B2B Fintech Radar: August 4, 2022

On the radar this week:

Video Q&A with with Maximilian Schausberger of Elevator Ventures

FinLync, a corporate finance and treasury provider, raised strategic investment from Workday.

Copper, a crypto custody solution for institutions, raised strategic funding from Barclays Bank.

Atato, a digital asset custodian, raised a $6 million Series A.

Quasar Finance, a decentralized finance protocol, raised $6 million.

Bunch, a German back-end private investing startup, raised €7.3 million in seed funding.

Genesis Global, a low-code application development platform for financial markets, raised $20 million from strategic investors Bank of America, BNY Mellon and Citi (following a $200 million Series C in February).

Video Q&A with with Maximilian Schausberger of Elevator Ventures 

Interviewed by FinTech Forum Co Founder Frank Schwab.

Elevator Ventures is the Corporate Venture Capital Entity of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). Its primary focus is on early stage and growth investments in fintechs and related enabling technologies in Central and Eastern Europe.

FinLync Announces Strategic Investment and Partnership with Workday Ventures for Next-Gen Payments Solution

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FinLync, a privately held, global fintech company transforming corporate finance and treasury offices by aggregating global banking APIs to deliver embedded real-time payments and cash management, today announced that it has received a strategic investment from Workday Ventures and joined the Workday Software Partner program. By integrating with Workday Financial Management, FinLync intends to power real-time payments, and multi-bank API connectivity to deliver a best-in-class experience to joint customers.

Under this partnership, FinLync seeks to power Workday Financial Management with 100+ pre-integrated bank API connections to banks around the world. FinLync intends to provide Workday Financial Management customers the ability to seamlessly initiate real-time payments while solving common treasury headaches through end-to-end payment traceability, simplified connectivity, and real-time cash visibility.

“We’re excited to have made a strategic investment in FinLync as we continue to identify new ways to deliver the best possible experience to our customers,” said Mark Peek, managing director and head of Workday Ventures. “Together, FinLync and Workday will deliver advancements that support real-time working capital and cost-savings, thereby reducing the time and effort for Workday Financial Management customers to integrate with banks.”

“Core to this partnership is the shared belief that corporates who move to a model of real-time working capital across their payments, cash and treasury functions will be the market winners, and those who do not will be left behind. We look forward to empowering forward-thinking finance leaders who are ready to embrace the new best practice in payments and treasury,” said Peter Klein, co-founder and CTO of FinLync. “Workday Ventures’ investment in FinLync is also a strong sign of support from an innovative market leader in the enterprise space, and we are honored to work closely with them as we transform the global financial economy together.”

Barclays takes stake in crypto firm Copper

UK bank Barclays has taken a punt on Copper in the crypto custody firm’s most recent funding round and has invested “millions of dollars” despite decreased enthusiasm for volatile digital assets, according to reports by Sky News.

Founded in 2018, Copper provides a gateway into the crypto asset space for institutional investors by offering custody, trading, and settlement solutions across 450 crypto-assets and more than 45 exchanges. The company’s flagship product is ClearLoop, a framework that connects the universe of exchanges in one secure trading loop — with real-time settlement across multiple networks.

Copper, which has links to former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond – a senior adviser and investor in the business – had been in discussions for nine months ahead of its $500 million Series C funding round and had sought a $3 billion valuation.

The company has also drawn investors from LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital and MMC Ventures, to name a few, according to Sky

However, the firm recently hit a roadblock over FCA policy that required digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration in order to continue trading after setting up in crypto haven Zug in Switzerland and its partnership with State Street.

In April 2022, Copper hired a team of executives from Bank of America to help build a prime brokerage offering.

Digital asset company Atato closes $6m Series A

Atato, a licensed digital asset custodian offering MPC custodial solution aimed at corporates and institutions, announced the close of their successful Series A round today, affirming bullish sentiment for infrastructure projects in blockchain-related markets.

“In bearish markets, crypto adoption scales through infrastructure development.”

Led by AlphaLab Capital and FEBE Ventures, Atato’s Series A round included top tier investors such as Tom Trowbridge, NGC Ventures, January Capital, Babel Finance and Atato’s seed investor SOSV.

“The fact that we’ve inspired investor confidence in the current market conditions is a clear endorsement of Atato’s long-term roadmap and vision,” said Guillaume Le Saint, Atato Founder & CEO. “Atato’s MPC institutional grade custodial product provides institutions and entities with an extremely cost-efficient solution with enterprise-grade security and regulatory compliance that supports digital assets as well as interact with Web3.0 and DeFi. Our product offerings are well-placed to deliver value to an underserved market segment that desires to explore decentralized finance using Atato’s special custodial solution.”

Atato’s fully regulated custodial solution goes beyond enabling institutions to securely manage their digital assets by combining enterprise-grade security with MPC technology and customizable roles and transaction policies. This reduces the traditional risk of private seed phrase/key management and addresses the risks of human failure or misconduct.

“We’re impressed by Atato’s user friendly onboarding and UI which also gives power users API access – a unique feature in the market” said Michal Krasnodebski, COO of AlphaLab Capital, “Bring Your Own Chain will also be transformative for institutional customers eager to engage with, and support new chains and projects.”

Quasar Finance Raises $6 Million in Funding Round Led by Polychain, Blockchain Capital

Quasar Finance, a Cosmos-based DeFi project, has raised $6 million from big-name blockchain VCs including Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Figment Capital, Lightshift Capital, and Galileo.

Quasar CEO and co-founder Valentin Pletnev aims to make digital assets “simple, accessible and secure, while utilizing the Cosmos platform’s Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol, a powerful technology that connects and enables value and data transfer across chains, natively.”

Pletnev explained that hacks and exploits litter the decentralized finance sector and the time is right for a project that provides a service that “just works.”

“Quasar uses the latest in IBC technology to offer the most advanced and accessible structured investment products in DeFi. This is why we are bringing Quasar Finance to market, and is the reason we’ve received support from some of web3’s biggest investors.”

Quasar allows the creation of vaults where investors can park their assets to receive yield. At the same time, strategists and liquidity providers to develop and launch their own vaults.

Building beyond beta, Berlin’s bunch bunches together €7.3 million

With investor interest in private markets exploding, how investments into private assets are made and managed hasn’t exactly kept pace. Berlin’s bunch has been build to change that.

Berlin-based “OS for private market investors”, bunch has raised €7.3 million in a seed round that will see the startup expand both its geographic markets and asset classes.

As we’ve seen over the later part of the pandemic, investor appetite for alternative assets has exploded. Particularly in the area of private markets. Toss the juggernaut rise of fintech services, and you’ve got a perfect storm brewing. I stay storm because although the interest and activities have skyrocketed, the area(s) of just how investments into private assets are made and managed hasn’t exactly kept pace.

Und so … bunch.

Frustrated in their positions working with names including finleap, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, bunch founders Enrico Ohnemüller and Levent Altunel set out to build a better mousetrap. 

Already in beta in Germany and the Netherlands, bunch’s MVP consists of a platform where investors are able to create, or bunch together, their own investment syndicates as well as keep tabs on just how much these alternative assets are gaining or losing.

Bank of America, BNY Mellon and Citi Make $20 Million Strategic Investment in Genesis Global

Leading financial institutions use low-code software development as an enabler of their IT strategies

MIAMI, July 27, 2022 – Genesis Global, the low-code application development platform purpose-built for financial markets organizations, today announced $20 million in new investments from Bank of America, BNY Mellon and Citi. These strategic investments follow the firm’s $200 million Series C funding announced in February. 

“This strategic support from Bank of America, BNY Mellon and Citi demonstrates their confidence in low-code as an accelerator for the next wave of IT innovation,” said Stephen Murphy, CEO of Genesis. “We are excited to be working with these partners on multiple innovative projects.”

“Our clients and environment demand more innovation and productivity in terms of IT output,” said David Trepanier, Head of Structured Products, Global Credit and Special Situations at Bank of America. “The low-code solution provided by Genesis accelerates the development process and allow us to more quickly build out and launch new trading protocols and processes.”

“Our investment in and collaboration with Genesis allows us to create applications and solutions faster to meet the increasing demands of our clients,” said Avi Shua, CIO, Head of Investment Management, Wealth Management and Pershing Technology at BNY Mellon. “The ability to develop, customize and integrate applications with speed is critical, and provides our developers a toolset to make robust and flexible platforms that can scale. We couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to work alongside Genesis in expanding the development of low code technology.”

“The Genesis platform is built for financial markets,” said Nikhil Joshi, North America Head of Markets Technology at Citi. “The platform eliminates repetitive, non-differentiating work core to many financial industry applications, freeing developers to focus on innovative work and making Technology departments more productive and more strategic.” Citi first invested in Genesis in late 2020.