A Series B round helped a French startup Lydia in raising a $45 million (€40 million). Tencent leads the round with current investors XAnge, CNP Assurances, and New Alpha also joining the round.
“Ended up raising more”
If you are a French citizen, chances are you already are familiar with Lydia quite well. The company has transformed into an omnipresent mobile payment app, especially for the group younger than 30 years old. Consider it a French version of Square Cash or Venmo.
TechCrunch reported that Cyril Chiche, co-founder and CEO of Lydia said, “At first, we wanted to raise less but we ended up raising more,” in a phone interview.
The company has attracted 3 million users in France. A much more impressive fact is that 25% of French people in the age group between 18 and 30 years old have a Lydia account and 5,000 people are signing up every day. Currently, 90 employees work for Lydia.
Recently, the company has grown beyond peer-to-peer payment. First, the company wishes to help its users manage their money in several ways, integrated with an important value of real-time performance.
It is a versatile money management app as it allows its users to create multiple Lydia accounts and the money those sub-accounts for different purposes.
For example, you can link a Lydia payment card with a Lydia account and a virtual card with a different Lydia account, that virtual card is compatible with Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and more. One can also change those settings in real-time.
There is a sharing feature that allows you to share accounts with other Lydia users. The shared accounts are shared as everyone can top up and withdraw money from that account. You can directly spend from that account.
You can also convert any Lydia account into a money pot account. With a few taps, you can get a link and share it with your friends and family so that they can drop money using their Lydia account or a regular payment card.
Recently, the company has launched “the market”, which is a marketplace of different financial products. Using the Lydia app, you can borrow up to €1,000 in just a few seconds. The app also provides insurance services for your phone and other mobile devices. It offers some free credit when insuring your home with Luko; you open a bank account, switch to another electricity and gas provider, compare mobile phone and internet providers and more.
The strategy will be key in the future. “We have an ambitious goal, which is turning Lydia into a mobile financial service app,” Chiche said.
He also noted that the company that has been the most successful when it comes to making a mobile marketplace of financial products is Tencent with WeChat.
“Tencent is also the number one player in the video game industry, and there’s no industry with as much user engagement,” Chiche said.
Unlike many fintech startups, Lydia’s motive is not to replace banks altogether. However, the company hopes to build a meta-banking app.
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