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🌊The Fintech Wave(#5)
Online banks are getting bigger than retail banks. This is your weekly source of what’s going on in the Fintech world in Europe and North America. Feedback is welcome (you can contact us at email@example.com) and if you like this newsletter please share with friends and encourage them to SIGN UP HERE.
TLDR; N26 valued at $9B. You can invest in startups via Republic even if you are not an accredited investor. PayPal is looking to acquire Pinterest. BTC hit an all-time high. Ethereum co-founder works on another project. Tweets of the week never disappoint. Keep reading for details👇
Europe News and Funding
N26, the most valuable European online bank👑
N26, an online bank, just raised a $900M Series E, at a $9B valuation. The company was launched in 2015 in Germany. With this new funding, N26 is in a position to become one of the biggest retail banks in Europe. With this funding, N26 is the 2nd most valuable bank in Germany, just behind Deutsche Bank. Without any physical branch. Although N26 expanded to the USA, there was not much success there, so they are again shifting focus to Europe, especially Eastern Europe because there is still so much room for growth.
Bank has more than 7 million customers and is processing over $90B in transactions every year. Personally, I’m using N26, and it’s awesome. The app is much better compared to traditional banks.
Another savings account app💵
Soon we will have more savings account apps than users that are willing to save :D. London-based Chip just raised 16 million dollars via equity crowdfunding. Pretty large amount for any crowdfunding project.
The app works in a way that you connect it with your bank account from another bank and then move money to the Chip app to start saving. Currently, the app has 400.000 users and it is available only in the UK.
To be honest I don’t understand why would anybody use this app when you can save money on your current bank account. I spend 2 hours trying to figure out a unique selling proposition for the app, but there is no any. If you find any reason to use this app please let us know, we want to hear your opinion.
North America News and Funding
Alternative assets investment platform raised money
Republic, an investment platform, just raised $150M Series B. It is providing opportunities for investors to invest in startups, real estate, gaming, and crypto.
Good thing is that you can invest in Republic crowdfunding campaigns even if you are not an accredited investor. For those not familiar with this term - in the USA you can invest in a startup only if you meet the criteria to be an accredited investor. A person needs to have gross income exceeding $200,000 or net worth that exceeds $1,000,000, excluding the person's primary residence. As you can imagine most people cannot meet the criteria.
So Republic decided to democratize access to alternative investments for the wider population. Some startups are using Republic to create crowdfunding campaigns where anybody can invest starting with $10. Before listing Republic is doing due diligence and only 3% of the applied startups got a chance to list on Republic, which gives certain security to the investors.
PayPal is looking to acquire Pinterest
The rumor broke yesterday that PayPal is looking to acquire social media network Pinterest for $45B. PayPal offered $70 per share. The timing is great for PayPal because the Pinterest stock was 30% down from the all-time-high before this news. If it happens this would be the largest social media acquisition of all time. The current record is held by Microsoft for LinkedIn acquisition worth $26.2B.
During a pandemic, Pinterest saw strong growth in users looking for crafts and DIY project ideas. The acquisition makes sense for PayPal- instead of buying e-commerce stores and competing with Amazon, PayPal took a different approach - acquiring and monetization of social media platform.
The Pinterest stock went up 13% after this news.
Bitcoin just hit a new All-Time High
Bitcoin just hit a new record of $66,909.15. Currently trading just above $65K.
Polkadot and Manta Networks add more privacy to blockchain
Privacy layer project for Polkadot ecosystem, Manta Network, just raised $5.5M. The goal is to make DeFi applications totally private with their layer-1 solution - which means that privacy will exist in the core architecture, rather than a feature sitting on top of another blockchain.
If you wonder what Polkadot is I did a research for you. Polkadot is a project that wants to create a completely decentralized web where identity and data are secured from any central authority. Although blockchain should be secured and anonymous, this is not the case anymore. We all leave KYC info when we register to buy crypto. Also, now there are startups like Chainalaysis that can trackback the real owner of the wallet. On top of the Polkadot network, it is possible to create and connect decentralized applications, services, and institutions so nobody can violate the trust. One of the founders of Polkadot is Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum which actually come up with the term “Web3” in 2014.