Posted In:


Lemonless Lemonade


Apr 18, 2020


Posted In:



Apr 18, 2020



In the same way you can’t make lemonade without lemons, you can’t have fintech without internet connectivity.

The current climate is a catalyst for increased adoption of digital services in a compressed period of time – particularly financial services. Consumers and businesses are increasingly reliant on digital payments, trading tools, payroll, wealth management, insurance, and increasingly connected devices (aka IoT) - which all require an internet connection. In 2019, 75% of consumers used at least 1 fintech app (compared to 18% in 2015) and likely to be much higher in 2020.

Digital infrastructure has yet to evolve to meet the growing demand for global fintech consumers. In developed markets, connectivity is mainly supplied through fiber-optic broadband. In the US, 21m remain without any broadband connection at all, and almost one-third of rural Americans. In the UK, 63% of homes suffer broadband outages or significantly slower internet speeds at least once a month.

In developing markets, access to the internet is predominantly via mobile, also the means of delivery of digital financial services. In Africa, where only 24% of the population has mobile internet, mobile money transactions on the continent account for over 70% of the global transactions.

The World Bank estimates reaching internet penetration globally of 75% (from ~50% today) in all developing countries would add as much as $2t to their collective GDP and create more than 140m jobs around the world.

The same way the global economy long relied on a vast network of infrastructure from roads and ports the new economy will require the digital foundation in the form of electrical grids, mobile connectivity, and internet provision.

We don’t want to be hunting for data in the loo!

Portfolio News

OXIO is launching a relief program for wireless connectivity in Mexico with partners - The initiative to give away 15,000 SIM cards with free wireless plans to the 56% of Mexicans who will feel the impact of COVID-19 most. Portfolio company Oxio has partnered with Hospital General and national pharmacy chains for the first batch of sim card distribution and is seeking additional partners. Read more

Extend chosen as one of the top Bank/Fintech Partnerships by Teersheet from over 100 entries - Portfolio company Extend's partnership with City National to be its virtual card distribution platform was a highlighted partnership. City National customers can instantly send virtual cards to employees (and distributed team members) to pay for business expenses. Read more

Lemonless Lemonade

Rural areas promised better internet as the UK government pledges £5b towards speedy broadband - The Chancellor pledged £5bn towards speedy broadband in rural areas. The government also announced a £510m investment into 4G coverage. Read more

Tracking COVID-19’s impact on global internet performance (updated April 15) - Percent change compared to the week of March 2, 2020, some examples (fixed internet speed/mobile internet speed): Italy -12%/-8%, UAE +10%/-15%, US -5%/-3%, and UK -3%/+1%. Read more

Coronavirus exposes America’s broadband problem - 21m Americans remain without any broadband connection at all and it is especially a problem in rural areas: the Pew Research estimates that a third of rural Americans do not have broadband at home. Poor internet access in rural areas was already an issue before the pandemic. Read more

Industry News

Indiana man finds mysterious $8.2m in bank account - An Indiana man awaiting his $1,700 stimulus payment said he checked his balance at an ATM and instead discovered a mysterious sum of $8.2 million. Read more

Stripe raises $600m at $36b valuation in Series G extension, says it has $2b on its balance sheet - This latest funding — its largest to date by a large margin — is coming from a number of its existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, GV and Sequoia. Read more

The crash of the $8.5b global flower trade - A great read from Bloomberg on the crash of the $8.5b. global trade in cut flowers. It shows how quickly and distinctively coronavirus is disrupting sophisticated supply chains across multiple industries. Read more

U.S. fintech firms struggle for role in bailout - Only a handful of fintech companies have been approved as SBA lenders and before they were approved, could still participate, but only as partners, or “agents,” who connect borrowers with banks. While lenders were entitled to a 5% fee on loans under $350,000, agents were limited to a 1% cut of that fee. Read more

Leaked pics reveal Google smart debit card to rival Apple’s - The Google card and associated checking account will allow users to buy things with a card, mobile phone or online. The card will be co-branded with different bank partners, including CITI and Stanford Federal Credit Union. Read more

Asian lenders lag in Libor transition - Few Asian banks will be able to make loans this year using new rates designed to replace Libor benchmarks, leaving them facing a scramble ahead of Libor's demise at the end of 2021. Read more

Fraudsters target those who are self-isolating - UK Finance has warned self-isolating people to beware of fraudsters looking to steal their money with false offers of help. Read more

Coronavirus means thousands of Wall Street internships may be virtual this summer - Thousands of interns might have a dramatically different summer than they imagined, as investment banks like JPMorgan Chase consider virtual options in response to stay-at-home orders and reductions in clients. Read more

Carta said to raise as much as $200m at $3b valuation- The talks come as Carta is firing employees, making it the latest technology startup to shrink its workforce during the pandemic. Read more

Axios and Dan Primack host a live virtual conversation on the future of fintech - Axios hosted a virtual event on how businesses and financial institutions are preserving consumer privacy while navigating the transition to digital living. Read more

Small business rescue loan program hits $349b limit and is now out of money - As of Thursday morning, the SBA says it’s “unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding”. Read more

Brazilian Development Bank discussing models to operate via fintech – Fintech startups will help transfer a total volume of resources of R$5b destined for working capital for SMEs, giving them a crucial role in the midst of the COVID crisis. Read more

Santander launches PagoFX to take on TransferWise – Santander has launched a standalone offering, which is free for two months to attract customers. For any amount over £3000, PagoFX charges a 0.7-0.8% transaction fee. Read more

Select Financings

Airwallex - Australia based cross-border financial startup raised $160m in Series D financing led by ANZi Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. Read more

BioCatch - Tel Aviv based financial institutions-focused security startup raised $145m led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities. Read more

Credit Kudos - London based credit scoring through open banking raised £5m in Series A funding led by AlbionVC. Read more

Everee - Utah based payroll software for SMBs raised $10m in Series A funding led by Origin Ventures and Signal Peak Ventures. Read more

Frank - New York based student financial aid platform raised $5m in an interim strategic round led by Chegg. Read more

NoBroker - India based property rental and buying marketplace raised $30m in a Series D extension led by General Atlantic. Read more

Onfido - London based virtual identity verification platform raised $100m in Series D funding led by TPG Growth. Read more

Previse - London based invoice factoring technology startup raised $11m in new funding led by Reefknot Investments and Mastercard. Read more

Robinhood - Menlo Park, CA based personal finance and brokerage startup is raising $200m of additional capital at an $8b valuation led by Sequoia Capital. Read more

Savi - Washington, DC based student loan wellness platform raised $6m in Series A financing led by Nyca Partners. Read more

Setu - India based API infrastructure provider for fintech raised $15m in Series A financing led by Falcon Edge and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more - London based insuretech claims management startup raised $2.5m in Seed funding led by Amadeus Capital Partners. Read more

Taxfix - Berlin based mobile tax filing app raised $65m in Series C funding led by Index Ventures. Read more

Trade Republic - Germany based no-fee brokerage app raised $67m in Series B financing co-led by Accel and Founders Fund. Read more


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