Fintech is far from a U.S.-only phenomenon, as this week’s top funding rounds make clear.
The week’s top raises runs the gamut from online investments to the integration of Africa’s growing financial space; from the analysis of loan quality and security to the ever-more transparent P2P sector; to providing access to the vast possibilities of cryptocurrency in emerging markets.
- Betterment, a goal-based online investment company, raised a whopping $100 million in a series E round last week. This puts the company at $205 million in six rounds from 14 investors. The New York-based roboadvisor strives to optimize returns at every level of risk. This is done through diversification, automated rebalancing, lower fees, and better behavior. Betterment’s investors include Citi Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Francisco Partners, and others.
- Chase Bank (no, not JPMorgan Chase), based in Kenya, raised $50 million this month via the African Development Bank. Specializing in SME financial services, this bank is part of Kenya’s innovative financial scene, which includes leading edge mobile banking for feature phones, including, of course, M-PESA. An interesting feature of the bank’s site is its blog, “Chase Stories,” whose stories segue into invitations for customers and noncustomers to share their own banking and investment experiences.
- LoanLogics, based in Fort Washington, Penn., raised $10 million in a Series B round. LoanLogics provides mortgage and loan software and analytics, and cites “unprecedented growth” and a strong mortgage market.
- Bitt is a Caribbean digital asset exchange whose core focus is providing access to cryptocurrencies in emerging markets. The company, based in a suburb of Bridgetown, Barbados’s capital, raised $4 million in a Series A round, putting it at $5.5 million. In February, Bitt made headlines for issuing a “blockchain-based version of the Barbadian dollar.”
- Landbay is a London-based peer-to-peer investing company that describes itself as bridging the gap between investors and borrowers. Founded in August 2013, Landbay raised $3.6 million in its latest round, which closed on March 30. Investors put their money, which can be as little as £100 ($143 US) in residential real estate in the U.K., earning returns up to 4.5%