Today’s top tech news, October 31: Warren Buffet invests in two fintech companies in an unlikely move

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Also, Coinbase is now valued at US$8 billion, and GoBear and CredoLab partners to launch Easy Apply

Business magnate Warren Buffett just made two investments in fintech sectors [Wall Street Journal]

Business tycoon Warren Buffett reportedly just invested roughly US$600 million in two fintech companies through his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway in the last few months. The move is unlike Buffett as he has stated previously that he preferred investing in established “blue chip” brands to tech firms in their early stage.

The two fintech companies are Brazil-based payment processor that recently went public, StoneCo and India-based payment services company Paytm. Both investments were led by top Berkshire fund manager Todd Combs with a total of US$300 million stakes taken from the two fintech companies focused on emerging market.

Berkshire’s only investment in the tech world is in Apple.

Coinbase just raised US$300M, aimed at global expansion [Forbes]

San Fransisco-based bitcoin exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has raised US$300 million investment, valuing it at US$8 billion. The funding round was led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Polychain.

Coinbase has released a statement that it seeks to solve many big issues in bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector. Specifically, it wants to use the cash to address the root of bitcoin’s problems and ”accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets” by focusing on global expansion, growing the number of cryptocurrencies it offers to its users, applications for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and bringing established financial institutions into the world of bitcoin.

Its new valuation makes it one of the most highly valued startups in the U.S. now. In August 2017, its valuation was at US$1.6 billion, and the new number places it higher than Slack and Instacart.

Co-founder of Chinese electric vehicle Faraday Future Nick Sampson resigned [Reuters]

Faraday Future, the electric vehicle creator from China, has confirmed on Tuesday that the company’s co-founder Nick Sampson has stepped down, just a week after the planned pay cuts and layoffs by the company to reduce operational costs.

Not only the co-founder, but the company’s senior vice president Peter Savagian has also resigned as well.

The company’s investor China’s Evergrande Health Industry Group Ltd, is reportedly behind the decision after a planned $2 billion investment from the unit of Evergrande Group went bad, causing the company to have a financial difficulty.

“The investor has intervened in the company’s capital planning and is preventing FF from utilising our assets, which requires FF to take some very difficult yet necessary actions,” the company said, claiming that it will anticipate the furlough to last through the end of December 2018.

Also Read: PropertyGuru raises US$144M from KKR

Singapore-based fintechs GoBear and CredoLab work together to reach untapped customer in SE Asian markets [Press Release]

Two Singaporean fintech companies, CredoLab and GoBear; have announced partnership to launch Easy Apply, an integrated app that claimed to have a faster and and higher approval rates for credit cards, loans and other forms of unsecured credit. The app works by allowing banks and financial institutions as well as lenders to give credit extension for a larger pool of customers while keeping risks in check.

The Easy Apply app will be launched across four of the largest underbanked markets in Southeast Asia, which are Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, where many are creditworthy consumers without access to credit.

The app will utilise CredoLab’s AI based proprietary algorithms that extract and analyse over tens of thousands of data points from applicants’ smartphones, turning these completely anonymised ‘digital footprints’ into predictive credit scorecards to be used in their credit card, loan or insurance applications.

“Our partnership with CredoLab will bridge the divide between the underbanked and financial institutions by giving both parties access to the technology to create better outcomes,” said Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear.

Indian financial research platform Sentieo raises US$19M in Series A funding [Press Release]

In a Series A funding round led by Centana Growth Partners, India-based Sentieo has raised US$19 million. The new capital will be used to expand global growth and product development.

Built by former Wall Street analysts in 2015, Sentieo is a financial research platform that utilises AI and natural language processing to surface textual and financial insights for investment management and corporate intelligence clients.

“The process of tracking an ever-increasing list of data sources is difficult, and with outdated tools, it is such a drag on performance. We built Sentieo’s AI-powered search engine to pair with our research notebook and RMS, helping clients to move from data identification to extraction and collaboration in a web-based and mobile-friendly workflow,” said Alap Shah, CEO and co-founder of Sentieo

Also Read: Tokopedia, OVO team up to offer the payment service on the e-commerce platform

Among Sentieo’s clients are top hedge funds and investment banks.

Image Credit: GoBear & CredoLab

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Source: E27