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FinTech Monthly: Money 20/20, Affirm raises $100m & Accenture report

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Welcome to the FinTech Monthly for April 2016.

Today, we’re filming from the offices of investment firm Forward Partners.

We caught up with Matthew Bradley of Forward Partners, and he told us about the trends he’s seen in FinTech investment so far this year.

FinTech Monthly: £108m in UK FinTech investment, Square’s UK launch, Monzo news and more

We also spoke to Sam Brown, of law firm Gowling WLG, who discussed the impact blockchain tech is currently having in the financial services space and what the future holds for this technology.

FinTech events

At the start of the month, FinTech conference Money 20/20 took place in Copenhagen.

At the event, Europe’s FinTech50 list was unveiled, featuring 31 UK FinTech companies. The list included the likes of LendInvest, Property Partner, Ravelin and Yoyo.

Selected by a panel of over 30 industry experts, the top 50 were whittled down from over 1,200 companies.

Blockchain technology was a hot topic at Money 20/20, dominating many of the on- and off-stage discussions.

In London, the Innovate Finance Global Summit took place at the Guildhall.

Ron Kalifa, vice chairman of Worldpay took to the stage to deliver a keynote. He said the UK’s FinTech sector presents various opportunities for “agile and innovative startups” noting the regulatory climate here is favourable for firms in the sector.

Another speaker on the day was Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA. Woolard gave further details about the New Regulatory Sandbox scheme, which provides startups with greater freedoms to develop and test innovative FinTech propositions.

Investments

In overseas investment news, New York-based online lender Pave Inc. raised $8m in Series A financing from Maxfield Capital. This adds to the whopping $300m the company secured in December in a round led by Seer Capital.

Affirm, the alternative lending site created by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has raised a $100m Series D led by fellow PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. The round also included participation from existing investors, such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Jefferies.

German consumer loans marketplace Finanzcheck closed a €33m Series C round. The team behind the platform said they would use the funds to accelerate growth and roll out new products. They claim to have brokered more than €1.3bn in consumer loans since being founded in 2012.

Accenture report

Accenture published a report titled ‘FinTech and the evolving landscape’, which revealed more than $50bn has been invested in almost 2,500 FinTech startups across the globe since 2010. $5.3bn was poured into the sector in the first quarter of 2016, largely driven by two Chinese deals.

The report claimed FinTech startups are not emerging as the main competitive threat for most areas of banking and incumbent banks remain in a strong position to influence and determine their own destiny.

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