1.UK – FinTech
“Bottlepay, a Bitcoin-based global payments app, has secured £11 million in a seed funding. The round was led by a range of investors including British fund manager and billionaire Alan Howard, present and former Goldman Sachs partners, FinTech Collective, NYDIG, and tech entrepreneur Phil Doye.
The funding will be used to expand the team and develop the platform’s functionality and geographical reach.
Founded by Pete Cheyne and Peter O’Donoghue, Bottlepay facilitates instant payments, including micropayments, in conventional currencies and Bitcoin.
The UK company’s open payment network aims to transform the digital economy by making digital micropayments and cross-border transactions viable by reducing excessive fees.”
2. UK - FinTech
“UK-based fiat and crypto payments network Bottlepay has raised £11 million in a seed funding round backed by British fund manager Alan Howard, present and former Goldman Sachs partners, FinTech Collective and Nydig.
Built on the Lightning Network, the Bottlepay app aims to faciliate social, streaming, and micropayments by offering real-time funds transfer in bitcoin and conventional currencies and integration with popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit and Discord.
The product gained over 20,000 users for a beta version of the app with no marketing, after being rated as the number one Crunchbase Bitcoin start-up globally.
Bottlepay says it will use the funding - which gives the startup a £51 million post-money valuation - to expand its team, improve functionality and increase the geographical reach of the service over the coming year.”
3. UK - FinTech
“The money transfer fintech formerly known as TransferWise has rebranded as 'Wise'.
The firm, which is ten years old, has dropped the ‘Transfer’, despite handling £4.5bn in cross-border transactions every month. The reason? It wants its new name to better reflect its strategy of offering a growing array of financial services that moves it more and more towards the ‘super app’ category.
Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, Wise launched in 2011 and has raised over $1bn in primary and secondary fundraises from the likes of Fidelity, Baillie Gifford and Vulcan Capital, the investment business of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Initially, Wise offered money transfers but is increasingly positioning a full suite of cross-border banking services for its 10 million personal and business customers.
In the UK Wise was last year awarded new FCA permissions to offer savings and investments products. These are widely expected to launch later in 2021.”
4. UK – FinTech
“Lloyds Banking Group is tapping Mastercard's Open Banking software to enable customers to pay off their credit card bills via their mobile app and draw on funds directly from a current account of their choice.
By initiating a PISP (Payment Initiation Service Provider) payment using Mastercard’s Open Banking Connect system, Lloyds Banking customers will no longer need to go through the hassle of re-keying debit card details or having to set up the credit card as a payee from a current account using a different banking app.”
5. International – FinTech
“Last year, the European Union approved pan-European crowdfunding rules that will apply to all member states thus finally offering a harmonized approach to online capital formation. Crowdfunding advocates and European platforms had long recognized the unnecessary friction intrinsic to raising capital based on national regulations instead of across the EU. The final legislation allows issuers the ability to raise up to €5 million during a 12 month period thus representing a significant improvement to the market. Industry participants embraced the changes that took years to be approved.
Recently, the German Crowdfunding Association (Bundesverband Crowdfunding eV) hosted an online event reviewing the European regulatory changes. The event included the participation of industry insiders that shared unique perspective into the emerging ecosystem.”