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Business Insider ranks 25 FinTech companies worth over US$1 billion; Bitnet and PAY.ON join forces and more top stories from this week in FinTech.
FinTech, Startups, Andreessen Horowitz, Australia, PayPal, Stripe
FinTech is booming! Business Insider ranks 25 FinTech companies worth over US$1 billion; VC firm Andreessen Horowitz adds Alex Rampell as a general partner to focus on financial technology; Bitnet and PAY.ON join forces and more top stories from this week in FinTech.
FinTech is all the rage these days! As investment continues to flood into the industry, startups continue to reinvent the ways we do lending, payments, investing, and more. From Business Insider:
“Valuations in the sector are also skyrocketing as more money floods in. Many companies are now reaching the fabled "unicorn" status — the term in the tech industry for companies worth US$1 billion (£640 million) or more.”
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has added Alex Rampell as a general partner. The 34 year old most recently co-founded TrialPay, an e-commerce payment and advertising service, which was acquired by Visa in 2014. The New York Times reports:
“Mr. Rampell says he sees banking and insurance as ‘ripe for disruption,’ made vulnerable by legacy technology, the post-financial crisis need to operate more conservatively and the corset of tighter regulation. Look at the job listings at banks and insurance companies, he said, and you invariably see openings for programmers skilled in COBOL, the business computer language that dates back to 1959.”
Bitnet and PAY.ON have announced a partnership allowing PAY.ON’s entire customer base, which includes over 100 PSPs and 56,000 merchants, to accept bitcoin on its platform. CT reports:
“Today, PAY.ON processed over 1.2 million transaction per day and has an extraordinary user base of more than 56,000 merchants and over 100 multi-national PSPs that serve retail giants to local payment providers. The strategic partnership between Bitnet and PAY.ON will allow all of PAY.ON’s customers and merchants to accept bitcoin on its existing financial platform and API.”
Officials with the United Kingdom are looking for some US FinTech startups to ‘go on a mission’ to the UK. The purpose of this endeavor is to allow the selected companies a closer look at the growing FinTech scene in the UK, and to make strategic connections that could help take their business global. From Silicon Hills:
“The UK Trade & Investment will host the mission to London from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9 Startups in the financial technology industry from Austin and San Antonio are encouraged to apply by Sept. 3 for consideration.”
According to KPMG partner Ian Pollari, there are currently 200-250 fintech startups around the country. And the focus of many of these companies is the same, disrupt the legacy financial players! From The Australian:
The start-ups, in turn, have attracted venture capital, contributing to the continuing surge in global fintech investment, up threefold last year to US$12 billion. “I’m encouraging boards to raise their level of awareness about technology,” Mr Pollari said.
The question of whether Mike Tyson’s Bitcoin venture was some sort of publicity stunt and would a Tyson-branded bitcoin dispensing machine ever become reality was answered as his Bitcoin ATM went live near the Las Vegas Strip. CT reports:
“According to Peter Klamka, CEO of Bitcoin Direct, the Mike Tyson ATM was installed on Tuesday and activated yesterday. The ATM’s exact location is within The LINQ Hotel & Casino’s Promenade, off the strip, on South Las Vegas Boulevard. It is a one-way Lamassu ATM, meaning it only takes money to convert into bitcoin and the fees are liable to score a knockout faster than Tyson is used to. It costs 10% over the current Bitstamp exchange rate price at the time of purchase to use.”
FinTech startup MarketInvoice has raised US$9.4 million in financing. This first round of funding comes from Nordic venture capital firm Northzone and Paul Forster, the co-founder of job search engine indeed.com. From The Tech Bulletin:
“Founded in 2011, MarketInvoice is a London-based peer-to-peer business lender that has lent more than US$741 million through its platform without any outside investment . It has been processing an average of US$47 million per month started making profit from 2013.”
P2P lending startup Capital Match has raised US$710,000 in a series A funding round. The round was led by international investment firm Innosight Ventures, and previous investors Crystal Horse Investments and CE-Tech Invest also participated. Tech In Asia reports:
“The startup provides an online platform where borrowers can submit their loan request, and prospective lenders can decide whether they want to extend the loan. Investors can expect a return of about 20 percent to 25% on their investment, according to the company. The startup handles the entire process, including payment processing, due diligence, debt collection, and investor updating.”
BlackBerry has signed a partnership with PayPal to enable BBM contacts that have linked their PayPal accounts to be able to send and receive money via PayPal chats. FinTech Innovation reports:
“According to Matt Gromada, PayPal’s Director of Consumer Product Marketing, BlackBerry users do not have to download a PayPal app in order to send or receive money via BBM Chat. Simply selecting the PayPal ‘Send Money’ icon in BBM and connecting the PayPal account is sufficient to get the job done.”
Bitcoin service provider and exchange Cubits has partnered with Greek bitcoin exchange BTCGreece to install 1,000 bitcoin ATMs and help small and medium sized businesses move money. From CT:
“The Greek government still restricts the weekly withdrawal limit for bank accounts and debit cards to US$464.76 per week. To help small and medium sized companies send payments abroad, the two companies plan to develop a cross border payment system, which will allow small businesses to send payments quickly, at low cost.”
Stripe has opened up Checkout support for Alipay for everyone. Any company that uses Stripe will now be able to accept payments made with Alipay through the Web or mobile apps. VentureBeat reports:
“Part-owned by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Alipay works in a similar way to PayPal, insofar as users make payments with their card-linked Alipay account, rather than directly with their bank card. It’s thought to have around 300 million registered users — almost half of the entire Chinese epayments market — so this is a big scoop for Stripe.”
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