The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup brings you the latest partnerships, appointments and investment stories from around the world.
Sightline Payments has partnered with Mastercard to launch the Play+ Mastercard. Players can load the card for use in their non-gaming activities, sports betting, online gaming and casino wagering accounts. Sightline launched its first branded Play+ Mastercard with Resorts World Las Vegas, which opened on 24 June.
API platform M2P Solutions partners with Canada-based Buckzy Payments to enable cross border payment.
Markets such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman as well as others across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will leverage this partnership.
AllianceBlock partners with Graypes to connect investors with vetted startups looking for liquidity. Using their Fast Track to Investment service, businesses can be evaluated and then micro/seed-funded ‘at record speed’. It targets retail and professional investors and is based on businesses with a focus on technology such as fintech, proptech and SaaS, as well as more conventional startup models.
Meanwhile, SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator has partnered with game provider Mplay. Under the partnership, Mplay’s suite of virtual games will be made available to clients at the SOFTSWISS’ roster of brands, SOFTSWISS customers can access 11,000 games, 3,000 of which are optimised for cryptocurrency.
Finally, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, has entered into a strategic partnership with Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for the first ever edition of Fintech Surge, a new exhibition, conference and meeting point for the fintech and financial services communities, co-located with GITEX GLOBAL 2021.
Bosonic Digital, a clearing and settlement platform for digital assets, has unveiled three senior advisors and added to its staff. Sean Gilman joins its advisory board alongside Richard Farrell and Chad Parris. In addition to deepening its advisory board, Bosonic has added seven team members across key facets of its business.
Marshmallow, the digital insurance unicorn, has appointed Caroline Gillard as its first chief people officer. The appointment follows Marshmallow securing a $85million Series B fundraise. Gillard will lead the company’s people, talent and learning operations. Marshmallow also recently appointed Sam Knott as vice president of marketing.
Jeremey Gzaiel has joined United Fintech as senior sales executive, with a remit to grow the firm’s client base in French speaking territories. He joins from JP Morgan, where he specialised in emerging markets sales, helping institutional clients with solutions in credit, FX as well as equity derivatives.
MillTechFX, the multi-bank FX marketplace, has appointed Gal Hochberg, as a non-executive board member to its main UK operating company. He has more than 15 years of experience building and leading software companies in the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain.
While RedCloud, the global commerce platform, has named Stan Mlatac as its new CFO. Mlatac will be responsible for leading the finance team and supporting the growth of the company with the executive team. He was previously a group finance director with fintech WorldRemit.
Finally, Matt Thompson has joined Socure as general manager of public sector solutions. He will accelerate Socure’s growth by bringing private-sector best practices and industry-leading identity verification solutions to the public sector. Prior to Socure, Thompson led IDEMIA’s civil and digital identity business in North America.
Raiffeisen Digital Bank’s personal lending mobile app has gone live on Mambu. Consumers can create a new account in minutes and request a loan fully online. They can apply for up to €22,000 with a repayment period of up to 60 months.
Zenplans, a digital estate planning service for advisers, solicitors and accountants, has launched. It lets professionals organise, maintain, securely store and selectively share important personal, legal and financial information. The system also securely stores a clients’ wishes – including details about their will and power of attorney.
Swedish fintech Minna Technologies has launched a London hub as part of its UK expansion. It has also unveiled Mike Davies as chief commercial officer, Steve Hoy as head of strategic partnerships and the transfer of Minna’s CFO Navpreet Randhawa, from Sweden to London. Minna also recently partnered with London-based fintech Bud.
Sage has acquired GoProposal, a pricing, proposal and engagement letter automation solution for accountants. Together Sage and GoProposal will provide UK accountants with the ability to consistently price, manage client experience, deliver engagement letters and professional proposals. The acquisition marks the fourth fintech investment by Sage in the last 12 months.
Research and insight
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has released a technical whitepaper on retail central bank digital currency (CBDCs). The Whitepaper explores potential technical design options for issuing and distributing retail CBDCs. It constitutes part of the HKMA’s research effort on the technical front.
Funding and investments
Smart, the retirement technology provider, announces investment from DWS Group. DWS joins Smart’s £165million series D funding round, acquiring a minority stake. It follows the recent announcement that Chrysalis Investments has joined Smart’s list of investors. Chrysalis leads the Series D funding round with a £75million investment.
Invoice financing marketplace Incomlend secures $60million from Fasanara Capital to launch an alternative financing programme for ESG-focused SMEs. It connects institutional investors who are keen to support ESG-centric businesses with socially responsible, sustainable SMEs. The ‘Incomlend ESG Invoice Financing Programme’ is also Asia’s first ESG-focused structured finance programme.
MerQube, an innovative index provider, has closed a Series A round led by J.P. Morgan. MerQube has previously raised $2million in its seed rounds in August 2019 and October 2020, with historical investors. MerQube will use the funding to accelerate its momentum through expansion into key markets such as Europe, platform development as well as scaling up its workforce.
VOOM, which creates innovative insurance products for underserved mobility segments, has secured $15million in funding. It will use the funding to expand its usage-based insurance model to additional mobility verticals. The funding round was co-led by JAL Ventures and UP.Partners, with the additional participation of F2 Capital, Arbor Ventures, Verizon Ventures and ICON Continuity Fund.
Fintech lender Sonovate surpassed £2billion in total funding during September 2021. Its latest milestone has been achieved four times faster than the time taken to fund the first billion pounds. Sonovate also achieved its most successful month yet in September, achieving £67million in funding, £10million more than its previous best month.
iwoca Business has been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). iwoca can now support SMEs across the UK with accessing much-needed finance. Since May 2020, iwoca has lent nearly £400million to SMEs across the UK via the CBILS.
Weavr is celebrating – the embedded finance firm is selected as part of Tech Nation’s Fintech 4.0 cohort for 2021/22. It is one of 30 companies joining the fintech programme which aims to accelerate the growth of successful UK finance-focused scaleups. Weavr also recently forged a strategic partnership with global payment service provider Nium.
Darlington Building Society has announced a major investment in digital banking services. The upgrade will give members the option to open accounts online in a more streamlined way. Enhanced digital savings and mortgage serviceability, as well as enhanced anti-fraud protection will be delivered as part of the overhaul.
Hometrack, a provider of insight, intelligence and decision automation to the UK mortgage market, plans to ‘redefine the mortgage journey for lenders, brokers and borrowers’. Hometrack seeks to digitise the mortgage journey, delivering cost savings and faster mortgage origination.
Meanwhile TransUnion, a global information and insights provider, has been named Credit Information Partner of the Year in the Consumer Credit Awards 2021. The Awards, run by Smart Money People, aim to increase trust and transparency in financial services.
ClearCourse has signed more than 300 merchants and exceeded £130million payments flow to its proprietary payments acceptance solution. ClearAccept is designed to seamlessly integrate with software platforms and help businesses grow in a digital-first economy.
Finally, Sentieo, the US-based financial research platform, has chosen London as its European headquarters. It has also doubled its London based staff and will continue to expand its workforce and presence in the UK to service 50 existing EMEA clients. The London expansion follows Sentieo’s Series B funding round in May 2021.