European FinTech deal this week include auxmoney
We feature Q&As with Allindex and Margaris Ventures
Check out the B2B FinTech Radar, our microsite focused on SaaS / Enterprise FinTech founders with global ambitions
7 Questions with Christian Kronseder of Allindex
1.Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
Work: Before starting ALLINDEX, I was global COO of STOXX and Head of Markets at Royal Bank of Scotland, Switzerland. I have a professorship for data science which is a synergetic activity also for building our FinTech.
Leisure: I live in Switzerland and hence very much enjoy the hiking and skiing opportunities, spending my free time with my family.
7 Questions with Spiros Margaris of Margaris Ventures
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
My name is Spiros Margaris, and I am a venture capitalist (VC) and the founder of Margaris Ventures. I have been in the investment business for quite some time, with more than 25 years of international experience in investment management/research and startups. In my role as a VC, I also act as an advisor to my globally spread FinTech and InsurTech startup portfolio. I am the first international influencer to achieve ‘The Triple Crown’ of influencer rankings by being ranked the global No. 1 FinTech, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain influencer by Onalytica in 2018. I am very fortunate to regularly appear in the top three positions of the established global industry influencer rankings due to the generous support of great FinTech industry friends and participants. In 2017, I had the opportunity to give a speech at the TEDxAcademy Talk. In addition, for the enterprise software vendor SAP, I wrote an AI white paper, ‘Machine learning in financial services: Changing the rules of the game’.
German digital lending platform auxmoney bags €500M from Citi, Natixis
Düsseldorf-based auxmoney, a digital lending platform, announced on Wednesday that it has secured €500M from US banking firm Citigroup and French asset management company Natixis.
The company says it will use the funds to invest in consumer loans on its platform. To date, the company has raised $3.64B in funding.
Daniel Drummer, CFO of auxmoney, says, “With two renowned financial institutions providing funding at scale, this deal underlines the profound trust of investors in auxmoney and the appeal of digital lending as an asset class, even in a more volatile market environment. In addition, this funding commitment further strengthens auxmoney’s excellent standing as a tech-enabled platform for institutional investors.”
The announcement comes over a year after the company raised €250M from Citigroup and Chenavari Investment Managers.
German Neobank Acquired by Ageras Group as Fintech Continues European Expansion
The Berlin-based neo-bank focused on the complex accounting and banking needs of Germany’s growing populations of microbusinesses and self-employed workers, Kontist, has been acquired by Ageras Group, the financial matchmaking service, as it looks to expand its all-in-one fintech offering for SMEs.“This acquisition is a critical step in Ageras’ growth,” said Ageras co-founder and CEO Rico Andersen. “Kontist has created the best product in Europe’s largest market. It’s a one-stop financial shop for approximately 50,000 German small business owners today, and it’s perfectly positioned to become the go-to financial platform for future generations of small business owners in need of modern banking and accounting tools.”
Founded in 2016 by fintech veteran Christopher Plantener as Germany’s first neo-bank focused on freelancers and the self-employed, 150-person Kontist has developed a reputation for its modern business banking and its highly sophisticated digital tax and accounting software.
Kontist offers self-employed and microbusiness owners bank accounts, payment cards and accounting features, as well as tax returns calculation and filing, all via its app. Also, Kontist’s bank accounts automatically calculate relevant sales and income taxes and set aside estimated taxes due, among other services designed to protect business owners amid Germany’s uniquely complex tax laws.
“Under Ageras, we will be able to benefit from an international accounting and financial ecosystem and continue to foster our position as the number one financial services and tax player for the self-employed,” said Kontist co-CEO Benjamin Esser. “With annual growth rates of nearly 100 per cent over the past few years, we have only scratched the surface of what is a tremendous opportunity.”
African fintech acquires health insurer
Nigeria-based Royal Exchange Healthcare has sold a majority stake to Dot and will use the proceeds to fund operations and expand staff numbers.
Africa-focused financial services company Dot has taken a majority stake in health insurance provider Royal Exchange Healthcare (REH).
Aluko & Oyebode provided legal advice to Dot and its affiliates on the transaction, for which deal values were not published.
Amsterdam-headquartered Dot was founded in 2021, and leverages technology and a 27,000-strong agency network to expand access to financial and insurance services to consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.
Operating under Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme, Lagos-headquartered REH functions as a financial intermediary between healthcare users and providers, designing and selling a variety of medical health plans to suit differing needs.
The deal will provide additional working capital for sustaining REH’s operations and increasing staff numbers across many aspects of the business, with a view to transforming it into a pre-eminent health maintenance brand in Nigeria.
Aluko & Oyebode used a team led by partner Ajibola Asolo, with assistance from associates Amarachi Nickabugu, Michael Nwanneka and Gregory Yinka-Gregg.
PayStand Acquires Yaydoo in One of Latam’s Biggest Tech Mergers
PayStand said in a Wednesday (Aug. 3) press release that the scale of the combined company could put it on the path to an initial public offering (IPO) in the next two years.
Both PayStand and Yaydoo have created accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) solutions for American and Latin American businesses, and they have built B2B decentralized finance (DeFi) payment networks in both the United States and Mexico, the release stated.
“The combined company will be one of the first global B2B blockchain platforms at a significant scale,” said PayStand CEO Jeremy Almond in the release. “The resulting company will have processed over $5 billion in payments, added 300 additional employees, and built a network of over 500,000 connected businesses, the largest of any commercial B2B blockchains in the world.”
Yaydoo CEO Sergio Almaguer said in the release that the acquisition will open opportunities to automate supply chain finance “through the imports and exports of one of the most active trade corridors globally” while also forming B2B payments alliances between the U.S. and Mexico.
Last month, PayStand launched what it called the world’s first dynamic discounting application for seller AR teams, powered by Ethereum smart contracts.
Concept Ventures rolls out £50 million pre-seed fund to back 60 startups in the UK
The ticket size of the UK-based VC’s investment would be in the range of £100,000-£600,000 for the 60 startups in the next five years
London-based venture capital firm Concept Ventures has launched £50 million fund in the U.K to back over 60 startups in its pre-seed stage. According to the company, it is the largest dedicated pre-seed fund in the U.K.
The oversubscribed fund includes a £30 million commitment from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, the U.K. government’s economic development bank.
The ticket size of its investment would be in the range of £100,000-£600,000. The company will invest in 60 startups in a span of five years.
Founded in 2018, the VC has backed over 100 founders at the pre-seed stage, with Concept backed-founders seeing a 71 per cent graduation rate from pre-seed onward. The new companies will join the portfolio companies, including corporate gifting platform Reachdesk, live-streaming video pioneers Condense, and female financial education platform, Your Juno.
Seedstars announces first close of $30m emerging market seed stage fund
The Switzerland-based Seedstars has launched its second emerging market seed stage fund with a first close of US$20 million.
Since 2013, Seedstars has supported over 90 emerging market venture ecosystems, while its first investment fund – Seedstars International Ventures – backed 81 companies in over 30 countries, including Nigeria’s Omnibiz.
The Seedstars International Ventures II fund is backed by notable investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Visa Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Symbiotics.
With US$20 million of its US$30 million target already raised, Seedstars plans to invest in 100 pre-seed and seed stage companies across Asia, Africa, MENA, and LATAM in the next three years. Investments will be focused on companies building for the future of finance, commerce, health, work and education, with follow-on investments up to Series A. The fund also includes a blended finance component with a first-loss tranche that provides downside protection for investments in the lowest-income markets.
“I have no doubt about the abundance of talented founders or the market opportunities, but the challenges can’t be ignored. Our strategy innovates on so many levels to mitigate risk, be it through our country diversification, portfolio construction strategy, value creation platform, or the blended finance structure. We have a unique recipe, an incredible team, and backers in place to build on the success of the first fund and level the playing field for tech entrepreneurs around the world,” said Seedstars partner Charlie Graham-Brown.
Seedstars has also developed a Value Creation Platform to help portfolio companies scale up rapidly. The primary component of the Value Creation Platform is the Growth Track, a three-month mentor-led sprint, where portfolio companies are equipped with the tools and methodologies to run a professional growth team. The platform also provides companies with access to a vast network of 1,300 mentors, support with fundraising, a group of peers, and various other benefits.
Flashpoint unveils $102 million fund to back startups from Emerging Europe, ropes in first institutional investment partner
The Hungarian fund manager Széchenyi Funds will invest $20 million in Flashpoint VC III fund to reach its target fund size
London-based investment firm that manages venture capital, growth secondary, and venture debt funds, Flashpoint has wrapped up $102 million for its VCIII fund. The fund will focus on global Series A tech startups originating in Emerging Europe.
The company has also roped in its first institutional investment limited partner, Széchenyi Funds. The Hungarian fund manager will invest $20 million in Flashpoint’s VC III fund. While Széchenyi Funds’ focus is on financial institutions, large corporates, and more mature SMEs, it provides startups with ‘smart money’ through domestic incubators and accelerators and especially through fund of funds investments.
Michael Szalontay, co-founder and general partner at Flashpoint said: “We have reached our initial goal of over $100 million for our fund despite the extremely challenging backdrop for fundraising. Being a Hungarian, I am especially proud that our first institutional investor is from Hungary as we are pursuing a shared mission in developing the venture capital ecosystem in Hungary and the Carpathian basin.”
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