Inside TabaPay’s drama-filled decision to abandon its plans to buy Synapse’s assets

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we look at the drama around TabaPay deciding to not buy Synapse’s assets, as well as stocks dropping for a couple of fintechs, Monzo raising even more funds, and more!

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The big story

There was a lot of he said, she said finger-pointing in fintech land last week. Instant payments company TabaPay confirmed to TechCrunch that it has abandoned its plans to purchase the assets of troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse. Synapse said the problem was banking partner Evolve Bank & Trust. And Evolve said it was not involved, and not to blame. Meanwhile, another player in the saga, Mercury, says Synapse’s allegations have “no merit.” What really happened? Perhaps one day we’ll find out. But for now we know for sure the $9.7 million deal is off.

Analysis of the week

Despite not-too-shabby earnings reports, a couple of fintechs saw their stocks drop last week. Digital bank Dave said it “improved its credit performance over the past year with the use of artificial intelligence (AI),” yet its stock was down over 7.5% on May 10. Buy now, pay later giant Affirm reported a smaller-than-expected loss and its guidance came in above expectations last week, yet its stock took a big tumble — some say in sympathy with Shopify. Shares were trading on May 10 at $31.59, down 9.25% that day. Meanwhile, Nubank announced it had officially hit the 100 million customer mark, which it claims made it the first digital banking platform to reach this milestone outside of Asia.

Dollars and cents

Monzo has raised another $190 million, as the challenger bank looks to expand its presence internationally — particularly in the U.S. The new round comes just two months after Monzo raised $430 million, meaning the London-based company has now raised north of $620 million in 2024, and $1.5 billion since its inception nine years ago.

Ben Lambert founded an AI-powered workflow tools startup, Checkfirst, that allows for remote inspections and enables businesses to schedule inspectors based on geographical location and qualifications. The company has now raised a pre-seed $1.5 million led by Lisbon-based, early-stage venture firm Olisipo Way and solo GP firm Hiero VC. Notion Capital, and angel investors from companies like Source Point, Busuu, Swogo and FaceIT, also participated.

What else we’re writing

Digital banking startup Mercury is becoming a SaaS company, now layering software onto its bank accounts. This will give its business customers the ability to pay bills, invoice customers and reimburse employees, the company told TechCrunch exclusively. The additional features put the company in even more direct competition with the likes of Brex and Ramp, two rival fintechs that have for years been fighting for market share in an increasingly crowded space. Mercury says that it has over 200,000 customers sending $4 billion in outgoing payments every month via its platform. You can listen to the Equity crew discuss that here:

High-interest headlines

Fintech Farm raises $32m to expand its ‘neobank in a box’ model to India

As banks cut off risky fintechs, a tiny lender leans in

Former top executive withdraws lawsuit against and its founder. TechCrunch initially covered the lawsuit in 2022 here.

FIS unveils embedded finance platform Atelio

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