Saturday, January 16, 2021

The biggest unicorn in Europe

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Nothing says this place explodes over millions of dollars in one turn for one .

While Europe was previously seen as a dreary place for building startups, the impression has changed in recent years. Venture capital firms have since zoned the region, put billions of dollars in the continent: In September, the Swedish fintech Klarna 650 million dollars for a valuation of 10.6 billion dollars. Venture capital firm Sequoia in November revealed a grow in europeand start of virtual events based in London Hopin raised at a valuation of $ 2.1 billion the same month.

Add to this list? Checkout.com, a London-based payment and fraud prevention company. On Tuesday, the start-up announced it had raised some $ 450 million in Series C funding led by Tiger Global Management. Greenoaks Capital, DST Global, Coatue Management, Blossom Capital, Endeavor Catalyst and Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC have also invested.

Funding round pushes its valuation to $ 15 billion, making it Europe’s most valuable unicorn above the two UK-based Klarna and Global Switch, based on CBInsights data.

The increase highlights a recent theme: payments. Forced online retailers and businesses fueled an explosion contactless payments around the world. The same trend has also highlighted the need for all related protections, including fraud prevention.

Meanwhile, Affirm, a buzzing buy-now-pay-later start-up in the United States, is expected to begin operations on Wednesday. The company said it plans to raise up to $ 1.8 billion, valuing the shares at around $ 41 to $ 44 a unit, down from $ 33 to $ 38 previously. Within that range, Affirm would be valued at over $ 10 billion, beating its last private market valuation of $ 5.5 billion.

LARGEST AMERICAN EMPLOYER LOOKING TO MAKE A FINTECH: Monday late, Walmart announced the launch of a fintech start-up with Ribbit Capital, a well-known venture capital firm in the fintech space. But the duo were pretty vague on the details. According to a Press release, the startup is “designed to develop and deliver modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions,” and CNBC says it aims to customers and employees– which is fabulous. Fantastic. And the same mission statement of many fintechs.

That said, the union will be one to watch. Walmart has a huge scale, being the biggest employer in the United States and was the largest company by turnover in 2020 (even beating Amazon). Ribbit, while rather quiet to the press, is a name heard loud and clear with bets in Robinhood, Affirm and Coinbase.

This partnership also comes after Walmart sought to launch an offer with Microsoft for a TikTok track this summer in a move that may have bolstered its e-commerce chops among younger shoppers. TikTok finally decided on a deal with Oracle to avoid a ban by President Donald Trump.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
E-mail: lucinda.shen@fortune.com



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