European FinTechs are growing stronger. Every week we hear about yet another successful funding round and record valuation. This time, the spotlight is on InsurTech Marshmallow and BNPL startup Scalapay. There are also some interesting partnerships between multinational financial institutions and innovative FinTechs, so read on to learn more!
Weekly FinTech news digest: 7—13 Sep 2021
Marshmallow raises $85M and becomes a unicorn
The InsurTech was founded by Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham
UK FinTech unicorns have welcomed a new member to the club: Marshmallow, a digital motor insurance startup based in London. The company, founded by identical twin brothers Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham, reached the $1.25 billion valuation after raising $85 million in a Series B round which saw the participation of Passion Capital, Investec and Scor. Therefore, Marshmallow has become Britain’s first unicorn founded by entrepreneurs of black heritage. The startup, established in 2017, is growing at an extremely fast pace, with headcount growth of over 200% and more than 100,000 policies sold over the last six months.
Read more about the top InsurTech companies to watch
NatWest partners with EV8 Switch to help UK drivers go green
The new Switch app enables drivers to calculate how much they could save by transitioning to electric vehicles
EV8 is a pioneering joint venture between global consultancy Kearney, low-emission transport group Cenex, and IoT development company Brixworth Technologies. Its goal is to build innovative products to accelerate the global energy transition. One of these products is Switch: an iOS and Android mobile application that allows users to evaluate which electric vehicle suits their needs better and how much they could save by switching to this new means of transport. NatWest has announced it will partner with EV8 in order to help customers “understand their opportunity of going green”, according to Head of Climate Change James Close. NatWest will support EV8 in the roll-out of the Switch app, hoping that this move will demonstrate the bank’s commitment to tackling climate change.
Read more about the top green FinTech startups
Scalapay raises $155m in Europe’s largest-ever equity funding round
The BNPL startup is valued at $700m
The Italian Buy Now Pay Later company announced on 9 September that it raised $155 million in equity funding, making the Series A round the largest ever raised in Europe. The round was led by Tiger Global, and other participants Baleen Capital and Woodson Capital joined the existing investors: Fasanara Capital and Ithaca Investments. Scalapay was founded just two years ago by Simone Mancini and Johnny Mitrevsk, and is already offering services in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, and Austria to over 3,000 merchants. It has also become one of the most used BNPL solutions in Southern Europe.
Read more about Buy Now Pay Later solutions
Bank North appoints new directors after securing a full banking license
Madis Toomsalu joins the company’s board of directors
Formerly known as B-North, the digital bank for SME received its banking license from UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in August. But that’s not the end of the changes for Bank North. The company has appointed two new directors: Madis Toomsalu, CEO of Estonian banking group LHV joins Bank North as an independent non-executive director; and Deepak Haria was appointed as an independent non-executive director and chair of the audit committee. These two new additions to the board will support the bank in the initial phase when the mayor challenges are tackling regulations and rolling out the offering.
Read more about digital banking development
New Energy Nexus invites FinTechs to participate in ‘cards and payments challenge’
The goal is to find sustainable solutions
The global non-profit network of accelerators and entrepreneurs that seek climate innovations has announced the launch of a new initiative called Climate Fintech: Cards & Payments Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to connect multinational financial organisations and industry leaders with disruptive FinTechs in order to help them create digital solutions driving decarbonisation in various areas of financial services: payments, digital wallets, insurance, payments infrastructure, etc. The initiative is backed by Barclays US Consumer Bank; Rise, created by Barclays; Mastercard; Doconomy; and Patch. The applications are accepted until October 1 and the winners of the challenge will be awarded $100,000 in prizes.
Read more about sustainable initiatives in FinTech