The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday January 22, 2020 –

Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.

PPRO nabs $180M at a $1B+ valuation to bring together the fragmented world of payments

UK-based payments company PPRO has raised $180 million in a new funding round that pushes the company’s valuation past $1 billion; PPRO is focused on the ‘localization’ of cross-border payments and helps marketplaces, payments providers, and e-commerce companies accept payments.

Payments Startup Payoneer in Merger Talks With SPAC

Payoneer, an online payments company is in discussions to go public through a merger with FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp., a SPAC led by Chairman Betsy Cohen; Payoneer specializes in providing cross-border payments services to marketplaces, networks, businesses, and professionals across 200 countries.

Brigit raises $35 million

Brigit a financial wellness startup has raised a $35 million Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners; Brigit helps people improve their financial situation through a unique business model encompassing budgeting and savings, transparent fees and terms, and a $250 advance for emergencies.

ACI Worldwide Weighs Its Options. It Could Sell for as Much as $6.26 Billion

ACI is reportedly evaluating strategic options given pressure from Starboard Value and has retained Goldman Sachs to facilitate a sale; ACI is expected to attract attention from a number of well known payments and technology companies as well as PE firms, and could be valued between $4.75 billion to $6.26 billion.

China plans tougher antitrust rules for non-bank payments industry

China’s central bank has proposed ramping up antitrust measures for companies in the non-bank payments industry, such as Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay to curb concentration of market power; under the proposed draft rules, the central bank can advise the state council’s antitrust committee to stop companies abusing their dominant position or even break up a non-bank institution if it “severely hinders the healthy development of the payment service market”.

TransferWise enlists Goldman and Morgan Stanley for IPO

According to Sky News, TransferWise has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to co-ordinate an IPO in London later this year; launched about 10 years ago, TransferWise is one of Europe’s big fintech success stories and is expected to be valued well over $5 billion by the public markets.—sky-news

Leveling the playing field to enable more voices in fintech

Plaid is launching FinRise, an incubator program targeted at early-stage entrepreneurs that are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color; the incubator will run nine-month long programs and concentrate on providing support in three key areas: capital and services, expert resources to accelerate growth, and mentorship.

Paystone Raises $69M in Financing

Canadian payments and merchant acquiring company Paystone closed on $69 million in debt and equity financing from the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) and National Bank of Canada; Paystone supports over 25,000 merchant locations across Canada and the US and handles over $10 billion in card volume.

dLocal Partners With Dinie to Bring Buy Now Pay Later to Brazilian SMEs

dLocal has announced a partnership with Brazilian company Dinie to enable global merchants to offer instalment payments to their customers in Brazil; the Dinie Paylater solution (Dinie Pay) allows merchants to get paid up-front and in full, while their customers can pay in three to nine-month installments without using a card or Boleto.

Wall Street frets as Elizabeth Warren ally takes consumer protection role

The changing of the guard at the CFPB is expected to give the agency new clout in enforcing consumer focused financial regulation; according to various insiders, the CFPB is expected to prioritize a review of how lenders are complying with the Cares Act, and then also look at student lending, payday lending, bank fees, and fintech.