London-based Twig is carving an extended European presence for its circular fintech offering, focused around its integrated e-checkout service that lets e-retailers accept automated valuation tickets for pre-owned goods traded in by their customers.
Twig is announcing a third acquisition to follow its earlier acquisition of fellow UK circular economy startup Loopster, a second-hand fashion outfit, having also bought up London’s Mobi.market, which allows customers to rent premium phones and trade in their old handsets for refurbishment.
This time Twig is crossing over to mainland Europe to continue its acquisition spree, having been revealed as the new owner of a French provider of teen banking services, Vybe.
Pitched as a French neobank for young people and especially teenagers, Vybe’s app-led experience has a number of attributes designed with Gen Z in mind.
As well as the usual challenger bank feature range, notably real-time balance feeds, there’s also loyalty savings at various high street brands likely to appeal to retail-conscious teens and a €2-a-time bonus for referrals to fellow teens.
Vybe also operates a Generation Z pledge where brands can demonstrate their commitment to the 13 to 26 year old age bracket, for instance by hiring more Gen Z employees.
With this acquisition deal, Twig has signalled it has the resources to expand operations into additional finance segments relevant to young people.
Twig claims to be the fastest growing European fintech at present. It surpassed the 1 million user milestone this past October, some 15 months after its core product launch.
Secondly, Twig is eager to couple Vybe’s Gen Z-targeted banking tech with its fast tracking of circular economy principles into Europe’s online consumer ecosystem.
Twig CEO Geri Cupi says taking on Vybe’s underlying tech will allow his business to introduce its own teen banking offering, as well as providing “financial literacy” educational content.
“This will help us better serve the Gen Z audience, and provide them with the tools they need to be successful in their financial lives,” Cupi added.
It seems at the moment Twig is a beneficiary of fluctuating fintech valuations which provide headroom for M&A activity as some emerging businesses opt for consolidation. Notably, last year saw the valuation of buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna hammered, falling from $45 billion to $6.7 billion, though Klarna itself will be confident of emerging on top as the funds have been earmarked for US expansion.