Russia Gets a New Tech Billionaire as U.K. Fintechs Get Funded

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 Azimo partnered 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 | Yodlee acquires 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.

Asia-Pacific

  • Azimo taps Ripple 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.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • 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

  • Mastercard expands its partnership with Rakuten Viber to bring P2P payments to Romania.
  • A new $500 million funding round for Revolut makes 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.

Top image designed by Freepik

Envestnet | Yodlee Acquires Indian Data Aggregator FinBit.io

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

Envestnet | Yodlee has acquired another asset in its strategy to further grow and develop its data aggregation and analytics business.

The company has purchased India-based FinBit.io, a data analytics platform that offers a scoring solution, BankScore, designed to help people who struggle to obtain credit due to a poor or insufficient credit history. Both companies are Finovate alums: Envestnet | Yodlee made its last Finovate appearance at FinovateFall in New York back in September; FinBit.io made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia last fall in Singapore.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal was completed on February 18th.

Envestnet sees the acquisition as accelerating innovation within the company, fueling the ability of the firm to market compliant solutions to new and existing customers in the region. As part of the deal, FinBit.io founder and CEO Prashant Paliwal will lead Yodlee FinSoft, an Envestnet | Yodlee subsidiary focused on the account aggregation business in India and Asia.

Envestnet | Yodlee Chief Executive for Data and Analytics Stuart DePina called India and Asia strategically important to the company, and highlighted the account aggregator ecosystem in India as one of the more vibrant developments in fintech. “We are delighted to empower millions of consumers in India with state-of-the-art Account Aggregator technology and superior user experiences that will allow them to share consented data seamlessly across platforms enabling speedy solutions such as the real-time processing of personal loan applications,” DePina explained.

“Our vision is to empower consumers with the ability to permit the aggregation of their financial data so that holistic analytics can be made available to valuable services like affordable credit, personal finance management, and even accounting,” FinBit.io’s Paliwal said. Paliwal, who founded the Bangalore-based company in 2017, said the acquisition would enable FinBit.io to expand its product portfolio and scale its offerings. Paliwal is a Yodlee veteran, running the company’s APAC fintech business before launching FinBit.io.

Envestnet acquired multiple Finovate Best of Show winning Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. Founded in 1999, the company has more than 25 million users around the world and 1,200+ financial institution partners including 15 of the top 20 U.S. banks. The publicly-traded firm, ENV on the New York Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of $4 billion.

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: FinBit.io

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on October 14 through 15, 2019 in Singapore. Register today and save your spot.

FinBit.io, a leading data aggregation and analytics platform, is launching a disruptive credit analytics and scoring product – BankScore – to solve for people suffering with traditional credit scores.

Features

  • BankScore is based on analysis of an individual’s bank transactions
  • Real-time aggregation and analytics using machine learning
  • Solution addresses the large population that struggles with credit scores

Why it’s great
Traditional credit scores are broken and incomplete for developing economies as the majority of people may not have a credit card or loan history. BankScore disrupts just by analyzing a bank account.

Presenter

Prashant Paliwal, Founder and CEO
Paliwal was driving Yodlee’s APAC fintech business before starting FinBit.io to address large pain points in India and Asia. He is a fellow from MIT Sloan, earned an MS from the University of Cincinnati, and holds two patents.
LinkedIn

Ashvi Mittal, Product Manager
Mittal is instrumental in devising core analytics algorithms and products as well as driving sales from Mumbai. She holds an MS in Finance from EDHEC France.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Singapore’s CredoLab Partners with CIMB Bank Philippines in Bid to Boost Financial Inclusion.
  • Refinitiv Inks Strategic Partnership with SigFig.
  • PayPal’s move into China is a big deal.

Around the web

  • DriveWealth appoints Julie Coin as new President.
  • NOVO BANCO to deploy billing and payment tech from Fiserv.
  • Finastra deepens ties with Seattle Bank.
  • NIIT Technologies partners with mabl to deliver faster application testing services.
  • Lendio to double sales force, expand loan product offerings.
  • Faraday integrates with Iterable to enable mutual customers to leverage Faraday’s AI-generated predictions in their Iterable workflows.
  • BehavioSec earns Gold at the 2019 Golden Bridge Awards and is selected as the CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards’ Multifactor Solution of the Year.
  • Signifyd’s Seamless SCA solution receives all of the merchant domain EMVCo certifications.
  • Backbase opens office in Dubai.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.