Funding Rounds, Valuations & IPOs
After its IPO earlier this year, it has been gathered that Coinbase is looking to raise $1.5bn in bond sale in a private offering as senior notes which would be due in 2028 and 2031, with proceeds intended for product development and potential acquisitions.
On the investment scene, QED Investors have closed on $1.05bn across two funds to invest in fintech companies globally. In the United States, first U.S neobank to be granted a national bank charter, Varo Bank, has recently undergone a $510m Series E round at a $2.5bn valuation, and already has its eyes on the public markets.
Top financial companies are going strong on the investment scene, Citi has recently led a $15 million round in digital assets data firm Amberdata, and Goldman Sachs has also led a $160 million round in Form3.
Cryptocurrency & Digital Assets
The head of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, in a recent statement has asked Central Banks to urgently develop CBDCs to compete with crypto assets. In his own words, "CBDCs will take years to be rolled out, while... crypto assets are already here."
In a bid to further incorporate the blockchain technology across board, Zhejiang Patent Office has launched China's first intellectual property blockchain certification platform in Hangzhou. According to the available information, the deposit certification will pass as recognized evidence in judicial adjudication, administrative law enforcement, arbitration, and financing.
Still on the Chinese landscape, e-commerce giant Alibaba has caught on fast to the non-fungible token (NFT) wave, as its online retailer Tmall recently sold out a new collection of NFTs featuring mooncakes, which is a signature snack made to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Acquisitions, Partnerships & Expansion
JPMorgan has been going strong on acquisitions in the last couple of months and this time it is looking to buy a majority stake, going the tune of 75%, in Volkswagen payments business. According to Reuters, the move is being made ahead of a planned rollout of in-car technology that allows drivers to automatically pay for fuel or tolls.
On the partnership scene, Flutterwave has announced a new mobile money partnership with MTN across Africa. The partnership will allow merchants on the Flutterwave platform in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo).
Another leading payment company in Africa, Interswitch, has also announced it is brokering a partnership with leading global open API banking solution provider Codebase to accelerate digital banking transformation across the African continent. Commenting on the partnership, Interswitch says it "will enable financial institutions in West and East Africa with full front-to-back SaaS capabilities."