ICYMI fintech funding round-up: Brick, Cynomi, Infina, Fintern, Pyypl, Streetbeat, Tiba, & 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.
Fintern, a UK fintech on a mission “to expand access to affordable credit”, has secured £8 million of new capital in its latest funding round. The investment, which brings the company’s total capital raised to £40 million, was led by Hambro Perks.
The investment round also included an equity investment from Fintern’s primary debt provider, Varengold Bank, and other high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs).
Fintern says it will use the money to bolster its presence in the UK, expand its team and launch its first business-to-business (B2B) partnerships.
Since launching its consumer lending product in March 2021, Fintern has processed more than 50,000 loan applications. It says it uses open banking “to get a true picture of each applicant’s unique financial situation”.
It says it has demonstrated the ability to lend with credit loss rates of less than half those that the traditional credit scoring system would have otherwise predicted. Over 60% of Fintern’s customers would not have been approved for their loans had they been assessed by traditional methods, the company says.
Michelle He, COO and co-founder at Fintern, comments: “I know first-hand what it means to be denied access to vital financial support. When I first moved to the UK, I was unable to get a loan despite my full-time employment. It was incredibly frustrating and exposed many of the issues within the current lending system.
“After working within this system with Gerald [Chappell, CEO and co-founder], we decided we were in a unique position to change things for the better. As we emerge from the pandemic, Fintern is now more relevant than ever for those who seek financial stability and support.”
Fintern aims to build a £1 billion loan book in the UK over the next five years.
The firm’s consumer lending business has also served as the first client of its B2B credit analytics and underwriting software.
Cynomi, a virtual chief information security officer (CISO) platform for service providers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has received $3.5 million in seed funding from Flint Capital, SeedIL, and Lytical Ventures.
A group of angels, including Nir Giller, co-founder of CyberX (acquired by Microsoft), also invested.
The start-up, which is led by a team of ex-Israel Defense Forces cybersecurity veterans, has also received two grants totalling $500,000 from industry body Innovate UK.
The funds will be used to scale its R&D efforts and expand and strengthen its presence in the US and UK markets, the firm says.
“Billions of dollars are invested to secure enterprises, while SMBs are left behind. The small and mid-market companies are substantially less equipped to deal with the ever-growing threat landscape – lacking the budget and staff, they are more prone to the devastating impacts of possible attacks,” comments David Primor, co-founder and СЕО of Cynomi.
“We emulate a human CISO, automatically providing IT and cybersecurity teams with a focused assessment and a prioritised remediation action plan.”
Streetbeat, a free investing and trading app for stock and cryptocurrencies with a proprietary marketplace of professional investment strategies, has closed $10 million in seed funding led by TTV Capital. Seraph Group and AAF Management also invested.
California-based Streetbeat has created a marketplace of trading strategies that gives each user a personalised list of recommendations based on their interests and risk profiles. It says more than 30,000 investors have signed up for the platform during its 30-day private beta launch.
“Today’s brokers make money any time the user makes a trade, not when the user makes money. Manual trading is something that professionals stopped using in the 1990s, other than on rare occasions,” observes Damian Scavo, founder and CEO of Streetbeat.
“Another issue that we see is copy trading of individuals without any type of due diligence on their strategies or access to exclusive data. These are problems that Streetbeat solves.”
The start-up is also backed by several angel investors of the Stanford Alumni community.
Vietnam-focused retail investing app Infina has closed a $6 million seed funding round backed by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Y Combinator, Saison Capital, Starling Ventures, Alpha JWC, and AppWorks, among others.
The company, which describes itself as the “Robinhood of Vietnam”, says its app “is designed to make investing more accessible, easy, and safe for the young, tech-savvy Vietnamese who are looking to start their investing journey”.
Vietnam has a young population of 97 million that is made up mostly of Millennials and Gen Z, “many of whom are seeing increased incomes and have an appetite for investing”, it notes.
Last year, Infina recorded a compound monthly growth rate of 64% in funded accounts.
Tiba, a software provider for small retail in Brazil, has raised $4 million in a seed round from Canary and Global Founders Capital.
Tiba’s solution includes accounting, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, digital invoices, inventory management, and credit and cash offerings in a system fully integrated with the mobile experience.
The start-up, which was founded in late 2021, says in Brazil there “isn’t a product like this running in a robust version for mobile applications”.
Its founder and CEO, Ramires B. Paiva, previously created Creditoo, an online payroll loan platform to employees of private companies, which he sold to Creditas in 2019.
The money will be invested in Tiba’s technology and hiring to launch the product in March this year.
Ramires believes that the software can scale up by reducing the cost of B2B – getting up and running quickly – and increasing customer revenue with credit when possible.
“We were able to progress on both fronts. Our product, on the one hand, will be totally free. So, the cost reduction is evident. On the other hand, we will offer credit because we see it as the fastest and easiest way to increase the retailer’s revenue,” he explains.
Brick, an API-focused start-up, has closed an $8.5 million seed funding round led by Flourish Ventures and Antler.
Other participants include Trihill Capital and returning investors Better Tomorrow Ventures and Rally Cap Ventures.
Individual investors also took part: Creative Juice co-founder and CEO and Plaid’s former head of business development and strategy Sima Gandhi; Bond Financial Technologies co-founder Yan Wu; Brian Ma, founder of Divvy Homes; Iterative co-founder and managing partner Ooi Hsu Ken; Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau; and Aspire co-founder and CEO Andrea Baronchelli.
Brick was founded in 2020 and is based in Indonesia. It now plans to expand to Singapore and the Philippines, eventually spreading across the entire Southeast Asian region.
According to TechCrunch, Brick currently has 50 paying clients and 25 data partners (including some of Indonesia’s main banks), and supports more than 13 million API calls and almost one million consumers a month.
Brick’s API solutions – Brick Data, Brick Verification, and Brick Payments – cover an end-to-end process for digital lending, including user ID verification, underwriting, and fund disbursement.
Abu Dhabi-based start-up Pyypl has closed an $11 million Series A financing round with participation from international family offices and HNWIs.
The funding round was oversubscribed, according to Pyypl, and follows a significant investment in previous rounds from UAE-based venture capital firm Global Ventures.
Pyypl provides digital payments and financial services for smartphone users to carry out online transactions, without the need for a bank account or credit card. It says it uses blockchain in its core systems.
The new funding will be invested in growing the firm’s presence across its core GCC markets and to expand further in Africa, particularly Kenya and Mozambique.
“Pyypl is in the right industry, in the right geographies, at the right time, evidenced by the tenfold growth in business volumes we have generated in the last 12 months,” states CFO Paul Goldfinch.
Fonbulucu, which claims to be the first equity-based crowdfunding platform in Turkey, has received a €1 million investment from Efe Duran Sarıkaya, founder of Germany-based Kloepfel Consulting Company, for 10% of its shares.
In addition, Sarıkaya will invest €10 million in Turkish companies via the Fonbulucu platform as part of the deal.
The start-up commenced operations last year. More than 1,400 companies applied, it says, and 23 were accepted (of these, 19 raised the funds they wanted).
In six months, Fonbulucu raised $2.75 million in funds for its users. It says its aim is to increase this figure to $11.1 million in 2022, and to $74 million in 2023.
The platform also plans to launch in Germany later this year.
Sentiment analysis and trading analytics firm Advanced Logic Analytics (ALA) has secured six-figure funding from Accomplish Financial, a fellow London-based fintech (the group also owns AF Payments, a UK-based e-money institution).
Founded in 2015, ALA says it will use this investment to execute its “vision of becoming the leader of sentiment analysis investing via API, desktop, apps, and partnerships on every continent”.
Through the ALASA product range, ALA offers “highly accurate” market sentiment that allows investors to track market mood across thousands of alternative data inputs – from financial market data, news, and social media – instantly.
ALASA uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyse financial content published online on more than 150,000 assets (stocks, forex, indices, and commodities).
It plans to launch cryptocurrency sentiment products this quarter.