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🌊The Fintech Wave(#25)
TLDR; Circle.com is going public via SPAC. Popular ETH wallet Rainbow scored funding. NFT app for collectors. Fireblocks acquired a stablecoin platform. Bank of America invested $20M in a London-based payment startup. Buy Now Pay Later for physical retail. Circle.com is going public via SPAC.
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Europe News and Funding
Bank of America invested $20M in London-based payment💸startup
Banked is building a modern payment network as an alternative to card payment methods. What does that exactly mean? The startup build a product called Pay by Bank - which provides an account-to-account payment software platform that eliminates fraud as there is no need to create an account and zero financial details are shared.
Banked claims that fees are up to 90 percent lower than traditional payment methods. I would say this is a more advanced version of one-click checkout startups such as Fast or Bolt. The biggest obstacle here is adoption. Users can use Pay by Bank if the retailer partnered with Banked. The network of partners is currently pretty small.
Buy Now Pay Later💳for physical retail
So, far BNPL was mostly reserved for online purchases, but Danish-based ViaBill raises $120M to bring Buy Now Pay Later to physical retail sales.
The market is huge - more than 80% of total consumers’ spending happens offline. Klarna and AfterPay are dominating the online space, so it doesn’t make sense for ViaBill to compete in that space. Brick-and-mortar shops are the next market for BNPL solutions.
When customers want to purchase something in-store and pay later they just use ViaBill App, enter data, and have ViaBill’s advanced credit decision engine immediately evaluate their creditworthiness. If successful, a virtual credit card is issued on the spot which the consumer can push to their wallet and use to pay as usual. So far, 11K customers use this solution.
Americas News and Funding
Circle.com is going public📈 via SPAC
One of the most known Boston-based startups, Circle is going public via SPAC at a $9B valuation. Circle is the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and it provides payments and financial infrastructure to businesses.
The company doubled its valuation in the last 6 months. USDC is one of the fastest-growing dollar digital currencies. USDC’s circulation has more than doubled since the original deal was announced, reaching $52.5 billion.
Fireblocks acquired a stablecoin platform
Blockchain infrastructure company, Fireblocks acquired First Digital, a stablecoin, and digital asset payment platform. This acquisition will help support and grow Fireblock’s payments offering by allowing payment service providers and acquirers to accept payments and make payouts in digital currencies. The terms of the deal are not disclosed but the amount of $100M is what Twitter is talking about.
A few weeks ago Fireblock raised a $550M Series E round.
NFT app for collectors🖼️
Paris-based NFT app, LaCollection, raises $10M for its NFT platform. The startup has one of the best-looking websites I saw in the web3 space. La Collection is the NFT marketplace that brings curated collections from the world’s most famous museums, galleries, and contemporary artists.
The best thing for users is that they can pay for NFT with a credit card. In all other NFT marketplaces (Opensea) that is not possible - you need to pay with Ethereum or Solana. After the purchase is done, the user can create a gallery on the Metamask wallet. Collections are pretty expensive, there are some NFTs selling for more than $150K.
Popular ETH wallet🌈Rainbow scored funding
Ethereum wallet Rainbow raises $18 million. Similar to Metamask, Rainbow offers users to buy crypto with fiat, connect to decentralized applications (dApps) and invest in tokens.
Rainbow wallet is mobile-first and they didn’t publish how many users they currently have. Metamask recently announced that they have 21 million users. You can download Rainbow here.