EMEA Daily: Aldi Launches London Pilot of Cashierless Supermarket, InsurTech Zego Plans European Expansion

Aldi, Shop&Go, cashierless

In today’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa news, Aldi is piloting its first cashierless supermarket in London, and InsurTech Zego plans its European expansion.

Plus, Berlin FinTech Moss inches closer to unicorn status with $573 million valuation, Amazon’s ban on Visa cards in the U.K. has been abandoned and U.K. lender Zopa has hit $1.36 billion in customer deposits in 18 months.

Aldi Launches London Pilot of Cashierless Supermarket

Following a successful trial of the technology by Aldi’s employees over the past few months, Aldi is piloting its first cashierless supermarket open to the public in Greenwich, London, on Wednesday (Jan. 19).

Aldi’s new concept store, Aldi Shop&Go, enables customers to shop without scanning products or going through a checkout line. Customers download the app to enter the store, and payment is then processed with the preferred method they selected. The receipt is automatically sent.

Berlin FinTech Moss Gets Closer to Unicorn Status With $573M Valuation After Series B Funding Round

The FinTech Moss is on track to reach unicorn status with a round of funding that increased its valuation to more than 500 million euros ($573 million), the company announced on Wednesday (Jan. 19).

The Berlin-based firm said it plans to use the cash to enter the United Kingdom market, enhance its product and hire employees.

Personetics Snags $85M From Thoma Bravo for AI Personalization and Engagement for FIs

Artificial intelligence-based financial platform Personetics announced Wednesday (Jan. 19) that it has raised $85 million in growth funding from software investment firm Thoma Bravo.

Personetics’ technology analyzes financial data in real time to better understand individuals’ financial behaviors and anticipate their needs and act on their behalf.

Zopa Deposits Hit 1B Pounds After 18 Months

U.K.-based peer-to-peer lender Zopa has hit 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion) in customer deposits 18 months after becoming a bank, the company said Wednesday (Jan. 19). The company aims to reach 2 billion pounds ($2.73 billion) in deposits within the next year.

In addition, Zopa said it also has more than 1 billion pounds worth of loans on its balance sheet, has issued more than 200,000 credit cards, tripled its revenue per customer and is on track to be profitability soon, with an initial public offering (IPO) slated for later this year.

InsurTech Zego Plans European Expansion

U.K.-based commercial motor vehicle insurance company Zego is planning a European expansion, the company announced Wednesday (Jan. 19).

The InsurTech company, which offers safe drivers as much as 20% off on premiums, has launched in the Netherlands and is expanding operations in France. The company also operates in Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Italy.

Interchange Fees in US Antitrust Spotlight After Amazon UK Abandons Visa Card Ban

Amazon’s ban on Visa cards in the U.K. has been abandoned, but the ripple effects could last a long time. Some of the biggest retailers in the world through sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Wednesday (Jan. 19) urging them to look into credit card fees.

“We are writing to bring your attention to the recent decision, and subsequent reversal, by Amazon to stop accepting Visa credit cards in the United Kingdom because of the high fees charged to process transactions,” the letter said.

Regulator: EU Should Ban Crypto Mining Method That Uses Large Amount of Energy

The vice chairman of a European Union regulator has called on the 27 member states to prohibit energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Erik Thedéen, vice chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), said bitcoin mining has become a national issue for his native Sweden and warned that cryptocurrencies exacerbate climate change, per the report.

People Management Network Lattice Raises $175M, Triples Valuation to $3B

People management platform Lattice hit a valuation of $3 billion after closing a $175 million funding round, the San Francisco-based company announced on Tuesday (Jan. 18).

Since it was launched in 2015, Lattice said it has more than doubled its team to 485 employees and serves more than 3,700 businesses.

APIs Move UK SMBs From Siloed To Connected Data

Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make up the backbone of economies. That statement is hard to challenge, considering the abundant data available showing the significant contributions these businesses make to boost economic activity worldwide.

In the U.K. alone, SMBs represented 99.2% of the total business, as of the start of 2021, and accounted for around half of the turnover in the U.K. private sector, according to the country’s National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses.

UK, Ireland Lead Record-Setting 2021 for Private Equity Deals 

Recent data from Pitchbook has revealed that Europe saw new annual records set in terms of private equity (PE) deal count and value in 2021, with close to 7,200 deals closed worth 754.5 billion euros ($856 billion).

Those figures were significantly higher than the previous 2019 record of 4,566 closed deals and the 2018 record of 498.2 billion euros ($565 billion) in deal value.

Santander Buys 30% Stake in Atempo Growth to Fund Tech Startups

In a bid to expands its commitment to financing high-growth European tech companies, Santander Bank has acquired a 30% stake in Atempo Growth, an independent venture debt manager, the companies announced Wednesday (Jan. 19.)

Under the terms of the deal, Atempo will bring its highly qualified management team, led by three industry veterans with a collective 20 years of experience in venture debt.