FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 10 March 2023
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
UK fintech Railsr sold to consortium of VC firms
UK-based embedded finance platform Railsr has been bought by a consortium of venture capital firms led by D Squared Capital. Financial details of the sale remain undisclosed.
Railsr says that the consortium, consisting of global investors D Squared Capital, Moneta VC and Ventura Capital, has re-capitalised the firm and confirmed that a change of control has been agreed with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The company says this will ensure business continuity for its customers and its more than five million end-users. The firm will remain headquartered in London and plans to grow its customer base in the UK and Europe over the coming months.
Railsr board chair Rick Haythornthwaite, who joined the board in August and will remain as chair post-sale, says Railsr is now able to “rebuild momentum and return to growth”.
Silvergate Capital to wind down operations and liquidate bank
Beleaguered Silvergate Capital, a California, US-based provider of financial infrastructure solutions to the digital asset industry, has announced it intends to wind down its operations and liquidate Silvergate Bank.
The bank says it plans to fully repay all the deposits it holds and is also looking at how to preserve the residual value of its assets, including its proprietary technology and tax assets.
The intellectual property of Meta’s failed crypto project Diem was sold to Silvergate in February last year in a $182 million deal.
“In light of recent industry and regulatory developments, Silvergate believes that an orderly wind down of bank operations and a voluntary liquidation of the bank is the best path forward,” the company says.
Aussie paytech Till Payments lands $46m Series D funding
Aussie paytech Till Payments has successfully closed an AUD 70 million ($46 million) Series D funding round led by Silva Fortune.
The fresh capital raise follows its $80 million Series C in October, which valued the firm at AUD 500 million ($350 million).
The Series D also comes just weeks after the company’s decision in January to lay off 120 staff – around 40% of its workforce – as part of a wider reorganisation.
“Till’s existing investors have demonstrated their confidence in our plans for the company and our renewed and prudent approach to governance,” says non-executive director Matt Davey, who joined the company in January as part of its reorganisation.
Nubank appoints former Meta crypto head David Marcus to board
Brazilian challenger Nubank has appointed David Marcus to its board of directors.
Nubank says Marcus, who is currently the CEO of Lightspark, a Bitcoin utility network he co-founded, will play a “fundamental role” in its plans to expand into new territories and develop additional product offerings targeting new segments.
Marcus previously spent seven years at Meta, where he led its payments and crypto teams.
Prior to his departure in late 2021, he was head of Meta’s fintech unit Novi, a digital wallet designed for use with Meta’s own cryptocurrency Diem (formerly Libra) – which Marcus also helped to create.
The crypto project was eventually dropped by Meta due to regulatory roadblocks.
UK lender Abound secures £500m in equity and debt financing
UK-based lender Abound has landed £500 million in fresh equity and debt financing as it aims to improve access to “accurate and affordable” consumer loans.
The debt financing has been provided by Citi and clients of Waterfall Asset Management, while the equity investors include K3 Ventures, GSR Ventures and Hambro Perks.
Founded in 2020, Abound’s platform (previously known as Fintern) makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and open banking to look at borrowers’ complete financial picture, allowing it to offer loans without needing to rely on just credit scores.
With the new funding, Abound plans to grow its loan book, boost its staff headcount and continue to develop its B2B offering to allow banks and other lenders to leverage its technology.