Every startup is a bank — or wants to be

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we did something just a little bit new. Kate was in studio at TechCrunch’s SF HQ. Alex was in his dork cave in Providence. And we had a guest in the studio as well. We’ve done […]

Where top VCs are investing in fintech

Over the past several years, ‘fintech’ has quietly become the unsung darling of venture. A rapidly swelling pool of new startups is taking aim at the large incumbent institutions, complex processes and outdated unfriendly interfaces that mar billion dollar financial services verticals, such as insurtech, consumer lending, personal finance, or otherwise.   In just the past […]

Startups Weekly: Understanding Uber’s latest fintech play

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about how SoftBank is screwing up. Before that, I noted All Raise’s expansion, Uber the TV show and the […]

New startup Capital wants to reintroduce founders to venture debt

Why raise venture capital when you can raise debt and keep your equity? That’s the question a whole slew of new financial technology companies are hoping entrepreneurs will ask themselves as they begin to think about collecting outside capital for their businesses. Clearbanc made waves with its “20-Minute Term Sheet” campaign, with a goal of […]

European early-stage VC firm ‘Project A’ on Europe’s startup scene taking the next step

Project A, the Berlin-based VC, just raised a new $200 million fund (€180 million) to continue backing European startups at Seed and Series A stage. In addition, the firm — whose investments include WorldRemit, Catawiki, Voi and Uberall — announced it will now have a presence in London and Stockholm in order to put people […]

Nigerian online-only bank startup Kuda raises $1.6M

Nigerian fintech startup Kuda — a digital-only retail bank — has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. The Lagos and London-based company recently launched the beta version of its online mobile finance platform. Kuda also received its banking license from the Nigerian Central Bank, giving it a distinction compared to other fintech startups. “Kuda is […]

Light Phone’s founders discuss life beyond the smartphone

For a seemingly tough pitch, Light has had little trouble getting noticed. The company has run two successful crowdfunding campaigns for a pair of minimalist phones designed to augment or replace the smartphone. Today the startup announced that it will be shipping the second version of the handset, which introduces a handful of features back […]

Elliptic banks $23M to shrink crypto risk, eyeing growth in Asia

Crypto means risk. To UK company Elliptic it also means business. The startup has just closed a $23M Series B to step up growth for a crypto risk-management play that involves selling tech and services to help others navigate the choppy darks of cryptocurrencies. The round was led by financial services and asset management firm […]

African incubator MEST has a new MD and 11 fresh startup investments

Pan-African incubator MEST announced investments in 11 startups from its 2019 cohort that will each receive $100,000 in financing. The $1.1 million backing for a graduating class is the largest to date for the Accra-based organization — which operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies. […]

Africa Roundup: Canal+ acquires ROK, Flutterwave and Alipay partner, OPay raises $50M

In July, French television company Canal+ acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv. Canal+ would not disclose the acquisition price, but confirmed there was a cash component of the deal. Founded by Jason Njoku in 2010 — and backed by $45 million in VC — IROKOtv boasts the world’s largest online catalog of Nollywood: a Nigerian movie […]