Gauss Ventures
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Gauss Ventures

Fintech Roundup Newsletter: Issue 2

A summary of the fintech space from Gauss Ventures

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Welcome to our second fintech roundup newsletter, where we share the latest industry highlights. (Read our previous issue here.)

“The only thing we know for sure about life after COVID-19 is that it will be different. Like any crisis, there will not only be new challenges but also opportunities,” says our own Nikita Tchesnokov in Maddyness here.

We’re proud to have our own Dr Ruth Wandhöfer as one of the first appointed to the advisory board of RTGS Global, the world’s first cross border liquidity network. The board will help the business as it proceeds with the delivery of stage one of its network.

There’s a new deal between Mastercard and Wirex: Wirex is the first “native” cryptocurrency platform with principal membership to Mastercard’s expanded cryptocurrency program. This means Wirex can directly issue cards on Mastercard’s network.

Apple’s purchase of Canadian company Mobeewave means that your iPhone could soon be turned into a point of sale, Bloomberg reported, furthering the scale of converting Apple hardware to payment terminals.

On points of sale — Techcrunch shared that PayPal and CVS Pharmacy have a new deal: it allows CVS customers to check out at the register using PayPal’s payment services (which includes PayPal and Venmo).

We’re seeing that there’s definitely a fight brewing in the U.S. for the points and card payment loyalty market (this could be enabled by interchange fees that are higher in the U.S. than in the EU).

Techcrunch reported the public launch of a new challenger bank in the U.S. called Point — aptly named as its members gain points with each purchase. Although members technically join Point to open a bank account, what they are really gaining is access to their unique rewards system.

Meanwhile, U.S. challenger bank Current announced the launch of its points rewards program, with its CEO and Founder announcing: “Over 130 million Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and we are giving them additional cash back on their everyday purchases.”

Let’s not forget that the increasingly crowded market of mobile banking services will soon be joined by Google, as reported by Techcrunch.

Photo by Alexey Savchenko on Unsplash

Gamerhash has partnered up with Coinfirm to bring regulatory compliant AML & Analytics for blockchain based gaming and fundraising models. This alliance sets an exciting precedent for the future of blockchain in gaming and related fundraising rounds.

Sifted shared that Curve is looking to raise between £100m and £120m in its Series C round: if this goes through, this will be one of the biggest fintech raises in Europe since the global pandemic began. They also have new credit proposition plans to attract up to 300,000 UK customers in three years.

Curve has also bid for a £10 million grant from the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund to bolster its development of new SME products. Should the grant go through, Curve will use its own funds to match it. The two new products set to be developed to help SMEs navigate post-pandemic are Curve Cast and Curve Credit-SME.

Fintech startup Revolut shared that it has extended its Series D round to $580 million after raising $80 million from TSG Consumer Partners. Revolut now boasts 12 million registered users and according to Techcrunch wants to become a ‘a financial hub, a super app for all things related to money’.

To achieve this goal, Revolut’s boosted its staff from 633 to 2261, and as the Financial Times revealed, these increasing hiring costs overtook its revenue growth. But it’s been interesting to see neobanks identifying a path for fee-generating activities in demanded services, as despite the pandemic, Revolut is set to break even in 2020.

Photo by Kay on Unsplash

While the pandemic keeps pushing other digital banks off course, Starling Bank has managed to avoid a meltdown — in fact: it’s set to become the first major UK neobank to turn a profit.

TransferWise is closing a secondary share sale totalling $319 million at a new valuation of $5 billion — this represents an uplift of 43% since May 2019.

Follow us on Twitter for more fintech updates.

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