In today’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa news, Fly Now Pay Later snags $75 million for global expansion and the U.K.’s financial regulator plans to review data markets amid competition concerns.
Plus, mobile operators urge European Union regulators to outlaw Apple’s iCloud privacy tool, Cash App integrates bitcoin lightning payments and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority is set to review Brookfield’s Purchase of Scotia Gas.
Travel-focused global FinTech Fly Now Pay Later announced it has closed a $75 million debt funding deal managed by Atalaya Capital Management. This will bring the fledgling company into the U.S. and includes an equity investment by Atalaya in the platform, according to a Tuesday (Jan. 11) press release.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on Tuesday (Jan. 11) that it will launch two market studies to investigate the competitive conditions to access wholesale data in financial markets.
Following a market consultation in 2020, the feedback the FCA received from the main stakeholders is that there is limited competition in the markets for benchmarks and indices, credit rating and trading data.
Mobile operators in the European Union are urging regulators to prohibit Apple’s new iCloud Private Relay, according to a report by The Telegraph. The internet privacy service feature from Apple allows some to connect to the internet and browse Safari privately with more security.
It is designed to limit the amount of information about a user that could be used to send unwanted ads and marketing campaigns, or have their data sold to other companies.
Cash App, the peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service owned by Block — formerly Square Inc. — has integrated the Lightning Network. The feature, which allows transactions between parties not on the blockchain network, is now available on bitcoin’s blockchain, CryptoNews reported.
It was developed to fix the flagship cryptocurrency’s scalability issues. Block CEO Jack Dorsey, who was the former CEO of Twitter, has been supportive of adding the tool for years.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the U.K.’s competition watchdog, announced Tuesday (Jan. 11) that it will investigate the proposed merger between Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Scotia Gas Networks Ltd.
The CMA said the action is based on the Enterprise Act 2002, the U.K. competition law that governs mergers.
Qonto, a Paris-based neobank for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and freelancers, has raised 486 million euros ($552 million) in Series D funding, the company announced Tuesday (Jan. 11).
The fundraising, one of the largest ever in France, brings the company’s valuation to 4.4 billion euros ($5 billion). Qonto’s funding represents the third French company to achieve unicorn status — firms with a valuation of more than $1 billion — less than two weeks into the new year.
Cloud-based financial management platform for real estate projects Alasco has raised $40 million in Series B funding, the Munich company announced on Tuesday (Jan. 11).
The financing was led by Insight Partners, a global venture capital and private equity firm that invests in technology and software companies, and Lightrock, an investor in tech-driven business models.
The German energy supplier Ostrom is going green. The Berlin-based company has raised 4.4 million euros ($5 million) to finance its goal of making the transformation to green energy easy and affordable, Ostrom announced Monday (Jan. 10).
Founded in 2021, Ostrom said it will use the proceeds to increase its energy products and “super app” in Germany, Europe and beyond.