In today’s top news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), tech company initial public offerings (IPOs) raise $8.8 billion in 2021 to set a record while the SaaS company BigCommerce has expanded into Germany, Mexico and Spain.
Additionally, Nigerian brokerage app Bamboo raised $15 million to accelerate its growth, e-commerce platform Uquid.com integrated with Binance Pay to purchase 40 digital tokens at no cost.
UK tech IPOs rake in $8.8bn in 2021 to set new record
UK-based tech IPOs raised a record 6.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) in 2021 through initial public offerings (IPOs), according to data from the London Stock Exchange (LSE ), i.e. double the amount for 2020.
Of the 126 companies that debuted on the London Stock Exchange, almost 30%, or 37 companies, were technology companies, up from eight in 2020. The 2021 IPOs were led by FinTech group Wise and the Trustpilot review site and included UK companies Deliveroo and Canadian company AlphawaveIP and US company Devolver Digital.
BigCommerce expands to Germany, Mexico and Spain
On Monday, January 31, the open Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) e-commerce platform BigCommerce expanded to Germany, Mexico and Spain, enabling local merchants to expand their direct offering to the consumer (D2C) and business-to-business (B2B) platforms across the world, said a company announcement.
BigCommerce’s expansion into three new countries also adds omnichannel capabilities in those regions. The additions follow the launch of BigCommerce in France, Italy and the Netherlands. This is BigCommerce’s first step into Latin America.
Egyptian e-commerce platform Brimore earns $25 million for growth
Brimore, which bills itself as Egypt’s largest social commerce platform, has closed a $25 million Series A funding round, the company announced in a Monday, January 31, press release.
The startup said the new capital will add products and suppliers and expand its application across Africa. Additionally, it plans to double its workforce, operate in three countries, and strengthen its physical logistics capabilities by 2023.
Pennylane raises $57M Series B to expand its business management tools
Accounting software and business tools startup Pennylane has raised $57m (€50m) in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital, along with Capital and Partech.
The new capital injection will help the startup continue to develop its platform to integrate financial management tools for business owners and production software for accountants. Pennylane has raised $96 million since 2020.
Nigerian FinTech Brokerage App Bamboo Notches $15 Million Series A
Brokerage app Bamboo has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round that the Nigerian startup will use to accelerate its growth, according to multiple reports on Monday, January 31.
The funding round was led by Greycroft and Tiger Global with participation from Motley Fool Ventures, Saison Capital, Chrysalis Capital and Y-Combinator’s Michael Seibel and others.
Uquid.com Partners with Binance Pay to Offer Fee-Free Crypto Payments
E-commerce platform Uquid.com, which has over 2 million products available for sale, has integrated with Binance Pay to allow users to purchase over 40 digital tokens at no cost, according to a PVP report Live Monday, January 31.
Uquid’s e-commerce and decentralized finance (DeFi) platform accepts around 100 tokens and the company plans to expand the reach of its DeFi shopping network beyond the Ethereum blockchain. Uquid.com also offers “Buy Now and Pay Later (BNPL) by Crypto” to customers, allowing them to spread their payments over multiple installments at no additional cost.
What makes the EU Digital Markets Act unique
In “The EU’s Proposal for a Digital Markets Act – An Ex Ante Landmark”, Prabhat Agarwal of the European Commission explains the features that make the Digital Markets Act a unique regulatory instrument, compared to any other previously approved piece of legislation.
The European Parliament approved the DMA in December 2021 and it could come into force in early 2023 after all 27 member states ratify the text. The DMA essentially blacklists certain practices used by large platforms acting as “gatekeepers”.
Rapyd Acquires Neat to Advance Cross-Border Commerce
Global FinTech-as-a-service company Rapyd has completed its acquisition agreement for cross-border commerce platform Neat, which specializes in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups, according to a press release. published Monday (Jan. 31).
Rapyd’s global payment network supports over 900 payment methods in over 100 countries and global payments in over 200 countries. The company supports SMEs and entrepreneurs by incorporating, establishing an online presence and tapping into new markets. Its API platform simplifies complicated cross-border payments for companies looking to do business in global commerce.
Dolce & Gabbana ends the use of fur
Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana joined several other fashion brands on Monday (January 31st) when it announced in a joint statement with animal rights group Humane Society International that it would end the use of fur in all of its collections later this year.
UK seeks its place to shape global standards in artificial intelligence
The UK Government has launched a new AI Standard Hub as part of its National AI Strategy to increase the UK’s contribution to the development of global AI technical standards.
The feature promises practical tools for businesses to develop AI systems, connect the AI community through an online platform, and develop educational materials to help organizations develop and benefit from global standards.
Tech company founders launch venture capital fund for Africa’s next unicorns
The founders of companies like Klarna and Skype, among others, are deploying a new $200 million venture capital fund to find new unicorns in Africa, according to a report.
Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth told the Financial Times on Sunday January 30 that Africa was likely similar to Sweden in 2005 when the company was founded.
UK car dealer first to use Lloyds Bank A2A payment solution
Car dealership JCT600 is the first registered retailer to use Lloyd’s PayFrom Bank account-to-account payment process, which replaces plastic cards for online payment, according to a report.
PayFrom Bank was launched in July 2021 and uses Mastercard’s payment gateway capabilities and the Open Banking Connect platform.