This Tuesday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup highlights the latest global fintech stories. We hear about funding successes for ChannelEngine and Rain, while Finastra’s Fusion Invest moves to the cloud.
Funding and Investments
ChannelEngine raises €5million Series A funding round to expand its marketplace integration platform across key global markets. ChannelEngine is on a mission to bridge the gap between the backend systems of its customers and online sales channels, such as Amazon, Zalando, Google and eBay. The funding round will be used to continue its rollout in Europe, and to expand into APAC, Russia, the Middle East as well as both North and South America,
Fintech Nucleus Commercial Finance announced a £200million funding line from two leading global investment management firms. It says the new funding will cement its position as ‘the leading fintech for SME finance’.
Bahrain-based cryptocurrency platform Rain has raised $6million in a Series A funding round, led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP). The round also saw participation from new and existing investors Coinbase, Vision Ventures, CMT Digital Ventures, KSA’s Abdul Latif Jameel Fintech Ventures and DIFC’s Fintech Fund.
JPIN Venture Capitalists invests £700,000 leading a £2million raise for fintech CreditEnable, an AI-driven SME credit marketplace. The investment will be used to continue the development of CreditEnable’s technology platform and expand the firm’s userbase.
AI software company Oqton Inc raises more than $40million in a Series A financing round. Led by Fortino Capital, PMV and Sandvik, the financing will be used to develop its platform, while expanding its commercial partnerships.
Central European Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider Twisto has secured €16million funding. Corporate financial advisory firm Royal Park Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisors to Twisto and its board. While, funding came from international investors led by Zip Co and Elevator Ventures.
UK-based health-tech company BIONIQ has closed a $15million Series A led by OKS Group. The funds will be put toward market expansion in the USA and the Middle East as well as product development. The startup has built a data-driven digital health platform for disease prevention and health improvement.
Indian cryptocurrency platform CoinSwitch Kuber has raised $15million in its Series A funding. The round was led by fintech and crypto investor Ribbit Capital and crypto focused investment firm Paradigm. It is the largest single round of funding in a cryptocurrency company in India.
Swedish fintech Minna Technologies raises €15.5million in a fundraise led by Element Ventures. With further support from MiddleGame Ventures, Nineyards Equity and Visa, Minna plans to expand its open banking technology to banks across the world.
Digital life insurance provider DeadHappy complete a Seedrs crowdfunding round, securing £2.75million from 1200 stakeholders.The company has also secured a £2million media for equity deal from Channel 4 Ventures. The investment will be used to further accelerate growth and scale the business through distribution partnerships.
MX has raised $300million in a Series C funding round led by TPG Growth with investments from CapitalG, Geodesic Capital, Greycroft, Cota Capital, Canapi Ventures, Pelion Venture Partners, Point72 Ventures, and Digital Garage. The data-driven finance firm has increased its market valuation to $1.9billion in the last 12 months.
Royale Finance, a cross-chain DeFi solution that uses liquidity pools to provide funding for iGaming startups, has raised $1.45million. Contributors to Royale’s funding round include Alphabit Fund, AU21 Capital, Fomocraft Ventures, Kyros Ventures and Vendetta Capital.
Australian pay-on-demand provider Beforepay has announced an oversubscribed AU$9 million pre-IPO round led by Alium Capital. The latest investment brings Beforepay’s total venture backing to AU$17million. In addition, the fintech has named both Natasha Davidson and Patrick Tuttle as non-executive directors of its board.
Finally, Carne Group, the digitally driven platform for the asset management industry, has secured a €100million investment from Vitruvian Partners. The investment will be used to expand Carne’s client led technology solutions and will see Vitruvian Partners take a minority stake in the business.
Fintech Finzly has added Mark Dumolien as the company’s new vice president of product management. The former Wells Fargo executive will lead Finzly’s strategic planning and product management for foreign exchange (FX), derivatives and international banking.
Payments issuer processor Global Processing Services has unveiled Damien Gough as head of Asia Pacific. Gough was previously head of issuer processing and enablement partnerships for Asia Pacific at Visa.
Damien has an excellent track record of effectively engaging ecosystem partners across Asia Pacific, including sponsor banks, eKYC vendors, fintech investors and various processors which will be pivotal to the strength of our partnerships in the fastest-growing fintech market in the world.”
Hospitality software provider Agilysys has unveiled a new leadership team. Ben Curtis is now managing director for EMEA and Matthew Prosser is senior sales director in EMEA. Ben and Matthew are charged with accelerating Agilysys’ continued growth in the EMEA region.
Ziglu, the personal money app, has appointed Daniel Sale as marketing director. In his new role, Sale will focus on further building brand awareness and customer engagement, as well as increasing the company’s base of users.
Duco, a global provider of cloud-based data integrity, has hired Philippe Buron as chief product officer. Buron joins from HSBC where he was interim CIO of digital retail and wealth.
Filippo Mattia Ginanni has joined agora Digital Capital Markets as head of structured products and EMTNs. Prior to joining agora, Filippo was head of cross asset structuring at Mediobanca. He also previously spent 10 years at Deutsche Bank, including as head of X-Markets for Italy.
Plenitude, the niche consultancy firm specialising in financial crime risk and compliance, has appointed Shahmeem Purdasy as senior executive and general counsel. Purdasy will provide strategic advice and transformation expertise, as well as supporting Plenitude’s growth plans.
Fintech Broadridge Financial Solutions has hired David Ingleson as chief operating officer for APAC. Based in Singapore, Ingleson will report to Samir Pandiri, president of Broadridge International. In this role, he will oversee regional implementation strategies, as well as focus on further investing in Broadridge’s local market expertise and capabilities.
Finally, Raj Paranandi will become the new chief operating officer for EMEA and APAC at MarketAxess Holdings on 1 March 2021. He will play a lead role in setting the long-term goals for the international business, as well as leading new strategic change management initiatives.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Global software consultancy ThoughtWorks has agreed to acquire Gemini Solutions Inc., a privately-held software development and consulting services firm. The new ThoughtWorks Romania team will provide nearshore support for clients in the UK and Germany as well as support for Gemini’s existing clients in North America, France, and Germany. ThoughtWorks also recently revealed GIC, Siemens AG, Fidelity Management and Research LLC and Mubadala Investment Company have invested $720million in the company.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Malawi’s NBS Bank launches ecommerce platform and online payment gateway with Network International. The implementation of Network International’s N-GeniusTM Online payment gateway will enable NBS Bank to drive online payment acceptance.
Payments technology specialist Form3 has unveiled a customer partnership with AION bank in order to implement a next-generation payments platform. It will also enable real-time payment processing, clearing and settlement for the Belgian bank’s European members.
Consultancy Lionpoint Group has forged a strategic partnership with software development platform LemonTree Software. Lionpoint described LemonTree a compelling alternative to some of the more complex technology vendors for the middle and back office.
Meanwhile, asset manager BlackRock is teaming up with tech platform Clarity AI. BlackRock will integrate Clarity AI’s data insights into its Aladdin management tool in order to help investors accurately track/measure sustainability performance. BlackRock’s investment also accelerates Clarity AI’s growth plans.
Global blockchain company Ripple has joined forces with Malaysian mobile wallet company Mobile Money to power wallet-to-wallet payments for the remittance corridor between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Through this partnership, Mobile Money is also anticipating an increase in its user base of Bangladeshi workers by 20 per cent.
Industry News and Announcements
Canadian Ether staking service provider CanETH Staking Services, which is backed by Dubai entrepreneur Khurram Shroff, placed an undisclosed winning bid for a digital art representation of the Ethereum token. The bid was part of a charitable auction by crypto trading platform VirgoCX, in support of the SickKids Foundation.
UK open banking fintech Yapily announces expansion in Lithuania. Yapily helps companies connect to more than 600 banks, providing 80 per cent account coverage across 15 EU countries. Yapily will hire up to 30 people in Vilnius in the coming months across compliance, engineering, product and operations.
Brydg has been accredited as a new lender for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) by the British Business Bank. Within the scheme, Brydg will be able to support companies in the real estate industry with loans of between £250,000 and £5million.
Archax, the digital securities exchange, has joined London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE. ELITE is the private market of London Stock Exchange Group connecting private companies with diverse sources of capital to drive their growth.
Moneyhub has opened a new European office in Slovenia. It describes the country as the perfect choice to fast track European growth for its open finance platform. Moneyhub’s CTO and one of the founding partners Dave Tonge is already based in Ljubljana.
London based SaaS provider Quotevine has rebranded to QV Systems. Alongside the name change, QV Systems has also renamed its innovative solution, previously known as the Quotevine Platform, as Accelerate.
Meanwhile, Pension Playpen (PPP) is relaunching as a fintech industry connection company. The site will be free initially to all subscribers, while a subscription option will be introduced at a later date. PPP has signed up Sir Steve Webb, Margaret Snowden OBE and Steve Bee to contribute to content.
Finally, Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia has signed a strategic agent banking agreement with The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB). The partnership aims on expanding banking services and products, enabling mobile financial services and has been endorsed by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).
Product and Service Launches
Finastra’s investment management solution Fusion Invest is now available to customers through the cloud. It says the move will help asset managers digitally transform their operations and benefit from increased agility and improved operational efficiency.
MV Index Solutions has launched the Universal Standard Diamonds Evaluation 100 Index in collaboration with Diamond Data Derivatives and leading digital asset data provider CryptoCompare. The investable benchmark index will be used to quantify physical diamonds based on the sales volume of the top 100 traded diamonds.
Centili, a specialist in digital payments and monetisation, plans to offer multiple new services in 2021 to support post-Covid shifts in the mobile payments industry. Centili is launching a plug and play solution that takes care of the end to end technical delivery of conversational commerce from communication to payment.
Finally, Bank of Khyber has implemented Temenos technology to optimise its banking operations and reducing operational costs. Temenos’ technology will support the bank in offering retail, SME and corporate banking products, including accounts, time deposits and loans for both Islamic and conventional banking.