[OurCrowd in RT Insights] The Future Is Now: How COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Retail Banking

To adapt to changes in client behavior and requests and employee collaboration, banks need to look seriously at communication software, cyber protection, open APIs, cloud infrastructure, and deeper data-driven thinking, said Dan Bennett, Managing Partner of OurCrowd Australia, during a session on the future bank during the investment platform’s recent virtual OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference.

Read more here.

The post [OurCrowd in RT Insights] The Future Is Now: How COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Retail Banking appeared first on OurCrowd.


What banking platform do you use for your startup?

Hello everyone! I am researching banking platforms for startups. I've heard that there are a few out there such as Azlo, Novo, Wise and Mercury, to name a few. Anybody have experience with these or have another platform that they use? Any help would be eternally appreciated! Feel free to comment or DM me! Thanks!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Banking platform solarisBank raises $67.5 million at $360 million valuation

Despite the Wirecard fallout, German fintech startup solarisBank has raised a Series C funding round of $ 67.5 million (€60 million). Following today’s funding round, solarisBank is now valued at $ 360 million (€320 million). solarisBank doesn't have any consumer product directly. Instead, it offers financial services to other fintech companies through a set of APIs.

With solarisBank, you can build a fintech startup and leverage solarisBank’s line of products to do the heavy lifting. It’s an infrastructure company in the banking space.

While solarisBank might not be a familiar name, some of its clients have become quite popular. They include challenger banks, such as Tomorrow, Insha and a newcomer called Vivid, business banking startups, such as Penta and Kontist, trading app Trade Republic, cryptocurrency startups Bison and Bitwala, etc.

Overall, solarisBank works with 70 companies that have attracted 400,000 clients in total.

HV Holtzbrinck Ventures is leading the round with existing investor yabeo committing a substantial follow-on investment. Other new investors include Vulcan Capital, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Storm Ventures. Existing investors BBVA, SBI Group, ABN AMRO Ventures, Global Brain, Hegus and Lakestar are investing again.

The company started the fundraising process back in December. Due to the economic prospects, it has been a mixed process. “A lot of investors looked at their portfolio companies and the appetite to look at something new was not there,” solarisBank CEO Roland Folz told me. But everything worked out eventually as around half of the funding comes from existing investors.

“We originally were looking for €40 million but we were overwhelmed by the interest of investors in spite of Covid,” solarisBank Head of Strategy and Shareholder Relations Layla Qassim told me.

solarisBank’s vision could be summed up in two words — regulation and modularity. The company is a fully licensed bank, which means that its clients don’t have to apply to a banking license themselves.

And the startup lets you pick the modules that you want to use for your product. Maybe you’re building a mobile cryptocurrency wallet and you just want to be able to give an IBAN and a debit card to your users. Maybe you’re building a used car marketplace like CarNext and you want to offer credit. Maybe you want to build a challenger bank but address a specific vertical.

With solarisBank, you can open bank accounts and issue payment cards attached to those accounts. You can also issue cards and attach them to a different account in case you’re integrating with existing bank accounts. The startup also offers various services around payments, vouchers, cross-border transactions and more.

More recently, the company launched a new feature called Splitpay with American Express. When customers check out on an e-commerce platform in Germany, American Express customers will be able to choose a repayment plan to pay over multiple months.

solarisBank generates revenue from its clients as they pay to use the company’s APIs and enable accounts and cards. solarisBank also collects the interchange fees on card transactions and share revenue with its clients. Similarly, solarisBank can offer to share revenue on credit interests with its clients.

In the future, solarisBank plans to make its portfolio of financial services even more compelling by introducing local IBANs in the most important European markets. It should make it easier to convince potential clients outside of Germany to use solarisBank as their banking infrastructure.

Startups – TechCrunch

Tech startups weekly: Sustainable smartphones, open banking & hybrid brokerage

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the world are bouncing back to normalcy but they are urged to take some precautions and measures to curb the spread of the virus. During this time, the European tech startups are approaching the crisis with practical solutions. Also, the activity in the European tech startup ecosystem right now shows that these companies are focused on growth despite the dull times caused by the pandemic.

European tech startups weekly updates

Here is a roundup of what happened in the tech startup area in Europe this week by Silicon Canals. Do check out to stay updated with the measures taken by successful tech startups.

Picture credits: Fairphone

Fairphone 2 to get Android upgrade

Amsterdam-based sustainable smartphone startup Fairphone has confirmed that Fairphone 2, which was launched back in 2015 will get continued software support. While a majority of Android smartphones launched back in 2015 are unusable contributing to global e-waste pollution and emissions, Fairphone 2 will get the Android 9 upgrade. Notably, it is one of the few smartphones released five years back to get the upgrade.

The company debuts public testing of Android 9 upgrade for the Fairphone 2 and the first beta version will be rolled out to users. Founded by Bas van Abel in 2010, Fairphone designs, produces, and sells smartphones to raise awareness for the most urgent environmental issues. Unlike other smartphone makers, it is building a market for ethical phones and wants to act more responsibly.

Picture credits: Catawiki

Catawiki reports strong growth despite COVID-19 crisis

Amsterdam-based startup Catawiki, which is a leading online marketplace for special objects has announced a strong performance in 2019 and an accelerated growth in sales and profitability in the first half of 2020. Notably, in May, the company reported its seventh consecutive month of profitable growth. It has reported that its business witnessed a growth of 24% in 2019.

In 2019, Catawiki witnessed significant growth in sales of objects across categories such as art, watches, design, and collectibles. Its user growth in France and Italy also grew considerably. Founded in 2008 by Marco Jansen and René Schoenmakers, this online marketplace features over 67,000 lots across the world in more than 60 categories such as classic cars, antiques, watches, etc.

Picture credits: SupportPoints

Dutch online platform supports manufacturers 24/7

SupportPoints is a Dutch online platform with a network of experts supporting manufacturers’ PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) needs 24/7. It connects clients facing PLC problems with experts who support malfunctioning PLCs and software modifications. SupportPoints provides knowledge on how to serve controllers, both dated and recent ones from brands such as Schneider Electrics, Allen-Bradley, ABB, and Siemens.

SupportPoints is the brainchild of Peter Goeijenbier with over 30 years of experience in consulting maintenance engineering, design manufacturing, and workflow analysis. The company was launched with support from Moqod, a software development agency to meet the global PLC requirements. It is an intuitive and smart user-centric SaaS platform providing best practices of building web platforms and complex logic.

Picture credits: TreeClicks

Dutch startup plants trees as you shop

TreeClicks, a free browser extension based in the Netherlands that plants trees for free when you shop at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and thousands of other shops. A majority of its ad revenue is spent on planting trees. This startup connects e-commerce and reforestation in a bid to stop the environmental destruction caused by reckless shopping.

It is available as a free extension on major browsers – Chrome and Firefox. Once downloaded on your desktop, it will direct you to major e-commerce sites and earns an advertising fee from the websites for luring you as customers. TreeClicks was founded in Amsterdam by Jelle Bekirovic to minimise the negative impact on the environment.

Picture credits: Homeday

Berlin-based brokerage startup secures funding

Homeday is one of the largest platforms in Germany to find the best local agents and sell properties. The company operates with the mission to revolutionise the real estate market all over the world by building the global destination for property owners who want to sell their properties. It provides real estate sellers a full brokerage service sans any commission.

Now, this startup that was founded in 2014 by Dmitri Uvarovski and Steffen Wicker has secured €40 million funding from Axel Springer SE and Purplebricks. Besides this investment, the Berlin-based startup is backed by Project A, a leading VC firm in Europe with offices in London, Munich and Berlin.

Picture credits: Buymie

Dublin same-day grocery delivery startup bags funding

Irish online grocery delivery startup Buymie has announced that it has secured €5.8 million funding led by a new investor Wheatsheaf Group, which is the food and agriculture investment arm of Grosvenor Estate. The existing investors such as Act Venture Capital, Haatch Ventures, HBAN, and Sure Valley Ventures have also taken part in the funding round along with other notable investors.

With the latest investment, Buymie intends to speed up market expansion in both Ireland and the UK. Also, it will focus on its mission to reduce the environmental impact of grocery shopping. This online grocery delivery startup was founded by Artavazd Sokhikyan and Devan Hughes in 2015. And, it has secured €8 million funding to day. Earlier this year, Buymie signed a deal with Lidl Ireland to rollout its services in all major Irish cities.

Picture credits: Revolut

Revolut launches Open Banking in Ireland

UK-based challenger bank Revolut has announced that it will launch an Open Banking feature in Ireland. With this feature, over 1 million of its retail and business customers can connect their bank accounts to Revolut and see everything in a single place such as balances and transactions along with bank account transactions all within the Revolut app.

The Revolut’s Open Banking feature lets the retail customers in Ireland connect their Permanent TSB, AIB, Ulster Bank, and Bank of Ireland bank accounts to Revolut. It has been built in partnership with TrueLayer, a leading provider of financial APIs. The objective of the challenger bank is to help people manage their financial life in an easy, quick and convenient manner.

Picture credits: Condeco

Workspace management company gets new feature!

London-based Condeco is a leader in workspace management technology. Now, the meeting room scheduling software company has launched a new ‘return to office’ desk booking tool, which lets corporates to manage desk space in reduced capacity offices as employees return to offices. Staff will be able to book and check-in through an app just like reserving a hotel room or flight ticket. This helps manage demand and adhere to social distancing norms.

Founded by Paul Statham, Condeco is a growing company in this sector with offices in Europe, America, Australia, and Asia. It is a pioneer in scalable, cloud-based meeting room scheduling and workspace reservation solutions. The latest software lets companies to allot specific time to employes on a day-to-day basis. It will also enable automatic scheduling of deep-cleans for each desk or area.

Picture credits: bunq

Dutch challenger bank helps fight child exploitation

Amsterdam-based challenger bank bunq has joined forces with global charities. After the public beta programme, bunq has unveiled a new app called ‘Common Goals’. With this app, users can create a Common Goal whenever they want for any purpose and instantly share the same with anyone so that they can donate. Via this app, users can stay up to date on how much they have raised and can see the overall donations by the entire bunq community.

bunq, which was founded by 2012 by Ail Niknam has partnered with global charities and users can donate directly via the app. It aims to make the lives of users easier and make the world a better place. And, it has teamed up with five charities with the Common Goal launch and these include One Acre Fund, Free a Girl, Terre des Hommes, Salt Farm Foundation, and LittleBitz.

Main image picture credits: Homeday

The post Tech startups weekly: Sustainable smartphones, open banking & hybrid brokerage appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Vivid Money: How this new Germany mobile banking startup plans to challenge fintech moguls

Recently, Vivid Money, a new challenger bank announced its launch in Germany with support from Berlin-based solarisBank and Visa. The Berlin-based company aims to help people to make more of their money by combining the all-in-one mobile-first approach with a full-service package. 

Artem Yamanov, the co-founder of Vivid Money, said: We are living in a time when people are receiving no or even negative interest rates for their deposits and high transactional costs. Even today, they are still suffering from poor service in banking and investing. With Vivid Money, we enable our customers to organise their financial life easily, securely, and in all its different facets – from spending to investing – all in one app and individually tailored to their needs. We want to educate our customers on how to grow their money, providing them with the right tools to save automatically. With Vivid Money, they have numerous options to grow their wealth without having to open a separate account or deposit account with different providers for each service. This way, they can easily start with stock trading and start to take control of their financial lives.”

What makes Vivid Money stand out?

With this platform, users can open an account for free in just a few minutes and manage their finances simply and intuitively via their smartphone. On top of that, every user will get a free anonymised metal Visa debit card for secure payments and cash withdrawals.

Apart from the bank account, Vivid Money offers various services including cash back programs, sub-accounts in foreign currencies, and, shortly, investment products. 

Notably, Germany is the first and, for the time being, the only market in which the Vivid Standard and Vivid Prime products will be available. Also, the challenger bank is working together with solarisBank, which provides the fully licensed Banking-as-a-Service platform, and with Visa as an exclusive payment technology partner for Europe.

Dr. Roland Folz, CEO of solarisBank AG, said: We are excited to welcome Vivid Money as our newest partner. By trusting our proven banking-as-a-service platform, Vivid Money is well prepared to conquer the European banking market. With our modular approach and an easy-to-integrate, scalable infrastructure we reduce time to market significantly and enable Vivid Money to compose an attractive offering that allows them to grow fast.”

Superior banking and investment experience

Founded in 2019 by Artem Yamanov and Alexander Emeshev in Berlin, the company’s mission is to provide customers throughout Europe with a superior banking and investment experience and to offer a wide range of financial services (including savings accounts, multi-currency accounts, and stock exchange) without unnecessary fees.

Albrecht Kiel, Regional Managing Director Central Europe at Visa, said: “We are proud to be the exclusive launch partner for Vivid in Europe and to support their entry into the German market. The payment behaviour in Germany is currently changing rapidly – consumers increasingly want to pay digitally – mobile and contactless. This is why the launch of the mobile-first Visa Debit card by Vivid comes exactly at the right point in time. I am convinced that the joint product proposition by Visa, Vivid, and solarisBank will further drive the adaptation of digital payments in Germany.”

Main image credits: Vivid Money

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Startups – Silicon Canals

[Wave in IBS Intelligence] Wave Financial launches Wave Money, future of small business banking

Toronto based Wave Financial providing software solution for small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs to manage their finance has announced the launch of Wave Money, a small business banking and bookkeeping solution, with no banking fees, built-in bookkeeping, and instant access to your money.

Read more here.

The post [Wave in IBS Intelligence] Wave Financial launches Wave Money, future of small business banking appeared first on OurCrowd.


[Wave in CrowdFund Insider] Financial Management Software Provider Wave Financial Introduces Banking, Bookeeping Solution for SMBs

Canada based Wave Financial, an established provider of financial management software for small business owners and entrepreneurs, has introduced Wave Money, a banking and bookkeeping solution for small companies.

Read more here.

The post [Wave in CrowdFund Insider] Financial Management Software Provider Wave Financial Introduces Banking, Bookeeping Solution for SMBs appeared first on OurCrowd.


Overseas UK Startup Owner Business Banking Issues due to COVID

Hi, I am wondering if anyone here has experience in opening a UK business bank account whilst they're overseas? I am living in Vietnam, and my company is registered in the UK, but it seems that I am not eligible being overseas for some of the major banks.

COVID is exacerbating the issue since many banks are not accepting new clients right now.

I have considered using 'borderless' banks like transferwise and revolut, but since I am launching a product on Kickstarter, they recommended that I use a 'traditional bank'.

Any guidance on this would be awesome otherwise my million-pound idea is going to fail before it starts ;0

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

[Wave in PYMNTS] Wave Financial Rolls Out SMB Money Management, Banking Tech

Software company Wave Financial plans to roll out a bookkeeping and banking package for small businesses called Wave Money this summer. The company said Thursday (June 11) that the “solution” won’t have banking fees or account minimums and will offer “instant access to funds” and come with bookkeeping software.

Read more here.

The post [Wave in PYMNTS] Wave Financial Rolls Out SMB Money Management, Banking Tech appeared first on OurCrowd.


Lili Raises $10M for its All-in-One Banking App for Freelancers to Manage Both Work and Personal Finance

With more than 60 million freelancers in the US and the belief that an increasing number of businesses will rely on freelance workers in the post-pandemic era, shares of Upwork rose a staggering 49.3% in May. Lili is the banking and financial services app that helps freelancers better manage their work and personal finances. work and personal accounts in one centralized platform, AlleyWatch caught up with serial entrepreneur Lilac Bar David to learn more about how Lili is playing a role in shaping the future of work, the company’s recent funding round, and how the app saves freelancers up to 60 hours and $ 1.7K per annum.