Payments company Cirralto (ASX:CRO) became the latest fintech to announce a marquee capital raise, as the sector runs hot in February.

CRO shares came out of a trading halt as the company said it had successfully raised $18m in a share placement.

The company said it had issued 200m new shares to institutional, sophisticated and professional investors at 9c each.

Cirralto said the funds will be allocated towards building out the commercial development of its payment platforms — Spenda and SYNK’D.

It also flagged “potential synergistic acquisitions” and the ongoing development of its Business Payments solution which is still in pilot testing.

The company’s latest share placement rounds out a busy six months in equity capital markets, after it first announced a $2.7m share placement in August at 1c per share, which was predominantly used to pay down debt.

That was followed by a $2.8m placement at 3c a share in November, which CRO said would go towards supporting its growth with various payment providers.

Shortly after that in December, CRO announced a Business Payments Service Provider (BPSP) agreement with the NASDAQ-listed Fiserv and Visa.

Following this morning’s placement, CRO shares resumed trading and climbed by another ~10pc to around 13c — a premium of 1,300 per cent to its first raise in August.

In October, the company completed its acquisition of Perth-based SaaS platform Appstablishment, which gave it ownership of the Spenda technology suite which the company currently licences, as well as the SYNK’D platform.

The acquisition was first announced in December 2019, in a share-based deal where the owners of Appstablishment received payment in the form of 825,000 Cirralto shares.

On December 19, 2019, Cirralto announced its first capital raise — a $574,000 placement to sophisticated investors at 0.7c per share.

Today’s raise marks a gain of 1,186pc between placements. And heading into midday trade, CRO shares were trading at 12.5c — up 1,680 per cent from the first raise that marked the company’s pivot to a business payments strategy.

At the time, company directors Peter Richards, Adrian Floate and Howard Digby subscribed for a combined $56,000 worth of CRO shares, which collectively would now be worth ~$1m.

Last week, some heady trading in the stock saw CRO shares surge to a high of 20c before falling back.