The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup puts the spotlight on recent industry updates, appointments and funding success stories.
Mergers and acquisitions
Banking app Dave has unveiled plans to become a publicly traded company via a merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III. The digital bank will file under the ticker symbol DAVE. VPC has been a longstanding investor in Dave, most recently providing a $100million credit facility to the company in January.
SurePay, the confirmation of payee provider, has hired Adrian Lee-Jarman as senior business development & partnerships manager. In addition, Paul Simpson joins as senior business development manager UK. SurePay says the appointments will help its mission to make online payments safer, more personal and easier to use.
SHUAA has appointed ex-Visa and Google alumnus Hadi Raad in the newly created role of chief digital officer. He will be responsible for building and leading the fintech, driving product innovation and development, digital user experience design, fintech partnerships, as well as its new digital wealth management platform.
Lendtech company DivideBuy has unveiled three senior hires. Heather Goode is now retailer risk and risk oversight manager, Jarone Macklin-Page is business development manager, while Charlotte Bright is named marketing manager. DivideBuy was also recently recognised for its growth by ranking top of the Deloitte Fast 50 UK list.
Partnerships and collaborations
Grameen America, the microfinance non-profit focused on low-income minority women in the US, has extended its partnership with SaaS banking platform Mambu. In 2013, the pair first partnered to replace the lender’s custom-built legacy system with a cloud-native platform. The five-year extension will now help Grameen scale its operations to invest $12billion in loans to minority small business owners.
Meanwhile, online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages has partnered with GoCompare. The new partnership lets GoCompare customers compare personalised mortgage deals using Mojo’s tech as well as accessing live expert advice with a mortgage adviser.
Global payments service provider SumUp has collaborated with Google Pay to help merchants make quicker business transactions using SumUp Card. Existing SumUp Card-holders in the UK, France, Italy and DACH, can add the card to their phone wallet. They can also use it for business payments in stores, online and with other Google products.
Cashflows has unveiled two new partnerships with IMX Software and eDynamix. Both will integrate Cashflows’ acquiring solutions to expand their payment methods, as well as access data in real time to speed-up the settlement period.
Meanwhile, Net Purpose is partnering with investment app tickr to provide data on companies’ social and environmental performance. tickr says Net Purpose’s data will be central to ensuring its users know and understand the good they’re doing.
Virgin Money has partnered with New Zealand-based fintech 9Spokes to support the development of its business banking proposition. The collaboration provides customers with a personalised financial wellness tracker, as well as track, connect and explore management tools.
Finally, Yapily has launched a new open banking bulk payments service with SME payments platform Comma. Harnessing Yapily’s bulk payment offering, Comma’s accountant and bookkeeper customers can create and share payment runs with clients.
MENAT banking group Emirates NBD has launched a financial education programme targeted at young adults. The week long web-based programme will be held in collaboration with 10 schools in the UAE. It is among several key initiatives undertaken by Emirates NBD to foster financial wellness in the UAE.
While SHUAA Capital, the asset management and investment banking platform in the UAE, is launching an independent fintech platform. The new Digital Wealth Platform will serve existing clients as well as the next generation of investors. The platform will provide personalised curated management and advice.
New charity Tulinawe, which means ‘we are with you’ in Ugandan, has launched to provide locals short-term financial aid in unexpected hardship. Set up by Shamila Mhearban, director of UK HR consultancy Gingko People – and her husband James – Tulinawe hopes to help at least 12 families in Uganda with grants by the end of this year.
The Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has officially launched its online banking system and mobile app following a soft launch. An international money transfer option lets TBI customers transfer funds to any global bank. Customers can also see the nearest TBI ATMs and branches.
Payments platform xpate has unveiled a new payment gateway and operational support project. xpate Links meets demand from acquirers requiring end-to-end fraud control, dispute management and reporting. The solution also offers global online omnichannel payment card acceptance.
While VTB, under an agreement with the Federal Tax Service of Russia, has launched a service for issuing a qualified electronic signature (QES) on a physical medium. The pilot project will start in Moscow and St. Petersburg before becoming available to all regions in the third quarter of 2021.
Announcements and updates
Blockchain platform Zilliqa and its sister company Zilliqa Capital have become members of the US Chamber of Digital Commerce. Through the membership, they will gain access to opportunities for collaboration with the Chamber’s roster of partners and members. In addition, both firms will benefit from increased exposure across the US market, bringing access to new market and investment opportunities.
The Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) has published a position paper on crypto assets. Crypto assets will enter the South African regulatory purview in a phased and structured manner, according to the paper.
Fintech Saudi, an initiative launched by the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Markets Authority to support the growth of fintech in Saudi Arabia, has launched a Fintech Saudi Youth Art Competition. Open to under 16s, the winning artwork will feature in Fintech Saudi’s upcoming Fintech Hub in King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh.
Cybersecurity firm RSA has announced its new spinoff company Outseer, branching off from its fraud and risk intelligence business. Following a recent surge of e-commerce transactions and heightened fraud risk, Outseer will serve to address payment authentication and security issues.
Al Wathba National Insurance Co (AWNIC) has scooped the ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ by InsureTek. The InsureTek awards recognise companies who stand out from the crowd in helping the insurance industry evolve. AWNIC has introduced several tech solutions, including implementing blockchain technology in claims processes.
There’s more awards success for Backbase, the engagement banking platform provider. It picked up the ‘Best User Experience Solution Provider Award’ at the MEA Finance Banking Technology Summit and Awards 2021.
While, Welsh accountancy business Mazuma is celebrating three nominations in the FinTech Wales Awards and the Finance Awards Wales. Mazuma is nominated for fintech company of the year, while Stephanie Collins and Bryony Ham are both up for awards for their accounting skills. Winners will be revealed at ceremonies in September.
Emirates Islamic, an Islamic financial institution in the UAE, has concluded an exclusive coaching programme to empower high-potential employees to meet leadership demands of the future. The cohort in the Asian Leadership Institute Group’s 3C Triad Programme focused on communication, collaboration, and coaching.
Finally, deVere launches green investment products in order to meet ESG demand. It is offering clients a fixed-yield note of which the proceeds are allocated to the financing of eligible projects with a clear and defined environmental benefit. According to deVere, 44 per cent clients around the world are eyeing exposure to or already have exposure to ESG investments.
Funding and investments
Klarna, the global payments provider, retail bank and shopping service, has secured a new equity funding of $639million. The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 with further participation from existing investors Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group. The funding will support international expansion as well as further capture global retail growth.
Upflow has raised $15million Series A in order to ‘revolutionise how B2B businesses get paid’. Following the investment, Upflow plans to double down on product development and open an office in New York. It also wants to triple the size of its team within 12 months. The funding round included participation from 9yards Capital as well as existing investor eFounders.
Meanwhile, Collegia, the UK’s first combined auto-enrolment (workplace pension) and personal pensions has raised £500,000 ahead of its June launch. Collegia has ambitions to become a major pan European pension provider. International backers from UK, HK, Italy, Brazil and Dubai follows existing support from Oxford University Incubator and private investors.