The Fintech Times News Roundup
Fintech Latest News Roundup

This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 11/05

The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 11 May puts the spotlight on recent international fintech stories. There’s a leadership shakeup at EBANX and a partnership for Tink and American Express.

Launches

Yield Optimization Platform & Protocol (YOP) has launched YOP App. The all-in-one mobile app is designed to make it easier to access DeFi, the global crypto financial marketplace. The V0 version will primarily support Ethereum based services while further versions will include cross-chain services. It is available for early access to testers ahead of a public launch at 4pm on 18 May.

YOP app
YOP App

Fintech recruiter Storm2 has launched its third global hub in Amsterdam. It follows its first international expansion in Singapore at the start of 2021 and marks the start of a hiring drive across all three offices, including London. Leading the European business is Angela Ward. It has already hired 20 specialist consultants in Amsterdam and wants to double headcount by the end of 2021.

Novus
Novus

Zumo, the crypto wallet and payment platform, has launched a crypto-as-a-service platform – ZumoKit. The B2B product for fintechs and financial institutions is blockchain agnostic and enables companies’ users to send, receive and store digital currencies. Zumo has also unveiled the Zumo Virtual Card. It enables UK users to make purchases at any online retailer that accepts Visa.

Meanwhile, Novus, a smart banking app that promotes sustainable living, says it will release beta products in the coming weeks to begin testing with early users. It plans to launch to the wider public this summer. Novus ‘rewards its community’ with real-time impact points that automatically fund various social and environmental causes.

Announcements

Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) is hosting the MARC Malaysian Bond & Sukuk Virtual Conference this month. Held over three half days from 19 to 21 May, the event brings finance professionals together to exchange ideas on ensuring the continued growth and momentum of the capital markets.

DIFC Courts becomes first Dubai entity to adopt Ethaq
DIFC Courts becomes first Dubai entity to adopt Ethaq

Meanwhile, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has acquired the qualified electronic seal solution Ethaq. The paperless initiative enables digital authenticity of documents with the support of UAE PASS, the national digital identity platform for the UAE. Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) powers the certificate.

Kerv has acquired cloudThing. It is the managed services provider’s fifth acquisition in under a year. Kerv will combine its existing cloud managed services and infrastructure transformation capability with cloudThing’s digital transformation proposition. cloudThing will continue to operate as a division of Kerv, with the founders remaining with the business to assist with the next phase of growth.

Insight

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rapid evolution of consumer behaviour during the pandemic, according to Nets Group data. The report spans findings from more than 11,000 consumer interviews across eight European countries, representing over 150 million people and over €300billion of e-commerce spending. Convenience and pricing are two of biggest drivers in consumer purchasing behaviour with 51 per cent of consumers shopping cross-border due to lower prices.

S&P Global Ratings says Qatar National Bank‘s Green, Social, and Sustainability Bond Framework is fully aligned with the four components of the Green Bond Principles. It is also aligned with four components of the Social Bond Principles, collectively referred to the Sustainability Bond Guidelines.

Investments
The Cwallet team
The Cwallet team

OKO, the insurtech startup that provides insurance to farmers across Africa, has closed an investment round of $1.2million. The round was led by by Newfund and ResiliAnce. Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participated in the round. OKO is now seeking partners to help scale.

Cwallet, the financial services app by Qatar fintech startup C Wallet Services, has completed a ‘lucrative’ Pre-Series A funding round. Following investment from MBK Holding WLL, 360 Nautica LLC, as well as Snoonu Holding, the app is valued $3.5million.

ReCharge, the subscription e-commerce firm, has raised $277million in growth capital from Summit Partners, ICONIQ Growth, as well as Bain Capital Ventures. The company also announced the appointment of Andrew Collins, MD at Summit Partners, to its board. In addition, Aaref Hilaly, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, and Yoonkee Sull, partner at ICONIQ Growth will join as board observers.

UK fintech Fly Now Pay Later has raised a further £10million in Series A funding. Bringing its total to £45million, asset management firms Revenio Capital and Taurus Wealth Advisors co-led the investment. The alternative payments provider enables customers to spread the cost of a trip over up to 12 monthly installments.

a55, the Latin American financing startup, has secured $35million investment from Accial Capital, E3 Negoěcios and Mouro Capital. The proceeds will be used to finance credit operations across Latin America, especially Mexico, as well as the product and commercial expansion of the company.

Finally, crypto wallet Exodus has raised $75million under updated Regulation A+ rules. Digital asset securities firm Securitize verified investor information and performed KYC checks. Securitize is also acting as Exodus’ digital blockchain-based transfer agent.

Partnerships

Egyptian bank Banque Misr has agreed with lending platform MoneyFellows to provide fintech services and ease digital payments. Under the partnership, Banque Misr will provide MoneyFellows with payment services to develop new disbursement and collection tools.

Meanwhile, EML and Fupay join forces to launch a buy now, pay later as a service product attached to a virtual card. They say the venture brings together ‘EML’s virtual card, A2A payments, the newest open banking products and Fupay’s cash flow and millennial credit product’ to create a white-label offering.

Vista, a Pan-African financial services company, has selected paytech provider Radar Payments to drive its global payment processing activities. Radar Payments will centralise payment operations at Vista’s tech hub located in Senegal, as well as supervise Vista Bank’s activities in Guinea, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. Vista also has plans to expand to Burkina-Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Mali.

Napier, the anti-money laundering platform, has provided ClearBank with a transaction screening system. The system will enable ClearBank to identify sanctioned individuals and entities in payments, while reducing false positives and accurately alerting on risk. Former HSBC Group COO and BCG global banking chair Andy Maguire recently joined Napier as board advisor.

AirlinesThere’s a strategic partnership for fraud prevention partner Riskified and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The collaboration is desgined to help airlines boost revenues, reduce cost and prevent fraud. Riskified’s platform analyses ticket transactions and compares them to billions of prior online transactions.

Meanwhile, global law firm DLA Piper has partnered with Invest Africa to support the development of ESG best practice in African renewable energy projects. The project will assemble experts from the worlds of impact investment, development finance and law. An inaugural session takes place on Thursday 13 May.

Further partnerships

P101 SGR and Azimut have signed an agreement to launch an international hub aimed at becoming the main reference point for the innovation sector to raise capital. The deal sees Azimut enter P101’s capital with a 30 per cent stake through a capital increase. But it will also leave P101 with a total independence in operational terms and investment choices.

Meanwhile, fintech Nivaura has partnered LSEG to develop the exchange group’s digital primary DCM Flow platform. The platform was put to the test in a $7billion syndicated issuance by the LSEG under a global MTN programme. It is the first time that Flow has conducted key transaction steps by deal parties in the issuance process.

Eurobank in Greece has selected Temenos to strengthen its position in wealth management and affluent segment services. Eurobank, the third largest bank in Greece, will use Temenos Wealth to create a fully-digital investment portfolio management service offering robo-advisor and investing apps to target the affluent market.

While, Tink and American Express have joined forces to improve the onboarding process for new card members. The partnership will see Tink’s open banking services used by American Express in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Belgium. The partnership eliminates the need for customers to manually enter their details or send additional documentation to American Express.

Appointments
Dan Giddings
Dan Giddings joins Moneyfarm to expand B2B success

SunTec Business Solutions has appointed Venkatesh SG as the head of customer success group. Based in Bangalore, Venkatesh will strengthen SunTec’s global client relationships in 45 countries around the world. Prior to joining SunTec, he was the chief customer officer at Clari5.

Moneyfarm UK has unveiled Dan Giddings as head of business development UK. Starting in June, Giddings will expand customer acquisition through partnership opportunities. He joins after 18 months at Wealthify, where he focused on partnering with banks and financial advice firms.

Former head of payments for Investec Bank, Joe Higginson, has joined Identitii as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining Investec Bank, Hugginson was global head of payments for Travelex. At Identitii, he will drive the fintech’s commercial strategy and go to market activities.

Meanwhile, Marc Cavell has joined fintech Gresham Technologies to spearhead business development across North America. He previously held sales roles at Fundtech and Finastra. His hire follows the recent news that KPMG US has deployed Gresham’s Clareti Control solution to deliver automated controls across the reconciliation process.

Timo Hildén, former CEO and president of The Revenio Group, is now chairman of Finnish medtech startup Nukute. Alongside Hildén, Tommi Mäkelä, representative of the Pharmacy Pension Fund (Finland) and Frans Wuite, CEO of Kompassi Gmbh, also join the board. Meanwhile, Johannes Gullichsen, Pekka Virtanen and Timo Laitinen continue as board members.

João Del Valle is the new CEO of EBANX. Following three years as COO, preceded by almost seven as CTO, he takes over from Alphonse Voigt. In a role shuffle, Voigt is now executive chairman while Wagner Ruiz, also a co-founder, becomes chief risk officer. Ruiz has left his CFO position to the newly hired Alexandre Dinkelmann.

Finally, investment firm Capital Group has expanded its financial intermediaries team with the addition of Tri Huynh as managing director. Huynh joins from Artemis Investment Management where he was head of strategic partnerships. Capital Group’s recently unveiled plans to launch range of OEICs in the UK.

Author

  • Claire works across print and online as Editor for The Fintech Times.

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