is expected to add over 1 million customers to the financial service firm’s Marcus business
Bloomberg video (subscription)
Index Ventures led a $28.3 million dollars Series A round for Alan, a Paris-based digital health insurance company, adding to its portfolio of fintech firms its invested in.
Yusho Cho – Nikkei Asian Review
Leading Chinese internet companies whose shares trade in markets such as New York and Hong Kong are showing a willingness to list in the mainland, seeking new fundraising avenues as the government works to lure investment capital home.Listing on exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen would give the likes of search company Baidu, e-commerce leader Alibaba and chat app operator Tencent a new option for funding acquisitions in the fiercely competitive Chinese market. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — collectively referred to as BAT — have all signaled an openness to the idea.
The Economic Times
Investors, bankers and analysts said they expected a wave of ICOs to bring some of the most highly valued and recognizable startups to the public market over the next 18 to 24 months — and billions of dollars in returns to their executives and investors. The potential bonanza would follow years of waiting as a few dozen companies amassed valuations without precedent in the private market.
Eliot Brown – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
When Tony Xu, chief executive of food-delivery company DoorDash began raising funding late last year, he told investors he expected to raise up to $250 million to support his growing, five-year-old business. He misjudged the market. SoftBank Group Corp. and Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC, both competing to invest heavily in startups, pushed up the size of the fundraising round to $535 million, people familiar with the deal say.
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Kana Inagaki — Financial Times (subscription)
ANA, Japan’s largest carrier, is aiming to launch a digital payments business as it seeks a cushion against the volatility in the airline industry’s profits.
James Eyers – Financial Review
Unsecured personal lender and ASX-aspirant Latitude Financial is targeting up to $5 billion of new loans over the next few years as its chief executive Sean Morrissey insists it can grow responsibly amid heightened scrutiny on lending standards.
Asia Asset Management
Nippon Life, the largest private insurer in Japan, has committed US$94 million to a fintech venture fund managed by its wholly-owned asset management arm, Nippon Life Global Investors Americas, in a bid to access high-growth technology venture companies.
DNT: By this move, Nippon Life expects to be able to gather information and co-invest in high growth venture companies, as it said, according to the story.
Justin Baer & Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
U.S. securities regulators have opened an investigation into Guggenheim Partners LLC’s asset-management arm that includes questions about an $85 million home in Malibu, Calif., co-owned by Guggenheim Chief Executive Mark Walter, according to people familiar with the matter.
Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg (subscription)
British antitrust regulators should be mindful that large datasets on which artificial intelligence depends on are not monopolized by a handful of large technology companies, such as Alphabet., International Business Machines. and Microsoft., the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence said in a report
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Berlin-based digital bank N26 expects to offer its services in Britain and the United States by the end of the year, its founder and chief executive told Reuters.
“We will enter the British market this year and expect the market there to be of similar importance to us as France,” CEO Valentin Stalf said in an interview.
DNT: N26 announced last year, in November, (details– here) that it will enter UK market in early 2018 and also in October (reported here) the plans of launching in the US by mid-2018. As an important detail, N26 is backed, among others, by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
Jennifer Duke – SMH
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: a former television executive, a former editor-in-chief and a former bank boss walk into a fintech startup. Only problem is nobody’s laughing.
It begins with the unlikely trio of Nine Entertainment Co’s one-time CFO Simon Kelly, The Australian newspaper’s longest-serving editor, Chris Mitchell, and ex-Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief executive David Murray. The three men became the advisory committee for Bux Global Limited in January 2017. Now, 15 months later, they’ve called it quits after the company is fighting a wind-up application in the Federal Court amid allegations of extortion and money laundering.
Janice Heng & Jamie Lee – The Business Times
UOB has entered into an agreement with Beijing-based fintech firm Pintec Technology to set up a joint venture company, Avatec.ai.UOB will have a 60% stake in the joint venture, the bank said in a regulatory filing. Avatec will have an issued and paid-up capital of up to S$10 million and will be a subsidiary of UOB.
Zac Townsend – Financial Times (subscription)
Many regulators, from Hong Kong to London and Ottawa, are actively working to encourage the next generation of safe financial innovation through new rules and laws. The US is falling behind. Its paralysed regulatory system allows other governments to take the lead and overseas companies to out-innovate American entrepreneurs.
DNT: This story rises very pertinent questions about regulation in the US markets. The essential problem: the lack of a regulation adapted to the new challengers. Worth reading.
Rachmadea Aisyah & Riza Roidila Mufti – The Jakarta Post (subscription)
The Financial Services Authority has adopted a more relaxed view toward the fintech industry, believing that rigid policies may only make them obsolete in the face of fast-growing businesses in the digital sector.The financial regulator already has a policy, called OJK Regulation (POJK) No. 77/2016, which governs P2P lending fintech companies.
Saudi Arabia aims to attract the leading fintech companies and plans to become a cashless society, said official of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. Ziad Al-Yousef, Director General of Payment Systems at SAMA, the Saudi central bank, made the remarks at the opening of the two-day Seamless conference on payments, fintech and e-commerce.
Rebecca Fannin – Forbes
China is edging up on the U.S. as the largest backer of startups. A new report by VentureSource of global investment trends pegs China at nearly one-third of total startup financing in 2017 compared with the U.S. at 45%. Moreover, the report notes that China-based investors now lead about one-quarter of total investments contrasted with 44% for the U.S.
Jane Greene – Independent
The Brexit vote launched a conversation about the possible relocation of international banking services from London to other European cities. While Paris and Luxembourg have featured prominently, a leading narrative has positioned Dublin versus Frankfurt as location of choice.It should not be a case of one city or the other, however. Regardless of the impact of Brexit, Frankfurt is too important a financial services hub for Irish fintech companies to overlook.
Yolanda Bobeldijk – Financial News
As Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified in US Congress, the debate around data security and privacy is very much alive and kicking. Bank CEOs are likely to be asking themselves: could I be next?
Victor Basta (guest author) – Financial Times (subscription)
No tech subsector has reached stratospheric valuations as consistently as fintech. But there’s a danger this flurry of IPO activity could be a mixed blessing for the wider fintech industry. In a market buzzing with hyperbole and over-generous funding-round valuations, the reality of IPOs could present a real danger not just to company shareholders but across the wider industry.
Simon Cheng, as the president of X Financial, shared his consumer finance practice in China at LendIt Fintech USA 2018. “Chinahas outpaced the US in fintech in many ways, including both technologies and data,” said Simon Cheng.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News