Can banks capitalize on the fintech fallout?
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has fuelled an abrupt end to venture-capital exuberance. There are vital implications for fintech and for the banking industry.
Like so many financial technology companies, German neobroker Nextmarkets raised capital in 2021 on a wave of optimism. Christian Angermayer, a German biotech entrepreneur with an interest in commercializing medical use of psychedelic drugs, invested alongside a group of fintech and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, including British hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard.
The $30 million series-B funding round was designed to propel the international expansion of Nextmarkets’ commission-free share-trading platform, making it a pan-European rival to Robinhood in the US.
In early 2023, however, Nextmarkets was facing some tough choices. Despite robust revenue growth, cost cuts had left it with fewer staff than it had during its 2021 capital raising. Amid a much less forgiving funding environment for fintech companies, it was still losing money. If it couldn’t raise more capital, its future as an independent company was in question.
The situation looked particularly dire when its holding company decided in March to liquidate its underlying assets.