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Tencent Leads Funding For Open Banking Startup TrueLayer

Tencent

Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent has led a funding round in U.K. open banking startup TrueLayer.

Reports in Bloomberg Tuesday (June 4) said Tencent and Singapore-based Temasek are providing $35 million in funding for TrueLayer, which provides software for developers to integrate their apps with banking platforms via APIs. The company plans to use the investment to further expansion across Europe.

Northzone Ventures and Anthemis Group will also reportedly return as investors in the latest funding round, which would bring the total raised by TrueLayer to $47 million.

Separate reports in The Times pegged the newest funding round at $40 million, however, citing unnamed sources. The publication added that despite TrueLayer’s plans to expand across Europe, the funding could also propel its position in Asia and Latin America, considering Tencent’s previous investments in digital banks and FinTechs.

TrueLayer announced $3 million in Series A funding in 2017, which was led by Anthemis Group with participation from Connect Ventures. At the time, the company said it would deploy that investment to expand its team as it geared up to emerge from Beta.

“We believe that PSD2 will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for startups to displace incumbent banks and financial service providers,” the firm’s co-founder, Francesco Simoneschi, said in a statement at the time. “We want to provide developers with a simple, secure and universal API to access the bank infrastructure and enable the next wave of financial services.”

Open banking legislation like PSD2 in Europe and Open Banking in the U.K. have fueled bank-FinTech collaboration.

Last month’s PYMNTS B2B API Tracker highlighted the role of open banking in promoting data connectivity between banks and FinTechs, as well as the impact of APIs in promoting data security while giving banks greater control over third parties’ access to data.

“Banks see a market for this,” said TESOBE and the Open Bank Project COO Ismail Chaib in an interview with PYMNTS. “They can monetize data, monetize the API, reduce coasts and make things more [efficient] internally.”

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