Marketplace lending and Crypto leads last week’s 32 FinTech deals

Marketplace lending and cryptocurrency companies led the way in last week’s 32 FinTech deals, with the two sectors making up seven of the ten biggest deals last week. SME lending proved to be one of the most popular ventures last week.

The biggest ten deals last week were spread across the world. The biggest funding round was raised by OppZo, which is based in the United States. Two other US FinTech companies featured in the top 10 deals, PolySign and Spot.

India was also responsible for two of the top ten, Progcap and GetVantage. Other countries represented in the top ten deals were Liechtenstein (Unizen Exchange), Israel (Cyolo), France (Kaiko), Zilch (UK), and Mexico (UnDosTres).

India has a burgeoning FinTech sector. Funding reached a new record high in 2021 with a total of $9.5bn raised across 474 transactions, according to data by FinTech Global. This was a huge jump up from funding in 2020, where $3.9bn was invested through 300 transactions. Interest in the country’s FinTech scene has not dropped and 2022 could be another record-breaking year. In the first quarter of 2022, $3.1bn was deployed through 128 deals.

Another piece of FinTech Global’s research highlighted that Tiger Global was the most active investor in India during Q1 2020, completing eight deals. It was followed by Better with six deals and Google for Startups with five.

With so much capital going into the sector, it comes as no surprise there are many FinTech unicorns in the country. Credit card company Slice recently reached a valuation between $1.5bn and $1.8bn, following the close of a $50m funding round. The company offers a mobile app to simplify payments, with the ability to scan and pay instantly, or easily send money to friends.

InsurTech giant Digit Insurance is another Indian company that is currently soaring.  It recently hit a $4bn valuation after it closed a $54.6m funding round. The digital insurance platform helps consumers buy vehicle, travel, property, flight delay, health insurance and more. It was recently reported that the company is eying a $500m IPO at a valuation of $4.5-5bn.

India is full of unicorns, but it was a FinTech that received the title of being the country’s 100th. Neobank Open became the hundredth unicorn in the country in May 2022after closing its Series D on $50m.

Marketplace lending was the most popular sector of the week, with four of the top ten deals. Oppzo, which helps SMEs access capital, picked up $260m in funding, the most of any company last week.

SME lending companies were popular last week with Progcap and GetVantage also raising significant funds.

One of the notable marketplace lending deals last week was Zilch, a buy now, pay later provider in the UK. The company bagged a $50m Series C extension at a $4bn valuation. Its initial Series C pulled in $110m back in November 2022.

The buy now, pay later sector has gone through a tough time, with regulators looking to make changes to how they operate. For example, Ireland recently extended its Consumer Protection Act 2022 to bring more protections to users of BNPL services.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority also indicated it was going to make changes to BNPL legislation to bring greater protection to people.

British bank Barclays also voiced its opinion on these types of services, calling for more regulation. This came after its research found that 24% of BNPL users are concerned about their ability to repay bills. This figure increases to 34% among 18- and 34-year-olds. Additionally, 31% of people are overwhelmed by the amount coming out of their accounts through these bills.

There is a growing worry that people are putting themselves into high levels of debt by using BNPL services. Worryingly, research from the Financial Health Network found that one in four users of BNPL services are financially vulnerable and struggle to make payments.

Klarna seems to be feeling some effects of less market certainty. It was recently reported that the company could face a significant down round. Its valuation could drop down by a third, going from $41bn in 2021, to $15bn.

FinTech Global recently spoke to several BNPL providers about the bad publicity these services are getting around debt. They were clear that BNPL services are very much against getting people in debt, with full transparency a major principle for most providers.

Philip Belamant, co-founder and CEO of Zilch said, “Our incentive lies in providing the customer a sustainable credit product, rather than encouraging them to make impulse purchases they may not be able to afford over time.” Read the article here.

Here are last week’s funding rounds.

OppZo closes doors on $260m debt and equity round

OppZo, which aims to help small and medium-sized businesses unlock access to capital, has raised $260m in debt and equity funding.

Of the funds, $5m was in equity and $255m was supplied in debt. Arcadia Funds served as the lead provider for both tranches.

The US-based FinTech company has developed an AI-powered origination and servicing platform aimed at SMBs focused on government contracting. OppZo offers asset-based working capital loans to SMBs in Opportunity Zones, which are economically-distressed areas of the U.S. that investors can earn a tax benefit when they are invested in.

Its platform provides institutional investors with the opportunity to gain an attractive risk-adjusted return that has a positive and sustainable social and economic impact on the funded communities.

Crypto exchange Unizen Exchange bags $200m

Unizen Exchange, a crypto exchange ecosystem, has bagged $200m in a funding round led by private equity firm Global Emerging Markets (GEM).

The capital will help Unizen expand its organisation, bolster its innovation and marketing pipeline and accelerate execution of the trade aggregation ecosystem.

Unizen is preparing to implement trade aggregation modules, which will make it the first CeDeFi (centralised decentralised finance) Exchange to combine the functionality of first-party and third-party CEX’s and DEX’s, meeting the needs of both retail and institutional traders.

The Unizen Exchange helps to find the most cost-efficient trades across a multitude of exchange modules, including Binance, to give the best offers, reliable performance and secure environment for high-volume trading.

Cyolo pulls in $60m Series B for security mission

Cyolo, which helps organisations in the IT and OT spaces stay secure and productive in an era of distributed workforces and unprecedented cyber threats, has raised $60m in Series B funding.

The round was led by National Grid Partners, the venture investing and innovation arm of National Grid, and with the full support of existing investors Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, Differential Ventures, and Merlin Ventures.

Cyolo provides identity modernisation capabilities, including the ability to add multi-factor authentication (MFA) to any system, identity federation, built- in password vault, and direct services to ensure identity infrastructure is built on a solid foundation.

The company said that in recent years, demand for data has skyrocketed, with VPNs and other legacy tools unable to satisfy the more secure and efficient organisational needs of enterprises today.

This round brings Cyolo’s total funding to $85m, including its Series A completed in 2021. The company said it will use the capital to execute its vision of bringing stronger security, greater productivity and better operational agility to organisations embarking on their digital transformation journeys.

Digital assets data Kaiko collects $53m

Kaiko, a digital assets data provider, has raised $53m in its Series B funding round, which was led by Eight Roads.

Contributions also came from Revaia, Alven, Point9, Anthemis and Underscore.

With the capital, the FinTech company hopes to consolidate its position as the global industry reference for centralised and decentralised digital assets and data services. Capital will also be used to expand Kaiko’s international footprint.

Kaiko provides real-time and historical cryptocurrency trade data, order books and aggregated prices via a cryptocurrency API. It boasts connectivity to over 100 spot and derivatives exchanges.

Its clients include ICE Global Network, Deutsche Börse, Oanda, Bloomberg, as well as unnamed asset managers and investment banks in North America and Europe.

Blockchain-enabled FinTech PolySign nabs $53m

PolySign, a developer of blockchain-enabled digital asset infrastructure, has closed its Series C funding round on $53m.

Commitments came from Cowen Digital, Brevan Howard, GSR and more.

In addition to the equity, the company has raised $25m in a credit facility from Boathouse Capital.

PolySign provides institutional investors with blockchain-enabled infrastructure in support of digital assets.

Standard Custody & Trust Company is a next-generation NYDFS regulated custodian and subsidiary of PolySign. It offers a security program that combines blockchain technology, end-to-end encryption and distributed trust protocols to protect private keys.

Its integrated escrow solution enables investors to buy and sell digital assets directly from custody, lowering risks of external transfers and inefficient transactions between multiple accounts and providers.

PolySign previously raised $53m in its Series B round back in May 2021.

Klarna rival Zilch extends Series C to support growth in the US

UK-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) unicorn Zilch has raked in an additional $50m for its Series C round, bringing the round’s total to $160m.

Zilch previously raised $110m for its Series C round in November 2021. The extension maintains its valuation at $2bn.

The equity will help Zilch foster business growth, with a focus on the US market, where it has recently opened a Miami office and launched with over 150,000 pre-registered customers. It claims the growth rates are over four-times what was achieved in the UK, where it reached two million new customers in just 18 months.

Over the past six months, the BNPL unicorn doubled its underlying sales and revenue.

Zilch provides two payment methods, either to pay over the course of six weeks with no interest or pay in one and get 2% cashback.

Google joins $40m round of India-based Progcap

Google has reportedly joined the $40m Series C funding round of India-based SME lending business Progcap, which has tripled its valuation to $600m.

The funding round was led by Tiger Global, with commitments also coming from Sequoia India and Sequoia Southeast Asia, according to a report from TechCrunch.

Progcap’s goal is to become a full-stack retailer-focused digital bank. The company digitises supply chains and facilitates access to finance for last mile retailers. Its technology facilitates credit, payments, business management and more.

The company has reportedly disbursed about $1bn to retailers.

India-based SME lending platform GetVantage scores $36m round

India-based FinTech GetVantage has reportedly scored $36m in a growth round led by Varanium Nexgen Fintech Fund and DMI Sparkle Fund.

The capital was also supported by existing backers Chiratae Ventures, Dream Incubator Japan, Sony Innovation Fund, InCred Capital and Haldiram’s family office, according to a report from Yourstory.

This equity infusion will help GetVantage bolster its financing solution and embedded finance product. Furthermore, it will help it enhance the technology, scale its product and explore new markets across Southeast Asia.

GetVantage offers revenue-based financing to help founders grow their business.

As part of the deal, Varanium Capital partner Aparajit Bhandarkar will join the GetVantage board of directors.

Spot collects $33m for alternative to “broken US health insurance”

Spot, a startup offering on-demand injury insurance in the US, has raised $33m in funding comprising $25m in equity and $8m in debt.

The round was led by Ensemble VC, with participation from Sozo Ventures and existing investors.

Behind Spot’s ethos, is the desire to turn around the reputation of insurers being difficult to deal with when bad things happen. Its customers can receive treatment at any licensed physician, hospital or urgent care clinic. The policy works regardless of health insurance status.

Spot is striving to build a digital experience for partners and their customers. Customers can buy coverage through Spot’s partners when they sign up for activities or memberships.

The company also boasts several big names in the active lifestyle space, including Ikon Pass, USA Cycling, Powder Mountain, USA BMX, National Ski Patrol, athleteReg, and more.

Mexican FinTech company UnDosTres scores $30m round

Mexico-based payments platform UnDosTres has reportedly collected $30m in its Series B funding round, which was led by IDC Ventures.

Other contributions came from previous backers IGNIA and Dalus Capital, according to a report from LatamList. Other commitments came from first-time investors Telegraph Hill Capital, AI8 Ventures and Benber LP.

With the funds, UnDosTres plans to bolster its technology development efforts.

UnDosTres co-founder Naveen Sharma told LatamList, “The goal is to accelerate a customer-friendly solution for integrated financial services to reach that percentage of Mexicans who have not yet made any online transactions.”

UnDosTres is a consumer payments platform that helps consumers access simplified payment experiences. Its services support transactions for mobile topups, internet bills, gas and electric bills, urban transport, tv and entertainment bills and more.

Trading infrastructure developer Flowdesk collects $30m

France-based trading infrastructure developer Flowdesk has collected $30m in its funding round.

With the capital, Flowdesk hopes to accelerate its development to meet demand in Europe, Asia and North America. The funds will help it develop technological infrastructure to meet the new needs that will emerge in the market.

Flowdesk was founded in 2020 by Guilhem Chaumont, Paul Bugnot, François Cluzeau and Balthazar Giraux after careers in banking, algorithmic trading, engineering and entrepreneurship.

During their experiences, they were all marked by the technological barrier to handle liquidity of crypto-asset projects. In 2020, they decided to develop an infrastructure that would allow them to interconnect and trade on exchanges, whilst guaranteeing the redundancy and scalability needed to support the growing number of crypto projects.

Flowdesk allows interconnection with 60 cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Its technology helps clients with asset management, brokerage, custody and market-making.

Its flagship offering is helping cryptocurrency issuers with liquidity issues. The platform allows them to manage their cryptocurrency token liquidity themselves with their own funds.

Data security platform Normalyze picks up $22.2m

Data-first cloud security platform Normalyze has picked up $22.2m in its Series A round, which was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Battery Ventures.

Normalyze is an agentless platform that helps organisations better manage sensitive data and attack paths to it. Its graph-powered platform supplies security teams with the ability to continuously analyse, prioritise and respond to cloud data threats and prevent sensitive data loss.

A recent report from IDC found that 98% of organisations reported at least one cloud breach in the past 18 months. Normalyze claims data security in modern businesses has become overly complex due to proliferation of data, an explosion of microservices, rapid cloud adoption, hybrid work environments, compliance and more. This has made data stores become increasingly intricate.

Normalyze’s secret sauce is the ability to gather all security stakeholders into a single user interface to discover data, classify it and prioritise discovery of attack paths that lead to sensitive information.

Its discovery and analysis tools provide intelligent graphs with deep context and trust relationships with all data stores, applications, identities and infrastructure resources. It automatically maps to specific compliance profiles, such as PCI, HIPAA and GDPR.

South African FinTech Yellow nets $20m in debt financing

South Africa-based Yellow, which offers energy financing products to low-income households in Africa, has reportedly collected $20m in debt funding.

The capital injection included a $5m equivalent senior secured debt facility from Facility of Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF), managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners Asset Management, according to a report from Ventureburn.

Founded in 2018, Yellow’s aim is to make life better for customers living in Africa. Its platform enables a distributed network of sales agents to serve rural households with products and services.

According to Ventureburn, Yellow’s asset-backed finance offering has achieved revenue growth of 350% per annum.

Czech FinTech 4Trans secures €18m

4Trans, a Czech-based FinTech specialising in financial products for supply chain and logistics companies, has raised €18m.

The round saw participation from tmos, Tera Ventures, and Lighthouse. Impact investment fund management firm based in the UK, Advance Global Capital has also extended a revolving credit facility to the firm.

4Trans provides financial products for small and medium sized companies operating in supply and logistics, an industry which it says is underserved by financial services. By securing payment for their invoices up front via 4Trans’ AI driven factoring services, businesses can protect their finances. 4Trans also deploys data analytics and automation to the risk model, in addition to customers being able to receive payment of invoices in five minutes, in contrast to the three-month average for invoice payments.

The Czech Fintech said it will use the fresh funding to strengthen domestic operations, expand to Poland, develop its platform and grow its international team.

The company also noted that the financing follows a period of “rapid growth” in 2022 in which it saw its customer base growth to 500 and monthly revenue increase ten-fold. 4Trans said it has provided more than €30m in financing to data, protecting more than 50,000 invoices.

Tenet collects $18m for EV auto finance

Tenet, a FinTech startup that provides EV auto financing products, has raised $18m in seed funding and launched a specialised EV financing platform.

The round was led by Human Capital and Giant Ventures with participation from Breyer Capital, Global Founders Capital, Firstminute Capital, and prominent angel investors including Michael Tannenbaum, Gokul Rajaram, Michael Ovitz, and more.

Tenet is on a mission to help consumers to enter the $185bn EV market through financial solutions that lower the cost of EV ownership.

The company explained that today’s traditional auto financing options don’t account for the long term value that EVE’s retain, resulting in high monthly payments and “a disconnect between the smart financial decision and the sustainable one.”

The fresh funding will be used to accelerate Tenet’s growth, grow its team, and roll-out additional products to better serve its climate and savings-minded customers.

Tenet’s finance offerings include API-enabled decisioning for consumers within seconds and the ability to track financial and CO2 savings.

Vulnerability detection platform Inspectiv scoops up $16m

Inspectiv, a vulnerability detection platform, has closed its Series A round on $16m.

StepStone Group served as the lead investor, with contributions also coming from Fika Ventures, Freestyle and Mucker Capital.

Funds have been earmarked for enhancing the AI technology, growing the global network of security researchers and more.

Inspectiv is a vulnerability detection platform that helps teams identify security vulnerabilities and sensitive data exposures.

As Inspectiv researchers find new vulnerabilities, the platform incorporates and automates the detection for future monitoring.

In addition to the investment, Inspectiv revealed several new hires.

TeleSign co-founder Ryan Disraeli has joined the company as its new CEO. In this role, Disraeli will work with Inspectiv founder and executive chairman Joseph Melika, who continues to spearhead product strategy.

Other notable hires include former Cobalt VP of Sales Karen Nguyen as the new chief revenue officer, former Cobalt CISO Ray Espinoza as Inspectiv’s CISO and former Ada VP of Engineering Ross Hendrickson as VP of Engineering.

Indian lending platform Annapurna Finance scores Series A2 funding

Microfinance platform Annapurna Finance has reportedly raised $15m in a Series A2 round, to improve access to loans.

The round was supplied by Proparco, which is the financing division of AgenceFrançaise de Développement Group, according to a report from LiveMint.

With the capital, the FinTech company hopes to grow its loan book, expand geographically, enhance its technology and bolster financial inclusion.

Based in India, Annapurna Finance aims to bring financial services to those that are typically missed by traditional financial institutions. Not only does it try to increase the reach of financial services, but it also hopes to provide financial and technical education.

Its services include group loans, MSME finance, housing finance, dairy development loans, home improvement lending, safe water and sanitation financial assistance, and much more.

Token bags $13m in Series B funding

Token, a wearable authentication solutions provider, has raised $13m in a Series B funding round.

The round was led by Grand Oaks Capital. To date, Token has raised $22.9m since it was founded.

Founded in 2014, Token provides a smart ring as a hardware authenticator. The Token Ring features FIDO2 support and can be paired with a user’s phone using the Token Ring App.

The device provides passwordless, biometric authentication courtesy of an integrated fingerprint sensor and relies on NFC technology to validate proximity and mitigate remote attacks.

Renters’ bank Stake secures $12m

Stake, which provides banking services for renters, has raised $12m in Series A funding.

The round was led by RET Ventures, with participation also from Enterprise Community Partners, Hometeam Ventures, Operator Stack, and Second Century Ventures. Existing investors Shadow Ventures and Olive Tree Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2018, Stake aims to empower renters by providing them with cash back on their rent as well as no-fee banking services to build savings. With Stake, property managers receive a 130% return on every dollar spent. Renters earn an average of 4% cash back on their rent each month.

The company also said it mitigates pain points for building owners, increasing lease-ups, reducing economic vacancy and improving maintenance.

With the new funding, Stake will continue building out its financial infrastructure and suite of solutions that address difficult issues for renters and property owners alike.

Cerby comes out of stealth with $12m seed

CyberTech firm Cerby has emerged from stealth with $12m in seed funding as well as the launch of a security platform for unmanageable applications.

The round saw participation from Ridge Ventures, Okta Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Bowery Capital and others. Following this raise, Cerby has raised a total of $15.5m.

The Cerby Zero Trust architecture takes on the challenge of unmanageable applications in the shadow IT universe – technologies that are selected and onboarded by business units outside the purview and visibility of the IT department.

Cerby claims its offering is very different from other options on the market due to the fact it moves security automation capabilities into the hands of business users.

Cyber InsurTech Stoïk lands Series A six months after seed round

Stoïk, a cyber InsurTech for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has raised €11m in Series A funding.

The round was led by a16z, alongside angels Henri De Castries (former CEO of AXA) and Julian Teicke (CEO of wefox) and existing investors Alven and Anthemis Group.

Founded in 2021, Stoïk combines internal and external cyber insurance and risk monitoring tools to serve the European market through a network of broker partners.

The company provides a 100% digital broker platform designed to facilitate the sale of cyber insurance. To date, the company has hundreds of active brokers and plans to serve thousands of customers over the next year.

The cyber InsurTech highlighted that there is a “massive opportunity” in Europe in this space, with 8% of medium sized companies and less than 1% of SMEs possessing cyber insurance coverage in 2020.

Hadrian snaps up $11m seed funding

Hadrian, a Dutch SaaS startup, has secured $11m from a seed funding round headed by HV Capital.

The round also saw participation from Picus Capital, Slimmer.AI and a range of different angel investors. Following this round, Hadrian has raised a total of $13.7m.

Established in 2021, Hadrian claims it offers a digital security model focused on automating event-based scanning.

The company said its approach maps vulnerabilities in an organisations’ entire attack surface infrastructure and provides the critical insights to fortify them. Its event-based solution continuously scans an organisation’s entire attack surface to identify unknown weaknesses.

Hadrian plans to use its newly raised capital to hire talent – including hackers, developers and sales specialists – to drive scale, consolidate market presence and prepare itself for expansion into the US.

Data intelligence platform Lionguard nets $10m in funding

Lionguard, an automation platform that offers visibility and protection across IT systems, has netted $10m in funding.

The round was supported by Updata Partners and TDF Ventures, as well as unnamed early-stage investors.

Lionguard is a software-as-a-service platform that claims to unlock the intelligence hidden within IT systems so managed service providers can have an edge. Its automation platform gives unified vision across the IT stack and transforms IT system data into actionable insights.

Companies are alerted to any changes so they can stay on top of their security. The company has around 2,000 partners and supports over 60,000 end customers.

Use cases for Lionguard include customer onboarding, change management, reporting, endpoint visibility, sales assistance, compliance, security and more.

Trinsic lands $8.5m for decentralised identity

Trinsic, an infrastructure for building user-controlled identity products, has raised $8.5m in a seed round.

The round was led by Georgian with participation from Jon Gelsey (founding CEO, Auth0), Frederic Kerrest (executive vice chairman, co-founder & COO, Okta), Kickstart Seed Fund, Founder’s Co-op, Osage Venture Partners, Forward VC, and a dozen additional angel investors.

Trinsic said the round is the largest of its kind in the decentralised identity category to date.

The company offers teams a single API that acts as an abstraction layer that bridges ecosystems, taking complexity away from the development process, and ensures products are futureproof.

The company’s products are used by over 100,000 end users, which has increased tenfold in the last year. Among those users are banks, insurance companies, automobile brands, governments and startups.

The decentralised identity champion said it plans to use the capital to expand its team and accelerate its vision to make digital identity as widely adopted as credit cards.

CyberTech startup oak9 collects $8m in funding

oak9, a developer of infrastructure as code security software, has collected $8m in a funding round from Cisco Investments and Morgan Stanley’s Next Level Fund.

The round was also joined by existing backers Menlo Ventures, which led the round, and HPA, which tripled its investment into oak9.

With the funds, the company plans to grow its free Community Edition service. Capital will also help oak9 launch a next-gen security-as-code offering to make cloud native security more accessible.

Over the past 15 months, the company has raised a total of $14m in funding. The company previously raised $5.9m in its seed round back in June 2021.

The company secures cloud-native infrastructure for developers. Its security-as-code continuously finds, analyses and remediates security and compliance issues in real-time.

DeFi solution MoHash bags $6m in seed funding

MoHash, is a decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol that leverages crypto assets to offer global capital and liquidity, has picked up $6m for its seed funding round.

Quona Capital and Sequoia Capital India co-led the round, with contributions also coming from Jump Crypto, Hashed Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Ledger Prime and CoinSwitch. Also joining the round were angel investors Balaji Srinivasan, Sandeep Nailwal and Jaynti Kanani.

Founded in 2021, MoHash provides access to global capital and liquidity to debt issued by non-bank lenders using DeFi as a tool. The company’s website claims that MoHash boasts higher returns for investors by tapping into high-growth debt markets. It claims there are between 6% and 10% base yields plus incentives for early adopters bringing total returns up to 20%.

Debt collector app Ophelos nabs £5m in seed funding

Ophelos, which leverages AI to improve the debt resolution process, has reportedly collected £5m in its seed round.

Albion Capital served as the lead investor, with commitments also coming from Vast Ventures and Form Ventures, according to a report from AltFi. Several unnamed existing backers and angel investors also participated.

With the round closed, Ophelos hopes to expand its automation platform across the UK and double the size of its team in the next year.

The FinTech company aims to make debt collection fairer for everyone, by finding an approach that works.

Ophelos will get in contact with someone after being asked to resolve an unpaid debt in their name or at the address – Ophelos works with energy companies, banks, insurance, phone companies and other similar types of businesses.

The person will then have the option to pay now, pay later, pay through instalments or explore other payment options.

Danish Android POS service provider Vibrant bags €4m in seed funding

Denmark-based Vibrant, which turns Android mobile devices into point-of-sale terminals, has bagged €4m in its seed round.

byFounders, an early-stage venture capital company focused on the Nordic and Baltic countries, served as the lead backer. Luminar Ventures also joined the round.

With the funds, the company hopes to bolster its customer base and expand into new markets.

Vibrant was co-founded in 2020 by Kasper Krog, Anders Kaels Malmos and Kåre Sørensen. Its mission is to make monetary merchant-customer transactions easier and more accessible.

A report from Visa claims that 52% of SMEs in Europe do not engage in card payments. Vibrant provides the tools to help businesses move away from card terminals and cash. The platform can be downloaded and be running within 24 hours and allows users to accept contactless payments through an Android device.

The startup has experienced 70% month-on-month growth in transaction volume. Its team currently sits at 25 people.

Finclusion backs Kenyan InsurTech mTek

mTek, a Kenya-based InsurTech that provides a digital insurance platform, has raised $3m in debt and equity, including a commitment from African-focused FinTech platform Finclusion Group.

mTek is a digital online insurance platform that provides an “entirely paperless ecosystem” for the insurance industry. Its platform enables customers to purchase insurance directly from the insurer, compare insurance policies, and file for claims directly via their devices.

According to a report by Techbuild, the funds will be used to assist the mTek in developing entirely digital, market-ready insurance products that are both accessible and cheap to the uninsured.

Over the following two years, mTek hopes to expand further into six African countries.

Bente Krogmann, mTek’s CEO, noted that the investment represents a “watershed moment” for the company and a sign of Pan-African investors’ faith in the InsurTech’s mission, and business strategy, and philosophy.

Krogmann added that with this investment, mTek would be able to begin its growth in Kenya by opening 25 Finclusion Group branches where agents will be trained.

Data access platform Torsion scores £1.1m in fresh funding

Torsion, a data access governance software platform Torsion Information Security has netted £1.1m in a fresh funding round.

The capital injection was co-led by Bayes Entrepreneurship Fund, Juno Capital and The FSE Group. Several individual investors from “prestigious Cambridge angel networks” also committed to the round.

This equity has been earmarked for the roll out of the automated Data Access Governance platform. It will also help expand the business development, customer success, engineering, marketing and financial operations.

Torsion automatically monitors who has data access to what, why and when, as well as inappropriate access. It is designed to prevent potential breaches.

Its platform aims to curb the rising threats that come from companies sharing more and more data through platforms such as SharePoint, Teams and Office 365.

The technology is built on business-focused intelligent automation to remove the need for manual oversight.

Mali InsurTech OKO secures funding to support smallholder farmers

OKO, a Mali-based InsurTech which aims to promote economic resilience to farmers in emerging markets, has raised $500,000 in a seed extension round.

According to a report from TechMoran, the startup has also announced its plans to launch in the Ivory Coast with existing partners Orange, Allianz and Touton.

The extension round was led by Katapult, alongside three business angels, Guillaume Leenhardt (CEO at Gentle Finance), Henry Allard (CEO of Filhet-Allard Maritime), and Lionel Dorie founding partner of Augusta Energy Group). OKO’s seed investment in April 2021 was worth $1.2m.

Founded in 2017, the startup uses satellite imagery and weather forecasting technology to automate risk assessment, premiums and claim management. OKO strives to make its insurance products efficient, easy to access, and affordable. Its policies average $20 per crop season.

Although climate risks are not new to farming, OKO highlights that smallholder farmers traditionally have very limited options to mitigate these risks. OKO’s insurance, by providing immediate financial support to farmers who have been exposed to adverse weather, is helping them reimburse their credits, maintain their lifestyle and prepare for the next season.

The company said it also promotes financial inclusion, its insured farmers have a reduced risk of defaulting and so its partners with micro-finance institutions to offer OKO customers easier access to loans.

OKO currently operates in Mali, bringing insurance to more than 15,000 farmers.

Sandbox InsurTech Ventures backs Confianza’s seed round

Confianza, a provider of comprehensive data analytics and machine learning to insurance agents, brokers, and carriers throughout the US, has closed a seed funding round.

The round was led by Sandbox InsurTech Ventures.

Founded in 2020 by insurance industry veterans Jeffrey Glazer and John Petricelli, Confianza aims to empower insurance intermediaries and carriers to make confident, data driven business decisions. The company has built a third-party dataset from proprietary, licensed, and public sources incorporating over 270 million individuals, 170 million households, and 60 million large and small businesses, spanning more than 2,700 attributes.

According to Confianza, the intelligence underlying this data set is what gives it a “unique advantage.” This, the company explained, means its curated data can be intuitively related to an insured’s level of exposure and risk, financial health and wellbeing, household/business composition, interests, and hobbies, providing a variety of data and analytics services that can be used at any point in the insurance value chain.

Confianza said it will use the fresh funding to build out its team, core product and service offerings, whilst also further serving its fast-expanding customer base.

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