In this Money Talks segment, we take a deeper look at the startup ecosystem on this island that we call home, then head south to Europe for a constructive look at the European Payments Initiative, and then head further south to Africa for the story of Chipper Cash and the fintech opportunity in Africa.
MAIN STORIES WE COVERED:
Ireland’s Startup Ecosystem
Scale Ireland kicked off their membership drive last week, which is an “independent not-for-profit organisation and our mission is to support, represent and advocate on behalf of Irish tech startup and scale-up companies, to create the most advantageous conditions for them to succeed.”
Scale Ireland have some good overlap with the NDRC, Ireland’s all-island startup accelerator now run out of Dogpatch Labs, whose mission is for Ireland to break the Top 10 of the global startup ecosystem rankings by 2030. Depending on who’s rating, Ireland as a startup ecosystem is ranked anywhere from 18 to 36 right now (StartupBlink at #18 | Startup Genome at #36) by 2030.
18 Irish Startups to Watch, according to top VCs (Sifted [paywall], 27-May-21)
Our top startup to watch out of the 18 mentioned is Wayflyer (eCommerce business financing), but there are a few other VCs and investors in Ireland that we’d like to hear from on their Top 3:
Mike Brennan at Finch Capital, Patrick Pinschmidt at Middlegame, Debbie Rennick at ACT, Connor Cantwell at Cosimo Ventures, Sean O’Sullivan at SOSV and Gianni Matera at Growing Capital (invested in Flipdish and Geowox).
Also referenced is the awesome resource for founders seeking funding that is OpenVC, a dynamic database of global VCs and the industries and stages in which they invest.
European Banks Attack!
Europe’s largest banks plan a joint attack on US payment giants. (Insider Voice via Finch Capital newsletter, 3-May-21)
Pete Townsend’s thoughts on the European Payments Initiative (EPI): “I’m seeing the proposed models from people that are thinking way ahead of the game for central bank digital currencies and derivations of that like the regulated digital cash model from the Billon Group. My advice to the EPI is, unless you’re partnering with someone like Billon and you’re thinking about how to do this truly digitally, don’t bother.”
Fintech in Africa
SVB-led $100M investment makes Chipper Cash Africa’s ‘most valuable startup’ (TechCrunch, 31-May-21)
Eoin Fitzgerald on fintech in Africa: “There’s so much opportunity in what I think is the most innovative of the different markets. You've got the legacy world of the US and the EU versus the digital-first economy in Asia, but then everything is primarily mobile-focused in Africa. There is so much room to grow in terms of innovation and financial products.”
SIDE NOTES AND OTHER STORIES:
Curve breaks records with largest-ever equity raise of £9.9m on Crowdcube (Finextra, 31-May-21)
With Great Power Comes Great Wealth (Chris Skinner, 2-Jun-21)
Eoin’s latest read: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Pete’s latest read: To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
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