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This Week in London Startups - Issue #14, 3rd August 2021

This Week in London Startups - Issue #14, 3rd August 2021
By London Startup Club • Issue #14 • View online

Square bought the buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay for $29 billion
Square bought the buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay for $29 billion
In what is one of the biggest deals ever, Square has announced that it is acquiring Australian buy now, pay later giant Afterpay in a $29 billion all-stock deal, expected to close in Q1 of 2022. Read more here.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of buy now, pay later platforms including the likes of Klarna. It’s a sector that is only going to continue to grow with Afterpay alone serving more than 16 million consumers and 100,000 merchants.
It’s a strategic acquisition for Square as they plan to integrate it into their Seller and Cash App business. This will allow their customers to natively offer buy now, pay later services which will increase revenue for everyone and provide consumers greater choice.
It will be interesting to see what the other major payment players do. We’ve already seen Checkout.com invest in Tamara - the buy now, pay later platform based in Saudi Arabia.
This may very well be the start of big consolidation in the fintech space, and traditional banks should be very worried about being left behind as they can no longer rest on their laurels.
JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon even wrote in his 2020 annual letter to shareholders about the threat fintech shows and how banks are “playing an increasingly smaller role in the financial system”.
Perhaps the real reason Square bought AfterPay is because it wants to be a bank…?
Haris Qureshi, Editor & Co-Founder @ London Startup Club
Top News
  • Reece Witherspoon sells media outlet Hello Sunshine after 5 years for $900M, more here
  • Monzo reports £114m annual loss and a second “going concern” warning, more here
  • Bolt valued at $4.75 billion as Uber rival aims to push into on-demand grocery delivery, more here
UK Funding Rounds
  • Bloom & Wild raises £50M and acquires French competitor, Bergamotte, as competition in the flower delivery blossoms. More here
  • Not far behind; London-based flower subscription service Freddie’s Flowers gets $60M funding, more here
  • Insuretch Flock raises £12.2M in Series A led by Social Capital and Chairman of Virgin Galactic, more here
  • UK proptech Essensys grabs £33.2M to accelerate global expansion, more here
International Highlights
  • The platform for electronic rentals, Grover has raised $1B in their latest fundraise. More here
  • DoNotPay, a startup that describes itself as a robot lawyer striving to beat bureaucracy, has more than doubled its valuation to about $210M. More here
  • Catch, a startup providing employee benefits to gig workers, raises $12M. More here
  • Unacademy has raised $440 million in new funding round, valuing the education technology startup at $3.4 billion. More here
  • Behavioral health matchmaker SonderMind hits unicorn status with $150M series C, more here
  • As barbershops boom, Squire Technologies draws a $750 million valuation, more here
Events
  • August 5 - Smart Contract Summit: Bringing together 200+ industry-leading speakers on blockchain
  • August 25 - Women in Tech: What’s new in Merchandising, Marketing and other parts of Target in the 3D space
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