Fintech funding round-up: 22 June 2017
It was only yesterday we did a fintech funding round-up. But as there’s a mad dash for cash, here’s another one. Features Digital Financial Services Lab, TrueLayer and Enterprise Ireland.
Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) will invest $250,000 in four separate fintech start-ups that are building products to help low-income consumers in developing markets. Inclusive (based in Ghana), Pula (Kenya), Pezesha (Kenya), and Teller (US), were each selected for financing after presenting their products at DFS Lab’s Fintech BootCamp in Sri Lanka earlier this year. DFS Lab, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says it seeks to identify promising entrepreneurs and invest in companies that focus on consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Inclusive offers an API that verifies financial identities across Africa. Pula sees itself as an insurance intermediary that implements data driven agricultural insurance. Pezesha is a peer-to-business microlending marketplace. While Teller is an artificial intelligence (AI) banking assistant that allows customers to communicate with banks through messaging platforms without needing to download a new app.
TrueLayer, an API developer platform, has secured $3 million in series A funding. This follows a beta testing phase. The round was led by Anthemis Group, whose partner, Yann Ranchere, will join TrueLayer’s board. Existing investor Connect Ventures also participated in the round. The funding will be used to expand its team and increase its coverage of supported banks before moving the API to “general availability” later in the year.
The firm’s platform offers developers access to bank data so they can build new financial apps and services. TrueLayer says it supports account verification, know your customer (KYC) processes, and transactional data for account aggregation, credit scoring and risk assessment.
Now for news from the Republic – Enterprise Ireland, a government agency in Ireland responsible for supporting businesses, is calling for early stage start-ups for its Competitive Start Fund (CSF). Areas within the scope of the fund include payments, banking, regtech, security, insurtech, blockchain, internet of things (IoT), AI and data intelligence.
Successful applicants (who are welcome from any country) will receive access to the Bank of Ireland’s innovation team and desk space at the bank’s new dedicated fintech “startlab” (as well as passports to regional startlab locations and New York’s startlab). In addition, there will be classes provided by industry experts. All applications to the fund must be made via the Enterprise Ireland online application system, which is here. Applications close 5 July 2017. Good luck.