Finovate Global Australia: Payments Partnerships, Verification Pilots, and Debating the Fate of BNPL

Finovate Global Australia: Payments Partnerships, Verification Pilots, and Debating the Fate of BNPL

A newly announced partnership between institutional payment orchestration platform Paydock and Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will give merchants in Australia the ability to offer their customers a range of new payment options. This new flexibility comes courtesy of PowerBoard, which provides a dynamic payments experience to customers via API, without requiring businesses to make major changes to their existing payments infrastructure.

“Our partnership with CommBank sets a global precedent for financial institutions,” Paydock CEO and founder Rob Lincolne said. “It shows not only how banks can bring flexible payment strategies to customers in record time with payments orchestration, but also it establishes a new paradigm whereby banks can become more competitive and deliver more value by working with fintech players.”

PowerBoard will make it easier for CBA to deploy the latest payment methods, types, providers, and processors to merchants. CBA General Manager of Merchant Solutions Karen Last noted growing customer interest in new payment options. In a statement, she highlighted alternatives such as account-to-account payments, digital wallets, and Buy Now Pay Later as reasons to pursue the partnership with Paydock.

“PowerBoard makes it significantly easier for Australian merchants to offer choice to customers and manage their payments ecosystems, without all the costly integrations,” Last said.

Headquartered in London, Paydock also maintains an office in Sydney, Australia. The company has raised $31.8 million (£25 million) in funding according to Crunchbase. This capital came in the form of a Series A investment in May that was led by IAG Silverstripe.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is one of the top 50 banks in the world. Founded in 1911, CBA became a fully private bank in 1996. The institution is part of the “big four” of Australian banks, along with the National Australia Bank (NAB), ANZ, and Westpac. CBA had total assets of 1.2 trillion AUD as of 2022.

Speaking of Commonwealth Bank, the institution also announced this week that Bendigo Bank and fraud monitoring firm Satori will pilot CBA’s NameCheck technology. Launched this spring, NameCheck is built to prevent scams and mistaken payments. According to the bank, the solution has prevented more than 10,000 scam payments and reduced mistaken payments by more than $100 million, to date.

“With scams and fraud costing Australians and businesses billions of dollars annually, it’s clear a whole of ecosystem response is needed to combat this problem,” CBA Group Executive Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said. “We are proud to be able to extend our industry-leading technology to others and contribute to protecting more Australians against cyber criminals.”

NameCheck leverages advanced technology and CBA’s access to payment data to help establish the accuracy of account credentials. Bendigo Bank will integrate NameCheck into its Up app. Financial fraud monitoring company Satori will also take advantage of the technology.

“We are excited to work with CBA and extend the NameCheck service to our corporate customer base to complement the existing AI driven financial controls monitoring service driving operational efficiency and preventing fraud,” Satori Executive Director of Growth Mark Bookatz said.

Founded in 2002, Satori is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company has more than 200+ customers in the APAC region who rely on its automated transaction monitoring services. These firms include Afterpay, Qantas, and Volkswagen Group.

The Australian government’s plans to regulate Buy Now Pay Later services are having a hard time keeping up with public enthusiasm for the payment option.

This week, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) shared results of a survey that indicated a significant increase in use of Buy Now, Pay Later services. The specific demographic was individuals between the ages of 18 and 39. The survey showed that more than 40% of those in this cohort had used BNPL services in the past year. The survey, which had almost 1,000 participants, also noted an overall increase in the number of people using BNPL. Incorporating data from a Reserve Bank of Australia research paper from 2022, the RBA determined that there has been an increase of 8% in adult BNPL use since 2019.

Designing a regulatory framework for Buy Now Pay Later services in Australia has been on the government’s to-do list since the spring. The goal is to bring BNPL under the umbrella of existing credit regulations, including credit license requirements, and minimum standards on conduct, services, and products. This also includes mandating that BNPL companies conduct credit history checks. Overall the regulations, which will treat BNPL services as conventional lending products, are seen as among the toughest proposed.

But the rollout has hit a snag. The RBA has announced that the new regulatory framework for BNPL will arrive next year rather than at the end of 2023 as originally planned. The reason for the delay was “resourcing pressures” on the government’s legislation writing team. And while this will likely give New Zealand regional bragging rights over its larger neighbor when it comes to adoption of BNPL regulations, the impact of the delay on the Australian BNPL market should be slight.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Latin America-based fintech Clara launched its new payment account in Brazil this week.
  • ACI Worldwide partnered with Mexican fintech Mexipay.
  • Payroll automation specialist Somapay teamed up with software accounting firm Fortes Tecnologia to launch FortesPay in Brazil.


  • Taiwanese software company TPIsoftware teamed up with digital lending platform provider HESFinTech.
  • Airo, a branch of CP Global Fintech Solutions went live as Malaysia’s first actively managed digital investment platform.
  • JuanHand, an online lending platform based in the Philippines, inked a loan channelling partnership with SeaBank.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Microlender Ezra teamed up with Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. and Global Bank of Ethiopia to launch a digital lending service in the country.
  • South African fintech Stitch launched its Pay with Crypto feature.
  • Electronic Payments International looked at the role of bank/fintech partnerships in Africa’s financial services industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Photo by David Jia

eToro Seeks to Retain Investor Funds by Paying Interest on Idle Cash

eToro Seeks to Retain Investor Funds by Paying Interest on Idle Cash
  • eToro announced it will pay investors 4.9% interest on idle cash held in their options account.
  • Users must have at least $5,000 in idle cash to benefit from the interest rate, but investors with less than that can pay a fee to receive the 4.9% interest.
  • The move not only indicates that eToro wants to keep hold of investors’ funds as they move their money out of risky investments, but it also signals that eToro likely won’t launch its own suite of banking tools any time soon.

After starting the year with a fresh $250 million in funding, social investment network eToro has experience with cash. Perhaps that’s why today the company is launching a feature that pays users interest on cash in their accounts.

The new option is meant to serve as another form of diversification for its investor clients. Currently eToro offers users the opportunity to invest in crypto, stocks, ETFs, and options trading. And while holding cash is usually considered a negative quality for investors, a high interest rate, combined with no risk of loss may make higher cash balances more palatable.

“Retail investors are constantly told to diversify their portfolio and ensure they’re maximizing their investments – our new high interest on cash offering helps investors make their money work even when it is at rest,” said eToro U.S. CEO Lule Demmissie. “Our high rate offering is accessible to real investors unlike other brokers who have high minimum balance requirements to earn their rates.”

The new interest on cash program is free for eligible users with an at-rest cash balance of $5,000 or more and the 4.9% interest is paid on cash reserves that are not actively invested. Users with a cash balance lower than $5,000 can still receive the 4.9% interest rate, but eToro will charge them a monthly fee.

Users can access the new interest on cash feature via eToro Options. At launch, accountholders will receive 4.9% APR on cash balances within their eToro Options account. This comes at a time when, in the U.S., the average yield for savings accounts is 0.61% APR.

As new and existing challenger banks bolster their offerings with high-yield interest rate accounts, it is becoming increasingly difficult (and more expensive) for banks to win over consumer deposits. Today’s move by eToro indicates two things. First, the company is seeking to stem the outflow of investor funds as they move their money from risky market opportunities into high-yield savings account safe havens. Secondly, it indicates that, unlike many other fintechs in the investing space, eToro is not planning to become a challenger bank by launching its own savings account and debit card any time soon.

A wealthtech pioneer, eToro was founded in 2007 and has received nearly $693 million in funding. The Israel-based company currently has over 32 million registered users from more than 100 countries on its platform. Yesterday, eToro announced it received approval from the Abu Dhabi Financial Markets Authority to operate in the UAE.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Twitter Taps eToro for Real-Time Stock Prices

Twitter Taps eToro for Real-Time Stock Prices
  • Twitter has selected eToro to provide real-time pricing data for its $Cashtags feature.
  • The $Cashtag will not only show real-time pricing data, it will also enable users to navigate to the eToro platform to view more information and make a trade.
  • The news comes about a month after Twitter CEO Elon Musk said he thinks it is possible Twitter could become “the biggest financial institution in the world.”

Social trading and investment network eToro unveiled it has partnered with Twitter. The tie-up will enable the social media platform’s $Cashtags feature to show users real-time prices for a range of stocks, crypto, and other assets.

Twitter first added pricing data on $Cashtags leveraging TradingView data late last year. However, the live pricing information was only available for select financial assets. With today’s partnership, eToro is expanding the list of assets to include more stocks, ETFs, crypto, and commodities. Moreover, Twitter users will be able to click the $Cashtag to navigate to the eToro platform, which will not only offer more information on the asset, but will also have the option to invest.

“Financial content on social media has provided education to many who have felt excluded by more traditional channels,” said eToro CEO Yoni Assia. “Twitter has become a crucial part of the retail investing community – it’s where millions of ordinary investors go every day to access financial news, share knowledge and converse. As the social investing network, eToro was built on these very principles – community, knowledge-sharing and better access to financial markets. There is power in shared knowledge and by transforming investing into a group endeavour, we can yield better results and become more successful, together.”

In piloting the launch of $Cashtag pricing data late last year, Twitter has seen widespread adoption among its users– even with the limited data. There have been more than 420 million searches for $Cashtags since the start of this year, with an average 4.7 million $Cashtag searches a day. Among the most commonly used $Cashtags are $TSLA, $SPY, and $BTC.

Today’s news comes about six months after Twitter CEO Elon Musk acquired the social media platform and declared plans to turn it into an “everything app.” At a Morgan Stanley Tech conference earlier this year, Musk specified that this vision revolved around payments. “I think it’s possible to create a very powerful finance experience,” said Musk. “Basically, I think it’s possible to become the biggest financial institution in the world, just by providing people with convenient payment options.”

Twitter’s partnership with eToro serves as the company’s first step towards becoming the “biggest financial institution in the world.” It also offers a hint into Twitter’s initial strategy when it comes to achieving that goal– as many U.S. banks have found, when it comes to rising to the top, partnerships are key.

Photo by Edgar on Unsplash

eToro Lands $250 Million at $3.5 Billion Valuation

eToro Lands $250 Million at $3.5 Billion Valuation
  • eToro landed $250 million in funding at a $3.5 billion valuation
  • The investment boosts the company’s total funding to $573 million.
  • Today’s funding comes from an agreement made during eToro’s cancelled SPAC transaction.

eToro announced today it received $250 million in funding in a round that values the social trading and investment network at $3.5 billion. Investors in the round, which boosts eToro’s total funding to $573 million, include ION Group, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Velvet Sea Ventures, and existing investors.

In 2021, eToro planned to go public via a merger with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal worth $10 billion. That deal was cancelled in 2022 and, according to eToro’s update, today’s funding “stems from an Advance Investment Agreement which eToro entered into in February 2021 as part of its proposed SPAC transaction.”

Today’s investment will help eToro with its plans for growth over the next few years. “Our 2023 to 2025 strategy focuses on scaling our brokerage business in our key markets and increasing profitability via revenue growth and cost management,” said eToro Founder and CEO Yoni Assia.

Along with today’s funding announcement, eToro released highlights of its fiscal year 2022 performance. The company has 2.8 million funded accounts, up 17% from 2021. The company’s accountholders paid commissions totaling $631 million– a figure that is down from the company’s 2021 performance, but up 5% from 2020.

Adding to its busy 2022, eToro made two acquisitions, picking up options trading app Gatsby for $50 million and acquiring portfolio management tools provider Bullsheet for an undisclosed amount. The company increased its footprint for digital asset operations, receiving a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration in France, joining the registry of cryptoasset providers in Italy, and securing a New York BitLicense and Money Transmitter License.

As for long-term plans, “eToro will continue to focus on profitable growth while helping to drive progress towards a world where everyone can invest in a simple and transparent way,” said Assia.

Photo by Jared Schwitzke on Unsplash

eToro Teams Up with Sentifi to Launch Social Sentiment Portfolio

eToro Teams Up with Sentifi to Launch Social Sentiment Portfolio
  • eToro launched its SocialSentiment portfolio of stocks with high ESG and social sentiment criteria this week.
  • The new offering was made possible courtesy of a partnership with alternative data provider – and fellow Finovate alum – Sentifi.
  • Sentifi’s technology analyzes more than 500 million tweet – and two million news articles, forums, and blog – in order to create its social sentiment rating (sentScore) for positive social chatter.

eToro has unveiled a new solution for investors looking for exposure to U.S. companies with strong ESG performance. The social investing network has teamed up with alternative data provider Sentifi to launch SocialSentiment, a new portfolio offering that features the top 10 stocks in the S&P 500 that meet ESG and social sentiment criteria. Rebalanced monthly, the initial roster of stocks in the SocialSentiment portfolio are: Verisign, Teradyne, Northern Trust, Mid-America Apartment Communities, Intuitive Surgical, Fifth Third Bancorp, F5 Networks, Equity Residential, Dollar Tree, and Allstate.

‘With this portfolio, we aim to offer retail investors exposure to stocks that are being discussed in a positive light on social and digital channels, adding an extra layer of insights,” eToro Head of Investment Portfolios Dani Brinker said. “We look forward to partnering with the Sentifi team, and working together to harness the power of social networks.”

Sentifi made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia in Hong Kong in 2016, and returned to the Finovate stage a year later for FinovateEurope in London. The company’s AI-enabled technology analyzes more than 5,000 stocks, currencies, commodities, and indices – as well as passive and active mutual funds. Sentifi combines market metrics with social sentiment (sentScore) and an ESG score to create a roster of stocks that have both high ESG credentials and positive social chatter and awareness. Sentifi builds its sentScores by analyzing more than 500 million tweets, as well as two million news articles, forums, and blogs.

“The events over the past several years relating to the meme stock rallies are evidence of how the herd can change direction, and where these changes happen, which is largely in social networks and forums,” Sentifi CEO Marina Goche said. “Social networks, news, blogs, and forums are also a valuable source of changing risk for asset classes and offer dynamic views on ESG performance appreciation and degradation for companies globally — essential for constructing portfolios that outperform a benchmark.”

Investors can buy into the SocialSentiment portfolio with as little as $500. Investors can access tools and charts to track the portfolio’s performance, as well as monitor eToro’s social feed to stay up-to-date on developments in the sector. At this time, the portfolio is not available to investors in the U.S.

eToro’s SocialSentiment portfolio is the latest addition to the company’s suite of Smart Portfolios that give investors exposure to a variety of market themes. The portfolios are for long-term investments, feature unique investment strategies, are curated by eToro analysts, and give investors a way to gain exposure to a diverse range of major market trends without having to pay portfolio management fees.

Founded in 2007, eToro has more than 30 million registered users on its social investing network. Among Finovate’s earliest alums, the company won Best of Show in its debut at FinovateEurope in 2011.

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Pioneering PFM, French Fintech, and an Investor Social Network

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Pioneering PFM, French Fintech, and an Investor Social Network

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley is a great way for our pioneering alums to show that, more than a decade later, they are still driving fintech innovation. Check out our Finovate Alumni Alley hub for more information on how to get involved.

To celebrate the launch of this new opportunity, we’re going to highlight alums that demoed their technologies at some of the earliest FinovateEurope events. From Best of Show winners to late blooming breakouts, FinovateEurope has spent the past dozen years showcasing the companies that have become many of fintech’s favorites. Over the next few weeks heading into the winter holidays, we will share their stories here.

A Best of Show Winner – Meniga

One of four companies to win Best of Show in our inaugural FinovateEurope in 2011, Meniga introduced itself as a mobile PFM solution provider for retail banks in Europe. Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, and founded in 2009, the company partnered with Íslandsbanki to help its technology reach 5% of households within the first year of launch.

Today the company has grown into a digital innovation partner for more than 165 banks around the world and grown its workforce ten-fold. From its start as a white-label PFM innovator, Meniga has added to its finance management offering with Cashflow Assistant and Smart Money Rules solutions, and added a suite of data management solutions for consolidation, enrichment, and discovery to its product mix. The company also now offers Beyond Banking solutions for banks, as well. These products include customer engagement/empowerment solutions like Carbon Insight and solutions for SME customers such as Cashback Rewards and Market Intelligence.

Meniga co-founder Georg Ludviksson introducing Meniga to the FinovateEurope audience in 2011.

Long-time Meniga CEO and co-founder Georg Ludviksson stepped down in August. The company’s new CEO, Simon Shorthose, said in a statement that the company was in a “prime position for growth” due to the “rapid modernization of banking technology and the move to real-time cloud infrastructures.” He added “Meniga’s solutions are at the forefront of helping banks take their digital banking experience to the next level of hyper-personalization.”

A Late Blooming Breakout – Linxo

One of the benefits of FinovateEurope is not just the ability to showcase for companies in Europe in general, but also for the opportunity of countries not always associated with fintech innovation to show what entrepreneurs in their nations are up to.

France is one example of such a country and Linxo – which made its Finovate debut in 2011 and, nine years later, was acquired by Credit Agricole for an undisclosed sum – is one example of just such a company. Co-founded in 2010 by CEO Bruno Van Haetsdaaele and headquartered in France, Linxo demoed its platform that represented the first bank account aggregation service for French financial institutions.

Linxo co-founder and CEO Bruno Van Haetsdaele on stage at FinovateEurope 2011.

“This transaction enables us to accelerate and strengthen our services for the Crédit Agricole Group, while giving us the opportunity to develop our offering in France and internationally for our clients and prospects with Oxlin, our ACPR-authorized payment institution, and to continue the development of Linxo, one of France’s most popular personal financial management apps,” Van Haetsdaele said when the acquisition was announced.

More than three million users in France leverage Linxo’s mobile app to manage their budgets and simplify their finances. Linxo had raised more than $26 million in funding prior to its acquisition.

From Good to Great and Still Going – eToro

Helping investors navigate the financial markets was the goal of many fintechs that demoed their technologies on the Finovate stage in the early years. But one of the innovators in this space to make a big first impression that only has grown bigger over time is eToro.

Another company to win Best of Show in the first FinovateEurope, eToro was an established investing network with more than 1.5 million registered users from 120+ countries in 2011. The company is among the pioneers in social investing, with innovative solutions that helped novice traders and investors learn from successful, veteran traders and investors, and improve their own outcomes in the market.

eToro CEO Yoni Assia demonstrating the eToro network at FinovateEurope in 2011.

Among the more popular companies to demo at FinovateEurope, with six Best of Show trophies won from 2011 through 2017, eToro today is still one of the biggest social investing communities in the world with more than 30 million registered users currently sharing their investment strategies on the platform. The company launched its mobile app in 2012, offered trading in cryptocurrencies in 2017 and, this year, unveiled both fractional share investing with zero commissions and eToro Options for options traders in the U.S.

This month, eToro teamed up with Broadridge Financial Solutions to enable proxy voting for investors on its platform. The ability to cast proxy votes will extend to investors holding fractional shares, as well. The partnership is a victory for advocates of corporate accountability by enabling eToro investors to weigh in on issues ranging from mergers and executive pay to ESG initiatives and goals.

Photo by Peter Spencer

Get Gatsby: Social Investment Platform eToro Acquires Option Trading App for $50 Million

Get Gatsby: Social Investment Platform eToro Acquires Option Trading App for $50 Million
  • Social investment platform eToro inked a definitive agreement to acquire stock and options trading app Gatsby for $50 million.
  • U.S.-based Gatsby offers a commission-free, stock and options trading solution geared toward Millennial and Gen Z investors and traders.
  • Making its first Finovate appearance in 2011, eToro has won Best of Show in every one of its six appearances on the Finovate stage.

Social investment platform eToro has agreed to acquire Gatsby, a U.S.-based, commission-free, stock and options trading app. The Israel-based company, which has won Best of Show awards in every one of its six appearances on the Finovate stage since 2011, will pay approximately $50 million for the trading company.

As part of the transaction, Gatsby’s co-CEOs and co-founders Jeff Myers and Ryan Belanger-Saleh – along with other senior Gatsby staffers – will join the eToro team. The acquisition of Gatsby will enable eToro to diversify its offering to investors and traders in the U.S., a factor that eToro CEO Yoni Assia called “a strategic focus” for his company.

“Through Gatsby we can provide U.S. users with access to a safe and simple way to trade options,” Assia said, “which we know are particularly attractive in challenging markets.”

Geared toward younger investors and traders, Gatsby was founded in 2018 as a way to bring commission-free options and stock trading to a demographic that has been overlooked until recently. Company co-founder Belanger-Saleh credited eToro as an inspiration for launching Gatsby, calling eToro a social investing pioneer and “the cool older sibling we’d love to hang with.” Joining the eToro team will be Gatsby’s president and chief operating officer (both co-founders), as well as Gatsby’s Chief Technology Officer, Head of Product, and others.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome the Gatsby team to the eToro family,” Assia said. “We have a shared mission of empowering investors through simple, transparent tools.”

The acquisition announcement from eToro comes less than a month after the company launched its private equity portfolio that enables individual retail investors to access private markets that would be otherwise inaccessible to them. eToro’s Private Equity Smart Portfolio gives users exposure to 14 publicly listed asset management and investment companies that manage alternative assets. These firms, including Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, and The Carlyle Group, all feature strong ROIs and get their revenues via a combination of management fees for asset allocation and performance fees based on realized profits.

“Our goal is to open the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way,” eToro Head of Investment Portfolios Dani Brinker said. “With this portfolio we want to leverage the wave of private equity company listings and offer our users a new solution to diversify their portfolio and gain exposure to the revenues generated in private markets.”

Founded in 2007, eToro currently has more than 28 million registered users who share their investment strategies and make it easy for market newcomers to buy, hold, and sell assets ranging from stocks to cryptocurrencies.

Photo by Haley Black

eToro Expands into NFTs

eToro Expands into NFTs
  • Social investing platform eToro is launching eToro Art, a $20 million fund to support NFT creators.
  • Once the company’s $20 million collection of NFTs is complete, eToro will be one of the world’s leading NFT collectors.
  • eToro has made it clear that, while its new project supports creators, it is not an NFT marketplace.

When it comes to trends in fintech, NFTs are red hot. To capture some of this heat, social trading and investment network eToro is launching etoro Art, a $20 million fund to support NFT creators, agencies, and brands by purchasing blue chip NFTs and investing in emerging creators and NFT projects.

As part of etoro Art, the Israel-based company has amassed its own collection of NFTs, which includes projects from Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, World of Women, and pieces from emerging artists. After eToro spends the full $20 million on NFTs, the company will be one of the world’s leading NFT collectors. This week, eToro will debut its NFT collection during an event at the Bass Contemporary Art Museum in Miami.

eToro Cofounder and CEO Yoni Assia said that the company’s entrance into the NFT space “is only natural” and that the move will serve as the bridge to bring its community of 27 million registered users into NFTs and the metaverse. “We’re incredibly excited to see the developments in this space over the coming months,” Assia added.

As part of today’s move, eToro will spend an additional $10 million to support up-and-coming creators and brands on new, emerging projects. Creators simply fill out an intake application and, if they are selected to participate, eToro will offer “a range of support and services” to help them bring their project to fruition.

“As the leading social investing platform, eToro is well positioned to lead this space,” said eToro Art Managing Director Guy Hirsch. He added, “ will bring creators and investors together through technology, uniting communities around art.”

The company is making it clear that it is not launching an NFT marketplace. “No NFTs may be purchased through eToro by use of the services provided by eToro, and eToro is not responsible for any trading activity in NFTs which may occur on any third-party platforms to which eToro may direct its customers,” the company said in a statement. Instead, eToro Art is simply an aggregation platform with referral to third-party platforms.

Founded in 2007, eToro went public in a $10 billion SPAC last year. The company was an early adopter of cryptocurrency, having purchased 100 bitcoin in 2012.

Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

eToro To Go Public in $10 Billion SPAC

eToro To Go Public in $10 Billion SPAC

Social trading and investment marketplace eToro announced today that it is making the leap to go public. In true 2021 style, however, the Israel-based company isn’t pursuing an IPO. Instead, eToro is merging with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal worth $10 billion.

When the deal is finalized, the combined company will operate as eToro Group Ltd. and is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ.

The move to go public comes after a period of growth for the Israel-based company. Last year, eToro added more than five million new users and brought in $605 million in revenue, 147% higher than the revenue it saw in 2019. Additionally, average monthly registrations have grown from 192,000 in 2019 to 440,000 in 2020. In January 2021 alone, eToro added more than 1.2 million new registered users. Similarly, the number of trades executed on its platform has grown– from eight million average trades per month in 2019, to 27 million in 2020, and 75 million in January 2021 alone.

“We founded eToro with the vision of opening the global market for everyone to trade and invest in a simple and transparent way,” said eToro CEO Yoni Assia. “Today, eToro is the world’s leading social investment network. Our users come to eToro to invest, but also to communicate with each other; to see, follow, and automatically copy successful investors from all around the world. We created a new category of wealth management – social investing – and we are dominating the market as evidenced by our rapid expansion.”

eToro is the seventh fintech to use a SPAC to go public in the past few months, joining SoFi, BankMobile, Payoneer, MoneyLion, Apex, and OppFi.

eToro was founded in 2007 and has offices in Cyprus, the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. The company is among Finovate’s earliest alums, demoing at the very first FinovateEurope conference in 2011.

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Four Fintechs Crowned Unicorns in the First 3 Weeks of 2021

Four Fintechs Crowned Unicorns in the First 3 Weeks of 2021

There’s not much room in 2021 for 2020-style pessimism. Sure, if you look, you can find plenty of things to be negative about so far this year. However, one aspect of 2021 that’s giving fintechs hope is the recent uptick in valuations across the fintech sector.

Despite last year’s global events, many fintechs received valuations exceeding $1 billion. In fact, in December 2020 alone, four fintechs, including eToro, Creditas, PhonePE, and GoCardless, received unicorn status.

This year seems to be off to a similarly bullish start, with four fintechs becoming unicorns in just the first three weeks of 2021:

Digit Insurance

India-based Digit Insurance became India’s first unicorn of 2021 after the country saw 11 new unicorns in 2020. Just 15 days into the new year, and after raising $18.5 million, Digit Insurance unveiled a new valuation of $1.9 billion.


Spend management startup Divvy received a valuation of $1.6 billion after its Series D round on January 5. The $165 million came from new investors PayPal Ventures, Whale Rock, Schonfeld, and previous backers NEA, Insight Venture Partners, Acrew, and Pelion. The pandemic has spurred increased traffic to Utah-based Divvy; the startup has experienced a 500% increase in monthly sign-ups since March 2020.


SaaS banking platform Mambu earned its unicorn title after landing a $135 million investment on January 7. The boost gave the Germany-based company a post-money valuation of just over $2 billion. Mambu will use the funds to increase its presence in Brazil, Japan, and the U.S.


The second fintech unicorn to come out of Lehi, Utah is fintech data company MX. Founded in 2010, MX raised $300 million in Series C funding on January 13, bringing the company’s total capital to $505 billion and boosting its valuation to $1.9 billion. Company CEO Ryan Caldwell said that MX will use the funds to hire more staff and improve its data collection and enhancement capabilities.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

eToro Reaches 13 Million Users, Spurred by COVID-19

eToro Reaches 13 Million Users, Spurred by COVID-19
photo credit: Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

Across the globe, many people have shifted their attention to focus on two things: their health and their finances. Fintech companies have stepped up in recent weeks to help citizens with the latter. In fact, many are seeing record app downloads, usage, logins, and a surge of new users.

eToro is one such fintech. In fact, the U.K.-based company recently announced it has now reached 13 million active users. This milestone comes in part thanks to the comparatively large number of new users that have registered in the first quarter of this year. eToro saw more than a fourfold increase in the number of new users in the first quarter of 2020 than it saw in the first quarter of 2019.

“Coronavirus induced market volatility has been a focus for media globally and has brought the topic of investing increasingly onto people’s radars,” said eToro CEO Yoni Assia. “We have seen a large increase in trading volumes on eToro since the start of 2020 from both new and existing users.”

Activity on the stock-trading platform has also ramped up this year, with stock trading transactions increasing by 3x since January 1. Much of this activity can be attributed to the fact that eToro launched commission-free stock investing for its Europe-based users in May.

As for what’s next, eToro said it plans to expand its commission-free stock investing to users in the U.S. and Asia Pacific regions later this year. The company also noted that it plans to ramp up its acquisitions to keep up with customer demand.

EToro is, by all accounts, in the middle of a growth spurt. In addition to its boosted user numbers and acquisition plans, the company is also in the middle of a hiring spree. It is currently seeking to fill 60+ job vacancies at a time when many fintechs are laying off or furloughing their staff.

eToro’s Evolution

eToro’s Evolution

Social trading and investment platform eToro has never been one to stand still for very long. The company’s development cycle is fast enough to make even the most sprightly fintech jealous.


eToro was founded by David Ring, Ronen Assia, and Yoni Assia in 2007 with a mission to make trading accessible to anyone, anywhere, and reduce dependency on traditional financial institutions. The company has come a long way since its first iteration, which was, by today’s standards, simple.

Starting up

eToro started as an easy-to-understand online trading platform that made investing more digestible with the use of graphics. Three years after its initial launch in July of 2010, the company unveiled CopyTrader, its social trading platform that enables users to copy the trades of successful investors. The model proved popular among investors and gave eToro notoriety within the fintech industry. After CopyTrader the company launched a mobile app, introduced stocks, unveiled a new interface, and launched CopyPortfolio.

This screenshot from eToro’s FinovateEurope 2011 demo gives off major retro fintech vibes.

Move into cryptocurrencies

In 2013, eToro took a chance on cryptocurrencies, adding Bitcoin trading via CFDs. From there, the company continued to advance its cryptocurrency offerings. Here’s what the past seven years of innovation have looked like for eToro:

  • 2017: enabled users to trade and invest in Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, and others
  • 2018: launched its cryptocurrency investment offering to users in the U.S.
  • 2019: partnered with TIE to deliver sentiment-driven investment strategies
  • 2019: launched the eToro Club, a personalized trading experience

Best of Show accolades

eToro’s most recent Finovate appearance was FinovateEurope 2017, where CEO and Founder Yoni Assia, along with VP of Product Tal Ben-Simon, took the stage to demo CopyFunds for Partners. The duo won Best of Show bragging rights for the presentation, marking eToro’s fourth Best of Show award since its first Finovate demo in 2011.

To see eToro’s evolution yourself, watch the company’s most recent 2017 demo in contrast with its 2011 demo.

FinovateEurope 2017

FinovateEurope 2011