In this Tuesday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, open banking platform Tink acquires German fintech FinTecSystems, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank partners with FIS to provide instant payments.
Goal Group, the tax reclamation specialist, has unveiled Dawn McGuire as managing director for Americas. McGuire will spearhead the company’s growth plans by fully capitalising on the roll-out of its subscription-based cloud delivery model. She will also guide the New York-based team as Goal scales up its US business.
Digital payments platform Wirex has promoted New Zealand-based Jenny Kong to the role of global head of marketing. Kong co-founded the ‘Rising Women in Crypto Power List’ last year and will now directly manage an international, all-female team.
SH Payments, the tier one banking services provider, has appointed Justinas Basalykas as its new CEO. In addition, SH Payments has named Aura Seselgyte as operational manager, Renata Eidukaityte as compliance analyst, Justas Cerniauskus in a business development role, plus Kestutis Dascioras as product manager.
MonetaGo, the fintech pioneering digital fraud prevention solutions, has hired Sunil Senapati as its head of business development. Based out of MonetaGo’s Singapore office, he will support the firm’s presence across the country and APAC. Senapati will spearhead company partnerships in the region with a focus on Singapore’s fintech sector.
New Zealand buy now, pay later provider Laybuy has appointed John Gillian into a newly created role of general manager UK and Europe. Joining from Criteo, he will be responsible for all UK operations, including developing and implementing strategy to deliver continued growth.
Meanwhile, B-North has further strengthened its team with five hires in its finance and risk teams. David Travis joins as company secretary and general counsel while Andrea Harrison is now head of financial reporting and control. Simon Nicholson joins as risk and compliance manager and Faye Comerford is financial crime manager and deputy money laundering reporting manager. Finally, Sarah Hewitt joins as underwriter, credit risk.
Finally, payment service provider Mollie has unveiled Julien Cordonnier as its new chief operations officer. Cordonnier joins from Uber, where he developed the operations team and was also a supervisory board member of Uber Payments. He will will focus on ensuring Mollie’s customer experience can scale as the business grows while also protecting the company’s culture.
Investment and funding
ScaleXP, the automated analytics platform, has raised £600,000 in a seed funding round. The firm is backed by female angel investor network Angel Academe, as well as Cambridge Angels, Syndicate Room and Founders Factory. Alex Hirsch FCA, who led the investment series, will take a position on the ScaleXP advisory board.
Authomize, the identity and security management platform has closed a $16million Series A funding round. Innovation Endeavors led the round with participation from return investors Blumberg Capital, Entree Capital and M12. The firm has now raised $22million in total funding. Authomize plans on doubling its headcount in both the US and Israel.
CoinBurp, the cryptocurrency platform, has closed its initial seed and private rounds of funding with more than $2million secured. Co-led by both Moonrock Capital and Alphabit Capital, the round was oversubscribed by more than 1000 per cent. The company said: “Our Alpha app is already out and by June, we’re going to be taking the NFT world for a serious ride.”
Egyptian digital banking startup Telda has raised $5million in a pre-seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Global Founders Capital and Class 5 Global also joined the round. It is the first investment by Sequoia Capital in the Middle East and North Africa. Telda launched last month by CEO Ahmed Sabbah and CTO Youssef Sholqamy.
More funding news
Financial wellbeing app for borrowing ilumoni has raised £1.2million in its second round of investment funding. The AI-driven fintech had previously raised £455,000 in pre-seed funding. The new funding will take the product to market later this year. In addition to the funding, ilumoni has appointed two non-executive directors to its board – James Eden and Simon Moran.
Mamo, a Dubai-based fintech, has raised $8million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Global Ventures. Additional participators included 4DX Ventures, AlRajhi Partners and Olive Tree Capital. In addition to joining Visa’s Fast Track Programme, the company has also secured principal regulatory approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
CapitalRise has redeemed £50million to investors since inception, the property investment platform has announced. The platform has returned over £16million to investors in the past four months of this year alone. It provides individuals and institutions with investment opportunities into projects across prime London locations.
UK insurtech Wrisk has closed its Series A funding round of £4.6million. Led by QBN Capital with additional participation from investors Guinness Asset Management and Cell Rising Capital. Wrisk partners with insurance companies to provide customers of automotive brands with mobile-first insurance at the point of sale.
Meanwhile, UAE-based fintech startup Foloosi has raised a $2million pre-Series A funding round from angel investors. Founded by Omar Bin Brek in 2018, Foloosi enables cashless consumer-to-business transactions. The funding will support Foloosi with the launch of its flagship ‘tap on phone’ feature.
Mukuru Africa was awarded the ‘Most Innovative Online Remittance App’ in South Africa by Global Brands Magazine. The fintech was recognised by the jury for its successful efforts in creating a reliable financial banking ecosystem.
Ziina, the UAE’s first social payment app, has announced a new cash competition incentive ahead of its launch in August. The app, with a mission is simplify sending and receiving money for the Middle East, plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by 2022.
Toshiba has announced a trial of using quasi-quantum technology to deliver optimal solutions for an effective high frequency trading (HFT) strategy, within financial trading systems. Partnering with Dharma Capital, Toshiba’s simulated bifurcation machine (SBM) will be applied to engage in HFT strategies on Japanese stocks listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Islamic finance ‘is still finding its feet in North Africa, according to S&P Global Ratings. However, its report suggests some North African countries will slowly turn to the sukuk market to help finance the post-Covid-19 economic recovery. It also says that in order to broaden its reach, the Islamic finance sector still needs to increase awareness of its concepts among customers and investors, as well as completing its framework.
Mergers and acquisitions
Triterras Inc, the fintech firm for trade and trade finance, has agreed to acquire Invoice Bazaar, a provider of supply chain finance services and e-commerce financing the Gulf Cooperation Council markets. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Invoice Bazaar’s Dubai-based founding team will join the Triterras leadership team.
Open banking platform Tink has announced the acquisition of German open banking infrastructure fintech FinTecSystems. Tink, which secured €175million in two funding rounds in 2020, also has plans to expand its payment initiation technology to 10 European countries this year. FinTecSystems will continue to serve customers in the DACH region, as part of Tink.
Tinkoff Investments has unveiled Tinkoff InvestIndex, a set of indices that represent Russian investors’ activity and sentiment. It shows what securities investors are buying or selling, what industries they favour, and what currencies they are holding. The Index is based on anonymous data collected from more than a million investors registered on Tinkoff Investments’ Pulse social network.
Open banking provider Yolt Technology Services has launched Cashflow Analyser tool, a solution powered by its account information services that gives credit underwriters deeper insights into the cashflow of credit applicants. The tool will enable real time and historic analysis of up to 18 months’ worth of customer transaction data.
Innervation Rewards, an incentive and rewards company, has partnered with Mastercard to launch SlipMate, an expense management solution for South African companies. SlipMate offers a mobile app that empowers employees to capture, submit and track expense claims. Backed by Standard Bank and Tutuka, the solution is built on Amazon Web Services.
Stearns Bank has entered into a partnership with Productfy, a banking as a service provider. The partnership will help fintechs facilitate fund distribution and technology infrastructure. It promises fintechs can expect a top neobank solution with the ability to go-to-market in as little as three weeks.
Meanwhile, payments platform Paysafe has forged a partnership with TripGift, the global travel booking and gift card redemption platform. The collaboration will enable customers in 30 countries to pay for travel and e-learning gift experiences using the online cash solution paysafecard.
Immutable X, the layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs built on Ethereum, forms a partnership with video games marketplace Kinguin. The companies share a vision to create a new ‘lightning-fast, low-cost and eco-friendly NFT marketplace for gamers’.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has teamed up with FIS to modernise its digital payment services and to provide instant payment to its customers. The FIS Open Payment Framework (OPF) will consolidate and modernise ADIB’s payment operations. OPF will also support all payment services and schemes that ADIB provides.
Finally, fintech Spoko.app, which specialises in international money transfers, has hooked up global payment platform Checkout.com. Through Checkout.com’s payment rails, Spoko.app customers will receive solutions for transferring money through the application.