As 2020 draws to a close, TFT highlights some of the biggest funding gains and notable investment updates for fintechs over the last 12 months.
Starling Bank raised £100million from two fundraising rounds this year. It raised £40million in a second funding round in May, which followed a first round worth £60million in February – both led by JTC and Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited. Since its launch in 2014, the bank has raised £363million.
Molo, the UK-based digital mortgage lender, raised £10million in a Series A round that closed in January. Then picked up a further £266million in debt and equity funding in November. Molo says the funding will accelerate its growth through additional investment in its proprietary technology and new product propositions.
Payments company GoCardless secured $95million in new funding in December. The Series F funding round was led by US private investment firm BainCapital. The new funding values the company at $970million – close to achieving unicorn status.
Revolut became one of the UK’s most valuable financial technology startups in 2020 after funding rounds more than tripled its value. The bank raised $80million from US private equity group TSG Consumer Partners in July as an extension of the $500million Series D funding round it completed in February.
While Chip, the automatic saving app, raised £10.7million in under 48 hours from crowdfunding and the government-backed Future Fund, as part of its series A round.
Fintech N26 raised $100million in May in an extension of its Series D investment round announced in 2019. Founded in 2013, N26 is Germany’s most valuable fintech, having raised $570million in total.
Meanwhile, electronics subscription service Grover secured a €250million top-up to an existing debt facility from existing investor Varengold Bank. It said the capital would be used to expand Grover’s product range and for the purchasing of assets.
Fintech Lydia secured $86million in a Series B extension funding this December. It took its total funding to $131million – the largest investment in the French sector to date. The round was led by Accel, with participation from existing shareholders. Since 2013, Lydia has so far raised more than $160million in funding from investors such as Tencent, XAnge, New Alpha, Groupe Duval and Founders Future.
Klarna becomes Europe’s biggest fintech unicorn
Buy now, pay later company Klarna became the highest-valued private fintech in Europe after raising €537million in an equity funding round in September. The funding round was led by Silver Lake, alongside GIC, as well as accounts managed by BlackRock and HMI Capital.
Mobile payments start-up Satispay unveiled a €93million Series A funding round co-led by Square and Tencent. Following the investment round, the post-money valuation for Satispay stood at €248million.
Bestow, the full-stack life insurance company, secured a $70million Series C funding round to take its total funding to $145million. The December funding round came from investors, including Breyer Capital, Valar Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Core Innovation Ventures, Morpheus Ventures and Sammons Financial.
Stock trading app Robinhood raised around $1.25billion in 2020 amid rumours of a public listing soon. In September, it increased the size of its Series G funding round to $660million with investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, DST Global, Ribbit Capital and 9Yards Capital.
Challenger bank Varo raised $241million in a Series D funding round in June. The round was co-led by Gallatin Point Capital and existing investor The Rise Fund. As a result, Varo hasnow raised a total of $419.4million.
Neobank Nubank, the second biggest credit card issuer in Brazil, picked up $300million in fresh funding this year. Investors to date include TCV, Tencent Holdings Ltd, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, Kaszek, as well as Thrive Capital.
Meanwhile in Canada, Wealthsimple secured CAD$114million in equity financing in October. The investment was led by TCV, alongside Greylock, Meritech, Two Sigma Ventures, in addition to existing investor Allianz X.
The Middle East and Africa
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) invested in four fintechs this year. FlexxPay, a company that helps employees by giving them salary advances; Go Rise, a company focused on financial services for migrant workers; NOW Money, a firm that aims to serve the unbanked or underbanked; and Sarwa, an online financial consulting firm. The fintechs received pre-series A to series A funding as part of a $100million fintech fund.
Meanwhile, a consortium of investors acquired a majority stake in Egypt’s e-payment platform Fawry for $100million. As a result, Fawry now has a market cap of more than $1billion, taking the crown of Egypt’s first unicorn.
Western Union invested $200million in stc pay, the fully owned subsidiary of telecom giant Saudi Telecom Company. The international money transfer giant has acquired a 15 per cent stake in Stc Pay as a result of the deal. stc said the deal created the first ‘Saudi unicorn and the first fintech unicorn in the Middle East’.
Israel’s AI platform Blackswan raised $28million in funding round led by by investors Prytek, FinTLV and MS&AD Ventures. It said the funds would be used to accelerate growth, continue developing new advanced AI applications, as well as expand the BlackSwan team.
B2B cross-border payments network Thunes raised $60million in Series B funding in September. Helios Investment Partners led the investment, with additional investors including Checkout.com as well as existing investors GGV Capital and Future Shape.
Syfe celebrates a huge Series A funding round.
Syfe, the digital wealth manager, successfully closed a SG$25.2million Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, one of the world’s leading VC funds for high potential fintech companies. Other investors included Presight Capital, as well as existing investor Unbound.
In November, insurtech Turtlemint secured $30million in a funding round led by GGV Capital. American Family Ventures, MassMutual Ventures and SIG; existing investors Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Dream Incubator and Trifecta Capital also participated in the round, which brings Turtlemint’s total to-date raise to $55million.
After raising $100million in a Series D funding round co-led by GIC and Sequoia Capital India, payments startup Razorpay secured unicorn status. Existing investors Y Combinator, Matrix Partners India, Tiger Global and Ribbit Capital also participated in the round.
Finally, True Balance, the South Korean company which runs a finance app aimed at making finance for all in rural India, raised $28million in November. Part of the company’s series D financial round, the investment took its total fund count to around $90million.
Look back on all our Bi-Weekly News Roundups here.