It’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday – bringing you the latest investment rounds, fintech partnerships and industry job moves.
Fintech DoubleCheck Solutions has partnered with Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union to help member credit unions manage their NSF transactions before any payments bounce. The partnership gives Vizo Financial the advantage to deliver transparency and real-time control to avoid overdraft and NSF fees.
Meanwhile, Memo Bank chooses Enfuce as its card issuing provider to launch the first expense platform integrated into a bank account. With the partnership, Memo Bank is looking to expand its business banking services for SMEs across Europe.
UK investment platform Tillit is live using TrueLayer’s open banking payments platform to ‘deliver a seamless investing experience’. Tillit has now implemented open banking payments through TrueLayer’s market leading Payments API.
London-based insurtech Zego has expanded its partnership with telematics firm ABAX. This move will help Zego’s expansion in Europe while also helping clients save time and money when it comes to their policies. Zego has also announced its launch in the Netherlands and ramps up operations in France.
European open banking platform Tink and subscription technology platform Youtility have entered into a strategic partnership to provide UK retail banks with embedded subscription and money management tools. The combination of Tink’s Money Manager product and Youtility’s subscription technology enables banks to deliver frictionless and hyper-personalised customer journeys.
Visa has launched a new customer engagement program in association with global fintech Ascenda to ‘disrupt the cashback-era in China’. Visa is leveraging Ascenda’s global customer engagement capabilities and integrating with TransferConnect, the rewards redemption platform, to bring innovative rewards to the Chinese market.
Mergers and acquisitions
TripActions, the all-in-one travel, corporate card and expense management solution, has announced the acquisition of Comtravo, the travel management company. The agreement marks the second Europe-based acquisition for the TripActions Group, with the total investment across the UK and Europe exceeding $400million in less than a year.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, a diversified financial services provider, has concluded the acquisition of the 100 per cent equity stake in Investment One Pension Managers Limited and Investment One Funds Management Limited. These acquisitions will expand the product and service offerings of the Group.
LOLC Mauritius Holdings Limited (LOLC Mauritius) has snapped up 73 per cent shareholding of Key Microfinance Bank (Key MFB). It follows the approval by The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in December. LOLC Holdings PLC operates several microfinance businesses in Asia and is currently expanding in Africa.
R&D credit claim provider EmpowerRD welcomes Jonathan Yeomans as tax lead. He was previously an HMRC compliance project board member and also worked at untied, a personal tax software company. EmpowerRD has ‘ambitious and well thought out plans for growth over the next few years.
Gary Wright, formerly flatfair’s chief revenue officer, has been promoted to co-CEO. Meanwhile, founder and co-CEO Franz Doerr will focus on finance and corporate strategy. flatfair, a payment technology company, raised $11million via Series A fundraising led by Index Ventures in summer 2019.
Salad Money appoints James Rose as head of customer proposition and strategy. It says Rose’s knowledge will help Salad utilise the huge amount of data the company already possesses, and take it further in its journey to offer fair lending to all in the public sector, without using a credit scored assessment.
Meanwhile, Zumo, the crypto wallet and payments platform, has appointed two ‘heavyweight advisors’. James Chadwick, previously CEO in Singapore for GroupM, is named a strategic advisor, while Jeff Carvalhow, co-founder of online streetwear and lifestyle magazine Highsnobiety, will advise Zumo on brand placement.
More job appointments
Dr Lea Borkenhagen has joined the Finboot advisory board. She will advise Finboot at the intersection of sustainability, supply chains and operations. Finboot has developed MARCO, an ecosystem that brings together blockchain technologies in one place, connecting multiple ledgers simultaneously.
Provenir, the AI-powered risk decisioning software firm, hires Lewis Horder as sales executive. Horder will oversee sales operations, business development and go-to-market strategies for Benelux. Prior to joining Provenir, Horder served as a sales director for EMEA at FIS.
Volt, the open payments gateway, has hired Nathan Marion as general manager LATAM, to lead its strategic expansion in Latin America. This follows the fintech’s integration of Brazil’s instant payments system, Pix. Marion joins from digital commerce platform VTEX. Prior to VTEX, Marion spent six years at payments platform Adyen.
Finally, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited’s (ABSLAMC) offshore subsidiary has appointed Sarath Sathkumara to lead investments for its international business. Most recently, he was the MD for Taiyo Pacific Partner’s India engagement investing business.
Funding rounds and investments
Smarter.ai, an AI marketplace for SMEs, announces a £1million pre-seed raise. The raise was led by Fuel Ventures and Hambro Perks. Currently, the Smarter.ai team is working with leading business and academic institutions as it builds the world’s first AI marketplace.
Pyypl has closed a $11 million series A financing round. Backed by a diverse group of investors from Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East – the funding round was oversubscribed. The proceeds will enable Pyypl to continue its rapid growth in its core GCC markets, as well as expand further in Africa.
Meanwhile, Egyptian fintech Thndr has secured $20million in a Series A fund round. Co-led by Tiger Global, Beco Capital and Prosus Ventures, the round also included Base Capital, firstminute and Endure Capital. The new funding will go towards product development and also help expand Thndr’s presence across Mena.
Insurance platform Seyna announces a €33million investment round to scale its service to all brokers and merchants in Europe. The round, a record Series A for a French insurtech, was led by White Star Capital and Elaia Partners. Existing investors Global Founders Capital, Allianz and la Financière St James all participated in the round. Seyna will use the funding to accelerate its platform deployment.
Additional funding news
UK credit technology platform Fintern has secured £8million of new capital in its latest funding round. The investment, which brings the company’s total capital raised to £40million, will help drive expansion plans. Led by Hambro Perks, the investment will also be used to launch its first B2B partnerships.
Tonik raises $131million Series B led by Mizuho Bank. Other investors include Prosus Ventures as well as prior investors Insignia, Sequoia India, Point72 Ventures and iGlobe. Tonik will use the funding to accelerate the growth of its digital bank in the Philippines.
Happy Money, a platform for unsecured lending in partnership with credit unions, has closed a Series D-1 capital raise to accelerate its growth and empower more people to use money as a tool for happiness. The $50million of capital from investors including Anthemis Group and CMFG Ventures sees the company become a fintech unicorn with a pre-money valuation of $1.1billion.
Finnish development financier and impact investor Finnfund will open its first regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, in May 2022. Finnfund seeks to build a sustainable future and generate lasting impact by investing in businesses that solve global development challenges. The opening of the Nairobi office will strengthen its updated strategic goals.
Product and service launches
HSBC Singapore has launched Trade Working Capital, the Bank’s first straight-through digital solution for trade loans. The solution aggregates multiple activities into a single step and releases cash within seconds enabling ‘just-in-time’ supplier payments. Launched initially in the UAE and Singapore, HSBC will roll out the solution in Hong Kong and the UK followed by additional markets.