ICYMI fintech funding round-up: Atoa, Djamo, Flourish, Hardbacon & Nine25
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.
UK paytech Atoa has announced a $2.2 million pre-seed funding round, led by Leo Capital and Passion Capital. It also included angel investors such as Matt Robinson (co-founder of GoCardless and Nested) and Moon Capital Ventures.
“There are more than four million small businesses in the UK which have no viable alternative to debit card payments and are reliant on Mastercard or Visa payment rails,” the start-up says.
Atoa is keen “to challenge this status quo”, reduce payment fees by 70% (compared to the card machine fees from SumUp, Zettle, or Square), and “offer a new approach to making payments”.
Businesses can download the Atoa app and connect their merchant bank account. Set up takes less than five minutes, the company says, after which the merchant can accept payments via SMS, Pay-by Link, or QR code.
Customers do not need to download a separate app to pay – they can scan the merchant’s QR code or click on the link sent by the merchant, select their bank, and are then redirected to their existing mobile bank app to approve the payment, meaning that the merchant receives the funds instantly (instead of having to wait one to two days as is the usual case with card machines and debit cards).
Using Atoa involves no contracts (pay as you go), no hardware fees, and no chargeback fraud risk (all payments are approved via bank apps and have Strong Customer Authentication), according to the fintech.
Atoa was co-founded by Sid Narayanan, Cian O’Dowd, and Arun Rajkumar, who all previously founded Singapore KlearCard (acquired last year by Validus).
The co-founders have now relocated to the UK and say that over time, their ambition is “to become a mainstream small business-friendly payment method replacing payment cards”.
Djamo, a personal finance management (PFM) company in Ivory Coast, has raised $14 million in an equity funding round co-led by Enza Capital, Oikocredit, and Partech Africa.
Janngo Capital, P1 ventures, Axian, and Launch Africa also took part in the round.
The money will be used to expand Djamo across French-speaking Africa.
The start-up was co-founded by Régis Bamba and Hassan Bourgi in 2019. It offers a money wallet and a Visa debit card (issued by Ivory Coast’s BGFIBank). Earlier this year it added three new services – virtual accounts, automatic saving, and a service to receive salaries.
California-based Flourish FI, an engagement and financial wellness platform for financial institutions, has raised $2.3 million in a financing round led by Magma Partners.
Canary, Lightspeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, ERA Remarkable Ventures, and Kadmotek Venture also took part in the round, alongside impact investors Amplifica Capital and Potencia Ventures.
Founded in 2018, Flourish says it “is on a mission to empower people to establish positive money habits”. It already claims ten bank and financial institution clients in the US, Brazil, and Bolivia.
The new funding will help the start-up to grow its presence in Latin America.
It also plans to grow its team, which currently comprises 20 people.
Hardbacon, a Montreal-based personal finance app used by 40,000+ Canadians, has secured $819,000 in funding through the FrontFundr equity crowdfunding portal.
This brings the start-up’s total financing to more than $3.3 million since its founding.
“I’m really happy to close this round with this level of success, especially considering the economic uncertainty right now,” says Julien Brault, CEO of Hardbacon. “We are reaching 250,000 unique visitors on our website and it’s just the beginning. We have never been more ready to reach our next stage of growth.”
The fintech says it’s “on a mission to be the go-to tool for personal finances, whether it’s for budgeting, planning, investment tracking, or comparing financial products”.
Sydney-based Nine25, which describes itself as “the first-to-market salary streaming and budgeting platform”, has launched its capital raise with Equitise – kicking off a $2.55 million raise.
“Unlike other ‘budgeting’ platforms who claim to budget by creating dashboards and reporting, Nine25 is a first of its kind Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that actually budgets for its users by actively allocating funds to their bills using authorisation to live employment and banking data,” the start-up claims.
“Nine25 allows its users to manage their bills, spend, and grow their wealth on a fixed-price subscription model, which is the first of its kind in a market that’s become accustomed to outdated revenue models like transactional fees, repayment fees, and late payments.”
Users are not charged interest or late fees and have predictable cost access to the platform which includes their real-time salary.
Nine25 is the brainchild of entrepreneur Leigh Dunsford who co-founded accounting software platform Waddle, which was acquired by Xero in 2020.