#395
Protect The Virtual Home

Published:

Jul 10, 2021


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Published:

Jul 10, 2021


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It seems like - everyday - another ransomware attack is reported in the news. Just last weekend, an obscure IT software firm was infected along with ~1000+ of its customers. One client, Swedish grocer COOP, was forced to shut its doors at ~800 stores, as it was locked out of its cash register systems.

The rise in ransomware attacks has roiled the cyber insurance industry and, though prices are rising, carriers are still struggling to balance their books accordingly. According to credit agency AM Best, cyber premiums have risen 20% in the past 4 years but claims have risen 39%. Ransomware attacks make up 75% of these claims.

Carriers are already reducing their exposures and increasing their diligence. AIG recently added 25 security diligence questions to their initial underwriting process. In an age where hackers grow savvier by the day, it’s important to remember that thoughtful cyber practices and risk management matters for companies big and small.

Hence, the industry is reacting in two ways -- rethinking the “pay the ransom” status quo and simply doing the work (i.e., checking customer’s security protocols). AXA recently announced a blanket policy in France that they’d never pay cyber ransoms. One might expect others to join them, as regulators and carriers alike bond over the Harrison Ford-esque mantra: “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Only time will tell.

The one attack that is certain this week is that of an agile Italian offense on the Three Lions’ defense. Like in cybersecurity, it’s difficult to guarantee results. But as the spirit of ‘66 takes over Wembley...it’s (hopefully) coming home and the English will be able to celebrate with a baked bean Pizza!

Portfolio News


Willa raises $18m Series A to build the financial operating system for creators - FinTech Collective welcomes the Willa team to the Collective. Based in Stockholm & Los Angeles, Willa's promise to freelancers is that they would never have to chase another unpaid invoice, worry about payment terms, or deal with complicated and time-consuming paperwork. With the “creator economy” undergoing significant growth, we are excited to have led the $18m Series A round with participation from EQT ventures and Entrée Capital. Read more

Coincover raises $9.2m as big firms seek safety - Wales-based insurance platform for digital assets raised $9.2m in Series A funding led by Element Ventures along with DRW, Valor, and Susquehanna. FinTech Collective participated in the round. Read more

Allied Payment Network partners with NYDIG - This week portfolio company NYDIG announced a partnership with Allied Payment Network. The partnership will enable community financial institutions to offer consumers the ability to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin. Read more

Protect The Virtual Home


Cyber insurance carriers band together to deal with ransomware - Rising costs in the cyber industry and a massive growth in ransomware have prompted carriers to band together to think through best practices. AIG, AXIS, Beazley, Chubb, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Travelers came together to form CyberAcuView, a data share consortium aimed at better mitigating cyber risk. Read more

Cyber insurance industry in crosshairs of ransomware criminals - Rising ransomware payouts (some say as high as 400% in 2020) are forcing insurance companies to rethink making ransom payments right away. Cyber premiums are rising quickly -- often as high as 20%+ on a month-over-month basis. Read more

Major ransomware attack hits 1000s of businesses - Over 1000 firms were impacted by a ransomware attack on MSP-focused software firm Kaseya. The attackers asked for a $70m bitcoin ransom as the attack impacted end customers around the world. Read more

Industry News


$1b+ crypto transacted via Visa-linked cards in H1 - Visa now partners with over 50 firms to offer card programs that allow crypto-related spending at the millions of merchants on its network. Read more

Borrowing is back as sign-ups for auto loans, credit cards hit records - Americans are borrowing again, in some cases at levels not seen in more than a decade. Read more

Cross River Bank eyes $2.5b valuation - Cross River Bank, a regional lender that works with some of the biggest U.S. financial-technology startups, is in talks to raise $200m in funding. Read more

Cryptocurrency firm Circle to go public via SPAC deal that will value the company at $4.5b - The firm operates USDC, one of the world's largest dollar-pegged stablecoins, with over $25b in circulation. Read more

Fake stocks have started trading on blockchains - Fake versions of Tesla Inc., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and other big stocks, as well as a few popular exchange-traded funds, have been created by the projects Mirror Protocol and Synthetix over the past year. Read more

Old school lenders ape fintechs by offering early pay - Frost Bank said its clients with direct deposit will be automatically enrolled in the new “Early Payday” feature when it rolls out July 13. The bank will fund clients accounts as soon as it receives a notice of payment from the Automated Clearing House Network. Read more

StepStone Group acquires Greenspring Associates - The combined platform will manage approximately $22b of venture and growth-equity assets. Read more

JPM's Pinto believes trading flows will only improve in the years to come - After years of decline following the financial crisis, Wall Street now expects trading flows to improve as electronification and regulation have largely played out. Industry analysts believe trading revenues bottomed in 2017 at $110b but also acknowledge that 2020 banner $145b year was a COVID anomaly. Read more

Wells Fargo tells customers it’s shuttering all personal lines of credit - The bank is shutting down all existing personal lines of credit in coming weeks and no longer offers the product, according to customer letters reviewed by CNBC. Read more

Tom Farley’s SPAC to merge with Bullish to bring planned crypto exchange public - Bullish will be valued at $9b and was spun out of Block.One. Read more

Select Financings


AREX - Ireland based embedded lending platform raised €8.8m in Series A funding co-led by Mosaic Ventures and LocalGlobe. Read more

Blockpit - Austria based crypto tax auditing startup raised €8.4m in Series A funding led by MiddleGame Ventures. Read more

Bunq - Netherlands based challenger bank raised $228m in Series A funding led by Pollen Street Capital. Read more

Canopy - Utah based tax practice management suite raised $11m in funding led by Ankona Capital. Read more

Casafari - Portugal based real estate data platform raised $15m in Series A funding led by Prudence Holdings. Read more

Clearco - Canada based fintech capital provider for online companies raised $215m in funding led by SoftBank. Read more

Juni - Sweden based neobank for ecommerce raised $21.5m in Series A funding co-led by DST Global and Felix Capital. Read more

Lula - Florida based insurance infrastructure startup raised $18m in Series A funding led by Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures. Read more

Pleo - Denmark based expense management platform raised $150m in Series C funding co-led by Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital at a pre-money valuation of $1.55b. Read more

Solfácil - Brazil based financing platform for distributed solar raised $30m in Series B funding led by QED. Read more

Single.Earth - Estonia based marketplace for nature-backed crypto tokens raised $7.9m in Series Seed funding led by EQT Ventures. Read more

Slice - India based startup democratizing credit card access raised $20m in late stage funding led by Gunosy and Blume Ventures. Read more

Smile Identity - Nigeria based ID verification and KYC compliance platform raised $7m in Series A funding co-led by Costanoa Ventures and CRE Venture Capital. Read more

Super.mx - Mexico based insurtech raised $7.2m in a Series A funding led by ALLVP. Read more

Wagmo - New York City based pet insurance and perks startup raised $12.5m in Series A funding led by Revolution Ventures. Read more

Younited Credit - France based data-driven credit platform raised $170m in funding led by Goldman Sachs. Read more

Z1 - Brazil based digital bank aimed at Latin American GenZers raised $2.5m in Series Seed funding led by Homebrew. Read more

Zerion - San Francisco based DeFi investing platform raised $8.2m in Series A funding led by Mosaic Ventures. Read more


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