Fintech funding round-up: 23 January 2017
Want to save some time but be in the know of the latest funding initiatives in the fintech space? Then read on.
London’s digital mortgage broker Habito has raised £5.5 million from Ribbit Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.
“Habito is using technology to bring the mortgage application process into the 21st century,” states its website. The company uses chatbot technology, avoids jargon and charges no fees.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Haibto promises a transparent and honest mortgage experience. It says its technology can help homeowners analyse every mortgage deal on the market in less than 60 seconds, but the company also has actual people available to guide customers if they so choose.
In the US, digital payments firm Dwolla has raised $6.9 million in a funding round led by Union Square Ventures and Foundry Group. Next Level Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, High Alpha, Firebrand Ventures, and Detroit Venture Partners also participated in the round.
Dwolla says the money will be invested in its sales and account management operations in Des Moines, Iowa.
In Australia, local accelerator H2 Ventures has secured $4 million from Investec Australia to invest in up to 40 start-ups. The sum is underwritten by a state-backed guarantee of $2 million from Jobs for NSW, a job creation agency in New South Wales, which hopes H2 Ventures will help create up to 400 new jobs in the region.
Last year, H2 Ventures scrapped plans to raise capital through an IPO due to failing to secure enough interest from institutional investors.
H2 Ventures was planning an IPO as a listed venture capital company, H2Ocean, hoping to raise $55 million for investment in early-stage start-ups and create a portfolio of 15-50 ventures.
Instead, it decided to continue as a private fund and turned to its existing investor, Investec, for capital.
It is understood Investec agreed to provide the money only if it was guaranteed a minimum 50% return on its stake.
H2’s existing funding portfolio includes Equitise (equity crowdfunding platform), Stockspot (automated investment service) and Simply Wall St (sharemarket visualisation platform).