The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup sees Sightline Payments unveil new leadership roles, while Moneyhub launches a ‘rent recognition’ feature.
On the move
MineralTree, the payments provider, has appointed Ram Purohit as MD and head of engineering for India. In his role, Purohit will expand MineralTree’s software engineering operations in Bangalore to complement the work of its US engineering team. He will also focus on increasing the value of the firm’s AP and payments automation solutions.
Meanwhile, Australian business-to-business funder Butn Limited has added Helen Louise Lea to its board. Lea is the chief employee experience officer at business management platform MYOB. Earlier this year, MYOB and Butn formed a strategic partnership to help SMEs unlock cashflow by accessing upfront payments on outstanding invoices.
Martin Griffiths, the former head of fintech and MSBs at Barclays Corporate Banking joins foreign exchange scaleup Privalgo as a non-executive director. He will offer guidance on the company’s strategic growth, while helping to optomise every department across Privalgo, including the executive team, marketing, partnerships and front of house.
Embedded finance platform Bond Financial Technologies has unveiled three new senior executives in order to accelerate growth and scale operations. Former Rapyd chief product officer (CPO) Helcio Nobre joins Bond as its first CPO, while Laura Kane is chief sales officer. Finally, Sandrine Cousquer-Okasmaa joins as general counsel. Its aim is to deliver innovative financial products to underserved communities.
One Inc, a digital payments network for the insurance industry, has named David Thayer as chief financial officer. He most recently served in various senior financial leadership roles with US Bank subsidiary Elavon. His appointment follows the hire of CEO Ian Drysdale and chief information officer Elizabeth Hoemeke earlier this year.
Sightline Payments has announced that co-founder Omer Sattar will serve as co-CEO alongside Joe Pappano. In this new role, Sattar will oversee internal operations including product and compliance. As co-CEO, Pappano will continue to lead Sightline’s strategy, sales, client success and marketing organisations to drive the digital transformation of the gaming and hospitality industries.
Avaloq, the digital banking and wealth management solution firm, has appointed John Wilson as its UK managing director. He will drive the company’s expansion in the UK wealth management market with new digital platforms. Recent client successes include Tilney Smith & Williamson and Brewin Dolphin.
Finally, the UK Cyber Security Council has appointed Simon Hepburn as its chief executive. He succeeds Don MacIntyre, who was appointed as interim CEO in January 2021 during the Council’s formation. Hepburn has previously been chief executive of a charity and founded two others. He has also held director positions with a variety of charities, academy trusts and businesses.
Mergers and acquistions
6sense, the account engagement platform, has acquired Fortella, the AI-based revenue intelligence platform.The integration of Fortella into the 6sense account engagement will ’empower B2B marketing leaders to achieve their pipeline and revenue goals with greater predictability’.
Payments platform Paysafe has completed its acquisition of PagoEfectivo, the Peruvian-based alternative payments platform. Paysafe also recently unveiled plans to acquire Latin American firm SafetyPay. The two deals are part of Paysafe’s aim to become an e-cash and open banking payments leader in the region.
Funding and investments
Puerto-Rico based challenger bank FV Bank has closed a Series A funding round worth $8million. Led by BnkToTheFuture, Decentralized Ventures, NFG Fund, CCIX Global, Zenrain Technology and Satvat, the raise boosts FV Bank’s post money valuation to $48.9million. It will use the capital to launch a digital asset custody division, develop its debit card offering as well as accelerate its international expansion.
Heroes, an e-commerce company, has secured a $200million fundraise from US-based investor Crayhill Capital Management. The fundraise will support the next phase of the firm’s rapid growth. It will also enable it to acquire and scale consumer brands across the globe.
Startup investment bank JPIN VCATS has completed a significant raise for Expertrons, in order to drive forward the development and expansion of the platform’s client and content base. Expertrons is India’s largest career counselling service.
Insurify, the insurance comparison platform, has closed $100million in Series B funding. Led by Motive Partners, the round also included participation from existing investors Viola FinTech, MassMutual Ventures, Nationwide, Hearst Ventures, Moneta VC, as well as new investors Viola Growth and Fort Ross Ventures.
Further funding news
PayEm, the global spend and procurement platform, has revealed $27million in funding. It consists of a $7million seed funding round led by Pitango First and NFX with participation by LocalGlobe and Fresh Fund. Followed by a $20million Series A led by Glilot+, the early growth fund of Glilot Capital Partners.
Vic.ai has closed its Series B funding round at $50million. It brings the artificial intelligence software company’s total funding to $63million. The money is earmarked for expanding the company’s enterprise offering as well as releasing additional AI capabilities for US and European customers.
Meanwhile, fintech BankiFi has secured a £2.2million investment in a funding round led by Praetura Ventures. Additional participation comes from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The new funding will let BankiFi expand its product and service offering, and grow its client base. It will also target new domestic and overseas markets.
Finally, digital ‘super platform’ Capitalise has raised £10million from Experian, QED Investors, Gauss Ventures, Hambro Perks and Post Finance. The investment will expand Capitalise’s accountant platform with a suite of integrated credit protection and risk management services designed specifically for SMEs.
Digital finance platform Wari has forged a partnership with TBLDC to provide a more effective visa process for African travellers intending to visit the United Arab Emirates. TBLDC clients in Africa will benefit from Wari’s network to access low-cost visa process payment online via WhatsApp Messenger and the myWari mobile app.
Life insurance advice platform Anorak partners with life insurance and protection platform Insurancez. Insurancez advisors will use Anorak’s ‘Anorak for Advisors’ platform to help their clients find products. Anorak is also working with Insurancez’ parent company Mortgagez to provide its mortgage advisors with access to Anorak for Advisors.
There’s also a partnership for banking-as-a-solution provider Intergiro and multi-currency firm Currencycloud. Intergiro will integrate Currencycloud Spark into its portfolio of API solutions. This will enable Intergiro to provide its customers with multi-currency accounts capable of holding 35 currencies.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has teamed up with global fintech company Bitt Inc as the technical partner for its upcoming digital currency eNaira. The CBN will rely on Bitt’s ‘tested and proven digital currency experience’, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries.
Product and industry updates
Challenger bank bunq has introduced Spanish IBANs and multi-currency features. It follows the introduction of German IBANs in April and French IBANs in June. Another new feature lets all bunq users with a bank account add IBANs from multiple European countries to their bunq app. In July 2021, bunq raised €193million in a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital.
Moneyhub, the open finance data, intelligence and payments platform, has launched a ‘rent recognition’ feature. The new tool makes it easy to send anonymised details of rent payments to credit reference agencies, such as Experian. Moneyhub has also introduced a new ‘regular recurring transactions’ summary, showing details of scheduled payments.
Aster has unveiled a digital wealth management platform designed for the MENA market. It targets the $2.9trillion high-net-worth individual Middle East market. Aster’s iOS app will be available from September 2021 with cross-platform support and new feature rollouts in the roadmap.
The South African Reserve Bank, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, has revealed the 2021 finalists and winners of the Monetary Policy Committee Schools Challenge. The programme offers learners an opportunity to grow their understanding of monetary policy. Gauteng schools took top honours with Glenvista High School announced as the overall competition winner.