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Amazon Invests in $28bn Start-up, Post-Brexit Fintech, Asia Represses Digital Lenders & Other Topics



Happy Tuesday!



In this edition:


  • Fintech Fundraising Fuels Hope for U.K. Finance Post-Brexit

  • Amazon, Alphabet and Salesforce are all investing in a $28 billion company that crunches big data

  • Asian authorities clamp down on digital lenders

  • SPAC FinTech Evolution Acquisition files for a $200 million IPO, led by financial services veterans

  • Equifax scoops up open banking fintech Accountscore




Fintech Fundraising Fuels Hope for U.K. Finance Post-Brexit



U.K. financial technology start-ups are raising fresh investment cash at a fast clip, a boost for London as it tries to hold on to its role as a global financial centre post-Brexit.

British fintechs, including Revolut Ltd. and Monzo Bank Ltd., raised a combined $4.3 billion last year, second only to the nearly $22 billion raised in the U.S. That put the U.K. ahead of places like China and Germany, according to PitchBook data.


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Amazon, Alphabet and Salesforce are all investing in a $28 billion company that crunches big data



Databricks, a start-up whose software helps companies quickly process large sets of data and get it ready for analysis, said Monday it has raised $1 billion in fresh cash, including from a few prominent corporate investors.

Databricks rose to prominence because it helped companies implement a version of Apache Spark, an alternative to the Hadoop technology for storing lots of different kinds of data in massive quantities. It can help clean up data for exploration in data visualization software such as Salesforce-owned Tableau. The Databricks software gives companies a simple way to run this sort of software, without having to worry about configuring and updating it. Databricks is also increasingly helping organizations deploy artificial intelligence models.

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Asian authorities clamp down on digital lenders



Authorities in Asia are clamping down on digital lenders, stepping up to rein in a sector that has charged ahead with little oversight in credit-hungry large economies such as India and Indonesia.


Apps and websites offering easy loans have proliferated in India and south-east Asia, where hundreds of millions of people are unable to access the formal credit system. In India, 190m people did not have bank accounts as of 2017, according to the World Bank, along with 95m in Indonesia.


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SPAC FinTech Evolution Acquisition files for a $200 million IPO, led by financial services veterans



FinTech Evolution Acquisition, a blank check company targeting fintech businesses, filed on Thursday with the SEC to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering.


The New York, NY-based company plans to raise $200 million by offering 20 million units at $10. Each unit will consist of one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. At the proposed deal size, FinTech Evolution Acquisition will command a market value of $250 million.


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Equifax scoops up open banking fintech Accountscore



M&A is a growing trend in the fintech world, but the acquisition of Accountscore by Equifax is the first major open banking play to close from a major corporate, following the halted Visa/Plaid deal last month.


The acquisition, Equifax says will enhance its consumer and commercial product offerings, combining traditional credit bureau information held by Equifax with bank transaction data, facilitated by AccountScore.


“Integration of these new data assets will enable Equifax clients to benefit from higher rates of automated, digital income verification, to carry out more granular assessments of affordability and expenditure and offer more predictive and inclusive credit scoring, by using the most up-to-date information available,” Equifax said in regulatory filings to the stock market.


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