FinTech companies continue to rake in millions of dollars with a slew of startups graduating to the unicorn club. The 42 ventures in the sector that topped up their accounts last week are proof of that.
Companies operating in the WealthTech, cybersecurity, RegTech, anti-fraud, PropTech, credit, PayTech, InsurTech and loan segments of the FinTech industry raised money over the course of last week with more than ten rounds raising over $100m.
However, even though FinTech Global reported on the regular smattering of investment rounds in everything from online banking to digital payments, two segments of the industry stood out.
No matter how you cut it, last week was all about Revolut and the CyberTech sector. So, before we get into all the different funding rounds and individual subsectors from last week, let’s talk a bit about why that is.
UK-based neobank Revolut joined the tridecacorn club on the back of a SoftBank-led $800m funding round, pushing its valuation past the $33bn mark. This round comes after the challenger bank raised a $500m Series D round led by US-based investor TCV. The funding round made it the most valuable fintech in the UK, second to Swedish buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) company Klarna, which secured a $45.6bn valuation in June on the back of a $639m round also led by SoftBank.
In comparison, of all the UK neobanks – a batch of startups that include Monzo and Starling Bank – Revolut is the first to join the coveted tridecacorn club. However, despite this colossal funding round, Revolut is still in troubled waters with its pre-tax losses almost doubling last year to reach £207m last year. But CFO Mikko Salovaara said the loss is far from damaging. In a recent interview with Sifted, he said, “That loss for financial year is not really what I think is reflective of the business itself,” he said, pointing instead to the “adjusted” loss metric of £122m and describing it as the amount “invested into the business.” Revolut has suggested that it had been “strongly profitable” in the first quarter of 2021, after breaking even in the final two months of 2020.
With the new influx of fresh funding, not only will the WealthTech company continue to grow, but it is also a testament to the trust investors put into the sector. Indeed, as we reported in our recent research, neobanks have been behind several of the top ten rounds recorded in the sector this year with startups including Nubank, Starling Bank, Tyme Bank and Dave scoring massive rounds.
Furthermore, WealthTech companies raised $6.6bn across 162 deals in Q1 2021. The funding was driven by large deals over $75m which made up 81.8% of the total capital raised during the quarter. That is up considerably from 2016 when the global WealthTech sector raised $2.8bn across 314 rounds in total. Just last week, neobank Bunq secured $228m led by Pollen Street Capital, the largest Series A ever for a European FinTech, giving the company a valuation of $1.9bn. Part of the reason behind the segment of the industry attracting investment rounds is due to the pandemic having increased the need for digital and banking services across the world.
Revolut was hardly the only WealthTech firm to attract investors as startups such as Tide, Lunar, M1 Finance and Syfe too scored massive rounds last week.
As what has become a common refrain in these roundups, this week also saw several cybersecurity and digital identity companies raise capital, highlighting the need for compliance and security solutions. For instance, Netskope’s $300m round proved to be the second biggest funding round we reported on last week. But it wasn’t the only CyberTech venture to raise capital last week. Other cybersecurity firms like Nethone, SecurEnds, Stytch, Virsec, Cybereason, CertiK, AttackIQ, Arctic Wolf, VU Security, Quantexa and Didomi also secured funding.
It’s easy to see why the sector is booming. The pandemic and the ensuing shift to remote work opened financial institutions to new and increased threats as home setups became easy targets for cyber criminals. As a result, investors upped their stakes in the sector as established companies looked to develop solutions and seize market share by addressing the new cyber challenges. Overall, the cybersecurity space has flourished during the coronavirus pandemic as bad actors have increased their digital assaults and businesses have had to introduce new security infrastructures to accommodate remote workers.
In fact, the global industrial cybersecurity market size is expected to reach $22.8bn by 2026, according to recent Reportlinker.com research. Similarly, recent research suggested that a third of US-based bankers believe cybersecurity will be one of their top concerns in 2021 as they continue to digitalise their offering. Tellingly, the global CyberTech industry experienced tremendous growth between 2016 and 2020 as investors poured money into companies battling the increased threat of cyber attacks and data leaks in financial services. Total funding grew at a CAGR of 91.6% from nearly $666.1m to nearly $4.7bn at the end of last year. CyberTech companies raised $6.2bn across 354 transactions in 2020, according to FinTech Global’s research.
The deals from last week also highlight the importance of InsurTech companies. BestDoctor, VuLife, Tinvio, Insurello, Collective Benefits and Coincover all raised round last week. These rounds come after about a year after industry stakeholders argued that the Covid-19 crisis could trigger tremendous market growth for the InsurTech sector. The argument was that the coronavirus fallout would prove to insurers that they had to digitalise their offering – something that the insurance industry has been sluggish to do.
The deals from the past seven days as well as the impressive growth of the market in the past 12 months may have proven them right. The global InsurTech industry has gone from strength to strength over the past five years. In 2016, the sector raised $1.7bn in total, according to FinTech Global’s research. By 2020, that figure had jumped to $7bn and has already reached $2.3bn in Q1 2021. Looking at the deals themselves, while most of the capital came from large transactions, funding raised in deals under $50m showed increased promise and is already at 33.3% of the record levels reached in 2020.
All in all, it seems as if the InsurTech industry has continued to enjoy growth despite the pandemic.
With that all in mind, let’s take a closer look at the deals, shall we?
Revolut’s colossal $800m funding round
Revolut raised $800m in a new funding round led by SoftBank and Tiger Global. Revolut, which offers banking and trading services through an app, is now valued at $33bn, a sixfold increase on the $5.5bn the company was worth last year.
Revolut will use the money to invest in marketing, product development and international expansion, heavily focused on ramping up growth in the United States and India. Founded in 2015, Revolut grew in popularity in Europe by offering fee-free currency exchange and a linked payment card. It now has more than 16 million users globally.
The company is banking on its expansion into new services such as crypto, stock trading and business accounts to reach profitability in the long run.
Netskope nets $300m
Secure access services edge (SASE) company Netskope raised $300m in Series H funding that it will use to aggressively expand its platform and go-to-market strategy to meet demand for SASE. The funding, which increased its valuation to $7.5bn, was led by existing investor ICONIQ Growth. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Accel, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Base Partners, Sapphire Ventures and Geodesic Capital also participated in the round.
Netskope’s cloud-native SASE platform – NewEdge – and its architecture enables secure remote connectivity and features an integrated zero-trust network access, secure web gateway and cloud access security broker capabilities.
Cybereason lands $275m from Mnuchin’s new firm
Boston-based security company Cybereason raised $275m in a financing led by Liberty Strategic Capital, the fund started earlier this year by former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
While no valuation was given by the company, but reports in The Boston Globe say the round values the company at $3.1bn. Cybereason raised $200m in 2019 from SoftBank and others bringing its total funds raised to $664m to date.
Cybereason’s platform offers a full array for protection including endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR).
Lunar earns the horn with a €210m Series D
Nordic FinTech company Lunar’s new funding round made it Europe’s latest neobank unicorn. While the challenger bank didn’t provide an official valuation in its press release, Scandi newspaper Dagens Industri put Lunar’s valuation north of the $1bn mark. The funding comes after Lunar most recently secured €40m in Series C funding round in October last year.
Investment company HEARTLAND led the round, with Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and Chinese technology titan Tencent topping up Lunar’s coffers as well.
Quantexa closes $153m round
London-based financial crime fighter Quantexa has just raised $153m in Series D funding provided by Warburg Pincus and an allotment of undisclosed blue-chip investors.
Existing investors participating were Dawn Capital, AlbionVC, Evolution Equity Partners, HSBC, ABN AMRO Ventures and British Patient Capital, each of whom contributed to a $64.7m Series C round in July last year.
Using advancements in Big Data and AI, Quantexa’s platform uncovers hidden risk by providing a contextual view of internal and external data, which can be interrogated in a single place to solve major challenges across financial crime, customer intelligence, credit risk, and fraud.
M1 Finance enters unicorn club, nets $150m
M1 Finance raised yet another round of funding – a $150m Series E, which was led by SoftBank. This new round brings the company’s total funding to more than $300m and values M1 Finance at $1.45bn — officially vaulting it into unicorn status. In less than a year, Chicago-based M1 Finance raised its $33m Series B, $45m Series C and $75m Series D funding rounds.
M1 Finance has built a platform that helps its users invest, build long-term wealth and promote good overall financial habits.
Remote rakes in $150m at a billion-dollar valuation
Human resources platform designed to help businesses build and manage remote teams around the world Remote raised $150m in a Series B round of funding at a valuation of more than $1bn. The platform, essentially, allows any company to set up shop in a new market without the associated administrative headaches.
Remote is now looking to expand to 80 countries – up from 50 today – by the end of this year, while it hopes to cover the majority of the globe by the end of 2022. Remote’s Global Employee API is being used by top Employee Management Platform Rippling to allow customers to compliantly onboard international employees, consolidate domestic and international payroll, and accelerate their global expansion.
Arctic Wolf reels in $150m
Security operations centre-as-a-service (SOCaaS) and managed detection and response (MDR) provider Arctic Wolf raised $150m in a Series F financing round and achieved a $4.3bn valuation.
With the Series F funding, Arctic Wolf will explore ways to expand its operations and deliver new products and further accelerate its security operations market momentum. Arctic Wolf provides Concierge Security experts to help organisations improve their security operations. The company ensures organisations can leverage its platform and experts to access threat telemetry from endpoint, network and cloud sources and find ways to guard against cyberattacks.
CyberTech 100 firm Virsec hauls in $100m
Cybersecurity company dedicated to fully protecting software as it is executing Virsec raised $100m in Series C funding. The round, which brought total funding in the company to $137m, was led by BlueIO, with participation from Allen & Company LLC, Arena Holdings, Intuitive Venture Partners, JC2 Ventures, Artiman Ventures, Quantum Valley Investments, and Marker Hill Capital.
Led by Dave Furneaux, Virsec’s Virsec Security Platform (VSP), stops sophisticated attacks at the first point of insurgence so an adversary does not have the dwell time in software to orchestrate and execute their malicious plans.
Neobank Tide banks $100m
Tide raised over $100m in Series C funding at a valuation of $650m. The Series C round was led by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners. Anthemis, Augmentum, Jigsaw, Local Globe / Latitude, SBI, and SpeedInvest, existing investors in the company, also participated in the round.
Tide, which has recruited 350,000 SMEs and opened over 410,000 business accounts since its launch in the UK in 2017, will use the funding to support its international expansion strategy.
Marco nabs $82m
Miami-based financing platform for exporters Marco raised $82m in seed funding. The round was led by Kayyak Ventures with participation from Village Global VC, Flexport Ventures, Tresalia Capital, 342 Capital, Struck Capital, Antler LLC, Antler Elevate, Florida Funders, and Fox Ventures, as well as strategic angel investors Phil Bentley, CEO of Mitie, and Naman Budhdeo, CEO and Co-Founder of Tripstack and FlightNetwork.
The company, which also increased its credit line to $100m provided by Arcadia Funds, intends to use the funds for product development and business expansion. The new facility will expand the FinTech’s supply chain finance, asset-based lines of credit, purchase orders, and inventory financing.
YuLife collects $70m
Life insurer YuLife raised $70m in a Series B funding round led by Target Global. The round was also supported by new investors Eurazeo and Latitude as well as existing investors Creandum, Notion Capital, Anthemis, MMC Ventures, and OurCrowd.
The insurer will use the capital to develop new products, expand its UK market penetration, and broaden its reach into new global markets. YuLife’s life insurance includes everything in a traditional group life insurance policy, but also adds critical illness, income protection, virtual GP services and employment assistance such as counselling and coaching.
RailsBank picks up $70m
London-based global embedded finance platform Railsbank, which enables FinTechs, supermarkets, telcos and consumer brands all over the world to build new financial offerings, raised $70m in funding. The investment round was led by Anthos Capital and attracted a range of investors including Central Capital (VC arm of Indonesia’s largest privately held bank), Cohen and Company – the founder of Bancorp, and Chris Adelsbach’s new fund Outrun Ventures.
Railsbank will use the funds to drive international expansion of its various Embedded Finance products – Banking as a Service, Cards as a Service, and Credit as a Service across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.
AttackIQ rakes in $44m
Breach and attack simulation systems provider AttackIQ added $44m in a Series C funding round led by growth equity technology firm Atlantic Bridge.
With the Series C financing, AttackIQ will explore ways to grow internationally. In addition, the financing brings AttackIQ’s total funding to $79m. AttackIQ provides a Security Optimization Platform designed to help organizations continuously validate their security controls and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their security programs.
Didomi pulls in $40m
Paris-based Didomi raised $40m led by Elephant and existing investor Breega to help companies put their users in control of their personal data.
Founded in 2017, Didomi is a consent and preference management platform that collects and leverages user consents and preferences for businesses. The company’s Consent Management Platform (CMP) allows developers and companies to collect consent for the use of online and mobile trackers. Analytics, targeted advertising, or even personalisation can be activated upon explicit permission as required by various regulatory frameworks such as GDPR.
CertiK inks $37m
NYC-based blockchain security company CertiK raised $37m in Series B funding. The round was co-led by Coatue Management and Shunwei Capital, with participation from Coinbase Ventures.
The funding will be used to accelerate the development of innovative products, deepen end-to-end security capabilities, and expand the team with additional talent. Founded in 2018 by professors of Yale University and Columbia University, CertiK is a blockchain security company, utilising AI technology to audit and monitor blockchain protocols and smart contracts.
Syfe scores $30m
Digital wealth manager Syfe raised $30m in a Series B funding round, more than tripling its valuation. The fundraise was led by US-based Valar Ventures, the venture capital fund co-founded by Peter Thiel. Existing investors Presight Capital and Unbound also participated in the round.
The funds will be used to expand into new markets in Asia, invest in top talent and develop more high-quality investment products and services. Syfe has also pledged to make everyone in the firm a shareholder, allowing all employees to benefit from future growth in the company.
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