On Tuesday 27 October, the Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest global fintech stories. In addition to Julian Sawyer moving to Bitstamp, we hear how Grafton Capital has taken a majority ownership position in Third Financial.
Crypto exchange Bitstamp has unveiled Julian Sawyer as its new CEO. Sawyer, the company’s second CEO, follows in the footsteps of Nejc Kodrič who moves into a new board role. Sawyer co-founded Starling Bank in May 2015 and most recently served as MD at cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
Rani Johnson is the new chief information officer of big data specialist TIBCO Software. She will help integrate customers’ technology solutions with strategic business outcomes, as well as aim to develop ‘IT leaders, women, and people of colour’.
Michael Kamerman, previously managing director of FXCM, is the new CEO of forex and CFD online trading venue Skilling. He ‘looks forward to contributing to the growth of the team and leading Skilling into a new stage of strategic development’.
Financial API provider TrueLayer has appointed Brenton Charnley as head of Australia. Brenton will be responsible for obtaining accreditation with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in addition to supporting onboarding new partners to integrate with TrueLayer’s platform.
“I am honoured and excited to join TrueLayer at this pivotal time for open banking in Australia. It provides consumers the opportunity to take control of their banking data. And, make it more convenient to make payments from their favourite app or website.”
Sherif Samir Samy is the new chairman of CIB Egpyt following the resignation of Hisham Ezz Al-Arab. The reshuffle comes amid reports of ‘deficiencies in the bank’s internal auditing, which resulted in financial losses for the bank’.
Partnerships and collaborations
Digital securities platform Iownit is partnering with funds administrator Sudrania in order to provide investors a ‘modern and improved experience when investing in private markets’. Through their partnership, the pair will enable asset managers to expand access to private products, while creating investment vehicles.
Santander partners with Aviva to ‘deliver home insurance quotes to customers in half the time’. The move is the first initiative since Santander and Aviva’s announced their strategic partnership in March 2020. The companies say the insurance quote service will be followed by others that bring ‘customer focus to Santander’s insurance products and services’.
Leading European finance group Societe Generale and AI fintech Galytix sign a global partnership to transform their group-wide credit processes. The partnership will also redefine how Societe Generale’s credit analysts access and harness data to make faster and better decisions. In addition, PwC Luxembourg entered an alliance with Galytix to power Societe Generale with the new technologies.
Bitpanda and Raiffeisen Bank International have hooked up in order to bring blockchain-interoperability to the banking industry. Following the partnership, Bitpanda’s tech research project Pantos will be implemented on the e-money solution RBI Coin for inter-bank and inter-company payments.
The Saudi Data and AI Authority has joined forces with the International Telecommunication Union in order to advance cooperation on leveraging artificial intelligence technologies and apps for sustainable development. Saudi Arabia says it is supporting ITU as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to become a world leader in AI innovation.
Investment and funding
Private equity firm Grafton Capital has invested £7million into investment platform Third Financial. Grafton Capital’s investment takes it to majority ownership of the business, with £1.5million fresh capital injected onto the balance sheet. Third Financial says the investment will boost its vision of becoming the go-to provider of technology and custody services for investment firms.
We are confident in the trajectory and the opportunity to serve more great businesses with Third Financial’s market leading infrastructure platform.
Meanwhile, fintech PrimaryBid has closed a $50million Series B investment round. The funds will be used to build-out the PrimaryBid team and technology platform while the company expands into international markets. PrimaryBid has completed more than 41 capital raisings for UK listed companies and investment trusts since April 2020.
Global investment firm Franklin Templeton and fintech Illuminate Financial Management are the latest companies to invest in digital asset security firm Curv. In July 2020, Curv’s Series A round included investors CommerzVentures, Coinbase, Digital Currency Group, Team8 and Digital Garage.
Launches and announcements
Nuclei is proud to be the ‘only Indian fintech selected for the Qatar FinTech Accelerator’. Nuclei is a SaaS platform that enables banks to integrate third party products within their mobile application. The 12-week accelerator programme will help fintechs expand internationally from Qatar.
Egypt-based Prime FinTech has unveiled its first company Endorse. Its aim is to ‘re-imagine financing solutions for both personal and business segments’. Its share capital is EGP 50million with a plan to increase to EGP 100million by year end.
Finally, Zwipe and Inkript say they are working together to bring contactless biometric payment cards to the Middle East. Inkript has placed an order to Zwipe, commencing small scale manufacturing of biometric payment cards based on the Zwipe Pay ONE platform. The pair first collaborated in 2019 in order to develop biometric cards.
The UAE’s Insurance Authority has merged with the country’s Central Bank. The merger sees powers of the Authority transferred to the local stock markets, while maintaining regulation and oversight of the local financial markets. In addition, the bank will protect the rights of the insured and the beneficiaries of the insurance business.