Latin American success stories and celebrities among the 29 FinTech rounds raised last week

Latin American ventures, Iron Man-backed enterprises and buy now pay later startups among the big winners of the 29 FinTech funding rounds reported on last week.

Last week we reported on 29 FinTechs who had successfully raised money despite the pandemic. Latin American companies, ones backed by a Marvel superhero and businesses enabling payments in instalments were among the big winners.

Latin American FinTech giant Nubank continues to wow the rest of the FinTech industry. Last week we reported that the challenger bank had secured a $400m capital raise that pushed its valuation past the $25bn mark, making it arguably one of the world’s most valuable neobanks. For comparison, US rival Chime achieved a $14.5bn valuation in September 2020 whereas UK rivals Revolut and Monzo are worth $5.5bn and $1.2bn respectively. Elsewhere, reports in October suggested that German N26 may be looking to raise a new funding round, pushing its valuation to $3.5bn.

The meteoric rise of Nubank also highlights the growth of the Latin American space. Back in 2016, the FinTech ecosystem in Latin America attracted $350.4m in total across 118 funding deals. Fast-forward to 2020 and that figure had jumped to a record-breaking $2.88bn across 178 deals, according to FinTech Global’s research.

Brazil continues to lead the funding round league in the region, with seven out of the ten biggest deals raised in 2020 being from the country. Those seven rounds include Nubank, Neon, Creditas, C6 Bank, Loft, Conductor and Acesso Digital. These companies raised between rounds worth between $107m and $300m in the last 12 months.

Loanpal raised the biggest round last week, cashing in a whooping $800m. The round will be fuel further development of it buy now pay later platform. This further highlights the rise of the BNPL space.

The success of this market segment has been a long time coming, with it reaching a boiling point in September when Sweden-based Klarna hit a $10.5bn valuation after closing a $650m funding round. The valuation helped it become the highest valued FinTech in Europe. It was ousted from the throne in January when achieved a $15bn valuation.

Around the same time, San Francisco-based Affirm went public and began to trade shares on the Nasdaq. Other success stories include Zilch exiting stealth in September 2020 alongside a $10m round, Tamara scoring $6m in its seed round, PayPal launching its own BNPL service and Danish neobank Lunar announcing that it would use its latest funding round to launch a similar service.

Market experts believe the space is only set to grow. A Bank of America survey predicted in December that apps such as Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna and PayPal were poised to grow between ten and 15 times by 2025 “to eventually process between $650bn and $1trn in transactions.”

Last week also saw Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man himself, back Aspiration via his Footprint Coalition Ventures, which is a investment company designed to help tech companies protecting the environment. We have more about that deal below.

Of course, Downey is hardly alone in being a celebrity who backs startups. Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures has backed rounds supporting businesses like Cedar and brigit. In December we reported that Justin Timberlake had backed teen-focused banking app Step’s $50m Series B round.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the rounds we reported on last week.

Loanpal secures over $800m in raise

No FinTech venture raised more money last week than Loanpal. Last week we reported that the point-of-sale payment platform secured more than $800m in a funding round led by NEA and WestCap Group. Other participants of the round include Brookfield Asset Management, Riverstone Holdings and private investors.

The company’s POS solution supposedly empowers people simplify sustainable home upgrades. Its technology claims to remove barriers by offer flexible payment options and simplify the entire process of getting the improvements.

“We are solving big world problems with industry-leading technology that makes it easier for everyone to live a more sustainable lifestyle,” said Hayes Barnard, founder, chairman and CEO of Loanpal.

“Everything on our platform is available as a convenient ‘buy now, pay later’ solution to help homeowners swiftly install smart home upgrades. The mission is to scale an easier deployment of carbon reducing products that benefit the planet, while empowering more Americans to work in mission-driven jobs.”

Neobank Nubank secures $400m funding round

Nubank keeps going from strength to strength. Last week we reported that the Latin American challenger bank has more than doubled its valuation to $25bn. The increased valuation comes after the close of Nubank’s seventh investment round, which closed on $400m.

Nubank is now among Latin America’s top five financial institutions, putting it behind Itau Unibanco, Banco Bradesco, Banco Santander Brasil and XP, it said.

The new valuation became public a year and half after the challenger bank surpassed the $10bn milestone following the close of a $400m round in July 2019.

This new investment was led by GIC Pte, Whale Rock and Invesco, with previous backers Sequoia, Tencent, Dragoneer and Ribbit also contributing.

Funds from the round will be used to expand across Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, the article claims. Furthermore, the company is looking to launch new products, including a corporate credit card, personal loans and improved brokerage services.

The FinTech launched in Mexico in 2020 to help the country’s unbanked access financial services.

Late last year, the FinTech acquired digital investment platform Easynvest for an undisclosed sum. The deal was aimed at helping Nubank enter the investment space.

Reveal merges with Brainspace alongside $200m investment

Reveal, an AI-powered eDiscovery platform, has teamed up with visual analytics platform Brainspace. By combining their forces, the company hopes to propel the next evolution of legal technology. To support the company, K1 Investment Management has invested $200m.

Over the past six months, Reveal has acquired NexLP and merged with Brainspace to create a single platform for all their clients’ eDiscovery needs. The improved user experience enables clients to manage data, control costs and extract key insights all in one place.

Personio closes $125m funding round

HR software platform Personio has reached a $1.7bn valuation following the close of a $125m funding round. The capital injection was led by previous backer Index Ventures, with contributions also coming from Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Northzone, Global Founders Capital, Picus and Meritech Capital.

This equity will be used to drive the FinTech’s expansion across Europe and further develop its existing software. Its roadmap for 2021 includes releasing tools to cover more HR processes and launching new features for its Personio Marketplace to let customers automate workflows across tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other HR-related software solutions.

Melio reaches unicorn status after the close of $110m round

Melio, which helps small businesses digitally manage their supplier payments, has collected $110m in funding, shooting its valuation to $1.3bn. These funds will enable the company to expand its offering across the US.

Coatue served as the lead investor to the round, which brings Melio’s total equity raised to $240m. Investors to previous rounds include Accel, Aleph, Bessemer Venture Partners, Corner Ventures, General Catalyst and Latitude.
Melio claims its monthly active users grew by more than 2,000% in 2020.

The FinTech offers a single, integrated tool that enables small businesses to transfer and receive payments in a faster and easier manner to improve control on cashflow, reduce and eliminate payment costs and give businesses back valuable time.

Fast secures $102m in Series B round

Online login and checkout FinTech Fast has secured $102m in a Series B round. Addition and Stripe co-led the raise with the support of existing investors Index Ventures, Susa Ventures, Sugar Capital and Jaren Glover. The raise comes on the back of Fast launching its Fast Checkout product in September 2020, which is now available for WooCommerce and BigCommerce sellers. Fast will use the cash injection to expand its product to more e-commerce platforms and online retailers in the coming months.

Stilt nabs $100m in warehouse facility

Stilt, which provides financial services to immigrants in the US, has raised a $100m warehouse facility from Silicon Valley Bank. It will use the money to lend to its customers. With its latest raise, Stilt’s total debt facilities has now reached $225m, enabling it to reach $350m in annualised loan volume.

It recently raised $7.5m in seed capital from Hillsven Capital and Streamlined Ventures as well as angel investors such as Fundbox CEO Eyal Shinar, Next Insurance CEO Guy Goldstein, SK Networks chairman Charles Choi, Y Combinator partners Dalton Caldwell and Kevin Hale and others.

Albert adds $100m to its coffers

FinTech Albert has secured $100m in a funding round led by General Atlantic. CapitalG, Portag3 and QED also supported the raise that brought the total invested into Albert to $173m. Albert most recently raised $50m in its Series B funding round, led by CapitalG, in March 2020.

Pilot bags $60m Series C

Bookkeeping platform Pilot has scored $60m in its Series C round, which was led by Sequoia Capital. With the capital injection, the company has raised a total of $120m in equity, with previous investors also including Index Ventures and Stripe. Pilot has earmarked the new cash to expand its suite of back office services and help companies during the challenging environment.

Iron Man backs environmentally friendly platform Aspiration’s $50m raise

Environmentally friendly FinTech platform Aspiration has netted $50m in a new funding round with the help of Tony Stark himself.

Actor Robert Downey Jr, who is famous for playing Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series of movies, owns an environmentally-focused investment company focused on tech startups: Footprint Coalition Ventures.

The firm led the investment into Aspiration.The startup offers a range of financial services, including investing, donating, retirement planning, spending and more. Its aim is to give consumers access to a financial services platform that is contributing to improving the environment.

iSTOX nets $50m Series A

Singapore-based iSTOX, which offers a securities issuance and trading platform, has reportedly bagged $50m in its Series A round.

The venture capital unit of Japan Investment Corporation and Development Bank of Japan, Juroku Bank and Mobile Internet Capital participated in the round, marking their first investments into iSTOX.

Other backers included previous backers Singapore Exchange, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, Hanwha Asset Management, Heliconia Capital Management and Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group.

Numbrs bags $30m round to support the rollout of its new business model

Switzerland-based unicorn Numbrs has collected $30m in a funding round, which it closed in December 2020. The capital injection was led by Saidler & Co Finance, which supplied CHF 7m ($7.9m) of the total round. Other backers to the round were not disclosed.

Funds from the round will enable Numbrs to accelerate the deployment of its new subscription-based business model in the UK and Germany. Other key initiatives for 2021 include launching into three additional European markets, Spain, Italy and France. Numbrs hopes to release a number of other functionalities to the platform later this year.

Remagine exits stealth on the back of $24m seed raise

German financing platform Remagine has exited stealth on the back of a $24m seed round and already has 20 clients. Its backers include former Global Head of Google Payment Jonathan Weiner and former COO of Venmo Michael Vaughn. Most of the cash injection consists largely of debt financing. The Berlin-based startup has created a financing platform offering banking services to high-growth companies impact-led businesses

CapBay closes $20m Series A

Peer-to-peer financing platform CapBay has reportedly raised $20m in its Series A round, which was supported by Singapore-based venture firm KK Fund. Other backers to the round are unnamed Malaysia-based angels, which have a background in finance, technology and growing startups. With the capital, the company hopes to bolster the capabilities of its platform and technology, it said. It also plans to improve its financing efforts and further its market expansion. The company previously raised $500,000 in a seed round back in 2017.

Wintermute closes $20m Series B

Wintermute, an algorithmic liquidity provider for digital assets, has closed its Series B round on $20m, as it looks launch its request to quote solution.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led the investment, with participation also coming from Pantera, Sino Global Capital, Kenetic Capital, Rockaway Blockchain Fund, Hack VC, DeFi Alliance, Avon Ventures, and existing backer Ventures.

Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew will join the Wintermute board of directors.
This funding comes after a year of significant growth for the company, which culminated in it growing at a 60% monthly rate and reaching $30bn monthly trading volume in December.

Token secures $15m in Series B raise

Open banking platform Token has secured $15m in a Series B raise to fuel the continued growth of the startup. SBI Investment, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, Octopus Ventures, EQT Ventures and the venture arm of BNP Paribas, Opera Tech Ventures, supported the raise.

“The market’s appetite for open payments accelerated dramatically last year as more merchants and payment providers have tuned into the cost and efficiency gains that they offer,” said Todd Clyde, CEO of Token.

MotoRefi secures $10m Series A-1 round

Auto refinancing startup MotoRefi has closed its Series A-1 funding round on $10m, with Moderne Ventures as the lead investor. The investment comes a year after its initial Series A round, which closed on $9.4m in February 2020.

Safety Wing said to raise $8m in funding

Safety Wing, a digital health insurance platform based in Norway, has reportedly scored $8m in a capital injection. Creandum served as the lead investor, with participation also coming from byFounders and Rocketship. With the funds, the company is planning to expand its product offering. Safety Wing offers consumers access to travel medical insurance, remote health insurance and global health insurance.

Pula secures $6m in Series A round

Kenyan InsurTech startup Pula has raised a $6m Series A round to boost its agricultural and digital products insurance. The raise was led by TLcom Capital with participation from Women’s World Banking. The company had previously raised $1m in seed capital from Rocher Participations, Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and a smattering of angel investors in 2018.

Milo secures $6m in seed capital

Digital banking and lending startup Milo has netted $6m in seed funding to grow its team and boost innovation. QED Investors led the raise with participation of MetaProp and 10X Capital.

“Our mission is to reimagine how global consumers access financial solutions in the US – in a way that actually caters to them,” said Josip Rupena, CEO and founder of Milo.

“Today, that means delivering a simple, fully digital home lending approach while offering a deep understanding of US investing. This funding is helping us move closer to fulfilling our mission for millions of global consumers. We’re thrilled to have QED and so many great investors on this journey with us.”

Savr closes $6m investment round

Sweden-based digital financial platform Savr has reportedly collected $6m in funding. The names of investors were not disclosed, however, they are “well-known profiles with backgrounds in both finance and tech.”

With the capital injection, the company hopes to strengthen its position in the market and bolster its team. Capital will also be used to support the development of new tools.

Savr is a digital financial platform that enables users to invest their capital into innovative technology funds, sustainable index funds or funds with the best historical returns.

Factris nets €5m investment

Amsterdam-based Factris has secured a €5m investment from private debt fund Dexteritas. The capital will help the FinTech to support more factoring companies, acquire loan portfolios and free up trapped investment capital, it said. Dexteritas decided to invest into Factris due to its high liquidity and secure financing. The Factris platform has automated the risk assessment process, enabling it to fund more SMEs while also preventing financial loss.

Funding Societies secures €5m investment

Dutch-based crowdfunding platform Lendahand has deployed €5m into Singapore-based Funding Societies to invest in underserved SMEs. The funds will be used to support SMEs predominantly in Indonesia, but also Singapore and Malaysia. Funding Societies is a digital financing platform that offers short-term loans to SMEs which are crowdfunded by individual and institutional investors. It is backed by Sequoia India, Samsung and Softbank Asia Corp.

Wyre secures $5m investment

Blockchain payments company Wyre has been given a $5m investment from the Stellar Development Foundation.

“We’re focused on making money transfers easy, cost effective, and truly borderless, so working with the Stellar Development Foundation is a perfect fit,” said Ioannis Giannaros, CEO at Wyre.

“This investment means we can continue our growth into international markets while providing developers an easy way to integrate with the Stellar ecosystem. Building the world’s most robust, innovative, and inclusive financial system is a shared objective.”

Goalsetter scores $3.9m in its oversubscribed seed round

Goalsetter, which provides educational tools to help kids and teens better understand banking, has closed a $3.9m seed round. The capital injection will enable the company to accelerate its subscriber growth and further the platform’s development.

Asita served as the lead investor to the oversubscribed round, with participation also coming from PNC Bank, Mastercard, US Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s FirstStep Fund and Rising America Fund and Pipeline Angels.

Several angel investors also contributed to the round, Vista Equity founder, chairman and CEO Robert Smith, NBA Stars Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Baron Davis, actors Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Bathe, MLB Star CC Sabathia and PitCCh In executive director Amber Sabathia.

SpiderSilk adds $2.25m to its coffers in pre-Series A round

Cybersecurity startup SpiderSilk secures $2.25m in pre-Series A raise. Global Ventures and STV led the raise into the Dubai-based startup. SpiderSilk will use the money to boost its security, engineering and data science teams as well as bolstering its sales and marketing teams. It had previously raised $500,000 in seed capital in November 2019. Global Ventures led that round too with the support of several angel investors.

BondAval set up for expansion after $1.64m raise

BondAval, which aims to democratise access to credit terms, has closed a $1.64m seed round. The round was led by InsurTech Gateway, with additional contributions also coming from True Sight Partners. A number of angel investors also contributed to the round, including former GoCardless COO Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, Yi Luo, Chris Adelsbach, Will Neale and Charlie Songhurst.

These funds will enable the company to accelerate its product roll-out, hire more staff and further the development of its machine learning technology. The company is hiring staff across its UK, Spain and US offices.

Hakbah bags $1.2m investment

Saudi Arabia-based savings platform Hakbah has netted $1.2m in its seed round to further its growth. The round was supported by a group of unnamed investors. With the fresh funds, the FinTech plans to continue its product development, hire more staff and accelerate its marketing initiatives.

Mission Secure brings total raised to $22.5m in Series B

Cybersecurity platform Mission Secure has closed its Series B round, which brought total equity raised by the venture over the years to $22.5m. The total amount raised in the series B round remained undisclosed. The investment was co-led by IREON Ventures, Energy Innovation Capital and Blue Bear Capital Partners. Additional contributions came from Chevron Technology Ventures and the University of Virginia LVG Seed Fund. With the capital, the company is planning to enhance its technology and hire more ICS cybersecurity experts to support 24/7 managed services.

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