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Banking platform solarisBank raises $67.5 million at $360 million valuation

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Despite the Wirecard fallout, German fintech startup solarisBank has raised a Series C funding round of $67.5 million (€60 million). Following today’s funding round, solarisBank is now valued at $360 million (€320 million). solarisBank doesn’t have any consumer product directly. Instead, it offers financial services to other fintech companies through a set of APIs.

With solarisBank, you can build a fintech startup and leverage solarisBank’s line of products to do the heavy lifting. It’s an infrastructure company in the banking space.

While solarisBank might not be a familiar name, some of its clients have become quite popular. They include challenger banks, such as Tomorrow, Insha and a newcomer called Vivid, business banking startups, such as Penta and Kontist, trading app Trade Republic, cryptocurrency startups Bison and Bitwala, etc.

Overall, solarisBank works with 70 companies that have attracted 400,000 clients in total.

HV Holtzbrinck Ventures is leading the round with existing investor yabeo committing a substantial follow-on investment. Other new investors include Vulcan Capital, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Storm Ventures. Existing investors BBVA, SBI Group, ABN AMRO Ventures, Global Brain, Hegus and Lakestar are investing again.

The company started the fundraising process back in December. Due to the economic prospects, it has been a mixed process. “A lot of investors looked at their portfolio companies and the appetite to look at something new was not there,” solarisBank CEO Roland Folz told me. But everything worked out eventually as around half of the funding comes from existing investors.

“We originally were looking for €40 million but we were overwhelmed by the interest of investors in spite of Covid,” solarisBank Head of Strategy and Shareholder Relations Layla Qassim told me.

solarisBank’s vision could be summed up in two words — regulation and modularity. The company is a fully licensed bank, which means that its clients don’t have to apply to a banking license themselves.

And the startup lets you pick the modules that you want to use for your product. Maybe you’re building a mobile cryptocurrency wallet and you just want to be able to give an IBAN and a debit card to your users. Maybe you’re building a used car marketplace like CarNext and you want to offer credit. Maybe you want to build a challenger bank but address a specific vertical.

With solarisBank, you can open bank accounts and issue payment cards attached to those accounts. You can also issue cards and attach them to a different account in case you’re integrating with existing bank accounts. The startup also offers various services around payments, vouchers, cross-border transactions and more.

More recently, the company launched a new feature called Splitpay with American Express. When customers check out on an e-commerce platform in Germany, American Express customers will be able to choose a repayment plan to pay over multiple months.

solarisBank generates revenue from its clients as they pay to use the company’s APIs and enable accounts and cards. solarisBank also collects the interchange fees on card transactions and share revenue with its clients. Similarly, solarisBank can offer to share revenue on credit interests with its clients.

In the future, solarisBank plans to make its portfolio of financial services even more compelling by introducing local IBANs in the most important European markets. It should make it easier to convince potential clients outside of Germany to use solarisBank as their banking infrastructure.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/29/banking-platform-solarisbank-raises-67-5-million-at-360-million-valuation/

Business Insider

George Soros Buys Millions’ Worth of Stocks Linked to Bill Hwang’s Archegos Collapse: Bloomberg

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George Soros reportedly snapped up stocks that took a hit amid the collapse of Archegos Capital Management in March.

What Happened: Billionaire George Soros’ investment firm Soros Fund Management bought shares of CBS Corporation (NASDAQ:VIAC), DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC (NASDAQ:DISCA) and Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) as these stocks were at a discount after Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management collapsed, Bloomberg reports. 

Soros bought $194 million in ViacomCBS shares and $77 million in Baidu shares, the report said. The firm also bought $46 million worth of Vipshop Holdings Ltd (NYSE:VIPS) shares and $34 million of Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s (NYSE:TME) shares.

A person familiar with the fund’s trading told Bloomberg that the company didn’t hold the shares before Archegos’ implosion. 

Why It Matters: Hwang ran a family office that imploded in March and caused massive losses at a few big banks when Archegos couldn’t meet margin calls. Archegos had more than $20 billion of capital and total bets exceeding $100 billion.

Hwang was very successful with his family office until he began to overutilize leverage, or borrowed money, to chase higher returns in the market. The problem with this strategy comes when investments start to lose money, and the banks lending the investor money begin to get nervous and initiate margin calls.

Subsequently, shares of Archegos investments ViacomCBS, Discovery and others temporarily crashed during the Archegos unwinding.

Global banks lost nearly $10 billion from the Archegos fallout. Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS), Nomura Holdings Inc (TYO:8604) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) were among the hardest hit.

Image Credit: CC BY 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/etf/george-soros-buys-millions-worth-of-stocks-linked-to-bill-hwang-s-archegos-collapse-bloomberg-1030433240

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How one founder’s startup journey began with dropping out of school to work with Drake

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This week’s episode of Found features Courtne Smith, founder of NewNew, a social app where people pay to vote on your decisions. The platform takes the concept of social polling to the next level, essentially allowing everyone to monetize their choices by turning them into a kind of social stock market where others can purchase shares to accumulate more or less decision power based on what they’re willing to spend.

Courtne’s path to NewNew was immediately preceded by the creation of Surprize, a social trivia and prize-giving app that leveraged crowdsourcing to pick and award its prizes. But long before that, the Toronto native made a bold decision — encouraged by, of all people, her pastor father — to drop out of school and go work for Drake the very outset of his career as his personal assistant.

We talked to Courtne about making that risky deviation from a relatively traditional and safe path, and about how she eventually moved on from many years of working with Drake during his rise to global success: Another counterintuitive decision to go from something that was already working out well, to pursue something unknown. Courtne tells us about her overall entrepreneurial drive, which has always stemmed from a desire to create something game-changing, and about how when it came time to attract investors for her ventures, she opted not to leverage her deep-pocketed connections and instead sought capital on the merits of her ideas alone.

We had a great time chatting with Courtne, and we hope you have just as much fun listening. And of course, we’d love if you can subscribe to Found in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcasts or in your podcast app of choice. Please leave us a review and let us know what you think, or send us direct feedback either on Twitter or via email. And please join us again next week for our next featured founder.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/16/how-one-founders-startup-journey-began-with-dropping-out-of-school-to-work-with-drake/

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CBDCs Are Not That Stable And May Eventually Kill Bitcoin, Says Financial Expert

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In early Sunday trading, BTC prices had fallen to their lowest levels for over 11 weeks, hitting $46,700 before a minor recovery.

The last time Bitcoin dropped to these levels was at the end of February during the second major correction of this ongoing rally. A rebound off that bottom sent prices above $60K for the first time in the two weeks that followed.

Later today, Bitcoin is going to close another weekly candle. In case the candle closes at those levels, this will become the worst weekly close since February 22nd, when BTC ended the week at $45,240, according to Bitstamp. Two weeks ago the weekly candle closed at $49,200, which the current lowest week close since February.

Second ‘Lower Low’ For Bitcoin

This time around, things feel slightly different and the bearish sentiment is returning to crypto-asset markets. Since its all-time high of $65K on April 14, Bitcoin has made a lower high and has now formed a second lower low on the daily chart, which is indicative of a larger downtrend developing.

Analyst ‘CryptoFibonacci’ has been eyeing the weekly chart which also suggests the bulls could be running out of steam.


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The move appears to have been driven by Elon Musk again with a tweet about Bitcoin’s energy consumption on May 13. Bitcoin’s fear and greed index has dropped to 20 – ‘extreme fear’ – its lowest level since the March 2020 market crash. At the time of press, BTC was trading at just under $48,000, down 4% over the past 24 hours.

Market Cap Shrinks by $150B

As usual, the move has initiated a selloff for the majority of other cryptocurrencies resulting in around $150 billion exiting the markets over the past day or so.

The total market cap has declined to $2.3 trillion after an all-time high of $2.5 trillion on May 12. Things are still high on the long term view but losses could accelerate rapidly if the bearish sentiment increases.

Not all crypto assets are correcting this weekend, and some have been building on recent gains to push even higher – although they are few in number.

Those weekend warriors include Cardano which has added 4.8% on the day to trade at $2.27 according to Coingecko. ADA hit an all-time high on Saturday, May 15 reaching $2.36, a gain of 54% over the past 30 days.

Ripple’s XRP is also seeing a resurgence with a 13% pump on the day to flip Cardano for the fourth spot. XRP is currently trading at $1.58 with a market cap of $73 billion. The only other two cryptocurrencies in the green at the time of writing are Stellar and Solana, gaining 3.7% and 12% respectively.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coingenius.news/cbdcs-are-not-that-stable-and-may-eventually-kill-bitcoin-says-financial-expert-55/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cbdcs-are-not-that-stable-and-may-eventually-kill-bitcoin-says-financial-expert-55

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Business Insider

VIVO Clinic Unveils New Travel Information Portal

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Leading PCR test provider VIVO Clinic has launched a travel information portal to assist with international trips to and from the UK.

BIRMINGHAM, England, May 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — During the pandemic, travel has been severely restricted. Now that the Government has launched a traffic light system designation for every country, UK residents are once again beginning to book holidays for the future.

The travel information portal is a comprehensive resource that provides relevant travel information in one place.

Travellers can browse countries based on the current traffic light designation and live popularity.

When viewing specific countries, travellers can see:

  • Which tests are required before, during, and after their trip
  • Current restrictions in that country
  • Weather, currency conversion, and time difference
  • Up to date Covid-19 statistics for that location
  • Flight and hotel availability

Commenting on the new system, Will Andrews, CTO at VIVO Clinic says: “International travel is set to bounce back in a big way, but understanding current restrictions and requirements can be confusing, and planning a trip can involve a time-consuming slog through many resources.”

The system automatically aggregates hundreds of data sources to provide information for 330 countries.

“We are incredibly proud of our travel information portal and hope that it will simplify international travel so customers can book trips confidently and safely.”

COVID-19 Advice for Travelling from the UK

press@vivoteam.co.uk
0333 305 8486

Related Images

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Covid-19 Travel Portal
Travel information portal on iPad

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/vivo-clinic-unveils-new-travel-information-portal-1030433230

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