Fintech Roundup Newsletter: Issue 4
A summary of the fintech space from Gauss Ventures
Welcome to our fourth fintech roundup newsletter, where we share the latest industry highlights. (Read our previous issue here.)
“Lately, crowdfunding [has become] a great amplification engine for companies seeking additional funding, yet very often the rounds announced to great success by companies are follow-ups after major tickets from VCs,” said our very own Daniel Gusev on the Crowdcube and Seedrs merger.
He also wrote in Fintech Direct about the Wirecard investment scandal and how VCs should perform due diligence on companies: “As fintech investors, we are passionate about nurturing great innovation, but we also know that creating a sustainable and successful company requires more than just smart ideas and charismatic leadership. There must be transparency and a reality check in respect to what is truly achievable and beneficial to industry and consumers.”
Dr Ruth Wandhöfer joined a panel at last week’s Women in Payments ASEAN Symposium about “The Future of Cross Border Payments in ASEAN”. Total fintech investment in ASEAN this year is poised to exceed US$338 million. With many new channels and means for businesses and consumers to spend, send, and receive money today, she spoke about the future of cross border payments in ASEAN — and what we can expect in the future.
Russian autonomous retail startup Briskly raised $2 million this year — we were one of the investors. Our Nikita Chesnokov also joined the Board of Directors. Briskly is creating the B-Pay application, helping customers to scan product barcodes and pay for them via their smartphone.
South Africa will soon see a new “digital bank” in the form of Bettr. Tech Central interviewed Bettr co-founders Tobie van Zyl and Andrzej Stempowski to learn more about their vision, why they’re targeting millennials and Generation Z, and how hyperscale cloud service providers have made launching a challenger bank in 2020 much easier.
In another podcast with The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield, the Bettr founders expanded on how “the traditional banking model is going to evaporate” and how they aim to do banking differently.
Traydstream has added Adam Kasraoui to their team as a Global Sales and Origination Lead, which boosts its sales coverage of Middle Eastern banking clients. There is also a new focus on how Traydstream serves its corporate clients.
Traydstream was also in the press with its finance director James Pennington sharing: “It’s down to your data structure. If you put crap into the system, you get crap out.” He was talking about pandemic-inspired digital transformation in tax departments, and how data is crucial in a successful transition to new systems supporting transfer pricing (TP) policy. As Pennington observed, some companies are in a better position to take advantage of digitalisation.
“DeFi might soon have some regulatory issues,” Coinfirm’s CTO Jakub Fijolek told Cointelegraph. “The amount of funds that are flowing through DeFi is growing significantly.” Coinfirm has revealed a new anti-money laundering tool for the decentralised finance (DeFi) part of crypto.
Curve’s newest credit offering Curve Credit has brought on Henry Kenner as a new non-executive director. Kenner has more than three decades of experience in the financial industry — previously he has been the managing director of Deutsche Bank, Swiss Re Capital and Dutch bank ABN Armo.
Curve also saw a sharp increase in Irish users after increasing its mobile payment features. COO Nathalie Oestmann shared that the company had a 78% boost in sign-ups in Ireland over August — it has also recently launched Google Pay in Ireland.
This year, there has been a 25% rise in demand for outsourced managed services compared to pre-pandemic levels, reveals a study from ACA Compliance Group. The study says cybersecurity and RegTech solutions have also seen increased demand — which could be due to risk and compliance leaders having to achieve more with less and decrease costs whilst increasing operational capability.
Revolut and Starling Bank have both launched new products — Revolut business customers can now have metal cards, while Starling Bank’s personal and joint bank account customers will now be able to manage their finances from a computer and their smartphones.
Applications are now open for companies to apply to a digital sandbox initiative between City of London Corporation and the Financial Conduct Authority. This pilot aims to help innovative firms progress from idea to solution, as well as assist new propositions, with a focus on discovering products that will tackle coronavirus challenges.
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