European FinTech deal this week include Asset Class, Griffin, Oxbury Bank, Zilch, Cleo, YuLife, ArK Kapital, WeFox
We feature Q&As with Brian Nolan and Zbi Czapran of Finteum and Christian Knott, Capnamic Ventures
Check out the B2B FinTech Radar, our microsite focused on SaaS / Enterprise FinTech founders with global ambitions
7 Questions with Brian Nolan and Zbi Czapran of Finteum
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Hi, we are Brian from Ireland and Zbi from Poland, both living in London. Together we have worked for 20 years in banking and in building technology solutions for enterprise. Brian was a director for UBS in Treasury in Zürich and New York in liquidity management, and before that in Bank of Ireland. Zbi has built technology for enterprise and financial services companies, such as IHS Markit. Outside work, Brian likes to stay healthy and go running. Zbi used to have free time for travelling and trying out European beers, but now his home life takes up most of the free time.
7 Questions with Christian Knott, Capnamic Ventures
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Well, I am the typical business student, did my bachelor in Cologne, Master in Leipzig. Worked briefly for the European Commission but that was not my hometurf. Started working in Venture Capital in 2010 and am with Capnamic for 5.5 years now. Since 2018, I am partner.
In my private life I have a fiancée (wife at the end July), who I love to travel with. The more remote and beautiful the place the better.
Asset Class Secures $11.6M Series A Funding
Asset Class, a NY-based financial technology company, raised $11.6M in Series A funding.
The round was led by Canapi Ventures with participation from Live Oak Ventures, Plexus Capital and Total Technology Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its employee headcount, specifically in the areas of software and business development.
Led by CEO Ferdinand Roberts, Asset Class provides a range of innovative, custom investment management software solutions to clients across financial sectors, with a focus on private equity, venture capital, financial advisory and commercial lending. The company now services more than 300 funds, totaling $33 billion in assets under management, and a network of over 15,000 accredited investors.
Asset Class has offices in Dublin, New York, Atlanta and London.
Founded in 2018, Canapi incubates and invests in transformative financial services technology companies that deploy solutions on modern platforms in an increasingly open and interconnected world. Backed by the United States’ top regulatory experts and leading financial institutions, Canapi provides capital, customers, and guidance to founders building the digital financial services ecosystem of tomorrow.
Banking as a Service Provider Griffin Raises $15.5 Million
Griffin, a banking as a service (BaaS) provider, has raised an additional $15.5 million as it pursues its mission of becoming the “bank Fintechs can build on.” The Fintech has raised $27 million to date.
The funding round was led by Notion Capital, with participation from existing investor EQT Ventures as well as angel investors including William Hockey, co-founder of Plaid and founder and co-CEO of Column, Nilan Peiris, VP of Growth at Wise, Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis and Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie and ex CCO Worldpay.
Griffin said that it had added Stephen Chandler, Notion Capital co-founder and managing partner Stephen Chandler, to its board of directors.
Based in London, Griffin is rethinking the tech stack that powers financial services. Griffin aims to offer an “API first” banking platform. Griffin previously reported that it is seeking a banking license having filed with the PRA and FCA. Griffin has not indicated its anticipated date of approval or the status of the authorization process.
David Jarvis, Griffin CEO and co-founder, said they were thrilled to be working with Notion Capital and adding Chandler to the board.
Headquartered in London, Notion is a venture capital firm, investing in European SaaS and enterprise tech with more than 80 investments to date
Oxbury Bank lands £20m in additional funding
Oxbury Bank, a UK-based start-up bank focused on the agriculture sector, has raised £20 million in equity from new and existing investors.
The round featured participation from founder investors Frontier Agriculture and Hutchinsons Group as well as existing technology investors Hambro Perks and Grosvenor Food and AgTech.
It comes just three months after Oxbury Bank raised £31 million in a Series C round, while also acquiring its core software provider, Naqoda.
The new cash injection takes the firm’s total capital raised to £68 million.
The latest funds will be put towards the development of its Oxbury Earth core banking platform which, the bank says, will support funding British farmers.
In its first 15 months since launch, Oxbury claims it has “already disrupted the incumbent banks” with £500 million worth of lending completed or in progress. The bank says it is forecast to break even by the end of the year.
“For decades farmers have had a very limited choice between very similar incumbent banks, and we appreciate how many farmers now want to be part of Oxbury,” says James Farrar, co-founder and CEO of Oxbury.
“They are critical to food production and we support them at a very practical level with a team grounded in the sector.”
Oxbury’s fintech platform offers financing and data solutions to help farmers deliver “improved sustainability, provenance and productivity across the farming and food supply chain”.
Zilch Raises $50M; Brings Total Series C To $160M
Zilch, a London, UK-based credit payment innovator, secured an additional $50m in funding, taking the total raise for its Series C to $160m.
The extension brings total funding to more than $460m in debt and equity.
The company intends to use the funds for business growth, with a focus on the US market where Zilch recently opened its Miami office and launched with more than 150,000 pre-registered customers.
Co-Founded by Philip Belamant (CEO) and Sean O’Connor, Zilch is advancing products for customers to manage cash flow and to ensure consumer protection and financial health from the start. Utilizing Open Banking technology and so credit checks, the company uses its real-time view and understanding of customerʼs affordability to give accurate recommendations of what they can afford to borrow.
Zilchʼs direct-to-consumer proposition offers its customers unrestricted access to all 37m merchants that accept Mastercard, online or instore via Tap and Pay. It works with some of the most advanced fintech enablers including: Amazon Web Services, Cross River, Checkout.com, Cashflows, Experian, GPS, Monavate, Marqeta, Mastercard, Onfido, Provenir and Socure.
The company has over 250 employees based across its offices in London, Miami and Krakow.
Investors in Zilch include Ventura Capital, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Gauss Ventures, DMG Ventures, M&F Fund and Limited Ventures.
Cleo Raises USD80M in Series C Funding
Cleo, a London, UK-based digital assistant that supports people throughout their financial lives, from their first paycheque to their first home, raised USD80M in Series C funding.
The round was led by Sofina, with participation from EQT Ventures, Balderton and LocalGlobe.
The company intends to use the funds for continued US growth, including a significant increase in employee headcount from 140 to over 220 and continue iterating and improving on its product suite.
Founded in 2016 by Barnaby Hussey-Yeo, CEO, Cleo supports and empowers young people to form better money habits via a digital assistant. With a chat, Cleo can automate a money life and remove the stress of decision making with personal advice based on the user’s specific needs and financial history.
Sofina is a Belgium-based investment company listed on the Brussels stock exchange and a supportive partner of entrepreneurs and families managing growing companies. Sofina invests both directly and through Private Equity funds. Its geographical scope is Europe, the United States, and Asia
YuLife Raises $120M in Series C Funding
YuLife, a London, United Kingdom – based tech-driven insurance company, raised $120M (~£95M) in Series C funding.
The round, which brought total funding to $206M since the company was founded in 2016, was led by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company (TSE: 8750) with participation from some undisclosed existing investors.
The company will use the capital to broaden its reach into new global markets and scale its product range, delivering financial products that improve lives and reward wellbeing.
Led by Sammy Rubin, CEO and Founder, YuLife is a tech-driven insurance company harnessing technology and the latest behavioural science to provide an insurance model that focuses on risk prevention, not just claims compensation. The company rewards employees for healthy living, supporting mental, physical and financial wellbeing helping foster healthier, and more motivated teams.
YuLife now covers >500k policyholders across small to large businesses, with over $50bn (~£40bn) of cover in place.
ArK Kapital announces a US$152mn extension to lending pool
Swedish fintech ArK Kapital has announced an extension to its Lending pool following events taking place in the current economic climate.
The fintech, which was launched in 2021, enables startups to grow by providing frictionless long-term loads based on risk-assessed data. The financing company’s services allow founders to maintain control of their startup, while the loan conditions also reduce the risk for investors.
According to reports, the US$152mn extension to the lending pool has been introduced as a response to strong traction in the Nordic markets and will be used to help drive European expansions.
The $152mn extension also means ArK Kapital can offer over $300mn in loans to European technology founders. Data shows that the initial $168mn seed round was $152mn debt-based and $15m equity-based. The equity portion of the round was led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Creandum and angel investors including founders of iZettle, Supercell, King, and EQT Ventures. This extension comes as a response to strong traction in the Nordic markets and will be used to help fuel European expansion.
Founded in 1999 in London, LocalGlobe has seeded impactful founders at places like Citymapper, Improbable, Lovefilm, Moo, Wise and Zoopla.
Insurtech start-up Wefox raises $400m and hits $4.5bn valuation
While some European start-ups are struggling, Wefox’s valuation is on the rise and it plans to grow its headcount to 2,000 by the end of the year.
German insurtech Wefox has raised $400m in a Series D round of funding to help with product development and expansion across Europe.
The round comprised both equity and debt funding. Mubadala Investment Company led the equity raise, with participation from Eurazeo, LGT, Horizons Ventures, OMERS Ventures and Target Global.
The latest funding round values Wefox at $4.5bn, which is an increase from its $3bn valuation after raising $650m last year.
Wefox, which was founded in 2015, sells insurance, such as house and motor insurance, through intermediaries on its platform. Earlier this month, the company reached 2m customers and said it was one of the first insurtechs to hit this milestone.
The Berlin-based start-up plans to use the funding for product development and European expansion, with a goal to move into Asia and the US after.
Mubadala Investment Company — a sovereign investor — manages a diverse portfolio of assets and investments in the United Arab Emirates and abroad, to generate sustainable financial returns for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi.
Amundi Austria acquires fintech Finventum GmbH to utilise its Savity advisory platform
Amundi Austria has acquired fintech Finventum GmbH from Austrian retail banking company BAWAG P.S.K. and the company founders.
The acquisition aims to meet the growing need for digitalised financial services in Austria, especially for digital portfolio management.
Finventum owns Savity Vermögensverwaltung GmbH (Savity), an established, licensed and regulated Austrian advisory platform offering digital asset management services.
Expanding its technology solutions range with Savity will enable Amundi to better serve its partners, distributors and its retail clients in Austria, the asset management company says.
Guillaume Lesage, chief operating officer at Amundi, says: “At Amundi, our goal is to serve our distribution partners beyond the product offering to meet their customers’ growing need for investment advice and innovative, tailored and cost-effective technology solutions.
“Savity exactly meets these requirements and enhances the Amundi Technology footprint in the B2B segment. This powerful technology, combined with our expertise in robo-advising and the extensive portfolio management capabilities of Amundi, will drive further the development of Savity.”
Gabriele Tavazzani, CEO of Amundi Austria, comments: “This new offer will enhance our development as the credible leading European technology provider in the Austrian market. Thanks to the extensive capabilities of Amundi, we will be able not only to serve existing Savity direct clients, but also provide new digital tools and services to our partners.”
CoinShares Acquires Napoleon Asset Management
CoinShares International Limited (Nasdaq First North Growth Market: CS; US OTCQX: CNSRF), a European digital asset investment firm, acquired Napoleon Asset Management, one of the first ever digital asset managers, licensed under the AIFM Directive since March 2019.
The amount of the deal – signed and completed on 30 June 2022 – was not disclosed.
The acquisition of Napoleon Asset Management allows CoinShares to offer AIFM compliant products and services, in addition to its market leading position as an issuer of crypto Exchange Traded Products (ETPs).
The transaction follows the acquisition of the Napoleon Group last December and fits with CoinShares’ strategy of developing into a full-service digital asset investment and trading group, within a strong regulatory framework. On 30 November 2021, CoinShares entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire the entire Napoleon Group. The transaction was completed on Thursday, 16 December 2021. The Group SPA contained an option to acquire Napoleon Asset Management, the exercise of which was subject to prior approval of the change of control by the Autorité des Marchés Financier. That approval was received on 28 June 2022. CoinShares exercised its option to acquire Napoleon Asset Management and entered into a sale and purchase agreement pursuant to the terms set out in the Group SPA which signed and completed simultaneously on 30 June 2022.
CoinShares is an advocate of regulation in the digital asset industry and has an extensive list of regulated products and services. The Alternative Investment Fund Manager (“AIFM”) licence is one of the most rigorous European regulations for Asset Managers and is a key component in CoinShares’ ambition to become the leading investment group in the digital asset sector.
PLC swoops for FinTech Fluent
FinTech Fluent Money Group has been acquired in a £72.7 million deal.
London-listed Mortgage Advice Bureau, which is headquartered in Derby, has swooped for the fast-growing mortgage and specialist lending intermediary.
MAB now owns 75.4% of Fluent, based in Horwich, Greater Manchester.
Fluent has formed strong relationships with aggregators – such as MoneySuperMarket – and other national lead sources operating across first charge, second charge and lifetime mortgages, as well as bridging loans where people are, for example, building a property.
With a model built on an end-to-end digital customer journey, supported by telephony advice, its MyFluent customer portal – developed in partnership with Sputnik Digital – allows for faster loan processing and messaging in a WhatsApp-style interface.
GoHenry acquires French fintech Pixpay to drive European expansion
UK-based GoHenry, which offers prepaid debit cards and a financial education app for kids aged six to 18, has acquired French fintech start-up Pixpay for an undisclosed sum.
GoHenry says the new deal will enable it to expand its user base and boost its growth in Europe.
The company claims to have “more than doubled” its revenue during the pandemic to $42 million in 2021. It secured a $40 million funding round in December 2020.
Founded in France in 2019 by Benoit Grassin, Nicolas Klein and Caroline Ménager, Pixpay offers an alternative to banks for teens.
The firm provides a Mastercard payment card and a mobile app that allows users to pay, get paid, save money or get discounts on brands. It also has a mobile application for parents, offering them a secure, educational and practical solution to follow and accompany their children on a daily basis.
With claims of nearly 200,000 members, Pixpay plans to expand into Italy and Germany later this year. It has raised more than €11 million since April 2019.
GoHenry and Pixpay will continue to operate under their own brands with no change in leadership, headquarters or headcount.
Pan-European Climentum Capital to launch a €150 million Fund to support innovators accelerating the green transition
Aiming to supercharge Europe’s green transition by launching a new climate tech Fund, Climentum Capital is raising €150 million to invest in early-stage startups helping Europe become carbon neutral.
As Europe continues on the journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Climentum Capital has today announced it is launching a new €150 million Fund I. Europe’s ambitious journey to Net-Zero is reliant upon new innovations and tech-first approaches that can make society more sustainable and accelerate a green transition – and it’s a journey with a long way to go. This new fund is sure to be a pivotal part of getting us there.
“Now is the time to invest in Climate Tech. We need to see results within the next decades and see momentum from all sides: governments and corporations are pushing for real change, the best talent is moving into the space and technology has developed massively”. Dörte Hirschberg.
Founded in 2021, Climentum Capital is a pan-European venture with bases in Copenhagen, Berlin and Stockholm. The VC firm is investing in European startups that are dedicated to cutting down CO2 emissions in a concrete, measurable and sustainable way. This freshly launched fund aims to avoid millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, accelerating the transition to a sustainable future. It’s among the first article 9 funds in Europe, with a dedicated focus on CO2 emission reductions from day one.
Stefan Maard commented: “There is a concrete value-add to both founders and investors. “Investors gain access to a cutting-edge Article 9 fund that delivers climate impacts and the associated data to help them achieve and report on their own climate and ESG targets. This is something that has resonated well with especially institutional and more forward-looking investors. Looking toward the founders, they are keen to work with truly mission-aligned investors that are also willing and able to help them mature on their own sustainability journeys – including documenting climate change impacts and leveraging that to access non-dilutive capital such as carbon credits, grants and ESG related project financing.”
Almost a billion for startups: Headline sets up the largest fund in the company’s history
The venture capital firm Headline, formerly E.ventures, has completed the largest fundraising in its 23-year history: The VC has collected 917 million euros (943 million dollars) and now wants to invest them in tech startups from the B2B and B2C sector worldwide. The money will be distributed over three new funds: headline US VII, which focuses on start-ups in North America, headline EU VII, which will provide 320 million euros to European founders, and Headline Brazil III, which will invest in Latin America.”Despite recent market shifts, we continue to aggressively pursue the next wave of world-changing innovation,” headline co-founder Mathias Schilling said. “I have already experienced some market fluctuations in the last 20 years, and in these times we have always continued to seek and promote the long-term entrepreneurial spirit.”
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