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17 min read

Fintech Deals to Watch: Back to School

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Most fintech companies are fine, but they’ve stopped blowing off econ class for mimosa brunches.

The energy and uncertainty of youth are headed back to school. Especially in fintech, which had the roughest semester last spring. First, there was the drama leading up to the breakup with the rich hottie. Then, bad grades came in right as summer party season kicked off, mom and dad took away the car and credit card, and the Venmo transfers came to a screeching halt. Thankfully, there was still a smartphone and social media to commiserate.

Fintech heads back to campus this fall with the same future promise of computer science and football season, but with a knowing look that says, “I may still want fortune to favor the bold, but I really need at least a C in economics this semester.” Fintech is still alive and well, Gonzobankers, and fintech deals are still happening. Here’s a few recent ones that caught our attention, and please, “Give us some slack, teach” on the school themes, ok?

Banks Bought More Fintechs (Until Summer Break Started!)

  • Keybank acquired student loan debt counseling service fintech Gradfin
  • Trusita acquired mobile savings gamification finance app Long Game
  • Fifth Third acquired home improvement and solar energy POS solutions provider Dividend Finance
  • Huntington acquired digital business-to-consumer payments SaaS provider Torana
  • Synovus acquired a 60% stake in payments tech firm Qualpay, launching the Maast Money-as-a-Service
  • Cross River announced a $620M fund raise, valuing the company at $3B

Lending Tech With Almost Steady Grades (Even With Rough Semesters)

  • Mortgage services provider ICE acquiring mortgage services provider Black Knight bringing together the two largest providers in the space. Industry expert John Meyer digs deeply into the implications of this industry-changing rollup deal here
  • Loan origination provider Meridianlink acquired small business lending provider Streetshares
  • Compliance, risk, and lending solutions provider Abrigo announced that it acquired BankLabs’ Construct and +Pay loan admin and funding solutions
  • Big tech Apple quietly acquired consumer credit decisioning software provider Credit Kudos
  • Consumer lending and BNPL solution provider Amount acquired SMB digital account opening and insights platform Linear Financial Technologies. Amount also secured another funding round that included a partnership-related investment announced by PSCU
  • Insurance, investments, and lending services provider CUNA Mutual Group acquired loan origination provider Integrated Lending Technologies and announced significant investments in digital experiences company WithClutch and digital retailing/e-commerce platform CarSaver with CUNA Mutual relaunching to market under the name TruStage  
  • Insurance, lending, and risk provider Allied Solutions acquired lending provider Credit Union Direct’s Lending Insights platform, and CUDL subsequently partnered with Zest.ai, relaunching CUDL’s origination, POS, and marketing suite under the name Origence arc
  • Credit wellness and score monitoring app Savvy Money announced a new funding round including PE firm Spectrum Equity and credit bureau TransUnion
  • Personal finance app NerdWallet acquired credit recommendation platform On the Barrelhead
  • Digital lending POS provider BeSmartee acquiring FlashSpread, an automating spreading tool that converts PDF tax documents for financial analysis
  • Commercial loan origination and management suite Suntell recapitalized with Arcadea Group
  • Commercial credit intelligence system provider OakNorth acquired small business cash flow forecasting startup Fluidly
  • Constellation Software acquired both reverse mortgage tech provider ReverseVision and business systems provider Datapro
  • Lending and compliance systems provider Wolters Kluwer acquired mortgage loan document provider International Document Services (IDS)
  • Curql announced minority investments in loan participations/trading platform LoanStreet and alternative data company Facteus
  • Borrower conversion/education platform Mortgage Coach and mortgage lender sales tool Sales Boomerang drew investments from LLR Partners
  • Banyan Software acquired mortgage loan accounting software provider Loan Vision
  • Credit data, decisioning and analytics provider GDS Link acquired targeting/marketing services provider Ser Technology Corporation
  • Repay Holdings Corporation acquired lending communications and collections tool provider Payix
  • Arcadea Group invested in debt collection and asset recovery software provider Intelligent Banking Solutions (IBS)
  • SAS acquiring financial (ALM, interest, credit model) risk software provider Kamakura Corporation
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Klarna raised $800M, valued at $6.7B (down from $45B a year ago)
  • BNPL provider announced Scalapay $497M funding round
  • While neither an acquisition nor funding deal, the partnership deals separately struck by Salesforce and Q2 (a Salesforce partner) with Rocket Mortgage have far reaching implications beyond just mortgage lending or just systems integration. Keep an eye on the initial banks working on these projects   

Digital Engagement Had Great Attendance and Extracurriculars

  • Digital banking provider Alkami acquired data analysis and marketing campaign management provider Segmint
  • Digital banking and payments provider Bottomline was acquired by Thoma Bravo for $2.6B. Engagement platform Personetics also secured $85M from Thoma Bravo
  • Digital banking provider Apiture announced a fundraising round led by Live Oak Bank, Pinnacle Bank, and BHG Financial
  • Digital banking provider Backbase raised $128.6M in growth equity funding from Motive Partners, which valued the company at $2.66B
  • Digital and embedded finance platform Infinant secured a strategic minority investment from Big 3 industry provider FIS
  • Digital banking provider Mahalo Banking raised $20M from Superior Credit Union, Park Community Credit Union, and Dover Federal Credit Union
  • Digital Customer service provider Glia Technologies acquired AI-powered conversational chatbot Finn AI
  • Digital communications platform Eltropy acquired credit union video banking company POPi/o
  • Digital customer service provider Posh Technologies announced funding rounds including CUNA MutualCurql collective, and a dozen credit unions
  • One Equity Partners acquired ACI’s Corporate Online Banking cash management software solution serving medium to large size U.S. banks
  • Rocket Companies acquired personal finance app Truebill in a $1.275B deal that launched Rocket Money
  • Digital financial platform MoneyLion acquired embedded finance marketplace Even Financial

Core is Still Core (Curriculum)

  • Big 3 industry provider Fiserv acquired cloud-native core provider Finxact in a unicorn deal rattling the future of the industry as covered here in depth by Sam Kilmer and Brad Smith
  • Sofi acquired cloud-native core provider Technisys, covered by Sam and Brad here
  • Midwestern regional payments and core provider Shazam acquired regional core and data provider Nicola Banking System
  • Thought Machine raised $160M, valuing the company at $2.7B
  • Core and services provider CSI (Computer Solutions Inc.) acquired for $1.6B by PE firms Centerbridge Partners & Bridgeport Partners

Payments: Still Hot for Teacher (Wait, Song or Not, Can We Still Say That?)

  • Big 3 industry provider Jack Henry acquiring digital payments platform Payrailz
  • FIS acquired embedded SMB payments solutions provider Payrix
  • Digital payments provider Allied Payment Network received a significant capital investment from RF Investment Partners
  • Payments and services provider PSCU acquired transaction services provider Juniper Payments
  • Accounts receivable provider Versapay acquired AR automation provider DadeSystems
  • Small business payments platform Autobooks announced a $50M funding round led by Macquarie Capital

Reg & Risk: Still Showing Up For Surprise Quizzes

  • Plaid acquired ID verification and KYC/AML compliance platform Cognito
  • Mitratech Holdings acquired compliance risk and vendor management solution Continuity
  • Mitek acquired KYC onboarding and analysis solution HooYu
  • Equifax acquiring post-transaction fraud solution Midigator

Deals are still happening and — at this writing — the “student intervention” after the unfortunate alumni mixer event seems to have taken (fintech industry valuations improving a bit off their lows and fintech companies more focused on explicit utility value in the here-and-now).

Looking forward to seeing many of you after class during football season out at FinovateAFT, and other mixers. Know of any fintech deals we’ve missed here? Email us.

-Sam & Chris

P.S. Every now and then you get the chance to get the band back together. Many of you may already know that Chris and I worked together in a prior band a decade ago. It’s good to be back together again at GonzoBanker mothership’s band, Cornerstone Advisors. #grateful -Sam

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