CRED, a credit card repayment company based in Bangalore, India, has scored $81 million in funding courtesy of a Series C round announced earlier this week. Led by existing investor DST Global, the investment featured the participation of Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and General Catalyst, and gives the company a valuation of $806 million.
The company’s founder Kunal Shah said in a statement that the funds would help support CRED’s growth and added that CRED is committed to providing wealth-creation opportunities for its employees, as well. Shah said that the company has allocated 10% of its cap table for ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans).
CRED processes a fifth of all credit card bill payments in India. The membership-based company rewards those who pay via CRED with CRED coins that can be used to win exclusive rewards or to earn access to curated products and services. More than 35% of premium credit card holders in the country use CRED, which has seen its overall user base climb to more than 5.9 million users. The company also benefits from creditworthy borrowers – the median credit core for CRED users is 830. CRED members reportedly spend on average 2x the amount of the average CRED user.
For some, news that German digital bank N26 was entering the increasingly competitive challenger banking market in Brazil was met with a loud “it’s about time!” The neobank, which previewed its intentions to launch operations in Brazil back in 2019, may have been temporarily wrong-footed by the twin complications of Brexit and COVID-19. But the news this week suggests that the firm is back on track with its Latin American expansion plans – and a showdown with Nubank.
Not only is Nubank the home team when it comes to neobanking in Brazil, the institution is also the biggest challenger bank in the world in terms of customers and valuation (25 million of the former, $10 billion of the latter). This compares favorably with N26’s five million customers and valuation of approximately $3.5 billion. That said, the Berlin-based challenger bank has significant wind at its back, having just celebrated the one-year anniversary of its arrival in the U.S. back in August and, more recently, locking in $100 million in one of the largest funding rounds of 2020.
Here is our look at fintech around the world.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Berlin, Germany-based Mambu raises $135 million in new funding.
- Russian bank Tinkoff announces that its voice assistant is now available as both Oleg (male) and Olya (female).
- PYMNTS.com features Toms Niparts, CEO of Jeff, an app-based lending platform headquartered in Latvia.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- A new 425 million euro line of credit from the European Investment Bank will help Egypt’s Banque Misr support small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A partnership between Visa and fiat-to-crypto service provider Simplex will enable the Israel-based fintech to issue crypto debit cards.
- Qatar-based telecom Ooredoo inks payments partnership with Al Khalij Commercial Bank enabling its customers to pay for services online directly from their accounts with the bank.
Central and Southern Asia
- RuPay launches new payment solution for Indian merchants – RuPay PoS – courtesy of a partnership with RBL Bank and PayNearby.
- The normalization of relations between Israel and some of its neighboring countries has encouraged the State Bank of India to offer trade finance solutions to Israeli corporations.
- A collaboration between Pakistan’s BankIslami and booking platform Bookme.pk will enable bank customers to use digital banking channels to pay for bus and airline tickets, as well as other travel and hospitality expenses.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Bank of Jamaica announces plan to regulate electronic retail PSPs as part of strategy to boost the country’s $4 billion e-payments business.
- German digital bank N26 picks up banking license from the Brazilian central bank.
- Critics have called a new regulation in Mexico that bars third-parties from using platforms or APIs to offer financial services directly “a death sentence” for the fintech-as-a-service model in the country.
- P2P lender Robocash brings its BNPL service to the Philippines.
- Hong Kong’s digital banks turn toward small business lending and wealth management.
- A new report from the UOB, PwC, and the Singapore Fintech Association sees geographic expansion as a post-COVID goal for 80% of fintechs in the ASEAN region.
- Kenya-based MSME financing platform Pezesha takes first prize at the 2020 AFI Inclusive FinTech Showcase.
- Chairman of the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya Kevin Mutiso weighs in on the role of “customer-centric regulation” in shaping the growth of fintech.
- South Africa’s Gadget takes a look at the growth in the country’s fintech industry.