NewAlpha Asset Management’s French venture capital fund has made its fourth investment, participating in the EUR7 million fundraising held by Lydia Solutions, a French mobile payments company.
For Lydia’s third financing round, NewAlpha and Oddo et Cie invested alongside a solid existing shareholder base that includes XAnge, Duval Fintech and Belcube.
It is the biggest ever fundraising in the sector in France.
“Je te fais un Lydia” (I Lydia you) has already entered the language for the French smartphone generation. Since launching in July 2013, the app has attracted more than 500,000 people in France, 80 per cent of whom are aged between 18 and 35.
Some 300,000 new users joined up in the first nine months of 2016, including nearly 50,000 in September alone. The company now aims to have 3 million users within the next 24 months.
At the start of September 2016, Lydia rounded out its offering by launching the first mobile international MasterCard that users can wholly manage from their smartphone.
“The enthusiastic demand for our services is driving us to push the boundaries ever further. First and foremost, in terms of product: giving users seamless access to their money using the best and most secure technologies is in our DNA. But also in terms of geography: obviously, millenials across Europe have similar aspirations. The confidence placed in us by shareholders and users alike is a powerful driver for the business. This fundraising gives us the means to match our ambitions,” says Cyril Chiche, chairman of Lydia.
Lior Derhy, managing director and head of private equity at NewAlpha, says: “The mobile payment sector has moved into a new phase of very strong growth in both usage and transaction volumes. The trend towards a cashless world and the now confirmed demands of users are pushing the industry toward greater speed, convenience and personalisation without compromising security.”
“We have been impressed by Lydia’s ability to exploit viral expansion and build a true community of users. The European roll-out is a major opportunity and we want to help the company make the most of it,” adds Jonathan Cohen Sabban, investment director at NewAlpha.
Subscribed by institutional investors, in particular the Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe Group (CMNE), the fund managed by NewAlpha aims to build and enhance a diversified investment portfolio in innovative Fintech and Insurtech companies. It also aims to ensure the active monitoring of developments in financial services (innovative initiatives, new uses) and of technological changes that affect banking, insurance and asset management business lines.