The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday sees a new engineering VP for Funding Circle as well as funding success for FairPlay AI.
Funding and investment news
FairPlay AI has raised $10million in Series A funding to help reduce bias in lending. FairPlay uses AI fairness techniques to reduce algorithmic bias for people of colour, women and other historically disadvantaged groups. FairPlay’s customers include fintechs, such as Figure Technologies, Happy Money and Octane.
Zesty.ai, which provides AI-powered property analytics for Farmers and Berkshire Hathaway, has secured a Series B round of $33million. The round was led by Centana Growth Partners. The influx of funding will fuel Zesty.ai’s expansion.
Novel Capital, the fintech growth revenue platform, has extended its seed round led by Ulu Ventures with additional participation also from MatterScale, Edovate Capital, Tenzing Capital and KCRise. The additional funding will accelerate the development of the platform.
Meanwhile, Koffie Insurance, an insurtech for the trucking and transportation sector, has closed an $11million Series A. It brings the company’s total funding to date to $15.5million. The additional raise will be used to enhance current product offerings and further hires.
Yapily, the open banking platform, appoints Caroline Abercrombie as chief people officer, as it continues to rapidly grow its team and reach in Europe. She will lead Yapily’s efforts to acquire top talent as well as continue to embed diversity and inclusion into its fabric.
Funding Circle, the UK small business loan platform, unveils Bruno Tavares as VP of engineering. He joins as the platform continues to develop its multi-product, multi-channel offering; rolling out revolutionary new products and capabilities.
Ncontracts, a provider of integrated compliance and risk management solutions to the financial industry, names Matthew Peace as its chief financial officer. Peace will oversee the company’s growing accounting and financial planning teams.
Volt, the open payments gateway, has recruited Stuart Barclay. He joins Volt after over three years with Swedish open banking unicorn Trustly. Barclay was also previously a senior policy advisor in the UK Cabinet’s Open Innovation Team.
Meanwhile, payment processing firm VizyPay has added 60 new employees over the past four months. Seventy-five per cent are in customer-facing positions and 23 per cent in technology roles. Vizypay also added 30 remote account managers in eight states, including Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Prontoblock appoints Kelley Millet as the company’s chief financial officer and board member. Millet’s fintech experience will ‘accelerate Prontoblock’s traction as a bridge to DeFi serving banks and other financial institutions across the tokenisation of fixed income assets, commodities and collateral’.
Finally, FinTech Wales has appointed Gemma Hallett as its head of skills. The teacher and former international rugby player will help develop and retain fintech skills in Wales. She is also the founder of miFuture, an edtech solution.
Creative agency EveryFriday has been appointed by new ‘banking proposition’ Ashman ahead of its launch. Ashman plans to transform the banking experience for property SMEs. Earlier this month, Ashman received its UK banking licence, becoming the first new entrant to be licenced this year.
Ondo Insurtech is to supply LeakBot detection device and repairs to Admiral Platinum customers. As part of the deal, LeakBot will be supplied to 20,000 customers in the next six months. LeakBot measures air and pipe pressure and can detect any issues before it becomes a bigger problem.
Global fintech TS Imagine expands Montréal operations as demand surges. TS Imagine opened its Montréal development hub in 2019 and is expanding to a new facility in July in order to serve clients worldwide. It describes Montréal as a ‘thriving global fintech hub’.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, has received a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration from the Central Bank of Ireland. The company is now approved to provide its crypto services to individuals and institutions in the Irish market.
Zimpler, a fintech company born in Sweden, has gone live in Norway. Following Sweden, Finland, Germany, Estonia, The Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania, Norway becomes the eighth market to offer Zimpler’s account-to-account payments solutions.
Fintech lender Creditspring says it is saving £17million in UK borrowing costs by offering a no-interest alternative to high-cost credit options. Creditspring’s subscription model is a fixed-cost, low-risk credit solution that offers customers access to two advances per year.
HSBC Kinetic, the banking app for small businesses, has lent over £2million in the first three months of going live. HSBC Kinetic also includes automatically categorised spending overviews, account insights and in-app customer service.
Ping Identity has partnered with open banking platform Flinks to enable customers in the US and Canada to link their financial accounts to fintech apps. From user onboarding to digital loan applications and money transfers, Flinks’ open banking API technology enables financial businesses to access bank-sourced financial data.
Kneip has entered into a strategic partnership with ISS FWW to make European ESG Templates (EET) available in the German market via ISS FWW. The partnership will help to provision transparent, up-to-date and correct ESG data to investors.
And finally… SABIC, a chemicals firm, has launched a pilot project with tech firm Finboot, recycling company Plastic Energy, and packaging firm Intraplás to investigate the possibilities of blockchain technology in supporting end-to-end digital traceability of circular feedstock in customer products. Finboot’s MARCO software solution acts as middleware layer. It will also track the TACOIL produced by Plastic Energy from its recycling process, the delivery of this oil to SABIC for conversion into its TRUCIRCLE circular polymers, and finally the delivery of the polymers to Intraplás for conversion into its packaging solutions.