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FinTech Monthly: WorldRemit lands $45m, JP Morgan tests blockchain tech & more

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Welcome to the FinTech Monthly for February 2016.

This month’s video was filmed at our sponsor’s Wragge Lawrence Graham – recently merged with Canadian law firm Gowlings to form Gowling WLG – London office.

Let’s take a look at this month’s top FinTech news.

TransferWise, WorldRemit and Currencycloud: How UK startups are shaking up the remittance market

Funding and research

London-based money transfer service WorldRemit landed $45 million in funding earlier this month.

Investors in the round included TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp and Silicon Valley Bank. The company, which has now raised $192.7 million to date, enables people to send money overseas using their smartphones.

Financial services consultancy Bovill published research revealing that the past two years had seen a sharp rise in the number of e-money providers registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

There are now 79 authorised e-money providers in the UK, which is more than double the number authorised in 2013.

FinTech week

This month also saw the UK government launch FinTech Week – a programme of events focused around financial technology.

FinTech week’s lineup includes events hosted by Innovate Finance, Lloyds Banking Group, TechCityUK and HM Treasury.

It aims to celebrate the nation’s status as a leading global FinTech hub, plus generate discussion around what more can be done to support financial technology in the UK.

Richard Goold, of Gowling WLG commented on what makes the UK such a great place for FinTech companies to flourish.

He said: “I think it’s brilliant that the government is supporting FinTech and FinTech week is a fantastic iniatitive but the reality is that the whole of the FinTech ecosystem is now maturing and becoming a gigantic self-help group, really. That’s one of the things that’s unique about London.

“It’s got the right mix. The companies, the startups, the number of entrepreneurs coming into the ecoystem but the VCs that are coming in as well … the whole ecosystem is now maturing and looking a lot more like a US-style tech ecosystem,” he added.

Blockchain tests

JP Morgan Chase & Co is testing the use of blockchain technology in US dollar transfers between London and Tokyo.

The bank wants to see whether the technology, which underpins cryptocurrency bitcoin, can be successfully used in currency clearing and settlement, giving clients faster turnaround times.

International news

Over in Australia, consumer FinTech firm MoneyMe announced a $30 million capital raise.

The company said it will use the funds to launch of a series of niche Australian-first financial products for the millennial market. The $30 million raise follows a $1 million VC injection in 2013, and is expected to be the first of three capital raises completed during 2016 and 2017

That’s it for this episode of Fintech Monthly. For more FinTech news and for more of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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