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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 18/04

Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 18 April 2024

Funding and investments

Wagestream, a financial benefits platform used by employers at Asda, Burger King, Bupa and Hilton, has raised a further £17.5million in funding from new and existing investors. Wagestream will use the latest funding to expand its range of services as well as to become a ‘complete financial platform’ for low and middle-income workers.

Manchester-based fintech Lemon has successfully raised its pre-seed funding round, securing £500,000 to support the business through the next stage of development. As well as SFC Capital and Pitchdrive, Lemon has also received angel investment from ex partner of debt advisory at KPMG, Nick Dodd, and co-founder of fintech communications agency SkyParlour Started, who both join the Lemon advisory board.

Bridgewise, the AI-based analysis platform for global securities, has completed a $21million funding round, bringing its total capital raised to $35million. The round was led by SIX Group with participation also from Group11 and L4 Venture Builder.  It will use the new funding to accelerate market penetration and growth.

Pliant, a business-to-business (B2B) credit card platform has closed more than €18million in Series A extension financing, led by PayPal Ventures. Existing investors SBI Investment, Motive Ventures and Alstin Capital also participated in the round. This brings Pliant’s total Series A financing to more than €50 million. Pliant will now pursue expansion outside the EU, starting with the UK.

Ramp is completing a $150million Series D-2 funding round, raising the company’s valuation to $7.65billion. This round was co-led by Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund, with additional new investors Sequoia Capital, Greylock, as well as 8VC. This new funding will allow Ramp “to triple down on the next wave of innovation to deliver much more value for our customers”.

Funding roundup

Additional funding

Fortis, a retail tech and fintech solutions provider tailored for SMEs, has completed a Series A funding round, raising $20million in investment led by Opportunity Venture (Asia). This funding marks a significant milestone in Fortis’ journey as it embarks on a mission to shakeup the retail tech and fintech landscape in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Flatpay, a Danish payments solutions provider for SMEs, has secured €45million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Dawn Capital, with also participation from Seed Capital and other investors. Funding will be used to further develop the product, expand into new markets as well as rapidly scale its team.

M&As

Huma Finance, a tokenisation platform, and Arf, a global transactions services platform, have merged to expand global blockchain powered financial services. The merger combines two of the most prominent blockchain use cases — cross-border payments and tokenisation of real world assets — into a single full-stack platform. The new company expects to surpass $3billion on-chain liquidity volume by the end of 2024.

Cloud tokenisation provider TokenEx, and IXOPAY, the independent payments orchestration platform,  have agreed to merge. The combined company will be called IXOPAY, a TokenEx Company, and Marc Olesen will lead the combined organisation as CEO. Customers will benefit from a comprehensive platform that enables increased authorisation rates and decreased interchange fees for merchants, along with PCI-certified secure payment data.

Partnerships

Cryptocurrency company Knaken has unveiled a strategic partnership with OARO, a specialist in digital identification and access control. This collaboration aims to leverage advanced crypto and identification technologies to transform the stadium visitor experience.

Mysten Labs, a web3 infrastructure company, has forged a partnership with BytePlus, ByteDance’s enterprise technology arm, to explore collaboration on data warehousing, AI recommendation algorithms, and AI visual algorithms in web3 game platforms and socialFi projects on the Sui blockchain.

Alter Domus, a provider of tech-enabled fund administration, private debt, and corporate services for the alternative investment industry, has gone live on Temenos’ automated fund management platform, implementing the solution in under six months.

Aryza Group, a leading provider of financial software solutions, announces its strategic partnership with Dotdigital, an all-in-one customer experience and data platform. This partnership enhances customer experience when they access credit and debt solutions.

Bankjoy, a digital banking provider for banks and credit unions across the US, has partnered with Pinwheel, a fintech that helps financial institutions win primacy with frictionless account activation. Through the partnership, Bankjoy will help its customers integrate the Pinwheel Prime digital deposit switching solution into the digital banking experiences for over 70 banks and credit unions nationwide.

Cashflows, a platform that makes it easy for merchants to accept payments, is chosen as a ‘Gold Partner’ for the National Association of Funeral Directors, a representative body for the UK funeral profession. The Gold Partner status makes Cashflows the NAFD’s preferred payment partner for its 4,100 funeral home members.

partnerships roundup

Appointments

Camden-based 365 finance has appointed Warren Abbey as its new CEO. Abbey joined 365 finance in 2023 as chief commercial officer. Current CEO and founder Andrew Raphaely transitions to the role of executive vice chairman. Raphaely will also remain actively engaged with the business, supporting Abbey as the board’s principal point of contact with the executive committee, and the business at large.

Paymentology, the global issuer processor, appoints Anna Porra as chief revenue officer. She had previously held key positions at organisations including Soldo, Marqeta and Barclaycard. In her new role, Porra will accelerate Paymentology’s global growth with responsibility for sales, marketing partnerships as well as client success.

Gigs, the telecom-as-a-service platform, has welcomed Rishi Sachdeva as head of fintech. Sachdeva joins Gigs after six years at Stripe. Based in San Francisco, Sachdeva will lead Gigs’ strategy and growth in the fintech sector, overseeing key partnerships. It follows the promotion of Rafa Plantier, who previously led Fintech and will now serve as head of go-to-market for the organisation.

Cross Switch,  provider of global payment processing platform CS+, adds two new executives to its leadership team. Mark Chirnside joins Cross Switch to spearhead the expansion of the business in all markets, while Charles Elliman will focus on driving exponential growth in Africa.

Jobs roundup

More hires

Mark Jennis has joined the US team of Pirum, the global post trade services fintech, to lead business development for CollateralConnect in North America. He previously held roles at Transcend, PeerNova, DTCC-Euroclear GlobalCollateral, Morgan Stanley as well as Banker Trust. The appointment follows Pirum’s success in growing its ColletaralConnect client-base on both sides of the Atlantic.

Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has named John Cannon as its global chief commercial officer. He will play a key part in promoting financial inclusion globally while bolstering Creditinfo’s international growth. In his new role, John will also be responsible for delivering the right products and services to Creditinfo’s customers to maximise value, as well as identifying new business opportunities.

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