our distribution list
to get M&A monthly reviews via email
In terms of headline deals this month, Euronext made an irrevocable all-cash offer to LCH.Clearnet Group and London Stock Exchange Group to acquire LCH.Clearnet SA for €510m subject to the completion of the merger between Deutsche Börse AG and LSEG. Blockchain investing was also active: Citi made an undisclosed investment in Cobalt DL, a startup aiming to use the technology behind bitcoin to simplify foreign exchange trading, Axoni, the blockchain startup announced an $18m Series A financing round led by Wells Fargo and Euclid Opportunities, ICAP’s FinTech investment arm, as well as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Thomson Reuters, F-Prime Capital Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Digital Currency Group and finally professional services firm Deloitte made an undisclosed investment in financial services blockchain outfit SETL. Other activity in trading technology included TMX Group announced the sale of risk management business Razor Risk to private investment firm Parabellum Limited and online trading school and education platform Investoo raised $2m from Optimizer Invest, Kinetic Investments and Right Casino’s Sam Miranda.
Investment technology was also active. Mobile investing platform Stash announced a $25m Series B funding led by Valar Ventures, with participation from Breyer Capital, Goodwater Capital, and Entrée Capital. Following £30m raised last month from Convoy, Nutmeg the digital wealth manager completed a further investment of £12m from Taipei Fubon Bank, one of the largest financial services firms in Taiwan, and ABAKA, the artificial intelligence-based savings platform raised £520k in seed funding from Anthemis Exponential Ventures. In employee benefits, Mercer, the human resources consulting business owned by Marsh & McLennan, announced the acquisition of Thomsons Online Benefits, the benefits software business to progress the design, communication and administration of employee benefits and Reward Gateway, the employee engagement platform business, acquired the UK business from LogBuy, one of the oldest voluntary benefits providers in the UK.
In lending technology, department store House of Fraser announced a £35m investment into app-only challenger bank Tandem which enables the department store to offer financial services to customers through its partnership with Tandem, BillFront, the alternative finance platform for digital media businesses, raised $35m in Series A funding from investors including 4finance, NIBC Bank & existing investor FinLeap, We Are Briqs, the retail banking FinTech and analytics company, has been bought out by a new, global digital bank entrant, in a deal understood to be worth c. $15m, Monese, the mobile banking app for immigrants and expats raised $10m in Series A funding from Anthemis Exponential Ventures, STE Capital and Korea Investment Partners and Maven Capital Partners completed a £1.1m investment in Growth Capital Ventures, the specialist online investment and alternative finance platform.
In payments, payments operator and FinTech investment firm Senjō Group acquired payments processing business Kalixa Group for €29m in cash on completion, with total consideration capped at €35.5m, digital loyalty startup Bink that links consumers' payment cards to merchant loyalty schemes secured £2m in financing from angel investors and SafeCharge, the listed provider of advanced payment technologies, completed a minority investment in Nayax, the provider of EMV certified cashless payment solutions for the unattended vending sector.
In data analytics, Finicity, the financial data sharing platform, announced a $42m Series B investment round led by credit reporting specialist Experian to fund further growth including adding new members to its engineering and support teams and FactSet, the provider of integrated financial information and analytical applications, acquired Vermilion Software, the provider of client reporting and communications software and services, and CYMBA Technologies, the multi-asset class investment management solutions provider.
Elsewhere, Pro Global Insurance Services agreed to sell the Pro operational outsourcing and consulting services service companies to private equity house Acuity Investment subject to a shareholder vote and FCA and other regulatory approvals, Digital Fineprint, the social media InsurTech startup closed a $400k seed investment round lead by VC fund Eos Venture Partners and corporate service provider Vistra announced the acquisition of the Jordans Group, the UK-based company formation services provider.
In investment technology, asset management company Schroders made a strategic investment in Benchmark Capital, a technology-led financial adviser support business and institutional funds platform, digital wealth manager Nutmeg raised £30m in new funding from Convoy Financial, Hong Kong’s largest listed firm of independent financial advisers, to offer more products and services to customers. HgCapital announced a significant investment in fundinfo, the technology platform for fund data and documents publication and dissemination to the global fund industry, CoInvestor, the alternative investment platform for private investors, raised £1.1m in additional pre-Series A capital as it seeks to further accelerate growth and Swanest the online investment service secured a seed investment round valued at €750k from the Belgian early-stage investor Philippe Gillion.
In data analytics, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) acquired 100% of Mergent, the provider of business and financial information on public and private companies, and will form part of LSEG’s Information Services Division, which includes FTSE Russell and a range of real time and reference data products, alternative assets industry data and intelligence provider Preqin acquired BaxonSolutions, the provider of middle office solutions for the private equity industry and Thomson Reuters the provider of news and information for professional markets has taken a minority equity stake in FX analytics specialist BestX.
In lending technology, Loot, the banking services app pitched at millennials, topped up its seed funding round with an extra £2.5m from existing investors SpeedInvest and Global FoundersCapital, taking the total capital raised this year to £4m. Tungsten Corporation, the company established to acquire undervalued companies in the financial services space, sold Tungsten Bank, which provides a range of international and domestic banking services, for c. £30m cash (a premium to net assets of £25.4m) to privately-owned Wyelands Holdings. The deposit-taking bank will be renamed Wyelands Bank and will initially specialise in supply-chain and trade financing for the industrial sector in both the UK and internationally.
In payments, CurrencyFair, the peer-to-peer currency exchange marketplace, has closed an €8 million funding round led by existing investors Octopus Ventures and Frontline Ventures, and investment firm IBID Group acquired a majority stake in online payment solutions provider Dalberry.
Elsewhere, Sanne, the specialist provider of outsourced corporate, fund and private client administration, reporting and fiduciary services, acquired fund and corporate administration services provider International Finance Services Limited and IFS Trustees for $127.3m following last month’s acquisition of FLSV Fund Administration Services. Indio, the commercial insurance platform for brokers, announced $2m seed financing from venture capital firms NEA, Compound, Merus Capital and 500 Startups, along with insurance carrier Hiscox. Blockchain company Billon Group announced the successful closing of its first round of funding of $2m from UK investors, Hubbub the digital fundraising solutions provider for the education and non-profit sectors secured a $1m investment from Connecticut Innovations to assist US growth and Arex, a trading platform on which SME businesses can sell their unpaid invoices, raised €3m in a round led by Lifeline Ventures, alongside Local Globe and angel investors.
In terms of headline deals this month, private equity firm Permira announced the acquisition of Tricor Holdings, the provider of business, corporate and investor services in Asia Pacific, from The Bank of East Asia and NWS Holdings for HK$6,470m ($835m), including at least HK$400m (c. $50m) in cash acquired as part of the transaction and Cardtronics, the non-bank ATM business recently redomiciled to the UK acquired global ATM services provider Direct Cash Payments at a purchase price of C$19.00 per share (and a transaction value of c. $ 460m), which included the assets of First Data Corporation's Australian retail ATM and managed services ATM portfolio acquired by DCPayments on September 30.
Trading technology was busy. OpenGamma, the open source financial software provider and provider of derivatives risk analytics, raised $13.3m from Accel and ICAP to address increasing demand from financial institutions for more efficient use of capital and technology resources. Cloud communications firm Cloud9 Technologies secured $30m in funding from a consortium including JPMorgan Chase, ICAP, Barclays and Point72 Ventures. ICAP, the specialist wholesale financial markets broker, acquired Abide Financial, the provider of regulatory reporting services.
Trading technology provider CFH Systems is to acquire Capital Market Automation Provider’s 49% stake in its Asian joint venture following growth in the region. Multi-asset exchange and post trade business services and technology firm Forum Trading Solutions, currently a minority stakeholder in GMEX Group, has acquired 100% of GMEX Technologies Limited, including clients and the GMEX name related trademarks. Finally, Thomson Reuters, Draper Associates and IQ Capital invested in a $2.6m funding round for Funderbeam, the blockchain-based stock exchange for growth companies.
Lending technology was also active. Commerzbank participated in a £21m round of Series C funding for UK based SME lending platform iwoca. The latest round of funding was led by new investor Prime Ventures, with Commerzbank joining previous investors Acton Capital Partners, Global Founders Capital and Redline Capital in the financing. The firm has also raised a £25m debt facility with challenger bank Shawbrook. Digital challenger bank Monzo closed a £4.8m bridging funding round at a £50m valuation led by existing investor Passion Capital and will be used to ramp up production of its beta programme. Sonovate, the recruitment finance provider, raised a £14m Series B funding (£9m in equity and £5m in debt funding) round led by Global Founders Capital, the investment vehicle of Rocket Internet, and supported by Dawn Capital and Aire, the credit score provider for those without a credit history, announced a $2m funding round led by White Star Capital, Sunstone Capital and Accion Venture Lab. Professional services firm Accenture has acquired Allen International, a design consultancy focused on helping banks transform their branch networks and digital capabilities to reduce costs, increase revenues and better engage customers.
In payments, Euronet Worldwide, the global electronic payments provider, acquired UK based ATM operator, Your Cash Europe including approximately 5,000 ATMs across the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. P2P travel money exchange service WeSwap launched a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign allowing the public to invest in the company and Go Cashless, the not-for-profit organisation promoting the end of cash by December 31st 2020, launched a crowdfunding appeal. In InsurTech, Startupbootcamp InsurTech, the independent accelerator focused on early stage insurance startups and corporate innovation, announced an agreement with Eos Venture Partners of up to £1m in funding for the cohort joining its 2017 program and Neos, the connected home insurance service, raised over £1m in seed funding from investors including InsurTech fund Eos Venture Partners. In investment technology, Interactive Investor agreed to buy TD Direct Investing (TDDI), TD Bank Group's European investing business, S&P Dow Jones Indices, the index providers, announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in Trucost, a leader in carbon and environmental data and risk analysis and Plum, the money savings, raised £0.5m in seed funding ahead of an invite-only launch at the end of October.
In risk management, Comply Advantage, the artificial intelligence and machine learning compliance firm, completed an $8.2m Series A funding round led by Balderton Capital to increase product penetration across Europe and North America. Ravelin, the machine-learning fraud detection company, completed a new £3m round of investment from existing investors led by Playfair Capital with participation from Amadeus Capital, Passion Capital and other high net worth individuals. Global Risk Technologies, the chargeback management company, invested in Veridu, the identity verification service provider for online merchants and Elephant Talk Communications, an international provider of mobile networking software and services, announced the divestiture of its wholly-owned voice biometric and authentication services subsidiary, Valid Soft, to a management buy-out group led by the founder and CEO, Pat Carroll, for $2m cash plus a $1m unsecured note bearing 5% interest, with a 2-year maturity date.
Elsewhere Blockchain startup Factom has raised $4.2m in Series A funding led by DraperAssociates with participation from other backers including Star Vista Capital, CashBUS and BnkToTheFuture, Intuit QuickBooks, the online accounting software provider, acquired Bankstream, a company that provides direct connections between banks and accountants, and their clients’ data and finally digital employee engagement firm Perkbox secured £2.5m backing from venture capital firm Draper Esprit who invested on the same terms as other early-stage investors on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
In payments, Standard Chartered joined Accenture, SCB Digital Ventures (the venture capital arm of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank) and SBI Holdings investing $55m into Ripple, the blockchain company, to develop cross-border payment transfers using blockchain technology, CashFlows, the Pollen Street Capital-backed merchant payment solutions provider, acquired iCheque Network, the online payments company and Divido the point of sale consumer finance business raised £2.5m in seed funding led by Mangrove Capital and DN Capital. Afrimarket, the cash-to-goods money transfer firm raised €10m from investment fund Global Innovation Fund and PROPARCO, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency to expand in six new markets in French West Africa and launch new technology tools, UQUID, the prepaid bitcoin wallet solution, secured an undisclosed amount of seed financing, Curve, the credit card mobile app, raised $3m from Connect Ventures and Samos Investments as part of a seed funding round and payments firm iZettle acquired intelligentpos, the cloud-based point of sale service for shops, bars and restaurants.
In lending technology, U51.com, the credit card holder data analysis and repayment reminding service, completed C round financing of $310m Xinhu Zhongbao, Tiantu Capital and Hg Capital amongst others, Experian, the information services company, and Nav, the personal and business credit scores business, announced a strategic partnership and Experian’s lead investor role in Nav’s series B funding of $25m from existing investors and new investors including Experian. Callcredit Information Group, backed by private equity firm GTCR, acquired Recipero, the mobile devices proprietary database business to accelerate Callcredit’s fraud and identity protection strategy and DueCourse, the cloud-based invoice financing service for SMEs, secured £6.25m, including £1.25m of equity and £5m of debt from the founders and high net worth investors.
In trading technology, IG Group, the online trading business, acquired DailyFX, the news and research portal, and its associated assets, from FXCM Inc. for a total consideration of $40m, Synechron, the global consulting and technology services provider specialising in the financial services market, acquired Cityfront Group, the systems integrator for capital markets platforms and Huddlestock, the crowd-trading platform, raised a $1.5m seed round.
In insurance technology, Applied Systems, the provider of cloud-based insurance software, acquired the eTrading for Personal Lines platform from IS2 and price comparison website Go Compare is to strategically review the business as its major shareholder Esure prepares for a float.
Elsewhere, BigchainDB, the startup seeking to scale blockchain for enterprise raised €3m led by Earlybird Ventures and featuring participation from Anthemis Group, RWE Ventures, innogy SE and Digital Currency Group and digital asset trading service Crypto Facilities announced a $1.5m seed round funded by Playfair Capital, String Ventures and Digital Currency Group to add new products and cryptocurencies to the business.
In terms of headline deals this month, core banking supplier Misys has appointed advisers ahead of a possible £5.5bn London initial public offering, to provide an exit for US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners and Singapore exchange SGX announced the acquisition of Baltic Exchange, the maritime market trading information provider, for cash and a special dividend valuing the Baltic Exchange at approximately £87m. SGX has received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the proposed acquisition representing some 74% of the existing issued share capital of Baltic Exchange.
In payments, Global Reach Partners, the payments and hedging services business, acquired FC Exchange, international money transfer and payment solutions provider, with the backing of its private equity investor, Inflexion Private Equity Partners. Payment solutions provider Paysafe acquired Income Access Group, an affiliate technology business, for a cash consideration of C$40m, structured as C$28m payable in cash on completion with the deferred consideration balance of C$12m payable to the vendors in three equal instalments of C$4m over the 18-month period following completion. Prepaid and payments network, Blackhawk Network Holdings acquired Grass Roots Group Holdings, the provider of employee and customer engagement solutions for c. £90m, subject to regulatory approvals. TerraPay, the mobile-first international network, bought Pay2Global the digital international money transfer company with passporting rights into the European Economic Area to build its European expansion in payments. Rakuten, the FinTech and e-commerce business, announced the IP asset acquisition from bitcoin wallet firm, Bitnet Technologies, and management completed a buy-out of the donation processing service business, Valldata Services and Charity Pay, from Valldata Group.
In the investment platforms market, Aegon, the insurance services provider, acquired Cofunds, the largest investment platform provider in the UK, from Legal & General for £140m. The sale includes the Investor Portfolio Service platform as well as Cofunds' retail and institutional business.Stash, the financial services provider for Millennials, secured $9.25m in Series A funding led by Goodwater Capital, Valar Ventures and Entrée Capital. Ginmon, the ETF robo-adviser, raised a new round of funding led by Passion Capital. The size of the round is undisclosed, other than that it is in the seven-digit Euros range. Wealthify, the online investment service, announced plans to raise £1m through crowdfunding on the Seedrs platform and Crowdcube, another equity crowdfunding platform, raised over £8m for itself from over 3,700 crowd investors, alongside Balderton Capital.
In data analytics Creditinfo, the international credit information and risk management solutions provider, acquired VisualDNA’s Credit and Risk business, the psychometrics and alternative data business used to assess behavioural risk in the consumer lending, insurance and retail sectors. Big data privacy startup Privitar announced an additional £3m financing round from Illuminate Financial Management with follow-on investment from existing investors, including 24Haymarket and IQ Capital.
Elsewhere, Tullett Prebon, the interdealer brokers, acquired a long term licence of hybrid trading technology from CME and Applied Systems, the provider of cloud-based insurance software, acquired Relay Software, the provider of insurance software to insurers and brokers in the Republic of Ireland. Management of EMC Advisory Services, the mis-selling claims handling business, completed a management buy-out of the business backed with a £8m first lien debt package from Praesidian Capital Europe and following receipt of a restricted banking licence from UK regulators, challenger bank Monzo, previously Mondo, announced plans to raise up to a maximum of £20m following the £9m already raised, including a "significant" element of crowdfunding.
In terms of headline deals this month, the Boards of London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse have now obtained satisfaction of the exchange offer acceptance condition for their previously announced recommended all-share merger of equals and MasterCard agreed to pay c. £700m to buy 92.4% of VocaLink, the bank-owned operator of the UK's Faster Payments system and Zapp mobile service, with a potential further earnout of up to £169m for the 13 existing bank shareholders if performance targets are met.
Also in payments, Payment Card Technologies announced a management buyout backed by a €12m investment from a European private equity firm, money transfer startup Revolut attracted over £12.9m in pledges shortly into a seven-day crowdfunding round aimed at raising £1 million, peer-to-peer travel money startup WeSwap raised £6.5m with Ascot Capital Partners who led the round with existing investors EC1 Capital and IW Capital. Savings and investment app Moneybox secured a further $1.75m of investment, taking total pre-launch funding to $4.75m, led by Oxford Capital Partners who join existing investors Samos Investments and other high net worth individuals, Zeek, the unwanted gift vouchers trading app, closes $9.5m Series B funding round led by Scale-Up Venture Capital, online charity cashback platform GoRaise raised £0.6m led by Northstar Ventures’ Business North East Accelerator Fund, SETL, the institutional payment and settlement infrastructure based on blockchain technology, announced the completion of its first round of private fundraising and Bitcoin and Ethereum contactless payments startup Plutus Tap & Pay crowdfunded over $1m in digital currencies.
Data analytics was also active. LexisNexis Risk Solutions, part of RELX Group, acquired Insurance Initiatives, the UK’s Property & Casualty Insurance industry data distribution platform, Xenomorph, the provider of data management technology to banks, investment managers and insurance companies, announced new funding from HSBC, Crowdsurfer, the data and intelligence service for crowd finance, raised additional funding led by Mustard Seed Venture Fund to bring total external investment to £1.2m and big data privacy start up Privitar closed an additional £3m financing round from Illuminate Financial Management and existing investors, including 24Haymarket and IQ Capital.
In lending technology, Crowdcube, the platform provider for crowdfunding, commenced a targetted £5m fundraise, peer-to-peer platform MarketInvoice announced a £7.2m investment led by the MCI.TechVentures Fund of MCI Capital, a listed Polish private equity group with existing investor Northzone also increasing its investment into the company, NVM Private Equity invested in Lending Works, the consumer Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lender as part of a £3m funding round and mobile-first banking service Tide closed a $2m seed funding round with investment from LocalGlobe and Passion Capital.
Elsewhere, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) announced an investment and partnership with Smart Pension that will broaden its offering for small schemes going through the auto enrolment process, regulatory reporting specialist Lombard Risk Management raised £8m though a placing and open offer, regtech compliance startup Behavox announced its first institutional funding round led by Hoxton Ventures and Promus Ventures, professional services firm EY acquired Innovalue, the strategic advisory firm for the insurance sector in Germany as well as for payments in Europe and EXL, the operations management and analytics business, acquiredLISS Systems, the insurance-related digital customer acquisition and policy administration solutions business.
In payments, GoHenry, the prepaid debit card and app raised £4m through a crowdfunding campaign, CardConcepts Europe, the global payments solutions business, secured investment from LaSalle Capital, Transfer Go, a UK-based money transfer platform, has swiped in $3.4m in Series A funding from Vostok Emerging Finance and Loot, the money management app for university students, secured £1.5m in funding from Austrian early-stage fund Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital.
Elsewhere, Broadridge Financial Solutions announced the acquisition of 4sight Financial Software Limited, a leading provider of securities finance and collateral management systems to financial institutions worldwide and Satago, the SME cashflow finance solution, announced a £4.6m fundraise from ESF Capital, the institutional marketplace lending accelerator, comprising an initial £3m credit line from ESF and an equity investment of £1.6 million. Tsys acquired the remaining 45% ownership share in its TSYS Managed Services EMEA joint venture (with Dimension Data) which is focused on providing outsourced business process and contact-centre services and support to TSYS’s international clients, identity intelligence specialist GB Groupagreed to acquire document authentication specialist IDscan Biometrics, as well as raise up to £25m through a placing, Markit, the financial information services provider, acquired Prism Valuation, the independent valuation and risk analysis of derivatives and structured products provider and Intertrust the global provider of trust and corporate services, acquired Elian Group, the regional trust and corporate services for £435m.
In the trading technology sector, global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group completed a c.$400m minority investment in ION Investment Group, the trading and workflow automation software solutions provider to financial institutions, central banks, and corporates. Markit, the provider of financial information services, announced that it had acquired an interest in commodity markets research and price reporting agency PRIMA; The Baltic Exchange, the provider of information on maritime transportation markets used for the trading and settlement of physical and derivative contracts, continues discussions with Singapore's SGX about potential takeover talks; The International Stock Exchange Group acquired the Startup Stock Exchange, an international marketplace for the trading of early stage company shares; and Codean, the CLO analytics platform was acquired by Trepp, the provider of information, analytics and technology to the CMBS, commercial real estate, and banking markets.
In investment technology, Asset International, the business intelligence provider for the asset management community, acquired Market Metrics and Matrix Solutions, the strategic consulting and data set providers for mutual funds, variable annuities, mortgages and life insurance; a number of high net worth individuals provided angel finance totalling £6.5m to Netwealth, a newly-launched online wealth adviser; SyndicateRoom, the distribution platform for companies to raise equity investment completed a Series A funding round, raising £3.1m, including £1m from Unicorn AIM VCT; and Synechron, the consulting and financial services technology innovator acquired Hatstand, the financial services consultancy and capital markets specialist to build in areas including cybersecurity, market data and risk and regulatory compliance Elsewhere, Tech Mahindra, the digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering business, agreed to acquire 100% of Target Group, the financial services processing platform, from Pollen Street Capital for £112m; TransferWise, the international money transfer platform, closed a $26m funding round led by investment manager Baillie Gifford, which joins Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Sir Richard Branson as investors in the company; Bango, the mobile payments and app store carrier billing provider, acquired the BilltoMobile carrier billing service and associated contracts to consolidate its position in the provision of carrier billing for app stores; startup bank Tandem reported raising £2m through crowdfunding platform Seedrs; and iBondis, the online P2P lending platform for SMEs, closed a venture capital funding round led by Run Capital.
The payments sector was busy in April. HNA Tourism Holding, the provider of travel and hotel services, acquired International Currency Exchange the foreign exchange and agency banking services provider and Remitly, the independent digital money transmitter, closed a $38.5m Series C funding round led by Stripes Group including participation from existing investors including DFJ, DN Capital, Bezos Expeditions and Trilogy Equity Partners. Azimo, the digital money transfer network, raised $15m led by the Japanese e-commerce and fintech services company Rakuten to consolidate its position in Europe and accelerate its expansion into Asia. Groupon and BBVA-backed SumUp and Rocket Internet’s Payleven, both offering smartphone accessories to enable mobile-based debit and credit card transactions, announced a merger across 1m customers and 15 countries and TranServ, the digital payments company, closed a Series C funding round of $15m led by IDFC and Micromax Informatics, one of India’s top consumer electronics companies along with existing investors Nirvana and Faering Capital India Evolving Fund. Veridu, the identity solutions business for the payments industry, secured an undisclosed investment from payments group Worldpay. Ixaris, the payments technology business, announced a separation and $6m funding round (from existing investors) for its payments technology arm, Ixaris Technologies and international transfer platform Tramonex raised a £250k grant from Innovate UK to fund the development of a cross currency payments system that leverages blockchain technology.
In the trading and capital markets technology sectors, European private equity fund Bridgepoint and global growth equity investor Summit Partners announced the acquisition of Calypso Technology, the capital markets software business. ICAP, the markets operator and provider of post trade risk mitigation and information services, acquired ENSO Financial Analytics, the data analytics platform for hedge funds and prime brokers, following its first investment in the business through its incubator Euclid Opportunities in June 2013. Cloud9Technologies, the cloud-based voice trading communication provider for financial firms and institutional traders, announced an initial investment round with J.P. Morgan, ICAP and Barclays. Almax Analytics, the news analytics system for capital markets, raised a seed funding round from backers, including executives, from MCSI, Aviva, the Fintech SEIS Fund and Jonas Dromberg.
In insurance technology, Accenture and Apax Partners, the private equity firm, agreed to form a joint venture to accelerate the innovation of claims, billing and policy administration software for the insurance industry. As part of the joint venture, funds advised by Apax will acquire a 60% stake in Accenture’s Duck Creek Technologies, with Accenture retaining a 40% stake. Aquiline CapitalPartners, the private equity firm investing in financial services, announced the acquisition of Simply Business, the leading online provider of small business insurance and mobile-based insurance platform. Trov International announced a $25.5m Series C funding round led by Oak HC/FT, the Fintech venture capital firm, Anthemis Group as well as Guidewire and Suncorp.
In lending technology, philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network announced an equity investment in Tandem Bank, the full-service digital bank and consumer loan technology platform Finanzcheck closed its Series C round with growth investor HarbourVest, Acton Capital Partners and HighlandEurope raising €33m and Habito, provider of online mortgage brokering services, secured £1.5m in a seed funding round led by Mosaic Ventures.
Elsewhere, Aire Labs, provider of online credit scoring services, secured funding from Accion’s Venture Lab to support Aire's international expansion, Experian, the global information services company, announced the acquisition of CSIdentity Corporation, a provider of consumer identity management and fraud detection services, employee engagement organisation Reward Gateway acquired online employee benefits platform Perkz, BrickVest, the pan-European online real estate investment platform raised £1m and personal finance business Pariti Technologies secured financing also from FinTech SEIS Fund, the first SEIS fund dedicated to FinTech investments
In terms of headline deals this month, the Boards of London Stock Exchangeand Deutsche Börse agreed terms of a recommended all-share merger of equals with implied equity value of c. £21bn. Assuming 100% acceptance of the Deutsche Börse offer, the merger will result in London Stock Exchange shareholders owning 45.6% of the combined group and Deutsche Börse shareholders owning 54.4% of the combined group on a fully diluted basis. Also insight, analytics and expertise provider IHS and financial information services provider Markit announced an all-share merger of equals to create a global leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. Based on the closing prices of IHS and Markit common stock on 18th March 2016, the implied equity value of the transaction is over $13bn.
In payments, Inflexion Private Equity completed the management buyout of Global Reach Partners, a foreign exchange specialist providing payments and hedging services to businesses and private individuals. Direct debit online payment services provider GoCardless raised $13m led by Notion Capital with participation from existing investors Balderton Capital, Accel Partners, and Passion Capital. CurrencyFair, the P2P currency exchange, raised an additional €8m in venture capital funding led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Proxy Ventures. FEXCO, the multinational financial services provider, acquired specialist retail foreign exchange company Currency Exchange Corporation. FairFX, the payments platform for retail and business foreign currency payments, raised £5m from AIM-listed activist investor Crystal Amber Fund. Blockchain monitoring and investigations business Elliptic announced a $5m Series A funding round led by Paladin Capital Group, with participation from Santander InnoVentures, KRW Schindler, Digital Currency Group, and existing investor, Octopus Ventures. Bitcoin platform RSK Labs raised $1m from bitcoin hardware mining producer Bitmain Technology as well as Coinsilium and Digital Currency Group, the blockchain investment firms, and Gate Ventures led a Series A bridging round for Ensygnia, the secure and frictionless mobile payment solutions provider, including a £0.5m investment for an 8.5% stake.
In lending technology, UK student loans provider Future Finance Loan Corp, raised £119m in growth and lending capital from QED Investors, BlackstoneStrategic Opportunity Fund, Colchis Capital, Invus Opportunities, KCK,DW Partners, Fenway Summer Ventures, Ridge Road Partners, 1/0 Capital and others. Atom Bank, the online-only startup bank backed by BBVA acquired Grasp, a digital design and development house, EZBob closed its Series C investment round with a £20m equity investment from Leumi Partners, the investment banking arm of Israel-based Bank Leumi, and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, an existing investor to increase its lending capacity and further develop its leading technology platform and LendInvest, the online peer-to-peer platform for property-related lending, secured £17m in Series B funding from venture capital backer Atomico. European P2P lending platform institutional investor Fintex Capital invested in P2P marketplace auxmoney via a bond issued to institutional investors.
In capital markets and trading technology, ChartIQ, the HTML5 financial charting business for capital markets, raised $4m in a Series A investment, led by Illuminate Financial, with participation from existing investors ValueStream, Tribeca Angels and additional angel investors. Markit, the financial information services provider which is being subject to the IHS merger, acquired the FitchSolutions' credit default swap (CDS) pricing service, Thomson Reuters acquired World Markets/Reuters FX benchmark rate calculation business of The World Markets Company from State Street Corporation, Platts, the commodities and energy markets information provider owned by McGraw Hill, acquired Commodity Flow, the commodity and energy markets technology and business intelligence service and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer invested in, and became a strategic advisor to, fixed income liquidity discovery start-up Algomi.
In investment technology, Betterment, the independent “robo-adviser”, announced a $100m Series E round of funding led by investment company Kinnevik and including participation from previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Anthemis Group, Menlo Ventures and Francisco Partners, Swanest, the digital investment assistant helping self-directed investors to invest in the stock market online, raised $10m in seed funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Digital administrator for savings and investments Quai Administration Services secured a further £1m investment and StockViews, the equity research platform, raised £250k in funding from the London Co Investment Fund and the angel network Craigie Capital.
Elsewhere, CSC the IT services and solutions provider invested in 360Globalnet, the digital insurance solutions provider. Equiniti, the technology-led administration solutions provider, acquired fraud analytics provider Risk Factor and KYC technology provider KYCnet. Multi-fund operational and risk management platform business MJH Group Holdings acquired Tower Gate Capital at a £4.5m valuation. Employee engagement organisation RewardGateway acquired health platform startup Yomp and Callcredit acquired ‘customer experience’ specialist Numero.
In the exchanges sector, activity continues with London Stock Exchange announcing a proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse offering substantial revenue and cost benefits. Rival exchange operator, and owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange has said that it is also considering making a takeover offer for the LSE having acquired Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Analysis, the independent data provider for the over-the-counter markets, earlier this month. Markit, the financial information services provider, acquired syndicated loan market systems integration software for sellside and buyside institutions developed by J.P. Morgan and Pico, the multi-asset electronic trading technologies provider, acquired AlgoSpan, an end-to-end trading infrastructure and real-time market data services provider. Early stage investment firm Holtzbrinck Ventures led a €6m financing round for accessible financial markets trading app Bux with Velocity Capital and Orange Growth Capitalalso taking part in the round.
In investment technology, Dunedin, the UK mid-market private equity house, made a significant investment in the asset and wealth management consulting firm Alpha Financial Markets Consulting in a transaction valued at £80m, StatPro Group the cloud-based portfolio analysis and asset pricing services provider continue their M&A activity with the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in InfoVest Consulting, the asset management software provider specialising in data warehouse, ETL and reporting software, venture capital investor Entrée Capital, alongside Valar Ventures and Goodwater Capital, invested $3m in seed funding for Stash, the investment app for millennials and OFF3R, the mobile crowdfunding aggregator, raised financing from Earlymarket.
In payments, mobile money transfer service WorldRemit raised $45m from Triple Point Venture Growth BDC Corp. and Silicon Valley Bank. This financing follows a previous $100m raise a year ago. Mobile payment app startup Droplet launched its second fundraising campaign on Crowdcube and Covercy the online international money transfers and currency foreign exchange solutions provider raised seed financing from SG VC. In lending technology, online peer-to-peer mortgage lender Landbay secured a strategic investment from property website Zoopla as well as a further Seedrs fundraising campaign and Acceleris Capital, the SME corporate finance adviserannounced a merger of interests with equity crowdfunding platform InvestingZone in a deal structured to bridge the gap between crowdfunding and traditional corporate finance. Mobile challenger bank Mondo reached a crowdfunding target of £1m in less than two minutes on Crowdcube, representing 3.33% of the equity in the challenger bank. This was on top of a £5m fundraise earlier this month from venture capital firm Passion Capital. Peer to peer lender Harmoney raised an additional $8.8m via a new share offering to P2P Global Investments and Stone Ridge Ventures.
Elsewhere, digital travel insurance distributor Hepstar received $2m in funding from technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners, AQ Metrics, the risk management, regulatory compliance and surveillance software provider, announced a $3m round from Frontline Ventures, Bluff Point Associates, and Enterprise Ireland. Embark Group, the parent company of Hornbuckle, took over self-investment pension administrator Avalon Investment Services from the administrators and Vistra Group, the corporate service provider, acquired business expansion services provider Nortons Group.
Digital Asset Holdings, the block chain technology company that provides settlement and ledger services for financial assets, raised $50m from institutional investors including ABN AMRO, Accenture, ASX, BNP Paribas, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Citi, CME Ventures, Deutsche Börse, ICAP, J.P. Morgan, Santander InnoVentures, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and The PNC Financial Services Group. Digital Asset Holdings subsequently increased the total funding to $60m with Goldman Sachs and IBM joining the funding round.
Elsewhere in payments, Rambus, the semiconductor and IP products group, acquired secure mobile payment and ticketing business Smart Card Software for £64.8m, Capita, the provider of business process outsourcing and professional services, acquired the online payment business of PayPoint, the owner and operator of a branded retail network, for £14m and Electronic Payments and Services (EPS), the retail banking technology and ATM network services provider, raised $25m from growth equity investor Apis Partners. Blockchain investment company Coinsilium increased its shareholding in SatoshiPay, the Bitcoin payment business, to 14.5%, and venture investor Digital Currency Group acquired Bitcoin media and events company CoinDesk. Revolut, the global money app, raised $4.8m with Index Ventures, joining the seed round alongside Balderton Capital and others, dopay, the unbanked sector payroll provider, secured $2.4m in a pre-series A funding round led by Techstars Ventures and Force Over Mass Capital and electronic solutions provider Cardnet launched a cashless payment JV with Sziget, the international festival organiser.
Lending technology was also active. Digital challenger bank Starling announced its latest funding round of $70m from Harald McPike, a US-based quantitative trader, BlueVine Capital, the online provider of working capital financing to small businesses, raised $40m from a range of institutional investors including Rakuten FinTech Fund and follow-on investments from Lightspeed Venture Partners, 83North and Correlation Ventures, Dawn Capital and DN Capital participated in a £20m funding round for recruitment contract finance businessSonovate, Smartika, the social lending platform, completed a €4.5m capital raise with Hamilton Ventures and Zouk Capital invested in the cloud-based supplier financing platform Taulia.
Investor and wealth management platform True Potential announced the sale of a significant minority stake to FTV Capital valuing the business in excess of £150m, AIM-listed asset management portfolio analysis solution provider StatPro Group acquired asset manager risk analytics provider Investor Analytics and Moneybox, the digital savings and investment app, raised $3m from Betfair and Ocado investor Samos Investments.Finally, Accenture acquired Formicary, the provider of consulting and systems integration services for the trading platforms of banks, asset managers, hedge funds and clearing organisations in the UK and North America. Markit, the financial information services provider, acquired the position reconciliation technology assets of DTCC Loan/SERV, a subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and FD (First Derivatives), the software and consulting services provider acquired QuantumKDB, to support the growth of its Kx database business, for up to £2.2m.