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U.S. Insurtech Ethos Raises $200 Million Through Series D Investment Round; Boosts Valuation to $2 Billion

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Insurtech company Ethos announced on Tuesday it secured $200 million through its Series D funding round, which was led by General Catalyst, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Accel, GV (formerly Google Ventures),  Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and Glade Brook Capital Partners. Ethos reported that the investment round brings its total funding to $300 million and its valuation has exceeded $2 billion.

As previously reported, Ethos describes itself as a “new kind” of life insurance that is built for people who do not have time for fine print, extra doctor appointments, or hidden fees. The company is licensed in 49 states and has already processed thousands of applicants for life insurance coverage. 

“Ethos uses the power of technology and predictive analytics to modernize the life insurance process and align products with what families want and need during critical times in their lives. An application is fast and easy, turning a process that used to take weeks into a ten-minute experience for most customers.”

Ethos further reported that its growth is accelerating since its previous investment round in 2019. In addition to its revenue and user growth, Ethos is now nearing $100 million in annualized gross profit and increasing EBITDA in the next year. The company also claims it has surpassed its competitors in both annualized revenue and gross profit and is the market leader in the InsurTech life insurance space. Peter Colis, Ethos CEO and Co-Founder, spoke about the investment round by adding:

“We are on a mission to protect the next million families and will use this money to continue improving the best insurance customer experience ever created. This funding will help us enrich our technology and data platform, and help us launch new products to enable everyone an opportunity to protect their families.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175285-u-s-insurtech-ethos-raises-200-million-through-series-d-investment-round-boosts-valuation-to-2-billion/

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[OncoHost in PR Newswire] NHS Opens Eight UK Clinical Trial Sites to Assess Cancer Patient Response to Immunotherapy in Collaboration with OncoHost

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BINYAMINA, Israel, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — OncoHost, global leader in host response profiling for improved personalized cancer therapy, today announced a collaboration with the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), launching eight clinical trial sites in the UK. These trials will provide proteomic analysis for patients diagnosed with advanced stages of melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment.

Read more here.

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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/nhs-opens-eight-uk-clinical-trial-sites-to-assess-cancer-patient-response-to-immunotherapy-in-collaboration-with-oncohost/

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Volante Technologies and SIA to Support Instant Cloud-powered Payments Across Europe

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Volante Technologies, an established provider of Cloud-based payments and financial messaging, and SIA, a European hi-tech firm focused on payment services and infrastructures  (controlled by CDP Equity), have teamed up to enable banking institutions, financial service providers to gain access to instant payments. This should help with increasing the adoption of virtual payments across Europe.

Volante’s Cloud-enabled SEPA Instant Payments as a Service and the high-speed, secure and low-latency network infrastructure SIAnet should allow European banking platforms and financial institutions to easily access the EBA Clearing’s pan-European real-time payment system RT1 and the TARGET Instant Payments Settlement (TIPS) service of the Eurosystem (the ECB and national reserve banks in the Eurozone).

Through the partnership, banking and financial service providers will be able to send and receive payments within seconds for a maximum amount set at 100,000 euros per person/transaction. Transfers may be carried out 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, which is consistent with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme of the European Payments Council (EPC).

Volante and SIAnet solution clients may benefit from efficient Cloud payments processing as a service and the resiliency and robustness of the network infrastructure. The service is also extensible along with a range of payment types and schemes, such as the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit.

Domenico Scaffidi, VP, Global Industry & Regulatory Affairs, Volante Technologies stated:

“The number of payment schemes across Europe continues to climb. Our combined proposition dramatically speeds up the process of connecting to these pan-European payment systems and platforms. As we are already certified with SIAnet, banks can very quickly offer instant payments to their customers, and benefit from reduced project resource and implementation costs. The partnership will also enable joint customers to extend the service to other payment types beyond SEPA Instant Payments.”

Cristina Astore, SIA’s Northwest Europe and DACH Region Sales Director, remarked:

“The partnership with Volante Technologies is an important step in implementing SIA’s strategy to develop instant payments for banks and financial institutions in Europe and we are fully committed to supporting the success of this initiative. As part of the SIA Partnership Program, we will enable Volante Technologies’ customers to directly access the pan-European payments platforms by leveraging the integration between a leading network infrastructure and a cloud-based innovative solution.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176624-volante-technologies-and-sia-to-support-instant-cloud-powered-payments-across-europe/

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Paris based Fintech Upflow, which Addresses Late Payments, Secures $15M from 9yards Capital, Others

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Paris-based Upflow, a startup that assists B2B firms with getting paid, has secured $15 million in capital via a Series A round which included contributions from 9yards Capital, eFounders, and angels N26 co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal and Uber exec Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty.

Companies or businesses usually try using a combination of manual processes and outdated payment methods to get paid, which often leads to delayed payments.

Upflow says it will address this issue with its SaaS platform that allows companies to take control of their cash flow cycles. The company notes that it plans to help get rid of the late payments problem.

Upflow’s technology integrates with various finance tools like QuickBooks, Xero, Netsuite, and Chargebee. Upflow has also teamed up with major payment gateways such as Stripe and GoCardless, in order to offer business teams with a central hub so they can effectively manage communication with their clients while settling payments.

Currently handling over $200 million in invoices every month, for 1.5 million+ transacting firms, Upflow intends to use the funds raised to support ongoing product development, while establishing a business office in New York. The office should help with enhancing distribution in the US markets, and also with expanding the company’s team in the coming year.

Alexandre Louisy, CEO at Upflow, stated:

“We are on a mission to revolutionize the way that companies get paid. At Upflow, we provide a solution that adds connectivity and clarity to a company’s payment and invoicing stack. Where systems were previously closed and disconnected, Upflow’s platform enables smooth and clear processes.”

Louisy added:

“By enabling a company to take control of its entire cash cycle, we want to help eradicate late payments. There is a common misconception that ‘late payments’ are only a symptom of big companies holding smaller vendors to long payment cycles. Upflow sees it differently: late payments are a tech problem, as B2B payments haven’t changed for decades.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176630-paris-based-fintech-upflow-which-addresses-late-payments-secures-15m-from-9yards-capital-others/

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New Zealand BNPL Fintech Laybuy Introduces All-Digital Buy Now Pay Later Card in the UK

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New Zealand based Buy Now, Pay Later Fintech firm Laybuy is introducing its all-digital BNPL card in the United Kingdom, allowing clients to carry out in-store purchases with just a tap of their smartphones.

Clients will be able to load the payment card into their mobile phone’s wallet via the Laybuy app and can then make purchases at checkout with only a tap. They can then pay for the purchase through six weekly instalments, without having to pay interest.

At first, the BNPL service will be offered to merchants that have an existing relationship with Laybuy, however, the long-term plan is to allow clients to use the option everywhere “in the near future.”

Gary Rohloff, Managing Director at Laybuy, stated:

“The vast majority of our customers don’t like using credit cards and have been asking us how they can get the benefits of Laybuy, but on the High Street. In fact, 86% percent of our customers looking to return to stores have explicitly requested the option of using Laybuy in-store, too. Today, we’re making that a reality.”

In May 2021, Laybuy had gotten into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority for running advertisements that claimed the company’s credit checks did not impact a client’s credit score.

The investigation was initiated by a customer who believed their credit score was actually downgraded after Laybuy had performed a credit check.

As covered, Laybuy acquired AUD 35 million in capital (last month) in order to expand its business operations into the UK markets. Laybuy‘s latest investment round came as part of a private placement and will be used to make additional investments into enhancing its technology stack, marketing efforts and HR.

Laybuy MD Gary Rohloff stated:

“The opportunity in the UK market should not be underestimated. The UK has a retail market approximately 2.2 times larger than the Australian market in terms of overall spending. It is also a market where a higher proportion of retail spending is online, and where BNPL is still in early stages of adoption.”

Rohloff added that UK consumers spent over £151 million via Laybuy during the last year, which represents an increase of 504% compared to the previous year.

Laybuy’s latest investment round was finalized as the company secured key merchant partnerships with Rakuten, AWIN and Sovrn, which should give customers access to more than 5,000 UK merchants (reportedly includes major brands such as Asos, Nike, Marks & Spencer, Amazon and eBay).

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176631-new-zealand-bnpl-fintech-laybuy-introduces-all-digital-buy-now-pay-later-card-in-the-uk/

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