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Buy Now Pay Later Gaining Popularity

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Buy now, pay later (BNPL) spending is set to nearly triple between 2018 and 2025, data from BNPL app Definanzas.com suggests, with much of that due to pandemic-driven spending pattern changes.

Definanzas.com has seen its number of monthly active users grow by 186 percent year-over-year so far in 2021. App installs have increased by 46 percent over the same period.

From its 2018 total of $285 billion, BNPL spending is expected to hit $680 billion by mid-decade. Bank of America estimates the BNPL app market could grow by 15-fold through 2025. That could drive global BNPL spending to $1 trillion.

Even with those projections, BNPL remains a fringe option for overall spending. In North America, BNPL spending accounted for 0.9 percent of all spends in 2020. It could hit three percent by 2023 (Capgemini survey). It is a much more accepted option in some other cultures.

Credit remains king, with 62.4 percent of survey respondents preferring it to 30.1 percent for BNPL. That could be changing, as companies like PayPal now offer BNPL. The PayPal option has attracted 330,000 merchants and 3.3 million unique customers since launching less than a year ago. Whatever the reasons, digital commerce could grow by 20 percent to $4.2 trillion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, with Americans contributing as much as $930 billion of that sum.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176408-buy-now-pay-later-gaining-popularity/

Crowdfunding

UK-based BaaS Fintech 10x Future Technologies Finalizes Oversubscribed $187M Round led by BlackRock, Others

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London-based 10x Future Technologies, a Cloud banking solution provider, has finalized an oversubscribed $187 million Series C round.

The company states:

“10x Future Technologies is … focused on transforming banking to be 10x better for customers, banks and society. The group has developed its own cloud-native SuperCore™ banking-as-a-service platform to address a bank’s core architecture challenges. With its ambition to help transform the way banks operate, 10x is also committed to doing business the right way and help build a banking sector that is more secure, fair and transparent, providing services that benefit customers and society.”

The 10x Future Technologies investment round was co-led by funds that are managed by BlackRock and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). Existing investors JPMorgan Chase, Nationwide, Ping An and Westpac also took part in the round.

The UK-based tech firm will use the proceeds to support its expansion efforts into new markets, such as North America. The company will also use the funds to further develop the Cloud native 10x SuperCore™ platform.

The Fintech firm noted that the additional capital will support its plans to scale its platform to 1 billion end-users globally within the next 10 years.

10x customers reportedly include building society Nationwide and Australia-based Westpac, which is getting ready to introduce a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that will be run on the 10x SuperCore™.

10x is working cooperatively with leading banking institutions across the globe. Recently, the firm started working with a top-tier bank in a new jurisdiction to offer a greenfield transformation project.

Antony Jenkins, Founder, Chair and CEO of 10x Future Technologies, stated:

“This funding round represents another significant milestone in our journey to become the operating system of choice for leading banks across the globe. With our microservices architecture and API-first design, our platform has been purposefully designed to enable the world’s largest banks to transform their customer experience and economics. Our vision is to reliably support more than one billion of their customers within the next 10 years.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176795-uk-based-baas-fintech-10x-future-technologies-finalizes-oversubscribed-187m-round-led-by-blackrock-others/

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Nutmeg Delivers Returns to Crowdfunding Investors, Industry Needs More News Like This

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Yesterday it was reported that Nutmeg, a digital investment manager operating in the UK, had been acquired by JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM). The Fintech had already partnered with the bank and JPM apparently decided to utilize Nutmeg’s tech as a step to launch a digital-only bank, under the Chase name, in the UK. JP Morgan acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of Nutmeg at a reported valuation of £700 million or around $973 million.

While much of the news focused on JP Morgan’s acquisition designed to buttress a new digital banking venture it should be noted that Nutmeg offered shares to retail investors on Crowdcube back in 2019. At that time, Nutmeg raised £3,783,549 in equity capital with 2168 smaller investors backing the Fintech. Nutmeg raised funding at a pre-money valuation of £251 million thus indicating a return of over 2X for shareholders.

While exact details have yet to filter out, one report indicates that JPM purchased the shares from between £30 to £32 each while Crowdcube investors bought at £12.82 a share. Not a  bad return after holding the security for just 2 years.

Investing in early-stage ventures is not for the impatient nor for individuals unwilling to shoulder the heightened risk (balanced by the hope of outsized returns). As any VC knows, the returns of a few winners make up for the failures of the many. Many startups fail over time, and while some may bounce along for years, creating an opportunity for an exit with an index beating return is not necessarily the norm. Investment crowdfunding platforms have enabled smaller investors the option to participate in risky assets that have been the exclusive realm of the wealthy in the past – a good opportunity for portfolio diversification. News like the acquisition of Nutmeg by JP Morgan is something we will hopefully be hearing more of in the coming years as crowdfunded issuers mature and some emerge as viable, profitable ventures. In the end, crowdfunding platforms, and the securities they list, will be judged by the returns generated for investors on a portfolio basis.

Another bright spot in the equation is the emergence of secondary trading platforms provided by securities crowdfunding platforms. Seedrs trailblazed this segment of online investing with its Secondary Marketplace that claims the title as the “biggest marketplace for buyers and sellers of Europe’s hottest startups” (including 75 Fintechs currently).  Over the past several years, Seedrs Secondary Marketplace has iterated and grown thus providing a viable exit opportunity for private securities beyond the more traditional initial public offering or acquisition. Over time, this service will play a larger role in the future of Seedrs.

Recently, Crowdcube announced it will soon launch its own secondary trading platform. Long-anticipated, last month Crowdcube revealed the forthcoming launch of “Cubex“.

At that time, Crowdcube explained that gone are the days of only IPOs or acquisitions as a pathway for a successful exit. The platform pointed out that companies are staying private longer these days thus minimizing gains available for public investors. Crowdcube stated:

“Secondary sales are not new to us, we’ve arranged one-off secondary transactions for multiple companies in our portfolio. Since 2017, we have delivered over £16m in liquidity through secondary shares. Most notably, Revolut shareholders achieved 20x returns in 2018. Secondary sales are proving increasingly popular as our portfolio matures and the profile of business raising capital on the marketplace continues to evolve.”

Cubex has already been tested with a secondary sale for Freetrade, a transaction that reportedly delivered a 47X return for investors. Reports like this will help to engender investment crowdfunding as a sustainable (profitable) sector of Fintech.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176807-nutmeg-delivers-returns-to-crowdfunding-investors-industry-needs-more-news-like-this/

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London based Open Payments Fintech Volt Secures $23.5M via Series A led by EQT Ventures

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London-headquartered Volt, an open payments gateway provider, has secured $23.5 million in capital through a Series A round that was led by EQT Ventures.

Augmentum Fintech, Fuel Ventures, and angel investors including Adyen co-founder Robert Kraal and FIS non-executive director Gabriel de Montessus took part in Volt‘s latest investment round as well.

Launched in 2019, Volt aims to provide convenient access to Open Banking payments across Europe. It reportedly connects more than 5,000 banking platforms in the UK and EU. This helps bring together new generation account-to-account payments infrastructure to a single point of access.

Volt’s management noted that there are 58 countries that are introducing new instant payment schemes, with firms throughout the world now embracing a more digital way of conducting business. With this new funding, Volt aims to expand operations into new markets so that it can increase its global presence.

Tom Greenwood, CEO at Volt, stated:

“Instant payments are set to dominate the global payments landscape and will become the new normal. It’s an exciting time to be in payments, and we are delighted to have secured such a significant funding round, and the backing of an influential group of investors.”

Tom Mendoza, Partner at EQT Ventures, remarked:

“The pandemic has created an inflection point in the payments sector; faced with unprecedented online demand, merchants and PSPs are re-assessing the technical infrastructure that underpins their business. Volt’s team of payments experts are creating meaningful change and building a new category in instant payments, forging the path by bringing new real-time networks to a single switch. We are delighted to be working with Tom and the team.”

As covered in April 2021, Volt revealed that it has developed new cash management functionality. It offers merchants and payment service providers with full visibility of Open Banking payments made via the UK’s Faster Payments Service and the European SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Instant Credit Transfer schemes.

Currently available in the United Kingdom, and also across Europe, Volt Connect has been designed to give merchants more control of their cash by allowing them to keep track of multi-currency PSD2 payments from the point of initiation to the moment of arrival in their accounts. Automatic reconciliation and reporting offer recipients with instant notification of transaction settlement, enabling them to credit the intended customer account a lot faster and in a reliable manner.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176789-london-based-open-payments-fintech-volt-secures-23-5m-via-series-a-led-by-eqt-ventures/

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Fintech VALK, which Offers Corda based Digital Transaction Platform, Secures Place in UK FCA Regulatory Sandbox

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UK-based VALK, the end-to-end digital transaction solution for private markets developed on Corda, has managed to secure a place in the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox.

Established in 2016, the FCA regulatory sandbox is being offered to assist the financial services sector and the UK Fintech industry, valued at £11 billion, to work collaboratively and address some of the ecosystem’s most complex challenges.

The FCA-supported sandbox also aims to offer a safe testing environment for firms, and the regulator, so they can learn how new products work. The solutions will be tested for several months, with the appropriate safeguards in place.

VALK has been operating a virtual, end-to-end solution for investment banks, asset and fund managers, and multi-family offices that integrate each stage of a fundraise or M&A deal onto a  secure platform, which can link financial service providers and investors.

Built on Corda’s distributed ledger technology (DLT), the platform is interoperable with various applications and has been designed to digitize and automate the securities issuance process. This helps with streamlining the execution of private offers.

For this year’s FCA sandbox, VALK will be working with global law firm CMS on the product’s development in order to ensure that it complies with the appropriate regulatory guidelines.

For VALK, a successful exit from the sandbox should ensure that its products will be FCA-approved and that its infrastructure and processes are compliant. This should allow its customers to take advantage of its products and services.

Antoine Loth, Co-Founder at VALK, stated:

“Our success and experience to date has helped us to ensure a sought-after place in the FCA regulatory sandbox and we look forward to participating fully in this hugely beneficial and unrivalled experience as part of our growth journey. We warmly welcome the opportunity to test our leading digital platform solution so that we can help to bring even greater efficiency, reliability, transparency and liquidity to a market in urgent need of reform.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176797-fintech-valk-which-offers-corda-based-digital-transaction-platform-secures-place-in-uk-fca-regulatory-sandbox/

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