It was a week of small deals in the FinTech sector, with just $341m raised across the 32 funding rounds to close.
This week’s capital pool was significantly down from last week, which pulled in nearly three-times as much ($920m).
The low funding volume is due to the lack of large deals, with the biggest of the week being the $54.6m raised by Italian illimity Bank. The company raised the capital from the European Investment Fund to bolster its capacity to aid businesses’ digital and green transition.
Italy’s FinTech sector has had a great 2023, so far. Recent research from FinTech Global found that the country is expected to defy global market trends and see its deal activity increase. There were 15 FinTech deals during Q1 2023, which represents a 15% increase on the same period in 2022. The PayTech sector proved to be the most popular, accounting for 27% of the deals.
However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows for Italy’s FinTech scene. Despite the increase in deals, the funding volume plummeted. A total of $22m was raised during the first three months of the year, which is a 90% drop YoY.
Going back to this week’s funding rounds, the ten biggest deals of the week secured a combined total of $247m. The US was responsible for half of these deals (Shift5, CloudZero, Paro, Blackbird.AI and Trust Lab). Like most weeks, the US was the most active for deal activity, accounting for 11 of the deals, which was slightly less than the 13 of last week.
The other countries rounding off the top ten deals were Germany (Thinksurance), Sweden (ClimateView), Spain (Bit2Me) and Brazil (Kanastra).
This week proved to be slow for the UK FinTech sector. While it typically follows behind the US, only two deals were closed this week (Apron and BoomFi).
Other countries to record two deals this week were France (DJUST and Filigran), Germany (Thinksurance and cleversoft), Indonesia (Finfra and LinkAja) and Canada (OneVest and QuickFacts).
Finally, the following countries each saw one FinTech company close a funding round this week. India (Revfin), Singapore (Poko), Australia (Reask), the Netherlands (Truvity), Brazil (Kanastra), Spain (Bit2Me), Sweden (ClimateView), UAE (nealthy), Chlie (Hackmetrix), Czechia (4Trans) and Italy (illimity Bank).
In terms of sectors, PayTech proved to be the most popular with five deals.
As digital payments continue to increase in usage following the shift from cash, PayTech companies have been raising a lot of capital. Research from FinTech Global found that the sector accounted for 9.7% of global FinTech deals during Q1 2023. This amounts to 132 deals. Spurred on by a colossal $6.5bn funding round by Stripe, the PayTech sector saw a total of $8.1bn raised during the first three months of the year, which was 37% of total global FinTech funding in Q1.
Last week’s leading sector was CyberTech, accounting for six deals, but only four CyberTech deals closed this week. The marketplace lending, RegTech and cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors also each recorded four deals. There were three deals within the WealthTech, InsurTech and Infrastructure & Enterprise Software sectors and two in ESG.
Here are this week’s 32 funding rounds
Italian FinTech, illimity Bank, secures €50m ($54.6m) from EIF for SMEs’ sustainable and digital transformation
Established Italian FinTech, illimity Bank, which focuses on providing innovative and sustainable solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), is celebrating a substantial financial boost.
The European Investment Fund (EIF), a part of the EIB Group, has furnished the bank with two guarantees totalling €50m, in a bid to augment finance availability for SMEs in Italy. These guarantees are backed by InvestEU, the long-term funding programme of the European Union.
Primarily, illimity Bank is a revolutionary FinTech that aims to provide seamless financial services to SMEs, with a particular emphasis on sustainability, innovation, and digitalisation. It dedicates its resources to enhancing SMEs’ access to necessary funding and supporting their journey towards the uptake of digital technologies. In addition, it champions environmentally friendly, green, and inclusive investments.
The fresh capital will serve to further bolster illimity Bank’s capacity to aid businesses’ digital and green transition. Half of the funding will be deployed towards the InvestEU Innovation and Digitalisation guarantee, thereby enabling illimity Bank to extend its support for innovation and digitalisation-driven enterprises. The other half will go towards the InvestEU Sustainability guarantee to expedite the green and sustainable transition of the economy.
With the infusion of this new investment, SMEs in Italy can look forward to enhanced opportunities to secure financing, expand their operations, invest in innovation, and create new jobs. This funding follows illimity Bank’s ongoing collaboration with EIF, which began in December 2021, highlighting the commitment of both parties to stimulate economic growth in Italy.
Shift5 nets $33m to aid onboard data in commercial and military fleet systems
Shift5, a company specialising in onboard data, has announced a $33m rise in its finances, bolstering its Series B round to an impressive $83m.
The fundraising initiative, headed by Moore Strategic Ventures, drew in a variety of industry heavyweights from the defence and commercial aerospace sectors. Participating in the round were Booz Allen Hamilton’s corporate venture capital arm, Booz Allen Ventures, JetBlue Ventures, and Teamworthy Ventures. This latest round of investment propels Shift5’s total venture funding to a grand total of $108m.
Delving into what Shift5 does, the company taps into the vast potential of onboard data from thousands of operational technology (OT) components in fleet assets. The unique Shift5 platform unlocks this data, providing valuable insight into onboard assets and improving the efficacy and safety of commercial operations, whilst also enhancing fleet readiness and survivability in Department of Defense (DoD) operations. Over the past year, Shift5’s platform has processed over 37 billion messages, identified more than 20 billion unique events, and flagged 1.8 million violations, proving its value.
This influx of $33m will be directed towards the enhancement of Shift5’s innovative onboard data platform. The funding will support the infrastructure required for the rapid expansion of Shift5’s commercial and federal businesses. Moreover, it will boost the company’s efforts in tackling the challenge of onboard observability.
In the past year, Shift5 has seen a significant upswing in business momentum. It has more than doubled its annual recurring revenue (ARR), customer base across the DoD and commercial aerospace and rail sectors, and the rate of its platform deployments on commercial and DoD vehicles and weapon systems, marking a whopping 1,275% growth.
CloudZero nabs $32m investment in new era for cloud cost management
CloudZero, a start-up specialising in cloud cost management, has announced a significant influx of capital.
The Boston-based company, established almost a decade ago, offers a unique platform designed to equip engineering teams with crucial cost data, thereby streamlining decision-making and enhancing cloud efficiency.
The firm recently secured a hefty $32m in a Series B funding round, led by key investors Innovius Capital and Threshold Ventures. This latest round propels the company’s total funding to a staggering $52m, marking a significant milestone in CloudZero’s trajectory.
CloudZero aims to revolutionise how businesses manage and minimise their cloud costs. Through its innovative platform, the company provides engineering teams with cost data on a unified dashboard. The data is layered atop cloud billing information, offering in-depth answers to cost-related queries concerning individual products or features. By integrating business- and system-level telemetry with hourly cloud spend data, the platform can effectively alert engineers to “abnormal” spend events flagged by its AI algorithm.
This fresh investment is set to bolster the expansion of CloudZero’s platform and expedite its go-to-market efforts. CEO Phil Pergola stated that the focus will be on enhancing savings insights and self-service analytics.
FinTech Paro secures $25m in Series C funding round
Paro, a disruptive force in the world of on-demand finance and accounting services, has successfully secured $25m in Series C funding.
Paro operates as a dynamic platform that delivers quality finance and accounting solutions to businesses by combining expert fractional talent with data-driven tools and guiding insights.
The latest round was led by Top Tier Capital Partners and witnessed the participation of existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Revolution Ventures, and Sierra Ventures. This brings Paro’s total funding to date to an impressive $67m.
Through its proprietary AI-powered marketplace, Paro is redefining how companies access finance and accounting expertise. By proactively matching experts with the most appropriate job opportunities, it ensures a reliable and trusted experience for all involved. Paro also offers a variety of tools and insights that its network of finance professionals need, including marketing, business development, and back-office support.
This enables these interim CFOs, controllers, accountants, analysts, bookkeepers, and more, to work on their own terms and find the best-fit opportunities, breaking free from the traditional hiring norms.
This fresh capital injection will be used by Paro to accelerate business with existing clients and to extend its successful platform to more enterprises seeking strategic finance and accounting services. There’s also an emphasis on scaling up product innovation, which includes enhancements to its AI-powered suite of tools that help experts optimize their earnings and business outcomes.
Frankfurt-based InsurTech Thinksurance rakes in €22m ($24m)
Thinksurance, an InsurTech firm specialising in digital insurance consultations, has successfully raised a hefty €22m in its latest funding round.
Known for its pioneering contribution to the industry, Thinksurance continues to facilitate a new wave of digitalisation in commercial insurance.
The generous capital injection comes from both new and existing investors, solidifying Thinksurance’s market standing. International InsurTech specialists Viewpoint Ventures and M-Tech Capital spearheaded the funding round. Also joining the investment were venture capital fund Segenia Capital and existing shareholders Eight Roads Ventures and Columbia Lake Partners.
Thinksurance offers a unique platform that significantly transforms the consultation and distribution of commercial insurance. It provides a boon to brokers, agents, direct sales, and other distribution channels by allowing them to capitalise on its innovative solutions.
The newly raised funds will bolster Thinksurance’s plans to expand the breadth and scope of their platform. In essence, they aim to extend their offering to cover more aspects of commercial insurance consultations and distribution.
Florian Brokamp, CEO and co-founder of Thinksurance said, “We’re delighted to have established Thinksurance as the partner of choice supporting distributors and insurers far and wide in digitalising their distribution processes. With this funding, we plan to continue to broaden the scope of our offering and value add to our partners.”
Founded in 2015, Thinksurance has carved a name for itself by enabling insurance distributors to completely digitalise consultations and policy processes. This capability permits them to provide tailored insurance solutions to clients with remarkable speed and accuracy. With Thinksurance’s platform, insurers can realise substantial efficiency gains across their tied, broker, and direct sales channels.
In its growth journey, Thinksurance has partnered with most of the leading European insurance players, such as Allianz, Axa, and Zurich. It also boasts an impressive roster of over 50,000 individual brokers and agents who have consulted more than 1.5 million customers using the company’s platform.
Blackbird.AI scoops $20m for narrative risk intelligence in Series B raise
Blackbird.AI, a firm that stands out as a key player in the AI-driven narrative and risk intelligence space, has netted a $20m Series B funding round.
The company stands as a frontrunner in the field of AI-driven narrative and risk intelligence, providing cutting-edge solutions to a range of industries.
The latest funding round was led by cybersecurity investor Ten Eleven Ventures. The round also witnessed active participation from existing investors such as Dorilton Capital, Generation Ventures, StartFast Ventures and Trousdale Ventures. Further investors included Paul Kurtz, who serves as the chief cybersecurity advisor to Splunk, and Richard Clarke, the first “cyber czar” for the U.S. Government. This recent funding effort elevates the total amount raised by the firm to a considerable $32m.
Operating since 2019, Blackbird.AI is committed to unravelling the manipulation of digital narratives and tracking the consequences such efforts could cause. Their groundbreaking platform enables security and communications teams to identify information threats which could turn into physical and cyber threats, financial losses, or even catastrophic events for businesses.
With these fresh funds, Blackbird.AI has plans to scale up its sales and marketing efforts. The aim is to bring their innovative solutions to a broader customer base, accelerate awareness in key sectors, and enhance innovation within their Constellation Platform and the newly launched RAV3N Co-Pilot, a state-of-the-art Generative AI reporting module. The company is also looking to expand its ecosystem through the Blackbird Global Alliance Program.
While other technologies have struggled to identify and neutralise harmful online content, Blackbird.AI’s Constellation Platform can detect narratives and their associated risks in over 25 languages. It analyses text, images, and memes across the dark web, social platforms, news outlets, and more, offering rapid access to AI-powered insights and allowing organisations to react faster to an array of threats.
Swedish FinTech ClimateView nets €14m ($15.3m) to propel climate finance revolution
ClimateView, a Swedish technology start-up that’s focusing on climate action, recently procured €14m in a new funding round. The company’s flagship solution, ClimateOS, aims to enable cities to efficiently finance their climate-related initiatives.
The funding round was led by the French firm 2050, and saw participation from 115K (the VC fund of La Banque Postale), Sandwater, Polar Structure, and previous investors including CommerzVentures, NordicNinja, SEB Greentech VC, and Norrsken VC.
ClimateView’s platform, ClimateOS, is presently adopted by over 30 cities worldwide, including Madrid, Dortmund, Cincinnati, and Nottingham. This sophisticated solution collects all emission-related data from cities onto a single platform, thereby facilitating the green transition through improved financial reporting and better public outreach.
The latest investment is intended to support ClimateView in developing its climate finance platform further. The ultimate goal is to assist cities in their climate investment planning requirements, under the EU’s progressive programme ‘100 Climate-neutral and Smart Cities.’
A daunting €4.1trn climate finance gap currently hinders the global transition to greener practices, particularly in cities which account for a staggering 70% of all emissions, yet only access 10% of required resources. ClimateView’s technology is expected to play a crucial role in bridging this enormous gap.
Spanish digital asset firm Bit2Me clinches €14m ($15.3m) funding
Bit2Me, the leading Spanish digital asset company registered with the Bank of Spain, recently announced a closing investment of €14 million.
This round of investment was led by global alternative investment leader Investcorp and saw significant contributions from Telefónica Ventures, Stratminds VC, Cardano, and YGG fund.
The funding round brings in €14m from various leading investors. Investcorp, with over $50bn in assets under management, led the round, with Telefónica Ventures, Stratminds VC, Cardano through Adaverse, and YGG fund, with its CEO Gabby Dizon, also making significant contributions.
The investments mark an important move for investors in a ‘crypto winter’ phase, where investors lean towards mature, stable companies holding strong market positions.
Bit2Me provides a comprehensive platform for trading and managing digital assets, ensuring the highest standards of quality and security. The company was recently awarded the 2022 Expansión Compliance Award, signifying their compliance with the ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Certification and agreements with Ledger Enterprise and Prosegur Crypto.
Bit2Me plans to utilise the newly acquired funds to drive their mission: the global adoption of cryptocurrencies. The investment will help them to consolidate their position as Spain’s leading digital asset exchange and speed up their expansion into Latin America. This move aims to increase their customer base and solidify their role as a key player in the international Web3 sector.
Additional information revealed that Telefónica Ventures converted their previous investment announced last year to partake in this round. The company had received backing from Inveready, the top-return fund in Spain with €1bn in assets under management.
Making the Internet safer: Trust Lab harnesses $15m
Palo Alto-based company, Trust Lab, with a focus on transforming online safety measures for businesses and public entities, has recently closed a $15m Series A funding round.
The company specialises in detecting and monitoring harmful digital content using cutting-edge AI-powered tools.
The successful fundraising was spearheaded by leading firms U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) and Foundation Capital. Trust Lab, renowned for its technologically advanced Internet safety measures, is primarily tasked with keeping the digital realm safer for users by tracking and measuring harmful content. Their impressive client portfolio includes the European Commission, the European Union, In-Q-Tel, and numerous high-profile social media companies and marketplaces.
Trust Lab holds the distinctive position of being the first company to offer a comprehensive solution to online safety that amalgamates monitoring, compliance, and enforcement of harmful and illegal content on a large scale. Its state-of-the-art technology, robust policies, and strategic partnerships have been developed by industry experts from Google, YouTube, Reddit, and TikTok.
This recent influx of $15m will be leveraged to augment Trust Lab’s mission of countering the growing tide of harmful content and actors on the Internet. The objective is to equip organisations with the advanced and flexible tools they require for enforcing compliance on content that potentially harms users, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
In addition to these strides in safety tech, Trust Lab also collaborates with both the U.S. government and the European Union to protect online free speech while mitigating the spread of harmful content. The majority of leading social media companies, content hosting services, messaging firms, and marketplaces utilise Trust Lab’s innovative tools and services.
Capital markets infrastructure firm Kanastra bags $13m in seed raise
Kanastra, a FinTech company in Brazil’s capital markets infrastructure landscape, recently announced a significant financial milestone.
The innovative firm has successfully raised a robust $13m in a seed round investment. This funding represents one of the most considerable seed-stage investments seen in Latin America. A coalition of influential investors led the charge, with Valor Capital and Quona Capital at the forefront.
Other notable contributors included QED Investors, Actyus, Collaborative, Crestone, Grão, Endeavor, Clocktower, Latitud, and Norte. A number of Latin American company founders also joined the round, including those from Creditas, OpenCo, CERC, Guiabolso, Conta Simples, and Hasdex.
Offering a revolutionary tech-driven solution, Kanastra has been redefining the capital markets infrastructure scene since its foundation in 2022. The firm brings to market a streamlined and fully integrated platform that simplifies debt facilities for both originators and investors.
The Kanastra platform handles a broad spectrum of services from fund administration to debt issuance, freeing up clients from spreadsheet management, complex documents, and legacy systems. The automation and modern integrations provided by Kanastra offers data availability and a plethora of features that enhance the lending experience.
The newly procured funding will bolster Kanastra’s mission. The firm aims to further streamline the journey for originators and institutional investors by consolidating the required services for operating private credit funds and securitisations on a single tech platform.
OneVest secures CAD17m ($12m) Series A funding to revolutionise WealthTech
OneVest, a WealthTech firm aiming to significantly upgrade wealth management experiences for both financial institutions and their clients, has just announced a noteworthy CAD$17m in Series A funding.
The round was spearheaded by OMERS Ventures and received contributions from several existing investors such as Luge Capital, Panache Ventures, AAF Management, FJ Labs, and newcomers like Fin Capital, Pivot Investment Partners, and Deloitte Ventures.
The substantial funding is set to fuel OneVest’s ambitious expansion plans. Founded in 2021 by Amar Ahluwalia, Jakob Pizzera, and Nathan Di Lucca, OneVest operates a unique platform which provides a modular and adaptable infrastructure solution.
Through the expansion of their Wealth-as-a-Service platform, financial institutions are given the power to integrate and customise various components of a wealth management offering. This flexibility, tailored to their individual customer needs and requirements, can facilitate automation and streamline administrative functions, a vast improvement from their current reliance on manual processes.
The company has plans to utilise this fresh capital injection to accelerate their growth, broaden their US market reach, and address other general corporate purposes. This strategic move comes at a time when financial institutions are grappling with tightening margins, shifting consumer expectations, and rising administrative burdens due to outmoded technology constraints.
DJUST lands $12m for its B2B eCommerce platform
DJUST, the a B2B eCommerce Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, has successfully raised €12m in a Series A growth funding round.
The brainchild of Arnaud Rihiant, a founding member of Mirakl, DJUST is positioned to expedite its market expansion following this latest investment.
Led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), with additional support from Elaia Partners, the funding round has offered a considerable financial boost to the Paris-based B2B commerce platform. Established in 2020, DJUST has forged a name for itself by enabling professional buyers and sellers to experience frictionless buying, amplify productivity, and hasten growth.
Unlike larger B2C-oriented platforms such as Adobe Commerce, Salesforce Commerce and Shopify, DJUST’s offering is uniquely tailored to meet the demands of the B2B sector. Catering to distributors, franchisers, wholesalers, and manufacturers, it supports a range of B2B scenarios like online catalogues, B2B eCommerce, eProcurement, and Marketplace connectors.
The funding is earmarked for business expansion into new markets across Europe, the UK, and the US. Besides geographic expansion, DJUST also plans to invest more assertively in developing solutions for its core product. Furthermore, the company is looking to double its employee count, having already grown from 20 to over 40 employees in the past year.
DJUST’s success isn’t just limited to the latest funding round. Over the last year, the company has more than doubled its annual recurring revenue through over 15 new deals with leading distributors and manufacturers across Europe. It helps these businesses transition from offline to online rapidly and consolidates all their existing systems into one central platform of truth.
Silent Push nets $10m seed round for its innovative cyber threat detection platform
Silent Push, a detection-focused threat intelligence firm, has emerged on the market with an impressive total of $10m in seed funding.
This significant financial backing has been spearheaded by Ten Eleven Ventures, a global investor known for specialising in the cybersecurity sector. This seed funding round amasses a total of $10m, providing Silent Push with a solid foundation to make its mark in the industry.
Silent Push offers an innovative approach to identifying cyber threats. Its unique methodology involves comprehensive scrutiny of internet-facing infrastructure around the world, combined with deep analysis to reveal fresh attacker infrastructure and campaigns. This enables customers to preemptively comprehend emerging threats and proactively address them.
Silent Push plans to utilise this funding to enhance its threat intelligence capabilities. The focus is on understanding attacker tactics prior to an attack, providing an in-depth analysis of the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) utilised by threat actors. With this information at their disposal, organisations can gain insight into potential targets and attackers’ capabilities, positioning Silent Push as a vital radar in detecting threats.
Silent Push’s services can be used independently or integrated into commonly used security tools such as SIEM via an API. The company’s unique selling point lies in its ability to determine what attackers are doing in preparation for an attack or campaign. This was demonstrated recently when attackers were observed using legitimate websites to redirect to threat actor-controlled ‘cushion servers’, leading to phishing URLs with fake Microsoft logins.
Majority bags $9.75m for migrant banking expansion at US-Mexico border
Majority, the American mobile banking service for migrants, has made strides in expanding its operations along the US-Mexico border.
The company has accomplished this by raising an impressive $9.75m to establish a physical meetup space in the border state of Texas.
This capital injection was led by Valar Ventures and Heartcore Capital. This funding bolsters the finances secured in the Series B round in September, elevating Majority’s total funding to a commendable $86m.
Majority, founded in 2019, primarily provides financial services to the immigrant community. The services are available on a mobile platform, simplifying banking operations for migrants. Initially, the firm started in Texas and Florida, focusing on the Nigerian and Cuban communities. The firm has since broadened its offering, extending its services to residents across all US states. It has developed additional financial products tailored for Mexicans, Cameroonians, Colombians, Ethiopians, Ghanaians, and Kenyans.
The funds from the latest round will be used to extend Majority’s presence along the US-Mexico border. The new meetup space in Laredo, a significant point of entry from Mexico, will facilitate connections among migrants. It will also provide access to social and financial resources and advice, supporting immigrants to start anew socially, financially, and professionally.
Moreover, Majority has developed a comprehensive monthly membership plan for its users. The package includes a bank account and debit card, community discounts, complimentary international money transfers, and reduced international calling rates. The firm has even taken steps to simplify the registration process.
Truvity bags €8m ($8.7m) investment to push self-sovereign identity into mainstream
Truvity, renowned for its mission to instil instant trust and simplify inter-business collaboration, has made its initial public funding revelation.
The startup has announced a total funding amounting to €8m and has publicly emerged from stealth mode. Alongside this, Truvity has launched its first product— a platform equipped with SDK and API designed for application developers keen on incorporating Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) technologies.
The raised investment of €8m was utilised to develop Truvity’s Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) toolkit. The toolkit empowers businesses and individuals to create their own digital identity ecosystems in a secure and straightforward manner. This initiative includes immediate identification and verification adhering to SSI principles. Consequently, companies and individuals gain complete control over their data through their digital wallets and reusable verified credentials.
Truvity’s platform is developed to augment transparency, security, and agility across a broad range of industries. It aims to rectify the fundamental problem plaguing various sectors: inefficient identification methods and document storage. For instance, the traditional finance and DeFi sectors suffer from extensive “Know Your Business / Know Your Customer” processes, which are cumbersome for both customers and service providers. Truvity’s platform mitigates this issue, replacing time-consuming manual processes with efficient solutions, reducing compliance costs.
Addressing the growing need for digital identity solutions, Truvity’s SDK and API allow the swift development of digital wallets, verifiable credential orchestration, and public key infrastructure. The platform is also sufficiently flexible to cater to all types of SSI-based applications, even complex B2B processes. The aim is to expedite the transition away from outdated methods of managing digital identities.
Blockchain protocol firm Connext raises $7.5m, reaches $250m valuation
Blockchain protocol firm, Connext Labs, known for its pioneering work in Web3 interoperability, has successfully raised $7.5m in a strategic funding round. This brings the company’s overall valuation to a whopping $250m, reinforcing its position in the FinTech industry.
Connext secured the investment from a broad range of investors, including Polychain Capital, NGC Ventures, Polygon Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, KXVC, a_capital, No Limit Holdings, Factor, and Dokia Capital. Additional investors include notable firms such as Coinbase Ventures, Ethereal Ventures, 1k(x), #Hashed, and Scalar Capital.
As the “HTTP of Web3”, Connext is revolutionising the blockchain landscape. It enables developers to create interchain applications accessible from any network, interacting with funds and data across all blockchains simultaneously. The technology functions as a communication layer atop existing infrastructure, ensuring optimal security for users across various chains.
This fresh injection of funds is earmarked to facilitate the setup and operation of the Connext Foundation, aimed at fostering long-term growth and development of the Connext ecosystem. The Foundation will play a key role in steering the development of the protocol and channel funds towards community-led initiatives and development grants.
Connext’s journey has seen impressive milestones, with over 1.2 million crosschain transactions conducted via its network. The recent launch of its V2 in February 2023 led to rapid growth, drawing over 20,000 new users within a month and attracting 35 companies to build on its protocol, including big names like Metamask, Planet IX, and DODO.
Connext founder Arjun Bhuptani shed light on the firm’s vision, stating, “In 2020, we realised that the future of web3 was going to look a lot like the internet does today: thousands of independent blockchain networks communicating with one another to create a single interconnected experience. We pivoted our focus towards building this future as a public good. Today, Connext enables a new era of decentralised applications that, similar to applications on the web, can interact with users, data, and funds on many blockchains all at once.”
Since its inception in 2017, Connext Labs has a trailblazing record in the blockchain sector. Notable achievements include building the first payment-focused Layer-2 scalability system on Ethereum in 2018, and contributing to the creation of MolochDAO, one of the first widely used DAO frameworks, in 2019.
Climate risk startup Reask raises $6.55m to refine AI-driven weather modelling
Reask, an innovative company leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret and predict extreme global weather conditions, announced a successful investment funding total of $6.55m.
The latest seed round, co-led by Mastry Ventures and Collaborative Fund and worth $4.6m, included contributions from Macdoch Ventures and pre-existing pre-seed investor Tencent. Other pre-seed investors participating were SV Angel and Hawktail.
Reask is at the forefront of delivering high-resolution weather risk analytics and forecasting to ascertain the severity and frequency of extreme weather events worldwide. By harnessing AI across multiple climate data sources, the company develops proprietary weather modelling algorithms that learn climate physics. This results in dynamic, forward-looking depictions of atmospheric risk, proving invaluable to insurers and asset managers, who often grapple with less reliable and inadequate methods based on static historical statistics.
This latest injection of funds will be used by Reask to increase hazard coverage and expand its international team, in a bid to better service customers in growing markets. A key focus for Reask’s technology is tropical cyclones, which have caused over $1tn in global economic damage in the past decade, with less than half of this figure being insured. The damaging impact of such cyclones is expected to intensify with climate change, signalling a pressing and escalating risk to organisations worldwide.
Apron’s $5.5m financial boost: Revolutionising the way small businesses handle payments
Apron, a transformative payment platform targeting small businesses, is primed to revolutionise business payments. Focused on resolving the time-consuming and complex supplier payment process, the platform offers an efficient and innovative solution.
Apron recently announced that it has successfully raised $5.5m in venture funding. The lead investor in the funding round was Bessemer Venture Partners, with contributions from Visionaries Club and the founders of Melio and Klarna.
Firmly dedicated to redefining business payments, Apron is designed to drastically simplify and speed up invoice management. By offering tools to handle invoices, batch pay suppliers, smooth out approvals and automatically reconcile, the platform enables businesses to focus on their core operations rather than administrative tasks.
Notably, the platform integrates seamlessly with existing workflows and accounting software, eliminating the need for additional reconciliation.
Apron plans to use the newly acquired funding to expand its team, product and market reach. The platform aims to double down on growth and product innovation, focusing on securing its position as a leader in the UK before launching into other parts of Europe.
Apron’s long-term vision includes transforming into an end-to-end accounts payable solution, enhancing every aspect of small business spending, from bill payments to payroll and employee expenses.
Despite being UK-based, Apron covers over 150 countries and 30 currencies, offering a truly global payment solution for small businesses. It employs the mid-market exchange rate to ensure fair transactions and is committed to a transparent fee structure without hidden charges.
Filigran bags €5m ($5m) for expansion of open-source threat management suite
Filigran, a trailblazer in the European cybersecurity arena with its base in France, is on a growth trajectory after securing a €5m investment.
The funding influx was spearheaded by UK-based venture capital firm Moonfire, known for its recent $115m fund closure and past investments in Claimer and GOALS. Other significant contributors included global venture capitalists, family offices, and angel investors like Motier Ventures, Kima Ventures, Raise Sherpas, and Zebox Ventures.
Founded by industry experts Samuel Hassine and Julien Richard, Filigran is driving a new era in CyberTech with its extended Threat Management (XTM) portfolio. This includes cyber threat intelligence, adversary simulation, and crisis management solutions. The company is also currently developing two state-of-the-art products – OpenCTI, an eXtended Threat Knowledge Platform, and OpenEx, an eXtended Threat Simulation Platform.
Filigran intends to utilise the fresh funds to spur product development and fuel international expansion. It aims to undertake an 18-month business acceleration plan with a concentrated focus on engineering, customer success, and commercial growth across Europe and North America. The funding will also be instrumental in bolstering its business model, offering support and consultancy to on-premises users of its eXtended Threat Management suite, and enhancing its subscription-based multi-cloud SaaS offering.
Digital lending FinTech Revfin obtains $5m
Revfin, a FinTech platform specialising in digital lending for electric vehicle (EV) financing, has raised substantial investment in its latest funding round.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has injected $5m into the innovative platform, according to a report from Incuebees. The investment intends to support the adoption of EVs in India and forms part of DFC’s Portfolio for Impact and Innovation.
Revfin, founded by Sameer Aggarwal, operates in the EV industry, offering potential buyers of various EV models, including e2W, e3W, L5, and small fleets, a broad range of financing options. The platform verifies borrowers’ identities before promptly disbursing loans digitally, maintaining a low-level Non-Performing Asset (NPA) rate of less than 2%.
The new funding will be utilised to launch fresh products and branch out into new regions. Revfin’s mission is to provide flexible financing options that cater to the evolving needs of EV consumers.
Revfin operates its own Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), offering two distinct loan options to users. These include a standard personal loan repaid in equal monthly instalments, and an unsecured credit limit that can be accessed as needed.
Poko’s triumph: Web3 platform garners $4.5m in seed funding
Poko, the Singaporean Web3 startup backed by the globally renowned accelerator Y Combinator, announced a successful seed funding round on Thursday.
The company has carved a niche for itself in the ever-expanding realm of Web3 technology, fostering seamless asset transfers between traditional payment rails and Web3 infrastructure.
The startup managed to raise an impressive $4.5m from a host of prominent investors across its target markets, according to a report from Technode Global. The funding round was steered by Y Combinator and received significant backing from others, including NAZCA, Global Founders Capital, Orange DAO, SOMA Capital, and Goodwater Capital.
Poko operates by enabling businesses in the Web3 space to bridge the gap between conventional payment methods and the cutting-edge Web3 infrastructure. The firm’s unique software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) are instrumental in this task, ensuring smooth asset transfers and incorporating global card payments and popular local payment methods.
This latest fundraise is slated to fuel Poko’s innovation engine as it seeks to develop new products. This includes a USD yield-bearing SDK/protocol, which is currently in beta testing. Poko also has plans to roll out virtual card issuance on Visa/Mastercard rails from wallets and a cash savings product that lets users earn yield on stablecoins.
BoomFi breaks ground in crypto payment sector with lucrative $3.8m seed
Next-generation crypto payments company BoomFi has managed to pull in $3.8m in new seed funding to streamline payments involving crypto.
The fundraising was led by White Star Capital, demonstrating confidence in BoomFi’s promising future.
At its core, BoomFi is a crypto payment processor of the next generation, enabling businesses to readily accept cryptocurrencies across a vast array of blockchains and currencies. Businesses have access to a plethora of options, including one-time payments, recurring payments, and metered payments, in a compliant and safe environment. Their solution offers the capability to settle funds in the client’s preferred crypto wallet or bank account, seamlessly integrating fiat and crypto economies.
The freshly secured funding will drive BoomFi’s mission to redefine crypto and digital currency payments, primarily catering to web3. SaaS, eCommerce, creators, marketplaces and traditional web 2 merchants.
In the wake of a 47x increase in crypto adoption since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this move by BoomFi comes at a fitting time. In 2022 alone, stablecoin settlements rocketed to an impressive $7.2 trillion. Yet, despite the evident demand for crypto, a mere 4% of merchants are currently offering this option, highlighting a gap that BoomFi aims to bridge.
Notably, BoomFi’s seed round saw participation from several prominent venture capitalists, strategic investors, and industry figures. The funds will be primarily allocated to forge strategic partnerships, product development, and merchant base expansion in the burgeoning web3 sector.
Co-founded by Jack Tang, a seasoned tech entrepreneur, and Michael Si, a fintech product executive, BoomFi is on a mission to simplify crypto transactions. In the near future, the company aims to introduce crypto checkout plugins across major eCommerce, payment orchestration and billing management platforms, making crypto payments even more accessible and compliant for businesses.
Hackmetrix gathers $1.3m to bolster Latin America cybersecurity presence
The cybersecurity start-up Hackmetrix, which originates from Chile, has recently confirmed the conclusion of a bridge funding round.
The firm successfully raised $1.3m, tripling the valuation from its previous round, according to a report from Forbes.
The round was led by Daedalus, a Chilean fund established by Cristóbal Piñera, the son of former president Sebastián Piñera. Other notable contributors include Juan Turner, Dani Undurraga, the co-founder of Cornershop, as well as regional companies such as Matterscale Ventures and Bridge Latam.
Hackmetrix is a cybersecurity firm that provides tools for start-ups and small to medium-sized companies to supervise their systems, identify and rectify vulnerabilities, train their teams and prevent security breaches. The firm also helps in achieving international certifications like ISO 27001 and PCI DSS. Currently, Hackmetrix boasts a portfolio of over 100 clients, which includes high-profile firms like MercadoLibre, Butterfly, Talana, and Buk.
The new funding will be used to bolster Hackmetrix’s presence in Mexico and promote its growth in Colombia. These are markets where the company has managed to double its size in the past year. Furthermore, Hackmetrix intends to keep promoting cybersecurity education through initiatives such as the Hackers Academy, a programme aimed at students.
Blockchain firm nealthy secures $1.3m pre-seed and sets up base in Dubai
nealthy, a startup that seeks to democratise investment in Web3 technologies via indices, has made a strategic move to Dubai and bagged $1.3m.
The relocation comes shortly after the widely recognised project collected $1.3m in pre-seed funding to boost its team and speed up development.
The fundraising round saw a sum of $1.3m invested into nealthy to accelerate its growth. The names of the investors have not been disclosed at this stage.
nealthy is carving out a new path in the Web3 space by providing index tokens that mimic the structure of conventional exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In a bid to break down the barriers to digital asset investment, nealthy houses a variety of digital assets in on-chain vaults, constructs a diversified portfolio, and issues a corresponding token. Their initial offering is the $nNFTS token, which holds its true value by pegging to reputable blue-chip NFTs.
The funds from the recent pre-seed round are earmarked for growing nealthy’s core team and fostering rapid development of the platform. This would ultimately bring the company’s innovative investment solutions to a larger user base, expanding the accessibility of digital asset investment globally.
Additional information in the press release also highlighted that nealthy’s transition to Dubai aligns with their ambition to penetrate a crypto-friendly region known for progressive strategies. The startup believes that Dubai’s position as an innovation and investment hub will provide access to a wide pool of customers, investors, partners, and collaborators essential for scaling nealthy’s services.
Atlantic InsurTech startup QuickFacts secures $1.13m for Canadian expansion
Halifax-based startup QuickFacts, dedicated to improving the insurance industry with technological disruption, has confirmed the successful completion of a funding round securing $1.13m.
This InsurTech firm has built a strong reputation for aggregating insurance carrier underwriting information into a unified, searchable database for brokerages.
Exceeding their initial target of $500k, QuickFacts managed to raise a significant $1.13m. The round was spearheaded by Sandpiper Ventures, a venture capital firm with a focus on women-led, innovative technology businesses. Other participants in the round included Killick Capital, an investment firm based in St. John’s led by Mark Dobbin, Paul Hill, ex-CEO of Carta Worldwide, Neil Mitchell, former managing director at Marsh Canada, and a group from both Women’s Equity Lab Toronto and Vancouver.
QuickFacts’ innovative approach centres on compiling insurance carrier underwriting information for brokerages into a single searchable database. It enables brokerages to compare carrier information effectively. By using QuickFacts, a standard brokerage with 25 users can save an average of $140,000 a year in productivity, equivalent to two full-time brokers. Currently, the company’s software is being utilised by over 30 brokerages and 800 active brokers.
The recently secured funds will be instrumental in fuelling QuickFacts’ ambitious expansion plans across Canada. The company is also looking forward to launching its highly anticipated workflow software, focusing specifically on insurance brokerage operations. The funds will also help QuickFacts extend its services to the remaining provinces, provide its insurance-specific workflows this Summer, compile user data into meaningful insights and reports, and begin venturing into the commercial market by Fall 2023.
Indonesian FinTech pioneer Finfra attracts $1m investment round
Finfra, a platform for businesses seeking to launch white-labelled lending services in Indonesia, has disclosed a successful funding round.
The company has secured an impressive $1m investment, further solidifying its footprint in the dynamic financial market of Southeast Asia.
The capital injection was an outcome of a concerted effort from multiple investors including DSX Ventures and Seedstars International Ventures. Additionally, regional FinTech authorities Cento Ventures and Fintech Nation, Baltic-based startup incubators FirstPick and BADideas Fund, and Silicon Valley’s Hustle Fund also contributed to the funding round.
At its core, Finfra empowers underbanked businesses and digital platforms to seamlessly integrate financial products and services, especially credit lending, into their own operational channels. The company utilises a comprehensive top-to-bottom strategy to ensure full regulatory compliance, whilst providing an all-encompassing loan management system, portfolio analytics, scoring, and access to debt capital.
With the newly raised funds, Finfra is eager to fast-track its product development process and expand its teams focusing on engineering, data, and finance. The company is poised to bolster its revenue and cement its position as a market leader within the Southeast Asian embedded lending sector.
Indonesia has experienced a digital transformation over the past decade, largely stimulated by substantial venture capital investment in e-commerce, logistics, and financial services. Nevertheless, despite the country’s growing internet economy, access to credit remains disproportionately low for both businesses and individuals. This is where Finfra steps in, providing sophisticated and business-friendly FinTech solutions that promote financial inclusion, especially in areas traditional banks may be reluctant to serve.
Supply chain FinTech 4Trans secures lucrative pre-Series A
4Trans, a firm focusing on crafting financial solutions for the supply chain and logistics industry, has recently secured a substantial pre-Series A investment.
The funding round was led by Zero Gravity Capital, though the exact figure remains undisclosed.
The capital influx will enable 4Trans to fortify its footprint in the Eastern European markets of Poland and Slovakia. Additionally, it will facilitate the company’s plans to expand its workforce and implement further technological enhancements to its innovative platform.
As a key player in the FinTech sector, 4Trans caters to small and medium-sized logistics companies, as well as independent hauliers. The firm offers an array of financial products enabling its clients to unlock trapped cash from outstanding invoices. This unique feature empowers these businesses to deploy their funds more effectively, thus augmenting their operational capabilities and fuelling growth initiatives. Furthermore, the strategic partnership with Allianz Trade adds feather to their cap by facilitating the offering of insurance products to their clientele.
The fresh investment will fuel the company’s aspirations to reach even more logistics SMEs, helping them navigate cash flow challenges and capitalise on growth opportunities. So far, 4Trans has financed an impressive 90,000 invoices, accumulating to over €80m, signalling a robust 350% year-on-year growth rate.
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