The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. There’s fundraising success for Zipmex, Checkout.com and M-Files, plus new hires for B-North.
UK law firm Burges Salmon has appointed Martin Cook as head of fintech. He joins as a director and will sit within with the firm’s funds and financial regulation team. Previously, Cook has held roles at Funding Circle, Wonga Group and Royal Mail.
AI-based Big Data analytics provider ThetaRay has hired Richard Perry as chief revenue officer. He will be responsible for leading global sales, portfolio development, as well as market strategy.
Pushpay, the payments provider for the faith-based, non-profit and education sectors, has appointed Molly Matthews as CEO. Matthews, who currently serves as the company’s chief customer officer, succeeds interim CEO Bruce Gordon who remains on the board of directors.
Marc Levin, former CEO of CFH Group, has joined United Fintech as partner and COO. Marc is tasked with helping scale fintechs acquired by United Fintech, while enabling banks worldwide to have easy access to innovative capital markets solutions.
The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has unveiled Nigel Sydenham as chair of its training, competence and culture (TC&C) interest group committee. He takes over the role from Carl Redfern. Sydenham is head of governance, risk and compliance training at CCL Academy, and specialises in regulatory change.
Fintech LiquidShare hires Jean-Marc Eyssautier as new CEO in order to ‘accelerate its strategic pivot’ and expansion plans. LiquidShare’s 2021 roadmap is to further expand the reach of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions.
Insurtech INSTANDA hires Will Wood to head-up its life and health expansion. Previously head of UK SME strategy at Aviva, Wood’s ambition is to oversee INSTANDA’s transition to ‘the number one solution infrastructure for insurance businesses’.
Meanwhile, cross-border payments provider Currencycloud has appointed co-founder Richard Arundel as chief evangelist. In the newly created global role, Arundel will champion the company’s vision for embedded finance, while targeting new markets and segments.
Finally, B-North, the Manchester-based firm building a regional SME lending bank for the UK, has announced four appointments. The hires include Sue Murdoch as HR Director, Matt Dobson as Treasurer, plus Chris Pendlebury and Matthew Kenny joining the firm’s IT team.
Funding and Investments
Payment provider Checkout.com has tripled its valuation after closing a $450million Series C fundraising round. It gives the business a post-money valuation of $15billion, making it the fourth largest fintech globally and EMEA’s most valuable venture-backed business.
Zipmex, the global digital assets exchange, has raised $6million in a round led by Jump Capital. The raise follows A pre-Series A raise of S$3million in September and a $1.9million seed round in January 2019.
“Jump Capital’s wealth of experience in the space and broad network will be invaluable assets as we look to make digital asset investing accessible for everyone.”
Intelligent information management company M-Files Corporation has received a strategic investment of €67million. Bregal Milestone, a European growth capital firm, led the round with current investors Partech, Tesi and Draper Esprit also joining in.
Mergers and Acquistions
Lion Group Holding, operator of an all-in-one trading platform for Chinese investors, has unveiled the acquisition of Lion FinTech Group. Lion FinTech holds a proprietary trading licence for crypto assets in Dubai. The company expects the acquisition to close in the first quarter of 2021.
UK investor CVC Capital Partners has sold AI-enabled fraud prevention company Kount to Equifax for $640million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory review. Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor and Fried Frank acted as legal advisor to Kount.
The Aryza Group has acquired Anchor Computer Systems. The combined business will service and support more than 300 lenders, including challenger banks and specialist lenders operating in regulated and non-regulated loan markets.
Meanwhile, analytics provider Investment Metrics has snapped up cloud-based SaaS platform Style Analytics. Together, the companies plan to ’empower the global institutional investment community to make insightful and impactful investment decisions’.
Payment firm HPS Group has finally completed its acquisition of IPRC, announced last July. IPRC supervises more than 5,500 ATMs on behalf of 30 banks in Morocco and Africa. The deal completion follows the lifting of the last suspensive conditions related to administrative authorisations.
Partnerships and collaborations
Partner-enablement platform ApexEdge is integrating with Payrailz in order to support credit union members and bank customers in their financial wellness journey. Payrailz will leverage the ApexEdge active intelligence platform to deliver Billshark’s bill negotiation services to credit unions and banks.
Bahrain FinTech Bay and Israel’s FinTech-Aviv launch partnership to cooperate on development of financial technology. The agreement follows the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace agreement between Bahrain and Israel in September 2020. Together they aim to strengthen and further develop the fintech ecosystem in the region.
Technology provider Backbase has partnered with Portugal’s largest bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) to build a fully digital SME onboarding solution. Under the partnership, Backbase’s technology platform will replace CGD’s existing legacy systems.
Industry News and Updates
Ingenico, part of Worldline, has launched its first data as a service platform for payments. Ingenico Insight is described as a new evolution in reporting, business intelligence (BI) and transaction management for payments.
Meanwhile, the financial centre initiative Frankfurt Main Finance has welcomed three new members. Law firm Alexander & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB, IT service provider SIA and Standard Chartered Bank AG join as supporting members. As a founding member of Frankfurt Main Finance, Morgan Stanley will also continue to actively support the initiative.
Finally, WiseAlpha, the UK digital bond market platform, is now available through personal finance app Money Dashboard. The new app integration marks the first time fractional bonds have been brought into a money managing app. When users connect their WiseAlpha account to Money Dashboard, it will be added to their investment accounts category,