European FinTech deals this week include Ark Capital, Candis, Monese and Topi
We feature Q&As with Sheila Kagan of Paykey and Enrique Lizaso Olmos of Multiverse Computing
Check out the B2B FinTech Radar, our microsite focused on SaaS / Enterprise FinTech founders with global ambitions
7 Questions with Sheila Kagan of Paykey
1.Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
I joined PayKey in March 2020 after years of working as a chief executive at a variety of public and private tech companies in the advertising and gaming industries. Throughout my life I’ve been drawn to the dynamics of the banking industry, and once the opportunity came, I knew PayKey is a FinTech uniquely positioned to leave a mark on an industry that is traditionally lagging behind.
At PayKey we are putting banks at the forefront of embedded banking, by weaving the financial services customers need within their everyday lives. Our patented mobile keyboard
solution allows customers to access a variety of mobile banking services including P2P payments, loans, investments and more within all the social & messaging apps they are regularly using like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and others. With our solution, banks can contextually bring their services to where customers today chat, transact, and make their financial decisions.
7 Questions with with Enrique Lizaso Olmos of Multiverse Computing
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Multiverse Computing. Largest European Quantum Software Company. Backed by the European Investment Council and large VC. Third largest in the world after two American not-so-much-larger competitors. Delivering solutions to financial problems in optimization, machine-learning and pricing that are not correctly answered (or even not answered) with classical computers. Problems that range from $200-300 to $3B in impact in net income. Working for large customers (Top 10 Banks in the world), appeared in the Boston Consulting Group reports, The Economist, Forbes… Single European Company in McKinsey’s Quantum global Technology Council. 24 new patents/year, 34 people now, we are nearly 3 yr old!.
Ark Kapital Raises €15M In Acceleration Funding
Ark Kapital, a Stockholm, Sweden-based data-driven precision finance company enabling startups to grow through non-dilutive loans, raised €15M in acceleration funding.
The round was led by Annika Falkengren with participation from LocalGlobe, Creandum, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, Zettle founder Jacob de Geer, Hjalmar Winbladh, and Timo Soininen.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth and expand operations.
Founded in the summer of 2021 and launched in November the same year– by six-time entrepreneur Oliver Hildebrandt (CEO), veteran banker Axel Bruzelius (COO), and Spotify’s ex-VP of Analytics and former EQT Ventures partner Henrik Landgren (CPTO), ArK Kapital developed a proprietary AI platform called the ArK Intelligence Machine (AIM) that connects to the raw business data of a company, which, combined with relevant external market data, unlocks hidden possibilities for growth and strategic foresight. Founders plug into ArK’s machine learning platform with all their growth related accounts and in return get access to a detailed 5-year forecast – from which they can access customized funding. ArK’s financial product suite currently consists of a large growth loan that spans between €1-€10m, lasting up to seven years, with repayments not starting for two-to-three years. The second loan product in the portfolio allows founders to get instant access to the money they’ve earned through various marketplaces or app stores, allowing reinvestment into growth peaks. Both products are fully non-dilutive.
This brings up the total capital pool available for founders to lend from to €300m.
Candis Raises $16M in Funding
Candis, a Berlin, Germany-based provider of a software solution for automating accounts payable processes, raised $16M in funding.
The round, which brought total funding to $30m, was led by Viola FinTech, with participation from Lightspeed and Viola Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to launch credit cards which will provide a central overview of all expenses in real time, eliminating the need to wait weeks for a monthly statement.
Led by CEO Christian Ritosek, Candis provides an AI-driven software solution for small and medium-sized enterprises to automate financial processes such as invoice receipt, data entry, invoice approval, and data export. The company offers a cloud-based solution that can be used from anywhere and requires no onboarding.
Smart integrations with DATEV, Sage, Wolters Kluwer, and more further enhance the user experience enabling exportation of invoice data into the preferred accounting platforms.
Since its founding, the company has worked with over 4000 customers and 200+ partners.
UK-based Monese offers current accounts and money transfer services as an alternative to traditional banks. The mobile-only service provides accounts in Pounds sterling, Euros and Romanian leu.
FinTech Monese scores $35m investment from HSBC
According to Monese, the company and HSBC are closely aligned in their commitment to ‘opening up the full extent of digital banking possibilities’.
The investment, Monese claims, is a part of a broader, strategic partnership that will focus on Monese’s industry-leading, cloud-based Platform as a Service business.
The new funding will be used to support the continued growth of Monese’s FinTech platform.
In September 2021, Monese launched its PaaS business as well as a strategic partnership with Investec. As part of the collaboration, Investec led Monese’s Series C.
Monese CEO and founder Norris Koppel said, “Securing the support of a tier one global bank demonstrates the strength of our platform and the continued appetite from investors in the platform. I am delighted to have such a distinguished partner and investor in HSBC, who brings a great deal of experience in delivering exceptional banking services. We look forward to taking this partnership forward.”
Berlin-based topi scores €44.8 million to unlock seamless subscription-based transactions for retailers and manufacturers
Berlin-based fintech topi is empowering retailers and manufacturers to access subscription-based transactions and helping to fuel the shift to a circular economy. The startup has just secured €44.8 million and announced a strategic partnership with GRAVIS, a leading electronic retailer in Germany.
Shifting to a circular economy is one of the cornerstones of creating a more sustainable and equitable society. Not only does a circular economy rely on more conscious decisions from consumers, but it also needs businesses to rethink how they go about transactions and processes. At the same time, companies across Europe are facing uncertain and challenging economic times, and looking for ways to enhance their financial footing as well as operational efficiency.
It’s a big day for Berlin-based topi which has built infrastructure to address exactly these challenges. The startup has just announced a new capital investment of about €44.8 million alongside a new partnership with a leading electronics retailer – GRAVIS.
New funding, new partnerships
The Series A investment was led by Index Ventures and CREANDUM, with participation from Silicon Valley-based TriplePoint Capital.
It brings topi’s total raised to about €50 million from a range of investors, including prominent angels, such as founders and early employees of Adyen, Stripe, N26, HelloFresh, Cloudflare, Personio, and others.
GRAVIS is now a strategic partner for the firm as topi aims to become the standard choice for B2B.
€297m fund for European tech start-ups backed by AIB and ISIF
Claret Capital has raised €297m in funding for growing European start-ups in the technology and life sciences sectors, with contributions from AIB and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
The nearly €300m figure significantly overshoots the €250m target that London-based Claret had aimed for with its European Growth Capital Fund III.
Some of the fund’s backers include long-time investors the European Investment Fund, British Business Investments, RAG-Stiftung, Certior Capital and KfW Capital.
New investors AIB and ISIF have together committed €25m to the fund, according to the Irish Independent.
There are already 29 businesses in the Fund III portfolio, with the first investment made in March 2021.
Claret said that along with this final close of growth fund, several co-investment deals offering loans of up to €50m have also been finalised to support start-ups. Together, this will see Claret pump more than €500m of capital into an additional 50 to 60 new companies over the next three years.
Johan Kampe, managing partner at Claret, said that the fund will seek to work with leaderships teams and “disrupt” the industries they work in – ranging from enterprise software and fintech to marketplaces.
“In a market where uncertainty is impacting venture capital funding, the outlook remains positive in growth financing and we’re excited to grow our portfolio business and founders,” he said.
As well as AIB and ISIF, some of the other institutional investors that backed the latest fund and helped it exceed its target include Aozora Bank, Banca March and HNA, as well as some private entrepreneurs and industry experts.
Two Sigma Ventures Raises $400M Across Two Funds
Two Sigma Ventures, a NYC-based venture capital firm, closed two venture funds, totaling $400M.
Approximately 85% of the new capital comes from external investors, primarily institutions such as college endowments, non-profit foundations, pension funds, and hospital systems, with the remainder of the capital coming from Two Sigma’s partners and senior employees.
- Two Sigma Ventures IV (TSV IV), which will invest in early-stage startups, and
- Two Sigma Ventures Opportunity Fund II (TSV Opps II), which will invest in growth-stage companies.
Two Sigma Ventures invests across many industries including enterprise SaaS, fintech, techbio, consumer tech, crypto and defi, and more. The new capital will allow TSV to invest in breakthrough companies fundamentally changing the ways society and technology interact, transforming traditional industries, and helping to move humanity forward.
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