Stilt Secures $14 Million to Bring Financial Services to Immigrant Communities

Stilt Secures $14 Million to Bring Financial Services to Immigrant Communities
  • A specialist in delivering financial services to immigrant communities, Stilt, has closed a $14 million Series A round.
  • The company also secured a $100 million debt facility and launched a new credit-as-a-service offering, Onbo.
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Stilt was founded in 2015.

Stilt, a fintech that specializes in providing financial services to immigrant communities, has raised $14 million in new funding. The Series A round was led by Link Ventures, and featured participation from Petrushka Investments, Hillsven Capital, and investor Gokul Rajaram. A number of C-level technology executives were also involved in the funding, including Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson, CTO Ott Kaukver, and Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra.

Along with the funding announcement, the San Francisco, California-based company reported that it also has closed a new $100 million debt facility and launched its new credit-as-a-service offering, Onbo. The new solution enables any business to create and market its own credit product without requiring a bank sponsor. Onbo relies on Stilt’s state lending licenses and compliance framework, managing origination, payments, and credit reporting to free up companies to focus on developing their credit solution. Among the kinds of credit products that Onbo enables are credit building tools, revolving lines of credit, and personal loans. Onbo is powered by a single API to facilitate integration, and also offers companies up to $1 million in debt capital to help them get started.

Additionally, Onbo funds user accounts, deducts payments, and updates reimbursements in real time. The solution features a loan management system that can use both its own built-in accounting tools or accounting tools from third-party solution providers.

“Onbo represents a new path forward for neobanks looking to launch a credit product,”Stilt co-founder and CEO Rohit Mittal said. “We’ve spent five years at Stilt getting state lending licenses, building our credit stack, and refining our risk models. Now we’re opening the entire stack for others to build innovative credit products in just a few weeks. This is the quickest way we can think of to democratize loans and credit building across the board.”

Founded in 2015, Stilt has provided financing to people from more than 150 countries around the world. Specializing in lending to immigrants and other underserved individuals, Stilt does not require cosigners and does not charge prepayment fees. Instead, the company focuses on a “holistic profile” that references a range of indications of financial responsibility such as employment or employability, education, and financial behavior. Loans from $1,000 to $35,000 are available, with repayment terms ranging from 12 months to 36 months.

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Sales Engagement Platform Vymo Raises $22 Million in Series C Funding

Sales Engagement Platform Vymo Raises $22 Million in Series C Funding
  • Sales engagement platform Vymo has raised $22 million in Series C funding.
  • The investment round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, and featured participation from existing investors Emergence Capital and Sequoia Capital.
  • The funding comes after a year in which the San Francisco, California-based company recorded quarterly growth of more than 20% and 142% net revenue retention.

In a round led by Bertelsmann India Investments, and featuring participation from existing investors Emergence Capital and Sequoia Capital, intelligent sales engagement platform Vymo has secured $22 million in Series C funding. The investment takes the company’s total capital to $45 million, according to Crunchbase.

Calling 2021 “a momentous year,” Vymo CEO and co-founder Yamini Bhat pointed to quarterly growth of more than 20% and 142% net revenue retention, as well as new partnerships with Berkshire Hathaway and Max Life Insurance, as examples of the company’s recent success. Bhat added that the Series C funding will help Vymo accelerate its growth plans in markets like the U.S. and Japan. “Sales tech is a $10B+ opportunity in just these two countries,” she said.

A Finovate alum since 2018, Vymo enables frontline sales representatives to report data and learn how to best engage their customers. The company’s app serves as a personal assistant, predicting what the representative should do at key stages of the customer engagement process, detecting whether the recommended action has taken place, and recording outcomes in order to drive better predictions in the future. With more than 200,000 users around the world, Vymo’s activity capture, intelligent nudges, and ability to construct industry playbooks help improve sales outcomes and provide business leaders with insights that help them plan and execute sales and business strategies.

Vymo finished 2021 with the appointment of Deepak Keni as Chief Customer Officer for Asia. The company said that the addition of Keni was “a commitment to deliver real business outcomes from digital transformation projects” in the region. The company also was recognized by Gartner in December as a Representative Vendor in its 2021 market guide for Sales Engagement Applications.

“We started Vymo with a mission to unleash the full potential of each salesperson – to help them become a trusted advisor to their customers and partners,” Bhat said when the company’s inclusion in Gartner’s guide was announced. “After 60+ deployments around the globe, we have demonstrated how bottom-up behavioral changes are integral to driving business outcomes.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Vymo was founded in 2013. The company most recently demoed its technology on the Finovate stage last year at FinovateFall.

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Acorns Scores $300 Million in Funding, Chooses Private Investment Over SPAC Merger

Acorns Scores $300 Million in Funding, Chooses Private Investment Over SPAC Merger
  • Acorns has raised $300 million in Series F funding.
  • The investment, led by private equity firm TPG, gives the company a valuation of $1.9 billion.
  • The fundraising comes after the company abandoned its plan to go public via a SPAC merger.

Savings and investing app Acorns has raised $300 million in Series F funding in a round led by TPG. The investment gives the company a valuation of $1.9 billion and comes in the wake of the company’s decision to abandon a plan to go public via a SPAC merger that could have delivered Acorns a valuation in the neighborhood of $2.2 billion.

Also participating in the round were BlackRock, Bain Capital Ventures, and Galaxy Digital among others. Acorns said that it plans to use the additional funding to expand its offerings (including cryptocurrrency exposure), to enhance the ability of users to personalize their portfolios, and to fuel acquisitions. The company has raised a total of $507 million in capital, according to Crunchbase.

The investment comes amid increasing concerns over the fate of high growth fintechs in the public markets of late. In an interview with CNBC, Acorns CEO Noah Kerner pointed to “very volatile” markets as one of the reasons his company retreated from the SPAC market, saying he feared Acorns would be treated the same as other high growth technology companies whose valuations were coming under critical scrutiny. Kerner took solace in the successful Series F round which he said reflected the determination of Acorns’ private investors to support growing companies, “but not grow-at-all costs companies.”

Founded in 2012 by father and son Walter and Jeffrey Cruttenden, Acorns offers a platform that leverages micro- and robo-investing to help individuals and families save and invest. With as little as $3 a month, users can choose from among a number of diversified, exchange-traded fund (ETF) based portfolios with different asset allocation strategies. Automatic portfolio rebalancing is provided, and users can set up automatic recurring investments starting at $5 a day, week, or month, to take advantage of the efficiencies of fractional investing and dollar cost averaging. Acorns also offers a Round-Ups feature that enables users to automatically invest the spare change from their everyday purchases when they link their credit or debit card to their Acorns account.

With more than 4.6 million paid subscribers on its platform, Acorns has $4.7 billion in assets under management as of May of last year according to its Form ADV. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California.

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Card Processor Zeta Secures $30 Million in New Funding

Card Processor Zeta Secures $30 Million in New Funding
  • Finovate Best of Show winner Zeta announced a new partnership with Mastercard.
  • The five-year collaboration included an investment of $30 million from Mastercard and other investors.
  • The funding gives Zeta a valuation of $1.5 billion.

Zeta, which won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateWest Digital 2020, has announced a five-year global partnership with Mastercard. The collaboration, which also featured an investment of $30 million from Mastercard and other investors, will enable the two companies to jointly launch credit cards via Zeta’s full stack, cloud-based, API-ready card processing platform. The two firms plan to issue between 30 and 40 million debit and credit cards over the course of the partnership and process $60 billion in total payment value.

“With Zeta’s next-gen credit card processing platform, we are fundamentally rewiring how issuers launch credit card programs by offering new paradigms over legacy mainframe systems,” Zeta co-founder and CEO Bhavin Turakhia said. He noted that Zeta enables issuers to increase their lending books, reduce costs with pay-as-you-go SaaS billing, improve customer engagement and satisfaction, and leverage the platform to launch new solutions and iterate faster.

The funding gives the San Francisco, California-based fintech a valuation of $1.5 billion, further solidifying the company’s unicorn status it achieved last May when Zeta scored $240 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Zeta’s flagship solution, Tachyon, is a modern credit processing stack that provides integrated credit and loan processing. The platform spans the entire credit card lifecycle from issuance, core, and payments to BNPL loans, fraud and risk monitoring, rewards, and more. Zeta’s APIs enable issuers to create new revenue lines as BIN/balance sheet sponsors by providing co-brands, fintechs, and affinity partners with a complete banking-as-a-service and embeddable banking platform. The company also provides a suite of managed services including servicing, collections, and more.

Mastercard EVO for Products and Innovation Sandeep Malhotra underscored the capabilities of Zeta’s platform. “By deploying Zeta’s credit processing stack, issuers will have an opportunity to grow their user base, drive higher usage, and enter new geographical markets while accelerating the cashless revolution around the world.”

The relationship between Zeta and Mastercard extends back to 2018, when Zeta entered Mastercard’s Start Path engagement program. More recently, Zeta joined the Mastercard Developers Partner Network, Engage, which will give the fintech access to the Mastercard network. This will enable Zeta to pre-integrate or bundle solutions such as Mastercard’s Digital First and Fintech Express progams that support customer KYC and verification operations, as well as instant digital card issuance and provisioning.

Founded in 2015, Zeta began this year with the announcement that its card processing business grew to more than 10 million cards with more than 300 million transactions a year globally.

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Social Investing App Shares Announces $40 Million Series A Investment

Social Investing App Shares Announces $40 Million Series A Investment
  • Shares, a new social investment app based in Paris, has raised $40 million in Series A funding.
  • The app combines fractional share investing with features that enable users to observe the investing behavior of others, as well as collaborate on investment strategies.
  • The app is available to investors in the U.K. The company plans to bring the solution to investors in other European countries “in the future.”

In a round led by Valar Ventures, social investment app Shares has raised $40 million in Series A funding. The investment comes as the Paris-based fintech goes live with its app on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, and lifts the company’s total capital to $50 million.

Shares’ technology enables investors to buy and sell shares in public companies, and adds the ability for friends and colleagues to collaborate when it comes to investing and building investment strategies. The app allows for fractional share investing, users can open accounts with as little as £1.00, and there are no fees for buying and selling shares. What helps distinguish Shares from other mobile-first investment platforms is the ability to create discussion groups to facilitate information-sharing with other investors and traders on the app. Shares also features an investment activity feed that enables users to see when their friends are buying and selling shares.

The app is currently available only to investors in the U.K.; the company has provided a waitlist for interested individuals in the E.U. Shares is partnered with Alpaca Securities LLC, which is serving as the company’s execution broker.

Headquartered in Paris, France, Shares was co-founded by Benjamin Chemia (CEO), François Ruty (CTO) and Harjas Singh (CPO) and maintains offices in London and Krakow, as well. The goal of the company was to reduce barriers to investing, especially for first-time investors. With fractional share investing and a social component that makes it easy to learn, share, and collaborate, Shares seeks to counter the notion that investing is “boring and lonely” and, instead, show that investing is “something everyone can enjoy.”

“Despite having worked in finance, I know from my own experience as a retail investor how inaccessible the world of investing can be even with today’s lower barrier, commission-free apps,” Singh said last fall. “There is a real consumer demand for a social-first app like Shares designed to level the playing field so anyone can join the conversation and become an investor.”

Joining Valar Ventures in the funding round were existing investors Singular, Global Founders Capital, and Red Sea Ventures.

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Bulgaria-based Payhawk Raises $100 Million for Business Spend Management

Bulgaria-based Payhawk Raises $100 Million for Business Spend Management
  • Bulgaria-based Payhawk extended its Series B funding round by $100 million to $215 million.
  • The investment values Payhawk at over $1 billion and brings its total funding to $239 million.
  • The company currently serves businesses in 30 countries and will use the recent funding to pursue further global expansion.

Bulgaria may be known more for its beaches and opera singers than it is for its fintech. Business spend management platform Payhawk may soon change that, however. The Bulgarian-based fintech just extended its recent Series B round by $100 million and is now valued at over $1 billion. This new valuation makes Payhawk Bulgaria’s first unicorn.

The fresh funding brings its Series B round to $215 million and boosts its total funding to $239 million. Today’s round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and saw participation from Sprints Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, HubSpot Ventures, and Jigsaw VC.

Payhawk’s $1 billion valuation is a huge leap forward for the fintech. Just three months ago when the company first announced its Series B round, Payhawk was valued at $570 million. It now sits 75% higher.

Payhawk, which currently serves businesses in 30 countries, will use the investment to expand its presence in the mid-size enterprise market and pursue global expansion. The company will open offices in Paris and Amsterdam this month and will add one in New York in September.

To support this growth, Payhawk plans to ramp up its workforce by 3x. The company plans to grow from 100 to 300 employees by the end of this year. As part of this expansion, Payhawk will increase the size of its product team by adding 60 additional senior software engineers to meet customer demand for new features.

Payhawk was founded in 2018 to offer businesses a way to control company spending. In addition to payment cards, the startup offers invoicing, employee reimbursement, and billpay tools along with accounting software integration, built-in spending policies, and analytics.

“Every employee that deals with company payments feels that there should be a better way to do it, but this huge problem was never tackled by a strong product team with a hardcore engineering background,” said Payhawk Founder and CEO Hristo Borisov. “This is what Payhawk brings to the market.”

Identity Verification Specialist OCR Labs Secures $30 Million in Series B Funding

Identity Verification Specialist OCR Labs Secures $30 Million in Series B Funding
  • OCR Labs, an identity verification company founded in Australia and headquartered in London, announced a $30 million Series B round.
  • The funding takes the company’s total capital to $46 million and will be used to help OCR Labs expand further in North America and EMEA.
  • Making its Finovate debut in 2016, the company won Best of Show at FinovateAsia a year later.

In a round led by Equable Capital, a New York-based family office, identity verification specialist OCR Labs has raised $30 million in a Series B round. The investment will be used to help the London, U.K.-based company grow its team in North America and EMEA, and gives the firm $46 million in total capital.

“2021 was an incredible year for OCR Labs, with continued validation from customers who have chosen us as their provider for online digital identity verification,” OCR Labs CEO John Myers said in a statement. “This investment provides us with the capital to continue our growth while bringing a value-added investor on to our board.”

Boasting a 5x increase in new clients and 3x growth in the size of its team over the past 12 months, OCR Labs offers automated identity verification via ID document validation, facial biometrics and other techniques. OCR Labs’ approach removes the need for human intervention in the customer identification process, and gives companies the tools they need to meet AML and KYC requirements and reduce fraud.

The company made its Finovate debut at our developers conference FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2016 and returned one year later to win Best of Show at FinovateAsia in Hong Kong. Securing Series A funding last year, OCR Labs also recently opened a new office in North America, added a direct sales force, and hired a global Chief Revenue Officer.

“Our vision remains unchanged,” Myers said, “we strive to be the leading technology provider of digital identity verification, globally. The market opportunity continues to grow, and with our expansion in the U.S., and investment in our global sales effort, we’re in a phenomenal position to grow our customer base.”

The first private company to earn accreditation as an identity provider under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) of the Australian government, OCR Labs serves customers in a wide variety of verticals including financial services companies, brokerages, insurers, telecoms, and gaming companies.

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Savings App Plinqit Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding

Savings App Plinqit Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding
  • Savings app Plinqit has raised $5 million in Series A funding, bringing its total capital to nearly $10 million.
  • The technology helps users save safely and efficiently, and offers rewards for users who improve their financial literacy by engaging in educational content via the app.
  • Plinqit was founded in 2015 by CEO Kathleen Craig

Michigan-based savings app Plinqit has secured $5 million in funding this week. The company, which made its Finovate debut in 2019 at FinovateFall in New York, will use the new capital to help scale the business to meet growing demand. The Series A round brings Plinqit’s total capital to just under $10 million.

“Financial wellness is crucial for all of us in financial services,” Plinqit founder and CEO Kathleen Craig said. “We created Plinqit to help builders create solutions that truly help people in a way that is engaging and rewarding. It was critical for us that it was technology that they would want to use – and they are.”

The round was led by Nashville, Tennessee-based Fintop Capital and New York’s JAM FINTOP. Also participating in the investment were Invest Detroit, Michigan Rise, and Michigan’s 4Front Credit Union.

Plinqit is a brandable, mobile-first savings app – built by Millennials for Millennials. The platform empowers users to create up to five savings goals, and begin setting aside funds for each goal while earning rewards. The app’s Build Skills feature not only helps users develop financial literacy, it also pays them for doing so, rewarding users for engaging with content which boosts user engagement for financial institutions that offer the technology. Plinqit also offers a virtual account management system – Vi.Ledger – which enables financial institutions to build their own custom savings programs using virtual accounts within the app.

Launched in 2015, Plinqit is one of the leading solutions offered by app development company, HT Mobile Apps (HTMA). The technology has been adopted in recent years by a number of community financial institutions including The Milford Bank ($482 million in assets), ChoiceOne Bank ($244 million in assets), and First Arkansas Bank & Trust ($760 million in assets). “We created Plinqit as a tool to not only help customers safely and securely meet their savings goals, but to also help financial institutions compete for deposits and develop deeper relationships with their customers,” Craig said when the partnership with First Arkansas Bank & Trust was announced in the summer of 2020.

Last fall, Plinqit announced an integration with the digital banking platform of fellow Finovate alum Q2. Funds saved on the Plinqit app are FDIC- or NCUA-insured, and the service is free to users.

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Thought Machine Secures $54 Million Investment from Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo

Thought Machine Secures $54 Million Investment from Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Core banking technology innovator Thought Machine has signed a partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s largest bank by total assets.
  • As part of the partnership, the bank has invested $54 million (£40 million) in the U.K.-based fintech.
  • The partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo is the third bank partnership Thought Machine has secured this year.

U.K. based core banking technology company Thought Machine inked its third bank partnership of 2022 this week, teaming up with Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo. The collaboration will bring Thought Machine’s core banking engine, Vault, to the Italian financial institution, who will use the technology to power its new digital banking platform Isybank. The new platform will be geared initially toward the bank’s four million mass-market customers in Italy. Beyond that, Intesa Sanpaolo plans to further deploy Thought Machine’s core banking technology into its infrastructure more broadly, swapping out mainframe-based core technology in favor of the cloud.

Pointing to the digital preferences of its younger clientele, Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina said, “this new digital bank will evolve our retail business from incumbent to fintech challenger in the mass market, with the option to expand internationally.”

In addition to the technology partnership, Intesa Sanpaolo announced that it would invest $54 million (£40 million) in the U.K.-based bank technology firm. The funding takes Thought Machine’s total capital to more than $402 million.

“We chose Thought Machine as our partner due to its international standing as a fintech innovator,” Messina added. “We believe so strongly that Thought Machine is the right partners for this transformation that we are also announcing our investment in the company to be a part of its growth story.”

With 13.5 million customers in Italy and 7.1 million customers around the world, Intesa Sanpaolo and its subsidiaries are active in 12 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Egypt. The bank is the largest in Italy by total assets and one of the 30 biggest banks in the world.

A Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateEurope in 2018, Thought Machine has sealed partnerships with three banks so far in 2022, including Intesa Sanpaolo. Thought Machine began the year announcing that Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia (ARBM) would leverage its technology to build an Islamic digital bank later this year. ARBM is a subsidiary of Al Rajhi Bank of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest Islamic bank by assets. The deployment of Thought Machine’s Vault is part of a multi-year digital transformation project begun last year by ARBM. The bank has credited Vault’s product building functionality for enabling it to create a full suite of Shariah-compliant banking products.

Also this year, Thought Machine announced that U.S. mutual savings bank Mascoma Bank will deploy Vault and migrate its customers to the new technology. A certified B corporation serving customers in the New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, Mascoma Bank will use Vault to both innovate and add new solutions to its product line, as well as provide the institution with a single source of record by housing all of its data in a single location to more easily understand and serve its customers.

“We believe that modern technology is the key to unlocking superior customer service,” Mascoma Bank president and CEO Clay Adams said. “We are proud at Mascoma Bank to be different by design – we are adopting Thought Machine’s modern technology to deliver on our mission of better serving our customers and communities, to offer new products and be a leader in community banking.”

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Charitable Giving App Daffy Secures $17.1 Million in Funding

Charitable Giving App Daffy Secures $17.1 Million in Funding
  • Charitable giving app Daffy has received $17.1 million in funding.
  • Daffy was co-founded by CEO Adam Nash, former president and CEO of Wealthfront.
  • In the U.S., individuals gave more than $324 billion to charitable organizations in 2020.

Aside, the company behind charitable giving app Daffy, has secured $17.1 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Ribbit Capital and featured participation from XYZ Capital and Coinbase Ventures, along with more than 50 angel investors including Amy Chang and John Lilly. The company will use the funds to help scale Daffy and bring additional product innovations to market to help encourage more people to participate in charitable giving.

“People want to be generous and help those less fortunate than themselves, but we are all busy and life gets in the way,” explained Daffy CEO and co-founder Adam Nash. “My co-founder Alejandro and I believe that all of the innovations that have helped us shop, save, and plan, Daffy can also use to help people make giving a habit.”

Americans are often credited for being among the most generous charitable givers in the world. One study by Giving USA revealed that individuals in the U.S. gave more than $324 billion to charities in 2020. That said, Nash believes there remains a “Generosity Gap” between what Americans give to charities and what they would give if the process were easier. The company cites a study by the Stockholm School of Economics that suggested that something as simple as pre-commitment – agreeing in advance to make a charitable contribution – can boost an individual’s contribution amount by as much as 32%.

To this point, Daffy works by encouraging users to provide a charitable giving goal for the year and asking them to take the “Daffy Pledge” to set aside money on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to reach that goal. As the funds accumulate, Daffy invests the money in one of nine portfolios – rather than having the money sit in low-to-zero interest-bearing cash accounts. When the goal is reached, user can access the funds to make their tax-deductible donation to one of more than 1.5 million U.S. charities available via the Daffy platform. The company said that 40% of its users take advantage of the “Daffy Pledge” option for regular contributions.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Daffy takes its name from the acronym DAF, which stands for donor-advised fund. These funds are tax-deductible accounts specifically designed for charitable giving. Assets from cash to stock to cryptocurrencies can be placed in a DAF and donors can take immediate tax deductions on those contributions.

“Daffy takes many of the amazing innovations we’ve seen in fintech to a large new space, charitable giving,” Ribbit Capital Managing Partner Micky Malka said. “Within seconds, you can donate to your favorite causes and charities from anywhere. By building a seamless and habit–forming giving experience, Daffy is not only creating a better way to give, but a better way to live.”

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Pillow Raises $3 Million for its DeFi Investment Platform

Pillow Raises $3 Million for its DeFi Investment Platform
  • DeFi investment startup Pillow raised $3 million in Seed funding
  • The company will use the funds to fuel global expansion, build its investment strategies, and grow its user base
  • “We want to create a future where accessibility to decentralized finance is democratized,” said company founders

Pillow, a platform that invests in curated DeFi strategies, landed $3 million in funding this week in its first-ever investment round. The Seed round was led by Elevation Capital and a group of crypto angels. Pillow will use the funds to build out DeFi strategies, accelerate global expansion, build up its community of users, and grow the Pillow brand to reach a global audience.

Pillow was founded in 2021 to offer its users an accessible way to earn market-beating interest rates on a range of crypto holdings– including $USDC, $USDT, $BTC, and $ETH– without needing to be experts in the space. “We believe the next big unlock in Web 3.0 is going to come from significantly improving user experiences,” said Elevation Capital Principal Vaas Bhaskar. “Pillow fits right into that theme by abstracting away the complexities of DeFi – and hence making it more accessible.”

To remove the complexity, Pillow’s investment strategies are curated and actively managed. Additionally, the company offers 1-click investing with the potential of high yields and without transaction fees (known in the crypto world as gas fees) and underlying chains and tokens.

“We want to create a future where accessibility to decentralized finance is democratized, if not more than traditional finance. We’re fulfilling this vision by letting our users gain access to DeFi yield opportunities in a simple, safe, and secure manner,” said Pillow founders Arindam Roy, Rajath KM, and Kartik Mishra. “Our users have shown unequivocal faith in our platform in our private access program, and we’re on track to scale this to new heights. We’re grateful for the mentorship and guidance of Elevation Capital as we scale, along with some of the best builders in the Web 3.0 space … We’re elated to have the ecosystem rally behind us as we build our platform and community.”

Though decentralized finance seemed like a futuristic vision of the financial world in 2020, progress toward a decentralized world is quickly picking up steam. The total locked value in decentralized assets has gone from around $20 billion at the start of last year to around $250 billion this year. Additionally, last January, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) gave the green light to allow banks to use stablecoins. And many countries have either launched, piloted, or are in the process of planning their own bank-issued digital currency (including the U.S. Federal Reserve, which issued a discussion paper on central bank digital currencies last week).

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TickSmith Raises $20 Million in New Funding for its Enterprise Data Web Store

TickSmith Raises $20 Million in New Funding for its Enterprise Data Web Store

Canadian fintech TickSmith is ringing in the new year with $20 million in Series A funding. The company will use the additional capital to support marketing of its Data Web Store, a B2B SaaS platform that enables organizations and institutions to generate new revenue streams based on their data.

“Data monetization is no longer limited to large enterprises,” TickSmith CEO Francis Wenzel said. “Selling data should be as simple as selling products in an e-commerce store, and data sellers of all sizes can now benefit from the same tools that power the largest, most robust data marketplaces in the world.”

The Series A was led by Investissement Québec, and featured participation from Fonds de solidarité FTQ, CME Ventures, Databricks Ventures, Anges Québec, Anges Québec Capital, and Illuminate Financial Management. The investment gives the company a total capital of $26.8 million, according to Crunchbase.

Founded in 2012, headquartered in Montreal, Québec, and making its Finovate debut two years later at FinovateFall 2014, TickSmith offers a platform that gives firms the technology they need to prepare, manage, package, and monetize data via private marketplaces. With customers in industries ranging from financial institutions and data providers to exchanges and brokerages, TickSmith helps organizations take advantage of a new world of data types – including alternative data and unstructured data.

The company’s technology also empowers them to enhance and refine existing data, enabling them to offer granular, micro-data services. This, as TickSmith Head of Product Nicolas Doyen, explained in a recent blog post, is allowing data providers to “(offer) more control to the ultimate consumers of their information services.” He added that this “modern approach to the data buying process” not only gives more control to the end-user, but also can help reduce the costs of data by “circumventing the data packaging approach used by traditional data suppliers.”

TickSmith ended 2021 with a collaboration with international cryptocurrency and digital asset technology company BlockFills. Earlier this month, TickSmith announced that IPOhub will use TickSmith’s Data Web Store platform to distribute and securely commercialize SME data from more than 3,000 companies and more than 100 different sources. A pan European investment information platform headquartered in Estonia and founded in 2017, IPOhub is also collaborating with TickSmith and market data specialist EOSE to help take IPOhub data on growth company IPOs to market.

“TickSmith’s technology is making it easy for us to offer our customers a personalized e-commerce data shopping experience with our very own data web store that showcases IPO and European SME data,” IPOhub CEO Silver Laus explained. “Their platform provides an end-to-end data monetization experience and helps us open up an entirely new channel to deliver data to our customers in just a few clicks.”

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