Overview: This week features 20 deals, with total revealed funding continuing to hover between US$250–300ml. Crypto deals dominated the overall funding value, while many smaller and early-stage deals were noted in the broad fintech arena. When one looks at the investor profiles, fintech deals continue to show a combination of funding for firms that went through proven accelerators, as well as those that early on attracted prominent fintech investors able to execute seed through to series B funding in their mandates. Turning to the crypto scene, there are a broader variety of institutions starting to participate in crypto scale ups, as opposed to just those venture and growth firms that have made the crypto/blockchain theme, their sole mandate.
Crypto Initiatives — This was a strong week for more traditional crypto businesses with US$220ml allocated across 7 deals in my qualified early-stage universe as shown in the table below. While there might be significant challenges in the broader market, investors are still showing a willingness to invest in both early stage as well as growth opportunities from companies, 4 of which successfully took in funds for the first time. In these deals, especially for Candle Labs, and MPCH Labs, the established technical and commercial success of the founders played a significant role in securing financing.
When one looks at the crypto deals being inked, the three themes that continue to emerge are 1) funders are still looking to invest in businesses gaining traction that can straddle the traditional world of payments and the new crypto payments opportunity. 2) investors are still putting money into firms that will play a central role in the trading, execution and asset management arena, with demand split between infrastructure and workstations 3) mature investors are looking toward new entrants who have been through the 1.0 cycle of crypto blockchain/protocol evolution to advance compliance, security and fraud prevention. The market continues to reel from wallet theft incidents and protocol hacks and is eager to invest in solutions that are developing new procedures and blockchain designs to combat these threats.
Deribit, Scale Up, https://www.deribit.com/ Trading, High Performance Derivatives Platform with focus on options with strong traction
Summary: Deribit started as a Bitcoin Futures and Options platform. Soon was realized more services could be offered.These choices have resulted in a high availability, high throughput and low latency trading environment.
Strike, Growth, https://strike.me/ Payments, Low-cost cross border remittance platform with additional settlement in Bitcoin
Summary: Strike is an API used by merchants to accept payments from customers globally. To usher in a new digital economy with fully global money transfers, Strike believes that open payment networks enable widespread participation in the financial system
MPCH Labs, Scale Up, https://mpch.io/ Wallets, a company building self-managed solutions for wallets, and workflows based on an MPC engine
Summary: MPCH Labs is a technology start-up that provides cryptocurrency platform with security, technological support, and financial advice.
Tactic, Scale Up https://www.tactic.com/ Accounting, Delivering a fully integrated solution for crypto assets into traditional accounting packages
Summary: Tactic helps companies that hold or interact with cryptocurrencies manage their finances in a clean, compliant way. The platform provides a clear view of an organization’s treasury and a robust transaction audit trail in an accounting-friendly format.
Candle Labs, Scale Up, https://candlelabs.org Defi, a layer 2 compliant US based chain designed to work with all smart contracts
Summary: Candle Labs, Inc. is developing software revolving around decentralized products and use cases, such as finance.
Armalytix, Start-Up https://armalytix.com Financial Crime, Providing an Digital API solution for counterparty checking applicable to different industries
Summary: Armalytix is a unique and powerful, multi-industry Open Banking powered reporting tool which is transforming the way firms interact with their clients.
Tokenplace: Start-Up https://tokenplace.com/ Trading, An end to end fully integrated investment platform for centrally managing investments in crypto
Summary: Tokenplace is an online trading platform that connects to all major cryptocurrency exchanges to provide traders with a single interface where they can find the best prices for every coin or token on the market.
Fintech Initiatives: This week I have captured 13 deals across pre-seed to series B in the main developed markets. Although many of these deals raised sub-US$5ml, two pre-seed deals, one in the Netherlands, and the other in Ireland both raised in excess of US$2ml, with angel investors making a significant contribution. The largest deals were for Toqio (BAAS/FAAS app development on LowCode framework), from the UK, and Regate (Accountancy/Finance automation) from France. Tokio was one of four growth companies, the others being Nova Credit, Enmacc, and Acretrader which all raised series A or B capital this week. A feature of all of these is that they have all had significant improvements in their performances in the past 12mths. Enmacc (energy), and Acretrader (farmland) and BRXS (real estate) are three firms that got funded as investors continue to have an appetite to back platforms supporting non-correlated alternative investment. Meanwhile Nova Credit, Monnai, Bizbaz, and Edly are providing either direct lending or core infrastructure services (risk management, on-boarding, credit score conversion) to support managing a digital loan process to different segments of the consumer finance market. (Expats, Thin credit, Unbanked, and mature students)
Toqio, Growth, https://toqio.co/ BAAS, FAAS, Positioning themselves as a full tech/API stack for the building of compliant banking applications
Summary: Toqio enables organizations to develop their fintech solution as an app or on the web. It is supported by a configuration and customization platform and a marketplace of partners.
Regate, Scale Up, https://regate.io/ Finance SAAS, widely deployed SME platform for accounting and finance functions
Summary: Regate is an all-in-one SaaS platform to manage and book invoices, and expense reports, pay and get paid. Its mission is to automate accounting operations, manage payments, and provide users with better visibility of their business.
Monnai, Scale Up, https://www.monnai.com API/Data. Insights and analytics platform that provides behavioral data on consumers for different use cases
Summary: Monnai provides a global infrastructure. Through a single API, fintech firms get access to a global integrated platform that helps them navigate the four key pillars of onboarding, trust and fraud risk, credit underwriting and debt collections.
Nova Credit, Growth http://novacredit.com Credit Bureau, building a credit bureau that helps translate international creditworthiness to US standards
Summary: Nova Credit helps you access credit in the U.S. by translating their international credit score into a U.S.-equivalent credit score. This translated score is made available to U.S. financial institutions so ex-pats can apply for credit cards, loans, housing and more.
Bizbaz, Scale Up, https://bizbaz.tech Onboarding, Providing a full KYC/ risk assessment and consumer profiling system targeted to southeast Asian consumers
Summary: Bizbaz offers financial intelligence solutions. Bizbaz offers a full suite of financial intelligence solutions, including but not limited to, comprehensive risk assessment, alternative credit scoring, fraud detection, eKYC, financial product aggregation and recommendation systems.
Enmacc, Growth, https://www.enmacc.com Trading, Widely distributed OTC energy trading platform covering environmental products
Summary: Enmacc is Europe’s fastest growing digital, OTC energy trading platform. Their platform digitalises the end-to-end professional energy trading process. Using Enmacc allows participants to gain speed, efficiency and security when trading in energy markets.
AcreTrader, Growth, https://www.acretrader.com Alternatives, Providing a full investment and administration platform for individuals for farmland investment
Summary: AcreTrader is an agricultural real estate investing platform that helps buyers to buy shares of farmland through an online platform. AcreTrader provides transparency, flexibility, and ease of use to people wanting to invest in farmland.
BRXS, Start-Up, https://www.brxsapp.com Alternatives, providing a low entry platform for investing in real estate and building passive income
Summary: Brxs makes is democratizing access to real estate as an investible asset class, allowing affluent and high net worth individuals to build a diversified investment portfolio.
Yonder, Scale Up, https://www.yonder.app Benefits/HR, Introducing a flexible SAAS benefits platform for health insurance and pensions
Summary: A benefits platform that is designed to provide Insurance and retirement solutions for every kind of team using a self-service, self-management policy / pension model
Hellorider, Scale Up, https://www.hellorider.com/ Leasing, Building a better platform for employers to lease bicycles for employee usage
Summary: Hellorider is an online bicycle leasing platform that connects employers, car leasing companies, bicycle brands, and bicycle dealers.
Finteum, Start-Up, https://finteum.com Liquidity Management, Using DLT to build an intraday ledger to allow for improved liquidity management
Summary: Finteum is a blockchain innovation start-up creating a global financial market for intraday FX swaps on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Bridge Money, Scale Up https://www.bridgemoney.co Cashback, Platform for enabling wide access to cashback programs and immediate access to funds
Summary: Bridge is a seed stage fintech startup, built to empower members to make more money via a broadly distributed cashback scheme
Edly, Scale Up, https://student.edly.co/student student financing, building a flexible income repayment plan for students to pay back loans
Summary: Edly specializes in income-based repayment financing for college tuition. Edly helps connect students looking for alternative tuition financing with impact investors looking to support students.