Early stage European FinTech deals include Oneplanetcrowd, Upvest, CrowdSec etc. We feature Q&As with Samuel Falmagne of Akur8 and Matilde Limbert of BiG Start Ventures.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech | The Handbook is out!
Launched in partnership with SixThirty Ventures and Finovate Europe, The Handbook includes proprietary research on ca. 65 Enterprise FinTech scaleups in #Europe, Q&As with 16 founders who have “been there and done it” as well as insights from 10 leading #venturecapital investors – download the Handbook here: http://www.fintechforum.de/sef/
If you are an early stage startup in Europe building the next big thing in FinTech, reach out to Frank Schwab or Samarth Shekhar.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech: with Samuel Falmagne of Akur8
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I’m Samuel, CEO of Akur8. I started my career at IBM, where I spent 15 years in various international sales and sales management positions before joining Insurtech Shift Technology as Head of Sales. At Shift, I drove the internationalization of the company, including in the US. After 2 years at Shift, I decided to take on a genuine entrepreneurial adventure and joined Guillaume, our Chief Actuary, and co-founded Akur8.
Akur8 is a cloud-based B2B Insurtech, automating the rate-making process thanks to proprietary algorithms powered by Transparent-AI, while enabling to retain complete control over the process and the output.
Scaling Enterprise FinTech: with Matilde Limbert of BiG Start Ventures
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?
As a preamble, let me point out that it’s never a one-line straight answer.
From what we’ve seen, the initial effect that lockdowns have caused in many sectors, including the Financial sector, was a freeze. With huge uncertainty as to what the future was holding for the global and local economies, no one was daring to move – projects were frozen, budgets were frozen and openness to Fintech/Insurtech solutions was not a priority. Very soon we watched the situation reverse, especially for enterprise solutions in cases where these were the key to enable the digital presence of organizations, thus its perseverance through a lockdown.
I believe this push towards digitization has led to a higher degree of trust on the potential of these ‘technological commers’ which are responding to unique challenges in each sub-vertical, as solutions such as digital financial services, ecommerce, cyberinsurance, among others, gained huge relevance and spotlight, but also as technology enables to create and seize new opportunities. Urgency has led to greater adoption, which in turn has led enterprises to realize the real and living need of financial technology and the potential of partnerships and collaborations.
I believe it is undoubtedly a delicate time for Europe, from which the Financial Sector will not be exempt. But I also believe that Fintech, being a catalyzer for adaptability and innovation, will be crucial in the transformation we are facing ahead not only in the Financial Industry, but any industry that somehow uses Financial Services.
Amsterdam-based sustainable crowdfunding platform Oneplanetcrowd raises funding from Unknown Group
Sustainable investing, once considered an afterthought in business, has come a long way with billion-dollar potential. At present, many investors want their capital to align with a greater good beyond profits.
According to GSIA (Global Sustainable Investment Alliance), Europe and the US are the biggest players in sustainable investing.
In this regard, Unknown Group, a Dutch early-stage VC, has invested in Oneplanetcrowd, a sustainable crowdfunding platform.
4 Millionen Euro für Upvest
5. Mai 2021: ABN Amro Ventures, der VC-Arm der gleichnamigen Bank, investiert vier Millionen Euro in das Berliner Tech-Startup Upvest. Das 2017 gegründete Unternehmen entwickelt eine Schnittstelle, mit der Fintechs digitale Investmentprodukte anbieten können. Diese API soll im vierten Quartal 2021 live gehen. Erst im Dezember hatte Upvest eine Series-A-Finanzierungsrunde über zwölf Millionen Euro abgeschlossen.
Paris-based CrowdSec raises $5 million to firewall the world
Already helping to identify hundreds of thousands of malicious IP addresses around the world, Paris-based CrowdSec has secured $5 million in seed funding from Breega.
The sad truth is that for all the awesome things that the internet can bring us, there’s also a whole lot of jackasses out there just waiting to get their hands on any number of IT assets. One of the most common tools these nefarious hackers use is the IP address of a machine they’ve worked their way into.
With the use of this unique IP address, a hacker can anonymously launch an attack. When you factor in that organised attack groups work in concert, hundreds of thousands of malicious IP addresses can be aimed at any variety of targets.
Paris-based Fintecture raises €6.2 million to facilitate payments and accelerate merchants’ growth across Europe
Only a year after its commercial launch, Fintecture, a next-gen payment infrastructure, has announced an approx. €6.2 million seed round to continue its development and consolidate its vision by dedicating a significantly large equity pool to its employees.
The seed round was led by Target Global, joined by Samaipata, Société Générale, and a number of high-profile operators and founders from leading financial and tech institutions such as Adyen, Affirm, American Express, Facebook Payments, Google, PayPal, and Snapchat. This first funding round will allow the startup to hire 30 new talents, augment its infrastructure with new services, accelerate its European deployment and reach 10,000 merchants.
Baufi24 Raises €6.7M in Series A Funding
Baufi24, a Hamburg, Germany-based digital home finance company, closed a €6.7m Series A financing.
Backers included BtoV and the Helvetia Venture Fund.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its market position, further develop its technology and the expand its branch network throughout Germany.
Led by CEO Tomas Peeters and the founders and board members Stephan Scharfenorth, Michael Lorenz, Başar Canıperk and Gernot Schusser, Baufi24 is a real estate finance broker for home finance, building society savings and loans.
London’s Sprout raises £8 million, responds to global demand, presses forward with R&D
London-based insurance platform Sprout.ai has raised £8 million in a Series A round.
Led by one of Europe’s most active early-stage investors, Octopus Ventures, existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Playfair Capital, and Techstars participated.
The funding is expected to further propel R&D projects as well as recruit additional talent.
“Sprout.ai’s technology has gained traction fast since we made our seed investment. The company’s product development in document reading and natural language processing has been impressive,” comments Amadeus Capital Partners’ Amelia Armour.
Founded in 2018 by Niels Thoné and Raphael Guth, Sprout.ai is a practical application of a lot of terms you’ve most probably heard time and time again, AI, NLP, and OCR.
Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda raises €10M in Series B extension round; here’s why
Vienna, Austria-based fintech unicorn, Bitpanda, which provides an exchange platform for digital assets such as cryptocurrency, has raised an additional €10M as an extension of its Series B round of funding. Earlier in March 2021, the company had raised $170M (approx €142.56M) led by Valar Ventures and DST Global in its Series B round at a valuation of $1.2B (approx €1B) – becoming Austria’s first unicorn.
This extension round saw participation from crypto & fintech investors Jump Capital and market makers Winterntermute Trading. In addition, LeadBlock Partners also invested in Bitpanda to strengthen their institutional offering and position in Europe.
Fly Now Pay Later Raises £10m in Series A Funding
Fly Now Pay Later, a UK alternative payments provider, raised a further £10m ($14m) in Series A funding, bringing its total to £45m ($62m).
The round was co-led by asset management firms Revenio Capital and Taurus Wealth Advisors.
The company intends to use the funds to launch US and grow UK and German operations.
Founded by CEO Jasper Dykes, Fly Now Pay Later is a fintech company providing an alternative payments solution exclusively for the travel sector. This enables customers to spread the cost of a trip over up to 12 monthly installments by partnering with travel merchants or directly to consumers through its Anywhere app.
Irish-founded start-up Inscribe raises $10.5m
The company, which uses machine learning to detect fraud, plans to expand its teams in Dublin and San Francisco.
Fraud detection start-up Inscribe has raised more than $10m in Series A funding and now plans to grow its engineering team in Dublin.
The company, which was founded by Irish brothers Conor and Ronan Burke along with Oisin Moran and James Eggers, detects fraud in documents that would be supplied to insurers and lenders, for example proof of address documents.
It uses a combination of natural language processing and computer vision to scan documents and look for potential fraud.
The San Francisco-headquartered start-up was founded in 2017. It opened a Dublin office after raising $3m in funding in December 2018.
60 Millionen Euro für N26-Konkurrent Vivid Money
Schon wieder frisches Geld für das Berliner Fintech Vivid Money. Die Bewertung hat sich seit der letzten Finanzierungsrunde mehr als verdreifacht.
Der N26-Konkurrent Vivid Money hat frisches Geld bei Investoren eingesammelt und wird nun mit 360 Millionen Euro bewertet. Der Kapitalgeber Greenoaks habe die 60 Millionen Euro schwere Finanzierungsrunde angeführt, teilte das 2020 gegründete Berliner Unternehmen mit. Auch Altinvestor Ribbit Capital, der an bekannten Fintechs wie Robinhood, Coinbase oder Nubank beteiligt ist, sei dabei gewesen. In der Vergangenheit hatte auch die russische Bank TCS Group in das von Artem Yamanov und Alexander Emeshev gegründete Unternehmen investiert.
Bux Raises $80M in Funding
Bux, an Amsterdam, The Netherlands-based neo-broker, raised USD80m in follow-financing round.
The round was led by Prosus Ventures and Tencent, with participation from additional new investors ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital and existing investors HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures.
The company intends to use the capital to expand its investment app in other European countries.
Founded by Nick Bortot, who handed over the reins to new CEO Yorick Naeff, Bux With over 500,000 customers, Bux is a neo-broker whose flagship platform, BUX Zero, makes commission-free investing accessible for both first time and existing investors allowing them to invest in a large suite of shares or ETFs.
Add another unicorn to the list, Paris-based Shift Technology raises $220 million in Series D round, valued at over $1 billion
Paris-based AI SaaS provider to the insurance industry Shift Technology has raised $220 million in a Series D round led by Advent International. Avenir, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, and Iris Capital also participated. With this round, Shift’s total investment to date rises to $320 million and gives the company a valuation of over $1 billion.
Shift is reporting that the fresh capital will be used to expand its market presence in the US, Europe, and Asia. In the US market, Shift is particularly interested in the property and casualty vertical, as well as health insurance.
Acronis Raises Over $250M; at $2.5 Billion Valuation
Acronis, a Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based cyber protection company, received more than $250m funding round.
Backers in the round, which valued the company at more than $2.5 billion, included CVC Capital Partners VII and other investors.
The company will use the funds to expand its portfolio of products, further enhance its go-to-market initiatives by growing its broad partner network – most notably managed service providers (MSPs), invest in global sales, partner account management and partner success teams, and hire new technical talent for its research and development centers in Bulgaria, Israel, and Singapore, as well as Switzerland and the United States.
Led by Serguei “SB” Beloussov, founder and CEO, Acronis provides Acronis Cyber Protect, a unified cybersecurity and data protection solution that is natively integrated, so service providers can operate critical functions through a single dashboard.
Irish company CWSI acquires AVR International for €5.2m
The new combined entity will have more than 50 employees and combined forecasted revenues of €15m in 2021.
Mobile and cloud security company CWSI has snapped up UK cyber and cloud security provider AVR International in a multimillion-euro deal.
The €5.2m acquisition will see AVR’s founder and 12 employees become part of CWSI with immediate effect, bringing the combined entity’s total headcount to more than 50.
This is CWSI’s first acquisition and is funded by a combination of cash flow and debt facility.
Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank jointly invest in new digital marketplaces of the future
Two leading companies from the financial sector and an experienced team of fintech founders combine their strengths at financial centre Frankfurt. Partners capitalise new entity 360X, driving the serial construction and operation of new marketplaces and ecosystems for digital asset classes. Investments in art and real estate defined as initial asset classes
Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank are entering a strategic partnership with fintech 360X to develop new blockchain-based digital marketplaces and ecosystems for existing real asset classes such as art and real estate.
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