The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup brings you a selection of international fintech stories. There’s funding success for BlockSwap Network as it closes $2.5m investment. Plus, Sumsub launches face biometric liveness detection to boost onboarding.
Announcements and launches
Pan-African fintech Accelerex Ghana has secured an enhanced payment service provider licence from the Bank of Ghana (BoG). It follows ISO 27001:2013 and PCI-DSS certifications obtained by the firm. Its parent company, Accelerex Holdings, recently scooped a $20million investment from African Capital Alliance to drive product development, as well as expand to South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania.
Valour has launched Ethereum Zero, an ETH exchange-traded product with zero management fees. Trading in Ethereum Zero began on Nordic Growth Market stock exchange on 30 March. For each product that’s bought and sold on the stock exchange, Valour purchases the equivalent amount of the underlying asset ETH.
eMoney Advisor has announced the addition of Longevity Risk Analysis and Confidence Age to its Monte Carlo feature set, advancing how Monte Carlo can be used in the financial planning process. These latest enhancements are designed to help advisors easily create dynamic financial plans based on comprehensive, personalised analyses for an interactive and intelligent planning experience that maximises both client engagement and advisor efficiency.
ila Bank, the digital mobile-only bank for Bahrain, has unveiled a community saving feature – Jamiyah. Powered by Bank ABC, ila Bank says the new tool will build financial capabilities and resilience in the local community.
Sumsub, a startup helping companies fight money laundering and fraud, has invested more than $1million in software development including Prooface, a liveness detection solution. It says Prooface doubles onboarding pass rates, as well as increase enterprise companies’ security levels by 10 per cent.
Mergers and acquisitions
Meanwhile, UK’s Finch Capital has announced it has agreed to purchase Wirecard Turkey through Nomu Pay. The deal is expected to be completed by Summer 2021. This investment is part of Nomu Pay’s larger plan to invest in payments infrastructure in Turkey and the Middle East.
Payment platform Paysafe Group and special purpose acquisition company Foley Trasimene Acquisition have completed their previously announced merger. The combined company now operates as Paysafe Limited. Additonally, Paysafe’s management team headed up by Philip McHugh, CEO, will continue to lead the combined company.
Investments and funding
Asset finance and pay disruptor Hi55 Ventures has opened a Series A capital raise. The investment, backed by NTT DATA and Ventura Capital, will support the company’s growth and expansion plans in Europe and US. In addition to international expansion plans, the Series A capital will be used for solutions and technology development.
Spiral has secured $14million in funding led by global venture group Team8. Other participants included Communitas Capital, Phoenix, Nidoco AB, MTVO, as well as financial executives. Spiral will use the funds to launch a new ethical banking app that enables customers to support any charitable cause while earning monthly cash bonuses on their deposits.
DeFi platform Blockswap network has completed a $2.5million private placement investment round. Backers included NGC, Wave Financial, Algorand EU accelerator, ZeePrime capital,DFG, 4th Revolution Capital, as well as Blocksync Ventures. It has plans to improve its sustainable yield offering via proof-of-stake benefits.
There’s a cash injection for NOW Money, a digital banking solution for low-income migrant workers. It has secured $7million in a funding round led by Anthemis Exponential Ventures. NOW Money also received supporting funding from Expo 2020 and card scheme Visa. Funds will boost NOW Money in Saudi Arabia with strategic new hires and local infrastructure, as well as drive growth in the UAE.
Blofin has raised $10million in its series A+ round of financing, led by SIG. Other investors include Matrix, Lingfeng Capital, Superchain Capital and Jackdaw Capital. The digital asset manager says it is close to securing licences for Hong Kong, Singapore and other global financial centres.
Further investment updates
Islamabad-based fintech SadaPay has raised a $7.2million Seed funding round, led by Recharge Capital. Additional participation came from Kingsway Capital, Raptor Group and fintech angels, such as Pierpaolo Barbieri, Brian McGrath, Ilan Stern and Andrew Wang. SadaPay wants to double its headcount to more than 100 over the next 12 months.
Rivery, the dataops platform, has raised $16million in a financing round led by Entrée Capital and State Of Mind Ventures (SOMV). The new funds will accelerate growth across business and R&D teams – it currently has 60 open positions.
Digital small business insurance firm Next Insurance has completed a Series E $250million financing round led by FinTLV Ventures and Battery Ventures. Additional investors include CapitalG, Group 11, Zeev Ventures, Founders Circle, as well as G Squared. It is the third consecutive financing round in which Next Insurance has raised $250million.
Meanwhile, Robo.cash accumulates €15million of investment. The European P2P investment platform says the amount of loans funded through the platform grew by 27 per cent in Q1. In 2021 alone, it plans to attract €13million of investment.
Finally, fintech firm Monva has exceeded its fundraising target of £200,000 via Crowdcube. The latest funding round comes ahead of an larger institutional round expected to take place towards the end of 2021. The website currently offers comparison of credit cards and energy with further services to be launched this year.
TAMM, the Abu Dhabi government services ecosystem, has added PayBy to facilitate contactless payment for government services through its strategic partner First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). PayBy enables the Abu Dhabi community to make online payments without needing credit or debit cards.
KPMG has signed an agreement with Oracle in order to accelerate the adoption of cloud based emerging technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will support the growth of the country’s digital economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030. KPMG and Oracle Saudi Arabia executives will also organise joint seminars, virtual events and sessions with global experts to offer guidance on digital transformation initiatives.
Synechron, the digital transformation consulting firm for the financial services industry, has teamed up with Unqork, the enterprise no-code platform. The partnership enables Synechron to make its technology offerings available to banks and other capital markets’ participants in the US and Europe.
Fintech Triterras has unveiled three senior-level hires in order to accelerate its expansion in fund origination, business development and credit insurance. Mounia-Mia Bouriss is now European head for funds origination and structuring. While Peter Karos has joined as a business development consultant for North America. Finally, Raffy Rios joins as insurance expert.