PayTechs blaze a trail in this week’s funding rounds


In the 25 FinTech funding rounds reported by FinTech Global this week, PayTech and Crypto firms led the way with high levels of funding.

Coming out on top this week was B2B payments firm Balance, who raised $350m in a credit facility from Viola Credit. In addition, adumo bagged R190m to further expand across sub-Saharan Africa.

While FinTech funding across the globe continues to steadily hum along, the Irish FinTech market saw a significant slowdown in Q3, with the country’s sector only seeing four deals in total.

This was a 69% drop from the previous quarter. Irish deal activity is expected to decline for the fourth consecutive year and reach 33 deals in total for 2022, a 24% drop from 2021 levels.

Here are this week’s funding rounds.

Viola Credit backs B2B PayTech Balance with $350m

Balance, a B2B payments company specialising in financing and e-commerce, has raised $350m in a credit facility from Viola Credit.

Launched early 2021, Balance provides an online checkout with omni-channel support for businesses.

The company’s offering allows companies to process any payment method, offer flexible terms, and get paid instantly within one platform.

Balance said it has grown its customer base by ten times since its launch in February 2021, partnering with typically traditional offline industries such as food, steel, and chemicals.

According to Balance, merchants today demand and deserve more control and flexibility over their cash flow needs.

Matter Labs secures $200m in Series C

Matter Labs, a German developer of a solution that reduces the cost of Ethereum transactions, has bagged $200m in a Series C round.

Matter Labs has developed zkSync, a solution that cuts the cost for users of Ethereum transactions.

Matter Labs said that its mission is to accelerate the ongoing financial revolution surrounding blockchains.

The firm intends to use the new funding to launch first-party Matter Labs-built projects on zkSync, fund third-party ecosystem projects built by other teams, develop Matter University – which is its core education and tutorial center – and continue to grow its team.

Africa’s adumo bags R190m funding to consolidate recent acquisitions

adumo, an independent payments processor, has raised R190m to further enhance its growth and expansion plans across Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to a report from FinTech Finance News the round included an equity raise from adumo’s current shareholders, Apis Partners, Crossfin Holdings and IFC’s FinTech division as well as a debt facility provided by Investec.​

The fresh funding will be used to increase adumo’s shareholding in GAAP to 80%, which will enhance adumo’s growth and expansion plans.

GAAP specialises in the international hospitality industry, providing restaurants, hotels and retail franchises integrated solutions.​

Finkargo nets $75m

Finkargo, a Colombian startup looking to close the trade finance gap in Latin America, has raised $75m in structured credit.

According to Finkargo, SMEs face a 50% rejection from financial institutions when applying for trade finance credit. This results in a $1.7trn trade finance gap.

The company aims to bridge the 350$bn trade finance gap in Latin America by leveraging alternative risk analysis and deep logistics expertise to unlock SMEs growth and competitiveness in international markets.

SMEs cannot benefit from global trade due to capital constraints, as 90% of international trade relies on financing.

P2P lending platform Prosper nets $75m

Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending platform in the US, has closed a new $75m financing round from Neuberger Berman.

According to Prosper, the new capital will enable the firm to meet strong consumer demand for its personal loan, credit card, home equity and investment products, as well as accelerating growth opportunities for the company over the coming years.

The new financing comes at a time of strong year-over-year growth for Prosper. In the third quarter, Prosper facilitated over $1 billion of personal loan originations (over 2x year-over-year growth) through its platform.

SME non-dilutive financing provider Karmen nets €50m debt

Just 10 months after its first financing round, SME non-dilutive financing provider Karmen has raised €50m in debt.

With the funds, the company hopes to accelerate its mission of transforming corporate financing.

The company was founded in 2021 and initially focused on revenue-based financing for recurring revenue companies. It has since expanded its offer to all digital VSEs/SMEs, to better respond to their quest for financing in a rapidly changing macro-economic context.

Its loans are offered as a non-dilutive and are indexed to the company’s turnover. Through a plug and play digital platform, the FinTech company allows a borrower to share their data from their tool suite, including invoicing, accounting and banking. With this, Karmen assesses the credit risk and determines whether they are eligible for financing.

Cobee bags €40m for its staff wellbeing platform

Cobee, a Madrid-based employee benefits platform, has raised €40m in capital to develop its staff wellbeing platform.

The investment comes after a year of sustainable growth for Cobee which has seen the company multiply its business three-fold in one year

This adds to a €14m to Cobee’s raise last year.

Founded in 2019, Cobee offers a 100% digital platform aimed at staff wellbeing and taking employee benefits management and salary sacrifice to another level.

Novo lands $35m in Series B

Novo, a Florida-based FinTech platform focused on small businesses, has secured $35m from an extended Series B funding round.

The round was led by GGV Capital. Robin Li – principal at GGV – will join the company board as an observer. This brings Novo’s Series B to $125m.

Since the end of 2021, the firm has launched a range of new capabilities for helping small businesses centralize their finances and speed up their cash flow. These include Novo Apps, an app marketplace that lets small businesses customise their banking experience.

The company has also introduced Novo Boost, a platform for small businesses and freelancers to provide them with same-day access to payments received through Stripe and express ACH for processing same-day ACH payments.

UK challenger bank Atom nets £30m

UK challenger bank Atom bank has held off its floatation after raising £30m in equity from BBVA, Toscafund and Infinity Investment Partners.

With the funds, the company plans to bolster its lending capabilities and further the development of the bank. As part of increasing its lending capabilities, the bank hopes to support its lending customers, including homeowners, first-time buyers, and SMEs, in the current environment.

According to a report from Business Matters, the challenger bank is eyeing a liquidity event in 2024 or 2025.

The bank said that despite the market troubles, it has delivered strong performance in 2022.

Taktile lands $20m for automated business decisions

Taktile, a Software as a Service (SaaS) startup revolutionising how businesses make automated decisions, has raised $20m in Series A funding.

Founded in 2020, and backed by eight unicorn founders, Taktile allows companies of all sizes to easily build, run, and evaluate automated decision flows without requiring developers to write complex code.

It is used by businesses for decisions like which customers to lend to, or what price to offer to new customers. The platform helps companies to bring products to the market faster, act proactively in a constantly changing environment, and eliminate guesswork for their most relevant decisions.

According to Takile, the capital will help the company to further develop its unique product capabilities and accelerate ongoing expansion in the United States, where it has seen rapid growth, increasing its client base by four times since lockdown restrictions were lifted.

LGBTQIA+ banking platform Daylight snares $15m

Daylight, a digital bank designed to build financial products and services to help queer people, has raised $15m in new financing.

Daylight Money, which provides consumer financial and payment services to thousands of LGBTQ+ people, the company will launch a new subscription service called Daylight Grow – an economic and family planning product explicitly designed for queer families.

When the product launches earlier next year, Daylight Grow subscribers will receive a personalised family creation plan covering financial, legal and logistical milestones tailored to their state and needs.

In addition, subscribers of the platform will get a family planning concierge to provide financial advice and logistical support and a family-building marketplace with vetted family attorney networks and IVF and surrogacy clinics in their area.

The company will use this strategic investment to expand its services to support LGBTQ+ people looking to start and grow their families.

Ivorian FinTech Djamo nets $14m

Ivorian FinTech startup Djamo has scored $14m in a funding round headed by Enza Capital, Partech Africa and Oikocredit.

According to Techpoint Africa, Djamo – which was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 batch – provides financial services for users in Francophone Africa.

In Ivory Coast, where the firm was founded, only about 19% of citizens in the country have a bank account. On the other hand, mobile money services are prevalent – 83% of Ivorians use mobile money services. Djamo claims it provides a platform for users to send money between mobile money wallets and banks.

Djamo also helps them receive salaries digitally and provides a Visa-powered debit card that users can use when paying for services online. Customers can create virtual accounts for peer-to-peer transactions or use the startup’s savings feature.

Kristal.AI secures $10m to redefine private banking

Kristal.AI, a wealth management platform, has raised over $10m for its pre-series B funding round on its mission to redefine private banking.

Kristal.AI set out to redefine private banking, by making it more accessible, transparent and personalised.

Operational in Singapore, Hong Kong and India, the company is using artificial intelligence to create investment strategies and is targeting wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

Its platform provides investors and advisors with sophisticated curated portfolios (branded as Kristals) created by financial experts on the platform. Each Kristal is based on a theme and is comprised of a wide variety of exchange-traded assets including stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures, currencies and alternatives.

UAE’s expense management startup Qashio nets $10m

Qashio, a UAE-based expense management platform, has collected $10m in its seed funding round to support its growth into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

With the funds, the company hopes to hire more staff and bolster its growth across the GCC region. It will also accelerate its product roadmap.

Founded in 2021, Qashio claims to be the first FinTech in the UAE to issue employee corporate cards programmatically. The spend management platform empowers business owners and finance leaders to gain full visibility and control of all expenses.

A dashboard has real-time tracking for every business expense and allows them to make informed cash flow decisions.

The platform enables finance and HR departments to improve reporting and get better visibility and control on cash flows.

Foresight Ventures unveils $10m incubator for Web3 startups

Foresight Ventures, a Singapore-based crypto fund, has introduced a $10m incubator program focused on supporting Web3 startups.

According to FinSMEs, Foresight Ventures is a crypto fund with $400 AUM that manages a VC fund, an actively-managed secondary fund, a multi-strategy FOF, and a private market secondary fund.

The incubator – Foresight X – is an open platform that will collaborate with various industry builders. It has also partnered up with early-stage investors and incubators like Hack VC.

Wiseday lands $5m in seed funding raise

Wiseday, a Canadian firm aiming to deliver the country’s first instant mortgage pre-approval process, has bagged $5m in a seed funding round.

Wiseday said that for decades, securing a pre-approval from an established bank or traditional lender has required piles of paperwork, numerous phone calls, and a wait time of up to seven days.

However, Wiseday enables homebuyers to receive a shoppable pre-approved mortgage letter — and begin their home search — within five minutes.

As part of the offering, the customer is asked a brief series of qualified questions, with identity and income instantly and securely verified. From here, credit health is automatically assessed, and a proprietary algorithm determines how much mortgage the customer qualifies for.

Crypto infrastructure firm Nucleo secures $4m seed

Nucleo, a private, non-custodial, auditable multi-sig on Ethereum that provides the privacy infrastructure for crypto firms, has raised $4m in a seed round.

Leveraging advanced multi-signature and zero-knowledge cryptography, Nucleo provides the privacy infrastructure for any organization to take advantage of improved capital allocation, formation, and distributed ownership by going Web3-native.

By partnering with leading privacy networks like Aztec, Aleo, and Espresso Systems, Nucleo will encourage adoption of blockchain systems with privacy by offering non-custodial, programable, and auditability solutions.

According to Nucleo, the seed funding will enable the firm to further expand its team and support private multi-sig integration with existing organisation tools including Juicebox and Gnosis.

New capabilities Nucleo intends to develop with the proceeds include private DeFi for organizations, multi-chain privacy, and innovations needed across the entire tech stack to provide greater flexibility and expressivity for using private multi-sigs.

Holm Security snares $4m from funding raise

Sweden-based vulnerability management firm Holm Security has landed €4m from a recent funding round led by Subvenio Invest.

Founded in 2015, Holm Security claims it delivers unparalleled 360-degree coverage and comprehensive insight to enable users to detect vulnerabilities, assess risk, and prioritize remediation for every asset across an entire organization.

The firm – which has locations across seven geographies – provides a next-gen vulnerability management platform that covers three layers.

The company’s platform provides attack surface coverage, including vectors such as systems, infrastructure and cloud services, web applications, computers, OT/SCADA and IoT, but also users through automated phishing simulation and awareness training.

Popup snares $3.5m in pre-seed round

Popup, a provider of an end-to-end ecommerce platform for merchants, has scored $3.5m in a pre-seed investment round.

Founded in 2021, Delaware-based Popup claims it is the only no-code commerce platform that lets you visually control the customer journey.

Popup provides a customisable, no-code ecommerce platform that allows merchants to create, manage and host online stores and build customer journeys through a ‘drag and drop’ visual editor.

From checkout to landing pages, its end-to-end solution incorporates all parts of the customer journey in one package and natively integrates with popular external apps – essential for offering a personalised experience – with no coding needed.

Popup plans to use the funds to launch its platform, expand its multinational team and establish new partnerships.

InsurTech Surround bags $2.5m

Surround Insurance, an InsurTech passionate about changing the insurance experience for consumers in their 20s and 30s, has raised $2.5m in seed funding.

Surround said it addresses a $10bn opportunity for consumers getting started with insurance.

Surround has designed its experience around transition moments for customers like leaving the parental nest for college, establishing life in the city, or making a first-time car purchase.

Surround’s initial set of products are designed around emerging risks such as driving rented or shared cars and freelancing for extra income.

The company strives to help first-time insurance purchasers with in-the-moment advice and products built for an asset-lite lifestyle, thereby reinventing the traditional insurance experience. The company said its most popular product is the Drive-Rent bundle which includes portable auto insurance for non-car owners plus apartment insurance.

Surround said that funds from the round will be used to expand Surround’s product and distribution footprints.

Atoa closes $2.2m pre-seed

UK fintech Atoa Payments is the new startup looking to give small businesses a viable alternative to debit card payments. It has raised $2.2m for its pre-seed round.

Since it went live in June, Atoa Payments has experienced over 100% month-on-month growth in terms of Total Payment Volume (TPV) and number of merchant customers. Over time, the founders’ ambitions are to become a mainstream small business friendly payment method replacing payment cards.

As a result, Atoa is offering small businesses a way to accept payments at a fraction of the costs.

To use the services, a business simply downloads the Atoa app and connects their merchant bank account. Set up takes less than five minutes, after which, the merchant can accept payments via SMS, pay-by-link or by displaying a QR code on their Atoa App or physical QR stand by the till.

Rekt Studios pulls in $1.5m for its blockchain technology

Rekt Studios, a Dubai-based startup specialised in leveraging blockchain and emerging technologies has raised $1.5m in funding to bolster the development of the ‘Unseen’ ecosystem.

Unseen is a decentralised virtual ecosystem centred around gaming, entertainment, and the buying and selling of digital assets.

It is accessible directly through the ownership of any EVM-compatible Non-Fungible Token (NFT) in existence. The ecosystem is made for entertainment first, but provides “ample opportunities” for users to invest, create, sell, and buy digital assets and experiences.

Creators on the platform can make anything from games, experiences, and metaverse buildings to digital assets.

Unseen seeks to redefine the concept of “digital ownership” by providing source files for any digital asset to all corresponding creators and owners for them to interact with and utilize to the full extent of their imagination.

DEFYCA bags $1.3m

DEFYCA, a Luxembourg-based digital securities platform, has raised $1.3m in a seed funding round to build the next generation of decentralised capital markets.

DEFYCA aims to make private credit investment more accessible and more cost-effective.

The company has developed a blockchain protocol that enables digital and crypto investors to invest in traditional debt securities and loan portfolios via tokenised assets.

By bridging DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and TradFi (Traditional Finance), DEFYCA said it is “solving problems from two worlds.”

The company said the seed funding will be used to launch the protocol and take the product to market, taking advantage of the growing interest in digital securities and decentralised finance from the traditional finance industry.

Instant payments API developer Devengo bags €1.2m

Instant payments API developer Devengo has secured €1.2m for its seed funding round to help it grow its team.

With the funds, the instant payments API developer hopes to help more companies gain access to real-time payments. As part of this, it is hiring more staff, with openings in its marketing, compliance and development teams.

Based in Spain, Devengo has developed an instant payment API that allows clients to orchestrate mass payments on a scheduled and instant basis.

The company’s platform allows payroll companies to develop salary propositions and salary advances in real time. Insurers can accelerate claims payments and lenders can make quicker credit payments.

The company is currently in the process of getting a payment entity license from the Bank of Spain.

Claims Carbon bags €1.1m to help insurers reach net zero value chains

The round was led by Vaens, a Helsinki based investment firm with roots in the Basware success story, now focused on impact investing.

Several business angels also backed the round, including Fredrik Bergström, former CEO of the Swedish insurer Länsförsäkringar AB, and Patrik Backman, founder of MariaDB and OpenOcean.

Claims Carbon was founded in 2021 to help insurers reach net-zero in their entire value chain.

The Claims Carbon software calculates the size of the climate challenge and opportunity in the ecosystem of an insurance company. It also helps in target setting and follow up of emission reductions and provides key data for net-zero insurance product development.

According to Claims Carbon, the funds raised will enable it to develop an even stronger offering to existing clients as well as expansion to new products and geographies whilst growing the team.

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