Investors in early stage European FinTech deals this week include TriplePoint Ventures (StepEx), Atlantic Labs (Helu), MiddleGame Ventures (Blockpit) etc. We feature Q&As with Christian Macht of Element Insurance AG and Stefan Lemper of Maschmeyer Group.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech: Christian Macht of Element Insurance AG
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
ELEMENT Insurance AG is a white-label product supplier for insurance solutions and a leader in insurance digitalisation. We are licensed as a direct insurer for non-life insurance, which enables us to act as a risk carrier, including claims settlement. Founded in March 2017, ELEMENT offers a unique technology platform (‘Insurance as a Platform’) with a focus on the B2B2X value chain: ELEMENT develops for its roughly twenty partners from various industries – from e-commerce to established insurers – custom-made, innovative white-label insurance products at record speed. These products are then marketed by the partners under their own brand.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech: Stefan Lemper of Maschmeyer Group
1. A year since the first lockdowns- is this is a good time to be building or scaling an Enterprise FinTech (/ InsurTech) firm in Europe?
Big economic shocks usually open the way for new chances and extremely successful starts were founded during such times. One of the key changes for enterprise startups due to the pandemic is the fact, that sales can be done purely digital and I assume that most of that will stay. This brings bears huge cost and efficiency gains in sales being on of the key ingredients for scale. Customers who were forced to turn more digital and a huge increase in private savings might also fuel growth of new business models in fintech/Insurtech, that can also leverage on lean digital cost structures compared to the incumbents. Last but not least the pandemic lead to increased M&A activities (at high valuations).
The above interviews are part of Scaling Enterprise FinTech | The Handbook, featuring Q&As on the journey to scale, lessons learnt etc. with 16 founders and 10 leading investors.
Triple Point Ventures and other investors invest £1.1M in StepEx
Led by founder and CEO Daniel George, StepEx aims to widen access to postgraduate and technical education with “next-generation” student finance via Future Earnings Agreements which make courses accessible and affordable. Backers included BBVA Anthemis Venture Partnership, Triple Point Ventures, and angel investors including renowned fintech investor Chris Adelsbach.
The company intends to use the funds for the further development of its machine learning model and user platform, as well as the expansion of the senior team.
Triple Point Ventures is a UK early stage VC investing in high growth companies with top-class teams and market leading products whose recent investments include Springpod and Anorak Technologies.
Atlantic Labs invests $5 million in Financial management platform Helu
Helu was founded in 2020 by former Speedinvest partner Franz Salzmann, and given his dealings, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that Helu was born from a wish list of tools he wished he’d had at the time.
Helu’s $5 million seed round was led by Atlantic Labs and saw participation from a number of angel investors including Marco Rodzynek (founder of the Noah conference), Fabian Wesemann (founder of wefox), Eric Demuth (founder of Bitpanda), Gilad Novik (former Lakestar partner), Christophe Maire(Atlantic Labs), Oliver Manojlovich (VP Sales at Personio), and other undisclosed individuals.
Atlantic Labs is an early-stage venture capital investment firm that is based in Berlin, Germany whose recent investments include Meetales and Aeditive.
MiddleGame Ventures along with Fabric Ventures, Force over Mass Capital, Tioga Capital, Avaloq Ventures and existing investor Venionaire invest €8.4M in Austria’s Blockpit
Founded in 2017 in Austria, Blockpit develops financial compliance solutions for portfolio management and tax reporting for assets based on blockchain technology. The company claims to be giving advantage to both individuals and corporations who benefit from tax compliance solutions that are permanently audited by the firm. Currently, Blockpit offers its tax reporting services in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the United States of America.
Today, the company has announced that it has raised $10M (€8.4M) in a Series A funding which is led by MiddleGame Ventures, along with participation from Fabric Ventures, Force over Mass Capital, Tioga Capital, Avaloq Ventures and existing investor Venionaire.
Middlegame Ventures is a fintech venture capital firm investing in early stage growth businesses focused on Financial Innovation whose recent investments include Payslip and Capdesk.
FinTech Collective, with participation from Entrée Capital and EQT Ventures invests $18M in Willa
Founded in 2019 by a team of serial entrepreneurs and led by Kristofer Sommestad, CEO, aims to enable freelance workers to optimize their working conditions, spend less time on paperwork, and get paid for the work they have done without waiting for their money. Instead of creating invoices and sending them to clients – often waiting 30/60/90 days to get paid – requests are sent and processed in seconds, and funds are available immediately. The client can then pay later at their own terms. Vendor forms and paperwork is automated, and the entire process is compliant with regulatory requirements.
The round was led by FinTech Collective, with participation from Entrée Capital and EQT Ventures.
FinTech Collective is a New York-based venture capital fund, focused exclusively on financial services technology companies whose recent investments include Oxio and Coincover.
Sir Peter Wood invests $18 M in Moneyhub
Led by Samantha Seaton, CEO, Moneyhub provides a platform which offers an agile and suite of Open Banking and Open Finance data connections, intelligence and payment solutions through APIs and white-label products. This means clients in all sectors can access data, analytics and smart, actionable insights, and achieve understanding and engagement with their customers.
The round was led by Sir Peter Wood, via a newly formed investment vehicle SPWOne, which invests and supports a range of innovative businesses across their lifecycle, with participation from all initial investors.
Partners of DST Global and Felix Capital invest $21.5 M in Sweden-based Juni
Sweden-based Juni has raised $21.5 million in a round led by partners of DST Global and Felix Capital. The startup offers an ecommerce-focused digital banking platform. Juni, which raised a $2.5 million seed round last October, will use the Series A capital for product development and to quadruple the size of its team.
Apax Digital and other investors invest $100 M in Tide
Led by Oliver Prill, CEO, Tide provides a business financial platform that offers business accounts and related banking services, and a comprehensive set of software solutions, such as full integration with accounting systems. Tide has over 350,000 members and over 400,000 business accounts.
The round – which remains subject to FCA approval – was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners, with participation from existing investors Anthemis, Augmentum, Jigsaw, Local Globe / Latitude, SBI, and SpeedInvest.
Apax Digital specializes in growth equity & buyout investments in leading software, Internet & tech-enabled services companies worldwide whose recent investments include Faculty Science and Revolution Prep.
Bain Capital and Thrive Capital invest $150 M in Pleo
Launched in 2015, Pleo has opened offices across five different locations in Europe. The fintech firm provides smart company cards to businesses. Pleo has launched several features in recent years, including Reimbursements and Bills. The recent investment is the largest Series C funding received by a Danish-headquartered company.
Pleo, a Denmark-based financial technology firm, recently announced that the company has raised $150 million in a Series C funding round. The latest investment round was co-led by Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital.
In the recent announcement, Pleo mentioned that it has received a valuation of $1.7 billion. The company’s existing investors including Creandum, Kinnevik, Founders, Stripes and Seedcamp joined the latest financing.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Bridgepoint among other investors invest $170 M in Younited
Younited says it has developed “cutting-edge technology to provide a responsible, seamless proposition for customers.” In 2018, Younited launched a B2B solution for digital loans and payment solutions. Younited says that over 30 financial institutions, insurers, and corporates as customers, including Orange Bank, N26, Wizink, Admiral-Conte, HSBC France, Fortuneo, Lydia, are customers. As of 2021, B2B solutions already represent about 30% of Younited’s revenue.
Younited states that Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Bridgepoint, joined shareholders Eurazeo, Bpifrance Large Ventures, and AG2R LA MONDIALE, in the funding round. Younited has raised $400 million since its launch in 2012. To date, Younited has originated in excess of €2.6 billion of loans. The money raised will be used to consolidate Younited’s presence on the European market, in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany, the latter four countries already representing 40% of Younited’s revenues.
Goldman Sachs is a multinational financial services firm providing securities, investment banking, and management services whose recent investments include Lendbuzz and InCommodities.
Pollen Street Capital invest €193 M in Challenger bank bunq- another Amsterdam unicorn!
Founded in 2013 by Lindsey McMurray, Pollen Steet Capital now operates across private equity and credit strategies on behalf of investors, which include, major pension funds, asset managers, banks, and family offices from across the globe.
According to Reuters, with this funding, the British equity firm has acquired a 10 per cent stake in bunq.
After several years of self-funding, bunq has raised €193M in a funding round led by Pollen Street Capital, at a valuation of €1.6B. Ali Niknam, bunq founder, also participated in the investment round. Notably, this is the largest series A investment round ever secured by a European fintech.
Pollen Street Capital is an independent alternative investment manager, focused on investing in the financial and business services sectors whose recent investments include West Creek and Markerstudy Group.
Heartland and other investors invest €210 M in Lunar
The Aarhus-based challenger bank, previously known as Lunar Way, was founded in 2015 by Ken Villum Klausen. It has since grown into a Scandinavia-wide company with offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo and more than 300 employees. Its Series C funding round in October 2020 raised €40m.
Danish fintech start-up Lunar has raised €210m in a Series D funding round led by Heartland, with Tencent, Kinnevik and Peter Mühlmann, founder of Trustpilot, also participating.
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