Latin America roundup: Neobanks raise $205M+; Softbank backs VTEX

Argentina’s Ualá became the most recent Latin American fintech to receive a growth-stage funding ($150 million) from Asian investors, Tencent and Softbank.  This marks Tencent’s second round of investment in Ualá, the first coming in April 2019. Tencent also invested $180M in Brazil’s leading neobank, Nubank in 2018. With Ualá, Tencent and Softbank will join a […]

Google to offer checking accounts in partnership with banks starting next year

Google is the latest big tech company to make a move into banking and personal financial services: The company is gearing up to offer checking accounts to consumers, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal, starting as early as next year. Google is calling the project “Cache,” and it’ll partner with banks and credit […]

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 […]

Goldman Sachs leads $50M round for credit card platform Deserve

Deserve, a credit card startup helping young people establish themselves, as well as a cloud-based credit card platform for businesses, has raised $50 million in a new round of Series C funding led by Goldman Sachs, the company announced today. Others participating in the round include existing investors Sallie Mae, Accel, Aspect Ventures, Pelion Venture […]

Meet Bespoke Financial, a lender for cannabis companies backed by Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital

Bespoke Financial wants to provide cannabis businesses with the same kind of financial services that other businesses get, but that dispensaries and growers can’t yet access. The regulations around cannabis operations are so stringent at the local level — and so nebulous at the federal level — that national banks won’t give businesses in the […]

VR/AR startup valuations reach $45 billion (on paper)

Despite early-stage virtual reality market and augmented reality market valuations softening in a transitional period, total global AR/VR startup valuations are now at $45 billion globally — include non-pure play AR/VR startups discussed below, and that amount exceeds $67 billion. More than $8 billion has been returned to investors through M&A already, with the remaining […]

Forward Networks raises $35M to help enterprises map, track and predict their networks’ behavior

Security breaches and other activities that cause network surges and outages are all on the rise in the enterprise, and today, a startup called Forward Networks, which has built a clever way to help businesses monitor their network traffic to identify when things are going wrong, has raised a round of $35 million to continue […]

Latin America roundup: SoftBank bets on Brazilian unicorns and Konfio raises $250M for lending plans

Sophia Wood Contributor Sophia Wood is a Principal at Magma Partners, a Latin America-focused seed-stage VC firm with offices in Latin America, Asia, and the U.S. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English language Latin American tech news source. SoftBank did not let up the flow of capital to Brazil this month, […]

Cybersecurity company Acronis hits unicorn status after raising $147 million led by Goldman Sachs

Cybersecurity solutions provider Acronis announced today that it has raised $147 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs, bringing it to unicorn status. The company did not disclose its valuation, but founder and CEO Serguei Beloussov told TechCrunch that it is between $1 billion and $2 billion. Founded in Singapore as a data backup and […]

Patch Homes locks in $5m Series A to give homeowners financial freedom without debt

Homeownership has long been touted as the American dream. But rising rates of mortgage debt, student loan debt, or otherwise are making the pursuit of homeownership a nightmare. Debt burdened individuals or those with inconsistent or tight cash flow can not only struggle to get credit loan approval when buying a home but also struggle […]