Delve into The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday for the latest industry news, including partnerships, funding rounds and job moves.
Funding and investments
Flutterwave has raised $250million in Series D funding, valuing the company at over $3billion. Its backers include B Capital Group with participation also from Alta Park Capital, Whale Rock Capital and Lux Capital, among others. Last year, the tech firm launched Send, a remittance service that empowers customers to seamlessly send money to recipients to and from Africa.
Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, has raised $144million in a Series C+. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company also received $150million in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the US and Asia. This follows a $45million Series C raised between 2020 and 2021.
Meanwhile, Uniphore secures Series E funding round of $400million. The round brings Uniphore’s total funding to more than $610million. NEA, March Capital as well as other existing Uniphore investors participated in this funding round. It will be used to extend the fim’s technology in voice AI, computer vision and tonal emotion.
Detected, a critical infrastructure component for global KYB compliance, has raised an additional £1.5million in just three weeks, adding to £2million seeded in previous funding rounds. The funding round was led by Love Ventures. Detected can find and verify any registered company in the world, using just the company name and city.
French art NFT platform LaCollection has closed a $10million seed round led by Alven, with participations also from Aglaé Ventures. The funds will be used to further develop the platform, secure partnerships with more museums and artists and to keep growing a global team across Europe, Asia and the US.
Payments and banking-as-a-service platform OpenPayd has appointed Daniel Belda as its head of product strategy. Belda will define the go-to market approach for the firm’s embedded finance and BaaS product suite, oversee the continuous improvement of its services and also build new fintech propositions for its diverse set of clients.
Elliptic, the crypto data and forensics business, hires ex-FCA regulator Mark Aruliah to head up its UK and EMEA regulatory affairs and policy function. He worked for the FCA for more than 20 years. The company also recently appointed Lim Tung Li as senior policy advisor in Asia who joined from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Karen Tiltman is the new chief operating officer of merchant services at Nets. She will be responsible for further strengthening the organisation’s operational capabilities. Tiltman will also lay the foundation for Nets’ long-term ambition of offering ‘truly great customer service’.
UK fintech Storfund hires David Rolls to drive product development. He joins from Amazon Consumer Payments Lending. Storfund also recently appointed Margaret-Anne Galvin as head of partnerships and Hana Graham as head of marketing.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency platform Change has expanded its leadership team with two hires from Wise (formerly Transferwise). Mikhail Luzhetskiy joins as CFO while Roman Rossov will be stepping into the role of VP of growth. The appointments follow a 160 per cent growth in new customers as well as an 807 per cent increase in product revenue in 2021.
Finally, Neustar Security Services LLC welcomes Kevin Collins as chief financial officer. The cloud-based security services firm also recently completed its separation from Neustar Inc. and began operating as a standalone company. Collins will help drive strategic growth and innovation.
BCB Group, a crypto business banking partner, has launched BCB Yield, a product that lets customers earn a return on both fiat or crypto funds. BCB Yield offers multiple options for customers to earn a return on their balance with the BCB Securities Fund.
Klarna has unveiled ‘The Klarna All-Star Vault’, an interactive activation celebrating the connection between fashion and professional basketball throughout its 75-year history. From February 18 to 20, the pop-up in Cleveland Public Square will offer merchandise giveaways, fan experiences and access to some of basketball’s most coveted sneakers.
Payment processing company VizyPay has surpassed the $2billion milestone in payments processed since its founding in 2017. Approximately $1.2billion of payments were processed in 2021 alone. The company is projected to double that number in 2022 to process over $2billion by year’s end, achieving a collective $4billion in processing since 2017.
Mergers and acquisitions
bolttech has completed the acquisition of AVA Insurance Brokers and AVA Insurance Agency, a Singapore-based insurance intermediary and specialist broker. The acquisition follows bolttech’s completion of its $247million Series A last year. The acquisition of AVA will accelerate the deployment of bolttech’s insurance exchange in Singapore.
RedCloud has launched a partnership with Diversey in Brazil to increase market penetration with Red101 Market, the open commerce platform. This partnership lets customers place orders for their cleaning solutions from Diversey Brazil through its distributor network and make instant digital payments via the Red101 Market app.
Payment orchestration provider BR-DGE has formed a strategic partnership with feedback company eKomi. By integrating eKomi’s technology into its platform, BR-DGE’s merchant clients will be able to embed an entirely authentic review process into the customer checkout experience.
Meanwhile, analytics software provider FICO has teamed up with Advanced Financial Solutions, a risk, finance and compliance software and consulting firm in Bahrain. AFS will sell and support the FICO Blaze Advisor decision rules management system throughout the Middle East.
There’s also a partnership for Mindbody, the experience technology platform for the wellness industry, and WisePOS E. The partnership will see the two companies come together to offer a complete payment solution, integrating payments with business applications to help businesses sell more classes and appointments.
Suffolk Building Society has chosen the TruNarrative platform to digitalise mortgage customer onboarding and financial crime detection. The Society will be able to access the TruNarrative platform to verify a customer’s identity, documents, selfie and liveness, as well as screen for politically exposed persons (PEPs), sanctions and adverse media status.
Bolt, the European superapp, and Expensify, a payments superapp, have teamed up to help companies and their employees with expense reporting and transactions. Expensify and Bolt will automate expense tracking and reimbursement of work rides. Mutual customers can also now connect their Bolt and Expensify accounts to automatically import receipts from work rides.
authID.ai has forged a partnership with Microsoft to integrate its biometrics product Verified CloudConnect into single sign-on (SSO) for a suite of cloud-based work applications. This integration will deploy AI-driven facial biometrics, triggered by a selfie, to secure and expedite identity verification for users.
CoinDCX, India’s first crypto unicorn, has paired up with partnership with crypto-native trade surveillance firm Solidus Labs. Partnering with Solidus will enable CoinDCX to forge greater trust and transparency on its platform. Every transaction will be monitored on CoinDCX using Solidus Labs’ machine-learning detection models.
LPA, the capital markets technology and advisory firm, has enhanced its ESG reporting services through a partnership with Globalance. The partnership will see LPA gain access to investment insight platform Globalance World.
Finally, Capria Ventures, the global investing firm, has partnered with Mexico-based venture capital firm Cometa. With this partnership, Capria adds the 7th fund manager from Latin America to its global network of 14 investing partners. Capria has invested in leading startups including Agrofy, Aprende Institute, Urbvan and Kueski.
Research and insights
A YouGov study, commissioned by etika, has found that a credit application decline can significantly impact customers’ mental health and future relationships with retailers. The majority of customers rejected for credit by an online retailer would be upset by the experience and also change their attitude towards that retailer (60 per cent). etika has a mission to provide fair and responsible finance to more people.
Official state pension statistics reveal women more dependent on pension credit than men. The average payment to men on the New State Pension is £170.50 and £164.74 for women. While on the Basic State Pension (pre-2016), men receive an average of £172.64 compared to £145.87 for women.