Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 18 July 2023 – dive into the latest global fintech updates.
Binance, the blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has appointed Eleanor Hughes as its general counsel. Hughes will lead the company’s legal affairs alongside a team of 85 lawyers. She will also be working closely with the global compliance team to support Binance’s commitment to responsibly growing the industry in close collaboration with regulators and policymakers globally.
Thredd, the ‘next-gen’ payments platform, names Ava Kelly as chief product officer. Kelly joins Thredd from i2c and will help to accelerate Thredd’s global market expansion while driving innovation across product lines.
Versapay appoints Greg Stivers as chief revenue officer. Stivers will be responsible for overseeing the expansion of all revenue generating activities, further strengthening Versapay’s position in AR automation and B2B payments.
Anchor Loans, a US provider of financing to residential real estate developers, builders and entrepreneurs, has welcomed Jim Fraser as chief operating officer. In this role, Fraser is responsible for the customer experience that Anchor delivers as well as day-to-day operations. He will also take the lead in expanding Anchor’s homebuilder and build-to-rent finance programmes.
Invoice finance provider Bibby Financial Services has appointed Gayle Robertson as business development manager as it continues to drive new business volumes throughout Scotland. She joins from Lloyds Banking Group where she spent 19 years in both operational and sales roles.
Technology consultancy partner true9 has named Jenna Bennett as the business’s new head of implementation. Bennett will be tasked with helping to lead further business growth as true9 approaches a milestone ninth birthday.
Credit risk data and analytics company Credit Benchmark has announced Michael Crumpler as chief executive officer. Donal Smith, current CEO and co-founder, will be remaining on in his capacity as executive chairman. Crumpler joined Credit Benchmark in 2016 and previous roles include chief operating officer and head of risk.
Payroll connectivity platform Argyle appoints Anaid Chacón to the position of senior vice president of product. She spent more than seven years as a member of the Dropbox product team, rising to the role of lead product manager. Argyle is focused on optimising the use and adoption of Argyle’s products across mortgage, lending, banking and background checks.
Binance, the blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has appointed Eleanor Hughes as its general counsel. She will lead the company’s legal affairs alongside a team of 85 lawyers. Hughes joined Binance’s legal team in November 2021. She was subsequently promoted to be the head of legal for APAC and MENA for Binance.
Fintech Broadridge names Mike Sleightholme as president of Broadridge International. Sleightholme, who is based in London, will be responsible for delivering Broadridge’s customer support along with its portfolio of technology and data solutions throughout the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions – including solutions supporting the capital markets trade lifecycle, global governance and communications, and asset management.
FYLD, an AI-powered work execution platform, hires Diego De La Sotta as chief commercial officer. De La Sotta will spearhead FYLD’s international growth strategy, aiming to amplify the company’s footprint from the UK to North America, Latin America, and Australia. FYLD has also welcomed Danielle Ullner, managing director and partner at BCG X, to its board.
Konstantinos Kounadis has taken on the role of CEO of Thea Artemis S.A., a loan servicing company managing a €1.3billion non-performing loan portfolio. The new CEO looks to expand the Thea Artemis offering to include real estate management and the servicing of performing loans. More recently, he was CEO and president of consultancy Montenero Capital Markets Advisors.
Tulip, a provider of cloud-based retail solutions, and Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, have joined in a strategic partnership that brings together Tulip’s expertise in retail POS solutions and Stripe’s payment technology, offering enhanced and frictionless payment experiences for retailers.
Kalima, a delegated proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain for IoT and data, has entered into a new agreement with ABO Digital, a private alternative funding investment group based in the Bahamas and Dubai. This partnership involves a commitment of $10million into the French-based blockchain company.
Swarm, a regulated DeFi platform, announces its partnership with Mattereum, a digital identity layer for real world assets on Ethereum, that will bring traditional assets on-chain for institutional investors to trade on its decentralised and regulated infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Canadian Tire Bank (CTB), the financial arm of Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) has adopted Temenos Banking Cloud to accelerate its core modernisation. Tire Bank chose the Temenos platform to replace its legacy core systems. It is also now extending its relationship with Temenos and moving to a software-as-a-service model.
HeavyFinance, a European climate tech investment marketplace, has partnered with global carbon markets expert ClearBlue Markets with the goal of generating 250,000 carbon credits from 100,000 hectares of agricultural land. ClearBlue Markets will help market and sell at least 40 percent of the credits’ total volume upfront. The remaining credits will be sold over time, with ClearBlue receiving a fixed percentage.
HedgeFlows, a fintech platform for SMEs, has partnered with Travelex to help people plan against volatile exchange rates. The partnership sees the launch of a secure exchange rate product, enabling UK holidaymakers to secure rates ahead of their holiday and protect travel money against currency fluctuations.
Currencycloud has partnered with accounts payable platform Nook, to enable its customers to manage the full lifecycle of supplier payments from invoice processing to payment execution, accessing more than 35 currencies in a single application.
Hands In, the group payments solution provider, has forged a strategic partnership with inai, the APAC regional payment specialist. The collaboration aims to spearhead transformative growth in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sector, offering innovative payment solutions to clients in Europe and expanding into the APAC market.
Standard Chartered Bank and Access Bank Plc (Access) have entered into agreements for the sale of Standard Chartered’s shareholding in its subsidiaries in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia and Sierra Leone, and its Consumer, Private & Business Banking business in Tanzania. Each transaction remains subject to the approval of the respective local regulators and the banking regulator in Nigeria.
UKG, a provider of HR, payroll and workforce management solutions, has completed the acquisition of Immedis, a payroll provider with technology and services supporting more than 160 countries and 120 currencies. With the acquisition closing, UKG announced the immediate launch of UKG One View, a multi-country payroll experience.
TMT Analysis (TMT), a mobile number and device intelligence company, has acquired UK-based Phronesis Technologies Ltd. The deal enables TMT to further expand its range of products and services in the growing mobile and device identity market.
UK workplace pension provider Smart Pension has snapped up Evolve Pensions, a provider in workplace pension services through its master trust the Crystal Trust. The Crystal Trust currently has over 128,000 members as well as £750million in assets. The acquisition is the latest in Smart Pension’s consolidation strategy, which also now includes nine former master trusts including the Ensign Master Trust, the Welplan Master Trust, the Corpad Master Trust and Corporate Pensions Trust.
Funding and investments
Flash, Egypt’s new cashless payments app, has completed a $6million seed round led by Addition with participation also from Flourish Ventures. This funding will be used to accelerate the startup’s product development as well as customer and business acquisition in Egypt. Flash has also obtained approval from the Central Bank of Egypt in partnership with Banque Misr to operate as a technical payment aggregator.
European SME finance provider Silvr has secured a new credit facility worth up to €230million from Channel Capital as well as Citi. The funding will fast-track Silvr’s growth and international expansion. The new credit facility, which comes a year after Silvr raised its first debt facility for €100million, will be backed by the loans Silvr originates to SMEs.
Fraud and identity decisioning platform Bureau bags an additional $4.5million from GMO VenturePartners to complete its series A funding round at $16.5million. In addition to the funding round, Bureau has completed the acquisition of inVOID, a YC-backed identity verification startup and agreed a strategic partnership with GMO Payment Gateway.
Thunes, the B2B payment infrastructure platform, has secured three new investors in Visa, EDBI and Endeavor Catalyst to its Series C funding round. This investment brings the total Series C funding to $72million, coming shortly after Thunes announced an investment of $60million led by London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace, Bessemer Venture Partners as well as 01Fintech.