ICYMI funding round-up: FinanZero, Hala, Spoko, Cornerstone & more
With the fast-paced nature of the fintech world sometimes it’s easy for announcements to slip by. Here at FinTech Futures we’ve put together an “In Case You Missed It” (ICYMI) list of our funding picks this week.
Brazilian online credit firm FinanZero has raised $7 million in venture funding, featuring participation from Atlant Fonder, Dunross & Co, and VEF.
FinanZero allows people to apply for a variety of loans and receive an answers “in minutes”. The firm has partnered with more than 50 banks to back the lending.
The fintech gets commission from is partners, and claims to have seen revenue growth of 61% between 2019 and 2020.
Saudi Arabia-based fintech Hala completed a $6.5 million Series A funding round, gaining investment from Impact46 and other backers.
Hala offers a “complete payment and wallet solution” focused on individuals and commercial companies.
It is among the first fintech start-ups in the kingdom to obtain a full licence from the central bank. It plans to expand outwards in the Middle East.
“Ultimately, our vision is to become the future Bank of SMEs in the region,” says Maher Loubieh, chief strategy officer at Hala.
He adds: “Our priority now is to keep on growing, innovating in the Saudi market and increasing our market share.”
Geographical expansion is also the aim of Polish fintech Spoko, which has raised €5 million.
The firm specialises in “instant” international cash transfers. Users can send money to 45 different countries via a mobile app.
“We want to have a presence on every market where foreigners work and from where they want to send money,” says Evgeny Chamtonau, CEO of Spoko.
“We are already operating globally, but with strong support from our main investor we will be able to grow even faster.”
The new financing will be used for development between 2021 and 2022.
Cloud-based foreign exchange firm Cornerstone has raised £2.7 million in a public listing.
The firm placed 3.6 million new shares priced at 0.61p apiece. The firm raised gross proceeds of £2.24 million via the placing and £450,000 through convertible loan note facilities.
“It is an important milestone and a key element of our strategy,” says Julian Wheatland, CEO of the firm.
“The ‘non-financial institutions’ segment of the market is highly fragmented with many smaller players struggling to cope with every-increasing regulatory demands.”
UAE-based decentralised finance firm Sheesha Finance has raised $2 million.
The firm’s board is joined by Galaxy Digital’s David Namdar, StakeHound CEO Albert Castellana, and serial investor Hartej Swaney.
Sheesha Finance’s “innovative” token distribution mechanism, known as Liquidity Generation Events (LGE) has raised the funding in 12 days.
“We are thrilled that we have not only reached $2 million contributed in our LGE, but also have a line-up of industry heavyweights on our advisory board,” said Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki, founder of Sheesha Finance.
“With the strong support of the DeFi community and these strategic advisors onboard, we can provide exposure to reputable projects.”