Fintech funding round-up: 30 May 2017
It’s all go for money flow. Our latest fintech funding round-up, featuring NetGuardians, Banco BNI Europa, Raize and Wave.
Swiss fraud prevention vendor NetGuardians has reported a Series C investment of CHF 8.5 million ($8.7 million). The investors in this round are Swisscom Ventures and Freemont Management. The financing will be used to fund NetGuardians’ expansion plans, help double its headcount in the next 18 months, and for further investment in its proprietary behavioural software platform. In the past 18 months, NetGuardians says it has acquired 20 new clients, opened new offices and recruited local teams in Singapore and in Kenya, and doubled its number of employees to 40.
The company also recently launched a joint research project with the Swiss School of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD) to further develop NetGuardians’ machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
Digital-only Banco BNI Europa (BNI) will invest €10 million in Portugal’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, Raize, over the next two years. Raize currently has more than 10,000 investors lending to SMEs. The platform expects to lend more than €15 million in 2017. This latest deal follows quickly on from BNI’s investment in MarketInvoice, a P2P online invoice finance marketplace. It signed an agreement with BNI to provide £45 million annually to fund working capital solutions for businesses across the UK.
According to BNI, the Portuguese economy has experienced a GDP growth of 2.8% in the first quarter of 2017 and in 2016 captured the “largest amount of foreign direct investment in the last 20 years”. Pedro Coelho, executive chairman of BNI, says its partnerships with Raize and MarketInvoice are “just some of the initiatives the bank is promoting with fintech businesses and more are likely to follow”.
Toronto-based Wave, a provider of financial management software, has received funding of $24 million, with participation from financial services companies including National Australia Bank (NAB), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Portag3 (the investment arm of PowerCorp) and Exhibition Capital. Wave says it has more than 2.5 million users globally. Its software is designed for small business owners, offering invoicing, receiving payments, lending, payroll and receipt management.
With the funding, Wave says it will accelerate the development of its financial solutions within its core platform, through AI and machine learning algorithms. This Wave (its website is waveapps.com) should not be confused with another Wave (an Israel-based supply chain provider – its website is wavebl.com). Last year, the latter worked with Barclays to complete a global trade transaction using distributed ledger/blockchain technology.