Fintech funding round-up: 22 September 2017
There was a round-up yesterday because fintech funding won’t go away. More action featuring Tuition.io, Apiax and Etch.
Tuition.io, a US-based employer-funded student loan repayment assistance platform, has announced a $7 million Series B funding round led by Wildcat Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. This round of funding will enable Tuition.io to “scale its sales and customer teams, expand and deepen product offerings and drive market expansion”.
According to the firm, more than 44 million Americans hold a total of $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt that is growing at a rate of $2,726 per second. It reckons the number of companies expected to adopt student loan repayment programmes is expected to jump to 26% in 2018, up from 4% in 2015. Tuition.io adds that it has raised a total of $15.2 million in funding.
Over in Zurich, Apiax, a regtech start-up, has revealed a seed round raise of more than $1.5 million. The funding was led by Peter Kurer, DIventures, and the Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC) followed by Zürcher Kantonalbank and Tugboat. With this round of funding, Apiax will focus on product development, “market entrance” and expanding its team.
Apiax’s platform consists of digital rule sets, which are kept up-to-date and verified; and, a regulatory cockpit for legal and compliance teams to manage regulatory updates, review and deploy them. The rule engine is based on machine-learning practices and is infrastructure independent, running in a private or public cloud. The rules can be integrated into “any system or process over an API”. In its founding phase, Apiax participated in the F10 Accelerator programme, graduating in April 2017 and has since become part of Kickstart Accelerator as it prepares to go to market.
UK payments start-up Etch is looking to raise £5 million via crowdfunding to fund a new platform with “trademarked services which will allow employees to be paid second by second”. The firm says the platform works for those who don’t have bank accounts, as they can be paid via a debit card that is universally accepted like a typical a bank card. “All the employee needs in order to be paid is their mobile phone.”
Etch is an Ethereum blockchain designed to automate payroll and use smart contracts for real-time wages and remittance. CEO Euros Evans says: “Etch can apply to any industry and sector but it is of huge significance to the building and construction industry. Late payment is a major issue to contractors and often the payment situation is complicated.” It is currently being piloted at a building site in Oxford.