Venture Capital (VC) investment in the U.S. continued performing at a high level during Q1 ’19 with $32.6 billion invested as the U.S. economy remained strong, and increased IPO activity set the stage for further investment at all points of the deal spectrum — from early stage to late stage, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q1′ 2019 report.
The largest deals in Q1’19 included a $5 billion raise by shared-space provider The We Company (formerly WeWork), and a $1 billion raise by freight logistics company Flexport – earning that company coveted unicorn status.
“In the past five years, the number of U.S. unicorns has more than doubled to over 160 as private capital is readily available allowing companies to stay private longer,” said Brian Hughes, National Co-leader, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “We finally saw some unicorns choosing to go public in late 2018, and this unicorn IPO trend is expected to continue well into this year, spurred by recent high profile offerings and the ongoing strength of the public markets.”
Lyft hosted a successful IPO on Nasdaq in late March, raising $2.3 billion to value the company at $24 billion. It is the first in a line of large IPO unicorns expected in 2019, with ride-hailing company Uber also expected to file publicly, amongst others. The good performance of these unicorn companies in the early part of 2019 will trigger more investor interest in mature unicorns later in the year, in addition to providing additional capital for early stage deals.
U.S. investors continued to invest in established verticals in Q1’19, including food-delivery, healthcare and transportation, while mega-funds gained a significant amount of attention, coupled with strong activity in smaller-size funds.
Growth and Innovation Occurring Beyond Silicon Valley
The report found a growing boom of VC investment outside of Silicon Valley and the West Coast. In 2018, while 39 percent of VC deals occurred on the West Coast, 20 percent occurred in the Mid-Atlantic region, 9 percent in New England, and 9 percent in the Great Lakes region. These numbers reflect the growing number of innovation hubs appearing in cities such as New York, Boston and others –a trend continuing this year.
In Q1’19, New York and New Jersey both attracted big deals, such as The We Company’s $5 billion raise, and Knock’s $400 million raise.
Among companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, there has been a shift toward scaling outside of the Valley in order to access or attract talent and better manage labor and space costs. Late in 2018, for example, Slack announced a new Denver Office, while other companies set up offices in Arizona, Salt Lake City and beyond. This trend is only expected to continue as companies look to balance a presence in the Valley with the need to scale and grow efficiently.
Digital Banking Heats Up
The digital banking space in the US continued to gain traction in Q1’19. Chime’s Q1’19 $200 million raise earned it unicorn status, with a number of non-U.S.-based banks voicing plans to raise capital to fund a U.S. expansion.
The U.S. is well positioned for growth
The maturing fintech sector is also expected to see more M&A activity as companies are looking for scale and consolidate market share. In Q1’19, FIS announced plans to acquire Worldplay in a $34 billion deal.
“The story in the U.S. continues to be very positive. The 2018 IPOs generally performed very well and the pre-public companies that have completed financings recently have been at high valuations,” said Conor Moore, National Co-Lead Partner, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “This should encourage greater investment at all points on the investment spectrum from seed to late stage.”
SOURCE KPMG LLP
Fintech Startup, Paramount Financial Technologies, Announces Company Launch, Community Banks Sign-on as First Investors
Paramount Financial Technologies (PFT), a newly formed fintech startup, publicly announced today its company launch in New England with community banks as its first investors.
PFT helps community banks solve critical challenges like growing core deposits, improving branch network performance, increasing business relationships, and managing performance. One of PFT’s most popular tools, under the umbrella of its flagship product, MarketOpp 360, is their Branch Opportunity Grid, which helps clients understand which branches have the greatest opportunities for deposit and loan growth and provides a detailed guide for actions to take.
“Community banks are investing in us because our solutions have been market-tested for twenty years,” said Michael Purchia, President and Founder of Paramount Financial Technologies. “Since the early days of banking analytics, we’ve been building and refining our tools to provide time-sensitive solutions. We integrate client data with AI-based market intelligence and analytics so our clients can make the best business decisions.”
Timothy Felter, Chief Financial Officer of Newburyport Bank, said, “Our executive team is partnering with PFT for our New Hampshire expansion. Their commercial and consumer market intelligence, and on-the-ground insights, are invaluable.”
SOURCE Paramount Financial Technologies
Velotrade completes first cross border trade financing transaction into Mainland China with QEX
Velotrade, the account receivables financing platform, announces that it is actively executing cross border trade receivables transactions involving mainland Chinese companies.
The first deal involved trade financing for a transaction between a Chinese SOE and a medical equipment manufacturer, made accessible to Velotrade through the collaboration with Qianhai Financial Assets Exchange (QEX) owned by Ping An Group. It is also the first transaction which gives institutional investors on the Velotrade platform exposure to accounts receivable in the PRC. Velotrade is the first company of its type to obtain a Type 1 Regulated Activity licence from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
Vittorio De Angelis, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Velotrade commented, “This is a transformational deal for Velotrade. We are the first company offering cross-border access to Chinese invoice financing. The deal was completed very soon after we announced our SFC licensing and underscores the pace at which the company is developing. We are building out our team in Greater China, and our relationship with QEX, also thanks to the synergies given by us being part of the Ping An fintech accelerator program, means that we are now able to offer a stream of similar transactions to institutional investors on our platform. We are delighted that Velotrade has been able to open the door for foreign institutional investors to Chinese trade receivables.”
Velotrade is a trusted source of non-domestic money with a streamlined onboarding process as it offers international investors on its platform an alternative channel of investment. At the same time, it also means mainland Chinese companies can now access this channel as well through QEX, which is beneficial for all parties.
The Vice General Manager of QEX, Zhan Yu Hong, commented, “Through launching cross-border trade transactions of debt-based assets such as accounts receivables factoring, QEX supports ‘One Belt One Road‘ and the development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to provide better services for the real economy. The collaboration with Velotrade is an excellent example.“
Prior to this cross border offering by Velotrade and QEX, foreign investors have been unable to participate in onshore Chinese trade financing due to capital controls. However, the partnership between Velotrade and QEX means foreign investors can access Velotrade’s regulated platform. Through QEX, investors are participating as regulated Hong Kongentities, recognised by the People’s Bank of China, gaining direct access to the domestic PRC market.
Gianluca Pizzituti, CEO and Co-founder at Velotrade, added, “Since commencing operations in 2017, Velotrade has handled cross-border financing deals in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam across a range of sectors, including the automotive, electronics, healthcare, retail and clothing industries. This transaction is an exciting example of our continued growth and a signal of things to come as we break into one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world.”
Velotrade’s internet-based platform incorporates modern technologies to create efficiencies in the approval process that expedite financing. Additional identity verification and due diligence is conducted via the same technology platforms used by banks, meeting today’s strictest compliance standards.
Turkish Merchants Can Now Connect With Chinese Visitors via Alipay and ininal Partnership
Leading fintech company ininal becomes Alipay’s first partner in Turkey. ininal, Turkey’s leading new-generation payment platform and a subsidiary of Multinet Up, today announced its collaboration with Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, a related company of Alibaba, that Alipay will be available for Chinese mainland visitors at bricks-and-mortar stores in Turkey.
This service will be first available in the facilities of Dorak Holding, the tourism company who plans all activities for tourists and manages numbers of merchants throughout Turkey, serving more than 85% of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey. Merchants accepting Alipay include Turkish specialty retailers, hot-air balloons in Cappadocia, shops, hotels, and Turkish restaurants. Merchants can connect with Chinese customers with digital marketing via the Alipay app while Chinese tourists visit Istanbul and Cappadocia, and those customers can make payments by using the same Alipay app to scan an Alipay QR code displayed on card terminals at the checkout.
Through the collaboration between ininal and Alipay, while Alipay users pay in Chinese Yuan during their visits to Turkey, Turkish merchants will be able to receive payments from Chinese visitors in US Dollars at Dorak Tour locations. Later this summer, Turkish merchants will be able to receive payments in Turkish Lira at existing and new Multinet Up merchants including global chain restaurants and retailers. Multinet Up, ininal’s parent company and the leading financial services company in Turkey maintaining over 40,000 merchants, will utilize its experience in building a network and infrastructure to expand Alipay acceptability. ininal and Multinet Up will work in collaboration with Alipay to further expand the network across Turkey. Jewelers, luxury clothing stores, museums and duty free shops are expected to join in the near future.
“The collaboration with Alipay proves the success of our brand has attained in the last six years. Alipay is the most preferred payment method in China and is widely used by Chinese tourists overseas. The fact that Alipay is used more than cash, credit cards and debit cards is an important data demonstrating the satisfaction it creates. ininal will continue to work with powerful partners globally to bring advanced technology and services to Turkey,” says ininal CEO Ömer Suner.
Stating that the Chinese provided the highest increase in terms of not only the figures but also the tourist spending in Turkey, Ömer Suner continued: “We believe the payment convenience provided through this collaboration will increase the foreign currency that will enter our country and provide contributions to the reanimation of the economy.” In January 2019, a Nielsen report titled 2018 Trends for Mobile Payment in Chinese Outbound Tourism finds that Chinese tourists paid for 32% of transactions using mobile payment, overtaking cash for the first time, and that nearly 60% of merchants surveyed experienced growth in both foot traffic and sales after adopting Alipay.
“Alipay is finally coming to Turkey! We are excited to work with ininal to connect Turkish merchants with Chinese visitors before, during, and after their visit to this beautiful country, overcoming barriers of language and currency. We know our customers are attracted to the ancient and modern sights of Turkey, and the many different experiences it offers, from balloons, to bazars and beaches. As Chinese users’ preferred payment and lifestyle platform, we are always happy to introduce the best offers and must-visit locations of Turkey to our users through our platforms,” said Roland Palmer, Alipay’s Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
SOURCE Alipay; ininal
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