ICYMI funding round-up: Pngme, Recognise Bank, pawaPay, Finexio & more
At FinTech Futures, we know that it can be easy to let funding announcements slip you by in this fast-paced industry. That’s why we put together our weekly ‘In Case You Missed It’ (ICYMI) funding round-up for you to get the latest funding news.
Financial data infrastructure firm Pngme has raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Octopus Ventures.
Based in San Francisco, Pngme builds what it calls “mission critical data infrastructure” and “out-of-the box machine learning capabilities” for fintechs across sub-Saharan Africa.
The new round comes less than a year after the firm’s $3 million seed round. Participants alongside Octopus Ventures include Unshackled Ventures, Raptor Group, EchoVC, Future Africa, and Two Small Fish Ventures.
UK-based business bank Recognise has raised £14 million in capital to meet its requirements and remove deposit-taking restrictions.
The latest capital raise included an additional £10 million investment by existing shareholder, real estate investor and entrepreneur Ruth Parasol.
Once the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) removes the restrictions, Recognise Bank will become fully authorised.
The bank plans to launch savings products to both personal and business customers.
“We set out on a mission to help the UK’s growing small and medium-sized businesses, who need expert support more now than ever before,” says CEO Jason Oakley.
Investment app Shares.io has raised $10 million in a pre-product seed round ahead of the launch of its “social” product.
Shares says it combines the functionality of a consumer investment app with the “wisdom” of online forums.
Members can buy stocks, react to the market “in real-time”, start conversations with friends, and access “curated expert advice”.
Its backers include lead investor Singular, Valar Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Red Sea Ventures.
Africa-focused payments platform pawaPay has closed a seed funding round worth $9 million.
The round was co-led by MSA and UK-based investment fund 88mph, with participation from Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures, and Zagadat Capital.
Founded in 2020, pawaPay is focused on the mobile money infrastructure provided by telcos in Africa. It aims to knit them together to enable cross-border management of payments.
The capital will be deployed to scale pawaPay’s operational presence, find more talent to join the team, and expand into new markets on the continent.
“Over the past many years we have been laser focused on addressing the unique set of challenges that accompanies specialising in mobile money,” says Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of pawaPay.
Orlando-based AP payments company Finexio has raised $8 million in a round led by Patriot Financial Partners and Banc of California.
The firm plans to use its new cash to accelerate growth in key industry verticals including higher education, hospitality, healthcare, and manufacturing.
As part of the transaction, Joe Proto, former founder and CEO of Transactis (now a part of Mastercard), has become chairman of Finexio’s board of directors.
“Finexio’s white label offering delivers virtual card adoption and revenue rates that exceed industry averages,” claims the firm’s CEO, Ernest Rolfson.
AI development fintech Vouched has closed a $4.5 million funding round led by tech entrepreneur Darrell Cavens, alongside strategic investments from both banking and legal services firms.
Vouched’s systems power end-to-end visual identity verification and fraud detection online in real time.
It claims its systems cover more than 550 government-issued identity documents across over 70 countries.
“Governments, businesses, and consumers alike are increasingly moving their activities online,” says John Baird, co-founder and CEO of Vouched.
“We’re standing at the precipice of a purely digital world, and being able to verify identity online is crucial.”
Business-to-business payments firm Briqpay has raised €2 million in a seed funding round.
The injection was co-led by partners from eEquity, Mantle Advise, and previous backer 31 Atlantic, with participation from Luxor Capital CEO Christian Leone.
Briqpay provides solutions to enable and make business-to-business sales online more accessible.
The firm claims merchants can have full control of the entire customer journey, from creating an account to checkout.
Merchant payments firm Phos has landed €2 million in pre-Series A funding.
The round was led by CM.com, a provider of cloud software, and comes as Phos prepares to open a Series A round later in 2021.
Phos enables merchants to accept payments directly from NFC-enabled Android devices. The firm claims its software can apply to any NFC phone and be used by any bank of acquirer.
Its partners include Dutch challenger bank Bunq, Stanchion Payments, Tokmatech, and Maxaa.
Los Angeles-based facilitation firm PayEngine has raised $1.6 million in seed funding to support its business growth and rollout.
The round was led by Mucker Capital, with participation from BAM Ventures, I2BF Global Ventures, and HIVE Ventures, as well as other strategic investors.
PayEngine says its platform can help software vendors set their own rates over interchange, control margins, and retain the majority of their profits.
The company claims it can “empower” businesses to add payments services alongside their core software products, and migrating from other platforms can be completed “in a matter of days”.