Flywire Closes $120 Million Investment, Acquires Healthcare Payments Platform

It’s a big week for Flywire. The global payments platform made a dual announcement yesterday that it closed a round of funding and sealed the deal on an acquisition.

The $120 million in funding brings Flywire’s total raised to $260 million. Goldman Sachs led the Series E round. The Massachusetts-based company will use the funding to digitize payments across education, healthcare, and travel.

“We are thrilled to lead the Series E round for Flywire”, said Ashwin Gupta, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. “They bring together a unique blend of a payments network, platform and vertical-specific solutions to completely digitize the payments experience for their clients across industries. We look forward to continuing to help accelerate Flywire’s growth.”

Along with the investment news, Flywire unveiled that it has acquired healthcare billing and payment solutions company Simplee for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition blends Flywire’s tech platform with Simplee’s solution that focuses on patients and providers. The combined companies power four of the top ten U.S. healthcare systems and together process $10 billion+ in payments per year.

“Flywire is uniquely built on a global payments network, which is the cornerstone of how we move billions of dollars across 200+ countries and 150 currencies, and an industry-leading payments platform” said Flywire CEO Mike Massaro. “This digital foundation enables us to develop vertical-specific applications that make payments more efficient and cost-effective for our global clients. The Simplee acquisition improves patient engagement and healthcare affordability and extends these capabilities to a broader customer base.”

Flywire, which originally launched has peerTransfer in 2009, has processed $12 billion+ in payments for 2,000 clients. The company has office locations at its headquarters in Boston, as well as Chicago, London, Manchester, Valencia, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Cluj, and Sydney. 

Fenergo Raises $80 Million from ABN AMRO Ventures and DXC Technology

Digital banking and client lifecycle management solutions provider Fenergo brought in $80 million in funding today, bringing its total raised to $155 million and boosting its valuation to $800 million.

The funds come from new investor ABN AMRO Ventures and existing investor DXC Technology, which have taken a 10% stake in Fenergo. “We are very happy to add Fenergo to our investment portfolio,” said Hugo Bongers, Director at ABN AMRO Ventures. “This investment will contribute to ABN AMRO’s strategic priority to build a future proof bank and fight financial crime. We are impressed with the management team and solution Fenergo offers. In addition, this gives us additional exposure to a group of tier one investors.”

Fenergo will use the funds to bolster its products and hinted that the money will also fuel future company and product acquisitions.

Founded in 2009, Fenergo aims to help financial institutions revamp their client onboarding process by creating a seamless user experience while maintaining regulatory compliance. Demand for the company’s modern onboarding tools can be seen in the growth of its bottom line; last year, Fenergo grew its revenue by 21%.

The Dublin-based company boasts 70 clients, including two of its investors, ABN AMRO and BNP Paribas. Also on the list are ANZ, PNC, Banc of California, National Australia Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, UBS Asset Management, Anglo Gulf Trading Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Tricor, Exos Financial and Mizuho.

Starling Bank Flies with $77.5 Million in New Funding

Top U.K.-based challenger bank Starling Bank raised $77.5 million (£60 million) from existing investors Merian Global Investors and JTC.

Today’s investment brings Starling’s total funding to $417 million (£323 million).

“The support of our existing investors represents a huge endorsement of our business strategy, as we continue to ramp up our growth,” said Anne Boden, Starling Bank founder and CEO. “We’re constantly innovating and have big ambitions to turn Starling into a world-leading digital bank.”

Starling will use the funding to support “rapid expansion” efforts and to create products and services that compete with traditional financial institutions. Helping motivate its employees to push for this expansion, the bank is awarding shares to its staff.

“We could not do this without the support of our 800 employees, who work so hard to provide a better banking experience for our customers, giving them more control over their finances. So I’m thrilled to be giving shares to them,” said Boden.

Since launching its banking app in 2017, Starling has amassed 1.25 million accounts and holds $1.61 billion (£1.25 billion) in assets under management. The bank was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in London with offices in Southampton, Cardiff, and Dublin.

Currencycloud Raises $80 Million in New Funding

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B2B cross border payments innovator Currencycloud has locked in $80 million in new funding.

Visa, the International Finance Corporation, BNP Paribas, SBI Group, and Siam Commercial Bank participated in the Series E. Existing investors Sapphire Ventures, Notion Capital, GV, Accomplice, and Anthemis were also involved in the round.

“Currencycloud is re-imagining how money flows around the global economy and embedding it into (the) platforms of the future,” company CEO Mike Laven said. “Transfer of value is fast becoming the newest layer in the modern technology stack, and Currencycloud is positioned to provide the infrastructure to make this happen.” He added that the funding makes Currencycloud “the go-to provider for the next wave of fintech innovation.”

This week’s investment takes Currencycloud’s total capital to more than $140 million. In its statement, the company said that it plans to use the new funds to grow its portfolio of payment methods and further develop its partner ecosystem.”

A global payments platform, Currencycloud offers 85 different APIs across four modules – collect, convert, manage, and pay – that support the entire B2B cross-border payments workflow. The London-based company, founded in 2012, demonstrated its Global Collections offering at FinovateSpring in 2018. Global Collections makes it easier for firms to collect payments from overseas customers by setting up local, virtual bank accounts in their names. This helps keep payment costs low and ensures that payments arrive promptly and in-full with as little, cross-border hassle as possible.

Earlier this month, Currencycloud announced a partnership with TransferGo that will help it launch in 14 new markets in the first quarter of this year. Named to the 2020 Fintech Power 50 in December, Currencycloud previewed its multi-currency accounts solution, Currencycloud Spark, last fall. The technology enables firms to offer their business customers multi-currency accounts that allow them to collect, store, convert, and make payments in 35+ currencies.

Currencycloud has processed more than $50 billion in cross-border payments processed since its inception. The company includes fellow Finovate alums Revolut, Klarna, and Dwolla among its partners.

AvidXchange Secures $260 Million in New Capital, Earns $2 Billion Valuation

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Does fintech have its first “double unicorn” of 2020?

Leading accounts payable and payments automation solution provider AvidXchange has secured $260 million in equity funding in a round involving TPG Sixth Street Partners as well as other investors. The funding will power the company’s continued growth and takes AvidXchange’s total capital to more than $800 million. The investment also likely boosts the company’s valuation to more than $2 billion.

“We’re shaping the future of the B2B payments industry by fundamentally changing the way businesses pay their bills,” AvidXchange CEO and co-founder Michael Praeger said. “(We) provide a single platform for AP and payments with the largest payments network for the middle market.”

Praeger noted that even in 2019 more than 60% of businesses in the U.S. relied on paper checks to pay bills, generating $2.7 trillion in annual administrative costs. AvidXchange enables mid-market businesses to avoid this expense by automating invoice and payment processing in a single platform. the company processes 9.5 million payments a year via its network of more than 500,000 suppliers.

The funding announcement comes as the company reports that new acquisition BankTEL has secured its first partnership leveraging AvidXchange’s AvidPay solution. BankTEL will collaborate with Studio Bank, a Nashville, Tennessee-based boutique bank, which will use the platform to automate and streamline their AP to payment process.

AvidXchange was named to the Inc. 5000 list in November and earned a spot on the Forbes Cloud 100 list in October. Last year, the company also added 175 new workers, taking its total workforce to 1,400+ across seven offices. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, AvidXchange was founded in 2000.

FinovateEurope Alums Reel in $940 Million in 2019

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With FinovateEurope less than a month away, we thought we’d take a look at some of the fundraising success the conference’s alums had in 2019.

From companies that demoed at our very first FinovateEurope in 2012 to some of FinovateEurope’s newest players, alums of our European conference raised more than $940 million in funding last year. We’ve listed the companies below in alphabetic order, along with a link to their demo so you can learn more about the company and its work.

Looking to showcase your latest fintech innovation on stage? Send us an email at heather@finovate.com to find out how to become one of our demoing companies next month at FinovateEurope in Berlin, Germany, on February 11 through 13.

And if you haven’t picked up your ticket yet, run, don’t walk, to our registration page and save your spot today! Take advantage of big savings by signing up before January 31.


24sessions: $1.1 million – postFEU19 demo

Aire: $11 million – postFEU15 demo

Bitbond: $2.3 million – postFEU15 demo

Capitalise: $4.5 million – postFEU16 demo

Currencycloud: $12.2 million – postFEU14 demo

Dashlane: $110 million – postFEU13 demo

DataSine: $5 million – postFEU18 demo

Featurespace: $32.2 million – postFEU16 demo

Fintech OS: $1.2 million – postFEU18 demo

Flybits: $35 million – postFEU19 demo

Kantox: $5.7 million – postFEU13 demo

Minna Technologies: $6.3 million – postFEU19 demo

nCino: $80 million – postFEU17 demo

Nutmeg: $58 million – postFEU12 demo

Onfido: $50 million – postFEU18 demo

Passport: $65 million – postFEU16 demo

PaySend: $10.6 million – post – and $5.3 million –postEU16 demo

Scalable Capital: $28 million – postFEU16 demo

Tink: $11.2 million – post – and $63 million – postFEU19 demo

Token: $16.5 million – postFEU17 demo

TransferWise: $292 million – postFEU13 demo

Twisto: $15 million – post – and $15.7 million – postFEU18 demo

YellowDog: $3.3 million – postFEU19 demo

How Trusona Stops the Funding of Evil

If you’ve ever been hacked, having either money or personal credentials stolen, did you stop to think about what type of person, organization, or agenda you were inadvertently supporting?

“Let’s talk about the funding of evil,” said Trusona founder and CEO Ori Eisen during his first Finovate demo. “When a bank loses $10 million, it’s not a good day for the bank. But where the money goes and what it’s being spent on is not good either.” Eisen then turned to the audience to suggest their responsibility in the matter. “You can help stop or curb the funding of evil,” he added.

At first I thought he was joking. Discussion of the “funding of evil” and “stopping the bad guys” sounded like something straight out of a kid’s TV program. However, it’s no joke and it’s unnerving to think of what these “bad guy” fraudsters do with their stolen cash.

In the demo, Eisen went on to explain that one way to curb funding these fraudsters is to make user’s accounts more secure. And in Trusona’s opinion, the best way to do that is to get rid of passwords entirely. The Arizona-based company just raised $20 million this month in support of this concept– getting rid of the password. The investment brought Trusona’s total funding to $38 million.

So what does web authentication look like without a password? The 30 second process requires the user to have their smartphone with them, but doesn’t require access to a cellular network. Upon logging in, the user clicks Login with Trusona. The web interface shows a unique QR code, and the user then opens the Trusona app on their smartphone, scans the QR code, and taps to accept. Once complete, the user can enter the website without the need for a username or password.

In addition to simple authentication, Trusona also offers solutions for ID scanning and proofing, multi-factor authentication, and VPNs.

The need for such a solution stems from faulty password management skills common among consumers and employees today. In fact, last year Trace Security reported that 81% of company data breaches were caused by poor passwords. Trusona offers an SDK that businesses can integrate into their own app to simplify logins for both employees and end customers.

With its recent funding, Trusona said it will focus on expanding its customer base as well as begin working on new product offerings.

Trusona was founded in 2015 and counts Aetna, Kleiner Perkins, and Bain Capital among its clients. The company has demoed at Finovate twice and won Best of Show awards at both of its appearances. Check out Trusona’s most recent demo below.

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million

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TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent. With existing investors CNP Assurances, XAnge, and New Alpha also participating in the Series B, Lydia adds significantly to the more than $16 million (€13 million) the company raised in 2018. The funding will help propel the firm toward its self-described goal of being the “PayPal of the new mobile generation.”

Lydia is used to make P2P payments, link and share accounts, as well as access a marketplace of additional financial offerings such as lending products and insurance. Available as a free app with other premium services available, Lydia can also set up recurring payments and enable users to pay with their smartphone via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or QR code. Company co-founder and CEO Cyril Chiche pointed to the growing numbers of French consumers who are using the app for a variety of money management functions, highlighting the fact that 25% of French consumers between the ages of 18 and 30 have a Lydia account. Chiche added that the technology has three million users across Europe.

Lydia, which was founded in 2013, will use the funding to fuel its continued expansion in Europe. Lydia is particularly keen on opportunities to reach millennial Europeans in markets like the U.K., Ireland, Spain, and Portugal – where its app was deployed in the second half of 2017.

Compared to other countries in Europe, the fintech industry in France is often overlooked. This is not wholly without foundation. According to the recent report on European fintech by Dealroom, the share of fintech related VC spending in France in recent years was 12% compared to 20% in Europe overall, 21% in Germany, and 30% in the U.K. Born2Invest noted in December that French fintech startups had raised $700 million in 2019, and suggested that this year would likely see “a lot of talk about assuretech” also known as insurech, where technologies like digitization and automation are able to make dramatic differences in data management.

Lydia was featured in Silicon Canals last spring in its look at “10 exciting French fintech startups to work for in 2019.” For more on the French fintech industry, check out this infographic from BlackFin Tech which depicts the five main ecosystems in French fintech – regtech, assurtech, financial services, banking/PFM, and payment services – as well as some of the major players.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability

Supply chain payments company Tradeshift just unveiled details about a $240 million funding round today. The investment– a combination of debt and equity– comes from new and existing investors. Tradeshift’s total funding is now $672 million.

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.” The funding will also be used to grow Tradeshift’s network finance program that provides liquidity to companies in 100+ countries.

And it appears that Tradeshift is already on the right track. Last year the company tallied record expansion; growing its revenue more than 60% and closing more than 300 enterprise deals. What’s more, 40% of the total transaction volume across its platform occurred in the last 12 months.

“It’s clear that the investor community has a strong focus on growth combined with profitability and they like our plan,” said Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng. “As a network business, growth is always going to be a key part of our story. But it’s also important that we manage that growth responsibly.”

Tradeshift’s business commerce platform connects more than 1.5 million companies across 190 countries. To date, the company has processed more than half a trillion dollars in transaction value. After Tradeshift’s most recent funding round of $250 million last spring, the company’s valuation was boosted to $1.1 billion.

As for 2020 plans, Lanng said that the company’s focus “will be about doubling down in areas where we’re seeing the greatest momentum while continuing to ensure we have the necessary balance in place to fully capitalize on the enormous opportunities in front of us.”

Proptech Advances in Latin America As Loft Raises $175 Million in New Investment

The $175 million in Series C funding raised by Latin American digital real estate platform Loft this week offers an insight into how proptech is providing new investment opportunities within the emerging markets of countries like Brazil and Mexico.

“We’re aiming to reinvent the way people move homes by building the most consumer-focused real estate marketplace,” Loft founder and co-CEO Mate Pencz said. Loft’s digital platform leverages transaction data and machine learning to price apartments at the unit level. This brings both liquidity and transparency to a market the company says suffers from a lack of data transparency, excessively-high selling prices, and long transaction times.

The company plans to also use the funding to fuel its continued growth in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Expansion to Rio de Janeiro is anticipated for early 2020, with Mexico City to follow soon afterward. Loft also plans to grow its product portfolio in the new year to include mortgages and insurance.

“Loft is creating a consolidated source of truth on inventory and transaction prices that has, until now, been fundamentally missing from the Latin American real estate market,” Vulcan Capital general partner Rafael Costa explained. “This, together with Loft’s highly accurate and intelligent pricing tools, is transforming real estate transactions and providing a truly unmatched customer experience for sellers, agents, and buyers,” Costa said. Vulcan’s investment in Loft is the first and only Latin American investment in the company’s portfolio.

TechCrunch’s Anna Escher compared Loft to U.S.-based home-selling marketplace platform Opendoor in her reporting on the funding announcement. And while the San Francisco-based property management technology company has quite the head start, including a $3.8 billion valuation, Loft has made strong strides in its initial year of operation. The company announced more than $150 million in annualized revenues last year and transacted more than 1,000 properties. Beginning with 100 employees, Loft finished 2019 with more than 450 on its team, with plans to add more talent early this year.

Loft competes with firms like QuintoAndar, a SoftBank-funded unicorn based in Brazil, and Mexico’s Flat, which includes investors such as ALLVP and Next Billion Ventures. Proptech represents a modest amount of the overall capital VCs have invested in Latin America, rising to 4% of all VC funding in 2018. Nevertheless, this constituted a sizable increase in both the amount invested (503x) and number of deals (5x) over the previous year, as reported by the LAVCA in its Annual Review of Tech Investment in Latin America. The figure also rivaled investment in other areas such as security & infrastructure, digital security, and e-commerce. Overall, the report indicated that fintech represented 25% of all VC spending in Latin America in 2018.

The investment in proptech Loft also reflects the breadth of funding Latin American fintechs are receiving. Last week, Latin American SME lenders Cora and Rebel made headlines with million dollar fundraisings that will help bring credit to underserved businesses. Challenger banks in Mexico have attracted VC interest, as well, with neobanks Albo and Flink both announcing year-end funding last week.

B-North Lands $2.6 Million Ahead of Launch

E.U.-based alternative lending company B-North announced this week it landed $2.6 million (£2 million) in new funding. The investment comes as part of crowdfunding efforts via Crowdcube and Growthfunders.

Combined with the $5.5 million (£4.2 million) the company has already raised, today’s round brings B-North’s total funding to just over $8 million, according to FSTech. The company will use the new capital to increase its workforce and boost its infrastructure.

While B-North has yet to launch, the company plans to do so in “mid-2020.” Taking a step in that direction, last month B-North partnered with Newcastle Strategic Solutions, which will provide a deposit-taking solution for the new lender.

While there are multiple alternative lending companies in the fintech sector, B-North aims to differentiate itself by lending up to 10x faster than incumbent players, placing core banking functions closer to the customer, and tapping its commercial finance broker channels for distribution. Much of this will be accomplished through “lending pods,” as the company calls them, which will launch across Manchester in the second half of this year.

B-North was founded in 2015. Jonathan Thompson is co-founder and CEO.

Wall Street to Exiting Fintechs: Show Us the Profits

What does the fintech landscape look like for startups in 2020? Among all the forecasts and predictions we’ve been reading and re-reading, is reporting from the Wall Street Journal that suggests that fintech startups seeking successful exits may face tougher challenges in 2020 than in 2019.

As the Journal’s Yuliya Chernova reports, in 2019, only three U.S.-based, VC-backed, fintech startups went public: Bill.com, Oportum, and Sezzle – two of which are Finovate alums. Even so, this tops the previous year’s total of two such firms: EverQuote and Green Sky.

“Venture investors value startups on growth, but Wall Street wants to see profits,” Chernova begins. She goes on to note how observers and analysts alike are citing the failure of WeWork and the stock struggles of newly-public companies like Uber and Lyft as indications that the affection – and capital – that VCs poured into these tech innovators may not be shared by an increasingly cynical Wall Street investing community.

As Finovate Senior Research Analyst Julie Muhn noted in a post titled “M&A is the New IPO,” last summer, there are a wealth of reasons why fintechs have found successful exits more challenging at this end of the decade. She wrote that between the availability of VC funding, and M&A opportunities on the one hand, and the cost and “bad track record” of fintech IPOs on the other, a growing number of fintechs are figuring out that it is often better to saddle up with a fellow traveler than to try and “go it alone” in the public markets.

Writing in the Digital Banking Report, publisher Jim Marous summed it up: “(W)hy would successful fintechs, who appear to have a bottomless pit of funding at their disposal, subject themselves to the massive scrutiny that comes from going public? Fintech firms don’t see a slowdown of the funding fire hose and have no desire to lose control of their vision.”

Just to get a sense of the flow from that “funding fire hose,” CB Insights reported in December that fintech startups last year raked in more than $24 billion in funding through Q3 of 2019. This represents a gain of 500% since 2014. The firm’s Global Fintech Report Q3 2019, highlights the record-setting fundraising by Southeast Asian fintechs, and notes that the $12.9 billion raised by U.S. fintechs through Q3 2019 had already topped the previous year’s full-year tally of $12.5 billion. European fintechs similarly outperformed, bringing in $5.1 billion in VC funding through Q3 2019 compared to $3.8 billion in all of 2018.

And for those who feel as if this fintech funding flow is evidence of an unsustainable bubble rather than healthy – if not vigorous – growth, fintech analyst and Forbes senior contributor Ron Shevlin suggests looking closer.

“Ignore the pessimistic view,” he wrote. “Dismissing opportunities for further fintech investment is short-sighted … The margin opportunity in banking today isn’t necessarily coming up with a ‘better’ bank, but instead, helping to improve banks profitability. Opportunities for fintech startups abound within banks.”‘

For a look at the recent capital-raising accomplishments of our own Finovate alums, check out our year-end feature, Finovate Alums Raise More than $3 Billion in 2019.