Tech News: 13th Jan

London-based has surpassed Revolut to become the UK’s most valuable technology start-up, securing $1bn in funding from a string of international investors. The deal is believed to mean a fortune approaching $20bn for its Swiss-born founder and chief executive, Guillaume Pousaz., which handles payments for Netflix, Pizza Hut and Sony as well as other fintech companies such as Klarna and Revolut, announced the funding on Tuesday. Its $40bn valuation is more than double what it was worth a year ago, when it last raised funds, and means it has leapfrogged Revolut as Britain’s most valuable start-up. 


The amount of money sovereign wealth funds across the Middle East and Asia are ploughing into European tech is increasing sharply, analysis by Sifted shows. Singapore’s GIC was the most active sovereign fund in terms of capital deployed last year globally. It participated in rounds in Europe totalling $5.6bn last year, a 273% increase on the figure in 2020. The UAE’s Mubadala fund, the Qatar Investment Authority and Singapore’s Temasek participated in European rounds totalling 380%, 140% and 106% more in 2021 than 2020 respectively.  The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority made the biggest jump — from participating in rounds totalling $22m in Europe in 2020 to $1.2bn in 2021. 

Digital banking challenger Revolut is inviting more of its customers to upgrade to a full bank account, after rolling out its Lithuanian banking licence across ten more markets.Customers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden can now upgrade and add deposit protection of up to €100,000 to their accounts for free in just a few minutes. It’s been just under a year since Revolut first launched as a bank in ten EU countries, with new addition taking the total to 28 countries where Revolut operates as a bank (full list below). Revolut was first granted a European banking licence from the Bank of Lithuania back in 2018 and launched its first bank accounts in the country in May of last year. 


Darktrace shares have soared after the cybersecurity company upgraded sales forecasts, reversing a decline that has halved its value in recent months. The stock jumped by as much as a quarter after revealing that annual revenues were expected to rise by up to 44pc. Despite erasing some of the gains, Darktrace was 12pc higher at 441p in afternoon trading, leaving it worth almost £3.1bn. The company, whose founding investor and second-largest shareholder is the software entrepreneur Mike Lynch, enjoyed one of London’s biggest tech flotations last year. 


UK fintech Apexx Global is launching its payment offering in the US, as it looks to tap into the growing heat around the buy now, pay later market. The fintech operates as a middleman between banks and merchants. It offers a technology which connects acquirers, gateways, shopping carts, alternative payments methods and buy now, pay later products through a single API. The fintech says that those clients who use its services can increase payment volumes by as much as 20 per cent. It estimates that it will be processing around $20bn worth of payments with e-commerce brands by the end of 2022 across the world.