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Weekly News Highlights – 7 July 2022

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, lending, banking, crypto, NFT and more. Enjoy reading!

FTX closes in on a deal to buy embattled crypto lender BlockFi for $25 million in a fire sale, source says (CNBC)
Crypto exchange FTX is close to finalizing a term sheet to buy BlockFi and a deal is expected to be signed by the end of this week, three sources familiar with the situation told CNBC. It comes after FTX provided a $250 million emergency line of credit to BlockFi. The price tag is well below BlockFi’s last valuation, leaving equity investors in BlockFi “wiped out” and writing off the value of their losses. Read more.

Hackers Claim Theft of Police Info in China’s Largest Data Leak (Bloomberg)
Unknown hackers claimed to have stolen data on as many as a billion Chinese residents after breaching a Shanghai police database, in what industry experts are calling the largest cybersecurity breach in the country’s history. The person or group claiming the attack has offered to sell more than 23 terabytes of stolen data from the database, including names, addresses, birthplaces, national IDs, phone numbers and criminal case information, according to an anonymous post on an online cybercrime forum last week. The unidentified hacker was asking for 10 bitcoin, worth around $200,000. Read more.

Meta Is Ambitious Despite Crypto Market Plunge, Plans NFT Launch (FX Empire)
 Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is planning to launch access to digital collectibles, despite the current crypto market turmoil. The recent sharp fall in the overall cryptocurrency market doesn’t seem to affect Meta’s plans around rolling out digital collectibles to its users. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, the newly appointed head of fintech, Stephane Kasriel, noted that Meta would not adjust its NFT ambitions “in any way.” Read more

Headline VC closes $950M spread across three funds for startups in US, Europe, LatAm and Asia (TechCrunch)
Venture capital fund Headline has been investing in tech startups since — get this — 1999, which might tempt headline writers, perhaps unfairly, to apply the word “dinosaur,” if the fund hadn’t continued to remain so active since then. Suffice it to say, it’s been plenty busy since that “cretaceous era,” with 11 $1 billion+ IPOs and exits in the past two years and investments in such unicorns as Bumble, Sonos and Farfetch, to name just three. The headline for this story might well be a whopping-sounding $950 million/€932 million, but in fact, the numbers are a little more conventional when you look at how that cash is being deployed. Read more.

Tracking Klarna’s plunging valuation (TechCrunch)
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Swedish buy now, pay later behemoth and upstart bank is reportedly raising $650 million at a $6.5 billion valuation, giving new meaning to the phrase “down round.” The news was shocking, to say the least. Why, you ask? Well, in June of 2021, Klarna was valued at $45.6 billion after closing on a $639 million round of funding — making it the highest-valued private fintech in Europe at that time. Read more.

Thrive acquires Edge Technology Group to strenghten its international presence for all customers (HNS)
Thrive announced that it has acquired Connecticut-based Edge Technology Group, a global technology advisory and fully-managed IT service provider for alternative investment managers. The acquisition of Edge Technology Group adds new global offices and data centers across the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, strengthening Thrive’s international presence for all customers. Edge clients, including hedge funds, private equity firms, family offices, and asset managers across the world, will now benefit from Thrive’s next-generation managed cybersecurity, collaboration, and cloud services. Read more.

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