Separating The Wheat From The Chaff


Jun 29, 2019



Jun 29, 2019



Bitcoin reclaimed the $10,000 mark in triumphant fashion this week, surging as high as $14,000 before retracing a bit of its recent parabolic move.

While commenting on price is never advised in such a volatile and nascent market, there are some data points that indicate this crypto price surge is different than ones of the past.

For the first time, there has been a fundamental decoupling between Bitcoin and alt-coins (broadly defined as crypto assets other than BTC). Bitcoin dominance as a % of total digital asset market cap has reached an all-time high of 65%, as Bitcoin sucked all the air out of the room.

So what is really behind this decoupling? The case is strengthening that mass adoption for crypto assets will first be driven by censorship resistant, non-sovereign, borderless money (as represented by Bitcoin). The addressable market for global state-free money is estimated to be in excess of $100tn, with 500m people who live in countries with 10% inflation. Add on the $20tn - $30tn stashed by the super wealthy in off-shore bank accounts, and the opportunity set for Bitcoin still seems barely untapped.

Lastly, qualified custodians such as Fidelity have moved to bring their digital storage and security services online for large institutional investors. So while we are still very early in the emergence of digital assets, it seems that Bitcoin has truly separated itself from the pack.

Portfolio News

Ocrolus raises $24 million From FinTech Collective and Oak HC/FT - Ocrolus, the only automation platform that can analyze financial documents with over 99% accuracy, raised $24m led by Oak HC/FT and FinTech Collective. Ocrolus, HQ'd in New York, delivers an elegant blend of artificial intelligence and crowdsourced human quality control to firms across the financial sectors enabling them to automate high-stakes business processes with precision. We could not be more chuffed to have partnered with Sam and his amazing team! Read more

Octane Lending raises non-dilutive growth debt facility from Upper90- Portfolio company Octane Lending, a leading technology marketplace that empowers consumers to efficiently access powersports vehicle financing, has announced the close of a growth debt facility from Upper90, following the close of its successful Series B. Read more

Anyfin highlighted as one of the most innovative fintech companies founded in the Nordics- Portfolio company Anyfin was noted by Pitchbook to be one of the most innovative fintech companies founded in the Nordics, in an article highlighting the fintech success of companies from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Read more

Extend and its CEO and Founder Andrew Jamison featured by Benzinga - Portfolio company Extend is featured as part of Benzinga's "Fintech Focus Rewind," which looks into the company's development, how the product works, and what Andrew has learned along the way. Read more

Artivest announces new Chief Financial Officer – Portfolio company Artivest announced that Karl Jaeger will become the company's new CFO. Karl has over 25 years in the fintech industry, with a particular focus on data and software companies. Read more

Wunder and Fundamental team up to deploy $200m - Portfolio company Wunder Capital has entered into a $200m loan purchase agreement with Fundamental Advisors, which will be used to develop and construct commercial and industrial solar energy projects throughout the U.S. Read more

Separating The Wheat From The Chaff

Tether, not Libra, may be the cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin’s surge - According to Quartz, Bitcoin’s recent rise appears to coincide with the creation of new Tether tokens. Read more

Cryptocurrencies, in some form or another, are probably here to stay - Bitcoin has been bouncing back, after having spent much of 2018 below $4,000. There are many different theories as to why this is the case - the U.S. and China trade war, a possible wealth tax in the U.S., Facebook's introduction of Libra, and geopolitical tensions across the world. Read more

Industry News

Facebook's WhatsApp hires senior exec from London remittances startup - WorldRemit’s Chief Product Officer, Alice Newton-Rex, will join WhatsApp’s product team later this year to work on the app’s messaging service. Read more

India offers test case for future of mobile money - In India, Google Pay, PhonePe (Flipkart), and Paytm are the biggest participants in the payments space. But, unlike China, where Tencent and Alibaba dominate the mobile money arena, India’s landscape remains fragmented and fiercely competitive. Read more

Robots can now decode the cryptic language of central bankers - Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in 1987 that he’d “learned to mumble with great incoherence.” Machines are now analyzing these dense policy statements in seconds—and getting the sentiment right. Read more

Where are all of the fintech IPOs? - 2019 has been a popular year for venture-backed tech IPOs, with many much-awaited "unicorns" going public, but this hasn't been the case for fintech starups. Read more

Monzo's valuation jumps to $2.5b with new funding - Its most recent venture round is just the latest in what has proven to be an exceptionally lucrative year for European fintech startups, particularly those based in the UK. Read more

Japan's lending sector is growing - New fintech companies are transforming Japan's lending sector. AI and other new technologies have eased the loan process, which has made it difficult for many Japanese businesses to access loans. Read more

Select Financing

Blend - San Francisco based digital lending platform has raised $130m in Series E funding, co-led by Temasek and General Atlantic. Read more

CarIQ - San Francisco based provider of software that will enable vehicles to autonomously connect to a bank’s payment network, validate, and pay for their own services, has raised $5m in Series A funding led by Quest Venture Partners. Read more

Creative Group - Amsterdam based provider of prepaid credit that can be digitally bought or sold has raised €22m in funding, from Prime Ventures. Read more

Grab Singapore based ride hailing app operating in Southeast Asia has raised $300m in growth financing, led by Invesco. Read more

KoinWorks - Indonesia based startup that helps SMEs secure financial services through its online P2P platform, has raised $12m in Series B funding, led by EV Growth and Quona Capital. Read more

MainVest - Salem, MA based provider of an investment marketplace empowering local businesses to access capital from investors in their community has raised $3m in seed funding, led by Rucker Park Capital and Lerer Hippeau. Read more

Monzo - United Kingdom based digital, mobile-only "challenger bank" has raised £113m in Series F funding, led by Y Combinator's Continuity Fund. Read more

MX - Utah based provider of data services for banks, credit unions, and fintechs has raised $100m in Series B funding, led by Battery Ventures. Read more

oneZero Financial Systems - Cambridge, MA based provider of software and technology solutions to the foreign exchange trading industry has received a minority investment from Lovell Minnick Partners. Read more

WeGift - United Kingdom based provider of e-gift card and digital reward issuance software has raised £4m in Series A funding, led by Stride.VC. Read more


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