Fintech

In Germany, the largest deals of 2021 go to Fintech startups

According to a study by Silicon Valley Bank, Germany’s venture capital ecosystem has fintech to thank for its boost in total dollars invested.

Trade Republic — a commission free investment app — took first place in the country terms of deal size, raising a $900 million Series C. The Berlin-based company has raised a total of $995 million, counting Sequoia Capital, Accel, TCV and Thrive Capital as investors. The only startup that has managed to out raise Trade Republic is executive management platform Celonis with a $1 billion Series D.

Unfortunately, the SVB study only really examined the top 50 deals struck in Germany this year to come to its VC funding pattern conclusions.

Using Crunchbase, let’s pull a bit more data on the country’s fintech activity so far this year and put it in an infographic I slapped together:

Analysis

The above is just a quick view of Germany’s VC scene so far into 2021, but there are some nuggets of information just below the surface that can tell us more about fintech activity in the country.

Most notably, the country has a bevy of seed-stage investments in fintech, with Crunchbase reporting over 30% of fintech are in this stage.

This is actually really surprising to me. Typically, it’s assumed that outside the U.S. — really outside of San Francisco — investors aren’t willing to take on such risky bets. But in Germany, it appears there is a tolerance. Do we know why that tolerance may have increased? Not at the moment. But it’s possible that seed-stage startups in Germany are just further along in terms of revenue, and fintech is ripe for opportunity that it could feel like some deals are no brainer.

Regardless, the top of funnel for fintech startups is quite full. That bodes well for late-stage investors to place truly massive bets, as they did for Trade Republic.

Fintech activity abroad

While the U.S. has historically claimed a large portion of fintech success, the need for financial solutions reaches all corners of the world — and international growth is becoming more and more evident.

We’ve included just a snippet of what these countries have initiated, invested and invented, and look forward to what’s next.

  • U.S. online payments giant PayPal announced it would let British customers buy, hold and sell digital currencies, starting this week. This marks the official first international expansion of PayPal‘s crypto capabilities since its US launch in October of 2020.
  • Opay, a Nigerian mobile payments and consumer platform announced raising a $400 million Series C led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. SoftBank’s first investment in an African startup will help replicate and extend its offerings to nearby and adjacent market with the goal of helping emerging markets reach faster economic development.
  • Shopistry, a Canadian-based startup centered around the concept of ‘headless commerce’ and building e-commerce infrastructure, announced raising $2 million in seed funding to continue developing its products, integrations, services and managed infrastructures, with the hope of turning headless commerce into the dominant architecture over the next five years.
  • Uala, an Argentinian financial service startup, is now valued at $2.45 billion following a $350 million Series D co-led by SoftBank and Tencent. Uala has already issued more than 3.3 million prepaid Mastercards to Argentinian users, with another 200,000 debit cards distributed in Mexico.
  • Payments giant Square announced plans to buy Australian buy now, pay later platform Afterpay for $29 billion (A$39 billion). The all-stock acquisition would see two of the world’s fastest growing fintech companies join together and bring the BNPL model to consumers and merchants across the world.
  • One financial service concept which has quickly spread roots on a global scale, and looks close to blossoming in Latin America, is Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL). In the past 30 days, Latin American fintechs have raised almost $2.4 billion across 18 funding rounds.

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