Venture-backed fintech funding saw a dip in value and deals globally in the third quarter, compared with the record high 2Q quarter, according to a CBInsights report, with a total of $5.64 billion raised across 375 deals. The report shows that the U.S. saw the biggest drop in five quarters, down 17% to only 130 deals. But despite this drop, the overall fintech community is on track for a record year, according to the report.
Here are three notable investments this month that caught Bank Innovation‘s attention.
1. Poynt Raises $100 Million in Series C Round
POS payment terminals are enjoying the spotlight. Last week, Jack Dorsey, CEO of payment processor Square mentioned the company’s new POS terminals as a “huge” competitive advantage, and today, connected commerce platform Poynt announced it raised $100 million in a series C round.
Based in Silicon Valley, Poynt was formed in 2013. It is an operating system (OS) for any smart payment terminal. Poynt OS is an Android-based, hardware-agnostic platform that allows developers to write a code and then seamlessly plug into new and legacy retail software systems forming a smart terminal that runs on an open platform. This enables merchants to extend their payment options through third-party apps.
Poynt expects at least half of the world’s top payment terminal manufacturers to get integrate on its OS platform in 2019, according to today’s announcement.
In a statement emailed to Bank Innovation, Poynt CEO and founder, Osama Bedier, said:
Our vision is to transform retail by becoming that innovation platform for payment terminals everywhere. We give developers a technical canvas to build the experiences merchants and their customers have come to expect – and ultimately, make visiting your local store the personal experience it was always meant to be.
So far, Poynt has supplied about 150,000 terminals in the last year and a half. During this time, it has completed at least 30 million transactions and expects to have more than $25 billion in payment volume by the end of 2019.
2. Southeast Asia’s Akulaku Raises $70 million in a Series C round
It’s a known fact that Southeast Asia is a market to watch when it comes to digital payments, especially in the commerce space. Just ask Chinese payment mogul Alibaba, which on its annual Singles Day last Sunday, crossed a record $25 billion in sales. Its mobile payment arm Alipay processed 1.5 billion payment transactions, up 41% from last year. This is good news for digital POS financing companies like Akulaku, which today announced it raised $70 million in a Series C funding round.
The round was led private equity firms Fanpujinke Group, Sequoia India, BlueSky Venture Capital, Qiming Venture Capital, and other unnamed investors.
Available on both Android and iOS, Akulaku is an e-commerce platform where consumers can shop with Akulaku merchant-partners and pay for the purchased items in installments. It also provides virtual credit cards. The company is focused on the Southeast Asian market and will use the funds to expand in markets of Vietnam and the Philippines.
According to Fintech Futures, the app has more than 13 million registered users and is adding a million new users per month.
See how it works here.
3. Thought Machine Raises £18 million Series A investment:
The entire banking universe is aware of the importance of core banking and the challenges that come with existing legacy systems in this digital era, which is why Lloyds Banking Group’s investment in Thought Machine is worth noting.
The U.K.-based Lloyds invested £11 million ($14.34 million) of £18 million ($23.46 million) in a Series A investment for a 10% stake in the London-based Thought Machine. This startup is a core banking platform, established by a group of former Google engineers. The platform is called Vault, a cloud-native modern alternative to the existing legacy infrastructure. Vault offers retail banking products delivered through a system of smart contracts. It uses cryptographic ledgers for security.
According to the announcement last week, Lloyds has been conducting extensive testing and proofs of concept with the startup for over a year. The two will enter a development and deployment phase in 2019.
Zak Mian, group director, transformation, Lloyds, said in a company statement:
A key part of our recently launched three-year strategic plan is applying technology innovation to meet our customers’ evolving needs. I’m really excited to work with the Thought Machine team to explore ways to simplify and enhance our IT architecture and helping on our journey to make banking easy and simple for customers.
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