Connect with us
MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024

Latest News

Could France Lead the EU’s Digital Comeback?

Published

on

 

After starting the year at a five-year low, France appears poised to lead venture investment in the EU out of its slump. The country has emerged as a rising star in Europe’s vibrant financial technology (FinTech) sector, attracting a surge of venture capital that is driving the growth of startups aiming to disrupt traditional banking.

A significant boost came with Microsoft’s $4 billion investment announced on May 14. Coupled with a series of public-private partnerships and investment-friendly regulations, France has become a formidable FinTech destination after years of lagging behind. Noted economist David Evans, writing for PYMNTS on April 18, highlighted Europe’s struggle in producing leading digital businesses over the past three decades. He noted that of the 69 digital businesses worth $10 billion or more as of December 2023, Europe, which accounts for 21% of global GDP, had only five: Spotify, Adyen, Revolut, Adevinta, and Checkout.com. None of these are based in Germany, France, Spain, or Italy, the four largest EU economies.

In 2023, the French FinTech sector saw a notable shift in deal activity and funding. The year recorded 147 deals, a 12% decrease compared to 2022, which is relatively strong compared to the European average, which saw a 43% drop. French FinTech companies secured $1 billion in funding, reflecting a significant 79% decline from the previous year. Despite this, the average deal size in France remained substantial at $6.8 million, though it represents a 77% reduction, indicating fewer large deals.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Ledger, a company providing security and infrastructure solutions for digital assets, was the largest French FinTech deal in 2023, raising $108 million to extend their Series C funding round, maintaining the company’s valuation at €1.3 billion. Led by Chairman and CEO Pascal Gauthier, Ledger is a global platform for digital assets and Web3, with over 6 million devices sold to consumers in 200 countries, securing 20% of the world’s crypto assets.

This FinTech surge aligns with efforts by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to enhance the startup scene and attract tech talent and capital. Since launching the La French Tech initiative in 2013, France has aimed to cut red tape, encourage entrepreneurship, and promote itself as a business-friendly hub.

According to Le Monde, the French government reported benefiting from 1,815 international investment projects in 2023, which are expected to maintain 1,391 jobs and create 57,863 new positions over the next three years, surpassing 2022 figures. Reforms to reduce labor costs, cut corporate tax, and introduce a “green industry tax credit” are likely attracting investors.

Microsoft’s largest-ever investment in France, announced on May 14, involves €4 billion to expand its cloud and AI infrastructure, adding up to 25,000 advanced GPUs by 2025. Microsoft will expand its data center footprint in Paris, Marseille, and build a new campus in Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération.

“With this major project, the Grand Est region is making Alsace a benchmark region for artificial intelligence in France and Europe,” said Franck Leroy, President of the Conseil régional du Grand-Est. Microsoft also commits to upskilling 1 million people in AI by 2027, partnering with various institutions to launch training programs aimed at building AI fluency and supporting business transformation.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Additionally, Microsoft aims to accelerate 2,500 French startups with AI support through its new Microsoft GenAI Studio program. This initiative offers AI expertise, cloud credits, and collaboration opportunities, including a tailored 4-month program at STATION F and a nationwide tour to connect with regional players.

In 2019, France implemented significant regulatory changes for digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs), including defining tokens as digital representations of securities and introducing a framework for a secondary market with digital asset service providers. These regulations reflect France’s commitment to fostering a comprehensive regulatory environment for digital assets and ICOs.

Brexit has also played to France’s advantage, prompting some FinTech firms and talent to shift from London. Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, stated his objective to leverage Brexit’s momentum to attract more jobs and investment inflows. Since 2021, Paris has seen over 5,500 new positions in banking and finance, with major financial institutions establishing eurozone operations in the French capital. Stéphane Boujnah, CEO of Euronext, noted that while Paris may not yet rival London, its growth is notable compared to its previous status.

One high-profile success is Lydia, a payments app popular among French Gen Z and millennials. Backed by Accel and Tencent, Lydia is investing €100 million to expand its digital banking services through a new app, Sumeria. Despite this investment, cofounder Cyril Chiche expects the company to achieve profitability in 2023.

Other notable French FinTech deals include Qonto’s €486 million raise in 2022, valuing the neobank at €4.4 billion, along with significant rounds for Spendesk, Bleckwen, and Fintecture.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Source: pymnts.com

The post Could France Lead the EU’s Digital Comeback? appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

InScope secures $4.3m to revolutionise financial reporting and auditing

Published

on

 

InScope, a newly launched FinTech company, has successfully raised $4.3 million to expand its innovative financial reporting and auditing platform.

According to PYMNTS, the funding round included significant contributions from prominent investors such as Lightspeed and Better Tomorrow Ventures.

InScope is focused on transforming the traditional processes of financial reporting and auditing for private companies. The company leverages advanced technologies, including generative AI and large language models, to automate and streamline the compilation of financial statements—tasks that have historically been prone to errors and required extensive manual effort.

Advertisement
Stake.com

The new capital will be used to enhance InScope’s platform capabilities. The company aims to shift accountants’ focus from laborious manual tasks to more strategic initiatives, thereby empowering finance professionals with tools to complete reporting and auditing tasks quickly and efficiently.

InScope’s system compiles data from a company’s core systems, such as ERP, along with publicly available information, and transforms these inputs into GAAP-compliant financial and audit documents.

InScope CEO and co-founder Mary Antony stated, “Our technology dramatically reduces the time and effort required for financial reporting and auditing, eliminating the need for outdated manual processes.” Her co-founder and COO, Kelsey Gootnick, also emphasized the transformative potential of InScope, which they conceived out of their own frustrations with existing financial processes.

The company has already begun collaborating with a select group of companies to refine and enhance their financial reporting capabilities. JC Bahr-de Stefano, a venture capital investor at Better Tomorrow Ventures, commented on this partnership: “InScope is already working with a handful of companies to help streamline their financial reporting needs and enable accountants to complete their reporting tasks in minutes instead of months.”

Source: fintech.global

Advertisement
Stake.com

The post InScope secures $4.3m to revolutionise financial reporting and auditing appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Citi extends USD Clearing service to Middle East in partnership with Emirates NBD

Published

on

 

Citi has partnered with Dubai-based banking group Emirates NBD to launch its USD Clearing service in the Middle East.

Through this collaboration, Emirates NBD will offer the USD Clearing service, along with its commercial and treasury payment execution capabilities, to corporate and retail clients via its branch networks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This service will enable clients to make cross-border USD payments with continuous availability, addressing current payment flow challenges posed by varying transaction cut-off times in the UAE.

“The introduction of 24/7 USD Clearing will support the growth ambitions of our clients by giving them the ability to seamlessly transfer funds in a timely manner without having to worry about cutoffs and holidays,” said Ahmed Al Qassim, group head of wholesale banking at Emirates NBD.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Following the initial launch, the service will be extended to all Emirates NBD branches in the Middle East and globally, including partnerships with third-party institutions.

According to its website, Emirates NBD currently operates 853 branches in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UK, Austria, Germany, Russia, and Bahrain.

Shahmir Khaliq, Citi’s head of services, described the collaboration as “an important step in our journey to creating a multibank solution that is designed to deliver an end-to-end, ‘always on’ experience for participant banks and their customers.”

“Our 24/7 USD Clearing service is a clear differentiator in the market,” Khaliq continued. “It demonstrates the full value of our globally leading cross-border payments and clearing capabilities, which enable our clients to make payments faster and in a more efficient and transparent manner.”

Source: fintechfutures.com

Advertisement
Stake.com

The post Citi extends USD Clearing service to Middle East in partnership with Emirates NBD appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

Continue Reading

Latest News

New partnership between BIS and MAS targets climate risks in finance

Published

on

 

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have recently collaborated on an innovative initiative.

The BIS, an institution dedicated to fostering international monetary and financial cooperation, and the MAS, Singapore’s central bank responsible for monetary policy, financial regulation, and supervision, have teamed up to tackle a pressing global challenge.

Their partnership aims to develop a blueprint for a climate risk platform designed to integrate regulatory and climate data. This platform will enable financial authorities worldwide to better identify, monitor, and manage climate-related risks within the financial system.

Advertisement
Stake.com

The BIS, through its Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, is addressing financial stability concerns posed by climate change. The MAS adds its regulatory expertise and focus on sustainable finance to the effort. Both institutions recognize the complex challenges posed by climate change, including significant data gaps and the difficulty of assessing associated risks.

Project Viridis, led by the BIS Innovation Hub, outlines the essential features and metrics of the proposed climate risk platform. This platform is designed to provide comprehensive data on financed emissions, exposure to physical risks, and forward-looking assessments under various climate scenarios. As the impact of climate change on global financial markets escalates, adaptive and innovative responses are necessary.

The partnership also leverages advanced technologies such as natural language processing to extract and analyze climate-related data from corporate disclosures. This enables a deeper understanding of financial institutions’ climate-related risks and identifies potential areas requiring more intensive risk assessment.

Maha El Dimachki, head of the BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre, stated, “Project Viridis demonstrates how regulatory data can be integrated with climate data, extracted from corporate disclosure documents using natural language processing techniques. This provides authorities with insights into climate-related financial risks, helping them form an initial view of financial institutions’ risk exposures and identify areas that may require deeper risk assessment.”

Source: fintech.global

Advertisement
Stake.com

 

The post New partnership between BIS and MAS targets climate risks in finance appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

Continue Reading

Trending