In our last edition of The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup for 2020, we take a look at the latest international fintech stories. Starling Bank adds Dinghy and SumUp to Marketplace, while Zilch raises fresh VC funding.
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Partnerships and Collaborations
Digital insurer Getsafe has hooked up with UK price comparison site Confused to ‘simplify insurance’ for those living in the private rented sector. The companies say UK renters want more flexibility and price transparency.
Three Dutch payments companies – PaymentGenes, DataBright and Payments Insiders – are combing their skills in a strategic joint venture. They describe it as a ‘first-of-it’s kind’ servicing approach that will boost fintechs and payments companies.
Acuity Trading, an alternative data provider of market insights, is working with data solutions company Crux Informatics to offer more trading tools and intelligence. They say the combination of Crux’s data processing powers with Acuity’s data sets will ’empower traders to discover individual alpha for competitive advantage’.
Cross-border payments network Thunes is collaborating with Singapore insurance provider NTUC Income. Income will leverage Thunes’ technology to handle international transactions. In addition, future plans include enabling digital micro-insurance products to plug protection gaps.
Meanwhile, mobility solutions firm Comviva has unveiled a strategic partnership with telecoms group Ooredoo Kuwait. The pair will deliver machine learning driven customer value management campaigns. Comviva’s MobiLytix platform leverages AI and machine learning to drive incremental revenue for enterprises.
Brazilian stock exchange B3 will use the Genesis low-code application platform to drive the digitalisation of Brazil’s financial markets. B3 says the platform provides the ‘building blocks and agility’ to address the Brazilian market’s very specific requirements across asset classes market trading infrastructure.
Meanwhile, banking platform Curve is rolling out open banking services to UK customers in tandem with Plaid, the open finance data network. Curve customers can now connect and see bank balances in their app.
Finally, PrimeiroPay, the international cross-border online payment service provider, is partnering with Cybersource – Visa’s payment management platform. The pair will ‘better enable cross-border merchant access’ to Latin America’s high-growth markets, including Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
Swedish neobank Northmill Bank has recruited Tobias Palmborg (right) as its chief technology officer. As well as scaling up technology and product organisation, Palmborg’s will also prepare the neobank for continued expansion.
Technology Innovation Institute appoints a slew of cryptography leaders to the advisory board at the new Cryptography Research Centre for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The hires include Professor Joan Daemen and Professor Lejla Batina from Radboud University, Netherlands, as well as Dr Guido Bertoni, CEO of Security Pattern in Italy. In addition, Professor Carlos Aguilar from Toulouse University, Professor Damien Stehlé from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Tim Güneysu at Ruhr-University Bochum also join.
Investments and Funding
Cloud-native payment technology provider Form3 has received investment from Mastercard. Additionally, the pair will create a partnership to support access to real-time payment infrastructure. Following Mastercard’s investment, Gregor Dobbie will join Form3’s strategic advisory board.
Mobile financial platform Lydia has extended its Series B round, raising an additional $86million. The funding was led by Accel, the global venture capital firm. The total funding round now sits at $131million, making it the largest round ever raised by a French fintech.
API-driven compliance platform Taxdoo has closed a $21million Series A round of financing led by global venture capital firm Accel. Visionaries Club, 20VC and existing investor HTGF also took part.
Buy now, pay later fintech Zilch has secured an additional $30million equity funding enabling it to close its pre Series B in less than three weeks. Investors include Simon Nixon, the co-founder of MoneySuperMarket. Zilch has seen customer registration numbers quadruple over the last six months.
Meanwhile, Salad Technologies, a startup that harnesses idle compute power from gaming PCs in exchange for rewards, has raised $3.2million. More than 1,000 years of compute time has been logged by Salad users so far.
Investment firm Flashpoint Venture Capital has secured $50million for the first close of its third VC fund. The firm, which backs startups founded by management teams, has a target of up to $100million and will be used for around 15 investments at the seed and Series A stages.
GoCardless has revealed a Series F funding round of $95million led by BainCapital Ventures. The funding will be used to fuel its continued investment in open banking as well as challenge the dominance of credit cards in instant payments.
US blockchain payment network Roxe is expanding into India and Africa with remittance firm N2Xpress. Following the partnership, Roxe customers can send remittances ‘much faster, cheaper and more reliably’ to these new markets.
Global Ventures, the UAE-based venture capital firm, has partnered with Capria Ventures, a US-based global investment fund-of-funds. It represents the first investment Capria has made in the MEA region.
European fintech Bitpanda will plough €10milliion into a technology and innovation centre in Poland. The Bitpanda Technology & Innovation Hub will employ 300 highly-talented professionals in order to develop innovative and challenging projects.
Issuer processor Global Processing Services (GPS) has been selected to join Mastercard’s Fintech Express Programme as its chosen processing partner. Launched in June 2020, GPS is already embedded into Mastercard’s Fintech Express programme alongside GPS’ partners which it processes for – Railsbank and Treezor.
Starling Bank has added SumUp payment solutions and Dingy the insurance provider to its Marketplace. It says both service providers have been chosen to reduce the number of hours SMEs have to spend on admin.
New on the scene is Vestrata – a fintech company providing integrated investment solutions. Launched by a former JP Morgan leadership team, Vestrata has also completed a $4million investment round.
While, independent finance house Propel has launched Propeller –an online asset finance portal for vendors and equipment providers. The web portal is the result of £1million investment in new fintech innovation and will power vendor sales.
Danish-based challenger bank Lunar launches a pay later credit. It is now possible to split all transactions in instalments retroactively or postpone an expense up to 30 days in the Lunar app. The new feature will be available for all users with a minimum deposit of €270 to their current account every month.
Barclaycard has unveiled an app-based platform – Precisionpay Go – in order to let corporate businesses issue virtual corporate cards for employees’ online business expenses. Barclaycard Precisionpay Go provides the ability for a virtual card to be issued just two seconds after being requested.
Alpian plans to launch as a fully licensed bank in early 2021 after a collaboration with banking software firm Temenos. Alpian aims to be the first bank to target Switzerland’s ‘mass affluent’ – those with investible assets of between CHF100,000 to CHF1million.
Fintech Openpay, currently operating in the UK and Australia, is launching in the US. The announcement follows a record trading day, week and month in November for the ‘buy now, pay smarter’ company.
MSTS, a global B2B payment provider, has launched a credit as a service solution for UK’s Discounted Cleaning Supplies. The technology will allow the UK-based company to offer trade credit and enable invoicing to their e-commerce customers while complying with regulations.