Welcome to the first FinTech Update! In this series we will post bi-weekly updates on developments in fintech. For extended analyses, look out for our research articles coming soon. With that said, let’s get right into it:

Paidy raises $55m Series C

Japanese startup Paidy has just raised an additional $55 million in funding, adding investments from the Japense Itochu Corporation as well Goldman Sachs. Targeted at Japanese online shoppers, Paidy always consumers to shop online without entering credit card information and running the risk of credit card fraud. Instead, customers can simply enter the phone number or email address associated with their Paidy account and settle their bills with Paidy at the end of the month. To make the process as frictionless as possible, Paidy implements machine learning to underwrite each transaction and ensure that merchants are paid. With the Series C, Paidy has increased its total funding to $80 million.

Revolut announces trading platform, hits 2m users

If you haven’t heard about Revolut, they’re trying to be your one-stop shop for personal financial management. They’ve just hit 2 million total users and 1 million in the UK, with plans to launch in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. Some of the features they currently offer are:

  • Multi-currency accounts allowing you to spend money abroad at the real exchange rates and quickly send free money transfers and ATM withdrawals
  • Buy, hold, and exchange Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin with 25 fiat currencies
  • Personal Budgeting and automatic categorization of spending to analyze progress
  • A Venmo-like service allowing you to instantly send and request money from friends and split the bill

And just recently, the UK startup announced plans to operate a commission-free stock trading platform. While Robinhood has a been a big hit in the U.S., there is no such platform in Europe and Revolut hopes to capitalize on that opportunity. There is no timeframe for this release but they have said that Premium users will gain early access.

Ant Financial shakes up the Chinese Banking System

Stella Yifan Xie from WSJ wrote a great article about Ant Financial Services Group, the financial-technology company founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma. They “handled more payments last year than Mastercard”, completing more than $8 trillion in transactions, which is twice Germany’s GDP (Xie). Read about the banking industry’s reaction to their growth and how they are being disrupted.

InsureTech Connect opens applications for ITC 2018

InsureTech Connect is hosting their third-annual ITC conference in Las Vegas from October 2-3, 2018. As part of this conference, they have opened applications for the ITC 2018 Student Program.

The program is a two-day event that offers up to 10 students the opportunity to learn from and network with the leading tech entrepreneurs, investors and executives in the Insurance industry. Some of the 2018 speakers are:

Caribou Honig, FinTech VC and Co-Founder of InsureTech Connect
Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma
Curtis Scott, Uber Global Head of Insurance
Jeff To, SalesForce Global Head of Insurance

And many more!
Applications are due no later than Wednesday, August 8 and ITC will provide up to 3 nights hotel accommodations for the selected students.

Visit https://insuretechconnect.com/students/ for information on the application process and student eligibility requirements and https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/07/prweb15629630.htm to learn more about InsureTech Connect and Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS).

Posted by:Benjamin Smith

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