Early stage European FinTech deals include DRUID, Filestage, Pennylane etc. We feature Q&As with Eugene Danilkis of Mambu (whose latest $135m financing round makes them Europe’s newest unicorn – congratulations!) and Daniel Andemeskel of Universal-Investment.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech with Eugene Danilkis, Co-Founder and CEO of Mambu
Hi Eugene, good to see you – about a half a year ago since we last met I think, although we do keep in touch often via email or LinkedIn. Great to be here at your office in Amsterdam today and a pleasure to meet you. And of course great to have you on this interview series. For the audience and for the readers, let’s start with a bit about yourself, both at work as well as at leisure. What’s keeping you busy?
I am originally from Vancouver, Canada. I studied Computer Science and worked as a software engineer in the earlier part of my career. After doing my Masters I got into financial services by exploring technology opportunities that traditional vendors could have in terms of reinventing how financial services are provided, especially in emerging markets. We were doing a lot of research before the whole fintech era came around. It was around 2009 or so when we started to look into the space. Through that engagement, looking both through the lens of technology, and of customers experiencing financial products, that we saw a new way of using digital, mobile and internet. It’s not just changing how you distribute financial products, but changing the whole experience with financial products from how the products behave, how you reach customers and how you interact with money. We thought that the whole space may have a chance to be completely revitalized. So we set about building a platform to enable institutions to do that. Rather than actually creating a customer-focused product and focus on a particular market, we thought of the opportunity for that revitalization of financial services – which kind of became the fintech movement, which then became the fintech era which is happening globally. The opportunity that we saw was leveraging on our personal strength and my background in technology was not to design the financial products and the services for the end-customers but to build a platform that would allow others to create those products and services in a much more modern way than banking was traditionally done.
7 Questions with Daniel Andemeskel of Universal-Investment
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Hello, I am Daniel Andemeskel, Director and Head of Innovation Management at Universal-Investment. I am currently responsible for the Group’s innovation agenda while at the same time developing the next generation investment platform for digital assets, leveraging on Blockchain and AI. Prior to joining Universal-Investment, I gained over 20 years’ experience in investment management in several functions. My motto is to envision new innovations instead of building faster horses (just like the famous quote of Henry Ford) which is why I enjoy speaking at international conferences and panels on innovation and digital transformation. Besides, I am a member of several Blockchain consortiums and forums and like to initiate collaborations on Blockchain.
Work aside, in my personal life I like to travel and discover new cultures and countries. Alongside my passion for cooking and wine. To compensate my full calendar, I am trying to do as much sports as possible, frequent morning runs are my favorite. This is rounded up with the fact that I am an early bird (waking up every morning between 4:30am and 5:00am). I use these morning hours for the innovation visioning and creative part of my job.
Bucharest-based DRUID snaps up €2 million to expand its conversational tech internationally
The Romanian startup DRUID, a company specialized in developing intelligent virtual assistants (chatbots) for businesses, today announces a new funding round of around €2 million.
The round was led by the GapMinder investment fund, as well as being participated in by Early Game Ventures and private investors. With these new funds, DRUID’s total investments hit around €4.7 million since its launch in 2018.
The demand for smart virtual assistants has accelerated recently, as organizations further digitalise and are increasingly focusing on superior online customer interactions.
German startup Filestage collects €2.8 million for SaaS that speeds up content approval
German SaaS company Filestage has closed a €2.8 million Series A round led by Newion, together with current investor HTGF and seed + speed Ventures.
The Stuttgart-based startup has built a software for creative teams to quickly share, review and approve various kinds of content, from PDFs to video and audio files. The process is called “online proofing”, and these creative teams reside in all sectors, from healthcare to retail to mobility.
For example, Braun Medical Devices says they reduced their review turnaround time by 75 percent. Other customers include Sharp, Sixt, dm, GroupM, Lufthansa, Rabobank and Cambridge University Press.
Fintech startup Pennylane banks €15M
Pennylane, a developer of digital accounting tools, has secured €15 million from Global Founders Capital and Partech. The French startup will use the funds to expand its tools and for product development. Pennylane raised a €4 million seed round last May.
French fintech TagPay raises €25M to transform financial services industry with its Core Banking System
Ever since the pandemic began, we have witnessed a sharp rise in the need for digital services, with banking being one of them. While digital banking is on the rise, legacy banks have also realised the need to go digital.
The French startup TagPay helps financial institutions by offering a complete suite of scalable and open Core Banking System technology. The company has now raised €25M in its latest funding round.
Sysnet raises $65m in debt funding and clinches another acquisition
The Irish business has acquired its third company in the last month and raised further funding from backers.
Sysnet, a Dublin-based payments security company, has raised $65m in debt funding as it rolls on with its latest acquisition.
The company has acquired NuArx, a US-based firm providing security solutions for payments technology. It marks the Irish company’s third acquisition in recent weeks, after it scooped up Viking Cloud and the managed compliance solutions division of ControlScan in December – all businesses in the cybersecurity and compliance space.
Curve says closing its new $95M Series C funding will put it on track for a US launch
Curve, the London-based fintech that combines multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and an app, has secured a Series C funding round of $95 million.
The financing was led by IDC Ventures, Fuel Venture Capital and Vulcan Capital (the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen), with participation from OneMain Financial, the U.S. personal finance company, and Novum Capital. Several previous investors also participated.
The fundraise brings the total investment in Curve to almost $175 million. Curve says it plans to use the funds to expand internationally, including to the U.S., and to deepen its European reach. It will also be pushing its Curve Credit product.
Software-Spezialist Jedox sammelt mehr als 100 Millionen Dollar ein
Das Freiburger Unternehmen hilft Firmen, die oft noch mit Excel-Tabellen arbeiten. Nun will Jedox sein Wachstum noch einmal deutlich beschleunigen.
München In der Coronakrise mussten viele Unternehmen ihre Budgets und die Finanzplanung für die kommenden Monate anpassen. Einige von ihnen setzten dabei die Software von Jedox ein.
Die Freiburger Firma entwickelt sogenannte EPM-Software (Enterprise Performance Management), die Unternehmen hilft, relevante Daten, die oft noch in Excel-Tabellen geführt werden, für die Finanzplanung in der Cloud auch mithilfe von Künstlicher Intelligenz aufzubereiten und so zu neuen Erkenntnissen zu kommen.
Mambu raises $135M at a $2B+ valuation for a SaaS platform that powers banking services
…Mambu, a Berlin-based startup that describes itself as an SaaS banking platform — providing, by way of APIs, technology to banks and others to power lending, deposit and other banking products — has closed a round of €110 million (about $135 million at today’s rates). The funding gives Mambu a post-money valuation of €1.7 billion (just over $2 billion at today’s rates), the company has confirmed.
Checkout.com Raises $450M in Series C Funding; Valued at $15 Billion
Checkout.com, a London-based Connected Payments solutions provider, closed a $450m Series C funding round.
The round, which gives the business a post-money valuation of $15 billion, was led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Greenoaks Capital and existing investors Insight Partners, DST Global, Coatue Management, Blossom Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, and Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC.
The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand across the globe, further grow its balance sheet and drive new innovative opportunities.
Led by Guillaume Pousaz, CEO and Founder, Checkout.com provides a cloud-based unified platform that enables merchants to manage payins and payouts at scale.
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Female Founders Demo Day, 21 Jan. 2021 https://hopin.com/events/grow-f-demo-day-4
F10 Online Demo Day, 11 Feb. 2021 https://hopin.com/events/f10-zurich-demo-day-incubation-batch-6
Finovate Europe, 23-25 Mar. 2021 https://informaconnect.com/finovateeurope/
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