Posted In:

Google, Payments

Bringing Sexy Back To Finance


Apr 16, 2022


Roxy Horrie

Posted In:

Google, Payments


Apr 16, 2022


Roxy Horrie


“AI”...“machine learning”... “data lake”...“the Cloud”... buzzwords that when used out of context can reveal an amateur attempt to portray unwarranted product sophistication, but when aggregated with purpose can create a powerful engine. Google has picked up on the latter use case, working towards a comprehensive digitization strategy to modernize the Company’s CFO tech stack.

In recreating an enterprise’s internal architecture, consolidation is key – a concept once unfathomable at companies of this scale. With access to a single source of truth, management teams at businesses of any size can better develop holistic company strategy rather than siloed group-specific initiatives.

Many others are following closely in Google’s footsteps. The evolution of finance department automation from a tangential task to a core priority is long overdue, highlighted by the constant struggle teams face in tackling cumbersome, manual processes. For example, even with “robust” systems in place, controllers still spend 70% of their time closing the books and managing compliance outside of the system, instead of analyzing data to power the business.

The upfront investment pays, both literally and figuratively. Businesses become less susceptible to error by deploying automated processes to detect outliers, validate data, and close their books, in turn relieving employees of days of excruciating work to focus on higher ROI activities.

In leveraging enhanced technology to develop a more robust understanding of existing and future challenges, humans aren’t off the hook. While “tech” is seemingly overtaking “touch,” the equation will still require teams to dig deeper on what the data identifies as problematic…..Sexy eh!

Portfolio News

IMMO raises landmark $75m Series B funding to execute on $2.5b in capital demand and become the largest residential investment platform in Europe - Huge congratulations to the whole IMMO team who from their HQ in Shepherds Bush, London have closed the largest Series B in European proptech history! Having experienced 1,200% growth in the last 6 months, IMMO will use the new funds to deepen its technology and operations teams across offices in London, Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Madrid, and Delhi. Welcome aboard OAK HC/FT! Read more

Norrsken22-backed Nigerian startup plans $125m round - Sabi, which connects informal traders with suppliers, is seeking $125m in a Series B funding round planned to start in September, its co-founder, Ademola Adesina, said in an interview. The firm, which also operates in Kenya, plans to open in South Africa this month, having already hired staff. It is also setting up a finance vehicle to help its clients raise money for expansion. Read more

He raised $15m to help your new customers pay for your expensive SaaS plans - On this episode of the podcast series "SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders", Baxter Lanius, CEO and Founder of FTC portfolio company Alternative, joins host Nathan Latka to discuss his journey so far as a start-up founder and what he's building. Read more

Accounting software startup led by Peloton co-founder makes St. Louis key to its operations - Avise, an accounting software startup led by a co-founder of Peloton has made St. Louis a hub of its operations, with the city being home to a cluster of its software development employees and its only office. Read more

Bringing Sexy Back To Finance

Google Finance Head: Anything that can be automated, we strive to automate - The software giant is using a combination of tools, including artificial intelligence, automation, the cloud, a data lake and machine learning to run its finance operations and offers programming and other training to its employees. Read more

Atlassian puts easy-to-use coding tools in hands of business people - Aussie enterprise software firm Atlassian is leaning on automation and easy-to-use computer coding tools to give its workers more control over the applications they use in areas like finance, sales, and marketing—without going through IT departments. Read more

Industry News

Bank deposits could drop for first time since World War II - Over the past two months, bank analysts have slashed their expectations for deposit levels at the biggest banks. The 24 institutions that make up the benchmark KBW Nasdaq Bank Index are now expected to see a 6% decline in deposits this year. Those 24 banks account for nearly 60% of what was $19t in deposits in December, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Read more

Fintech startup Brex bets big on software, lands DoorDash as a customer - The company revealed that it is making a big push into financial software with the release of a new spend management product called Brex Empower. This move means Brex's revenue generation will be more diversified as it will now be making money off of interchange fees and recurring revenue from subscriptions to its software. Read more

Fireblocks and fintech major FIS bring DeFi to capital markets - The partnership, announced Wednesday, will enable FIS’s 6,400 clients to access large crypto trading venues, liquidity providers, lending desks and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. Those clients include a buy-side assortment of asset managers and hedge funds, as well as banks and brokers. Read more

Stripe, Alphabet and others to spend nearly $1b on carbon removal - The Frontier fund, a public-benefit corporation owned by Stripe, has also received funding from Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey. It will help fledgling carbon-removal companies scale up and reduce the cost of withdrawing each ton of CO₂ from the air, which would benefit all companies in the world looking to buy high-quality offsets. Read more

EU Digital Finance Platform launches - The European Commission has launched the EU Digital Finance Platform, a website designed to build dialogue between fintech players and supervisors. Read more

VC crypto investments grow tenfold in LatAm - Mounting cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America is drawing investment capital into the region, signifying that growing interest among its citizens is leading to attractive opportunities for both businesses and investors. Read more

WhatsApp permitted to extend payments service to 100m users in India - WhatsApp started to work on a payments service in India as early as 2017 but its pilot and test payments rollout in India in early 2018 quickly prompted years-long regulatory maze. The announcement this week comes at a time when NPCI is looking to enforce a rule that would ensure that no single payments app processes more than 30% of all UPI transactions in a month, a requirement that could significantly impact Google Pay and PhonePe. Read more

PolySign to buy digital asset fund administrator MG Stover for cash and stock - MG Stover services hedge funds, private equity and venture capital funds and has over $40b in digital assets under administration. The company has developed a focus on digital assets as the sector grows. This acquisition will allow PolySign to build on its suite of custody offerings while also adding an element of fund administration services to institutional investors. Read more

How Jack Dorsey quit Twitter to become bitcoin’s spiritual leader - Over the past two years, Dorsey has fashioned himself as the currency’s unofficial spiritual leader and public defender, promoting it constantly from his Twitter feed and taking swipes at tech’s venture capitalists who are funding rival crypto projects. Read more

Coinbase suspends buy orders in India days after launch - The move follows a strange statement from the National Payments Corporation of India, the governing body that oversees UPI in the country, which said hours after Coinbase’s India launch earlier this week that it was not aware of any crypto exchange using UPI payments instrument. Coinbase began testing UPI payments in India several weeks ago. Read more

Select Financings - Paris based buy-to-let investment marketplace raised €12m in Series A funding led by 360 Capital. Read more

BIoXroute - Chicago based DeFi trading startup raised $70m in Series B funding led by SoftBank. Read more

Circle - Boston based payment and treasury infrastructure solution for online businesses raised $400m in growth funding led by BlackRock. Read more

Compt - Cambridge based stipend management platform raised $13m in Series A funding led by Battery Ventures. Read more

Covr - Hartford based digital life insurance startup raised $15m in Series B funding led by Stone Point Ventures. Read more

Dfns - Paris based provider of decentralized custody as an API raised $13.5m in growth funding led by White Star Capital. Read more

EvolutionIQ - New York based insurance claims platform raised $21m in Series A funding led by Brewer Lane Ventures. Read more

Kpler - Brussels based provider of data to commodities traders raised $200m in growth funding led by Five Arrows and Insight Partners. Read more

Leatherback - UK based cross-border payments startup raised $10m in pre-Seed funding led by ZedCrest Capital. Read more

Mintbase - Lisbon based NFT protocol raised $12.5m in Series A funding led by Coinbase Ventures and Libertus Capital. Read more

Moonpay - Miami based fiat on-ramp platform that allows users to buy crypto and NFTs with credit cards raised $86.7m in Series A funding led by Tiger Global and Coatue. Read more

Montonio - Estonia based e-commerce payments and post-checkout experience company raised €11m in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. Read more

Newfront - California based insurance brokerage platform raised $200m in Series D funding led by Goldman Sachs and B Capital. Read more

Nomad - San Francisco based cross-chain messaging protocol raised $22.4m in Seed funding led by Polychain Capital. Read more

Pax8 - Colorado based commerce marketplace raised $185m in growth funding led by SoftBank Vision. Read more

Payaut - Netherlands based payments platform raised €8m in Seed funding led by Gradient Ventures. Read more

Proxymity - London based investor communications platform raised $52m in Series B funding led by Mediant, Citi Ventures, and Deutsche Börse Group. Read more

Stark Bank - Brazil based embedded finance startup raised $45m in Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital. Read more

Stenn - London based international trade finance platform for SMBs raised $50m in growth funding led by Centerbridge. Read more

Ugami - Florida based fintech gaming startup raised a $4.8m in Seed funding led by Harlem Capital Partners and ULU Ventures. Read more

Umba - Lagos based digital banking app raised $15m in Series A funding led by Costanoa Ventures. Read more

Voyager Innovations - Philippines based operator of payment app PayMaya and neobank Maya Bank raised $210m in growth funding led by SIG VC. Read more

Wagestream - London based income streaming startup raised $60m in Series C funding led by Smash Capital and BlackRock. Read more

Winden - Los Angeles based digital banking services provider for entrepreneurs raised $5.3m in Seed funding led by Accel. Read more

Zevoy - Helsinki based expense management platform raised €15m in Series A funding led by Blossom Capital. Read more


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