In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, SumUp appoints a new CEO for Europe while Swedish startup Anyfin secures funding for European expansion.
Investments and funding
Fintech investment firm Augmentum Fintech has invested $5million into Wematch, the capital markets trading platform. Wematch’s $19.4million Series B was led by Deutsche Börse with additional participation from Illuminate Financial and J.P. Morgan. Wematch helps traders find liquidity, negotiate, trade, optimise and manage the lifecycle of their portfolios of assets and trade structures.
While embedded B2B buy now, pay later fintech Rupifi raises $1million venture debt and equity from Alteria Capital and Gokul Rajaram. The company will use the funds to scale its existing buy now, pay flexibly product for small businesses.
Aussie fintech Till Payments raises $110million in Series C funding round for global and local expansion. The funding will strengthen Till’s local capabilities, bolster global expansion and further innovate its cutting-edge technology. The funding was raised from new and existing investors, including Avenir Growth, Woodson Capital and Akuna Capital.
Indonesian B2B e-commerce startup Ula has raised $87million in a Series B funding round co-led by Prosus Ventures, Tencent as well as B-Capital. Bezos Expeditions also participated in the round alongside Northstar group, AC Ventures and Citius. The funding will be used to explore international expansion across SEA, as well as building new technology and a local supply chain and logistics infrastructure.
Further funding news
Gelato Network has raised $11million in a Series A funding round. Dragonfly Capital led the round, with ParaFi Capital, Nascent and IDEO CoLab Ventures also taking part. The Series A funding round brings Gelato’s total funding to date to $12.2million. The funding will be used to build its mission of integrating with the industry-leading DeFi protocols and aggregators.
Fintech Crezco has announced a £3million seed fundraise. The funding will support the growth of the team to continue the company’s international expansion. Funding will also be used to build out Crezco’s value-added products to complement its free payment solution for domestic payments.
Finally, Swedish startup Anyfin has revealed a new funding round of $52million to fuel its growth across Europe, focusing first on Germany. The round was led by the FinTech Collective, with participation from existing investors including Accel and EQT Ventures. Anyfin enables consumers to refinance existing loans.
Henry Erimodafe, former CEO of UBS Nigeria, has joined the board of AgAu. AgAu plans to issue digital tokens corresponding to the direct ownership of allocated silver and gold bullion in Switzerland. Erimodafe will lead AgAu’s relations with banks and miners.
Elavon, a global payments and e-commerce company, plans to hire 300 employees by the end of the year as part of its continued expansion. It also recently announced a strategic partnership with Unity Trust Bank and in 2020 completed the acquisition of Sage Pay in a deal worth £232million.
Meanwhile Broadway Technology adds two fintech veterans to its global business development team. Carlota Parages-Torres joins as director of business development. While Jim Bruen joins Broadway in New York as director of business development. The appointments follow several recent strategic initiatives for Broadway, including the appointments of Michael Chin as CEO.
Arqit Quantum, a quantum encryption technology firm, has named Jason Nabi as managing director, financial services. He has previously held leadership positions at banks, including HSBC and BNP Paribas. as well as firms such as Bloomberg, IBM and Paxos.
WorkFusion, a provider of intelligent automation software, has recruited Adam Famularo as CEO. He previously served as CEO at erwin Inc., recently acquired by Quest. WorkFusion also recently named Brian Kyle as chief financial officer, Peter Cousins as chief technology officer, while Sam Fahmy’s role expanded to chief revenue officer.
More job moves
Accounting and advisory firm Gerald Edelman appoints Amal Shah as partner. Shah began his career at Gerald Edelman in 2008, as a trainee in the tax department. Going forward, he will be actively involved in the management of the tax team at the company.
Optimum Finance has recruited Philip King as a non-executive director. King is the former interim Small Business Commissioner and also the former CEO of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. He joins Optimum to champion cashflow as well as early payment.
Digital payments firm SumUp has unveiled a new CEO Europe. Michael Schrezenmaier joins from Pipedrive, a CRM platform developed from the salesperson’s point-of-view. Earlier this year, SumUp raised €750million with Goldman Sachs, Temasek, Bain Capital Credit, Crestline and Oaktree Capital Management.
Starling hires Vikki Williams as its new customer experience officer. Williams will be responsible for leading operations and improving customer experience at the bank. She joins Starling from Nationwide.
Finally, buy now, pay later firm Openpay has announced the appointment of Georgina Whalley as interim UK CEO and global CMO. She will oversee the UK business’s growth and expansion into key sectors including healthcare, automobile and education. Whalley replaces Andy Harding.
Mergers and acquistions
Fintech company Bitfrost has completed its first major acquisition – snapping up OKONTO, a crypto OTC and lending provider. The move aims to strengthen Bitfrost’s position as a gateway bridge between the worlds of fiat and digital money for financial institutions. As part of the acquisition, Bitfrost has onboarded OKONTO’s financial experts, Anton Chashchin, co-founder of OKONTO.
Meanwhile Pluto Digital PLC, the crypto tech and operations company, has acquired all assets related to the DeFi project, Yield Optimisation Platform (YOP); including the $YOP tokens, IP, brand and website. Pluto will dedicate significant budget and resources to ‘reimagining, redeveloping and relaunching’ the YOP platform.
Mastercard has welcomed the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider NymCard to its Network Enablement Partner programme. NymCard gets privileged access to Mastercard’s core assets. Abu Dhabi-based NymCard offers a cloud-based or on-premises modern payment issuing and processing platform.
There’s also a partnership for Mastercard and Lulu Exchange. Lulu Exchange will be the first exchange house in the UAE to enable debit cards on its payments app LuLu Money. The service will use Mastercard Payment Gateway Services to enable power, speed, and security of transactions.
Elliptic, the blockchain analytics and crypto compliance firm, has forged an alliance with financial infrastructure provider Prime Trust. Elliptic supports Prime Trust as its cryptoasset compliance partner. As part of the agreement, Elliptic will integrate several products from its suite to help Prime Trust verify the legitimacy of cryptoasset transactions and funding.
While the International Cricket Council (ICC) has entered a multi-year strategic partnership with fintech Nium. Nium will promote its association across broadcast and digital platforms, as well as execute unique fan and client activations at global ICC events.
British fintech Fly Now Pay Later has struck a deal with worldwide hotels reservation network, HotelsOne. The new partnership will provide flexible finance to FNPL customers who book hotel reservations through HotelsOne. The partnership will be rolled out online and throughout the US with plans to reach UK customers through Eurobookings.
Copper.co, a provider of digital asset custody and trading solutions, is partnering with Imperial College Business School on a new institutional digital assets project. As part of Copper’s participation in the project, head of research, Fadi Aboualfa will be join as an executive in residence.
Network International has enabled UAE merchants to accept Russia’s MIR cards as part of an exclusive agreement between the two companies. Visitors from Russia and countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) travelling to the UAE will now be able make payments using their MIR-branded cards for purchases at retailers using Network terminals.
Finally, Sightline Payments and Konami Gaming have forged a partnership to deliver cashless gaming solutions. This partnership is helping to power what is being billed as the world’s most technologically advanced casino experience at Resorts World Las Vegas, where patrons can pay for gaming and nongaming activities onsite without using cash.
Launches and updates
American Express has launched AmexExpense, a digital expense management tool for businesses. Available for all UK Business Gold and Platinum Cardmembers, the free-to-download app eliminates the need to save paper receipts and undertake lengthy manual reconciliation. The app is powered by technology platform Findity.
Phos, the fintech behind software-only point of sale system SoftPoS has added PIN to its mobile payment solution for merchants worldwide. This new solution will let merchants accept PIN secure ‘tap to pay’ transactions on any NFC-enabled Android device.
Visa Inc has unveiled plans to grow its presence in Atlanta, including opening a new office in 2022. Visa’s new office will be located at 1200 Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. It will also pursue new opportunities to give residents and local businesses greater access to education, resources, and tools.
Meanwhile Global Processing Services has officially launched its Middle East and North Africa office. It has also appointed payments expert Arnav Rath as head of region. Headquartered in Dubai, the team will focus on utilising its global reach and payments expertise to help financial services providers scale.
Finally, Catalonia celebrates the launch of first community universal bank account in Spain. More than 3,500 people from the region signed up to open an El Canut universal bank account. It offers customers the choice to have all their banking accounts with different IBANS in one place.