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The UK tech sector has attracted more foreign investment in the first seven months of 2019 than it did during the whole of last year and has overtaken the US for foreign investment, per capita.

 

Research prepared for the Digital Economy Council by Tech Nation and Dealroom.co shows that between January and July this year, UK-based tech firms received a staggering $6.7 billion in funding – with $3.7 billion, or 55%, coming from American and Asian investors thanks to billion dollar tech companies such as energy supplier OVO Energy and food delivery startup Deliveroo.

 

The sector is attracting an average of $1bn a month from both foreign and domestic investors – one and a half times the amount raised during the same period last year – making the UK one of the most attractive and dynamic markets in Europe.

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Money Dashboard has announced a £4.6m raise on Crowdcube, taking investment from 3,300 crowdfunding investors, in what is one of the biggest FinTech raises on Crowdcube this year.

 

The money management app helps over 200,000 people master their money. The app connects to over 70 financial institutions so users can manage all their accounts in one place to track spend, plan ahead, and achieve their goals.

 

Money Dashboard keeps the app free for consumers by generating revenue from insightful market research based on anonymised banking data. This gives data clients critical insight into how businesses such as Deliveroo or Uber are performing

 

The company states that funds will be used to build out the market leading personal finance app and triple the company’s Edinburgh-based team from 20 to 60 staff.

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Millie Bobby Brown, who made her name in the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, has managed to find time to forge a new business opportunity – her first in her five years in the industry. No mean feat considering she’s still only 15 years old.

 

It's actually her age that is one of her upcoming beauty brand's key selling points. Gen Z-ers are chomping at the bit for new products, new lines and new, well, everything, but they don’t want it any which way; they are even more socially-conscious than the millennials before them. Hence why Florence by Mills, the name of the brand, is clean, PETA-certified, cruelty-free and vegan. Comprising skincare and make-up, Florence by Mills products include under-eye gel pads - Brown's favourite - a skin tint and a face mist, and all with Gen Z-worthy names (Swimming Under The Eye, Light A Light and Zero Chill, respectively).

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Pingit, part of the Barclays portfolio, has launched a dedicated e-store on which brings together a wide range of its payment devices in one location.

 

This will provide consumers with a convenient one-stop-shop to browse and buy a large selection of wearable payment accessories, enabling them to pay easily and securely, no matter who they bank with.

 

Customers will be able to purchase Pingit’s newly-released range of fashion and lifestyle accessories embedded with payment capabilities, from key fobs to wearable payment bands to the Loop.

 

The company stated in a press release that over the next few months, customers will be able to buy a wide range of partner products including key fobs, leather bracelets and watches from well-known fashion brands such as Timex, Guess, Hugo Boss and Tovi Sorga.

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Three fintech mega-deals totalling $87 billion set the scene for a record-breaking $120 billion in disclosed transaction value for the sector in a ‘white-hot’ first half of 2019, reveals Hampleton Partners, in its latest global Fintech M&A Market Report.

 

Hampleton Partners, which specialises in international technology M&A and corporate finance, noted that all three of the top transactions were in the payments processing segment: Fidelity National Information Services acquired Worldpay for $43.6bn; Fiserv acquired First Data for $22bn and Global Payments acquired Total System Services for $21.2bn.

 

As challengers use their agility to attract new customers, legacy players are forced to acquire the necessary technology to compete. Investors and acquirers will tend towards targets that focus on automation via disruptive technology, such as real-time payment processing technology; AI chatbots (expected to save banks $7.3 billion annually by 2023); and mobile banking, as in-person branch visits are set to fall 36% between 2017 and 2021.

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Curve, the multi-use banking platform which consolidates several cards and accounts into one smart card and app is launching a seven figure crowdfunding campaign this September.

 

With a valuation of $250m, it sits alongside the UK’s most exciting scaleups; Transferwise, Monzo, Revolut and Starling. The fintech has raised over $70m to date.

 

According to the business, over 500,000 people have signed up to its All Your Cards in One smart card and app since it launched in 2018. Curve currently employs 160 employees and is on track to double its customer base to around 1 million by the end of the year.

 

Next month, Curve will be offering eligible customers a chance to invest in and own a part of the startup. The funding will be done through Crowdcube, and eligible Curve customers will be able to invest from as little as £10 to own part of the business and gain access to exclusive shareholder rewards.

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Flatfair, a London-based fintech firm, has raised $11m in a round led by Index Ventures.

 

The fintech, which aims to tackle the rental market in london by offering deposit free renting to tenants, says it’s already saved tenants “over £4,000,000 in deposit fees” and now looking to  “lead the way with the renting revolution that’s taking the industry by storm,” in a blog post.

 

The $11m funding comes from popular VC Index Ventures which has backed companies such as Facebook, Deliveroo, ASOS and Revolut.

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LendInvest, a UK marketplace for property finance, has received £200 million investment from the National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia’s largest banks.

 

The new funding expands LendInvest’s capacity to lend in the UK Buy-to-Let market. LendInvest has already lent more than £370 million in Buy-to-Let loans and is taking market share in the bank dominated market. In June this year, it also become the UK’s first fintech business to securitise its own portfolio of assets worth £259 million.

 

The business has now raised over £1.8 billion of debt and equity from investors, making it one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in the country.

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Advanced Digital Innovation (UK), a digital healthcare company advancing a patient app, has secured £650k in funding.

 

NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, provided the funding.

 

The company intends to use the funds to build its sales and marketing team and further develop its product.

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Israel has a new most valuable startup: project management software-maker Monday.com.

 

Monday.com announced it has raised $150 million in a Series D investment led by Sapphire Ventures. The round more than tripled Monday.com's valuation to $1.9 billion from $550 million in just one year, making Monday the highest-valued startup in its category of work software and the most valuable startup based in Israel.

 

Founded by Roy Mann and Eran Zinman as dapulse in 2014, Monday has emerged as one of the leaders in work software that helps teams track projects and assign tasks to individuals and groups, a category known as project management. Some 80,000 paying businesses use Monday today, up from 35,000 a year ago, and include businesses like Philips, WeWork and Wix.com.

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