Today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup brings you the latest funding success stories and fintech partnerships.
Preqin, the alternative assets data firm, has named Christoph Knaack as its new CEO. Currently Preqin’s chief strategy & product officer, Knaack takes on the role from 1 January. Preqin’s founder and current CEO, Mark O’Hare, continues on the board and as the company’s principal shareholder. The company said it is currently going through a strong growth phase.
Fintech Dwolla has added Emily Rollins to its board of directors. Before her retirement in Autumn 2020, Rollins was an audit and assurance partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP. The appointment follows Dwolla securing $21million in funding and product expansions.
Former HSBC chief operations officer Andy Maguire is named board chair at regtech Napier. He has been working with Napier in an advisory role since February. Maguire is also chair of the BCG Banking Practice, chair of Thought Machine and a board member at AIB.
Meanwhile Qira, a financial services platform, has hired Michelle Shapiro as vice president of sales. Shapiro was formerly the regional director of multifamily sales at Yardi as well as director of sales and business development at MasterCard. Shapiro will build a national sales team and implement infrastructure and systems to support sales.
Finally, Mercer has unveiled two key senior hires. Rob Ansari is appointed to the position of IMETA wealth leader for India, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Hussein Magdy assumes the role of executive director – investment solutions leader.
Mergers and acquistions
Crypto-exchange platform Coinbase has acquired Indian AI-powered customer support platform Agara. Coinbase will use Agara’s AI resources to bring deep expertise in machine learning, and reconfirm its strategy to expand its tech hub in India. It also plans to leverage Agara’s technology to automate and enhance its customer experience tools.
Accenture has acquired BCS Consulting. Headquartered in London, BCS Consulting’s team joins Accenture’s UK Financial Services Strategy and Consulting practice. Accenture has also recently acquired financial services firms Mudano, Orbium and Parker Fitzgerald.
Research and insight
UK shoppers have accumulated more than £4billion in outstanding debt so far this year after taking advantage of buy now, buy later deals. New figures from Credit Karma reveal that 7.7 million Brits have ‘significant’ amounts due, with an average debt of £538 per account holder.
Funding and investments
US-based fintech startup Extend has enjoyed a $40million Series B fundraising round. Led by March Capital and backed by B Capital, Point72 Ventures, Fintech Collective, Reciprocal Ventures, Wells Fargo, as well as Pacific Western Bank. Extend has plans to further develop its platform and expand service offerings, including bringing card solutions to the consumer market.
British cybersecurity company Risk Ledger has raised £2.1million in seed funding. The funding round was led by Finnish VC Lifeline Ventures with additional participation from Seedcamp, firstminute Capital, Episode 1 and Village Global. Risk Ledger also reveals new customers including NHS Test and Trace, wealth management giant Quilter and tech unicorn Snyk.
Regtech firm TAINA Technology has closed a substantial funding round, welcoming onboard Deutsche Bank and HSBC Asset Management’s fintech venture capital fund alongside its existing investors led by Anthemis.
Capital on Tap, a UK based fintech, has secured a £450million funding facility with Atalaya Capital Management, BNP Paribas and HSBC to support its continued UK growth. Capital on Tap launched in 2012 and has provided more than £3.5billon of funding to more than 125,000 small businesses across the UK and since March 2021, across the US.
Finally, Mynt, the Philippines digital financial solutions provider, has raised more than $300million in funding. Lead investors include Warburg Pincus and Insight Partners. Itai Tsiddon and Amplo Ventures also participated in this funding round. Mynt, the firm behind Philippine mobile wallet GCash, becomes the first unicorn born in the Philippines. It is also looking to launch buy now, pay later products within the year.
Mastercard has partnered with MoneyFellows, the digitised rotating saving and credit association system. MoneyFellows customers can now receive funds through Mastercard prepaid cards. The digitised ROSCA (rotating saving and credit association) system offers customers affordable credit and saving opportunities to meet their financial needs.
Meanwhile Spanish financial institution CaixaBank has partnered with insurtech platform bsurance on a project to create and test new embedded life insurance products. The collaboration is part of CaixaBank’s open innovation program Innsomnia. bsurance was selected alongside seven other startups from different industries to help create and test new products and solutions for CaixaBank.
HV UK, the financial and payment services provider for fintechs, has forged a partnership with core banking platform Tuum. This partnership enables Tuum to offer a single API-based payments platform. Tuum’s customers will have access to LHV’s existing banking services such as safeguarding funds, virtual IBANs, multicurrency bank accounts and FX.
Payability, a funding and payments platform for e-commerce sellers, has teamed up with Lendio, the marketplace for small business loans. Payability has also recently added two new board members. Deidre Hudson is VP of growth marketing while Anas Sohail is head of sales.
Cogni has partnered with sustainability data and analytics company Connect Earth to offer its users unique insights into the carbon impact of their transactions. Cogni is a digital banking platform that is innovating in the lifestyle space by connecting its customers’ banking with their lifestyle habits.
Company and industry updates
Wayflyer, the revenue-based financing and growth platform for e-commerce merchants, has announced its expansion into Spain and the Netherlands. The move marks another milestone in the company’s expansion plan following a $76million Series A raise earlier in the year.
Nigeria is the first African nation to launch a digital currency – the eNaira. Nigeria’s government said the launch of the eNaira follows ‘several years of research’ work by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The People’s Bank of China has already issued a digital version of the yuan.
Lightspeed, the commerce platform for global merchants, has unveiled a flagship e-commerce product built on the integration of its acquisition of Ecwid. Lightspeed eCommerce is now available to all Lightspeed’s retail merchants, including customers that joined through the ShopKeep and Vend acquisitions.
Singapore-based crypto interest-earning platform Hodlnaut has launched an Android app. It lets users deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies from their Android phones. An iOS app is also available. Hodlnaut has also launched an Android user referral programme alongside the app launch.
FintechOS, a global financial technology provider, has unveiled its latest product release FintechOS 22. FintechOS 22 combines composable digital and core business blocks with a no-code/low-code approach. Updates to the platform for banks includes new vertical, end to end solutions such as buy now, pay later and split payments loans, overdraft and credit facilities.