London-based fintech and digital wallet HyperJar announced a partnership with digital gift card network, Tillo. The announcement makes HyperJar the first spending app to integrate instant Cashback Gift Cards. The cards enable customers to earn instant cashback of up to 15% from more than 50 top brands including Ikea and Amazon.
In a statement, HyperJar’s Nicola Longfield underscored that not only was HyperJar the first app to integrate the cashback gift cards with a spending account, but also HyperJar was the first to offer “merchant cashback.” This option enables users to choose a higher cashback rate that is specific to a given merchant.
HyperJar’s partnership news comes one month after the company secured $24 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Susquehanna Private Equity Investments. More than 500,000 individuals, including more than 100,000 child cardholders, use HyperJar’s digital wallets.
HyperJar began the year with the appointment of a new CEO, Morgan Stanley veteran Rob Rooney.
A handful of U.K.-based fintechs secured funding this week. Instant payments company Lopay announced a seed investment of $7.3 million (£6 million). Participating in the round were BackedVC, Portage, The Venture Collective, and angel investors. With 20,000 SMEs signed up since launch, the company offers a app that allows small businesses to accept card payments. The app also enables instant access to cleared funds as soon as transactions are completed. Founded in 2022, Lopay plans to use the capital to expand its operations.
Fellow U.K.-based fintech Kennek was another company that locked in seed funding this week. The firm raised $12.5 million in new capital in a round led by HV Capital. Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One also participated. The investment follows a $4.5 million pre-seed round closed in February.
Founded in 2021 and headquartered in London, Kennek offers an operating system for lending via a platform that supports the entire lending lifecycle from loan origination to servicing. The company will use the funds to further develop its core technology and add employees.
But the big winner of the week for U.K. fintechs in terms of funding was Untangled Finance. The firm, which operates a tokenized real-world asset (RWA) marketplace, secured $13.5 million in strategic funding in a round led by Fasanara Capital. Founded in 2020, Untangled Finance plans to use the capital for product development and to fuel growth.
The London-based company offers a tokenization platform that facilitates placing traditional financial assets on a blockchain. These real-world financial assets can range from bonds to real estate. Untangled Finance is part of a growing field within the digital asset industry that specializes in asset tokenization, a field that could grow as large as $5 trillion within the next five years, according to a recent report. Note that, along with its investment, Fasanara Capital opened two private tokenized credit pools on Untangled Finance’s platform.
Speaking of DeFi, for those who believe that regulation is the path to greater acceptance of cryptocurrencies, this week’s announcement from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could be considered good news.
Within 24 hours of its new cryptoassets regulatory regime going live, the FCA has issued 146 alerts to non-compliant companies that were promoting cryptoassets to U.K. customers in violation of the new policy, which was announced earlier this year.
In a statement, the FCA urged consumers to check its publicly available “Warning List” before investing or trading in cryptocurrencies. “We take a risk-based approach, so not alll firms of potential concern will be added straightaway,” the FCA explained. At the same time, regulators hope their Warning List will nevertheless help would-be crypto investors “understand where firms’ promotions may be breaking the law and to consider the promotion with the full information available.”
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
- Coinbase secured a Major Payment Institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
- Packworks, a Philippines-based fintech, inked a deal to help SMEs secure microfinancing.
- Forbes looked at the current challenges facing Chinese fintechs.
- Nigerian startup Haba InsurTech raised $75,000 in pre-seed funding.
- Kenya-based Buy Now, Pay Later fintech Lipa Later announced an investment of $3.4 million.
- Nigeria’s Paystack announced an expansion into offline payments with the launch of virtual terminals for in-person bank transfers.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Slovakia-based online payment solutions provider TrustPay launched an instant refunds feature.
- BlackRock secured a minority stake in German digital wealth managment platform Upvest.
- AML prevention and compliance solutions provider Savy forged a partnership with Lithuanian regtech AMLYZE.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- MENA-based open banking platform Tarabut partnered with digital lending platform FLOOSS to bring digital loans to Bahrain.
- Israeli fintech Stampli secured $61 million for its AI-powered accounts payable automation platform.
- Emirates NBD launched its digital wealth platform.
Central and Southern Asia
- India-based Axis Bank partners with Fibe to launch the country’s first numberless credit card.
- Uzum Group, and a group of institutional investors, have pledged to invest $300 million in Uzbekistan’s digital economy.
- Indian fintech Spice Money announced a collaboration with NSDL Payments Bank.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- U.K.-based TerraPay teamed up with Bancolombia to enhance cross-border remittances in Colombia.
- Fiserv acquired Brazilian EFT solution Skytef.
- Chilean fintech Galgo secured $40 million in funding led by Mexico’s Nazca fund.
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