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HSBC-backed fintech Monese is considering splitting its operations as it grapples with increasing losses.

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Monese, boasting a customer base of two million individuals, is collaborating with Interpath Advisory on a strategic initiative to split into two distinct entities, Sky News has learned.

The HSBC-backed technology firm, once on the verge of securing funding at a valuation exceeding £1 billion four years ago, now faces mounting losses, prompting the decision to undergo a corporate restructuring.

City insiders reveal that Monese, known for catering to underserved banking customers, is exploring a division into separate consumer-facing and corporate entities under the guidance of Interpath Advisory. This move could potentially pave the way for a sale or further restructuring down the line.

With operations spanning more than 30 countries and a workforce of approximately 275 employees, Monese has briefed its staff on these proposed plans.

Led by Norris Koppel, Monese has been actively seeking additional capital over the past year amid investor pressure to evaluate restructuring options. Its business-to-business arm, XYB, reportedly plays a crucial role in powering HSBC’s retail banking app.

In response to inquiries, a Monese spokesperson stated, “The business has evolved in two distinct directions: the original B2C business and the newer, rapidly growing B2B PaaS (Platform as a Service) business. We are exploring the optimal organizational and capital structure to maximize shareholder value.”

In its recent financial filings, Monese highlighted “material uncertainty” regarding future fundraising success and its going concern status. Despite this, the company’s shareholders, including Investec and Augmentum, have remained supportive.

Despite facing challenges, Monese has reported continued revenue growth and a significant reduction in losses, signaling a path towards profitability in the near term.

The implementation of Monese’s break-up plans is expected to unfold over several months amid a challenging funding landscape for fintech firms.

Source: news.sky.com

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UK challenger GB Bank lands £85m investment

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GB Bank, a specialist property finance bank based in Middlesbrough, UK, has secured an £85 million investment from new backer Hera Holdings and existing shareholder the Teesside Pension Fund.

Over the next 12 months, Hera Holdings is investing an initial £40 million into the bank, with an additional £40 million earmarked for investment throughout 2025 and 2026.

Meanwhile, the Teesside Pension Fund, which serves as the Local Government Pension Scheme for local authority employees in the Teesside region, is contributing an additional £5 million to the funding round.

Founded in 2017, GB Bank provides financing solutions for commercial and residential property developments in underserved areas of the UK.

The bank, which secured its full banking licence in the summer of 2022, claims to have approved “more than £80 million in loans to support over 100 property projects in locations from Northumberland to the south coast”, while also attracting “over £300 million in deposits from savers” for its fixed-term and instant access accounts.

GB Bank anticipates that the cash injection will drive “extensive growth” for the company, with plans to expand its customer base to include portfolio landlords, expatriates, and foreign nationals.

Specifically, the challenger bank states that the investment will enhance its lending capabilities, allowing it to offer funding of up to £10 million and up to 80% Loan To Value.

Moreover, GB Bank expects that the expansion will boost its capacity for commercial owner-occupier and investment mortgages as well as for its commercial and residential bridging solutions.

The bank projects that the new investment will allow it to increase its lending to £500 million over the next 12 months. As part of this growth, it intends to expand its team and infrastructure, with plans to double its current workforce this year.

Earlier this year, the company appointed industry veteran Mark Sismey-Durrant as its new chair.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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Teal secures $8M seed funding for groundbreaking accounting solution

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Teal has announced a significant milestone in its journey to transform SMB accounting with the closure of an $8 million seed funding round.

According to TechFundingNews, the company, which focuses on providing accounting infrastructure for Vertical SaaS businesses, aims to address the critical need for integrated financial solutions within various platforms.

Founded by industry veterans Ian Crosby and Adam Saint, Teal stands out in the FinTech landscape for its unique approach to accounting services. Leveraging their expertise from founding Bench Accounting and working at Shopify, Crosby and Saint have developed a platform that empowers Vertical SaaS businesses to offer customised accounting suites to their SMB customers.

One of the key challenges faced by SMBs is the lack of seamless accounting solutions integrated into their core business platforms. Teal aims to bridge this gap by equipping companies with the necessary APIs and tools to build their own accounting offerings. This enables SMBs to access crucial insights such as real-time cash flow, per-product profitability, and streamlined tax filing processes.

Teal’s comprehensive suite of out-of-the-box tools enables Vertical SaaS companies to launch their accounting platforms swiftly, often in as little as four weeks. These tools include fully functioning app code repositories and seamless data integrations with external sources like Plaid, enhancing the overall user experience for SMBs.

According to Ian Crosby, Co-Founder and CEO of Teal, the company’s vision is to become the “Stripe for accounting,” providing the foundational infrastructure for Vertical SaaS companies to embed accounting features seamlessly. By integrating accounting software directly into their platforms, businesses can enhance customer engagement and drive adoption of financial services features.

The significance of Teal’s innovative approach has not gone unnoticed in the investment landscape. Torch Capital, a leading investor in tools and platforms for SMBs, led the recent $8 million seed funding round. Partner Katie Reiner expressed enthusiasm for Teal’s mission to revolutionize the SMB accounting space, citing the dire need for intuitive and streamlined accounting tools.

In an era where embedded finance is gaining traction, Teal’s commitment to offering tailored accounting solutions signifies a promising step towards empowering SMBs with the financial tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Source: fintech.global

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Digital China’s Guo Wei Shares ‘China’s Sample’ of Global Digital Innovation with London Business School

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LONDON, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 21st, at the invitation of London Business School (LBS), Guo Wei, Chairman of Digital China, participated in the esteemed “Managing the Digital Organization” lecture, engaging with a cohort of prospective business leaders. Focusing on the trending topics of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Digital Transformation’, he imparted the digital philosophy and practices of Chinese enterprises amidst the digital civilization era.

Digital China, a prominent player in China’s digital economy, has harnessed over two decades of deep involvement in the nation’s information industry to embrace the power of digitization. This has culminated in what Guo Wei refers to as ‘China’s Vibrant Blueprint for Digital Transformation’, carving a distinctive path of digital metamorphosis. Notably, Digital China’s transformation narrative has been incorporated into LBS’s esteemed case library, underscoring its significance as a teaching instrument.

In his lecture, Guo Wei emphasized that the digital economy now constitutes the backbone of supply, with digital technology emerging as the paramount catalyst for economic expansion. The hastening pace of global digitization propels us into an epoch of digital civilization. For multinational corporations, digital strategies have escalated to the status of corporate strategy, and the amassing of data assets constitutes the pivotal lever for business innovation. Amidst this evolution, AI-fueled digital-cloud integration signifies a disruptive technological innovation, poised to invigorate the global landscape. Digital China feels honored to reprise its role in elite international business school case repositories, thereby contributing insights to academia. This recognition signifies that Chinese enterprises’ digital and AI acumen resonates globally, exemplifying world-class practices.

Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Vice Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at LBS, remarked, “As a global institution, we constantly seek out exemplary cases worldwide. Digital China was chosen not solely due to its prominence in China but also its sophisticated implementation of digital technologies, demonstrating adaptability and offering invaluable insights to our students about the contemporary business milieu. The story of Digital China encapsulates Mr. Guo Wei’s philosophy – digitization transcends being a mere process; it embodies the existential rationale for companies. This philosophy underpins our decision to feature Digital China in our case studies.”

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2419014/Digital_China_s_Guo_Wei_Professor_Julian_Birkinshaw.jpg

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