Deals in brief
Minority challenger bank Majority's minority shareholders inject $27m in major Series A
Majority, a challenger bank for immigrants, has raised $27m in a new funding round from tech celebrities such as Klarna founder Victor Jacobsson and PayPal dynamo Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, which has previously backed fintech heavyweights like Wise and N26.
Other backers returning for Majority's Series A raise included buy-now-pay-later quadradecacorn Klarna's co-founder Jacobsson, and iZettle co-founders Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson. Avid Ventures and Heartcore Capital also backed the round.
Monzo valued at $4.5bn after $500m funding round
UK-based digital lender Monzo has achieved a valuation of $4.5bn following a $500m funding round, which was led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund.
The round saw participation from new investors Coatue and Alpha Wave Ventures and existing shareholders Accel and Goodwater, Financial Times has reported.
“This round comes off the back of a fantastic year for Monzo. We’ve seen record revenues, launched new products and tools, and continued to top the charts for our services. We’ve hired some incredible talent,” Monzo chief executive TS Anil was quoted by the publication as saying.
WeLab raises $240m for a shot at the Indonesian market
Hong Kong-based fintech unicorn WeLab has raised $240m to pave the way for its expansion into Indonesia. The startup will use the money to acquire PT Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), an Indonesian bank, with the aim of growing its digital banking services into the nation. This makes WeLab the latest company attempting to ride the wave of the emerging fintech industry in Indonesia.
WeLab was founded in 2013 as an online credit company. It has since expanded to also provide virtual banking services via its challenger bank WeLab Bank. In those years, it has also raised $471m, according to GlobalData’s Technology Intelligence Centre. WeLab most recently raised $75m in March 2021.
With the new raise, that puts the grand total injected into the company at $711m.basic grocery items ordered via an app within 10 minutes, charging a flat delivery fee of €1.80.
The new Series C round has given it a $2.1bn private valuation just one year after it was founded by CEO Kağan Sümer in May 2020.
BNPL startup Slice becomes unicorn
Fintech startup Slice has become a unicorn after a $220m Series B funding round, demonstrating the growing power of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) companies in India.
Slice was founded in 2016. It’s part of India’s burgeoning BNPL industry. Since the launch, the company has positioned itself as an alternative to traditional Indian banks and credit companies.
Slice provides a number of credit cards predominantly targeting millennials and younger consumers. The cards enable Slice’s five million registered users to split their bills into three interest-free monthly instalments.
The company has boasted that it is growing its users by about 200,000 new customer registrations each month.
Spanish bank Santander backs fintech firm fonYou
Fintech firm fonYou has raised €7m in funding from Spanish banking giant Banco Santander’s Smart Fund to further its technological development and market expansion.
fonYou’s partnership with Banco Santander seeks to support its product development programme and aim to enable the integration of digital finance across global fintech and e-commerce markets.
The fintech seeks to offer new technological solutions to embed finance solutions such as instant payment, buy-now-pay-later and credit modalities through collaboration with mobile operators, e-commerce, and the global banking ecosystem.
fonYou plans to expand its sector focus beyond telecom and across key regions including Latin America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Goldfinch raises $25m to boost DeFi credit protocol
Decentralised credit platform Goldfinch has raised $25m in a Series A extension round led by a16z.
The round saw participation from Bill Ackman, Blocktower, Kingsway Capital, Helicap, YC Alumni Fund, Jinglan Wang, MSA Capital among others.
All of Goldfinch’s existing investors including Kindred Ventures and Stratos Technologies also joined the round. The new funding will be used to expand financial inclusion via an open credit protocol.
Goldfinch operates as an open marketplace for loans without collateral and decentralises the loan underwriting process.
It offers credit lines to lenders, who can get stablecoins from the Goldfinch’s pool and provide the capital to borrowers.
Reddit files for confidential IPO
Social media platform Reddit has announced that it has filed for a confidential initial public offering (IPO), but has remained mum on the date of the float and the number of shares to be issued.
The news comes hot on the heels of Reddit’s recent $700m Series F investment round in August. As Verdict reported at the time, the raise was seen as another step towards the company finally going public. However, Reddit stayed secretive at the time about its plans.
Now, it has made a bare-minimum disclosure by saying that it has filed for a confidential IPO. This means that the company has filed a confidential Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
By doing so, Reddit can ensure that no details about the inner workings of the process will be released to the public until both the company and the SEC are happy for the float to go ahead.
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