The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday February 26, 2021 –

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

South African digital bank TymeBank lands $109M from UK and Philippines investors

South Africa-based digital bank, Tymebank (part of Singapore-based Tyme group of companies) has raised $109 million from Apis Partners and JG Summit Holdings to continue with its business expansion; Tymebank was launched in February 2019 and has 2.8 million customers with plans to reach 4 million next year.

Klarna Said to Raise Up to $1 Billion at $31 Billion Valuation

Klarna is reportedly raising between $800 million to $1 billion at a $31 billion valuation ahead of a public listing; Klarna had raised $650 million in equity funding in September last year at a valuation close to $11 billion.

Open Banking platform Tarabut Gateway raises $13 million in MENA’s largest seed round

Bahrain-headquartered Open Banking platform Tarabut Gateway has raised $13 million in a seed round led by Target Global with participation from other European and regional investors; Tarabut Gateway works with multiple banks in the Middle East and India and enables fintechs and other financial services providers to access financial data of customers from partner banks through its Open Banking APIs.

European banks seek technical partners to help build rival to Visa and Mastercard

The European Payments Initiative (EPI), a bank-backed JV that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa, has put out an RFI for ‘qualified technical partners’ to help build its central infrastructure; the EPI’s goal is to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet, and P2P payments.

Afterpay and Stripe Partner to Offer ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Payments for Merchants

Afterpay is partnering with Stripe to offer Afterpay’s credit and payment service to Stripe merchants through “an easy and seamless integration” in turn allowing Stripe merchants to offer their shoppers the ability to make payments in four installments; the new service will be available to Stripe merchants in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, with Canada to follow.

Coinbase files for direct listing after revenue more than doubles in 2020

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase his filed to go public via a direct listing; according to the filing documents, Coinbase has 43 million users, and generated net revenue of $1.14 billion in 2020 (up from $483 million in 2019), and net income of $322 million (after posting a loss in 2019).

Featurespace Launches Automated Deep Behavioral Networks

Featurespace, a fraud prevention company within the banking, card, and payments industry has introduced Automated Deep Behavioral Networks to provide a deeper layer of defense to protect consumers from scams, account takeover, card and payments fraud; according to Featurespace, the invention represents a “breakthrough in deep learning technology.”

Affirm Announces Plans For Its First Card with Access to Buy Now, Pay Later

Affirm has announced plans for the Affirm Card, a “debit card” with pay later functionality; the Affirm Card will allow consumers to pay upfront, from their bank account, or pay later, by using a unique post-purchase feature that will enable eligible purchases to be paid back in installments.

Eftpos Australia to launch national QR code payment scheme

Eftpos, Australia’s national debit card scheme, has announced details for a QR code payments network rollout covering online, mobile, and in-store payment transactions; the new QR code payments network will enable local home-grown innovation by connecting numerous APIs, consumer digital wallets, and supporting technologies on top of the existing eftpos network rails.

First Boulevard raises $5M for its digital bank aimed at Black America

First Boulevard (formerly Tenth) a new digital bank targeting Black Americans has raised $5 million in funding from Barclays, Anthemis, and a group of angel investors; First Boulevard currently has 100,000 people on its waitlist and is expected to launch in the third quarter this year.