News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

An archer taking aim.

1.UK – FinTech


Altfi reports: 


“JPMorgan Chase has entered into an agreement to acquire digital wealth manager Nutmeg for an undisclosed amount ahead of the launch of its new digital bank. 

Sanoke Viswanathan, CEO of International Consumer at JPMorgan Chase said: “We are building Chase in the U.K. from scratch using the very latest technology and putting the customer’s experience at the heart of our offering, principles that Nutmeg shares with us." 

Neil Alexander, CEO of Nutmeg said: “Nutmeg’s customers can expect the same level of transparency, convenience and service that helped make us a leading digital wealth manager in the U.K. I am truly impressed with the digital experience that Chase is building for the U.K., and this new chapter in our story will see Nutmeg’s customers benefit from a wider range of products and services in the future, and allow us to expand into new markets.” 

Nutmeg launched in 2012 and now has 140,000 investors and £3.5bn of assets under management (AUM).” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Challenger bank Bunq is said to have closed a funding round with an undisclosed British private equity firm, according to Altfi. 

“The deal, first reported by Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, is said to be for €160m at a €1.65bn price tag—a sizable jump from the group’s last €10m fundraise in 2018, which came solely from CEO Ali Niknam. 

Earlier this year Bunq reached €1bn in user deposits, a doubling over the last year, and now operates in all EU countries plus the UK. 

Niknam, who has long-hinted that the bank is working on an external funding round after pouring some €100m of his own fortune into the startup since 2014, declined to comment when asked by AltFi about the funding round. 

According to Het Financieele Dagblad the funding round is pending regulatory approval as the Dutch financial regulator will need to greenlight the deal, which also reportedly involves Bunq acquiring an SME lender from the private equity firm’s portfolio. 

There are many questions as to what this deal means for Bunq, a challenger bank that has never disclosed the size of its European customer base nor its revenue or profitability, and has been bootstrapped by Niknam. 

Hopefully when the deal closes in the weeks ahead we’ll learn more about this mystery.” 


3. US – FinTech 

Cryptocurrency compliance and risk management platform TRM Labs has closed a $14 Million Series A funding round, according to Finextra. 

“PayPal Ventures, which joined a $4.2 million funding round for the startup in 2019, has re-invested, alongside Bessemer, Initialized Capital, Jump Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Operator Partners, Blockchain Capital, and executives from Google.

TRM Labs aims to help financial institutions embrace the opportunities associated with cryptocurrencies by mitigating the risks.

It integrates with more than a dozen blockchains, and analyses billions of virtual asset transactions to detect signs of fraud and financial crime like money laundering in real-time.

Launched out of the Y Combinator accelerator just last year, TRM drove 600 percent revenue growth in the last year and has doubled headcount.” 


4. US – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“In December 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in a New York federal court against Ripple Labs, Inc. and two of its executives alleging that Ripple had sold $1.3 billion in XRP cryptocurrency tokens in a series of unregistered securities offerings. Because of the potentially monumental impact of this case, almost anyone with an interest in cryptocurrency or blockchain has been following this case closely. A key issue in the case, which recently came to light in a filing by Ripple, is Ripple’s assertion of a defense known as “fair notice.”  The court’s ruling on Ripple’s fair notice defense could have far-reaching implications.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Novus, an "impact-driven" startup has teamed up with Visa and Railsbank on a mobile application that rewards users for sustainable purchasing choices. 

Set to launch this summer with a 15,000 waitlist, Novus rewards its community with real-time impact points that can be spent, saved and tracked via the app.

Members can choose to use the impact points they generate in the app through everyday payments towards issues like gender inequality, world hunger and ocean pollution.

They can then track their impact in real time to see just how much of a difference they are making, as well as track and offset their carbon footprint based on their card activity.

An in-app marketplace features ethical and sustainable brands to help make it more accessible to lead a sustainable lifestyle for those looking to do so.”