Fintech funding round-up: 13 July 2017
And the money keeps rolling in for fintech! Features Revolut, Curve, Pixoneye and Gridspace. Banking Technology’s sister publication Paybefore reports.
UK challenger bank Revolut announced a $66 million investment from Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Ribbit Capital, which the company will use to introduce new features and expand globally, starting with Asia and North America. Revolut will use its capital infusion to help support its goal to be “the No. 1 platform for consumers and businesses to manage their finances”. The company has amassed 700,000 customers across Europe since its 2015 launch.
Revolut also addressed recent downtime issues, noting that it has moved to Google’s Cloud Platform, has brought in new partners to remove reliance on a single third party and is “working closely with our payment provider’s senior management team to understand the root cause of recent downtime and ensure adequate improvements are made”. New features in the works include enabling users to open a personal EUR account in seconds, buy and spend cryptocurrencies in the app, and invest spare change in company stocks and bonds, according to an announcement.
Meanwhile, Santander InnoVentures, the bank’s fintech venture capital fund, has added UK-based Pixoneye and Curve, and US-based Gridspace to its portfolio. Bringing its total number of fintech investments to 15, Santander InnoVentures says Pixoneye and Gridspace “deepen the fund’s focus in artificial intelligence as one of the technologies that will transform banking in the years to come and complement other investments such as Elliptic and Socure”.
Pixoneye offers predictive personalisation technology delivered on device, offering predictive accuracy that can be integrated with brands’ customer relationship management systems and recommendation platforms. Curve, which recently announced a “time-travel” feature in its mobile app, will contribute to the fund’s aim of opening up a new “connected finance” category by combining multiple payment cards and one mobile app. Meanwhile, Gridspace’s platform for conversational intelligence enables companies to analyse and operationalise conversational speech and text inputs. All three businesses will use the investment and partnership with Santander InnoVentures to broaden their capabilities, fuel the development of platforms and services, and grow their market ecosystem, according to an announcement.
Finally, some stats on the funding scene. In the first quarter of 2017, global investment in fintech companies hit $3.2 billion across 260 deals, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report. While globally, the total Q1 investment was lower than the same quarter in 2016 ($5.7 billion), both the US and Europe experienced upticks in fintech investment and deal activity – with Europe experiencing the highest level of investment in years, the report found.
“Notwithstanding the slow start to the year, we remain broadly positive on the outlook for fintech investment,” says Brian Hughes, co-leader, KPMG Enterprise Innovative Startups Network, and national co-lead partner, KPMG Venture Capital Practice, KPMG in the US.