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Temasek Leads Amber Group’s $200M Series B+ Round, Valuing the Company at $3 Billion

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Amber Group, a leading global digital asset platform, today announced a $200 million Series B+ round led by investment company Temasek, with participation from existing shareholders including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global Management, Tru Arrow Partners, and Coinbase Ventures among others. A significant follow-up to Amber Group’s 2021 $100 million Series B round, this Series B+ round is the largest investment in Amber Group, valuing the company at $3 billion. Total capital raised at Amber Group now stands at $328 million.

This Series B+ round comes at a time of rapidly increasing digital asset adoption globally. The investment reinforces Amber Group’s strategic alignment with its investors, as well as a shared vision of digital assets’ future in a new, digital economy.

“From radically transforming the concept of ownership and value in the global economy, digital assets are redefining the way we live outside of the financial ecosystem. At Amber Group, we want to do more than just enable mainstream digital asset adoption. We want to help create a digital future where digital assets empower people with the opportunity and agency to shape a better world for all. We are proud to have the support of our investors who not only share this vision but also put their capital and trust in us to achieve it,” said Amber Group’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Michael Wu.

Founded in 2017, Amber Group has developed expertise in servicing both institutional and consumer markets. With global operations across 12 cities, the Singapore-headquartered company is one of the world’s leading liquidity providers, offering clients services that include algorithmic execution, electronic and OTC market-making derivatives, structured products, and advisory services. Amber Group also offers an award-winning consumer app, WhaleFin, and a full set of creative services and infrastructure in its OpenVerse business.

Amber Group is experiencing tremendous global growth, with cumulative transaction volume surpassing $1 trillion and assets under management growing to over $5 billion since its inception.  Amber Group’s institutional business continues to benefit from a strong systematic pricing framework and a focus on client service while the company’s consumer business, WhaleFin, allows mainstream investors to build wealth in the digital era, further democratizing access to the world of crypto finance. OpenVerse, Amber Group’s creator-focused venture, forms another key business pillar for the company as it launches support for creators, brands, and studios through its suite of services and digital infrastructure.

Amber Group’s industry leadership is reinforced by its commitment to upholding security and regulatory compliance. The company is among the first global digital wealth platforms to have achieved Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 compliance – an external, independent audit that benchmarks industry best practices in IT, security, and privacy controls. The company has also extended its list of licences after securing regulatory approvals from in-market financial authorities in Australia, the UK, Japan, and Switzerland. Amber Group is now expanding into new markets around the world through regulatory licensing and strategic acquisitions, such as the company’s latest acquisition of Japanese crypto exchange, DeCurret Inc.

“This latest round of capital will bring Amber Group to the next level. Besides making key hires to support our institutional business in Europe and the Americas where there have been tremendous interest from traditional financial institutions and large family offices, we plan to expand WhaleFin’s global footprint in both developed and developing markets worldwide and advance OpenVerse, which is already experiencing hyper-growth with a strong line-up of gaming studios, sports collectibles, digital artists and other partner brands. We will cast our sights beyond business expansion and strategic acquisitions too, as part of our commitment to building a sustainable future for all. We will continue to broaden our support of sustainability initiatives, with our recent partnership with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) being only the start of this journey,” added Wu.

“Digital assets are becoming an increasingly important category to watch, especially for institutional investors. With investment in Amber Group’s previous round, we are impressed by the professionalism of Michael and his team, as well as their ability to execute, their growth and focus on compliance. We continue to invest this round and believe Amber Group has the potential to become a leading digital asset platform in Asian market,” said Steven Ji, Partner of Sequoia China.

“Since Tru Arrow’s initial investment in Amber Group in 2021, it has been apparent to us that the company is building a transformational, global digital asset institution. Amber Group shows leadership in the quality of its team, standard of its regulatory approach and scale of its ambitions. With this ongoing endorsement from some of the world’s leading investors, the company continues to deliver on its growth plan without compromising on the integrity of its core principles. As a global investment partnership of some of the world’s leading families and entrepreneurs, Tru Arrow is proud to redouble its commitment to Amber Group, and take our collaboration to a new phase of expansion,” said James Rothschild, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Tru Arrow Partners.

“It’s been exciting to see Amber Group’s growth, as both an investor and a trading partner. When we originally invested in the company, we had high expectations – reality has exceeded our expectations. Their 24/7 global coverage team has helped Pantera execute over $1.1b in trades in 2021 and that continues to grow. The Amber Group team has done a phenomenal job building an institutional-grade platform and we’re proud to be a part of their story,” said Dan Morehead, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pantera Capital.

 

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M-Pesa Rallonge, Financial Inclusion Takes Another Step

M-Pesa Rallonge service, M-Pesa is simultaneously facilitating the process of financial inclusion for all while also improving lives for the better

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Vodacom

VodaCash, in partnership with Access Bank, launched its new service M-Pesa Rallonge this Tuesday, December 6th, 2022.  

A joint press conference was hosted at Silikin Villag before officially launching the product. Pamela Ilunga, Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo, and Hashim Mukudi, Managing Director of VodaCash, were present along with Access Bank Commercial Director, Adrien Chensham Mbele.

With the M-Pesa Rallonge service, M-Pesa is simultaneously facilitating the process of financial inclusion for all while also improving lives for the better. Currently, over 20% of the daily transactions are canceled due to insufficient balance. For customers, this can be frustrating, especially in emergency situations.  

In her opening speech, Pamela Ilunga, Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo, stated, “M-Pesa has been on a journey since its introduction in 2012. Undeniably, M-Pesa has been a solution to financial inclusion for the population of the DRC as well as complementing our different customers’ lifestyles. This has made us the mobile financial institution of choice.”

This partnership with Access Bank allows VodaCash to advance on its mission to provide accessible financial services to remote areas and ensure all Congolese have access to basic necessities. Initially, the focus was providing fundamental services such as domestic money transfers and the purchase of airtime. Over time, M-Pesa has expanded to include services such as forex, paying TV, and bills. 

Hashim Mukudi, Managing Director of VodaCash, also announced that “several more collaborations with M-Pesa are coming up, each tailored towards advocating inclusivity and improving customers’ lifestyles, aligning with the 2030 SDGs ‘No poverty’ and ‘reducing equality’. “

Pamela Ilunga added, “At Vodacom, we believe that ‘Together We Can’. We can make an impact on the economy. We can participate in and promote the digital revolution that is currently taking place in the DRC. M-Pesa Rallonge is only the first of several more services we are developing to improve lives and facilitate access to financial services using eco-responsible processes.”

The Deputy Managing Director of Vodacom Congo closed her speech by commending their partner, Access Bank, for sharing the same vision of “responding to the real needs of the Congolese population to financial inclusion and providing a platform that will allow its customers to use this new product.”

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Instant Payment Transactions to Surpass 376 Billion Globally by 2027

The number of instant payment transactions to grow by 289% globally exceed 376 billion globally by 2027; increasing from 97 billion in 2022

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NIBSS

A new study has found that the number of instant payment transactions will exceed 376 billion globally by 2027; increasing from 97 billion in 2022, a 289% growth.

The study predicts that an increased roll-out of instant cross-border payment schemes in multiple countries will drive this growth by enabling businesses and consumers to benefit from greater speed and efficiency.

This efficiency is gained by processing payments over instant payment rails, which provide time and cost savings, while also offering greater transparency over transactions to stakeholders than traditional payment rails.

An instant payment is any payment outside of a card network that is capable of receiving funds in 10 seconds or under.

Regulators to Play Key Role in Cross-border Instant Payments

The report forecasts that cross-border transactions will grow at a faster rate than domestic transactions globally. It anticipates that cross-border transactions will rise from 631 million payments globally in 2022 to over 6 billion in 2027. The creation of instant payment schemes by international bodies, such as the EU, and an increase of bilateral agreements between these bodies will be key drivers of growth over the next five years.

These bodies will be essential in creating cross-border instant payment networks, as they have the capital and influence to connect disparate payment schemes across different geographical regions in order to maximise the value proposition of instant payments. In turn, the report recommends that regulators increase partnerships with international bodies to broaden payment schemes and expand access to instant payment services.

Greater Efficiency to Drive Business Adoption

Additionally, the report predicts that the increased time and cost efficiencies, and the improved cashflow management of using instant payments will be primary factors in influencing businesses to adopt. This will contribute to the total value of instant payment transactions rising from $6 trillion this year, to $33 trillion in 2027.

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M-Pesa Launches M-Pesa Rallonge

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Vodacash is launching its new service M-Pesa Rallonge in the DRC to allow customers to financial assistance from their cell phones.

M-Pesa Rallonge is a new service dedicated to M-Pesa users with zero or insufficient balances. Users will be able to take advantage of this service to get an instant overdraft and top up their balance to make a transaction, such as:

  • Send money without withdrawal fees;
  • Purchase Credit for oneself;
  • Purchase Packages for oneself;
  • Purchasing Products;
  • Resubscription to cable channels such as Canal+, Startimes, Easy TV, and Bleusat, except DStv, which only supports payment in dollars.

According to Hashim Mukudi, Managing Director of Vodacash, “M-Pesa continues to provide the DRC with the solutions that can benefit the population and promote digital and financial inclusion. Together we can drive economic development and provide services to those in dire need of access to financial services in rural and remote areas.”

Customers with an active premium account who make regular transactions via M-Pesa will be eligible for the offer. The overdraft is currently only available in Congolese francs, and its limit ranges from 50 to 100 thousand FC, subject to interest charges and penalties for violating the terms and conditions.

M-Pesa is the market leader in the Central and East African regions and the DRC. With a wide range of value-added products and services tailored to the purchasing power of the Congolese population, M-Pesa is the largest mobile money brand with a substantial 61% market share, a 10% contribution to GDP, and over 6 million customers.

M-Pesa also has the largest distribution coverage to ensure service availability to beneficiaries and a rich ecosystem of products to encourage customers to make more digital transactions.

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