FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 1 April 2022
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
Goldman Sachs snaps up retirement robo-advisor NextCapital
US multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is set to acquire robo-advisor NextCapital for an undisclosed sum.
Chicago-based NextCapital is a digital retirement advice provider that partners with US financial institutions to deliver personalised retirement planning as well as workplace retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
Goldman Sachs says the deal will expand the range of services it offers to the growing defined contribution (DC) market, augmenting its existing employee retirement programmes throughout its asset and wealth management businesses.
Lunar set to acquire Norwegian digital bank Instabank for €132m
Danish neobank Lunar looks set to continue its Nordic expansion with the acquisition of Norwegian digital bank Instabank.
Lunar has offered €132 million in cash to buy Instabank, representing NOK 3.75 (€0.39) per share. Instabank’s board has voted unanimously to approve the deal, as have shareholders representing 73% of the remaining share capital.
Lunar says the deal will “significantly increase” its footprint in Norway and “additionally open the door to the Finnish market ahead of launching its full product offering”.
Lloyds Banking Group to shutter 60 UK branches
Lloyds Banking Group is set to shutter a further 60 high street branches across the UK in 2022.
In June last year, Lloyds earmarked 44 branches for closure, on top of the 56 outlined in June 2020.
The closures are the latest in a long line of UK high street bank branch closures.
HSBC, NatWest and RBS, TSB and Santander have all said over the last year dozens of UK branches will be shuttered as footfall drops thanks to the twin forces of Covid-19 and increased digitisation.
“Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches,” Lloyds’ group retail director Vim Maru says.
“Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online,” Maru adds.
Tech giant Apple buys UK open banking firm Credit Kudos
Tech giant Apple has acquired UK open banking start-up Credit Kudos. The deal reportedly values the start-up at $150 million.
Credit Kudos leverages machine learning to provide lenders an alternative to traditional credit scores, mining transaction and loan outcome data collected through the UK’s open banking framework.
The firm was launched in 2015 by Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield. It held a £5 million funding round in April 2020 led by Albion VC.
Capital markets fintech Capitolis raises $110m Series D funding
Capital markets fintech Capitolis has raised $110 million in a Series D funding round, valuing the company at $1.6 billion.
Former US counsellor to the secretary of the treasury Jeffrey Goldstein, who sits on the board of directors of BNY Mellon, and former UK chancellor George Osborne have joined the company’s board of directors. Canapi Ventures partner Dan Beldy has also joined the board.
Capitolis co-founder and executive chairman Tom Glocer says the addition of Osborne, Goldstein and Beldy will help guide Capitolis as it scales its technology and presence in global markets.
The funding round was led by Canapi Ventures, Osborne’s 9Yards Capital and SVB Capital. Existing investors a16z, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, S Capital, Spark Capital, Citi, State Street and JP Morgan also participated, among others. To date, Capitolis has raised $280 million.