DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Curve announce big funding round; Experian investing in bonify; and Unilever supporting Kopari.
Curve announce big funding round
British fintech startup Curve has just announced a USD$55m (£44m) funding round from a group of investors as part of a successful Series B funding round. This brings the startup’s valuation to a USD$250m (£202m).
Curve’s growth has been pretty impressive over the years. In 2016, it raised USD$2m (£1.6m) in a seed funding round to get its product out to the market. In 2017, the fintech raised USD$10m (£8m) in a Series A round to boost its growth, build new features and recruit more staff.
The Series B will mark the beginning of a new era in banking – an Over-The-Top Banking Platform that provides a better banking experience, and places Curve in the top five UK consumer fintechs next to Transferwise, Monzo, Revolut and Starling.
The round is being led by Gauss Ventures, a fintech investor whose team has a track record of funding some of the brightest UK fintechs, and comes less than two years after Curve secured its Series A investment.
The Series B round also welcomes other prominent investors such as Creditease, IDC Ventures and further participation from Outward VC, which has historically backed other fintech category leaders Monese and Bud.
Experian investing in bonify
Bonify, founded in June 2015, is dedicated to improving the financial lives of its users. Users can check their creditworthiness online at any time and gain insight into their creditworthiness and financial data.
The new funding will enable bonify to further enhance its product offering and accelerate its growth. With the goal of expanding their offering to European countries outside Germany, the investors will support bonify with resources and know-how to become one of the largest FinTech companies on the continent.
Charles Butterworth, Managing Director Experian UK, Ireland and EMEA, stated: “We are excited by the way bonify is helping people in Germany understand, engage with and improve their credit scores.”
Bonify has previously raised €5.5m (£5m) in 2017, but has also undergone three undisclosed rounds of funding. Despite the expansion plans, bonify will face stiff competition as it looks to expand across Europe, given that the area has become such a hotbed for fintech businesses.
Unilever supporting Kopari
Kopari Beauty, a premium coconut-powered lifestyle brand, today announced the closing of a USD$20m (£16m) funding round.
Kopari will use the funding to enhance its commitment to product research and development that utilizes its hero ingredient, the coconut, to its most elevated capacity, harnessing all of the multitasking benefits it has to offer. Additionally, the brand will allocate the funding to retail and international expansion, e-commerce improvements for UX/UI and the brand’s subscription platform.
Notably, the funding includes support from Unilever Ventures, the equity arm of Unilever, which invests in what they see as young, promising companies, to help accelerate their growth. Obviously, Unilever’s traditional brands have been hit hard by the popularity of DTC companies. This has seen them establish Unilever Ventures and The Unilever Foundry, both of which help them create their own DTC brands, and invest in those which they deem interesting, ensuring they are capitalising on the popularity of direct-to-consumer.
This is the first major funding round Kopari have publicly revealed the figure for, with previous funding coming from L Catterton, who also invested in this round, in January 2017.