Newsletter 31st Jan. 2020

For the second week in a row, our panel discussion topic at the 11th FinTech Forum “When Finance becomes an Add-on/ the Era of Backstage Banking“ gets some more validation: Estonia’s Pocosys, an alumnus of our “FinTech meets Telecom” event in Mar. 2017, announced its exit to Opera (the Norwegian browser company), while Belgium’s Settlemint raised €1.9m from KPN Ventures (telecom CVC) to expand internationally.  Check out our 7 Questions with Coinrule founder Gabriele Musella, and Julian Mattes of Digital+ Partners. Corporate credit card startup Nufin and Trussle raised follow-on rounds, Blossom Capital and Merantix announced FinTech and AI venture funds that you should be watching, while Qonto and CurrencyCloud raised mega-rounds. Scroll down for more, and for a 40% discount code from our partner event Finovate Europe!

Register for the 12th FinTech Forum – the exclusive annual event featuring Europe’s leading FinTech startups and C/VCs covering investment trends. Join us on 19th Nov. 2020 at The Airport Club, Frankfurt:

7 Questions with Gabriele Musella, CEO of Coinrule

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.

At the moment, I am the co-founder and CEO of Coinrule — a smart assistant designed exclusively for cryptocurrency traders. I’dsay lucky, because finding the right people to start a business is probably the most difficult think in life, even harder thanfinding love.

After 15 years of work in several sectors, such as Telco (at Nokia Siemens and Vodafone), Academic Research (MIT, Network Science institute and Harvard) and Fintech /Banking (at Lloyds, UBS, Homeserve, etc.) and after having lived in Finland, USA, Hungary, Italy I finally find the eco-system that fits with my lifestyle: London.

7 questions with Julian Mattes, Digital+ Partners

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your focus areas, overall and within FinTech

I’m a Principal at Digital+ Partners, a USD 400mn growth equity fund. We invest in enterprise B2B technology companies with a particular focus on FinTech and IndustrialTech start-ups. We differentiate ourselves through our vertical domain expertise and deep corporate network, particularly in the European financial services market. Before joining Digital+ Partners, I worked at McKinsey and in leadership positions at Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, previously as head of payments & deposits at Commerzbank.

Opera Acquires Banking As A Service Company Pocosys

Opera Limited (Nasdaq: OPRA), the Norwegian headquartered browser provider, completed the acquisition of Pocosys, an Estonian Banking as a service company. Opera also closed an agreement to further take over Pocopay, its sister company, which holds a payment institution license and provides financial services in the European Union.

Congratulations to Pocosys, an alumnus of our “FinTech meets Telecom” event in Mar. 2017! Check out our 7 Questions with Indrek Neivelt, Founder of Pocopay


Belgian blockchain startup SettleMint raises €1.9 million to expand internationally

SettleMint, a Belgium-based blockchain platform-as-a-service company, has raised €1.9 million from KPN Ventures, a strategic investor and now commercial partner of the blockchain startup. US-based investor Medici Ventures also participated in the round.

With its scalable low-code, infrastructure-agnostic solution, SettleMint is filling a gap for enterprise organisations that want to adopt and deploy blockchain.

Corporate Credit Card Startup Nufin gets €6 Million more

Cherry Ventures und Global Founders Capital, der Investmentarm von Rocket Internet, investieren weitere 6 Millionen Euro in den Fintech-Newcomer Nufin, der von den ehemaligen Move24-Macher Ante Krsanac und Anton Rummel gegründet wurde – siehe FinanceFWD. Zuvor pumpten die genannten Geldgeber bereits rund 4 Millionen in das junge Startup, das sich als Brex-Klon positioniert. Das US-Unternehmen nennt sich selbst “The Smartest Corporate Credit Card”.

UK Online Mortgage Broker Trussle Raises £7.5 Million Through Latest Round of Funding

UK-based online mortgage broker, Trussle, announced on Wednesday it has raised a further £7.5m in funding as it continues its technology expansion. Trussle revealed that the investment includes funding from a new investor, the Dutch-based Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), alongside existing investors, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, Finch Capital and San Francisco-based Propel Venture partners.


8 factors why crypto currencies are here to stay 

User numbers and investments in cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects are increasing. In the Swiss Crypto Valley, 800 companies with 4000 employees are working on the digitalization of assets. The regulators are also taking up the issue. In the digital age, cryptocurrencies are the next logical stage in the development of money.

1. Users, volumes, transactions and number of apps grow continuously: The cryptocurrency market capitalization has doubled in the past 12 months, while the volume increased fivefold from $20bn to $100bn…

UK Working Capital Fintech Demica Raises $30 Million Through Series C Funding Round Led By Simcah Management

Demica, a UK-based company that provides working capital solutions to a wide range of major corporations and financial institutions, announced on Wednesday it secured $30 million through its Series C funding round, which was led by Simcah Management LLC. Founded in 1992, Demica revealed it is currently facilitating the financing of over $90bn of receivables and payables per year from over 135 countries around the world.

Small business finance fintech Liberis raises £32m to boost growth plans

London-based fintech Liberis has raised £32m to help fund the growth of the small business finance provider and expansion in the US and Europe. The funding raise is the first institutional equity fundraise by Liberis, which lends money to small businesses against their future debit and credit card sales, and was led by investment firm FTV Capital.

The raise takes the total debt and equity raised by the fintech, which has offices in London, Denver, and Stockholm, to over £150m.

Currencycloud Raises $80m in Funding

Currencycloud, a London, UK-based embedded cross-border payments company, raised $80m in funding.

Backers in the round, which brought total funding to over $140m, included Visa, International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), BNP Paribas, SBI Group, Siam Commercial Bank, Sapphire Ventures, Notion Capital, GV, Accomplice, and Anthemis. In conjunction with the funding, Visa, Colleen Ostrowski, SVP and Treasurer of Visa Inc, will join the board.

Paris-based challenger bank Qonto raises €104 million, the largest funding round for a French fintech

Qonto, the challenger neobank for SMEs and freelancers, announces it has successfully raised an additional €104 million in the largest funding round ever for a French fintech…The recent round was funded by new investors Tencent and DST Global, as well as existing investors Valar and VC Alven, plus two new business angels Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise’s co-founder/chairman) and Ingo Uytdehaage (CFO at Adyen).

ActZero has acquired IntelliGO Networks

Intelligo is a provider of managed detection and response (MDR) cybersecurity services. The two companies will promote artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to bolster MDR services. Financial terms were not disclosed…Under ActZero’s ownership, IntelliGO will operate as an independent entity. The acquired business aligns with ActZero’s “vision of revolutionizing the Managed Security Services landscape with a unified, AI-driven security platform,” the companies say.


Coalition Acquires BinaryEdge

Coalition, a San Francisco, CA-based cyber insurance provider for small and midsize businesses, acquired Zurich, Switzerland-based Internet scanning and cybersecurity company BinaryEdge. With the acquisition, Coalition will integrate BinaryEdge’s technology with its cyber insurance and security platform, allowing policyholders to map their Internet attack surface, monitor risk exposures in real-time, and proactively fix vulnerabilities so that they can stay one step ahead of their adversaries.

Blossom Capital Launches $185M Second Early-Stage Fund

Blossom Capital, a London, UK-based venture capital firm, closed its $185m second fund.

LPs in the new vehicle, which brought the total funds raised to $270m, include institutional investors and high-profile tech entrepreneurs. With the fund, the firm will invest at seed and Series A level with the European continent’s brightest founders in the fintech, travel, devops, infrastructure and cybersecurity sectors. Set up in 2017 by the former Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown and also led by partners Imran Ghory and Louise Samet, Blossom aims to partner with early-stage, industry-defining founders across Europe by offering a balance of US network and operational expertise with local knowledge to tap into Europe’s opportunity.

Berlin venture studio Merantix raises $27M fund to concentrate on AI startups

Berlin-based Merantix, a venture studio that specifically concentrates on building “AI companies,” says it has raised a new €25 million fund ($27 million). Anchor investors include Trusted Insight, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as further family offices from Europe….Locher is a Swiss serial entrepreneur and investor and has founded more than 10 companies in Europe and the U.S. His co-founder, Rasmus Rothe, is a “deep learning” researcher who has published more than 15 academic papers with more than 1,000 citations while attending Oxford, Princeton and ETH Zurich

Bloc Ventures raises £20 million to invest in early-stage deep tech startups throughout Europe

Bloc Ventures, the London-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage European deep technology investments, has raised over £20 million in equity funding from industry leaders throughout the UK.

The latest funding round was led by Michael Spencer’s investment company IPGL and supported by other individuals, including Warren East, Christopher Miller, Gavyn Davies, Stuart Roden, and Stephen Catlin, who serves as a non- executive director on the Bloc board. As part of the round, Samantha Wren, CEO of IPGL, has also joined as a non-executive director.

Finovate Europe 2020 is coming to Berlin- and our community gets a 40% discount!

Finovate conferences showcase cutting-edge banking and financial technology through a unique blend of short-form demos and key insights from thought-leaders. 1,200+ fintech companies have taken the stage in NYC, London, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Dubai & Cape Town. For the first time ever, FinovateEurope will take place in continental Europe – bringing you a truly pan-European fintech event. FinTech Forum is proud to partner with Finovate Europe- get 40% off the ticket price with our VIP code FKV2368SMA or by clicking here 

Meet us at:

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

Finovate Europe, Berlin, 11-13 Feb

Cyber FinTech Summit 2020, The Hague, 20 Feb.

4YFN / Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, 25-27 Feb.

Global InsurTech Summit, London, 2-6 Mar.

Lloyds Lab Innovation Forum, London, 4 Mar.

InsurTech Insights Europe, London,  17-18 Mar.