by Florin Oprea
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Fitbit has launched its payments processing app in the U.K. The wearable tech firm’s answer to competitor giants like Apple Pay and Android Pay, will be available initially with one bank in Britain — fintech start-up Starling.
FAO: UK’s darling fintech firm Starling Bank has raised $70m last year. Recently Starling launched its Business service – more here.
DNT: Competition, but not so important…at least for now. Anyway, good initiative.
Kabbage and ING are expanding their strategic partnership into France and Italy to provide small businesses with real-time access to working capital.
DNT: A very good support for small businesses.
FAO: Atlanta-based unicorn Kabbage announced in August that it had agreed to a $250 million investment from Softbank.
The company currently tracks Acorns, Betterment, eTrade, Fidelity Go, Future Advisor, Personal Capital, Schwab, SigFig, Tradeking, Vanguard, WiseBanyan, TD Ameritrade, Ellevest, Hedgeable and Merrill Edge, Sofi, TIAA and WealthSimple.
FAO: It was a busy Q for robo advisors, with a couple of them aiming to launch their IPOs. Among them is Betterment, the largest independent robo-adviser, valued at $800m in July (more here) but more recently at $1B in private market trading (see more details here).
Romain Dillet – TechCrunch
European fintech startup N26 has plans to expand beyond Europe. The company’s co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf is announced at the Money20/20 conference that N26 is going to launch in the U.S. around mid-2018 and has hired a handful of people who are already working in New York.
FAO: Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures backed N26 in a Eur 10m funding round in 2015. More recently (last year) the company raised $40m in a Series B funding round led by Horizons Ventures. So they have plenty of “dough” to head to the States.
The Australian government published draft laws that would let Fintech companies operate without a full licence, a measure it said would encourage innovation without compromising existing levels of consumer protection.
FAO: More support for fintechs from the Australian government. Sydney is steadily building its infrastructure and has high ambitions to become Asia-Pacific’s leading fintech hub (find more related coverage in this August bulletin). All help is surely needed considering the competition in the region. Speaking of competition, the region’s leading players have signed a “non-combat” agreement, oh, sorry, a “cooperation agreement”…
Darren Boey, Alfred Liu – Bloomberg (premium subscription)
Hong Kong and Singapore, which have vied for supremacy as fintech hubs over the past couple of years, have now decided to join forces.
FAO: So the central banks of the two cities have signed a cooperation agreement in fintech. The collaboration will include business referrals, joint projects and exchange of information and expertise. When I first read the headline I thought something really big will happen…
Rebecca Smith – City A.M
The Bank of England’s deputy governor for financial stability has expressed confidence in the City of London’s standing as a financial hub post-Brexit, saying he does not see its success being replicated on the continent.
The City of London must remain the top global financial centre after Brexit to avoid its financial services drifting to other parts of the world, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said.
DNT: Hold your horses…These are natural reactions after Lloyd Blankfein’s tweet. I recall he said that he will “be spending a lot more time” in Frankfurt (more here). However, Luxembourg Finance Minister didn’t say a word about the weather…I guess he really can’t have any arguments on that topic. Lots of stories about the battle for financial supremacy between major cities of Europe in our Archive.
FAO: Two more leading figures show up “on the deck” to defend London. Last week was the turn of Andrew Parmley, the lord mayor of London, to do it. Good defense! Means they already feel a growing pressure. When Goldmans’ CEO shows up in Frankfurt, like Decebal mentioned above, it surely creates some bigger waves in the City…Anyway, grab your popcorn!
Anjani Trivedi – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Shares in Chinese fintech company Qudian Inc. have gone on a wild ride following intense media criticism at home of its business practices, just days after the Alibaba Group-backed company launched one of the biggest IPOs in the U.S. this year.
FAO: Here’s Qudian’s official reaction in the media.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News