Google wins attraction in opposition to UK class action-style swimsuit in search of damages for Safari monitoring – TechCrunch

Google has won an appeal on a class action lawsuit-style privacy lawsuit in the UK Supreme Court – avoiding up to £ 3 billion in damages if the case were lost.

The cross-country skier Litigation was brought forward by veteran consumer rights activist Richard Lloyd, who has been conducting a class action lawsuit since 2017 alleging that between 2011 and 2012, Google used a Safari workaround to override iPhone users’ privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser – and data breach compensation for the estimated more than 4 million affected UK iPhone users.

Lloyd’s litigation had sought damages for invasion of privacy. In a broader sense, the lawsuit sought to determine that a representative action for damages for a data breach could be brought in the UK – despite the lack of a general class action mechanism in UK law.

Back in 2018 the High Court blocked the lawsuit from proceeding – but the next year The appeals court overturned the verdict and opened the court to hear the lawsuit.

Today’s unanimous Supreme Court judgement essentially relies on the view of the High Court: Blocking the representative action.

The Supreme Court justices held that damage / loss must be suffered in order to claim compensation and that evidence of damage / loss on an individual basis cannot be skipped – ie Compensation cannot simply be uniformly asserted for the “loss of control” of the personal data for each member of the alleged group of representatives, as the Lloyd trial lawyers had demanded.

“Without proof of these facts, a claim for damages cannot be successful,” the Supreme Court sums up its judgment.

The ruling is a heavy blow to UK activists’ hopes of class action-style class action lawsuits against the tracking industry.

If Google had lost the ruling, this would have opened the door to further representative actions for data protection violations. But with the adtech giant won the appeal, there will likely be a big shake up British class action suits targeting data mining tech giants – who had in the past few years, which attracts financiers to commercial litigation.

A law firm responded to today’s verdict, NOT YET, wrote that the outcome of the case “will be a cause for joy for Google and any organization that handles significant amounts of data or bases its business model on the use of personal data (as well as their shareholders and / or insurers)”.

Another law firm, Linklaters LLP, described the ruling as “a severe blow to plaintiff law firms and funders who had hoped to create a new opt-out regime for data breach damages.”

“We would expect that many of the similar lawsuits that have now been brought in the wake of this would fall away,” added Harriet Ellis of Linklaters, dispute settlement partner, in a statement. “Plaintiff companies will carefully review the decision to see whether viable opt-out class actions can still be brought. But it looks really tough. “

We asked Mishcon de Reya, the law firm that Lloyd represents, for a comment.

In its own response to the Supreme Court ruling, Google avoided discussing the details of the case – and only wrote:

“That claim related to events that took place a decade ago and which we addressed at the time. People want to know that they are safe and secure online. That is why we have been concentrating for years on building products and infrastructures that respect and protect people’s privacy. “

A spokesman for the tech giant also referred to a statement by the techUK Employer’s liability insurance association – the intervened in the case in support of Google; and who writes today that “if the appeal had been denied, this would have opened the door” Bringing speculative and harassing claims against data controllers, with far-reaching consequences for both public and private organizations ”.

The UK Trade Association goes on to claim that it “does not oppose representative actions, but we believe it is right that any lawsuit must first determine whether the individual has been harmed by a data breach before filing it”. Compensation”.

However, as the Supreme Court justices note – in relation to the cost of “opt-in” (rather than “opt-out”) litigation – the barrier to access to justice can simply be pushed out of reach if individual claims are just worth it are a few hundred pounds apiece (the Lloyd litigation proposed a rate of £ 750 per person) as the associated case management costs of handling individual claimants “can easily exceed the potential value of the lawsuit”.

So – to be clear – techUK rejects representative lawsuits that are initiated over almost any data breach.

The UK’s privacy watchdog, meanwhile, has shown a total lack of willingness to enforce the law against the data mining adtech industry – despite the ICO warning that since 2019, of rampant unlawful persecution.

While The British government is now also discussing a slowdown the national data protection regime.

So the question of how exactly the average UK citizen can get the privacy rights claimed by UK law looks pretty grim right now …

So much money is at stake today, considering the other cases rely on Lloyd.

We’ll see if the following continues:

Rumble versus Salesforce
McCann on Google
One child against TikTok
Jukes versus Facebook

Various problems play a role in most of them, but all suffer from a represented class problem.

– Robert Bateman (@RobertJBateman) November 10, 2021

In the US, Google received an approval order with the FTC via Safari cookie tracking released a decade ago – already agreed in 2012, $ 22.5 million

Human rights groups have responded to the Supreme Court ruling by calling on the government to launch collective redress.

In a statement the Open rights groupJim Killock’s executive director said, “There must be a way for people to seek redress against massive data breaches without putting their homes at risk and without relying on the Information Commissioner alone.

“The ICO cannot and is sometimes unwilling to act in every case. We have waited over two years for action against the adtech industry, which, according to the ICO, is operating illegally. There is no sign of action.

“Still, it would be totally inappropriate for someone to risk their home on court fees in such cases. Without a collective mechanism we stay there: in many cases, data protection is very difficult to enforce against tech giants.

“The government should keep its word and consider implementing collective action under the GDPR, which d[t] expressly rejected in February on the grounds that Lloyd vs. Google had shown that the existing rules could offer a way to redress. “

Famend investor Kevin Ryan thinks the massive cash is in healthcare – TechCrunch

Kevin Ryan has become very wealthy by being in the right place at the right time – including the online advertising network DoubleClick, which he joined as the twelfth employee and eventually headed as CEO (it was later acquired twice) – as well as co-founding numerous companies , including software company MongoDB, which is currently valued at around $ 30 billion as a publicly traded company. (Ryan still owns “at least half of my shares” in the company, he says.)

The other day we spoke to Ryan about his biggest and newest bet on health technology. As we reported earlier, his investment firm AlleyCorp is stalling $ 100 million mostly of Ryan’s own capital into creating and funding outfits in space – on top of the roughly 20 related bets the outfit has already made. We wondered how he got so involved when his previous projects had almost nothing to do with each other. You can hear this conversation here or view excerpts below.

TC: To someone who is not careful, your extreme focus on health technology comes as a surprise. What sparked your initial interest?

KR: One of the things I always do from the AlleyCorp perspective is to think about what 5 to 10 year trends we want to bet on. Some areas can be overcrowded and you think there is no chance, everything is already taken care of. And sometimes you think there is a great opportunity. And so, two or three years ago, I felt like there were huge opportunities in both New York and healthcare in general because there are so many aspects of the healthcare system that are just not working well. It’s incredibly expensive, the electronic records aren’t great, it’s super inefficient. Most of us are very frustrated with this whole health system, which means opportunity.

TC: You mostly oversee your own capital here. Why not borrow billions of dollars to invest, which you, as a proven entrepreneur and investor, could probably do in this current market?

KR: Partly because the area of ​​the ecosystem in which I like to play and in which I feel most comfortable and know best is still in its early stages. So, do I want to invest in a $ 3 billion company and hope it hits $ 10 billion? I don’t really play there. I want to be in the early stages where it’s riskiest and that just requires less capital. By the way, we are not tied up with capital, otherwise we would not bring all these other things to the market [including incubating a number companies inside AlleyCorp like Nomad Health, which raised a $63 million round earlier this year, and Pearl Health, which closed an $18 million round in September].

When we start a new business, we have to bring in $ 1.5 million to $ 2 million to get a business off the ground and then we raise money [from] outside and when we have to raise a lot of money, we collect a lot of money and keep investing, we try to limit our investment in a single company to around $ 10 million. But no, there are many options. And here I want to play.

TC: And this model works even in a world where we are now seeing $ 100 million seed rounds?

KR: The changed environment only helps us. Take pearl health. We have invested $ 1.5 million in this company and are starting with a large equity position. It depends on the company, but we’ll probably have 30-60% somewhere between our partners because the management team has a lot and sometimes there are co-founders on it, so it’s a great position.

Then a company like Andreessen Horowitz comes with a high valuation, a big step up – and we put another $ 3 million or $ 4 million into that round – but we decide who comes in. And by the way, if there is a round at, I don’t know, $ 400 million, then we’re probably going to stop investing. That’s what happens to seed capital. Other big buys will come, we will be watered down, and that’s not a problem. Our money is most effective when we think we can make 10 times our money.

TC: So you are not interested in participating in the later stages.

KR: No. I’ve invested every now and then. We just put a ton of money into Nomad, and Nomad is valued at around $ 250 million. But I think it’s a $ 2 billion company that can be started, so I still feel good about it [our bigger investment], but it’s probably the last round we’ll invest in. There are other people out there who play the role of investing money who think they will get 2 or 3 times the return on it, which is fantastic for their fund. You are much later; they’ll just be inside [a company] for five years. We want to put our money in, be in it for nine years and earn 100 times our money,

TC: Many of your contemporaries are beginning to step out of the venture capital industry, or at least out of their companies. I was wondering how you feel about it. Do you have a right hand at AlleyCorp? What if you decide to step down at some point?

KR: First of all, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. But you know it’s Brenton [Fargnoli], Conduct health efforts; it’s wendy [Tsu] who works in the non-medical field. And then I guess that in a year we will have two or three more partners and that I would be practically the managing partner of the company. But I’m fine for another 10 years.

Thailand’s fintech startup Ascend Cash lands $150M at a $1.5B valuation – TechCrunch

Money go up, the Thai fintech startup behind TrueMoney, an e-wallet service, announced today that it has raised a $ 150 million Series C round valued at $ 1.5 billion.

The Series C round was led by Charoen Pokphand group, a major shareholder in Ascend Money, with the participation of Bow Wave Capital Management and returning supporters Ant group.

Ascend Money will use the proceeds to grow its e-wallet application – TrueMoney Wallet – and expand its digital financial services, which range from digital lending and digital investments to cross-border money transfers in Southeast Asia.

Founded in 2013, the company also plans to expand its global operations in six countries – Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, electronic payments through TrueMoney Wallet have grown exponentially due to social distancing measures and growing public awareness of contactless transactions across the region, Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, co-president of Ascend Money, told TechCrunch. Its users in Thailand have grown from 17 million in early 2021 to 20 million now, while its online payment application case transactions have increased by over 75%, Thamavaranukupt said.

“The growth in e-payment suggests that consumer spending habits are changing as Southeast Asia moves towards a digital economy and a cashless society,” said Thamavaranukupt.

“The disruptive effects of the pandemic have accelerated the growth of the digital economy across Southeast Asia,” said Itai Lemberger, Founder and CEO of Bow Wave Capital Management.

The total payment volume in the six countries of Southeast Asia in 2020 was 14 billion US dollars, which corresponds to a growth of 84% between 2019 and 2020. About 70% came from Thailand while 30% came from the international market, said Co-President Thamavaranukupt. According to its own research, Ascend Money has around 70% of the market share in Thailand, Thamavaranukupt said.

Ascend Money informs TechCrunch that it has accumulated a total of 50 million users through TrueMoney and offline channels to date, including approximately 88,000 TrueMoney agent networks, which is its core strength for regional expansion.

The e-wallet service also serves as a payment channel for B2B, from big brands to local SME owners to street market entrepreneurs. The TrueMoney Wallet platform offers a digital loan service along with the payment service to customers including small business owners who do not have traditional credit ratings to access the digital loans, Thamavaranukupt said.

“Aside from e-wallet, we are an agent-based payment and transfer service provider. We also launched TrueMoney Wallet for agents last year [networks] and have migrated our offline agent to the online platform, which would help improve and digitize their operations, ”said Thamavaranukupt.

True Money agents are local business owners who have registered with Ascend Money to generate additional income by providing services such as bill payment, phone top-up, and domestic and cross-border remittance services as their agents, he explained.

“We offer TrueMoney Wallet and the TrueMoney Agent service in several other countries outside of Thailand. Most users do not have a bank account and the low-bank population has limited access to basic financial services, ”Thamavaranukupt said.

“Ascend Money offers a financial platform with opportunities for the financially marginalized as well as SMEs in the region. The company’s success is also testament to Thailand’s ability and strong ecosystem to help domestic fintech companies and startups expand overseas, ”said Ascend Money Founder and Chairman of the Board, Suphachai Chearavanont.

Last year, Ascend Money also opened a service for expatriates such as Myanmar and Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand that they can use to register with TrueMoney Wallet and send money to their families back home, Thamavaranukupt said.

Ascend Money is considering an IPO after hitting $ 1.5 billion valuation, co-president Monsinee Nakapanant told TechCrunch, without giving a specific timeline.

How one founder goals to earn a living administration a multiplayer recreation – TechCrunch

Aditi Shekar’s journey to entrepreneurship was very conscious, and while it wasn’t a childhood dream, it was the real version of the goals she had as a child. Fast forward to today, and Aditi’s company Zeta is on a rocket ship in the fintech space after recently jumping from a couples money management and virtual advisor app to a true financial solutions provider built from the ground up with shared financial management in mind became .

On this week’s episode of Found, TechCrunch’s Managing Editor Jordan Crook and I sit down with Aditi to talk about where she got her endless drive and determination from, and why she loves financial management (I try to get her zeal to let up on me, tb). We also go into why Zeta makes so much sense in the context of an area of ​​legacy financial solutions that generally fails to acknowledge that the way we manage and think money is different, especially when it comes to the dynamics between people , has changed significantly over the past few decades.

Aditi is definitely not afraid to get real what it takes to be an entrepreneur and embrace a vision that you truly believe in. And as always, Jordan and I feel deeply inadequate and ashamed of our life choices – but in a fun way.

We loved our time chatting with Aditi and hope you love hearing the episode. And of course we look forward to a subscription Found on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcasts or in your podcast app of your choice. Please leave us a review and let us know what you think or send us direct feedback either on Twitter or by email to And please visit us again next week for our next featured founder.

SpaceX is shedding cash on its Starlink terminals, however sees decrease prices forward – TechCrunch

It may take a while for Starlink to reach profitability. The SpaceX project, which aims to deliver global high-speed broadband over a satellite network, sells its beta kits to customers for around $ 500, although it is much more expensive to manufacture, CEO Elon Musk said in an interview on Tuesday.

The kit contains a user terminal, a type of dish that connects the customer to the satellites and enables broadband access. “To be completely honest, we’re losing money at this terminal,” he said. “This terminal costs us more than $ 1,000, so of course I’m subsidizing the cost of the terminal.” He added that SpaceX is working on a next-generation terminal that can provide the same functionality but at a lower cost.

SpaceX’s total investment in the project could be anywhere from $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion initially and up to $ 30 billion over time as the company continues to make improvements and remain competitive with cellular technology improvements, he said.

Musk, who made these comments during a virtual keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday, also shared more details on the current status of Starlink. The project is well on its way to having over half a million users in the next 12 months, he said, and is operating in about 12 countries, with “more added every month”.

SpaceX is also about to launch version 1.5 of the satellite, which will feature laser intersatellite links to ensure continuous connectivity over high latitudes and polar regions. Next year the company will be releasing version 2, “which will be significantly more powerful,” noted Musk.

Starlink satellites roam the observations of a telescope. Photo credits: SpaceX

The project has entered into two partnerships with major telecommunications companies in the country, but Musk refused to mention their names.

Starlink is hard to imagine without SpaceX’s breakthrough in rocket reusability. “But we have to take that to another level [ … ] the Starship development, ”said Musk. This rocket will be designed for quick reusability – the ability to restart between flights with little or no time on the ground, similar to the capabilities of an airplane today.

Spaceships are key to Musk’s vision of building a base on the moon or a city on Mars. He said the company hopes to make its first orbital launch attempt with Starship in the next few months. SpaceX submitted an application for approval with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fly Starlink terminals on the new spacecraft to demonstrate “high data rate communications” between the Starship launch system and the ground throughout the mission.

Niantic is working with Hasbro on a Pokémon GO-style Transformers recreation – TechCrunch

Niantic encouraged the world to roam the streets as a Pokémon trainer and wizard … next? Time for transformation and rollout.

80’s Mega Toy Transformers is the latest IP to partner with Niantic to create a map-heavy, geolocating game.

Details are still a bit bright, but here’s pretty much everything we know:

  • It will be called Transformers: Heavy Metal. You have made a pre-registration Page here.
  • It’s being built in partnership with Hasbro, TOMY, and the Seattle gaming team, Very Very Spaceship.
  • Players will become part of the Guardian Network, according to the announcement, “a group of people who have teamed up with the Autobots in a war against the Decepticons.”
  • It is based on Niantic’s Lightship platform, the same underlying engine that Pokémon GO, Harry Potter Wizards Unite and the. drives still under development Catan: World Explorers.
  • When does it arrive? Nothing special yet, but it will soon be launched in “select markets” and then “later this year” worldwide. This gradual introduction is typically Niantic’s approach; Pokémon GO first landed in Japan, while Catan was quietly introduced in New Zealand last year.

They’ve only released a little concept art so far, and it suggests gameplay not dissimilar to GO and Wizards Unite. This battle screen on the right definitely looks like a Pokémon GO battle:

Photo credits: Niantic

Will this one take over the world like Pokémon GO did in the summer of 2016? Maybe not – that you hit a lot of the right notes at the right time, the perfect mix of novelty and nostalgia. But Wizards Unite has found enough audience that it’s still in active development two years after it launched, so Niantic seems to be seeing room for more card-oriented games. In that regard, a Niantic representative mentioned that this is one of ten real world titles currently in development, which suggests they see plenty of room there.

AI-powered Jerry raises $28M that will help you lower your expenses on automobile insurance coverage – TechCrunch

When art Agrawal grew up in India, driving a car was a rare treat, and owning a car was a dream. When he moved to the US and bought his first car, he was shocked by how much it cost and how difficult it was to maintain a car.

In 2012 he co-founded a company called YourMechanic (and won TechCrunch’s To disturb this year), which offers on-demand mobile maintenance and repair services for motor vehicles. Over the years, he had the challenge in mind of helping consumers find car insurance more easily. So he teamed up in 2017 Lina Zhang and Musawir Shah Create Jerry, a “super app” that is the first to own a car. The Palo Alto-based startup launched a car insurance comparison service using artificial intelligence and machine learning in January 2019. Since then, it has tacitly amassed nearly 1 million clients in the US as a licensed insurance broker.

“Today, as a consumer, you have to go to several different places to do different things,” said Agrawal. “Jerry wants to change that.”

And today today Jerry announces more than $ 57 million in funding has been raised including a new $ 28 million Series B round led by Goodwater Capital. A group of angel investors also participated, including Greenlight President Johnson Cook and Greenlight CEO Timothy Sheehan; Jay Vijayan, CEO of Tekion; Jon McNeill, CEO of DVx Ventures and former President of Tesla and former COO of Lyft; Brandon War, CEO of Stash and Ed Robinson, Co-Founder and President of Stash.

According to CEO Agrawal, Jerry differs from other car-related marketplaces in that it is designed to help consumers with various aspects of car ownership (from repairs to maintenance to insurance to warranties) rather than just one. Although it is currently primarily focused on insurance, it plans to use its new capital to move into other categories of car ownership.

The company also believes that it differs from its competitors in that it does not direct a consumer to an insurance carrier’s website, for example requiring them to register with them separately. Rather, Jerry uses automation to provide consumers with tailored offers from more than 45 insurance carriers “in 45 seconds”. Consumers can then sign up with the new airline through Jerry, which would even terminate previous policies on their behalf.

Credit: Jerry

“With Jerry, you can complete the entire transaction in our app,” said Agrawal. “We’re not sending you to another site. You don’t have to fill out a lot of forms. You just give us some information and we will make you offers immediately. “

Customers save an average of $ 800 a year on auto insurance, according to the company. Jerry also has a similar offering for home insurance, but its focus is on owning cars.

The company has to do something right. In 2020 Jerry saw sales increase 10x.

According to Agrawal, Jerry sold several million dollars in insurance in 2019. This year the company is on the right track to do three to four times more than in the previous year.

“There is no other automated way to compare and buy auto insurance because not all APIs are easily accessible,” he said. “We have automated the end-to-end journey for the consumer using our infrastructure, which only scales over time.”

Jerry makes recurring income from earning a percentage of the premium when a consumer purchases a policy on their website from providers like Progressive.

“Many of the marketplaces are leading. A very small percentage of their sales keep coming back, ”said Agrawal. “For us it’s 100% of our sales.”

Goodwater Capital’s Chi-Hua Chien notes that insurance has historically been a very challenging category from a customer experience perspective.

“They took something that was historically painful, intimidating, and difficult for the customer, and made it effortless,” he told TechCrunch. “This experience will also apply to comparison shopping and maintenance over time.”

Chien said he was also drawn to the category itself.

“This is a competitive category as 100% of drivers must have auto insurance 100% of the time,” he said. “It’s a big market that won’t go away. And since Jerry is powered by AI, it will only serve customers better and just grow faster over time. “

Vivid Cash raises $73 million to construct a European monetary tremendous app – TechCrunch

German startup Living money has initiated a new Series B financing round of USD 73 million (EUR 60 million) led by Greenoaks, in which the existing investor Ribbit Capital also participates. As of today’s financing round, Vivid Money is valued at USD 436 million (EUR 360 million).

Vivid Money could be viewed as a Revolut competitor designed specifically for the Eurozone. Built on Solarisbank You can send, receive, spend, invest and save money in different ways for the banking infrastructure.

When you create an account, you will receive a German IBAN that begins with DE and a metal card. There are no card details on the card itself – everything is available in the app instead. As with other fintech startups, Vivid Money lets you control your card through the app – you can block and unblock it, add it to Google Pay and Apple Pay, etc.

After that, you can fund your account and hold dozens of different currencies. If you pay with your card abroad, a small surcharge will be added to the current exchange rate at the start. You should get a better exchange rate than a normal bank.

In addition to this fairly standard feature set, Vivid Money offers fractional stock trading. You can invest in stocks and ETFs and there is no commission. You can also buy, hold and share cryptocurrencies via the app. The startup has entered into a partnership with CM Equity AG for these functions.

The company also has one Cashback program and a premium subscription for € 9.90 per month. Paid users get higher limits on free cash withdrawals, the ability to create a virtual card, support for additional currencies, and better cashback rewards.

Finally, users can create sub-accounts called pockets. You can move money from one pocket to another and put other users in your pockets. Each bag has its own IBAN, which means that you can pay certain bills with a separate bag. You can also assign your card to a specific bag for upcoming purchases.

Vivid Money managed to add a ton of features in no time. It has a lot of money in its bank account now. Now let’s see if it can attract a significant user base to compete with other established European fintech players.

Accel-backed cell cash platform NALA to start out providing remittance companies to East Africa – TechCrunch

According to a McKinsey reportIn 2017, the total number of mobile money services worldwide was 282, with more than half of the services operating in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2020 these numbers increased significant, but the ratio remained similar. According to a GSMA report. Of this number, 171 are from Africa and 157 are from sub-Saharan Africa.

In Tanzania, there can be mobile money services relatively Difficult to use due to unstable internet and high service fees. Benjamin Fernandes noticed this as a national TV presenter on building a mobile money service that will enable people in East Africa to pay for TV subscriptions as early as 2011.

Six years later he started his own mobile money and wallet aggregator. NALAto solve these problems. Its first mobile application enabled users to pay mobile money and use mobile banking without an internet connection. The company grew to 250,000 users in over a year after it was officially launched.

Last year the WorldBank forecast a sharp decline of international transfers to Africa. While Africa is still the most expensive region to send money to, with average transaction fees of 10.6%, the opposite is true. Remittance activity on the continent increased.

For example, Kenya had the highest referral rate ever $ 3 billionwhile WorldRemit acquired Sendwave for $ 500 million in August 2020, and Mama Money said it grew 500 percent over the year.

NALA also noticed an increase in transfer requests, with one in seven users trying to get money internationally. This happened even though I was not in this business at the time. It’s not difficult to see why: right now, over 70% of money is sent to sub-Saharan Africa is being processed through physical deals. When many OTC services were suspended or restricted due to coronavirus restrictions, people were left with expensive, unreliable, or difficult to access alternatives.

Combined with the increasing trend towards digital-first financial services and eavesdropping on requests from some users, NALA began testing international money transfers in August 2020 facilitate Payments from the UK to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. By building a multi-currency ledger where people can send money from the UK to Tanzania and back to the UK, NALA can create an account, according to Fernandes wise for Africa.

I think international payments are only built up to 1% today. Until you can send money both ways perfect, Our job is not done yet, “Fernandes told TechCrunch. We believe African markets should also be sender markets. There is a lot of trade with other countries and most of the money is sent over expensive Bank transfers or in physical stores. It doesn’t have to be like that; It’s time for something better. ”

Various platforms are trying to achieve this, but none specifically target the East African region. According to the CEO, this is NALA’s game. “We see a great advantage for us here. We’re on the ground, we understand mobile money, we’ve built bill payments on top of our previous product, and this is an extension of that, ”he added.

Benjamin Fernandes (CEO, Nala)

Since graduating from Y Combinator as the first East African company in 2019 NALA has brought other interesting investors on board to support its mission. Most notable is Accel, which has was held under lock and key for some time. The VC firm rarely does business on the continent and has only invested in NALA and Egypt’s Instabug. Other supporters are NYCA partner and angel investors like Shamir Karkal (co-founder of Simple), Peeyush Ranjan (former CTO of Flipkart and current head of Google Payments) and Thomas Stafford (DST Global).

NALA has also used the services of Nicolas appreciates, He was Vice President of Engineering at Osper and worked at Monzo to become the company’s CTO, which Fernandes said will greatly improve the company’s chances of achieving its goal. “When we added someone of his caliber to our team, it only opened the doors to what we could achieve as he created multiple currency books for various large companies.”

Currently, however, the company will be rolling out a beta product next month for UK-based customers sending money to Kenya and Uganda (Tanzania will come later).. The company claims the service will support instant payments to all major mobile money accounts and is entering into a number of banking partnerships to make this possible facilitate Money transfers from East Africa to the UK.

Airtel Africa sells $200M cellular cash enterprise stake to TPG’s Rise Fund – TechCrunch

In February the telecommunications listed in London, Airtel Africasaid it plans to sell a minority stake in its mobile money business to raise cash and sell some assets.

The company appears to have found an investor when it announced this The Rise Fund, the investment firm’s global impact investing platform TPGwill invest $ 200 million in its mobile cash arm.

With the investment, the mobile money business – Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) – will be valued at $ 2.65 billion. AMC BV is a subsidiary of Airtel Africa and the holding company for several Airtel Africa mobile money transactions in 14 African countries including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.

AMC BV says the holding company will take advantage of the investment Reduce debts and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries. The deal will close in two tranches – $ 150 million invested on the first close and $ 50 million to be invested close on the second.

After the conclusion of the contract, Airtel Africa will continue to hold a majority stake in the company and is also looking into the possibility of going public within the next four years.

“Our markets do it considerably Market potential for mobile money services to meet the needs of tens of millions of customers in Africa who have little or no access to banking and financial services, and this demand is driving growth, ”said the CEO of Airtel Africa Raghunath Mandava said. “With today’s announcement we have to be glad We welcome The Rise Fund as an investor in our mobile money business and as a partner to help us realize the full potential of the considerably Opportunity to bank the Unbanked across Africa. ”

Airtel Mobile Money Business, one of the many players driving financial inclusion across the continent, offers a range of services. These include deposits and withdrawals for mobile wallets, payments for merchants and traders, credit transfers, loans and savings, virtual credit cards and international money transfers.

TypicallyThese services are available in all countries of operations with the exception of Nigeria. In the West African country, Airtel has embarked on a partnership with local banks, but has now applied for its own mobile banking license.

In its latest results for the third quarter of 2020, Airtel Africa testified a year-over-year revenue growth of 41.1% to $ 110 million, largely driven by a 29% growth in customer base to 21.5 million and a 9.7% ARPU growth. Transaction value increased 53% to $ 12.8 billion ($ 52 billion year-on-year) and underlying EBITDA was $ 54 million ($ 216 million year-on-year) on a margin of 48.7% ..

AMC BV benefits from a strong offline presence of kiosks, mini-shops and agents connected to the core telecommunications business. And meTo drive growth this year, the company has partnered with Mastercard, Samsung, Standard Chartered Bank and WorldRemit, among others, to expand both the reach and depth of its mobile money offering.

Yemi Lalude, a partner at TPG who leads Africa investments for The Rise Fund, said telecommunications is the gap between traditional financial institutions and the millions of Africans, given that financial inclusion is a global problem most acute in Africa closes without bank details.

“We look forward to working with Airtel Africa to improve mobile money services, expand use cases and enter new markets. With this investment in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business, we have are excited to expand the Rise Fund’s global fintech portfolio and further deepen our focus on improving financial inclusion in Africa and around the world, ”she said.

Last year TPG did more than $ 5 billion in assets under management invested $ 600 million in Reliance Jio. The telecommunications operator is a competitor to Airtel Africa’s parent company, Bharti Airtel. This is an interesting detail, even though the two systems address different markets.