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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 13/02

The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 13 February 2024 brings you the latest updates from the global fintech industry.

Partnerships

Al Baraka Bank announces a partnership with Mastercard to introduce an array of premium consumer, commercial and SME products in Egypt. This strategic move is set to effectively cater to the needs of individuals in the realm of digital payments and streamline corporate expense management, ushering in a new era of digitisation and efficiency in the payment ecosystem.

Tietoevry Banking, a provider of financial SaaS solutions based in the Nordics, has partnered with Butterfield, an independent bank and trust company in Guernsey, to provide sustainable credit cards. Tietoevry Banking will provide a credit card processing platform as well as card production and personalisation services using sustainable payment cards produced from recycled plastic.

ClearBank Ltd., the enabler of real-time clearing and embedded banking for financial institutions, announces a partnership with digital investment platform Wealthify, which has enabled the company to launch its first Instant Access Savings Account. The partnership allows Wealthify to provide this savings account to its customers.

nudge, a financial education provider, has expanded its partnership with Avanade, a provider of innovative digital, cloud and advisory services, to provide impartial financial education to its employees. After a successful year of empowering Avanade employees with financial skills and knowledge in the UK and Ireland, the team is rolling out nudge’s education in an additional seven countries across EMEA and LATAM.

Moneyline, a social lender dedicated to financial inclusion, has advanced in its mission by issuing its first loan to be repaid using variable recurring payments (VRP). Since 2021, Moneyline has successfully partnered with Ordo for Request to Pay open banking services. Moneyline now expands that relationship to include Ordo’s turnkey VRP solution, making collecting loan repayments work for both lender and borrower.

partnerships

Company launches

Mashreq, a financial institution in the MENA region, has launched a new loan product, NEO Credit, specifically designed for salaried individuals. The service offers small sized loans for financial needs up to AED35,000, enabling customers to access funds instantly once the account is activated, without the need for salary transfer.

One Zero Bank, Israel’s first private digital bank, has launched a GenAI-based service platform – marking the transition from experimental pilot phases to full-scale implementation. As part of an innovative collaboration with AI21, the bank unveils Ella 2.0, a next-generation digital private banker.

JustCarbon, the carbon marketplace for startup gigatonne carbon removal projects, has launched funding investment solutions for large-scale nature based carbon removal projects. Pivoting its business from solely trading carbon credits on the blockchain, JustCarbon is actively identifying the most promising projects and scaling their planet-saving solutions by acting as a funding vehicle.

Investment platform Lightyear introduces a full web application with new stock screeners: a directory of instruments with metrics and data completely open to the public. Customers can now access a fully functional web app from sign up, to investing, to management, making it one of the most advanced web apps in the neobroker sector.

Revolut becomes the first financial institution in the UK to launch eSIM, offering a way to access data plans without unexpected roaming charges in over 100 countries. UK customers can install a single eSIM fully digitally, which they can top up in a few clicks in their Revolut app. Customers can use the eSIM simultaneously with a physical SIM, enabling them to switch easily between networks.

Appointments

Data Zoo has welcomed former London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) executive Charlie Minutella as its new CEO. Minutella brings nearly two decades of experience leading risk, identity, and compliance teams, notably spearheading the Refinitiv risk division at LSEG. Under Minutella’s leadership, Data Zoo will accelerate its global expansion, building on its entry into the US and European markets.

Solutions by Text, the enterprise messaging and payments platform for consumer finance businesses, appoints Beth Deck as the company’s chief financial officer. Prior to joining, Deck served as the chief financial officer at Netspend, a provider of digital banking and payment solutions.

London-based Tint Financial Services, the London-based cross-border fintech for SMEs and their supply chains, has named Jodi Cartwright as chief commercial officer. She joins the founding team of Tint Financial, bringing extensive experience from her previous roles most recently as distribution director at Hiscox. Appointment comes after the company facilitated the global flow of $20million worth of goods.

Unicoin Inc., the asset-backed public reporting company that addresses the volatility of the crypto market, has appointed Jay Derenthal as strategy advisor to the CEO. As founder of Abzon Labs, a cryptocurrency project management consultancy, Derenthal brings a wealth of experience as an advisor to multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency projects as well as a deal flow provider.

Portera, a technology and business transformation consultancy, welcomes Mustafa Aktas as senior partner and VP of business development. Aktas joins Portera from Accenture. Portera says the appointment means it is set for a new era of growth and innovation.

Startupbootcamp Australia, one of the world’s largest industry-focused accelerators, has appointed Tim Poskitt as its new MD for fintech in the APAC region. This appointment bolsters SBC Australia’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of digital talent in finance, with a particular focus on sustainability and tech innovation.

Jobs roundup

M&A

Nordic Capital acquires Zafin, a provider of SaaS Core modernisation and transformation solutions, in close partnership with Zafin’s founders and management. Zafin’s founders and management will reinvest in the company alongside Nordic Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm and a business of Marsh McLennan, has reached an agreement to buy Innopay, a consultancy firm specialised in digital transactions. Innopay will complement Oliver Wyman’s existing payments consulting capabilities. Innopay will join Oliver Wyman as a specialist consulting business within the group’s European region.

Funding and investments

Lesslie Technologies AB has secured SEK18million (€1.6million) in an oversubscribed new issuance led by Wellstreet to accelerate growth and continue creating banking services that save costs and time by automating accounting and administration for Swedish entrepreneurs. The round also includes investment company Quinary, David Craelius (former Klarna CTO) and Erik Seifert (former chairman of Swish).

Lithuania-based cybersecurity startup Cyber Upgrade has secured €650,000 in pre-seed funding, joined by venture capital firms FIRSTPICK, NGL Ventures and other business angels. Cyber Upgrade is led by Aurimas Bakas as well as Andrius Minkevičius, both formerly of Paysolut, a core banking system provider they co-founded and sold to SumUp after a successful multi-year partnership.

Kameo, an investment platform that helps private individuals, companies and institutions invest directly in loans for property projects throughout Scandinavia, has bagged a £1.1million investment from Incore Invest as part of a £2.26million share issuance. Kameo is looking to develop its dynamic alternative lending platform further and become one of the leading property development investment platforms in Scandinavia.

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