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Jan 08, 2022


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Jan 08, 2022



Taking a step back after what was a record year across many fronts (in both VC and fintech specifically), one trend that stands out in particular is the sheer volume of M&A that took place this year.

For 2021, M&A and SPAC transaction volume hit $337b (+40% YoY). With easy access to capital and still subdued interest rates, this is not entirely surprising - and 2022 will likely be another strong year. Companies that don’t end up as category winners will be consolidated, especially considering the fact that the technology and talent that makes up these companies is a major step up from legacy incumbents. However, these periods of consolidation won’t happen all at once - rather they will play out in different parts of the market at different times.

In Latin America, we’ve seen impressive acquisition tendencies, as unprecedented levels of venture backing have encouraged mature players to strengthen product offerings and regulatory compliance via the M&A route. In June, Mexican business lender Credijusto set the pace by acquiring Banco Finterra (first time in the region’s history that a fintech company acquired a bank). Argentine challenger bank Ualá followed in November by reportedly acquiring Mexico’s ABC Capital. From a more product-centered lens, Konfio notably bought Sr. Pago in Mexico, widening the suite of possibilities it can offer to SMEs.

In Europe, the sector is primed to continue to be the greatest contributor to M&A activity on the continent. This year, Mastercard and Visa entered the foray with two of the largest acquisitions, the former acquiring open-banking startup Tink for €1.8b and the latter acquiring cross-border payments CurrencyCloud for £700m. Larger fintech players are also active in expanding their product offerings and coverage, spearheaded by Klarna’s acquisition spree of six companies. International players are strategically entering the continent via acquisition as well, with J.P. Morgan Chase acquiring Nutmeg.

With the first week of the new year behind us - and several acquisitions already announced in the defi space - we expect the momentum to continue. Then again, in the world of enterprise dating, things can be painfully human at times.

Portfolio News

CSI partners with NYDIG to provide financial institutions simple, secure access to bitcoin - Powered by NYDIG, the new offering allows banking customers to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin directly within CSI’s (a provider of end-to-end fintech and regtech solutions) digital banking platform, creating a safe and efficient way for users to manage their digital transactions. Read more

Octane announces key milestones in advance of continued market expansion - Octane had a banner year in 2021. The company, through its lender Roadrunner Financial, almost doubled loan fundings and grew fundings in its online direct-to-consumer channel by over 400%. Octane enrolled more than 440 dealers, increasing its dealer partners to over 4,000. The company also signed five new OEM partnerships, the largest being Polaris. Read more

Swipe Left / Swipe Right?

A month-by-month look at 2021’s record year of dealmaking - After such a whirlwind of activity over the course of the past year, Bloomberg takes a step back to look at the deals that defined each month, covering selected highlights from a very busy year in M&A. Read more

The state of European tech 2021: 21 things you should know - 2021 has been a bumper year in the region - private funding is triple last year’s record levels, unicorns are springing up faster than ever before, and technology company exits hit $275b of combined EV. Europe is cementing itself as a global B2B startups powerhouse and crypto is finally taking off. Read more

Crypto industry M&A activity surged 131% in 2021 - Cryptocurrency deal-making clocked in record volumes after a frenzied year for merger and acquisitions, with approximately $6.1b in M&A volume driven by crypto-native, finance, and technology companies. Read more

2 crypto M&A shops are merging ahead of a wave of expected deal-making activity - Two boutique investment banking advisory practices in the crypto market (Architect Partners and Emergents) have merged ahead of an expected deal-making frenzy in 2022. 2021 was a busy year for crypto M&A with nearly 200 acquisitions, according to The Block Research. Some of that activity was driven by players like Coinbase, which snapped up Bison Trails and wallet firm BRD. Read more

Industry News

How NFTs became a $40b market in 2021 - In the longer term, enthusiasts hope tokens will one day power e-commerce in any metaverse or metaverses, futuristic digital avatar-filled virtual worlds. Here, NFTs could designate ownership of virtual goods, be that clothing for digital avatars or art for the walls of their digital houses. Read more

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann is becoming an apartment mogul - Entities tied to Mr. Neumann have been quietly acquiring majority stakes in more than 4,000 apartments valued at more than $1b in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and other U.S. cities, according to court, property and people familiar with the transactions. Many of these investments occurred within the past year. Read more

How Shopify outfoxed Amazon to become the everywhere store - A great long-form read from Bloomberg on how Tobi Lütke transformed the Canadian upstart into an e-commerce giant by being the anti-Bezos. How long can Tobi keep the formula working? Read more

‘Buy now, pay later’ loans may soon play bigger role in credit scores - For now, many of these smaller, short-term loans aren’t reported in a consistent way to credit bureaus, so borrowers don’t build a formal credit history by using them. But as the loans become more mainstream, that’s changing. Read more

DAO aims to raise $5m to resurrect Blockbuster Video - BlockbusterDAO, which currently comprises about 9,000 netizens on Twitter and a Discord server who deliberate over how the DAO can achieve its goals, plans on turning Blockbuster into a decentralized film (DeFilm) streaming studio. DeFilm is an experiment launched in July that proposes to “actually make a movie with decision making happening on a blockchain.” Read more

Bank accidentally deposits $176m into people’s accounts on Christmas Day - Thousands of people received a surprise gift on Christmas Day this year when European bank Santander accidentally deposited £130m ($176m) across 75,000 transactions. The mistake happened when payments from 2,000 business accounts in the U.K. were processed twice, meaning some employees saw their wages double, while suppliers also got more than they were expecting. Read more

Cryptocurrency crime hits new high in value - The volume of cryptocurrency transactions grew to $15.8t in 2021, up 567% from 2020, in a sign that the trading of digital assets is becoming increasingly mainstream. Illicit transactions totaled $14b in 2021, up 79% from $7.8b the previous year. But illicit transactions only made up 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021. Read more

Banks tiptoe toward their cloud-based future - Cloud computing is slowly changing how Wall Street banks handle their business, but banking regulators in the US and Europe have jointly underscored the need for lenders to manage risks and have backup systems in place when they outsource technology to cloud providers. Read more

Global payments firm Adyen rolls out Android POS units in EU, UK, US - The goal is to deliver an all-in-one solution that gets rid of the need for cash registers, barcode scanners and customer-facing displays. Equipped with an app management system, merchants can upload and manage the apps they use for daily operations like inventory management and rewards programs. Read more

Omicron pushes Wall Street toward work-from-home future - The banks are hoping that the Omicron pause is short-lived. But even after Omicron subsides, the companies could find themselves facing a more deep-seated problem. Many of their employees have grown used to more flexible working arrangements and aren’t willing to go back into the office full time. How their return-to-work experiment plays out could set the stage for other white-collar industries. Read more

Financial services firms aim for network modernization in 2022 - Financial services companies are looking to strengthen their technology plumbing in 2022 to improve current product offerings and launch new ones. This involves modernizing networks and tapping emerging technologies like edge computing and decentralized infrastructure, also known as Web3. Read more

Robinhood announces beta launch of crypto wallet - Robinhood explained how the crypto wallet will work, with comments on the design, wallet addresses, and network/gas fees. Read more

China's digital yuan wallet arrives in Android and Apple app stores - China's central bank has launched its CBDC wallet app on the Android and Apple app stores as it gears up for the forthcoming Winter Olympics. Read more

Select Financings

Alto - Nashville based platform that lets individual investors add alternative assets to their IRAs raised $40m in Series B funding led by Advance Venture Partners. Read more

Ampla - New York based credit services company for sales and marketing firms raised $40m in Series A funding led by Forerunner Ventures and VMG Partners. Read more

Ant Money - Newport Beach based embedded finance platform raised $20m in Series A funding led by Franklin Templeton. Read more

Arcade - New York based DeFi marketplace and lending platform for financing NFTs raised $15m in Series A funding led by Pantera Capital. Read more

Brankas - Indonesia based open banking startup raised $20m in Series B funding led by Insignia Ventures Partners. Read more

CellPoint Digital - London based provider of e-commerce and payment solutions raised $25m in new funding from Toscafund and its Penta Capital affiliate. Read more

Chai - Seoul based payment solutions company raised $45m in Series B funding led by Nyca Partners and Softbank Ventures Asia. Read more

Cion Digital - Austin based enterprise SaaS blockchain orchestration platform raised $12m in Seed funding led by Green Visor Capital and 645 Ventures. Read more

Figment - New York based blockchain infrastructure and staking and application layer solution for token holders and Web3 developers raised $110m in Series C funding led by Thoma Bravo. Read more

Finexio - Orlando based accounts payable payments-as-a-service startup raised $10m in growth funding led by Mendon Venture Partners. Read more

Goldfinch - California based DeFi credit platform focused on developing markets raised $25m in Series A funding led by a16z crypto. Read more

iCapital Network - New York based fintech platform for alternative investing raised $50m in new funding led by WestCap. Read more

Livepeer - New York based decentralized video streaming platform built on the Ethereum blockchain raised $40m in Series B extension funding from investors including Alan Howard, Tiger Global, Digital Currency Group, Northzone, and Warburg Serres. Read more

Metaversal - Miami based NFT projects investment and production startup raised $50m in Series A funding led by CoinFund and Foxhaven Asset Management. Read more

Monzo - UK based challenger bank raised $600m in Series H funding led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund. Read more

OpenSea - New York based NFT marketplace raised $300m in Series C funding led by Paradigm and Coatue. Read more

PayFit - France based provider of payroll and HR management solutions for SMEs raised €254m in Series E funding led by General Atlantic. Read more

Petal - New York based credit card company created to help people build credit and spend responsibly raised $140m in Series D funding led by Tarsadia Investments. Read more

Rupify - India based B2B payments platform raised $24m in Series A funding led by Tiger Global and Bessemer Venture Partners. Read more

Sygnum - Switzerland and Singapore based digital asset bank and trading platform raised $90m in new funding led by Sun Hung Kai & Co. Read more

Taptap Send - New York based cross-border money transfer platform raised $65m in Series B funding led by Spark Capital. Read more

Timo - Vietnam based digital banking startup raised $20m in new funding led by Square Peg. Read more


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