As the trusted and proven Paytech Pioneer™ uniquely focused on supporting the growth journeys of our customers, nothing gets us more excited than when we see our partners and customers dominating the payments news agenda. That is why each month we update our Making Headlines blog series.
Following another month of outstanding innovation and growth for our customers, we were pleased to be named as one of Technology’s 50 Best Companies to Work For in the UK, with the recognition reiterating our commitment to our talented and diverse workforce.
The convergence of fintech and banking is driving the next generation of payments and this month we were also delighted to have CEO Joanne Dewar and CPO Shaun Puckrin speaking at this year’s Seamless Europe event (hyperlink to event) on future trends in the space. Joanne spoke to Sarah Francis of Polymath Consulting about the power of partnerships in driving the future of payments in a cashless society, whilst Shaun shared his perspective on the opportunities for rich data in the next generation of payments. We were joined by customers & partners including Starling, Curve, Zilch & Mambu.
Next, we take a look at some of the truly exciting things that our partners and customers have been up to last month.
A huge congratulations is in order to money management app, Curve, whose recent fundraising round on Crowdcube broke several of the platform’s records, making it the largest equity raise to-date. Curve surpassed its initial goal of £1 million in just 10 minutes and had already attracted an incredible 4,000 investors within the hour. In total, the campaign generated over £9.9 million, which will be used to fuel the company’s growth and expansion, with Curve planning to hire a minimum of 200 employees this year.
Gold trading and investment app, Glint, is also going down a similar fundraising route, having launched a crowdfunding campaign on both sides of the pond through UK platform Seedrs and US-based Republic. The campaign has a target of £2 million, which will be used to expand its product offering and further grow its customer base, which has increased by more than 40% in the past six months alone.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) challenger, Laybuy, recently generated A$35 million (£22 million) in capital to help drive its expansion in the UK, which it sees as a key market for growth given that the British retail market is 2.2 times the size of the Australian one. It’s no stretch to say that Laybuy has hit the ground running in the UK, having already onboarded around 5,000 merchants including Nike, eBay and Amazon!
Finally in finance, gaming tech giant and emerging fintech brand, Razer, recently announced that it will be included as a constituent on the MSCI Global Small Cap Indexes, representing a significant milestone for the company. Speaking about what the news means for Razer, CEO Min-Liang Tan attributes the listing to its “dominant brand position” and “intensely loyal fan-base”, reiterating its commitment to “sustained operational and financial excellence”.
May marked a further step in Revolut’s unstoppable international growth journey, as the super-app signalled plans to extend its services into New Zealand in 2021. Following its success in Australia, the fintech company will be offering services to Kiwis on an early access basis later this year, and will continue expanding its services internationally to deliver on its mission of being “the world’s first truly global financial super-app”.
Revolut isn’t the only brand with its sights set on the international horizon – BNPL pioneer Zilch has also declared ambitious plans for cross-border growth. The fintech is a hot tip for investment, having recently been recognised in a list of UK ‘futurecorns’ which are predicted to reach a $1 billion valuation imminently. As the team looks to scale its offering in new markets, the company will also further develop its talent pool, using recent funding to recruit for 100 new roles.
On the note of growth, we can’t forget to mention cryptocurrency trading app Ziglu, which has more than doubled its customer base in 2020. Founder Mark Hipperson and co-founder of fintech unicorn, Starling Bank, believes this growth can be attributed to a combination of global lockdowns, an increase in bitcoin’s value, and an influx of new investors looking for well-known crypto platforms. The news also comes as Ziglu expands its support for crypto assets to include Chainlink, in a move it hopes will place the platform at the centre of the decentralised finance (DeFi) trend.
Technology & Innovation
From one pandemic success story to another, GPS customer, Blocser, recently launched its dedicated gig economy card, Butterfly. Around 5.5 million UK freelancers are at risk of marginalisation from traditional financial services, as their irregular income patterns make for less profitable accounts. Working in partnership with allpay.cards, Blocser aims to address this problem through its newly launched card, which will combine traditional services such as digital payments with SMB-targeted solutions, including contract generation, integrated live chats and customisable webshops.
Blocser isn’t the only one working to embrace the new normal through fintech - virtual card pioneer, Ixaris, recently launched the Ixaris Card to deliver a cost-effective payments solution for airlines and travel agents. The card aims to disrupt the traditional payments model, which previously relied on travel agents being able to offer financial incentives at the expense of airlines. The Ixaris Card will instead offer airlines a much more flexible and lower cost payment model, whilst also guaranteeing card acceptance through the Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) network.
Finally, IDEMIA, the global leader in augmented identity, recently announced it would be launching its first card for the Japanese market, partnering with major domestic issuers and fintechs including UPSIDER and the Toyota Finance Corporation. The cards are already certified by Visa and other schemes, and will be fully JIS2 compliant, allowing for full contactless payments and improved security.
That’s it for May’s installation of our Making Headlines blog! Check out our blog next month for more stories on innovation and expansion in the fintech world, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more updates.
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