Posted In:

Ireland


#429
The Craic Is Mighty

Published:

Mar 19, 2022


Author:

Roxy Horrie

Posted In:

Ireland

Published:

Mar 19, 2022


Author:

Roxy Horrie


Share:

It’s that time o’year again: green clovers spring forth, shamrock shakes, green beer and Leprechaun costumes with full fake beards all come out for St Patrick’s day. But as the world goes mad for all things Irish, we would be remiss in not calling for a special celebration of Irish Fintech.

As far as fintech innovation is concerned, the republic has seen a concentration in entrepreneurial dynamism in recent years, spawning a rich stream of startups that bring a whole new kind of “green”: 2021 was a year of record funding that brought €1.3b in total tech investments to the historic capital.

While the Irish fintech landscape is still small on a global scale, the country is uniquely positioned to become the next global fintech hub, or at least in Europe. Since Brexit, the number of VC-backed fintech deals in the UK has fallen while we’ve seen more and more fintech upstarts - including Revolut, Soldo and Coinbase - lean into Dublin to establish operations in the only remaining English speaking European nation.

The Emerald Isle is also increasingly attracting global attention. International fintech firms and some of the world’s leading technology companies, including Mastercard, Google, Facebook and Airbnb, have made Dublin their chosen European HQs. Ireland’s vibrant, nationally-diverse talent pool, low tax rates and favorable business environment proactively supported by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, are primary reasons for its homegrown success.

And finally, any country that can deliver the second most valuable startup in the world (Stripe) and create a sport that looks like a fabulous mixture of quidditch, field hockey and a good old fashioned bar fight has to be taken very seriously indeed...Éire go deo.

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Oxio raises $40m to bring tokenized telco model to US and Brazil - Congratulations to FTC portfolio company Oxio, which just raised $40m in a Series B funding round that was led by ParaFi Capital. Oxio is a telecom-as-a-service (TAAS) platform that turns mobile data into blockchain-based digital assets. The company offers a white-label product that allows any brand to launch a mobile service and serve as a mobile operator for end users or companies. Read more

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The Craic Is Mighty


JPMorgan agrees to buy Irish share-plan software company Global Shares - Global Shares will be integrated into JPMorgan’s asset- and wealth-management arm. The Cork, Ireland-based software firm has almost $200b in assets under administration, more than 650,000 employee participants and roughly 600 corporate clients. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Read more
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How Ireland’s fintech and regtech sectors are thriving - and why - Ireland’s technology and finance sectors have long been going from strength to strength with major global players either originating or setting up in the country, and the financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) sectors’ success are the strength of existing tech and financial industries which are a source of business and talent; the availability of a young, educated, English-speaking, and multi-lingual workforce, a favorable business and tax environment, access to Europe and easy access to capital. Read more

Irish tech start-ups reached a record €1.3b in VC investment in 2021 - The volume of deals in 2021 increased by 20% to 279, up from 233 the previous year. IVCA director general Sarah-Jane Larkin said this increase – combined with the 44% rise in value – shows that Irish SMEs are raising larger funding rounds. Read more

Industry News


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Bored Apes maker Yuga Labs acquires CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from Larva Labs - CryptoPunks and Meebits NFTs are owned by members of the community, but the intellectual property rights of the characters had long (and controversially) been owned by the projects’ creators. With this announcement, Yuga Labs signaled that they will be giving full commercial rights of the NFTs to the individual holders; they notably won’t be transferring the full copyright, but is a step further than Larva Labs ever went and something owners had long desired. Read more

Russia stokes fears of first foreign currency default in more than a century as it attempts payment - Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov claimed Russia had the necessary funds to fulfill its obligations and pay $117 million in interest on two sovereign eurobonds due on Wednesday. However, he said the U.S. should first clarify whether the settlements are possible from Russian foreign currency accounts. Read more

Big banks launch syndicated loan platform Versana - Founded by J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Citi and Credit Suisse and expected to launch later in the year, Versana “will aim to reduce the corporate loan market's operational challenges by digitally capturing agent banks' reference data directly from its source on a real-time basis,” the company said in a news release. Read more

EU votes 32-23 against 'de facto bitcoin mining ban' - The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has recently been wrestling with the proposed Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA)—a hallmark piece of legislation designed to coordinate the European Union’s approach to crypto. This week, ECON rejected versions of the legislative package that contained what has been described as a “de facto” ban on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Read more

Ukraine partners with FTX and Everstake for crypto fundraising website - The initiative, dubbed Aid for Ukraine, is a collaboration between FTX, staking service Everstake and Ukraine. FTX converts the crypto donations to fiat and sends them to the fundraising account of the National Bank of Ukraine, where the donations will be used to support humanitarian aid programs and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Read more

Tencent dives on report of record fine for money-laundering - The People’s Bank of China found Tencent’s WeChat Pay had allowed the transfer of funds for illicit purposes such as gambling, the newspaper reported. WeChat Pay was also judged non-compliant with other rules that required Tencent to identify users and merchants transacting on the platform, the Journal said. Read more

El Salvador prepares to launch bitcoin bond: ‘If this fails, a lot of doors close’ - Josué País, owner of an El Salvador taxi business that accepts payments in bitcoin from the tourists who use the service, is enthusiastically backing the country’s latest plan to cash in on the cryptocurrency craze. “The curiosity is what gets me,” said País, 36, who was planning to buy about $200 of the Central American country’s “bitcoin bond”. Read more

Binance forges links in the Gulf as it seeks fixed base - Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is setting down roots in the Gulf as it seeks to placate global regulators by establishing a fixed home base and regulatory ties for its international business. The group this week announced that it had secured cryptoasset licenses from both Dubai and Bahrain. Read more

Select Financings


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AcreTrader - Fayetteville based farmland investing platform raised $20m in new funding from Drive Capital. Read more

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ConsenSys - New York based Ethereum infrastructure startup raised $450m in Series D funding led by ParaFi Capital. Read more

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Doxo - Seattle based bill payment platform raised $18.5m in Series C funding led by Jackson Square Ventures. Read more

EarnUp - San Francisco based fintech serving the mortgage industry raised $31m in Series C funding led by LendingTree and KeyBank. Read more

Encompass - UK based KYC solutions provider raised $33m in new funding led by Perennial Partners. Read more

Formfunction - San Francisco based Solana NFT marketplace focused on independent creators raised $4.7m in Seed funding led by Variant Fund. Read more

Gauntlet - New York based startup providing services to DeFi protocols and organizations raised $23.8m in Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital. Read more

Hex Trust - Hong Kong based provider of digital asset custody services raised $88m in Series B funding led by Animoca Brands and Liberty City Ventures. Read more

Kyash - Japan based mobile financial app raised $41m in Series D funding led by Japan Post Investment Corp., Block and Greyhound Capital. Read more

Magic Eden - California based Solana NFT marketplace raised $27m in Series A funding led by Paradigm. Read more

Moove - Africa based ride-hail vehicle financing solution company raised $105m in Series A funding led by Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital and thelatest.ventures. Read more

Multiplier - India based remote work payment startup raised $60m in Series B funding co-led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital India. Read more

Optimism - New York based Ethereum scaling startup raised $150m in Series B funding led by Paradigm and a16z. Read more

Payrails - Germany based operating system for payments raised $6.4m in Seed funding led by a16z. Read more

Policygenius - New York based NerdWallet for the insurance industry raised $125m in Series E funding led by KKR, Norwest Venture Partners, and Revolution Ventures. Read more

Rutter - San Francisco based universal API for e-commerce raised $27m in Series A funding led by a16z. Read more

Silent Eight - Singapore based compliance platform for financial institutions raised $40m in Series B funding led by TYH Ventures. Read more

Socotra - San Francisco based core platform for insurtech companies raised $50m in Series C funding led by Insight Partners. Read more

Stellar - Austin based credit building startup raised $7m in Seed funding led by Acrew Capital and Trust Ventures. Read more

Wagely - Indonesia based earned wage access startup raised $8.3m in Seed funding led by East Ventures. Read more

Wasoko - Kenya based e-commerce inventory platform raised $125m in Series B funding co-led by Tiger Global and Avenir Growth Capital. Read more

Wombat Exchange - Hong Kong based multichain stableswap backed by Binance raised $5.25m in Series A funding co-led by Animoca Brands and Hailstone Ventures. Read more


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FinTech Collective Newsletter

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Delivered every Saturday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.