Fintech funding round-up: 19 September 2017
Four stories in one for a fast fintech funding round-up. Features Ellevest, iZettle, GoCardless and MarketInvoice.
New York-based fintech Ellevest, led by former Merrill Lynch CEO Sallie Krawcheck, has got itself $34.6 million funding. Ellevest is a bit different from the rest as it was founded to provide an investing experience to “help women meet their financial goals in life”. It says “women are more risk-aware and prefer less volatility”.
The funding round was led by US venture capital firm Rethink Impact. Krawcheck doesn’t offer any real specifics but says the investment will be used to “build on the momentum in our digital offering, and develop solutions with women in our community who are asking us for human interaction and financial planning services”. It offers a platform called Ellevest Ascent, which will introduce clients to a financial planner, and, working together, they will develop personalised action plans across nine areas of finance: career, family, taxes, cash flow, debt, credit, investments, retirement and insurance.
Swedish fintech firm iZettle says it will receive €30 million in debt funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the coming three years. The funds are earmarked for “research and development of financial and commercial tools that address the needs of smaller companies”. The transaction comes under the European Growth Finance Facility, which benefits from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the “heart” of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The EIB financing will support iZettle in four business areas: development of payments infrastructure; insights and actions through machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI); digitalisation of commerce processes; and scaling legislative and compliance systems. As reported back in July, iZettle reported a 60% jump in revenues compared with 2016, and CEO Jacob de Geer was talking about an IPO.
London-based start-up GoCardless says existing investors are doubling down with $22.5 million in funding to “accelerate the creation of the first global bank-to-bank payments network”. Venture firm Accel led the round.
The firm is in a happy mood and cites the “dramatic growth” of global subscriptions and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms as something it can tap into. GoCardless says it users are collecting payments across the UK, Eurozone and Sweden, with Australia and Denmark coming at some unspecified point in time. According to GoCardless, it now processes over $4 billion worth of transactions across more than 30,000 organisations in the UK and Europe.
Business finance company MarketInvoice has signed an agreement with German private bank Varengold to provide £45 million funding annually on its invoice finance platform. This will fund working capital solutions for businesses across the UK.
As with the cheery soul above, MarketInvoice is in a merry mood. It says that overall, sums advanced to UK businesses from institutional investors via MarketInvoice have increased more than four-fold since 2014 from £27.8 million to £116.3 million in 2017. It has also reached a “landmark milestone” (one of those is enough I think) of providing £1.5 billion funding to UK businesses.