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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 16/05

Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 16 May 2024, bringing you the latest updates from across the world.

Funding and investments

London-based climate fintech, ekko has closed a $2.5million funding round led by Fuel Ventures and supported by Sorven Partners, Mishcon de Reya and existing investors. It will use the investment to bring leading industry experts to support international expansion and product development. ekko enables banks, fintechs and payment providers to plug-in planet positive impact into their products.

UAE proptech Keyper announces a pre-series A capital raise of $4million in equity. This round was led by BECO Capital and Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), with participation also from existing investors Vivium Holding, Jabbar Group and Signature Developers. Keyper will invest the fresh funds into digitising the rental experience in the UAE and scaling its rent now, pay later solution.

Irish AI startup Numra, previously known as Autonifai, has bagged a €1.5million funding round to introduce its AI finance assistant ‘Mary’ to the market. The investment was led by Irish VC firm Elkstone. Numra plans to use the new funding to accelerate customer acquisition in the US as well as invest further in product development.

BSeed, Brazil’s first investment house specialising in early-stage B2B SaaS startups, has unveiled its third fund, Seed 3, totalling $30million. With the new fund, mainly supported by family offices, the VC aims to continue investing in startups at the beginning of their journeys in Brazil and Latin America.

funding roundup

Partnerships and collaborations

Vietnam Public Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PVcomBank), one of Vietnam’s largest banks, has launched PVConnect with Temenos Digital on Amazon Web Services (AWS). With Temenos’ cloud-native digital banking platform, PVcombank designed, built and launch its mobile app, updating the mobile banking experience for one million of their customers.

Presight, an Abu Dhabi-based big data analytics company powered by generative AI, has forged a strategic collaboration with Intel. The partnership is aimed at accelerating applied AI projects and developing cutting-edge AI solutions in the Middle East. Intel and Presight will together lead the development of AI products, including Smart Cities through R&D initiatives, focusing on leveraging open-source tools.

Soft Space, the fintech-as-a-service provider, has partnered with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company Limited, GMO Financial Gate and SMBC GMO PAYMENT to enable Tap to Pay on iPhone for the ‘stera tap’ iOS app, which enables merchants to accept contactless payments on their iPhone. Contactless payments are expanding in Japan, with the acceptance rate among small and medium-sized businesses, known as SMEs, around 60 per cent.

Tassat, the private permissioned blockchain-based B2B real-time settlement platform, has announced a partnership with Glasstower Digital, a fintech facilitating cross-border B2B remittances. The partnership will equip Glasstower with Tassat’s blockchain-based tech stack for its multinational corporate users. Through Tassat’s private blockchain, Glasstower provides instant and secure digital cross-border payments.

CorServ, which provides banks and fintechs with payment programmes, has partnered with Avidbank to launch a beneficial credit card programme for its commercial customers. The solution provides Avidbank’s commercial customers with benefits including choices of credit card products, self-service interfaces for managing their cards, customisable reports, virtual cards, spend controls and expense reporting.

partnerships

Additional partnerships

The Hashgraph Association, the Swiss-based organisation, has signed a strategic partnership with the Qatar Financial Centre to launch a Digital Assets Venture Studio, a platform to support local Qatari and international portfolio companies in the development of regulatory-compliant decentralised finance (DeFi) solutions and digital assets built on the Hedera Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) network.

Two French e-invoicing solution vendors, Esker SA and Sovos, have interconnected their platforms as a major step in their applications to become government-registered partner dematerialisation platforms. The French e-invoicing reform sees four million companies mandated to accept domestic electronic invoices and the largest 6, 000 of them compelled to issue and report their transactions electronically from September 2026.

Earnix, a global provider of AI-based SaaS pricing and rating solutions for financial services, and Exavalu, a  global insurance digital advisory and system integration consulting firm, have formed a strategic partnership to provide property and casualty insurance carriers with improved operational and analytical flexibility to accelerate product pricing and rating innovation. This partnership combines technology and solutions consulting expertise.

NymCard, an embedded finance solutions provider in MENAP, has signed a strategic partnership with Dellsons Associates, a banking consultancy firm, to promote innovation in the fintech landscape and empower businesses across the Middle East and Pakistan. The strategic alliance will synergise NymCard’s technology with Dellsons’ regional expertise and industry connections in the financial and banking sectors.

M&As

CUBE acquires global regulatory intelligence businesses from Thomson Reuters. The acquisition represents a major step forward in CUBE’s growth plans. CUBE’s existing global customer base will expand to total approximately 1,000 customers in banking, insurance, asset and investment management, payments and adjacent regulated industries. CUBE’s global employees will also expand to 600.

Appointments

SAP Concur, the integrated travel, expense and invoice management brand, has announced two leadership changes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Gabriele Indrieri will shift from MD for SAP Concur EMEA to the role of chief revenue officer. In addition, SAP Concur has also appointed João Carvalho as MD in Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey) the Middle East, and Africa.

Digital bank Tandem appoints Suavek Zajac as chief technology officer. Zajac has previously worked at companies including Grand Parade, William Hill, Blackberry and Railsr. He will lead the development of Tandem’s digital offering, spearheading a team of engineers towards building scalable systems to support Tandem’s green mission of making it easier for people to choose a greener lifestyle.

Yuno, the global payment orchestration platform, appoints Juan Felipe Cadena as its new strategy account director. Prior to joining Yuno, Juan Felipe served as CEO and CCO at CargoFly, where he assisted airlines operating in the cargo business to optimise their revenue and expand into new markets, and held leadership roles at Viva Air and LATAM airlines.

Bank payment company GoCardless has appointed Jolawn Victor as its chief growth officer. Victor previously held C-suite and executive roles at PepsiCo, Headspace and, most recently Intuit. In her new role at GoCardless, Victor will lead the global ‘Growth Group’, managing a team primarily responsible for SME customer acquisition, incremental revenue growth as well as brand, marketing and communications.

Carmoola, the car finance fintech, has appointed Frédéric de Benoist as director of capital markets. This strategic addition to the team marks a significant step in Carmoola’s mission to bring simplicity, control and value to even more car buyers. His career to date includes major roles at Deutsche Bank, culminating as managing director – head of asset finance.

Jobs roundup
More appointments

Paynetics, a provider of embedded finance, has appointed Amit Sharma as head of UK operations. Sharma has previously worked at EML Payments, Prepaid Financial Services and Prepay Solutions. At Paynetics, Sharma is tasked with improving business efficiency, enhancing customer satisfaction and executing solutions through innovation, communication and collaboration.

Pan-European payment services provider Lemonway has announced two appointments within its finance and technology divisions to strengthen its management committee. Céline Bayer and Nicolas Vigier take on the roles of chief technical officer and chief financial officer respectively.

Insurtech bolt has appointed Nga Phan as head of product. Phan is responsible for leading bolt’s product development in support of the company’s long-term growth plans. Phan has previously worked at Salesforce, ServiceNow and Risk Management Solutions, as well as Bain & Company.

ARK Invest Europe, a thematic ETF issuer, has appointed Paul Spells as director of Northern European sales. Spells was previously at CIRCA5000, where he was head of ETF sales UK. Prior to that, Paul was sales director at Orpheus Partners and business development manager at LGBR Capital. 

Fenergo, a provider of digital solutions for know your customer, transaction monitoring and client lifecycle management, has bolstered its presence in the EMEA region with the appointment of Ruth Ormsby as MD of EMEA. She joins Fenergo from Salesforce, where she served as senior VP of all industries in the UK and Ireland.

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