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Fintech Startup Aspire Raises $158 Million Series B Funding
Singapore-based fintech startup Aspire has raised $158 million in its Series B funding round.
The funding round was led by an undisclosed global growth equity firm and included participation from other investors DST Global Partners, CE Innovation Fund, B Capital Partners, and global hedge fund Fasanara Capital.
Moreover, existing investors Hummingbird Ventures, Picus Capital, Mass Mutual Ventures, and AFG also participated in the funding round.
Many fintech founders like Taavet Hinrikus (Co-Founder of Wise), Pierpaolo Barbieri (Founder of Uala), Alexandre Prot and Steve Anavi (Co-Founders of Qonto), Moses Lo (Co-Founder of Xendit), Gerry Colyer (Co-Founder of Clara), and Hendra Kwik (Co-Founder of Payfazz), also participated in the funding round.
Founded in 2018, Aspire is building a scalable marketplace of banking infrastructure that leverages third-party financial service providers to create a digital banking experience for its SME customers.
With the latest funding, Aspire is planning to double up on its existing markets while building the foundations to serve growing business clients across the whole Southeast Asia region.
Crypto Exchange Huobi Suspends Registration of New Users from Mainland China
The intensified attack by the Chinese government on cryptocurrencies has now forced crypto exchange Huobi to suspend new user registration coming from China.
The option of Mainland China in the country/region selection on Huobi’s new user registration page has disappeared following China’s announcement of tougher measures on crypto trading from September 24.
The information was first reported by Chinese journalist Colin Wu, who tweeted that Huobi, the largest crypto exchange that serves China, temporarily suspended opening new user accounts in mainland China over the increasing regulatory pressure in the country.
Apart from this, Huobi will gradually retire existing Mainland China user accounts by December 31, 2021, and ensure the safety of user assets.
The crypto exchange also made an official announcement saying: “We will inform users of the specific arrangements and details through official announcements, e-mails, text messages, etc.,” said the exchange.
Huobi is one of the first major exchanges that has reacted to the latest crackdown of the Chinese government who said that it will treat all crypto-related transactions as illegal, including services that let Chinese users exchange fiat currencies to crypto assets.
Google to Cut Amount it Keeps From Sales on Its Cloud Marketplace
Now onwards, Google will take only a smaller cut from the amount of revenue it keeps when customers buy software from other vendors on its cloud marketplace.
As per the reports, Google Cloud Platform is cutting its percentage revenue share to 3 percent from 20 percent.
“Our goal is to provide partners with the best platform and most competitive incentives in the industry. We can confirm that a change to our Marketplace fee structure is in the works and we’ll have more to share on this soon,” a Google Cloud spokesperson said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Google had also reduced the fee it charges developers on its app store by half on the first $1 million they earn in revenue in a year.
Google had said that it would cut app store fees to 15% from 30% effective July 1 — a significant move benefiting most of the developers on its app store.
In recent months, big tech companies have been decreasing the amount of money they retain on their platforms, whether it’s for consumer apps or business products. One of the reasons is competition, while mounting legal and regulatory concerns are contributing to it as well.
Fintech Startup Ocrolus Raises $80 Million in Series C Funding
New York-based fintech startup, Ocrolus, has raised $80 million in a Series C funding round.
The funding round was led by Fin VC and also included participation from other investors like Thomvest Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Mubadala Capital, ValueStream Ventures, FinTech Collective, Stage 2 Capital, RiverPark Ventures, Cross River Financial institution, among others.
Logan Allin, Managing General Partner and founder at Fin VC and new Board member at Ocrolus, said about the funding round, “Mortgage lenders and banks recognize the need to adopt the same workflow digitization and underwriting automation used by fintech lenders. We’re excited to support Ocrolus, the category leader in back-office automation.”
The fintech startup has added 75 members to its corporate team in 2021 and plans to expand hiring in 2022, focusing on its machine learning and data science teams.
Ocrolus, which powers document workflows for clients that include LendingClub, PayPal, Plaid, and SoFi, said that it will use the new funds to ramp up its products for the mortgage lending and banking sectors and to expand its operations in the United States.
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