This week in FinTech brought successful funding rounds for the crypto investment platform Ziglu and Buy Now Pay Later unicorn Zilch. Meanwhile, the investment app Freetrade announced its seventh crowdfunding campaign that launches next week. Apart from that, we look into an exciting partnership in the lending world and a brand new app set out to propel climate investment.
Weekly FinTech news digest: 9—15 November 2021
Ziglu crowdfunding raises a record £7m
The campaign was held on the crowdfunding platform Seedrs
Ziglu, the banking and crypto investment app, has closed its crowdfunding campaign early, raising a record £7.19 million. The campaign took place on Seedrs and resulted in Ziglu being named the largest equity raise on the platform for the second year in a row. The fundraising round saw intense interest from the very beginning. Ziglu planned to raise £1 million but investors oversubscribed the funding round within 81 minutes from its launch in late September. Still, the campaign was extended due to high demand from investors. Eventually, Ziglu ended it early, beating its 2020 biggest equity raise record on Seedrs by over £1 million. Ziglu plans to use the funds raised in the crowdfunding campaign and a Series A round for further expansion.
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Zilch becomes fastest ever unicorn with $2bn valuation
The BNPL startup raised $110m in its Series C round
Zilch, the UK-based BNPL startup founded in 2018, secured $110 million in a Series C round led by Ventura Capital and Gauss Ventures. With this funding round, the company’s valuation rose to over $2 billion as Zilch becomes the fastest European company to gain the unicorn status from its Series A round. Zilch can currently boast over 1 million users, having successfully scaled up its reach in the UK. Its current plans include a complete launch in the US in early 2022, with sights set on the EU market as well. Zilch’s CEO Philip Belamant revealed the company’s ambitions to compete with Klarna, the leading BNPL provider, in all three markets in 2022.
Read more about Buy Now Pay Later apps
Freetrade to launch seventh crowdfund
The campaign will be open to UK and EU-based investors, starting on Nov 24
The London-based investment app Freetrade announced its seventh crowdfunding campaign, which launches on Crowdcube on November 24. The campaign follows a Series B round announced in March earlier this year, which brought in $69 million funding. In October Freetrade shared the news that the platform reached 1 million users, marking a 600% growth within 18 months. Adam Dodds, Freetrade’s CEO and founder, commented on the upcoming campaign: “As we’re about to expand into Europe, it only makes sense that we should open up this round to prospective customers and investors across the continent. Crowdfunding has given us a passionate community of shareholders who help to keep us focused on our mission to get everyone investing.”
Read more about trends in crowdfunding
SEON partners with Creditstar to bolster fraud detection for the lenders
Creditstar will use SEON’s Intelligence Tool to improve its KYC processes
SEON, the Hungarian fraud detection software provider, joins forces with Creditstar, the Tallinn-based consumer finance company operating in the UK and several EU countries. The partnership will allow Creditstar to use SEON’s Intelligence Tool for data enrichment and KYC process boost. SEON’s solution will also aid Creditstar’s fraud detection efforts to decrease the risk of financial losses. By scanning open-source databases and social media platforms, the Intelligence Tool offers more information on users and flags suspicious potential customers. “Although relatively new, our partnership with SEON has already shown to be valuable to Creditstar, bolstering our KYC processes, providing rich data capture tools, and equipping us with the intel we need to be able minimise any risk of fraud and to recover debt,” said Aleksei Moronov, Head of Credit Risk at Creditstar.
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SC Ventures to launch climate-focused savings app powered by Starling
SC Ventures is the innovation arm of the UK challenger bank Standard Chartered
SC Ventures plans to launch an app that will empower UK users to fund sustainable and green projects. The new platform is called Shoal and utilises Starling Bank’s BaaS solution. Set to launch in 2022, Shoal will at first offer a savings account. It will allow users to choose how their money is invested, with available themes revolving around renewable energy, community development, and clean water. To see what impact their money has made, users will receive regular progress reports on their selected projects. Starling’s banking licence grants Shoal accounts protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, while the bank’s technology enables payments to be instantly turned into funds.
Read more about green finance