Who is the digital receipt startup backed by Barclays?
The trend of incumbents investing in startups continues to rise. UK bank Barclays announced this week that it will invest in startups as it announces a minority share in the Monzo and Starling backed startup, Flux.
Flux, the UK-based fintech, connects with specific banks in order to receive digital receipts through purchases made via the bank. Barclays is the third bank to become Flux-enabled, joining Unicorns Starling and Monzo.
Ruchir Rodrigues, Barclays' global head of digital & platforms says: “Flux’s innovative technology provides a practical and straightforward solution to an everyday problem for both shoppers and merchants.
“We have worked closely with Flux since 2017, and we’re excited to continue supporting them in their next stage of growth through this strategic partnership.”
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This news follows closely after the news that the firm raised US$7.5mn in a series A funding last December.
Flux was first founded in 2016 by three former Revolut employees. It previously took part in Barclays’ fintech accelerator programme, Rise. In 2017, the fintech completed the accelerator program and began forging partnerships with UK retailers.
Retailers that use Flux include:
Ed’s Easy Diner
According to insider information from City A.M, Veronique Barbosa shared that Flux has plans to continue to add more strategic partnerships and investors very soon.
Matty Cusden-Ross, CEO and founder at Flux: “Flux’s mission is to liberate the worlds’ receipt data in order to enrich trillions of experiences globally.”
Did you know? In the UK, over 11 billion receipts are printed each year, costing under a pence to print each
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Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens
The Series C round raised US$100m in capital from a number of backers, including Coatue, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, actor Jared Leto, and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, for the enterprise.
Step provides a free FDIC-insured bank account and Visa card to teenagers. The accounts are backed by Evolve Bank and there is no subscription charge for its usage. Users don’t pay for their accounts and there are also no overdraft fees.
The mobile banking app enables parents to set controls and limits on spending and encourage responsible finances. According to data released by the company, 88% of the platform’s users say this is their first bank account.
To date, Step has seen great success in the marketplace. The company has raised more than $175m from investors and now has 1.5m users.
Stripe, which was founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, previously led Step’s $22.5m Series A round in 2019.
Step's Series B funding round also brought in $50m, and has a distinctly celeb-tinged reputation with investors including Justin Timberlake and the pop duo The Chainsmokers.
Users get access to a free, FDIC-backed bank account, a spending card and P2P payments platform to send and receive money instantly.
CJ MacDonald, chief executive of Step, said the company is aiming to improve the financial futures of the next generation. “Step is the only banking platform that enables teens to start building a positive credit history before they turn 18 and does not charge fees of any kind.
He has previously spoken about the importance of financial literacy for young people. “Money is just one of those things where I think the more educated and equipped you are early, the better decisions you can make down the road,” he told . “And you can also prevent yourself from making costly mistakes. I mean, the average American doesn't have $400 in emergency savings and pays $350 a year in banking fees. If we can help this next generation just ultimately be smarter and more educated as it pertains to money, I think we'll all be better off.”
Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst and Step board member, explained, “Gen Z is flocking to modern financial solutions that can be easily embedded within their digital lives and Step has a unique model for how to do this right.”
The news follows on from Stripe’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire TaxJar. The fintech, which builds software for online businesses that automates the reporting and filing of sales taxes, will most likely be integrated with Stripe’s billing services.
Currently, No terms have been disclosed but the Boston start-up had raised more than $60m from investors including Insight Partners.
Stripe chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara said of the move, “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and make it easier for them to sell internationally.”