News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

young men pitching to a startup bootcamp

1. UK – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“Lightyear, a new stock trading app, has raised $8.5m and started onboarding customers to its app from a 5,000 strong waiting list.  

The new cash, which tops up the firm’s funding to $10m, comes from Habito backer Mosaic Ventures, who are the round’s lead investors, Taavet+Sten, the investment firm of Wise founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport’s Sten Tamkivi, as well a Metaplanet’s Jaan Tallinn and early Monzo backer Eileen Burbidge. 

In the summer of 2021, it raised its $1.5m pre-seed round with cash principally from Hinrikus, Tamkivi and Tallinn. Ott Kaukver, the CTO at, Wander Rutgers, the former President of Robinhood UK and Kaarel Kotkas, the founder of Veriff also participated. 

Lightyear is founded by early Wise, formerly Transferwise) alumni Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer. Nishil Parekh, Revolut’s former trading lead, is also one of its early employees leading Lightyear’s product development. A number of other hires, AltFi understands, come from Robinhoods’aborted UK launch team.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Major technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft and TikTok have pledged £1 million to an anti-fraud campaign in the UK 

Donated to Take Five to Stop Fraud, the anti-fraud campaign run by UK Finance, the cash will used to fund an advertising campaing warning consumers about common financial scams.

This pledge of support flows from the work of a recently established Online Fraud Steering Group, which brings together representatives from the technology and banking industries and law enforcement to work together to tackle fraud.” 



3. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“Money management app Plum is aiming to triple its valuation with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign at the end of September combined with a raise via institutional investors. 

Launched in the UK in 2017 by former TransferWise staffer Victor Trokoudes and Alex Michael of TicTail, Plum uses AI to automate key parts of personal finance for its two million users, such as automated savings, bill switching and investing.

The firm has raised $19.3m to date, with the last funding round in July 2020 with major investors Global Brain, the EBRD and Venture Friends. Plum, which has been backed by LendInvest’s Christian Faes for previous rounds, is also mustering support from Truelayer’s CEO & co-founder Francesco Simoneschi and ComplyAdvantage’s CEO & founder Charles Delingpole.

Plum is returning to the crowd following a solid showing in 2021 with registered customer numbers on track for 2.5m by the end of the year. The company has seen +240% growth in assets under management year-on-year since June 2020, reflecting the boom in savings and investing during the Covid-19 pandemic.” 



4. International – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Sydney-based fintech Cape, which is currently beta-testing its corporate credit cards, has partnered with Australian open banking provider Basiq. 

The tie-up is part of Basiq’s Startup Launchpad, which gives early-stage startups access to its technology and the ability to use real-time financial data. 

In Cape’s case, the fintech is planning to use this to streamline its customer application, risk analysis and underwriting processes, including instantly verifying identity, account and income information. 

“Open Banking technology offers a way to radically speed up the digital application process by offering instant decisions and personalised products. It also reduces the administrative burden on businesses when applying for credit or a change of terms,” said Cape CEO and founder Ryan Edwards-Pritchard. 


5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 


SellersFunding, an international Fintech firm focused on growth for digital commerce sellers, reveals that it has acquired $166.5 million in capital via a combination of equity and credit facility, with a round that was led by Northzone, along with contributions from Endeavor Catalyst and Fasanara. 

The capital secured will be directed towards supporting the firm’s efforts to enable digital commerce sellers to succeed in the fast-evolving market environment and scale operations internationally. 

Northzone, an early-stage VC fund working with founders across Europe and the US, is serving as a lead investor for the round. SellersFunding has now joined Northzone’s extensive portfolio of category-defining companies which include Hopin, Klarna, Spotify, Hopin and Trustpilot.”