Fintech funding round-up: 20 November 2017
Coming straight after Friday’s (17 November) fintech funding action, here’s another round-up. Features Xiaomi’s interest in India, Bamboo Capital Partners, First Access, Allied Irish Banks and TransferMate.
Chinese phone and appliances maker Xiaomi plans to invest around $1 billion in 100 start-ups in India over the next five years, according to chief executive Lei Jun in an interview with Livemint.
Some of this money will go to fintech, but “unlike Alibaba and Tencent”, Xiaomi says it is only looking for investments that will expand mobile internet usage and “hook customers to its phones in a smartphone market that is defined by fickleness among shoppers in constant lookout for the next new thing”.
Bamboo Capital Partners, a private equity firm, says it has led the $7 million Series A investment round in First Access, a data platform provider for analytics and credit scoring in the lending sector. The money supports the launch and development of the platform, as well as unspecified growth of the product and sales teams. The First Access platform is now live and will be extended across other unnamed regions early next year.
According to the companies, the platform offers credit appraisal tools, data analytics on credit risk, staff performance and operations over time. Bernhard Eikenberg, fund manager at Bamboo, says the “increasing digitisation of financial inclusion leaves First Access in an ideal position to create tremendous value for all stakeholders”.
Over in Ireland, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) has invested €30 million in TransferMate in exchange for a small minority equity stake, according to the Sunday Independent. The investment values the payments company at €250 to €300 million, according to a source. TransferMate offers international money transfers at “lower fees than standard bank transfers”.
The two have also agreed a partnership focused on providing Irish businesses access to the payments platform. TransferMate says it has transferred over €10 billion to more than 100 countries since 2010 and secured a network of regulatory licences. TransferMate chief executive Terry Clune says the deal is subject to Central Bank approval. The investment will allow TransferMate to expand its commercial teams across the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, “whilst growing our head office, commercial and technology functions in Ireland”.