Tuesday, June 15, 2021 / 12:24 PM / By FintechNGR / Header Image Credit: IT News
In recent times it has become more evident that cryptocurrency is not a sector to be overlooked and beyond retail trading, institutional investors and government are beginning to give it tangible attention, particularly as it relates to payment infrastructure, CBDCs and digital assets.
Nebraska Legislature has recently approved framework for Digital Asset Banks, that if signed by the Governor would create a state charter for crypto banks. Brazil's Central Bank, Banco Central do Brasil has recently released a general guideline for a Brazilian CBDC - which although still at its preliminary stage is intended to bring the discourse to the national level.
Riksbank, Sweden's Central Bank, has also announced its enlisting of Handelsbanken and software firm, TietoEvry, for the latest stage of its CBDC, e-krona, pilot. The e-krona project was started in the spring of 2017 as a result of dwindling cash usage in Sweden and this current stage of the project would evaluate the integration between participants' existing systems and the technical platform for the e-krona pilot.
Funding Rounds, Valuations & IPOs
On the West African plain, a Cameroon-based digital financial services provider, Maivance, has raised $3M from MFS Africa which would see the latter taking an undisclosed minority stake in the start-up. Maivance hopes to expand its flagship product, Smobilpay, which is connected to GIMAC, the interoperability switch of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) - the central bank of the Central African region, to Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
Still on the African landscape, Chipper Cash, a start-up that facilitates cross-border payments has closed a $100 million Series C round led by SVB Capital - the investment arm of U.S. high-tech commercial bank Silicon Valley Bank, while in Kenya, Kibanda TopUp, a startup digitising the food supply chain for small and medium restaurants in Africa has closed a $460k pre-seed round targeted at increasing its customer base.
On the global scene, Lili, a banking app designed for freelancers and gig-economy workers, has raised $55 million in a Series B investment round led by Group 11, Australia-based commission-free brokerage platform, Stake, has scored $30M from Tiger Global and partners of DST Global to fuel its expansion into European market, and, Pine Labs, a start-up offering merchants payments terminals, invoicing tools and working capital, has also recently completed the first close of a $285 million funding which will see the start-up being valued at $3 billion.
Acquisitions, Partnerships & Expansion
A consortium of private equity groups, including Blackstone and Carlyle, has reached a deal to buy medical supply group Medline for about $34bn, including debt. Analysts have tagged it one of the largest-ever private equity deals, behind the $44bn buyout of US energy group TXU Corporation in 2007.
Credits: Coindesk, TechCabal, Techcrunch, makexpress, Tech Crunch, Finextra
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