The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup brings you the latest fintech partnerships, product launches, job appointments and industry updates.
Chetwood Financial has appointed Adrian Gurnell as chief information officer to oversee the engineering and delivery of IT services. This also includes strengthening DevOps and automation to facilitate delivery across multiple product portfolios. As well as extending the firm’s credit decisioning scale, accelerating the introduction of new products and the development of platform banking services.
Meanwhile Rodney Prescott joins asset broker GlobalBlock UK as chief technology officer. He most recently worked as a strategic consultant to Input Output, the research arm of the Cardano blockchain, as well as cross-chain protocol Qredo. GlobalBlock’s ambition is to be UK’s leading provider of digital asset trading products and solutions.
Reach, the global payment localisation provider, has unveiled Jade Ohlhauser as vice president of software development. Prior to joining Reach, Ohlhauser was the technical co-founder of RPM Software. At Reach, he oversees the development of solutions that help businesses accept cross-border payments through localised processing.
Insurtech firm CPP Group UK has appointed Anna Sant as its new commercial development manager for its parametrics insurance offerings. She will work closely with the sales, business development and CPP Blink Parametric teams, as well as CPP UK’s parent business CPP Group. She previously spent 17 years at Moneysupermarket Group.
Digital bank Zopa appoints Helen Beurier as its first chief people officer. Prior to Zopa, Beurier held senior HR Executive roles at M&S, PepsiCo and GSK. She will focus on strengthening Zopa’s key capabilities for growth.
Clearwater Analytics, a provider of SaaS-based investment accounting solutions, has named Sai Perry as head of solutions, Europe and Asia. He leads the solutions group that helps clients streamline and future proof their operating model to meet their growth ambitions. Perry was most recently a director at PwC in London.
Mergers and acquistions
ConsenSys has acquired the Treum team and its NFT platform from Mesh, a Web3 incubator, for an undisclosed amount. Through the acquisition, ConsenSys welcomes a team of creators, product managers and software developers who have pioneered use cases of non-fungible tokens since 2017.
The Western Union Company has completed its acquisition of a minority stake in stc Bank (formerly stc pay) and is in the process of launching as one of the first digital banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to transaction terms, Western Union has acquired 15 per cent ownership of stc Bank for $200million.
Financial services firm Lunar has snapped up Paylike, the Danish-based and modern full-stack payment platform. The acquistion of the gateway and payment service provider will make it possible for Lunar’s business customers to receive payments from their customers without having to use an intermediary.
Funding and investments
Fintech Juni has raised $52million in funding led by EQT Ventures with additional investment from FJ Labs. It will use the funds to triple the number of its employees and launch a fully integrated credit line product. Juni plans to recruit 120 more employees in the next 12 months.
Nelo, a startup offering buy now, pay later services to Mexico, has raised $20million. In the Nelo app, customers can buy from over 100 merchants like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. Nelo will use the capital to grow its consumer and merchant base, as well as build out its team.
SUMA Wealth, a fintech for US Latino youth, has received an additional $2million pre-seed round of funding, bringing its total to $3.3million. The funding will expand SUMA’s technical capabilities and grow headcount. SUMA has also launched a free financial checkup that provides a snapshot of key financial wealth metrics.
9fin has secured an £8million Series A led by Redalpine – investors in Robinhood and N26. 9fin has opened an office in New York and is using the Series A for expansion. So far, 9fin has secured more than £10million in funding, including backing from Seedcamp and AI Seed Fund.
More investment updates
InfluenceInk Inc., parent of INK Games, has closed a $9.5million Series A fundraising round. The proceeds are funding development of the INK Platform, including IP development, mobile game content development, talent acquisition and platform deployment.
While alsoug, a digital classifieds and marketplace in Sudan, has enjoyed a $5million fundraise to establish a national payments network. The investment will expand alsoug’s presence in fintech, building on the company’s payment platform, Cashi, by creating a network enabling people to deposit, withdraw and transfer cash and transact digitally.
Insurtech Humn has raised £10.1million in Series A funding led by BXR Group and Shell Ventures as well as Hambro Perks Leaders Fund and Woodside Holdings. With the investment, Humn aims to further develop its insurance data capabilities and expand the commercial functions of the business. It also plans to expand into Europe next year.
Perch, a Toronto-based proptech firm, recently toasted a $1million seed funding round. It also accepted a place on the 2022 REACH Canada growth accelerator. Perch gives home buyers and homeowners financial insights via an analytics platform.
Thunes, Singapore-based fintech company, now has the ability to provide instant cross-border bank payments to Russia through a partnership with Bank 131. With the addition of Russia, Thunes’ global network grows to 115 countries where it can facilitate inbound consumer or business payments.
Airbank has selected open banking infrastructure provider Yapily to help its users manage their finances. The company provides a simple financial management solution that aggregates all bank accounts in one place. Yapily’s API infrastructure lets Airbank users connect to more than 1,500 banks across the UK and Europe.
Data aggregation platform Envestnet | Yodlee and accounting software firm Intuit QuickBooks have formed a collaboration to provide aggregated financial data and information to small businesses in multiple countries.
“Our collaboration with Intuit QuickBooks is another example of Yodlee helping to build a financial ecosystem that supports financial wellness and it enables access to digital innovation in markets across the globe.”
SmartGift has teamed up with Klarna to let shoppers buy and instantly send gifts from any Klarna merchant and pay in interest-free payments. Accoding to the e-commerce platform, the partnership also provides merchants with significant benefits for driving customer acquisition and brand loyalty.
Meanwhile GoDaddy has forged a partnership with Arab Fashion Council to empower creatives in the UAE and MENA region to scale their online presence. As part of their collaboration, GoDaddy will also support the AFC with a series of workshops on using GoDaddy products and tools.
Further partnerships and collaborations
Mambu and Rich Data Corporation have teamed up to support AI innovation for lenders. Their collaboration will ‘enable banks to improve workflow and address efficiency issues, achieve faster time to yes, and faster time to fund’. They say they’re working together to support a number of lenders in market.
Markaaz has paired up with Mastercard to bring products and services to its platform to help support small businesses. Mastercard will share its capabilities, know-how and team to unique assets and resources for Markaaz. Earlier this year, Markaaz announced a partnership with Equifax to use its data and insights to support the Markaaz platform.
Nexpay, the banking infrastructure provider, is to run all KYC, AML, and e-signature processes through Ondato’s compliance management platforms. The strategic partnership will bring a fintech startup to Ondato’s roster and a ‘better experience’ to Nexpay’s customers.
Meanwhile N1 Partners Group is the first firm to join the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator. The new product provides the ability to run jackpot campaigns using ready-made jackpot templates. As a part of the agreement, N1 Partners Group has begun connecting its all casinos to the SOFTSWISS Jackpot Aggregator.
Core banking provider Yobota has partnered with UK challenger bank Chetwood Financial as it moves into the banking-as-a-service market. Under this new partnership, the technology vendor provides the core banking system that will empower businesses to develop their own innovative financial offerings under Chetwood’s banking licence.
Finally, Green Dot Corporation has enlisted the Temenos Banking Cloud as its platform of choice to power its direct digital bank and banking platform services partners. Temenos’ Cloud platform will power Green Dot’s technology stack, enabling the BaaS provider’s partners to embed financial services into their ecosystems.
Launches and announcements
Borrower wellbeing app ilumoni has launched on app stores following beta testing. The app has received £1.63million in investment since inception and gained FCA authorisation earlier this year. It uses AI to help users understand and manage their borrowing better.
Airtel Tanzania has launched an overdraft mobile money service that will lets customers complete their transactions seamlessly without sufficient funds in their Airtel Money wallets. Dubbed Kamilisha, the overdraft service will be facilitated by I&M Bank Tanzania.
Subscription loan provider Creditspring has unveiled Step, a new credit builder product that helps members gradually improve their credit score. Creditspring research reveals that 28 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds are unaware of how to improve their credit score. Step provides no-interest loans.
FinTech Australia announces 2021 Finnies Award winners. Women founders and executives from Brighte, Paypa Plane, Athena Home Loans and Adatree are among the biggest winners of the sixth annual awards. In addition, Afterpay and Airwallex, long-running winners of the Finnies, were inaugural inductees into the Finnies Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, SEBA Bank has introduced SEBA Earn to enable clients to earn yield on their crypto holdings. SEBA Earn’s staking management platform will let users generate rewards from their crypto investment on networks including Tezos, Polkadot and Cardano.
Finally, investment app Ziglu has unveiled a fee-free euro account that lets travellers spend without incurring currency exchange charges. Customers can open euro accounts and convert cash from their sterling account instantly.
Railsbank, the embedded finance platform, has opened a new global headquarters in Broadgate, London. The company has expanded its team from four staff in 2016 to more than 450 globally today. The London HQ also reaffirms the company’s commitment to the capital and to the UK.
Insurtech Hiro has revealed a new identity: Locket. Krystian Zajac, co-founder and CEO of Locket says: “When people think about a locket, they think of memories, sentimentality and protection. This is exactly what we represent as a company, and our new brand truly reflects this.”
Yamgo, a crypto-asset rewards platform built on the Hedera network, is celebrating after passing the 100,000 user milestone following the launch of its beta service in mid-July 2021. Through Yamgo users can earn Hedera’s HBAR cryptocurrency for downloading and playing games, or viewing adverts.