Fintech funding round-up: 7 June 2017
Fintech funding can be an intense blur of money, jargon and unerringly similar expansion plans. Here’s a round-up that gets to the heart of the matter. Features Plynk, IHS Markit, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Wahed.
Ireland’s Plynk, a money messaging app, has revealed a Series A raise of €25 million. Led by private investment trust, Swiss Privée, the investment marks “one of the largest ever Series A raises in Irish history”. Plynk is linked to users’ Facebook accounts, and users can send money as a message to a single contact or in group chats and with no fees. Once an account is created, users receive a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments. In addition, the firm says the application plans to integrate with both Apple and Android Pay at an unspecified date.
Plynk was co-founded in 2015 by Charles Dowd and Clive Foley. It has over 6,000 users across Android and iOS, and Plynk is currently only available within the Irish market. It says it has plans to expand further into Europe with eyes on Spain and Portugal next. With a nod to Google and other successful firms, Dowd says: “Our growth plan is simple: ‘become a verb, in every European language.’”
The big players are out and about as Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Morgan Stanley have joined together to take an equity stake in KY3P, IHS Markit’s “know your third party” risk management solution. Goldman Sachs will contribute intellectual property and join the other banks as a design partner of the platform.
Launched in October 2015, KY3P was created in partnership with financial institutions, buy-side firms and third parties. To date, it says it has got more than 75 signed customers and over 15,000 vendor profiles available on the platform.
Over in the US, Wahed, the “world’s first automated investment service designed for Shari’ah-standard” investing, has launched its new online platform and lowered the minimum investment required to $500 for clients in the country. In addition, the company has raised $5 million in seed funding from individual and institutional investors.
Wahed’s CEO Junaid Wahedna is very clear about his target market: “The American Muslim population, which is one of the most affluent demographics in the country, is increasingly seeking more sophisticated ethical investment solutions.” The firm’s clients will receive a recommended and diversified portfolio based on their own risk tolerance; and can digitally automate long-term, halal investments into securities such as sukuk and gold.