French fintech startup Lydia raises $100 million in Series C funding round

The Series C funding round was led by existing investors Tencent and Accel.

French crypto-friendly fintech startup Lydia has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round, per a report in TechCrunch. 

The latest capital raise reportedly helped Lydia attain unicorn status with a valuation of over $1 billion. 

The $100-million fundraise comes nearly a year after its Series B funding round of $86 million in December 2020.

The round was led by investors Tencent and Accel and saw participation from Dragoneer and Echo Street. The fintech startup aims to use the fresh capital to expand its footprint in Europe. The firm hopes to have onboarded 10 million Europeans by 2025.

Lydia did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

The app started as a peer-to-peer mobile payments app and later expanded to include cashback and personal loans. The startup recently launched its stock and crypto trading services in association with Australian crypto exchange Bitpanda. The fintech app is similar to Cash App or Venmo in terms of functionality and currently boasts 5.5 million users.

Related: PayPal to offer crypto payments for merchants, limited trading on Venmo.

The popularity of crypto payments in recent years has made fintech and mobile trading apps the biggest winners. Several mobile payment giants and fintech trading apps, such as PayPal, Robinhood and Venmo, have opened the gates for crypto payments for millions of users and merchants alike.

Mainstream mobile payment service providers have already joined the crypto league, and now even local payment processors are looking to bank on crypto’s popularity. Indian mobile payment processor Paytm had recently expressed interest in crypto payments following clarity on regulations from the government.

Nasdaq Stockholm lists Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded notes

The number of crypto-based exchange-traded products in Europe continues to expand as 2022 draws nearer.

Nasdaq Stockholm has announced that 21Shares has listed its first two physically backed exchange-traded notes (ETN) on the Swedish trading platform. 

The two instruments listed, with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) as underlying assets, represent a new segment for ETNs — a type of unsecured debt security that tracks an underlying index of equities and trades on a major exchange. 

According to the announcement, the new ETNs will provide investors access to investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. 

Helena Wedin, European head of exchange-traded products at Nasdaq, said that exchange-traded notes allow one to invest in non-traditional assets while maintaining the transparency of a regulated market. She added, “We are happy to launch this new segment at Nasdaq Stockholm with 21Shares as the first issuer.” 

According to the press release, most traditional banks and brokers allow investors to trade all ETNs listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. This is a first that opens up new possibilities to investors interested in investing in cryptocurrencies but who are uncomfortable doing so on unregulated exchanges.

Related: ETN vs. ETF: Which Is the Investor’s Dream?

The cryptocurrency market has experienced a steep rise in valuation throughout the previous year. Despite some recent price dips, interest in cryptocurrencies continues to be high.

One reason for this sustained interest may be the possibility of increased institutional investment in the market. As institutional investment in cryptocurrencies increases, we’ll likely see more products such as ETNs being listed on regulated exchanges. As reported by Cointelegraph in September, VanEck introduced Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) ETNs on Deutsche Boerse’s Xetra.