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Yomi Kazeem – Quartz
The streak of big-ticket investment in African fintech companies shows no signs of stopping.
Cellulant, the digital payments solutions company operating in 11 African countries has raised $47.5m in its Series C round—one of the largest for a solely Africa-focused venture-funded company.
FAO: The round was led by The Rise Fund. Among other backers: Endeavor Catalyst, Satya Capital, Velocity Capital & Progression Africa. The appetite for fintech investments remains strong not only in Africa, but also in Latam, certain regions of Asia and Eastern Europe. Investors embrace opportunities like Cellulant, among other “hotshots”, because these firms have succeeded in entering a market with huge potential: the unbanked.
Felipe Marques & Cristiane Lucchesi – Bloomberg (subscription)
Morgan Stanley is following Goldman Sachs in lending to Brazil’s booming fintech industry in search of higher yields, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter. Morgan Stanley bought about 50 million reais ($14 million) in local subordinated bonds from Geru Tecnologia e Servicos, an online lender to individuals, two of the people said, asking not to be named because no public announcement has been made.
FAO: Just when we were discussing the investors’ appetite for fintechs in these regions…
Steven Russolillo & Julie Steinberg – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
More than a dozen technology companies from China are rushing to go public abroad, in an enticing opportunity for investors but one that has generated poor returns recently.
Shares of most Asian tech companies that have listed in New York and Hong Kong since the start of 2017 have notched lackluster performances, with the bulk trading below IPO offering prices after strong early gains.
FAO: Among the Chinese fintech companies listed in the US last year: China Rapid Finance – NYSE, Qudian – NYSE, Yirendai – NYSE, PPDAI Group – NYSE, Jianpu Technology – NYSE, Hexindai – Nasdaq, China Commercial Credit – Nasdaq. P2P lender Weidai Hangzhou Financial Information Service Co. was the latest to announce the plans for an IPO that could raise about $400 million – read more here.
Niklas Magnusson & Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg (subscription)
After being challenged in the mortgage market, Sweden’s biggest banks are fending off a new wave of robots — this time in investment advice and wealth management. One of their new rivals is Optise AB, which last year began offering independent savings advice, fund data and tailor-made portfolios to retail investors via a mobile app.
FAO: Of course Sweden is just one of the countries where banks were taken by surprise by robos’ strong offensive. Use our Archive for more interesting developments in the world of robo-advisors.
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen & Joyce Koh – Bloomberg (subscription)
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta has been trying to re-engineer his brick-and-mortar bank so that it operates more like a technology company, in order to give it a better chance in the struggle with Chinese online payment firms Tencent Holdings and Ant Financial, owned by billionaire Jack Ma. Both companies are targeting DBS’s core markets of Southeast Asia and India for expansion.
FAO: The “arms race” has already begun in Southeast Asia. Better for Singapore to build some trenches too, since this war is going to last. You might want to check a recent analysis regarding DBS’ interest for fintech developments and investments – more here, in Retail banking. It recently looked to hire no less than 100 “techies”.
Paul Clarke – Financial News
The head of fintech investment banking at Deutsche Bank in the US has left after 11 years to join Citigroup, as the German lender pivots its corporate finance team back to Europe under new CEO Christian Sewing. Rahul Singla, head of fintech for the Americas at Deutsche Bank, who joined as an associate in 2007, is to join Citigroup as a MD.
Tom Metcalf & Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)
It took decades for Wall Street titans Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein to become billionaires. Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev did it in a Silicon Valley minute. The Robinhood Markets co-founders achieved that milestone after a recent funding round for the electronic stock brokerage pushed its valuation to about $6 billion, up from $1.3 billion last year. Bhatt, 33, and Tenev, 31, together own about a third of the company, or $1 billion each on paper, according to an analysis by EquityZen, a marketplace for shares in pre-IPO technology companies.
FAO: I am pretty sure these two aren’t among the ones who rented Lambos for the “Blockchain Week” in NYC – read more about this in today’s Blockchain Daily News.
Lea Nonninger – Business Insider
Since sprouting in the US and UK around 10 years ago, fintech has spread globally. Now, after years of proliferation, countries around the world are starting to see their fintech industries mature.
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FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News