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March, 2017

Insurance technology was busy in March. The Travelers Companies acquired Simply Business from Aquiline Capital Partners for an enterprise value of approximately £400m, including the repayment of debt and other obligations at closing. Telematics technology provider The Floow received a £13m equity investment to accelerate global growth from China-based investment group Fosun, with investors United Electronics Co, and Direct Line Group also involved in the transaction. CPP Group, the international provider of life assistance products, acquired Blink Innovation, the insurtech start-up targeting the travel insurance space, for an initial consideration of €1m million plus additional compensation of up to €20m based on future product development. In investment technology, DST Systems, the strategic advisory, technology, and operations outsourcing company, announced the acquisition of State Street's ownership interest in the Boston Financial Data Services and International Financial Data Services Limited joint ventures. CBPE Capital invested in Xceptor the process automation and data management business, alongside the existing management team, having acquired a majority stake from SVG Capital. FeedStock, the intelligent information management platform, announced a strategic investment from Illuminate Financial Management and Broadridge Financial Solutions acquired Message Automation to expand its regulatory and compliance capabilities for capital markets firms and investment managers and savings app Squirrel raised £585,000 in a crowdfunding campaign from 70 investors, all through crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom. The payments sector was also active in March. Currency Cloud, cross border multi-currency payment transfers platform, raised £20.0m in a late stage funding round led by new investor GV with support from existing investors Anthemis, Notion Capital, Rakuten and Sapphire Ventures. The funds will be used to fuel the company’s continued growth and ongoing global expansion. Revolut announced an upcoming £4m crowdfunding round, Apis Growth acquired a non-controlling minority stake in Trans-Fast Remittance, the global payments company, to facilitate its expansion into Africa and Asia while Loyalzoo, the digital loyalty card service for small businesses, received a second investment by a member of Wild Blue Cohort, the angel investor network. Finally, business-to-business payment solutions provider and virtual card specialist Optal announced the acquisition of automated payments company Invapay. Elsewhere, The European Commission has officially blocked the proposed merger between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse, citing competition concerns. Numerix, the risk technology business, acquired TFG Financial Systems, the real-time risk, P&L and position management system, Freetrade the stock market trading platform secured £1.1m through its second equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. financial data analytics firm Quantexa raised £3.3m in Series A fundraising led by Albion Ventures and HSBC, RavenPack, the hedge fund big data analytics platform, secured $5m backing from Draper Esprit and consumer finance fintech business Quint Group secured £10m from Tosca Debt Capital to fund its recapitalisation also enabling the CEO to increase his stake to 90%.

February, 2017

The challenger banks were active this month. Atom Bank raised a further £83m in equity capital from existing major shareholders including BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management. Start-up bank Monzo agreed a new £19.5m investment round with Thrive Capital, Passion Capital and Orange Digital Ventures to fund the launch of current accounts and team additions. In addition, a further crowdfunding round of £2.5m was raised at the same valuation as the institutional investors.

In payments, Prepaid Financial Services, the e-money issuer and alternative banking provider, acquired Spectre Technologies, the financial services, payments, and fintech software development company. Oxygen Finance, the early payment provider, acquired Satago, the on-demand cash flow finance solution for SMEs, to offer early payment, finance and cash flow solutions for both SMEs and large organisations. Bitcoin debit card provider Wirex raised £2.5m from the Japanese financial services group SBI HoldingsDimebox, the online payments platform, raised €5m in a series A round from the BillPro Group, the global payment processing organisation. Venture capital firm Creandum led a €5.5m funding round for company expenses management company Pleo and Imperial FX, the money transfer firm, reported a £50m injection from an undisclosed European company.

In insurance technology, private equity firm Inflexion completed the £40m buyout of MyPolicy, the telematics insurance broker, Verisk Analytics, the data analytics provider, acquired Emergent Network Intelligence, the insurance claims technology and fraud detection solutions business and Charles Taylor InsureTech acquired a majority stake in Otak, an insurance technology platform business specialising in delegated authority solutions.

Elsewhere, Dealflo, the financial agreement automation software, announced a £10m investment round to expand product innovation and into new sectors and geographies, funded by Holtzbrinck Ventures and Frog Capital, together with existing shareholder, Notion CapitalEuronext invested $10m for a minority stake in fixed income technology provider, Algomi, which enables corporate bond traders to access Algomi’s global bond information network. Bank API platform provider TrueLayer launched its private beta following a $1.3m funding round from Connect Ventures and Graph Ventures. Online real estate investment platform BrickVest raised £2m in its latest funding round and personal financial management and savings solution, Squirrel, completed a £0.5m early-stage fundraising. Perfect Channel, the enterprise auction platform, secured £2m growth funding from Beringea to build the senior management team, launch in the U.S. and expand the development team and blockchain regtech startup, Coinfirm, announced a $700k investment from Luma Ventures.

January, 2017

In lending technology, Funding Circle, the peer to peer lending services provider, raised £82m led by Accel, with participation from existing Funding Circle investors, including Baillie Gifford, DST Global, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures, Temasek and Union Square Ventures.  Online mortgage broker Habito closed a £5.5m Series A funding round led by Ribbit Capital and existing investor Mosaic Ventures, Trussle, the online mortgage broker, closed £4.5m in funding led by Orange Growth Capital, with participation from LocalGlobe, Zoopla and Seedcamp and home collected credit lender Morses Club acquired Shelby Finance, the online instalment loan provider.

Payments was also active.  Swedish payments company Klarna acquired online payments provider BillPay in a deal understood to value the business at £60m and enabling Klarna to create Germany’s largest online payments company.  Private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners agreed to buy a controlling stake in Heidelpay, a payment services provider for online merchants, payments startup iZettle raised €60m in equity from existing investors as well as debt from VPC Specialty Lending, Victory Park Capital’s credit fund, Maven Capital Partners led a £2.7m investment in hopsitality-related mobile ordering and payments platform QikServe and bitcoin micropayments startup SatoshiPay secured £640k funded by Blue Star CapitalFairFX, the multicurrency payments service, agreed to acquire Q Money, including its associated e-money licence to enable FairFX to rationalise its cost base and create a digital banking product, for £425k to be satisfied by a mixture of cash and shares, plus up to £825k payable over the next three years payable in shares subject to performance milestones. Kashing, the payment technology platform for the hospitality sector, raised £150k in funding led by Startup Funding Club.  Crossflow Payments, the alternative supply chain-based finance platform, secured a “significant investment” from Calibrate Management, to take a minority stake.  Seedcamp is understood to have sold part of its stake in money transfer firm Transferwise whilst Andreesen Horowitz is reported to have increased its own stake in Transferwise and Kwikpay, the app for prepaid services, secured a £150k funding target.

In trading technology, BrokerTec, NEX Group’s global electronic fixed income trading platform, acquired a controlling stake in e-MID SIM SpA, the electronic central limit order book platform, The Japan Exchange Group, the merged Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges, paid $1m for a minority stake in risk management and analytics software provider OpenGamma and BT acquired IP Trade, the trading floor communications and collaboration solutions business.
 
In insurance technology, hourly online car insurance start-up Cuvva raised £1.5m in seed funding from venture capital fund Localglobe, data analytics provider Verisk Analytics acquired Arium, the liability risk modelling and decision support business for the casualty (insurance) market and social media and search data insurance technology start-up Bought By Many closed a £7.5m Series A round led by Octopus Ventures with backing from Munich Re.

Elsewhere, wealth manager and stockbroker software business Babel Systems was acquired by the digital platform for financial services business InvestCloud for $20m. Artificial Intelligence powered personal finance platform Cleo raised $700k from high net worth investors.  Information services provider Thomson Reuters acquired Avox, a leading supplier of legal entity data, hierarchies and identifiers on financial entities, Crowdsurfer, the crowd finance data and intelligence service, raised £1m with angel investors and Equiniti, the technology outsourcer and administration services business, acquired data analytics and cyber security business Marketing Source and loan brokerage firm Gateway2Finance.