Robinhood lacked proper insurance so will change checking & savings feature

Robinhood will rename and revamp its upcoming checking and banking features after encountering problems with its insurance. The company published a blog post this evening explaining “We plan to work closely with regulators as we prepare to launch our cash management program, and we’re revamping our marketing materials, including the name . . . Stay […]

TNB Aura closes $22.7M fund to bring PE-style investing to Southeast Asia’s startups

TNB Aura, a recent arrival to Southeast Asia’s VC scene, announced today that it has closed a maiden fund at SG$31.1million, or around US$22.65 million, to bring a more private equity-like approach to investing in startups in the region. The fund was launched in 2016 and it is a joint effort between Australia-based venture fund Aura […]

Revolut gets European banking license in Lithuania

Fintech startup Revolut is now officially a bank. While the startup initially expected to get its European banking license during the first half of 2018, the company has finally come out of the regulatory tunnel with a license in hand. As expected, Revolut applied for a license through the Bank of Lithuania and is leveraging […]

Payment service Toss becomes Korea’s newest unicorn after raising $80M

South Korea has got its third unicorn startup after Viva Republica, the company beyond popular payment app Toss, announced it has raised an $80 million round at a valuation of $1.2 billion. This new round is led by U.S. firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, both of which cut their first checks for Korea with this […]

Salesforce doubles down on Japan with dedicated $100M fund

It’s been a good week for Japanese startups. Fresh from Google making a rare investment in the country when it backed AI startup Abeja, so Salesforce — another U.S. tech titan — has announced a $100 million fund for enterprise startups in Japan. The Japan Trailblazer Fund is Salesforce Venture’s first local fund in Asia. […]

Experian leads $10M investment in Southeast Asia fintech startup Jirnexu

Consumer credit giant Experian is continuing to back Asian fintech startups after it led a $10 million investment in Southeast Asia’s Jirnexu . Jirnexu, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, operates financial comparison services in Malaysia and Indonesia. Those services aggregate offerings and deals from banks and financial services companies, effectively acting as a user acquisition […]

The economics and tradeoffs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy, and politicized process. Third-parties are helping build infrastructure at no cost to cities by paying for projects entirely through advertising placements on the new equipment. I try to dig into the economics […]

N26 says it now has more than 2M customers

N26 announced today that it now has more than 2 million customers — up from 1.5 million in October. The German fintech startup’s CEO Valentin Stalf was interviewed onstage at Disrupt Berlin with Tandem CEO Ricky Knox, where they discussed the growth of what are sometimes called challenger banks or neobanks — new banks that […]

Philippines fintech business Voyager raises $215M in Tencent-led round

One of the year’s largest fintech investments in Southeast Asia has closed after Philippines-based Voyager announced it raised $215 million. The bulk of the deal comes via a previously announced investment from Tencent, which, alongside PE firm KKR, agreed to invest $175 million. Added to that, Voyager has pulled in a further $40 million from International Finance […]

LearnLux raises $2M from Sound Ventures, Marc Benioff to help employees make financial decisions

Earlier this year, Rebecca Liebman impressed a panel of high-profile investors, including Ashton Kutcher and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, at a SXSW pitch competition. She won and Benioff wrote her a check for $200,000 on the spot. Today, she’s announcing that her educational fintech startup LearnLux has closed a $2 million seed round from Kutcher’s […]