DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: BUX to launch in Germany and Austria; Hastee raises USD$270m; and Cuvva funds to launch pay-monthly product.
BUX to launch in Germany and Austria
After launching its commission-free service BUX Zero in the Netherlands, the startup is all set to launch it in Germany and Austria in early 2020. It is also planning to introduce American stocks that will be available for both German and Dutch users. Apart from these two countries, a broader rollout is expected to begin in 2020.
The expansion into new markets is one of the major pillars on the BUX Zero roadmap for the next year. This will let it integrate BUX X’s unique online community into the commission-free trading app. The community has flourished in BUX X and the company wants to duplicate the environment in BUX Zero. This way, it can create a more engaging environment for investors, who are new to the markets.
“Our original mission when we founded BUX was to make the world of finance accessible to more people. With the changing landscape in Europe, we’re building on this mission and want to give young Europeans more ways to make their money work for them,” said Founder and CEO, Nick Bortot.
Cuvva funds to launch pay-monthly product
Backing comes from RTP Global, Breega, and Digital Horizon, joining existing investors LocalGlobe, Techstars Ventures, Tekton and Seedcamp. A number of angels also joined the round, including Dominic Burke, the CEO of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, and Faisal Galaria, the former chief strategy and investments officer of GoCompare.
Launched in 2016 when founder Freddy Macnamara become frustrated he couldn’t let others drive his car intermittently because of lack of insurance cover, Cuvva was an early pioneer of pay-as-you-go car insurance.
Cuvva says it will use the new capital to launch a new pay-monthly motor product in early 2020 that it says could cut average annual bills for car owners “significantly”. It will do this by cutting out various middle people, including brokers and comparison websites, which it says charge insurers about £70 on each policy sold.
Hastee raises USD$270m
Hastee, a London-based on-demand wages app, has announced it has secured around USD$270m in equity and debt financing.
Umbra Capital (a one-year-old self-described modern merchant bank that invests in UK-based small-to-medium enterprises) led the equity portion of the funding, which amounted to about USD$20m. The startup also secured a USD$250m credit line.
IDC Ventures – the venture capital arm of Grupo IDC, a Latin American investment bank – and other unnamed investors also participated in the funding, which marks Hastee’s second round of external capital since it was founded in 2017. It raised a private $5.7 million seed round in May 2018, according to the company.
Hastee’s revenue grew by 1100% from December 2018 to November 2019. Its headcount has climbed from 19 last year to 48 today, and it is currently working with nearly 400 employers. The app is live in parts of Europe and Hastee admittedly “has global ambitions,” according to James Herbert, the company’s founder.
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