The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Luxury Promise secures new investment; Shine adds new invoice insurance feature; and Okra raises to connect bank accounts to apps in Africa.
Luxury Promise secures new investment
Luxury Promise, a London-based startup that specialises in buying and selling pre-owned Hermès and Louis Vuitton handbags online, has secured new investment and plans to open its first standalone shop.
Knightsbridge-headquartered Luxury Promise, which authenticates luxury goods, offers repairs, and takes a commission when sellers listed on its website agree sales, has raised just over £3m to expand.
The investment was led by London-based venture capital firm Beringea, a backer in jewellery brand Monica Vinader. Luxury Promise was founded by entrepreneur Sabrina Sadiq in 2017.
She said the company will increase staff numbers and look to open a store in central London later this year when the current lockdown is lifted.
Sadiq added: “There continues to be substantial demand for luxury goods in London and around the world. However, consumers are demanding far greater emphasis on sustainability within the industry. Luxury Promise perfectly brings these trends together.”
Shine adds new invoice insurance feature
French fintech Shine has added an invoice insurance to its freelancer bank account. If you think there’s a chance that a client is not going to pay your next invoice, you can insure that invoice to avoid any bad surprise.
Shine is building a challenger bank for freelancers and small companies. It lets you send and receive money in a separate business account, pay with a MasterCard, create invoices and stay on top of administrative tasks.
It also helps you get started as the startup can fill out all administrative paperwork to register yourself as a freelancer. You also get notifications to remind you that you should pay your taxes and more. The aim is to help freelancers begin accepting jobs, something which the business says can be confusing.
Many clients often wait until the last minute to pay an invoice. It can be a month or two after finishing a job, which means that they also forget about outstanding invoices. Shine users will be able to create an invoice and insure it before sending it. It costs you 2% of your total amount on your invoice.
Okra raises to connect bank accounts to apps in Africa
Founded in June 2019 by Nigerians Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, Okra casts itself as a motherboard for the continent’s 21st century financial system.
“We’re building a super-connector API that…allows individuals to connect their bank accounts directly to third party applications. And that’s their African bank accounts starting in the largest market in Africa, Nigeria,” said Ashiru Jituboh.
As a sector, fintech has become the continent’s highest funded tech space, receiving the bulk of an estimated USD$2bn in VC that went to African startups in 2019. Those ventures, and a number of the continent’s established banks, are in a race to build market share through financial inclusion.
By several estimates — including The Global Findex Database — the continent is home to the largest percentage of the world’s unbanked population, with a sizeable number of underbanked consumers and SMEs.