Fintech Investment: Goldman Sachs Backs Raisin with €25 million as Company Expands into US Market

Raisin, a Germany-based Fintech that has rapidly grown in popularity across the continent, has received a €25 million from Goldman Sachs.

Raisin announced its intent to cross the Atlantic this past May and enter the US market.

Raisin is a Fintech that enables savers to discover the best interest rates available regardless of geographic constraints. Today, Raisin has six country-specific savings platforms: Germany, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Austria and a dedicated com-platform for 28 European countries.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Dr. Tamaz Georgadze, CFO Dr. Frank Freund and COO Michael Stephan,  since launch Raisin has brokered €14 billion for more than 185,000 customers across the European continent.

Currently, Raisin enables its users to access more than 480 savings products from 80 European partner banks. Raisin is described as a ‘Deposits-as-a-Service’ Fintech. Raisin not only works with traditional banks to provide valued service but has also built distribution partnerships with challenger banks and non-traditional providers such as N26, Commerzbank, o2 Banking of Telefónica Germany and Yolt among others.

The additional funding from Goldman Sachs brings the total investment to €195 million making Raisin one of the best-funded Fintechs in Europe. Raisin recently closed on a Series D round of €100 million.

The additional capital will help fuel the US launch in 2020. Raisin also intends on broadening its portfolio of offerings while boosting its executive branch.

Georgadze said the investment from Goldmann is a very encouraging confirmation that they are on the right track.

“We’re really proud to have Goldman’s backing, especially given the expertise in investment products, along with an extraordinary 150-year history and record of success.”

Rana Yared, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, said Raisin has developed a unique savings marketplace with a solid business model, impressive growth and a loyal customer base.

“We are excited to support the company’s outstanding management team in executing their vision.”

Goldman may be a client and a competitor of Raisin. Goldman launched digital only bank Marcus with highly competitive savings account rate that quickly attracted many customers. Marcus has since expanded into the UK and may soon cross the channel.

Regardless of Goldman’s intent, the investment in Raisin is a solid affirmation of the company’s success to date. It will be interesting to see what additional services Raisin has planned in the coming months.

Report: Goldman Sachs Bails on Cryptocurrency Trading Desk, Bitcoin Drops

A report from earlier today indicates that Goldman Sachs has decided to shelve its plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk. At least in the near term, Goldman is holding off on its crypto ambitions, according to Business Insider. The news immediately threw cold water on the price of Bitcoin which saw the price of the most popular crypto drop below $7000.00.

CNBC reported a cryptic message from the world’s most prominent investment bank;

“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”

Market watchers immediately labeled the move as a negative for the legitimization of cryptocurrencies as a new asset class.

Goldman has been rumored to be going crypto for many months. The move was eventually confirmed this past May when Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared stated in an interview;

“It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.’”

But the regulatory environment, for both virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and altcoins, remains in question. Add this to the fact that most crypto “exchanges” are lightly regulated, or not regulated at all, leading to questions regarding the accuracy of global trading volume – something that may have caused concern at the investment bank.

Simultaneously, there have been reports alleging the possible price manipulation of Bitcoin. Goldman’s decision to push pause on a crypto trading desk may also influence other banks sizing up the new market. While the decision by Goldman may just be temporary it is indicative of the relatively immature nature of cryptocurrency.

No Surprise. Goldman Sachs Goes Public About Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

As has been widely rumored, Goldman Sachs finally has outed itself regarding its cryptocurrency ambitions of launching a digital assets trading desk. NYT spoke to Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared, who is helping set up the operations, who said that Bitcoin is not a fraud – in contrast to some other banking executive pronouncements;

“It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value,’” stated Yared.

It was previously reported that Goldman had hired Justin  Schmidt to enter the land of digital assets. Prior to that announcement, numerous rumors had cropped up that Goldman was researching a crypto desk.

Much of the discussion has surrounded the hesitancy of traditional banks entering the crypto security sector. The fact that the Grande Dame of investment banking is entering the sector pretty much means everyone else will follow.

And why not? Institutional demand for trading in cryptocurrencies is rising dramatically. The highly volatile market lends itself to speculation similar to any other commodity or tradable event. If you can trade weather futures you certainly should be able to trade Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This simply makes sense.

In the end, this is just another step in the path to legitimization of digital assets as legal investment vehicle.