With a commitment of $100 million (€92.4 million), Poland-based OTB Ventures will spend the next few years helping back some of the most innovative tech startups in Central and Eastern Europe.
The investor, whose funding is backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) will target “post-product startups” developing solutions for fintech, cybersecurity, AI, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and other advanced technologies. Known as the biggest venture capital fund in the CEE region, OTB Ventures said it wants companies with “unique intellectual property” and “disruptive ideas.”
“CEE is a cradle of talented engineers and IT specialists, pioneering innovative companies,” OTB managing partner and co-founder Marcin Hejka explained. We see a huge investment potential in these companies with up-and-running products and initial business traction in international markets. The purpose of our fund is to discover, develop, and realize this potential on a global scale.”
OTB Ventures includes AI and consumer analytics firm Cosmose, regtech innovator Silent Eight, and digital transformation solution provider – and Finovate alum – FintechOS – among its more recent investments. With its new fund, OTB plans to commit approximately $15 million to 16 companies, taking stakes of 10% to 15%. OTB’s largest investment in a single company to date was the $10 million in company invested in micro-satellite company Iceye in 2018.
Report Season for Indian Fintech: A number of analyst organizations have picked the second half of February to release their latest insights on fintech in India. In addition to the report from IBS Intelligence noted below, content marketing platform SEMrush released its Top Insights into Fintech Industry of India report this week.
Among the interesting top level takeaways from both reports is the importance of making sure that security and financial education keep pace with the growth of financial inclusion. As more people in frontier and periphery markets become comfortable with sharing their personal details and newly-forged financial identities online, the dangers of criminal exploitation and even simple misuse (poor password management habits, for example) grows, as well.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Aafaq Islamic Finance to deploy core banking, Islamic banking, and payments solutions from Infosys.
- Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group acquires 70% stake in pan-MENA payments technology company, Marshal.
- National Bank of Yemen goes live with the ICS Banks Universal Banking Platform from ICSFS.
Central and Southern Asia
- Pakistan-based mobile wallet Sadapay readies for launch.
- Entrepreneur features fintechs apps that are helping SMEs in India go digital.
- IBS Intelligence unveils its India fintech report.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- The Central Bank of Brazil to enter the payments business with the launch of its new app, PIX, later this year. PIX will provide immediate settlement for all transactions.
- TechCrunch profiles fintech startup Belvo and its aspiration to become the Plaid of Latin America.
- Bank Innovation features Mexico City, Mexico-based digital bank Stori.
- Singapore-based, installment payment startup Hoolah expands to Malaysia.
- Indonesian online lender UangTeman raises $10 million in new funding.
- Get, a digital commerce platform based in Myanmar, acquires local lender Daung Capital.
- Nigeria’s LAPO Microfinance Bank, the largest microfinance institution in the country, to deploy core banking, payments, and digital experience solutions from Oracle Financial.
- African Banker examines the balance between financial inclusion and consumer protection as Kenya’s fintech boom expands.
- Nigerian consumer lending platform Carbon announces $100,000 fund to support startups in insurance, health, and education.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Poland-based OTB Ventures raises $100 million to back tech startups in the CEE region.
- Wirecard partners with Raiffeisen Bank International to bring digital payments solutions to markets in 13 Eastern European countries.
- Germany’s Opel Bank chooses FIS’ cloud-native, Modern Banking Platform. This marks the solution’s first deployment in Europe.