The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday May 29, 2020 –

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

UBS to Start Own Venture Capital Fund in Effort to Digitize Bank

UBS is establishing a venture capital fund to invest in fintech companies; the fund will invest between $10 million to $20 million in each company and is currently looking at three broad categories: client engagement, investing and financing platforms, and bank operations improvement.

Airtel Payments Bank​ group ties up with Mastercard for farmers, small and medium enterprises

India’s Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Mastercard to develop customized products catering to a broad array of underbanked customer segments including farmers, retail consumers, and SME’s; the initiative is geared towards driving the adoption of formal banking and digital payments in the country.

Facebook rebrands Libra wallet Calibra to Novi

Facebook has rebranded its cryptocurrency wallet Calibra to ‘Novi’ to create some separation between the Libra Association and itself; Novi’s first product will be a cryptocurrency wallet that can be downloaded as a standalone Novi app and also be accessible directly in Messenger and WhatsApp.

Introducing Samsung Money by SoFi: Do More With Your Money

Samsung has announced the launch of ‘Samsung Money by SoFi’, a high-interest, no fee cash management account and a Mastercard debit card, in partnership with SoFi; the product is currently in wait list and will be available later this summer.

Stripe launches in five more European countries

Stripe has expanded to an additional five countries in Europe – the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta; Stripe has been available for beta testers in these countries for a while and their feedback was used to optimize the local Stripe experience.

Payments Startup Marqeta More Than Doubles Valuation To $4.3 Billion

Marqeta has raised $150 million in new funding from a single investor at a $4.3 billion valuation; Marqeta has declined to comment on the investor’s name, but it is thought to be Los Angeles based investment firm, Capital Group.

Welcome Technologies Launches Digital Banking Services for U.S. Immigrants

Welcome Technologies has launched a mobile bank account and Visa debit card targeted at Hispanic immigrants in partnership with Green Dot Bank; the account and card will offer a simple enrollment experience, no fees, and content related to financial wellness.

Existing backers put another £40M into UK challenger bank Starling

UK-based challenger bank Starling has raised an additional £40 million in funding led by existing backers Harry McPike’s JTC and Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited; according to the bank, the new funding will enable it to continue investing in growth and provide lending support to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Latin American open banking startup Belvo raises $10m

Mexico City-based Belvo has raised $10 million from Founders Fund and Kaszek Ventures to grow its API platform across Latin America; Belvo’s API’s are currently being used by neobanks, credit providers, and personal finance tools to connect bank accounts to their apps.

Goldfinch Partners acquires payments fintech Vesta

Goldfinch Partners has invested $125 million in Vesta in a bid to take control of more than 80% of the company; founded in 1995, Vesta provides fraud and risk management support for online payment processing through its “zero-risk” and “zero-liability” payment guarantees.