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The EWA Digest Quarterly Review- Q1 2022
EWA Digest
EWA Digest

The EWA Digest Quarterly Review- Q1 2022


The EWA Digest (Q1 2022): Refyne raises $82 million. Walmart's new EWA startup, Hazel, acquires Even and One Finance

April 4th, 2022

*We do our best to reflect reality, if you think any info is imprecise or requires updating- let us know through this form.

EWA Funding News 🚀

Chilean-based startup Betterfly hits Unicorn status after closing their $125 million Series C round led by Glade Brook Capital Partners. The firm, who acquired EWA startup Xerpay and Nesto in 2021, looks to use the capital injection to fund expansion into Latin America and Europe

Indian-based salary-on-demand startup Refyne completes $82 million equity injection, led by Tiger Global, with participation from QED Investors, DST Global, Jigsaw VC, XYX Capital and RTP Global. The rapidly expanding EWA startup looks to utilise their newfound capital for scaling, expansion and developing further products

EWA US-based Branch closes $75 million Series C round led by Addition, with participation from General Atlantic, Drive Capital, Crosscut Ventures and Indeed

Spain-based EWA startup Payflow becomes the largest-funded EWA company in the EU after raising $9.1 million co-led by Seaya and Cathay, adding to prior investment raised through Y Combinator

South East Asian startup Wagely raises $8.3 million in pre-Series A funding led by East Ventures to fund expansion into Bangladesh

African salary-on-demand player Earnipay closes $4 million equity injection led by Canaan to boost their Nigerian operations

Indonesian-based EWA startup Gajiku completes $1.1 million seed funding round led by AC Ventures

M&A Activity 🤝

Walmart's new FinTech venture Hazel acquires EWA startup Even Responsible Finance and One Finance. Financed by investment firm Ribbit Capital, the startup company aims to provide an all inclusive financial services platform for it's users

B2C fintech Dave completes SPAC merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III Inc. to take it public on Nasdaq

Salary-on-demand startup Cadana partners with Flutterwave to facilitate EWA expansion into Nigeria

CEO and co-founder of EWA Spanish player Loonfy, announces that it was acquired in early January by an undisclosed company

Big Company News 🏦

US-based EWA DailyPay launches an autofilling digital wallet to facilitate on-demand pay. Read the interview with CEO, Jason Lee, here

Block (formerly Square) completes acquisition of BNPL specialist Afterpay in a $29 billion deal. You can read the press-release here

Market Overview 🌍

EWA specific FinTechs are gaining traction in Africa amid the regional boom that recorded record growth in 2021. The African FinTech market raised double what it managed in 2020 and tripled it's investments from 2019

Regulation follows the EWA growth trend as independent and governmental bodies seek to monitor the sector

How Russia's invasion of Ukraine is impacting the FinTech Industry

Podcasts 🎤

HCM Technology interviews Sabina Bhatia, Chief Customer Officer of PayActiv, on the impacts of EWA

The Jampod Gigsters interview Deon Nobrega and Bryan Habana, co-founders of  Paymenow, on the concept behind EWA

Working On Wellbeing interviews Steve Barha, founder and COO of Instant, on his drive to increase adoption of EWA for employees

EWA Founders Voice #1 🔊

EWA vs Salary Advances, by Tobias Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wagely (South East Asia)

The inability to react to unexpected expenditures such as unplanned medical bills or major repairs is causing millions of people to borrow money to bridge the gap between paydays and meet their financial obligations. The options for this segment are very limited when faced with an urgent need for cash – if they can’t borrow from a friend or family they either pay overdraft fees to banks, or late fees to buy time till they receive the next paycheck; or they often turn to predatory loans with >360% annualized percentage rates. This is the start of vicious and costly debt cycle that has a long-lasting negative impact on the individual’s financial wellbeing. It is evident, that waiting for payday is very costly and hurts businesses as well as workers.

The industry needs Fintech solution that is not just a band-aid, but debt-free solution to help the millions of lower- and middle income workers with unexpected financial expenses when they occur along with a long term strategy to build financial resilience.

A concept that has received major attention tackling this challenge is known as “on-demand pay”, “earned wage access”, “EWA”, or “salary on-demand” (hereinafter “EWA”). Although EWA is often associated with “salary-backed loans” or “salary advances” (hereinafter “salary advances”), the concept and purpose diverges fundamentally. The main differences between EWA and salary advances are the target group, access limits, fee structures, and purpose. As salary advance is the provision of a portion or the entirety of a future paycheck (that often involves loan structures), EWA refer to the employee’s ability to access the current earned paycheck. Simply put, the employee is getting some of their own salary that they have already earned, just earlier than their employer’s payment schedule would have released it to them via their paycheck. It’s distinct from a loan, because it is not borrowing someone else’s money (for a fee and/or interest), but simply a faster, more affordable, and responsible.

South East Asian startup Wagely raises $8.3 million in pre-Series A funding led by East Ventures to fund expansion into Bangladesh

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Payflow Powered EWA Insights 📶

$36 billion has been cumulatively raised for EWA players since inception, coming from 202 different venture capitalists- here is the geographical distribution:
8k FTE's distributed between 110 EWA players around the globe, see the geographical distribution below:

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The EWA Digest is the central source for EWA news around the globe. Compiled and curated by the Payflow Team.

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