by Florin Oprea
Jonathan Shieber – TechCrunch
Bringing debt collection into the age of the soft touch, email and text-based world of the 21st century has netted TrueAccord $22 million in a new round of funding. The company said it would use the new money for product development, building out its internal auditing and compliance capabilities and expanding into markets.
FAO: The current round was led by Arbor Ventures and thus total funding raised by the company reached almost $35m. Maybe it’s time for banks to study another business model concerning debt collection.
Lauren Gensler – Forbes
Life insurance company Health I.Q. announced that it has raised $34.6m in a Series C funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. That brings its total funding to $81 million.
FAO: The start-up has raised $81m in less than three years. Not bad. Previous backers include: Foundation Capital, Ribbit Capital, Greylock Partners, Menlo Ventures and Charles River Ventures.
Saheli Roy Choudhury – CNBC
Despite public criticism about a lack of transparency in some practices, Ant Financial is doing things the right way, Douglas Feagin, SVP and head of global business at Ant Financial, said. The company has seen healthy demand for its asset-backed securities, and that’s proof enough that it’s providing sufficient transparency to investors, the executive said.
FAO: Ant Financial sold more than $23b of ABS backed by consumer loans in 2017. The topic was previously discussed last month. In essence, the debate is over the transparency offered by Ant Financial, and other companies, on how such asset-backed securities are created. They are often compared to the subprime mortgage-backed securities that banks sold before the 2008 crisis.
Michael Thrasher – Wealth Management
Betterment users can now donate shares from their portfolios directly to charitable organizations with an account on the automated advice platform, a feature industry experts said is a another step toward the robo advisor offering more holistic services to investors.
FAO: With ideas like the one above it’s no wonder Betterment is the largest independent robo-adviser, valued at $800m in July (more here), and more recently at $1B in private market trading (see more details here).
AHEAD announced the launch of their new lab in collaboration with Equinix. The new AHEAD Lab combines on-premise performance with the convenience and scalability of the public cloud so that enterprises can test and leverage technologies to meet their growing infrastructure needs.
Valentina Kirilova – Leap Rate
NEX announced it has signed a Statement of Commitment to adopt the principles of the FX Global Code across its EBS FX trading platforms and NEX Optimisation services.
FAO: I remember previous reports regarding these plans. Glad to hear they went on with them.
Gina Chon – The New York Times
A plan to hit US start-ups with an extra tax would be better directed at private equity. Technology firms are understandably upset over a Senate plan to tax stock options and restricted stock units when they are vested. It would raise $13.4 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. But ending a loophole on investment profit for buyout barons would bring in more.
Sarah Dickins – BBC
Some of the fastest growing fintech firms in Wales are at risk of being held back by skills shortages, a leading specialist lawyer has warned. Cerian Jones said so-called fintech companies have told her they are “chasing fish in the same small pool”.
FAO: Why don’t you try a different pool? There are HUGE POOLS in other regions of Europe. Like Eastern Europe – more on the topic here – Accelerators & Hubs section.
Yonhap – Korea Herald
The fIntech industry is opening the door to better and cheaper financial services, but regulators need to address concerns about the privacy of customer information, South Korea’s financial regulator said. Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, made the remarks during a forum on the fintech industry in Seoul.
Invest Lithuania and Singapore FinTech Association signed a landmark fintech innovation agreement at the 2017 Singapore FinTech Festival, signifying deeper bilateral economic relations as both republics seek to enter each other’s regional markets.
FAO: I know, it’s part of the hype of the festival in Singapore which is being held these days, BUT, what’s interesting here is that we see two powerful players in global fintech, the Baltics, represented by Lithuania, and Singapore, both of them steadily gaining strengths in global fintech due to their favourable regulatory environments, among other factors.
The list comes from Forbes, which uses valuations from Pitchbook and CB Insights based on the last round of known venture financing.
DNT: Have you ever asked yourself how venture capital works? If so, this is a very useful list.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News