This Thursday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup puts the spotlight on fintech stories from around the world. eToro in $10billion deal to go public with SPAC, while B-North secures a £4.45million investment from LHV Group.
Hargreaves Lansdown hires Anne Fairweather as head of government affairs and public policy to spearhead efforts to improve the backdrop for savers and investors. Fairweather joins from Nationwide, where she held a position as a senior member of the policy and public affairs team.
MoneyTap has announced that Sunil Kaushal, CEO of Standard Chartered Africa & Middle East, is joining as global advisor. The fintech says it hopes to ‘leverage Kaushal’s expertise launching MoneyTap into a digitised future’.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, has assigned Juan Gonzalo Flores as country manager for IFC in Mexico. Previously, Flores was responsible for business development activities in the agribusiness, manufacturing, retail, tourism and property sectors in Mexico.
James Della-Porta has joined SoftSolutions!, the fixed income trading technology provider, as head of client engagement. The company also recently launched the next generation of its nexRates electronic trading as a service platform for secondary markets. Della-Porta most recently held senior roles at Tradition Securities and Barclays Bank.
Avaloq CEO Juerg Hunziker step downs from his role on 1 April 2021. Current group executive board members Martin Greweldinger and Thomas Beck are new co-CEOs. Hunziker will take up a senior advisor role on Avaloq’s group executive board.
Sprift, the property data specialist, has appointed Lucky Byatt as chief technology officer to lead further tech team growth and innovation. Prior to joining Sprift, Byatt founded Learning Connexions, a technical training skills business. She will design and build new property data features and tools.
The government has announced the appointment of Liz Barclay as Small Business Commissioner to spearhead the national effort to crackdown on delayed invoices. Barclay’s term in the role will begin on 1 July when she replaces current interim Commissioner Philip King.
Mergers and acquisitions
Credit insurance and surety specialist Xenia Broking Group has agreed to acquire the trade credit business of Status Credit Insurance Brokers Limited. Xenia will integrate Status’s business with its regulated entity Credit Risk Solutions Limited. The transaction will complete in April 2021.
Santander Private Banking is to acquire Indosuez Wealth Management business in Miami. As part of the agreement, Santander Private Banking plans to purchase $4.3billion in client assets and liabilities with related staff from Indosuez Wealth Management. The transaction is projected to close by the end of the first half of 2021.
Digital trading platform eToro has entered a deal with the special purpose acquisition company Fintech V. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate as eToro Group Ltd and will list on NASDAQ. The company is also expected to have an estimated implied equity value of approximately $10.4billion.
Funding and investments
SumUp, the payments service provider, has raised a €750million facility from Goldman Sachs, Temasek, Bain Capital Credit, Crestline and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. The new funds will help expand SumUp’s product suite as well as accelerate its growth.
Fintech MODIFI has announced a $60million debt facility with Silicon Valley Bank. It brings its total raised capital to $111million. The facility from SVB’s German Branch will address increasing demand in existing markets, as well as fuel MODIFI’s growth.
Meanwhile, B-North secures investment commitment from LHV Group in Series A fundraise. Estonian banking group LHV Group will invest £4.455million for a 9.9 per cent stake in the company. B-North says LHV’s commitment boosts the £20million capital raise it needs for a banking licence.
Regtech Encompass Corporation has secured new investment from Beacon Equity Partners. Beacon previously joined with existing investors in a broader capital round in 2020. In addition, Beacon partner Joe Bradley joins Encompass’ advisory council.
Vaultspeed, the Belgium-based SaaS company, has closed a €3.6million Series A round led by Fortino Capital Partners. With the additional funding, Vaultspeed will further scale its organisation and expand its international customer base.
Hungarian fraud firm SEON raises €10million Series A from investor Creandum. Additional investment comes from PortfoLion part of OTP Bank. The investment will support SEON’s continued growth, by adding to its workforce in Budapest and London, as well as further global expansion.
Card issuer provider Enfuce raises €7million in Series B funding round led by Tencent, with additional investment from Maki.vc. Additionally, Tencent’s Dr Ling Ge joins Enfuce’s board of directors. Enfuce plans to scale globally.
Equity management platform Capdesk has announced a strategic Series A extension led by MGV, as well as Fidelity International Strategic Ventures. Capdesk has now raised £11.7million since 2015. Capdesk will build a fully integrated ‘seed to post-IPO’ equity solution in Europe.
Finally, Direct Insurance has announced a multi-million-pound investment in its operations and IT. In addition, Tom Downs, Direct Insurance’s COO, will lead the group’s operations and IT function, as well as digital transformation.
AI software firm Yseop has announced the launch of ALIX, a discovery app for financial institutions to transform. Based on Yseop’s pre-trained algorithm, ALIX provides an immediate analysis of an uploaded financial report and also identifies what can be automated on the augmented financial analyst platform.
Real estate investing platform addy has launched an affiliate programme in partnership with Fintel Connect. The scheme provides publishers with monetisable opportunities to promote addy’s real estate investing platform.
Meanwhile, on-demand pay platform DailyPay has unveiled REWARD, a rewards solution for HR technology. Launching later this year, REWARD gives managers the ability to instantly and effortlessly incentivise their staff with on-the-spot payments.
Finally, Open Banking Europe (OBE) has published its JSON Web Signature Profile for open banking, available to the industry for download.
“The ETSI JAdES standard builds on ETSI’s decades of experience in defining standards for applying digital signatures to a variety of document formats to provide evidence of their authenticity supported by European Regulations.”
Antelop and Alpha Bank announce their partnership with the launch of myAlpha Wallet (NFC wallet for contactless payments) powered by Antelop for Visa and Mastercard cards. Users can digitise their Alpha Bank cards and pay at any POS NFC terminal.
Payments platform Paysafe has expanded its partnership with lottery firm NeoPollard Interactive. Following the partnership, NPi leverages Paysafe’s proprietary payment gateway to power Alberta’s gambling website PlayAlberta.ca.
E-commerce investor Clearbanc has partnered with Pencil, a creative AI business which offers online video advertising using AI technology. Pencil also recently joined as a creative partner in Facebook Marketing Partners, a programme that connects businesses to an ecosystem of specialists.
BPC Technology‘s smart city payment division O-City is partnering with the Philippines’ Land Bank of the Philippines to pilot the country’s initiative in modernising digital payment in public utility vehicles. O-CITY enables tap-to-pay for travelers using their card or any other means of payment.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Israeli Corporations Authority have entered into a statement of co-operation with an aim of facilitating an influx of business opportunities. The SoC will aim to promote a closer and wider partnership between Israeli and UAE businesses and companies.
Meanwhile, the Equals Group has plumped for the TruNarrative platform to help drive operational efficiency. Through the TruNarrative platform, the Equals Group can access a full case management system for manual review and referrals.