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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
While 2021 was a record year for fintech merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, 2022 is off to a great start.
According to FT Partners, there were 1,485 M&A deals in the fintech space totaling $348.5 billion in 2021. As Square’s $29 billion takeover of Afterpay demonstrated, last year’s massive volume is partially thanks to multiple large deals.
This quarter, only eight of the 21 deals initiated disclosed financial details. Of those, the deal volume added up to almost $5 billion.
While experts predict that 2022 M&A activity will likely see momentum from 2021, there are two aspects to watch out for this year. First, we will not see as many SPACs as we saw last year. This may decrease the number of companies choosing to exit this year. Second, fintech valuations are deflating after experiencing huge rises over the course of the past two years. While the loss in value won’t directly impact the number of M&A deals, it will decrease the deal volume.
HR and payroll platform Papaya Global has acquired global money transfer company Azimo.
The deal will allow Papaya Global to offer payments in hours instead of days.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Global money transfer company Azimo has agreed to be acquired by HR and payroll platform Papaya Global. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TechCrunch is reporting a purchase price of somewhere between $150 million and $200 million.
The Israeli payroll company will leverage Azimo’s payment platform to offer clients a payroll solution that makes immediate payouts across the globe. “We will build an innovative new payments and finance offering for clients in cash advance and credit-related products, and in cryptocurrency,” the company said in a blog post. The purchase will also enable Papaya Global to add remittance services to its lineup.
Founded by Michael Kent in 2012, Azimo offers a low-priced way for individuals and businesses to send money across the globe. The U.K.-based company charges a fee as low as $0.77 (£0.59) and boasts a more favorable exchange rate, as well. Azimo counts more than two million customers of its digital money transfer platform, which allows users to send money from 25 countries to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
In addition to its payment network, Azimo has something Papaya Global may consider quite valuable– payment licenses in the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. “Azimo’s global digital payment network, multiple payment licenses, and deep fintech expertise strengthens our ability to help companies manage and pay their remote teams,” said Papaya Global CEO Eynat Guez.
Azimo has raised $88.1 million in combined debt and equity. Financial terms of the deal, which will bring all of Azimo’s employees over to the Papaya Global team, were undisclosed.
Foreign exchange platform Azimoannounced today that it will facilitate payments on behalf of Thailand’s largest commercial bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).
SCB clients will benefit from Azimo’s digital money transfer program that uses RippleNet, a blockchain-based money transfer service. Using RippleNet, Azimo will be able to instantly deliver payments from Europe to SCB client accounts.
The partnership leverages a program called PromptPay, which offers Thailand residents a PromptPay ID to serve as a proxy for their bank account number. PromptPay was launched in 2017 as part of the Bank of Thailand’s E-Payment initiative.
According to Azimo CEO Richard Ambrose, “Transfers can be set up in minutes from a smartphone. The fees are low and the rates are great, so our customers will be spared the extortionate charges levied by many competitors.”
Azimo counts more than one million customers of its digital money transfer platform, which allows users to send money from 25 countries to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Last year, the company increased its transfer volume by 60% year-over-year. Today’s move with SCB should boost that growth even further; Thailand is one of the top destinations for remittances. The country receives $6.7 billion from around the globe each year.
Headquartered in London, U.K., Azimo was founded in 2012. The FinovateEurope alum brought in $21.7 million (€20 million) in debt financing last month, bringing its total combined debt and equity funding to $88 million.
Russia has a new tech billionaire. The $500 million raised by financial platform Revolut this week not only establishes the U.K.-based business as the country’s most valuable fintech. It also makes its founder and CEO, Moscow-born Nikolay Storonsky, the latest fintech billionaire to come from the Russian Republic.
The investment was led by Technology Crossover Ventures – a U.S. firm – and takes Revolut’s total capital to $836 million. Revolut now sports a valuation of $5.5 billion.
Storonsky’s net worth figure – on paper, at least – is based on a Forbes report from last February in which he noted that his stake in Revolut was being diluted to 30%.
As part of this big week for U.K. fintechs, SME lender iwoca picked up $109 million funding and expansion into Germany. B-Social, a social payments app based in London, raised $10 million ahead of its transformation into a fully-licensed challenger bank later this year. And Azimopartnered with fellow Finovate alum Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments to the Philippines.
This week on Finovate.com, we featured a profile of Innovate Israel founder and CEO Itai Green and his thoughts on open innovation and collaboration between corporates and startups. We also highlighted Finovate newcomer Sonect, a Swiss company that demonstrated its Best of Show winning virtual cash network at FinovateEurope earlier this month.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
Indian fintech PhoneParLoan announces new investment from accelerator MOX. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
Bengaluru-based digital billpay company XPay Life goes live in India.
Envestnet | Yodleeacquires Indian data aggregator FinBit.io.
Latin America and the Caribbean
AlphaCredit, a Mexico City-based fintech, raises $125 million in round led by the SoftBank Innovation Fund.
Mexico issues its first license – to NVIO Pagos Mexico – under its new fintech law.
U.S. Bancorp’s merchant acquirer subsidiary, Elavon, sells its Mexican operations to banking group Santander.
AzimotapsRipple for cross-border payments to the Philippines.
Philippines-based Tonik Financial raises $6 million ahead of the launch of its new digital offering.
Malaysia’s biggest telecom, Axiata Group, is the latest company in the country to announce plans to pursue a digital banking license.
South Africa’s Jumo raises $55 million in combined debt and equity funding.
Nigeria’s The Nation looks at how fintech empowers startups.
Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Sokowatch locks in $14 million Series A funding.
Central and Eastern Europe
Mastercardexpands its partnership with Rakuten Viber to bring P2P payments to Romania.
A new $500 million funding round for Revolutmakes the company’s founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky Russia’s latest tech billionaire.
Apple Pay goes live in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Kashat, an Egyptian mobile app that offers short-term loans of up to $95 to the underbanked, goes live in Cairo and Alexandria.
Jordanian SME lending marketplace Liwwa raises $5 million in growth funding.
A new agreement between Tencent Holdings and Network International will expand WeChat Pay’s presence in the UAE.
Digital money transfer service Azimoannounced today that it has partnered with fellow Finovate alum and blockchain payment solutions company Ripple to power cross-border payments to the Philippines.
Fueling these payment transfers is Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution that uses XRP to source liquidity and complete money transfers within three seconds. This time reduction results in a 40% to 60% cost savings over the traditional method that requires businesses to hold cash in pre-funded accounts. ODL has proven especially useful for international payments in emerging markets. The technology is currently available in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, Europe, and the Philippines, with plans to expand across APAC, EMEA, and LATAM.
Azimo, which plans to expand its use of ODL to more markets in 2020, opted to start with the Philippines because it is one of the top remittance destinations. In 2018, the region received $34 billion in remittance payments.
“We’ve been interested for a long time in the potential of digital assets like XRP to make cross-border payments better for customers,” said Azimo CEO Richard Ambrose. ”Ripple’s ODL solution has significantly reduced the cost and delivery time for cross-border transfers, and our customers are seeing the benefits. As more banks and financial institutions use ODL, we believe it has the potential to replace current methods of foreign exchange trading and to reduce settlement time to close to zero.”
Founded in 2012, Azimo has amassed one million customers. The company facilitates money transfers from 25 countries to more than 200 regions across the globe.
Ripple has 300+ customers in more than 45 countries and six continents. The company’s flagship global blockchain network, RippleNet, facilitates faster and cheaper payments in 40+ currencies.
It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.
But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.
“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.
The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.
“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”
Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:
Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
Italy-based CREDEM leveragingWorldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deployACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
YellowDogforges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
Ohpenappoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
CuneXuscelebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.
ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity – ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.
Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasaannounced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.
Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.
Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.
Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”
Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.
Also on Finovate.com
Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”
Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.
Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses.
MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.
Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.
Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions.
French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.
Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’sTap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers.
INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Five DegreesTeams Up with ieDigital to Launch Digital Banking Portfolio.
Sezzle’s $100 Million Line of Credit to Fuel Delayed Payment Tool.
Around the web
LoanScorecard unveilsSimpleCECL, its solution for loan-level analyses for Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL).
Onfidowins 7th place in Deloitte’s 11 fastest growing tech companies in the U.K. roster.
OutSystemsearns recognition in two categories of the 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice reviews: Mobile App Development Platforms and Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service (HPaPaaS).
Payment Ninjaintroduces new invoice management feature of its platform.
Diebold Nixdorfinks Memorandum of Understanding with Europol to boost cybersecurity knowledge sharing.
Entersektannounces plans to expand to Nordic region.