by Florin Oprea
Eugene Kim – CNBC.com
PayPal could make a major acquisition worth billions of dollars in the “coming months,” Bernstein analyst Lisa Ellis wrote in a note. Ellis mentioned some of the largest payment companies as potential acquisition targets, including Square, Stripe, and Adyen.
FAO: Predictable move.
Selina Wang – Bloomberg
Square Inc. struck an agreement to process payments for ticketing service Eventbrite and made a strategic investment in the startup, part of the digital-payments company’s push into online commerce, an area dominated by larger players like PayPal Holdings Inc.
FAO: So then Square qualifies as PayPal’s main target?
Beehive, MENA’s leading P2P platform, has secured $5m investment as part of a Series A round led by Riyad TAQNIA Fund and supported by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), the financial arm of Dubai SME, as well as several other regional investors. This latest fundraise brings the total raised by Beehive to $10.5m since its launch.
ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance Co jumped 18% on debut on Thursday after the biggest ever IPO by a fintech firm in Asia, boosting Hong Kong’s hopes of luring future Chinese technology startups away from New York.
FAO: ZhongAn performed as expected.
Laura He – SCMP
More Chinese fintech firms vying to go public could choose Hong Kong as their listing venue, after the city’s first fintech IPO received a hot response from investors, and that Hong Kong has unique advantages compared with other global financial hubs, said Houston Huang, JP Morgan’s head of global investment banking in China.
FAO: I am sure they are, especially after ZhongAn’s success.
Jeffrey Kutler – Institutional Investor
Jeffrey Kutler, Editor in Chief, Global Association of Risk Professionals, Senior Contributing Editor, Institutional Investor:
“In a competitive marketplace, it is only natural to think in terms of who tops the league tables. The way KPMG and others score it, it is hard to deny a leadership spot for China. The country may be on its way to wider influence and even dominance in this still-maturing marketplace. However, as big a factor as China and its unicorns have become, there is more to fintech than what the likes of Alipay and Wechat do. And by Deloitte’s methodology (and simple observation), the Chinese fintech hubs are smaller, less diversified in output, and less-mature as ecosystems than are those of Singapore, London, New York, and several other places.
There is also the matter of cyclicality. Some of the fintech financings recorded last year in China, which moved Asia ahead of North America, were very large and one-off. Asian investment volume fell back relative to the U.S. in the first part of this year.
If this industry has the potency and staying power that so many believe it does, then league tables are a distraction – fun though they may be to follow and argue over. It is not a zero-sum game. If it were, and the ascendancy of one hub or country comes at the expense of another, then the market as a whole is not open and thriving. Certain locales may develop comparative advantages based on their market characteristics or specialties (China for mass-scale mobile payments, for example). But fintech, in its broadest definition, is a potentially vast playing field that will benefit from open competition and cross-pollination, rather than trade barriers and insularity. This is recognized by financial industry leaders like Bank of America, Fidelity, and Thomson Reuters. They distribute their fintech presence and innovation programs globally, so as to take in the big picture and not to miss out on what the various regions have to offer.”
Eyk Henning – Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse is close to taking a minority stake in big data company Trifacta Inc.
FAO: Earlier this year DB1 bought RegTek Solutions, bringing in help on tackling Mifid II.
RapidMiner, the company that delivers real data science, fast and simple, announced at the Strata conference that RapidMiner Server is now available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, and RapidMiner Radoop now supports Microsoft Azure HDInsight.
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Fintech generally refers to companies like SoFi, TransferWise, and Revolut, whose ambition is to use technology to challenge traditional banks. What Yahoo Finance is doing is a little different – its app will add online brokers like Fidelity and E-Trade to its platform, but it won’t make any money from the brokerage charges. Instead, Yahoo Finance (now part of Oath, a Verizon-owned company), which has about 41 million mobile users, is trying to boost usage of its app.
FAO: Interesting analysis delivered by ex-Bloomberg John Detrixhe.
JD Alois – Crowdfund Insider
Revealed several weeks back, Birchal is a spin-off of rewards based platform Pozible. Birchal will help SMEs raise up to $5 million from smaller investors. The platform enables unlisted public companies with annual turnover and gross assets up to $25 million to issue shares to the public, opening up new opportunities for individuals to take equity in small businesses.
Via Business Wire President of 3RAM, Rodney C. Adkins, appointed by PayPal Appoints to its Board of Directors
DNT: Mr. Rodney C. Adkins also served 30 years at IBM, where his most recent position was Senior Vice President.
SFC issued a circular announcing the launch of the SFC Regulatory Sandbox to provide a confined regulatory environment for qualified firms to conduct regulated activities utilising fintech.
Huw Jones – Reuters
Denmark’s business minister Brian Mikkelsen was meeting fintech firms in London on Friday as part of a two-day drive to lure them from Britain after Brexit.
FAO: Denmark has its advantages, of course, but I am sure fintech startups will find the country’s cost of living as one big disadvantage… btw, find below a powerful competitor in Europe’s future fintech sector, and find out why:
Conrad Egusa – The Next Web
FAO: Because the cost of living is far lower than in the West, because there is a vast brain pool here (have discussed this aspect earlier this year), because most of the CEE governments have tax incentives in this sector, and because it’s more fun… 😉
DNT: Interesting and useful overview on three of the growing ecosystems of Central and Eastern Europe: Estonia, Hungary and Czech Republic.
All those fintech partnerships are in vain, because in the end banks will lose to the tech giants, not the startups.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News