The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup sees UK fintech Paysend reach five million customers in under five years. While nate and Rapyd partner for global expansion.
Product updates and launches
untied, the UK personal tax app, has launched a new invoicing capability on both its Android and iOS apps. The feature is an extension of untied’s existing payment request facility and is embedded into the invoice. The service is powered by tomato pay as part of the businesses’ SMART project backed by the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability & Innovation Fund.
Conotoxia users can now use one app that includes the functions of several existing fintech apps. Conotoxia is the replacement of the Currency Exchange app. It provides exchange rates and cryptocurrencies, currency exchange, money transfers and multi-currency cards. The super app also enables the JustGrab service, which accepts BLIK payments on a smartphone.
SC Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, has launched letsbloom, a fintech that will give clients operating in regulated industries the ability to securely build, deploy, and run business applications in the Cloud.
Paddle, the revenue delivery platform for B2B software-as-a-service companies, has integrated Alipay, Google Pay and iDeal as accepted payment methods. It has also introduced fully localised checkout and transaction emails, to make it easier for Paddle customers to sell their products around the world.
PPS, a ‘one-stop-shop’ for prepaid and fintech programmes, has unveiled a partnership with alternative e-money provider Suits Me. Following the migration of the majority of its customer base from Contis, Suits Me has integrated with PPS’ platform. Utilising PPS’ technology and licences, Suits Me can now offer services including Debit BIN, Mastercard Settlement, Banking Service, BACs In and CHAPs In.
Ascenda, the Visa-backed fintech, has forged a new strategic partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Visa to launch a new portfolio of credit cards in the Middle East. The collaboration equips the new cards with a loyalty programme powered by Ascenda, tailored specifically to driving spend and engaging affluent customers.
Macrobond collaborates with Aviva Investors to launch ‘game-changing’ live sharing platform. The Macrobond Viewer gives Aviva Investors the ability to share ‘live’ research across its organisation instantly. They say the Macrobond Viewer has proved valuable to portfolio managers monitoring key positions.
Meanwhile, ONE Esports has entered a partnership with global investment management organisation Franklin Templeton. It is the latest partnership for ONE Esports, which has also secured strategic partnerships with Activision Blizzard, foodpanda Thailand, FWD, Marriott Bonvoy and McDonald’s Philippines this year.
American Express hsd uveiled a partnership with Blueprint for All to deliver a specialised financial services programme for its members. The course is designed to provide 18–30-year-olds living in the UK from a diverse ethnic heritage with the expertise, advice and network to pursue a career in financial services. Launching this month, the course will consist of monthly virtual workshops as well as expert-led careers talks.
There’s also a partnership for fintech Rapyd and consumer shopping app nate. Rapyd will provide the
payment stack and global infrastructure supported by its Collect, Disburse and Wallet platforms, enabling nate to develop additional services, deploy BNPL capabilities and expand internationally.
Payment technology provider Tribe Payments has been chosen by payment platform OnerWay to provide acquirer processing services including its proprietary 3D Secure product. Tribe will process Mastercard and Visa payments in the UK and EEA for OnerWay’s cross-border e-commerce merchants as part of OnerWay’s growth plans to build a holistic and progressive payment ecosystem.
Global investment manager Ninety One has appointed Nazmeera Moola as chief sustainability officer. Previously, she was deputy managing director and head of South African investments at the company. Moola oversees Ninety One’s sustainability initiatives, including investment integration and developing efforts to mobilise dedicated funding for an inclusive net zero transition.
Meanwhile, Transact appoints Mechelle King as vice president for inclusion, diversity, and engagement. She previously served as vice president, human resources business partner at Caliber Home Loans. The payment provider for campuses says King plays a key role in growing collaborative client outreach and engagement programmes for the company.
Aqua Security, the pure-play cloud native security provider, has added Capital One chief information security officer Chris Betz to its executive advisory board. The appointment follows strategic investment from Capital One Ventures. Aqua has bolstered its executive leadership with four recent c-suite appointments, including Limor Schwartz, Christopher Smith, Sharon Eilon and Matt Richards.
Zipmex has appointed a new COO and CFO. Scot Cheung joins as chief operating officer after more than seven years at Uber. While Nicolas Keravec is appointed chief financial officer at the digital asset firm. Zipmex recently unveiled plans to expand its presence as well as launch a host of new earn and spend products.
Navigator Investment Services Ltd (NISL) has appointed Akhil Doegar as CEO. He takes on the role from 3 December 2021. Doegar joins the financial services company from DBS Bank, where he was previously MD and head of the digital payments group. He will develop and execute the strategy to take the homegrown business regional.
Meanwhile, Singapore fintech Aleta Planet appoints Daniel Ang as head of risk management. He previously worked for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and Quatrro Risk Management Consulting Services. Ang will help to strengthen Aleta Planet’s fraud and risk management capabilities.
First Internet Bank has hired senior business development officer Clayton Baker. He joins the Bank’s expanding small business administration (SBA) lending team. Baker was most recently senior vice president at Atlantic Capital Bank. He also worked for Huntington Bank, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.
LedgerEdge hires Dom Holland to help drive US business. The next-generation ecosystem for corporate bond trading has appointed Holland to the role of business development for the US. The appointment supports the US expansion of the firm. LedgerEdge is launching a UK multi-lateral trading facility followed by a launch of a US alternative trading system in Q1 2022.
Cashflows, the platform that lets merchants accept payments, has appointed Hannah Fitzsimons as CEO. She joins from Elavon, where she held the position of president and general manager, Europe. The hire follows the recent appointment of Simon Haslam, previously group CEO at Network International, as chairman.
Finally, MCF Corporate Finance appoints Atul Monga as partner to lead its technology practice in London. MCF specialises in cross-border and domestic M&A transactions and capital raisings in Europe. The firm also recently promoted Erik Pettersson to the partnership in its Stockholm office.
Mergers and acquisitions
Patriot National Bancorp and American Challenger Development Corp have agreed to merge and create largest digital challenger bank in America. Patriot also enters into separate agreements with investors to provide $540million as part of its $890million merger recapitalisation. Patriot’s team will remain intact, complemented by American Challenger’s team and digital platform capabilities.
Funding and investments
ALEX, a DeFi platform on Bitcoin via Stacks, has announced $5.8million in new financing. Led by White Star Capital with participation from Cultur3, GBIC, OK Blockchain Capital and others. The company will use the capital to realise its vision of building trustless and decentralised financial services, secured by the Bitcoin blockchain, while expanding its world-class team.
Prytek invests $21million to transform Hirewell into tech-enabled recruiting firm. It will also merge ICV, an AI sourcing solution and Prytek technology company, to create a vertical integrated holding and deliver a managed service solution. Hirewell is a US-based talent acquisition solutions firm.
South African insurtech firm Root has raised $3million in a seed funding round to launch a low-code digital insurance platform into new markets including Europe. The round saw participation from Invenfin, Base Capital, Savannah Fund, P1 Ventures and Luno as well as FireID. They were also joined by a group of angel investors.
Further invesment updates
Verity, the UAE-based fintech startup, has launched its waitlist and closed a $800,000 pre-seed funding round, with backing from regional VCs and angel investors. The Verity app is set to launch in the UAE before the end of the year. It lets kids and teens learn how to earn, save, give, and spend responsibly with a reward system and a personalised pre-paid debit card.
Veem has introduced Veem Partner Connect programme, providing partners with flexible and configurable integration options. Providers in the payments ecosystem can utilise Veem’s components to offer SMEs AP/AR, invoicing and payment services.
Zilch, the buy now, pay later provider, has closed a $110million Series C funding round. Its valuation is now more than $2billion. The round was led by Ventura Capital and Gauss Ventures and existing investors including Goldman Sachs. The funding will be used to significantly grow the company’s presence in the US.
Recharge.com, the European online consumer-branded payments firm, has unveiled a new Lisbon office focused on product development as it accelerates the expansion of its international operations. The hub will house predominantly software and QA engineers and the team will be an extension of the current product capabilities in Amsterdam, accelerating product development in line with the company’s international growth strategy.
Paysend, the international payments platform, has reached five million customers, with one and a half million customers joining in the last six months alone. Paysend says this makes it one of the world’s fastest growing fintechs. The customer milestone follows investment in technology, innovation and expansion.
Meanwhile bunq reveals its users have planted more than five million trees following their activity with the bank. Every time a bunq Easy Green user spends €100 with any of their bunq cards, bunq donates a tree to Eden Reforestation Projects, a nonprofit NGO rebuilding natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation.