It’s been a year of ups and downs for fintech and despite an overall positive year for the industry, not all companies have made it to 2020.
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Fintech companies have been at full throttle for several years, with valuations continuing to soar despite the disruption caused by the pandemic last year.
Of course, however, in the startup world, things don’t always go as planned. A number of companies failed to reach 2020.
It was not in most cases simply due to the pandemic, but it is clear that the greatest social and economic shock of a generation has played its part. While many of those who eventually prospered in 2020 faced a more difficult effort to raise funds, others had to cut costs by withdrawal from international expansion or by slashing marketing. Some simply closed shop or went bankrupt in a fog of scandal.
In this article, we take a look at which companies have gone bankrupt and explore why.
Wirecard was fintech’s biggest victim of 2020. The listed German payment and card service provider filed for bankruptcy in June in the midst of one of the biggest corporate scandals for many years.
The immediate fall was severe. the FCA, the British financial regulator, ordered Wirecard’s UK subsidiary, Wirecard Card Solutions (WCS), to suspend all its activities just 24 hours after its German parent company filed for bankruptcy.
While the lawsuit against Wirecard is still ongoing, many of its various subsidiaries were sucked in by rivals in the second half of 2020 including UK assets purchased through Railsbank and Paynetics.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) effort to steal a walk on the likes of Monzo and Starling was short lived. Bó is an autonomous flanker brand bank, closed its digital doors in April of last year after only six months of action.
Bó had officially launched at the end of November 2019 but at the beginning of 2020 had already fired its CEO Mark Bailie with Marieke Flament, CEO of RBS’s other complementary brand – SME focused Courage – take control.
In February, he again touched the rocks in front of replace all customer cards after a strong client authentication problem.
The bank, which focused on retail customers, had received around 11,000 registrations, RBS noted.
German alternative lender Monedo, Previously Kreditech, filed for bankruptcy in September 2020. It is said to have run into problems after several European governments allowed borrowers to postpone loan repayments during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monedo has been hit hardest by new laws introduced by the Spanish and Polish governments, among the biggest fintech markets.
Backed by JC Flowers and Peter Thiel, the lender changed its name in March 2020 following a two-year shift in strategy to offer near-premium consumer loans. It employed around 350 people and lent money to India, Poland, Russia and Spain.
In the UK, another alternative lender Growth Street opted for a gust of wind in July 2020 after a litany of challenges. The lender was launched in 2015, having made more than £ 500million in loans in five years, but ran into problems in 2019.
CEO Greg carter left the company in December 2019 and in mid-March launched a “liquidity event” and closed investor access to its platform in a bid to stabilize its operations amid the pandemic of coronavirus.
In May 2020 its 2019 accounts saw losses increase to £ 1.86million.
The Covid-19 then created a number of challenges for the business and investors pulled out of the business recapitalization.
“We have assessed all of our realistic options, including discussing with our shareholders and other institutions to find a solution that would allow us to create an economically viable business in the future while allowing us to offer a leadership proposition on the market. market to our customers, ”said the COO. Kim Goetzke at the time.
“Unfortunately, in the current environment, it was not possible to bring together all of the equity investments and institutional funding needed to continue the activity,” he added.
The personal finance app, which was acquired by BGL Group in October 2018, helped users manage payments and subscriptions.
In April 2020, one of the first retail-focused P2P loan aggregators closed its doors following an unsuccessful pivot with institutional investors.
Orca moved away from retail investors and turned to institutional investors in 2019 during a period when the UK regulator launched a marketing crackdown on the retail market.