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Railsbank news round-up: Fintech Goodworld acquires Bstow

Week 6: a brief look back at some of the fintech news that’s not always picked up.

Charitable giving fintech Goodworld acquires Bstow

We start in Washington this week with the news that charitable giving fintech Goodworld has acquired Bstow (which goes by the name of "Cheerful Giving”) in order to power causes in a modern world.

These two brands say they have come together to launch an innovative fundraising solution for today's nonprofit and social impact sectors.

"Goodworld and Cheerful Giving have joined forces to make everyday actions more meaningful," said Dale Pfeifer, Goodworld Founder and CEO. "Soon people won't be going to a donation page on a nonprofit's website to give. Donations will happen instantly as people shop, interact with friends on social media, attend an event, or otherwise encounter a cause that inspires them during their day."

Richie Kendall, former Cheerful CEO and now Chief Experience Officer for the newly expanded company agreed, added: "Together, we've built a true social ecosystem for good. With thousands of the world's leading nonprofits and our growing community of brands and influencers, creating social impact is now a part of everyday interactions."

Stori raises $10m and launches digital credit card

Next stop is Mexico City and we hear that fintech Stori, a digital bank, has completed a $10m Series A2 financing, co-led by Bertelsmann Investments (BI) and Source Code Capital, and joined by existing investor Vision Plus Capital.

The fintech also launched its credit card in Mexico. This new round of financing will enable Stori to strengthen its big data and AI platform, grow its talent base, and serve 100,000 customers in Mexico. Since its launch in 2018, Stori has raised more than $17m from investors.

The founders of Stori explained that they chose Mexico to focus on for its digital banking opportunity, because the banking industry had underserved the Mexico mass population, concentrating in the super-prime space.

The background is only about 40% of the nearly 130 million population have bank accounts, and less than 15% of consumers have access to bank provided lending. In addition, most banks have not caught up with the digital transformation and are not able to provide a compellingly simple and good customer experience.

This is in stark contrast with Mexico's solid per capita GDP of $9,600, and the fact that 72% of Mexico consumers are already using a smartphone to live a digital life. As a result, a leapfrogging opportunity exists for strong digital bank startups to serve the 70 million unbanked and underbanked consumers, particularly the younger generation, with a superior mobile-first user experience and an inclusive approach.

Funding to Canadian fintech companies more than doubled in 2019

2019 was a good year for Canadian fintechs, up 104% from 2018 to $776m.

The figure was disclosed in a MoneyTree Canada Report which headlined that Canadian VC funding rose for the third consecutive year.

Canadian VC-backed companies raised $4.1bn over 469 deals last year. This record funding amount also marked the third year of increased VC funding. While funding was up 16% compared to the previous year, deal activity was down 11%.

"Canadian venture-backed companies saw another robust year of record funding, driven by a strong second-half to close off the year. While total deal count did decline, median-deal size has risen by 13%, indicating a healthy and scaling ecosystem. Canada has stood out amongst its global peers as investors continue to recognize the value of Canadian innovation," said Sabrina Fitzgerald, National Tech Sector Leader, PwC Canada.

"Canadian venture capital investment increased for the third year in a row as Toronto and Vancouver hit record funding highs in 2019," added Anand Sanwal, co-founder and CEO of CB Insights. "Seed and early-stage rounds made up the majority of deals and investments in Canadian AI, fintech, and cybersecurity companies continue to grow. 2020 is poised to be another big year for Canada's tech ecosystem and as the early stage bets mature, we expect many investors in the US will start looking north and paying more attention to the Canadian tech ecosystem."

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