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Fintech

Nutmeg Acquired, OCR Labs Raises Capital, and Mortgagetech on the Rise in Mexico

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The fact that venture capital has been pouring into Latin America of late has been hard to ignore. This week’s news that Kredi, a Mexican company that hopes to become the “Rocket Mortgage” of Latin America, had raised $3.1 million in funding was a reminder that fintech funding in the region is as diverse as is it abundant.

With many investment dollars in Latin America flowing toward everything from digital banking to cryptocurrencies, the fundraising success of a company like Kredi, which seeks to make it easier for the average, middle-class Mexican family to own a home, suggests a healthy fintech market is continuing to develop in the country. Mortgage-related fintechs are not as common in Mexico as fintechs involved in SME financing, digital banking, cross-border fund transfer, and even financial inclusion. Adding a mortgagetech like Kredi to the country’s ranks of funded fintechs could open the door for other entrepreneurs to innovate in the space.

Founded by Javier Aldape, Fernando Nader, Hernán Belden, and Juan Carlos Mercado, Kredi provides Mexican homebuyers with a marketplace where they can find the financing product that suits their needs best. The company sees itself as part of the trend toward greater digitization in financial services in general, as well as a way to help overcome the inefficiencies and expense of mortgage financing in Mexico in specific.


Finovate alums in a number of countries made the news this week. In the U.K., digital wealth management company Nutmeg agreed to be acquired by JPMorgan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a “source close to the transaction” said that Nutmeg was valued at more than $972 million. On the other side of the world, OCR Labs, an identity verification specialist based in Australia, announced that it has secured an investment of $15 million in a round led by Turkish firm Oyak Group. OCR Labs is an alum of both our developers conference, FinDEVr, and our fintech conference FinovateAsia, where it took home a Best of Show award for a demonstration of its technology.

Another Finovate Best of Show winner from outside of the United States made fintech headlines this week. Conversational AI specialist Finn AI, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced a set of new additions to its platform to give banks and credit unions greater flexibility in their embrace of chatbot technology. Salt Edge, a Finovate alum that specializes in open banking APIs that also hails from Canada, announced this week that it would help Cyprus based electronic money institution (EMI) OROPAY become PSD2 compliant.


Also too: Be sure to check out our latest guest post from Adam Goulston of Scize Group. Goulston looks at recent fintech trends in Asia and projects what those trends mean for fintech in the region going forward.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia


Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://finovate.com/nutmeg-acquired-ocr-labs-raises-capital-and-mortgagetech-on-the-rise-in-mexico/

Fintech

Squire, a Barbershop tech platform, triples its valuation (again) with Tiger Global

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When co-founders Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant first began barbershop tech platform Squire in 2016, they leaned in quite literally: the duo bought a barbershop in Chelsea, New York to see first-hand how the business worked. For one year, the co-founders religiously worked at the shop, now owned by a larger barbershop chain, handling every bit of the business (except cutting hair).

Five years later, the co-founders view that first-hand experience of the barber industry as a key moment in the history of Squire, now a 175-person company with a tech platform used by over 2,000 shops across three continents. After last raising a Series C in December, and tripling its valuation, Squire announced today that it has raised a $60 million round led by Tiger Global.

And, it tripled its valuation, again. Off of 300% year over year revenue growth, the New York startup is now valued at $750 million. It’s a massive uptick: A little over a year ago, Squire was valued at $75 million.

Like many startups these days, Squire wasn’t searching for capital when Tiger Global, which participated in its Series B and C rounds, offered to lead its next financing. The startup has only spent 10% of its previous round, a $45 million equity round, and now has tens of millions more of money in its bank. Ultimately, its decision to bring on more capital is so it can expand in the U.K. and Canada more aggressively – even in the wake of early-stage competitors like Boulevard. Squire’s dry powder also puts the co-founders in a position where they can acquire companies, a strategy that Salvant is into and plans to be “aggressive about.”

Squire also announced today the official launch of a product that has been in the roadmap since inception: Squire Capital. Squire Capital is a money management platform with tools that are tailored to the needs of barbershop operations, such as instant payments. Squire’s core business has been more around appointments, loyalty programs, and the installment of contactless payment, now with a fintech layer that aims to offer a more niche service than current financial services heavyweights like Square or Paypal.

Fintech is a “natural next frontier” for Squire, says Salvant, because the startup already has deep insights into how its businesses operate and how they process sales; now, it wants to add another service so it can offer a more holistic experience to them.

Squire Capital was built with Bond, a venture-backed fintech infrastructure startup that aims to help enterprise operations launch their own banking products. After experimenting with a $15 million debt financing arm around the time of its Series C, Squire isn’t offering loans at this time – hoping to find a better way to scale offerings in the future.

Squire is on route to becoming a historical, and unfortunately still rare, Black-led unicorn. Salvant talked about the significance of that feat, noting that this was “the optimal outcome” when founding the company. He hopes that VCs and investors will start to invest more in Black founders with Squire as a data point of a success story.

“Let’s face it, we’re not typical founders, we don’t look the same and we don’t act the same,” Salvant said. “I just want to serve as a lighthouse and this is validation for myself, my co-founder, but more importantly, what’s coming after us.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/squire-a-barbershop-tech-platform-triples-its-valuation-again-with-tiger-global/

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Fintech

Squire, a Barbershop tech platform, triples its valuation (again) with Tiger Global

Published

on

When co-founders Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant first began barbershop tech platform Squire in 2016, they leaned in quite literally: the duo bought a barbershop in Chelsea, New York to see first-hand how the business worked. For one year, the co-founders religiously worked at the shop, now owned by a larger barbershop chain, handling every bit of the business (except cutting hair).

Five years later, the co-founders view that first-hand experience of the barber industry as a key moment in the history of Squire, now a 175-person company with a tech platform used by over 2,000 shops across three continents. After last raising a Series C in December, and tripling its valuation, Squire announced today that it has raised a $60 million round led by Tiger Global.

And, it tripled its valuation, again. Off of 300% year over year revenue growth, the New York startup is now valued at $750 million. It’s a massive uptick: A little over a year ago, Squire was valued at $75 million.

Like many startups these days, Squire wasn’t searching for capital when Tiger Global, which participated in its Series B and C rounds, offered to lead its next financing. The startup has only spent 10% of its previous round, a $45 million equity round, and now has tens of millions more of money in its bank. Ultimately, its decision to bring on more capital is so it can expand in the U.K. and Canada more aggressively – even in the wake of early-stage competitors like Boulevard. Squire’s dry powder also puts the co-founders in a position where they can acquire companies, a strategy that Salvant is into and plans to be “aggressive about.”

Squire also announced today the official launch of a product that has been in the roadmap since inception: Squire Capital. Squire Capital is a money management platform with tools that are tailored to the needs of barbershop operations, such as instant payments. Squire’s core business has been more around appointments, loyalty programs, and the installment of contactless payment, now with a fintech layer that aims to offer a more niche service than current financial services heavyweights like Square or Paypal.

Fintech is a “natural next frontier” for Squire, says Salvant, because the startup already has deep insights into how its businesses operate and how they process sales; now, it wants to add another service so it can offer a more holistic experience to them.

Squire Capital was built with Bond, a venture-backed fintech infrastructure startup that aims to help enterprise operations launch their own banking products. After experimenting with a $15 million debt financing arm around the time of its Series C, Squire isn’t offering loans at this time – hoping to find a better way to scale offerings in the future.

Squire is on route to becoming a historical, and unfortunately still rare, Black-led unicorn. Salvant talked about the significance of that feat, noting that this was “the optimal outcome” when founding the company. He hopes that VCs and investors will start to invest more in Black founders with Squire as a data point of a success story.

“Let’s face it, we’re not typical founders, we don’t look the same and we don’t act the same,” Salvant said. “I just want to serve as a lighthouse and this is validation for myself, my co-founder, but more importantly, what’s coming after us.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/squire-a-barbershop-tech-platform-triples-its-valuation-again-with-tiger-global/

Continue Reading

Fintech

Squire, a Barbershop tech platform, triples its valuation (again) with Tiger Global

Published

on

When co-founders Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant first began barbershop tech platform Squire in 2016, they leaned in quite literally: the duo bought a barbershop in Chelsea, New York to see first-hand how the business worked. For one year, the co-founders religiously worked at the shop, now owned by a larger barbershop chain, handling every bit of the business (except cutting hair).

Five years later, the co-founders view that first-hand experience of the barber industry as a key moment in the history of Squire, now a 175-person company with a tech platform used by over 2,000 shops across three continents. After last raising a Series C in December, and tripling its valuation, Squire announced today that it has raised a $60 million round led by Tiger Global.

And, it tripled its valuation, again. Off of 300% year over year revenue growth, the New York startup is now valued at $750 million. It’s a massive uptick: A little over a year ago, Squire was valued at $75 million.

Like many startups these days, Squire wasn’t searching for capital when Tiger Global, which participated in its Series B and C rounds, offered to lead its next financing. The startup has only spent 10% of its previous round, a $45 million equity round, and now has tens of millions more of money in its bank. Ultimately, its decision to bring on more capital is so it can expand in the U.K. and Canada more aggressively – even in the wake of early-stage competitors like Boulevard. Squire’s dry powder also puts the co-founders in a position where they can acquire companies, a strategy that Salvant is into and plans to be “aggressive about.”

Squire also announced today the official launch of a product that has been in the roadmap since inception: Squire Capital. Squire Capital is a money management platform with tools that are tailored to the needs of barbershop operations, such as instant payments. Squire’s core business has been more around appointments, loyalty programs, and the installment of contactless payment, now with a fintech layer that aims to offer a more niche service than current financial services heavyweights like Square or Paypal.

Fintech is a “natural next frontier” for Squire, says Salvant, because the startup already has deep insights into how its businesses operate and how they process sales; now, it wants to add another service so it can offer a more holistic experience to them.

Squire Capital was built with Bond, a venture-backed fintech infrastructure startup that aims to help enterprise operations launch their own banking products. After experimenting with a $15 million debt financing arm around the time of its Series C, Squire isn’t offering loans at this time – hoping to find a better way to scale offerings in the future.

Squire is on route to becoming a historical, and unfortunately still rare, Black-led unicorn. Salvant talked about the significance of that feat, noting that this was “the optimal outcome” when founding the company. He hopes that VCs and investors will start to invest more in Black founders with Squire as a data point of a success story.

“Let’s face it, we’re not typical founders, we don’t look the same and we don’t act the same,” Salvant said. “I just want to serve as a lighthouse and this is validation for myself, my co-founder, but more importantly, what’s coming after us.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/squire-a-barbershop-tech-platform-triples-its-valuation-again-with-tiger-global/

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Crowdfunding

Digital Insurance Company Spot Raises $17.5M

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Digital insurance startup Spot has raised $17.5 million in funding, including $15 million in equity and $2.5 million in debt. The round was led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from Montage Ventures, Mutual of Omaha, MS&AD, and Silverton Partners. Mike McCormick, principal at GreatPoint Ventures, will join Spot’s board The company will use the new capital hiring, marketing and business development.

Spot customized injury insurance policies through its partnerships with companies and organizations, allowing partners’ customers and communities to purchase coverage when they sign up for activities or memberships. They developed “on-the-mountain” coverage for skiers and snowboarders, which can be purchased along with a lift ticket, and “on-the-bike” coverage for members of cycling organizations. Spot’s partners include USA Cycling, Powder Mountain, USA BMX, National Ski Patrol, and athleteReg.

“Health insurance across America is broken and high medical costs are causing Americans to go into debt and even file for bankruptcy,” said Matt Randall, co-founder and CEO of Spot. “Monthly premiums on health insurance are much higher than what the average American can afford, so Spot is rethinking insurance and offering a new alternative for today’s consumers, while finding ways to help Americans live their lives without going broke. Our team is providing peace of mind for as little as $25 per month, and driving awareness of much-needed injury insurance coverage options.”

Spot also provides affordable, month-to-month accidental injury coverage starting at $25/month, which can be used with or without traditional health insurance. Plans cover the actual costs of medical bills, up to $20,000 per injury. Spot allows customers to sign up in just one minute for immediate coverage at any time, so they can get the treatment at any licensed physician, hospital, or urgent care clinic.

“Spot is a fundamental fix to the broken US health insurance system, which currently leaves so many people physically and financially ruined,” said Mike McCormick, principal at GreatPoint Ventures. “I believe Spot can fill health coverage gaps for millions of Americans who need better healthcare, and I’m honored to support the company’s mission.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178441-digital-insurance-company-spot-raises-17-5m/

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