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Week 32: Big techs small steps into banking

This week: 🏡 Profiting on renting 📉 Lower valuations in Fintech? 📱 Big tech going into bankin

This week in fintech

August 10 · Issue #22 · View online
A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

This week: 🏡 Profiting on renting 📉 Lower valuations in Fintech? 📱 Big tech going into banking 📊 Graph of the week

🏡 Profiting on renting
Norway’s largest online marketplace,, is partnering with Aprila Bank and launching “Finn Enkel Utleie” - the next generation marketplace for private landlords. The service will make renting out housing more financially predictable by offering advertisers guaranteed monthly rent, deposit account, and rental insurance for 5% of the rental price. Finn’s move is noteworthy because of their position as Norway’s largest marketplace, but also because this might be the start of developing similar financing solutions for other markets than house renting. 
House renting is a space with a lot of actors at the moment. One year ago, Unite Living got 7 million NOK in funding from DNB Ventures to digitize and automate home rentals from A to Z. Last week Roomr launched from Finance Innovations incubator. Their plan is to streamline the rental market with automatic listings, deposit account, invoicing, and collection. Sounds familiar? It will be exciting how all this pans out now that Norway’s largest marketplace is in on the hunt. As a sidenote their common competitor has lately experienced strong growth, and is therefore planning to expand internationally. It could be a wise move!
Disclaimer: Stacc has helped Aprila implementing their solution for Finn.
📉 Lower valuations in Fintech?
The cloud accounting system 24SevenOffice becomes a major owner of Optin Bank. The investment gives the company an ownership share of 9.9 percent and an option to buy up to 20 percent “We have seen that you have to work closely with the bank to get big savings in financial management” says Stian Rustad from 24SevenOffice. A natural next step is, therefore, becoming part owners. The plan is to integrate the bank into 24SevenOffice. 
The price that 24SevenOffice pays for the stock is half of what Optin Bank was valued for last year. This is, allegedly, a discount for 24SevenOffice’s customer portfolio. We have, however, seen a trend for the last year where Fintech startups have to lower their valuations. As an example the neobank Monzo, had to accept 40% lower valuation on their funding round in June. On Norwegian ground, Auka – which goal is to be the largest European payment network, had plans of getting 130 million NOK in extra funding this spring. Due to the pandemic, they had to settle for 10 million NOK, but are still planning to get more funding to expand in Europe this autumn. It will be interesting to see if they also need to accept a lower valuation.
This doesn’t mean that all fintech-valuations are getting lower. ZTL Payment Solution raised NOK 27 million in an oversubscribed issue round right before the summer. Investinor, the Norwegian government investment company, is one of the investors with 6.5 million NOK invested. ZTL makes it easier and cheaper for SMEs to make domestic and international payments using PSD2 and integrate their payment system into ERP accounting systems. 
Disclaimer: Stacc has helped ZTL develop their solution.
📱 Big tech going into banking
We’ve previously talked about “Big Tech” entering into Fintech, and now it is slowly happening. Google is now going to offer co-branded accounts with eight US banks.Rodriguez Soler from one of the banks, BBVA, elaborates: “Collaborations with companies like Google represent the future of banking. Consumers end up the true winners when finance and big tech work together for their benefit.”
Whatsapp, which Facebook bought six years ago, will enter lending and micro-finance sector in India. They are, like Google, partnering up with local banks. 
Last weekend Apple on their side, acquired the mobile payment company Mobeewave. They are a Canadian startup that allows merchants to use their smartphone as payment terminals without any external accessories. CDO in Sbanken, Christoffer Hernæs, has written about what this move means for banks. In summary, Apple can now serve both the consumer (via ApplePay) and the merchant side (Mobeewave) of transactions. In theory, this means that with enough widespread adoption, Apple can bypass traditional payment schemes and banking infrastructure and start to process their payments.
📊 Graph of the week
The graph of the week shows the most and least profitable Fortune 500 companies – per employee. As an interesting sidenote, Financial companies dominates the most profitable companies per employee, with 8 in the top 20:
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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