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Weekly Funding Highlights – 15 May 2024

Welcome to our latest Weekly Funding Highlights! In this roundup, we cover developments across the funding landscape, including strategic investments, funding rounds, and innovative initiatives from key players in the industry.

Accel announces new €602.6 million early-stage fund; here’s how it plans to use this capital in Europe (Silicon Canals)

Accel, a global venture capital firm, has raised a $650 million fund to support early-stage startups in Europe and Israel, focusing on sectors like cybersecurity, enterprise software, and AI. The fund will enable investments ranging from $1 million to $20 million over the next three years. Accel, which established a European presence in 2000, has successfully supported notable companies like Skype, Supercell, and UiPath. Despite a recent decline in active investors, Accel remains committed to the region. The firm has backed over 200 companies across 60 cities and 20 countries in Europe, emphasizing its long-term strategy and confidence in the European and Israeli tech landscapes. Read more

Fintech Plata Card obtains $US100M credit line to improve the accessibility of personal finance services in Mexico (Latam Fintech)

Fasanara Capital Ltd, a global asset manager with approximately USD 4 billion in assets, has announced a USD 100 million credit facility for Mexican credit card lender Plata. This marks Fasanara’s first venture into the consumer lending space in Mexico. Plata aims to transform the financial landscape for Mexican consumers by leveraging advanced technology to offer inclusive, simple, and reliable financial solutions. This move comes as Mexico experiences a rapid digital transformation, with fintech and digital banking solutions making consumer loans more accessible, especially to those underserved by traditional banks. Fasanara’s investment underscores confidence in Plata’s potential to scale and enhance its market presence, supporting financial inclusion objectives promoted by Mexican regulators. Read more

Aplazo raises $70m in Series B funding to enhance BNPL solutions in Mexico (Fintech Global)

Aplazo, a Mexico-based BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) FinTech platform, has raised $70 million in equity funding, including $45 million from a Series B round led by QED Investors, along with contributions from Volpe Capital and existing backers like Oak HC/FT, Kaszek, and Picus Capital. Since its launch in late 2020, Aplazo has amassed over $100 million in equity financing and $75 million in committed debt funding. The company has seen a threefold increase in revenue and is nearing breakeven, driven by its expanding market share across online and offline merchants. The new funds will enhance product offerings, accelerate innovation, and integrate AI for better insights and risk assessment. Aplazo, which serves as the primary credit source for many users and maintains low credit loss rates, aims to provide fair, simple, and transparent financial solutions, distinguishing itself from traditional credit products. The platform has a strong presence in Mexico’s offline retail market and offers a single-use virtual card for installment purchases across a wide network of merchants. Read more

Identity verification firm Data Zoo raises AU$35M in Series A (Fintech Global)

Data Zoo has secured AU$35 million in Series A funding from Ellerston JAADE, an Ellerston Capital fund, to advance the adoption and innovation of its identity verification software. The company’s software accesses authoritative data from over 170 countries, utilizing advanced data sequencing to enhance efficiency, customer approval rates, and revenue realization while prioritizing data protection by eliminating identity data storage. This investment will enable Data Zoo to expand its operations globally, providing a secure and efficient alternative to legacy identity verification solutions and enhancing compliance with KYC and KYB standards. Tony Fitzgibbon, the company’s founder and Chairman, highlighted the firm’s innovation and growth, while CEO Charlie Minutella emphasized their readiness for global expansion, supported by their ability to meet compliance standards across jurisdictions. David Leslie from Ellerston JAADE noted Data Zoo’s impressive growth and international expansion as key factors for the investment. This Series A round marks Data Zoo’s first external investment and is aimed at solidifying its position as a leading identity verification provider globally. Read more

Fintech Farm raises $32m to expand its ‘neobank in a box’ model to India (Sifted)

Fintech Farm, a London-based startup providing technology to medium-sized banks in emerging markets, has raised $32 million in a Series B funding round. This round was initially led by venture firm Nordstar and extended by the Bank of Georgia. The company’s founders include Dmytro Dubilet of Ukrainian neobank Monobank, former KPMG M&A executive Nick Bezkrovnyy, and Alexander Vityaz of Corezoid. Prior to this, Fintech Farm secured $7.4 million in 2022 from Flyer One Ventures and others. Launched in 2020, Fintech Farm partners with banks lacking digital expertise to develop neobank apps, offering comprehensive technology dubbed “a neobank in a box,” which includes debit and credit cards, buy now pay later options, and stock investment features. The company has already launched in Azerbaijan and Vietnam, with plans to expand into India, leveraging the country’s Unified Payments Interface to enhance consumer access to credit. This funding round reflects a broader trend of European investors focusing on B2B fintech models, with significant investments favoring business-oriented fintechs over consumer fintechs in early 2024. Read more

FinLocker raises $17m in Series B funding (HousingWire)

FinLocker, a St. Louis-based developer of a financial fitness and homeownership platform, closed a $17 million Series B funding round led by Radian Group and existing shareholders. The investment will fuel the introduction of new features and tools utilizing generative AI and machine learning to personalize recommendations, credit management, budgeting, and loan qualification. FinLocker, with over 40,000 registered customers, plans to expand partnerships within the mortgage ecosystem. Its strategic collaboration with Radian subsidiary Homegenius aims to enhance the homebuying readiness journey, especially for first-time buyers, by integrating AI-powered home search with financial readiness platforms. This funding follows previous rounds, including a $20 million Series A in 2020, positioning FinLocker to innovate and address evolving consumer and industry needs. Read more

Insurtech company CoverTree secures $13m funding in Series A round (Yahoo Finance)

CoverTree, a US-based insurtech company specializing in manufactured home insurance, has raised $13 million in its Series A funding round, led by Portage with contributions from AV8, Distributed Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, Ludlow Ventures, and Annox Capital. This brings their total funding to $23 million. With over 22 million Americans living in manufactured homes, the funds will be used to enhance CoverTree’s enterprise suite, including the launch of new tools like Maple, Bonsai, and Sequoia, and to support product development, operations, and hiring. CoverTree’s CEO Adarsh Rachmale expressed excitement about expanding services in the growing manufactured housing industry, emphasizing the company’s commitment to innovation and providing high-tech insurance solutions. CoverTree currently offers insurance in 14 states, including Arizona and Texas. Read more

Purple Dot raised $10M to enhance E-commerce with it (Tech Funding News)

Purple Dot, an e-commerce platform specializing in pre-orders and waitlists, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firm OpenOcean. This investment aims to support Purple Dot’s mission to eliminate unsold inventory in e-commerce. Trusted by numerous brands such as Oh Polly, Lando Norris, Goorin Bros, and Astrid & Miyu, Purple Dot facilitates millions of dollars in transactions monthly. The platform allows brands to sell products before they physically arrive at warehouses, reducing inventory risks and storage costs. This approach helps manage supply chain disruptions and maintain sales momentum, crucial in times of crises like the Red Sea shipping incident. CEO Madeline Parra emphasizes that Purple Dot’s goal is to ensure every manufactured product finds a buyer, thereby maximizing revenue potential. OpenOcean’s Partner, Sam Hields, praises Purple Dot’s customer-centric approach and innovative solution to a major industry pain point. The successful funding round and increasing industry recognition highlight the potential of Purple Dot’s pre-commerce solutions to transform e-commerce by addressing unsold inventory and empowering brands with better sales control. Read more

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