FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 15 July 2022
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
US crypto firm Celsius files for bankruptcy protection
US crypto firm Celsius has filed for bankruptcy protection as it looks to “stabilise its business” amid an unfolding crypto winter.
Celsius says it has initiated voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York in an attempt to “consummate a comprehensive restructuring transaction that maximises value for all stakeholders” and continue operations.
The firm says it has “ample liquidity” of $167 million in cash which will allow it to support certain operations during the restructuring process.
Celsius joins Voyager Digital, a US-based crypto lender, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week.
Klarna lands $800m funding as valuation cut to $6.7bn from $45.6bn last year
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Klarna has raised $800 million in a new financing round at a $6.7 billion valuation.
The new valuation is down almost $39 billion from last year, when the company was valued at $45.6 billion following a $639 million funding round led by Japanese firm SoftBank.
The news comes amid a global market downturn, and the company says it “has not been immune to the significant downdrafts of fintech stock in public markets”.
In May, the company let go of approximately 10% of its global workforce due to ongoing challenging global economic conditions.
Australia’s first Islamic bank receives restricted banking licence
Islamic Bank Australia (IBA), the country’s first-ever Islamic bank, has received a restricted authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and plans on commencing beta testing in 2023.
Founded in 2020 and based in Sydney, IBA operates as a brand under the company IBA Group. It aims to bring Shariah-compliant banking to Australia.
According to the bank, the restricted ADI period will last for a duration of two years, during which time it plans on building out its systems and testing and trialling its products with a select number of customers in 2023.
Deutsche Bank partners Abbove for wealth management services in Belgium
Deutsche Bank has partnered with wealthtech Abbove to utilise its wealth planning platform for clients in Belgium.
From this month, private bankers at the firm will be able to use the technology to offer their Belgian clients a range of wealth management services.
Abbove CEO Guillaume Desclée says the partnership with Deutsche Bank in Belgium marks another step in the wealthtech’s private banking development strategy. “Our technology can help private banks to scale and professionalise their wealth planning services to better serve their clients,” Desclée adds.
Deutsche Bank’s private banking clients in Belgium will be able to bring together important and relevant documents into a digital safe, create a structured inventory of their assets and gifts, have access to a chart of their family’s wealth, simulate the growth of their wealth over time and estimate their inheritance tax.
Creditas lands $50m Series F extension, acquires Andbank’s Brazilian banking licence
Brazilian consumer finance fintech Creditas has secured a $50 million extension to its $260 million Series F funding round.
The latest capital injection saw participation from Andorra-based private bank Andbank and represents the beginning of a strategic partnership between the two firms.
Creditas is set to acquire Andbank’s Brazilian banking licence in order to diversify its sources of funding and grow its portfolio of credit products.
Andbank will continue operating its private wealth and asset management business in a separate entity with Creditas serving as a partner to explore “strategic synergies” in asset management and capital markets.