On Tuesday 15 December, The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest global fintech stories. Adyen hooks up with Flywire, while rapper Lil Yachty collaborates with digital crypto art platform Nifty Gateway.
Carbon Underwriting Limited has appointed Mark Oldroyd as head of data engineering, while Alexander Scott joins as a pricing analyst. Carbon said the appointments support its ambition to be recognised as the Lloyd’s benchmark for data driven delegated underwriting.
The British Business Bank has added Jenny Knott to its board as non-executive director. Knott has served as CEO, CFO and COO on the boards of global investment banks, financial services corporates and charitable organisations.
Global payments firm Sokin has announced two appointments to its board. Lord Bellingham joins as non-executive chairman and Nick Hawkins as as a non-executive director. Sokin said the board additions will further strengthen the company and assist with preparations for a 2021 funding round.
Meanwhile, Bryan Stirewalt, the chief executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, has revealed he will retire in September 2021. The DFSA board says it will undertake a global search to recruit a successor in order to ensure an effective transition.
Mergers and Acquisitions
daVinci Payments has completed its merger with North Lane Technologies (formerly Wirecard North America) and will now operate under the brand Syncapay. The new company has received a majority equity investment from private investors Centerbridge Partners.
Financial consultancy Synechron is taking over Australian-based payments provider Attra. Post-acquisition, Attra will retain its brand identity but become a Synechron company. This acquisition marks the second deal Synechron has closed in the past six weeks, following the October takeover of consulting firm Citihub Digital.
Partnerships and collaborations
Virgin Money has teamed up with app development firm Waracle to support the development of its upcoming new business current account. Waracle previously helped create Virgin’s augmented reality Currency Converter.
Global payments platform Adyen is joining forces with vertical payments firm Flywire to ‘bolster innovation in payments’ for vertical industries. The partnership is aimed at delivering the latest payment functionality to facilitate seamless customer journeys for students, patients and global travellers.
Finance digitisation provider Bolero International has forged a partnership with blockchain platform #dltledgers. The deal delivers a fully integrated, digital trade execution process to help banks streamline their trade operations, while reducing both working capital and trade cycle times.
Digital payment fintech PayCentral has partnered with Mastercard to launch DigiCentral, a secure online platform and prepaid virtual card for small businesses in South Africa. The virtual card can be used for e-commerce and instore purchases.
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange has selected Cigniti Technologies as its strategic quality assurance service provider. Cigniti will help with real-time trading and clearing, pre-trade risk management, market intelligence, surveillance and quality assurance.
FlexxPay and Al Salam Bank Bahrain sign cooperation agreement to offer employee benefit solutions to businesses and government entities in the Kingdom. The pair also plan to further develop innovative banking related products that are driven by technology.
Funding and Investments
Fintech SMEO has closed its latest capital injection with a €4million investment from Finch Capital and Precapital. SMEO, which offers online factoring services for SMEs, will use the capital to grow its factoring capabilities, as well as on international expansion.
Cledara raises $3.4million in order to accelerate product growth and international expansion. The all-in-one SaaS purchase and management platform counts Unmind, Butternut Box and Railsbank among its customers. The funding was led by Nauta Capital, with participation from existing investors Anthemis.
Metechi has raised $5million in funding for its AI-powered debt trading platform that facilitates the buying, selling, origination and syndication of commercial loans at scale. The investment round was led by angel investors including Shimon Weintraub, the co-founder of Brack Capital Group. Former CEOs of Bank Hapoalim and CRE investors, Zion Kenan and Ari Pinto also took part.
Tink has closed the year with a completed €85million investment round extension, following its €90million investment round in January. This brings the total invested in the open banking platform during 2020 to €175million. This funding top up will push Tink’s expansion and support the further development of its payment initiation technology.
Announcements and Launches
Nutmeg says it has become the first wealth manager in the UK to launch iOS Widgets for investment performance. There are two types of widgets – one that lets users see their time-weighted return and a second that offers latest blogs from the experts at Nutmeg.
Indian fintech M2P Solutions expands into the Middle East with Abu Dhabi as regional headquarters. The company has also appointed Vaanathi Mohanakrishnan to lead its business for the region. M2P Solutions says it is confident its unique set of product and platform offerings will help drive the region towards a cashless economy.
Edgematics will launch PurpleCube in the Middle East in order to become one of the region’s first pioneering end-to-end data analytics platforms. Edgematics says its platform is uniquely adaptable to cross-vertical (or horizontal) use cases, such as banking.
Meanwhile, Bank Leumi has been named Bank of the Year in Israel for 2020 by the The Banker magazine. It is the third consecutive time and the ninth time in total that Leumi has scooped the title.
Kenya-based fintech Pezesha has won first place at the 2020 AFI Inclusive FinTech Showcase. Idemia, the France-based technology company, came second while Kenya-based smart personal learning assistant Arifu came in third.
Anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has unveiled a business-owner verification solution to counter the spike in the number of scams involving fake businesses. It cross-checks the details given with data sources, including Companies House, Experian, Equifax and Dow Jones Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) and Sanctions lists.
Finally, rapper Lil Yachty has collaborated with digital and blockchain-based collectibles marketplace Nifty Gateway. Lil Yachty and social money platform Fyooz will create a Niftie (art collectible) from the #YachtyCoin token. A 24-hour auction begins today.