Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 9 March.
Cybersecurity consultancy CyberScale has appointed former CISO of the Bank of England Professor Cameron ‘Buck’ Rogers as the first member its newly established advisory board. Buck’s professorship is in cybersecurity and digital innovation at Gloucestershire University.
Dext, the cloud automation platform for accounting, has hired Stephen Edginton as chief product and technology officer. He was previously chief innovation officer and SVP of engineering at Epicor Software. At Dext, Eddington will help shape the company’s future product vision and roadmap.
Global digital transformation company GFT has named Scott Hofmann its chief revenue officer in the US. Hofmann joins GFT following the company’s recently announced plans to unify operations in the Americas. Hofmann previously served as senior VP and MD at Globant.
Davies, the professional services and technology business, serving insurance markets, names David Leedham as group chief transformation officer as the business drives for international growth, innovation and digital transformation. Leedham joined Davies in 2018 following the acquisition of the Ember Group.
Provenir, a data and AI-powered risk decisioning software firm, announces that Vincent Camara is now regional manager in France. Camara will lead Provenir’s sales operations in the region, serving the growing number of financial services businesses in need of data and AI-powered risk decisioning solutions.
smartKYC announces Mike Byrne as its new business development director. Prior to joining smartKYC, he also worked at risk and compliance companies including Exiger, LexisNexis, Kyckr, Wealth-X and World-Check. smartKYC is an enterprise solution for due diligence automation.
DIGISEQ names Angela Davies as the company’s new head of partnerships – financial services. Davies has previously worked at Oberthur (now IDEMIA), VMC, Paragon ID and, most recently, Thames Technology. Davies will help promote DIGISEQ services to banks, issuers, and processors, as well as lend support to service providers.
Alkymi, the data acceleration platform, has added Andrea Remyn Stone to its board of directors. Stone will work closely with the leadership team and offer her extensive expertise in digital transformation and product strategy to unlock the full value of data for customers.
Fintech provider Nucleus strengthens its group board with the appointment of Deborah Hardy as an external non-executive director. She is also currently director of two companies, one based in the UK and one in Malta. Hardy will contribute to maintaining the effectiveness of internal and external operations and further strengthening relationships between Nucleus’ UK and India based firms.
Laurentian Bank announces the nomination of Laurent Desmangles for election to its board. His nomination, together with the 10 current directors, will stand for election at the Bank’s annual meeting taking place in April.
Currencycloud has appointed Maxime Guirauton as its global head of marketing and sales development. Guirauton will oversee marketing and sales development across North America, EMEA and APAC. It will also be responsible for driving the firm’s expansion into new markets. He will also play an important role in Currencycloud’s ongoing integration with Visa, which acquired the company in 2021.
Research and insights
Aston University researchers have recently showcased research findings around the blind spots within decentralised finance (DeFi). It also sheds light on the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the emerging technology. The study was conducted by a team of experts from the University’s Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre. One of the key blind spots identified in the study is the lack of regulatory oversight in DeFi. Read the Analysis of Cryptocurrency Regulation report here.
Financial services company Singlife has appointed Citi and BlackRock Aladdin to unify and transform its asset management capabilities across its front, middle and back-office offering. Singlife will leverage Citi’s infrastructure and the Aladdin technology platform. The aim is to automate controls, providing a seamless experience with trusted risk exposure mechanisms designed to optimise portfolio returns.
Gretel, the free online hub that reunites consumers with lost and dormant accounts across the entire financial service industry, has joined forces with ClearScore to help its users find lost or forgotten bank accounts, pensions, and investments. The partnership will help ClearScore users quickly track down billions in lost savings and investments at no cost.
Tempo France, a Paris-based international money transfer company, has partnered with Sift to prevent fraudulent payments on the Tempo money transfer app. By using Sift’s Payment Protection solution, Tempo is able to stop fraudulent payments before they happen while ensuring that legitimate customers can transfer funds without adding friction to the user experience.
Carrefour Italia and Nexi announce a partnership that allows citizens to pay postal payment slips and PagoPA notices at more than 190 stores in Italy. The service, created in collaboration with Poste Italiane, enables payment to be made using any method.
Meanwhile, Creditinfo Group, a service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, forges a multi-market partnership with VisionFund International. Creditinfo’s credit risk analytics and automation solution will help VisionFund to expand its customer base.
Fintech startup io.finnet partners with MPC Alliance to accelerate adoption of multi-party computation technology in finance and for corporates. The startup said it aims to accelerate awareness, acceptance, and adoption of MPC technology and to explore the unlimited possibilities and use cases enabled by MPC.
Mastercard has underlined its commitment to empowering girls and women in Saudi Arabia by partnering with the King Abdullah Financial District Development & Management Company (KAFD DMC) to introduce its signature Girls4Tech programme. The programme connects the foundations of Mastercard’s business to STEM principles.
Cross-border money transfer company Ria Money Transfer has teamed up with ACLEDA Bank Plc. This expansion of Ria’s network includes services such as cash payments, cash collection in both KHR (Cambodian Riel) and USD as well as account deposits. Partnering with ACLEDA expands Ria’s presence in Cambodia, adding almost 300 cash pickup and payout locations for a total of 4,318 locations in the country.
Hub71 startup Zywa partners with Mastercard to empower UAE youth to go cashless. The partnership is aimed at enabling younger users with money management. The platform also provides parents with oversight on children’s spending and saving habits.
noon payments, the online payments gateway by noon.com, has a partnership with Tabby to help retailers in the MENA region grow. Businesses across noon payments’ network can use Tabby’s split-in-four and fee-free payment solution through noon payments’ gateway.
GIACT, an LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) business, teams up with Mastercard. The partnership will build on LSEG’s existing suite of digital identity and fraud solutions. It allows businesses to use a multi-method approach to verify account information for over 95 per cent of US deposit accounts.
Open banking platform Yapily has partnered with payments technology company Zilch. The partnership marks the first time Yapily has teamed up with a provider of consumer credit via BNPL. It will also see Zilch leverage Yapily’s innovative open banking platform and expertise to deliver an even more accelerated and superior credit decisioning process.
Pleo, a business spending solution, has teamed up with strategic coaching company Skiller Whale to upskill its engineering staff. It offers a programme centring on developing best-in-class API integrations. Skiller Whale coaches will work with Pleo’s engineering team to accelerate expertise and specialist knowledge.
Funding and investments
Neocol has secured a round of funding with Salesforce Ventures to further enable its growth plans. Neocol has also announced that Adam Peth and Paul Buckley have joined the organisation to help scale delivery effectiveness and customer success.
Gyroscope has raised $4.5million in seed funding to build Gyro Dollars (GYD), a decentralised stablecoin. The round was co-led by Placeholder VC and Galaxy with participation also from Maven11, Archetype and Robot Ventures. A live beta version of the new stablecoin mechanism – Gyro Proto – is now live on mainnet Polygon.
Tweed, an end-to-end payment solution, has launched from stealth with a $4million seed funding round led by Accel. It also saw participation from Communitas Capital Partners, Zero Knowledge Venture. Plus angel investors including Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia.
Growfin raises $7.5million led by SWC Global as it helps enterprises drive 33 per cent efficiency in cash flow. Since its public launch last year, the SaaS fintech platform has grown its customer base eight times having processed over $1billion in accounts receivables.
Lloyds Banking Group has invested £10million in digital identity company Yoti. The investment from Lloyds Banking Group will support Yoti’s development of a new reusable digital identity proposition that will complement Yoti’s existing solutions. Set to launch later this year, this will give users a more private, secure and convenient way to prove their identity.
Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, has stepped up its commitment to increase the number of women active and employed in Web3. Binance has invested more than $ million to support women in more than 10 countries (including South Africa, Kenya & Nigeria) around the world and will increase those efforts in the year ahead.
Mergers and acquisitions
zvoove Group, a provider of software for temporary staffing and cleaning services in Europe, is acquiring ProSolution. ProSolution is an Austrian SaaS ERP solution provider in the temporary staffing sector.
s well as mobile software products with a focus on human resource management. The integration of the Austrian market leader allows zvoove Group to further expand its portfolio by adding horizontal SaaS solutions.
ColCap has acquired an 80 per cent shareholding in Molo. ColCap’s investment follows the strategic partnership ColCap and Molo entered into last year. It is also part of ColCap’s strategy to deliver innovative lending products and services into the UK mortgage market, similar to its work in Australia.
Weavr has confirmed the acquisition of B2B open banking platform Comma Payments. The acquisition, which is largely equity-based, will see Weavr retain most of Comma’s current workforce, including the company’s CEO and founder Tom Beckenham, and its CTO Gianluca Pengo.
Sure has launched Retrace to offer customers embedded one-click insurance and protection. Retrace includes a suite of APIs so that online merchants can embed insurance and protection for a variety of use cases. These include e-commerce returns, travel insurance, and product warranty protection at any point in the purchase flow.
Swan has opened its first office in Spain as part of its continued European expansion. Spain is the second European country where Swan has established a local office, following a successful German launch last year. Swan’s application of embedded finance empowers Spanish companies to quickly and easily improve their customer experiences, while simultaneously boosting revenue.