Fintech startups in the spotlight as Turkey sees biggest Series A funding

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After hundreds of millions of dollars in funding poured into Turkish retail and gaming companies over the past year, investors have now turned to fintech startups.

This interest has grown even further with regulatory authorities paving the way for these fintech startups.

This week, Turkish fintech start-up Colendi raised $ 30 million (TL 258.29 million) from investors as part of the Series A funding round for a valuation of $ 120 million.

With this investment, Colendi became the Turkish startup receiving the largest Series A funding to date.

Series A, B and C define the potential of growing companies. After angel investments and seed periods, Series A startups not only offer great ideas, but also have a solid strategy and a successful history.

Thanks to this investment, the company had the opportunity to move its headquarters to the UK and become an international company, he said.

The company offers its clients financial services, such as payment systems and credit opportunities through its scoring algorithm using artificial intelligence and big data.

Of the total investment of $ 30 million, $ 12 million came from Re-Pie, the first licensed alternative investment fund management company in Turkey that targets startups with the potential to become unicorns. The rest came from other international investors.

Re-Pie made the investment under the roof of the Colendi Private Equity Investment Fund.

Having increased its portfolio volume to 3.8 billion Turkish lira through its recent commitments, Re-Pie has set its sights on business models focused on technology and innovation.

First fintech unicorn?

The company, which has a strong management team including Ian Hannam, Bülent Tekmen and Mihriban Ersin as well as a large investment portfolio, aims to provide the world’s most accessible consumer microcredit infrastructure to clients. low risk outside the financial system, using a modern scoring algorithm comprised of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

Ian Hannam, CEO of Turkish fintech startup Colendi.

Hannam, who has over 30 years of experience in many leading financial institutions such as JPMorgan and Salomon Brothers and headed the Global Debt and Capital Markets units for a period, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Colendi at the end of the round table. .

The company plans to use this investment to prepare its products for global competition, maximize the quality of service it offers and accelerate its growth by expanding into new markets, according to the company statement.

Hannam said the financing would help the company to strengthen itself in the global market by enhancing its portfolio of existing financial partners and platforms by expanding overseas.

Colendi has a modern scoring algorithm that can rate a lot of data such as social, mobile, demographic, bill payment data and historical purchase data in real time and advanced technology infrastructure.

It achieved 2.4 million customer accesses, more than 1.6 million transactions and 350,000 active financial users in eight months with its 10 financial partners and its four platform partners including Moneypay, Paycell, Oldubil and Paratech.

“We have invested in a company that we trust for everything from its entrepreneurs to its business plan, from its skilled team to its growth potential,” said Mehmet Ali Ergin, Vice President of Re-Pie Asset Management. “There hasn’t been a unicorn in the fintech field in Turkey so far, we believe Colendi will be the first.”

Re-Pie interim CEO Mehmet Ali Ergin.

Re-Pie interim CEO Mehmet Ali Ergin.

“Unicorn” is a term that refers to startups with a valuation of $ 1 billion or more.

Investments to continue

Re-Pie invests with its funds in start-up, scale-up and pre-IPO (IPO) stage companies as a business model. After announcing that it will be partially exiting some of the companies it has invested in, the company plans to continue investing in both venture capital and private equity.

Re-Pie recently partially exited Turkish fast-food delivery start-up Getir and distributed a dividend of TL 275 million to its investors.

The latest investment indicates that regulatory decisions have started to provide an important testing opportunity for fintech companies, which have been fortunate enough to try their hand in Turkey, to open up to the global stage.

After all, the fact that banks have a solid tech infrastructure is forcing the tech side of fintech startups to grow stronger.

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