Newsletter 25th Jan. 2020

7 Questions with Max Lautenschläger of Iconic, Funding for Secfi, Grover, Qonto etc., 12th FinTech Forum announced…

Get ready with a glass of wine- or smelling salts- as this week’s going to be a long read with some jaw-dropping funding rounds, acquisitions and expansions. European FinTech has been on the prowl, with a seemingly pent-up barrage of deals- be it Dutch Secfi’s $550m raise, or Qonto and Tink’s $115m and €90m rounds respectively, or Raisin’s acquisition of Choice Financial as it gears up to enter the US market.

If some of you are wondering why we listed the Grover deal here, look back to the panel discussion topic at the 11th FinTech Forum in Nov. 2019: When Finance becomes an Add-on/ the Era of Backstage Banking. If you are not convinced, and if you are in the car financing or leasing business, read this (FT paywall), because what Grover is to tech gadgets, the likes of Vehiculum and Cluno are to cars.

Registrations for the 12th FinTech Forum – the exclusive annual gathering of Europe’s leading early stage startups, investors and CVCs on 19th Nov. in Frankfurt – are open: . Startups can apply by emailing contact (at) or reach out via LinkedIn to us: Frank Schwab or Samarth Shekhar

Finally, scroll down for 40% off tickets to Finovate Europe (11-13 Feb. in Berlin), and check out the events where you can meet us – e.g. the Paris FinTech Forum this week.

7 Questions with Max Lautenschläger of Iconic Holding

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure. Born and raised in Heidelberg I started my professional career in consulting and after a few years, I transitioned more towards finance. In particular, the alternative investment space has always been very attractive to me. This is why I decided to do the MBA program at the Frankfurt School of Finance and in parallel, I did the CAIA designation. After a few years in Private Equity, Venture Capital and FinTech Company Building, I decided to found my own business Iconic, of which I’m still one of the main shareholders and managing partners.

Secfi Raises $550M from Serengeti Asset Management

Secfi, a pre-wealth management platform for startup employees to navigate financial decisions from offer to IPO, secured a $550m investment facility from Serengeti Asset Management…Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper Wouter Witvoet, Secfi provides an integrated suite of personalized educational, advisory, and financing tools that compare different strategies for exercising options.

Grover tops up debt facility to €250M to scale its renting model for consumer electronics

Grover, the Berlin-based startup that offers “pay-as-you-go” subscriptions to the latest consumer tech, including e-scooters, has closed a new “asset-backed” financing deal, topping up an existing debt facility with Varengold Bank to a total of €250 million.

Challenger business bank Qonto raises $115 million round led by Tencent and DST Global

French startup Qonto has raised a $115 million Series C funding round led by Tencent and DST Global. Today’s news comes a few days after another French fintech startup, Lydia, raised some money from Tencent. Existing investors Valar and Alven are also participating in today’s funding round. TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Adyen CFO Ingo Uytdehaage are also joining the round. Qonto says it represents the largest funding round for a French fintech company.

Tink raises EUR90 million

Swedish Open Banking platform Tink has closed a EUR90 million investment round at a post-money valuation of EUR415 million to supports its continued expansion across Europe…The latest funding round was co-led by two new investors — London-based B2B software venture capital firm Dawn Capital and San Francisco-based investment management firm HMI Capital — together with existing investor Insight Partners. Other participants include Italy’s largest financial services network Poste Italiane as a new investor, as well as existing backers Heartcore Capital, ABN Amro Ventures and BNP Paribas’ venture arm, Opera Tech Ventures.

Working capital fintech Demica raises $30m

London-based working capital outfit Demica has closed a $30 million Series C funding round led by Simcah Management. Demica has built a SaaS platform to manage working capital for over 500 large corporate multinationals financed by 50 global financial institutions.

Rabobank invests in digital mortgage broker Trussle

Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), the strategic investment fund of Rabobank, has contributed to a £7.5 million funding round in online UK mortgage broker Trussle. The Dutch bank was joined by existing investors Goldman Sachs Growth, Finch Capital and BBVA-backed Propel Venture in backing the firm, which last raised £13.6 million in Series B financing in May 2018. Trussle is one of a new breed of fintech startups that uses proprietary automation and a mortgage monitoring service to compare and track thousands of mortgage products from more than 90 lenders.

Polish fintech startup Autenti secures $4.48 million investment from Alior Bank, BNP Paribas and PKO Bank Polski

Alior Bank, BNP Paribas and PKO Bank Polski, banks representing approx. 30 percent assets of the Polish banking sector, have together invested $4.48 million (PLN 17 million) in Autenti, a Polish fintech startup that provides a platform for electronic agreement signing and digital workflow of documents.

SteadyPay Raises £2.9M in Equity and Debt Funding

SteadyPay, a London, UK-based provider of a smart solution to solve volatile pay in the gig economy, raised £2.9m in equity and debt funding. The round was led by Hambro Perks and Fair By Design, the social impact fund by Ascension Ventures.

Luxembourg-based raises €3 million to boost its digital governance solutions for financial institutions

Luxembourg-based has today announced raising a €3 million round which will be used to expand its digital governance solutions for financial institutions. The news comes after the startup was recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the most innovative RegTech companies in the world. Founded in 2011 by twin brothers, Bert and Rob Boerman, is a RegTech company providing digital governance solutions that enable financial institutions to understand their data, automate their process and record their actions. 

AI SaaS Business FeedStock Raises £2.5 Million Through Latest Investment Round Led By Praetura Ventures

FeedStock, an AI-driven SaaS business that uses the latest natural language processing technologies to enable financial services companies to meet both their compliance requirements and commercial goals, announced on Monday it secured £2.5 million through its latest investment round, which was led by Praetura Ventures with participation from Force Over Mass and existing investor Illuminate Financial Management.

Float Raises £1.5M in Seed Funding

Float, an Edinburgh, UK-based cash flow service for Xero, QuickBooks Online and FreeAgent, completed a £1.5m seed funding. The round was led by Marchmont Ventures…Led by co-founder and CEO Colin Hewitt, Float provides a cash flow forecasting and budgeting solution for small to medium-sized businesses and accounting firms.

Applica Raises Series A Funding

Applica, a Warsaw, Poland, and London, UK-based enterprise software company and a developer of a AI-based Robotic Text Automation platform, raised a Series A funding round of undisclosed amount. The round was led by Cogito Capital Partners, with participation from Barclays, which has been an early supporter of Applica through the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars (2018 New York cohort).

Raisin preps US launch with Choice Financial Solutions acquisition

European savings marketplace outfit Raisin is acquiring Choice Financial Solutions for its push into the US market. Raisin will license Choice FS’s software to American banks and credit unions to enable them to offer customers customised, flexible deposit accounts tailored to their short and long-term needs. These products will also be offered directly to consumers via the Raisin US platform, which will launch soon.

DNA Payments Buys Zash

DNA Payments (DNA), a London, UK-based fintech payments company, acquired Zash AB, a Swedish fintech company providing Point of Sale Software and Payments services…Founded by a serial entrepreneur Daniel Bessmert, former Commercial Director at Paypal and Head of Mobile in Visa, Zash provides Point of Sale Software and Payments services to over 1000 clients in the UK, across EU, Latin America and Brazil.

German Insurtech GetSafe Announces UK Expansion

Getsafe, a Germany-based insurtech startup, announced on Thursday it has started its digital contents insurance expansion into the UK. The expansion of services comes less than a year after Getsafe secured $17 million through its Series A funding round, which was notably led by Earlybird with participation from CommerzVentures and other existing investors.

Icap founder Spencer contributes £25 million to new B2B fintech venture fund

Icap founder Michael Spencer has committed £25 million to a new £100 million fintech venture fund in the UK. The fund, dubbed Element Ventures, has been set up by Michael McFadgen and Steve Gibson, two former members of Icap’s Euclid Opportunities incubator, and former investment banker Spencer Lake. Euclid Opportunities has past form in the fintech space, lending its backing over the past decade to firms such as, OpenGamma, Enso Financial, AcadiaSoft, OpenFin, Project X, Abide Financial, Cloud9, Digital Asset, Axoni, Rsrchxchange & Eris X.

Finovate Europe 2020 is coming to Berlin!

For the first time ever, FinovateEurope will take place in continental Europe – bringing you a truly pan-European fintech event. The event is moving to Berlin, Germany this February with a showcase of fintech solutions, insights that deliver real-world value and meaningful connections with senior financial decision makers.

FinTech Forum community members: book your tickets at a 40% special discount- click here or use the code FKV2368SMA.

Upcoming Events / Meet us at:

Paris FinTech Forum, Paris, 28-29 Jan.

Holland FinTech / Annual Member Summit, Amsterdam, 30 Jan.

Plug-n-Play InsurTech Winter Expo, Munich, 5th Feb.

Finovate Europe, Berlin, 11-13 Feb

Cyber FinTech Summit 2020, The Hague, 20 Feb.

Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, 25-27 Feb.

InsurTech Insights Europe, London,  17-18 Mar.