The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Thursday sees funding success for Pngme and Hopper. While kompasbank goes live on Mambu.
Funding and investment
Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda was valued at $4.1billion after $263million round led by Valar Ventures. Additional participators included LeadBlock Partners, Jump Capital, Alan Howard and REDO Ventures. The company will use the proceeds to strengthen its team as well as design the organisation for scale, while doubling down on state-of-the-art technology, international expansion and growth.
Harbor has raised funds from MakerDao to finance global trade using decentralised finance liquidity. MakerDAO is a decentralised autonomous organisation that maintains and regulates the Dai stablecoin. While Harbor securitises and tokenises trade receivables by integrating with Tinlake.
There’s also investment success for Pngme, the financial data infrastructure and machine learning-as-a-service platform. It has raised a further $15million in Series A funding in a round led by Octopus Ventures. It is using the Series A to expand its executive team – hiring Lorraine Kageni Maina as chief strategy officer and Nick Masson as chief technology officer.
Hopper has completed a $175million Series G financing led by GPI Capital with participation from Glade Brook Capital, WestCap, Goldman Sachs Growth and Accomplice. The funds will be used to accelerate the company’s growth across several fronts including customer support.
Meanwhile, Sightline Payments has secured a $244million round valuing the company at more than $1billion. With the capital raise, Sightline becomes Nevada’s first fintech unicorn. In addition to Cannae Holdings, the round included existing investors Genting Group, Point Break Capital Management and Walter Kortschak.
Encompass Corporation, a provider of know your customer solutions, has unveiled two new executive team members. Alan Samuels, previously head of product, and Magalie Pimentel, former head of marketing, are now VP product and VP marketing, respectively. The announcement follows a strong 12 months for Encompass, with revenue growth.
While Starling has appointed Damian Thompson as a new member of the executive team. As chief asset management officer, Damian is responsible for Starling’s activities around acquiring as well as managing loan assets. Prior to Starling, he led NatWest Market’s UK Financial Institution client business.
Socure, a digital ID verification provider, has named Debra Geister as vice president of product commercialisation, compliance and regulatory. Meanwhile, Mike Cook also joins the firm as vice president of commercialisation, fraud solutions.
Open banking infrastructure provider Yapily has appointed Roland Selmer as chief product officer. The appointment follows a month after Yapily announced its Series B funding raise of $51million, led by Sapphire Ventures. Selmer was previously senior vice president for product at business cloud communications provider Vonage.
Uncapped, a London-based start-up, has hired Vaidas Adomauskas as chief product officer. He joins Uncapped from Revolut, where he was head of Revolut Business, responsible for business strategy, P&L, product and growth. Adomauskas will be responsible for scaling funding products globally as well as launching a suite of banking products and services tailored to the needs of digital entrepreneurs.
Walgreens has introduced a credit card programme, featuring two retail health and wellness credit cards issued by Synchrony Bank. The myWalgreens Mastercard and the myWalgreens Credit Card reward more personalised wellbeing choices and offer rewards at more than 9,000 Walgreens locations, Walgreens.com, as well as the Walgreens mobile app.
Intellect Global Transaction Banking (iGTB), the transaction banking specialist, has unveiled its reimagined digital transaction banking on a cloud platform. It is powered by microservices and open banking APIs for banks in Middle East & North Africa. Transaction banks can accelerate their digital transformation on cloud and onboard their SME & corporate clients in weeks.
Fintech Boku has launched M1ST (aka Mobile First), one of the world’s largest mobile payments network. M1ST reaches 5.7 billion payment accounts in 90 countries through 330+ mobile payment methods. Boku is headquartered in the UK with offices also in Brazil, China, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam and the US.
Meanwhile, Al Fardan Exchange has unveiled its new ‘India Fest’ promotion. Running until 3 September across all its branches in the UAE, the promotion will see customers that remit money to India entered into a weekly draw. The prizes are given by Al Fardan Exchange to recognise the importance of Indian expatriates, in addition to the fact that Indians represent the largest overseas remittance group.
Fintech Paysera has unveiled a delivery and online payment service for e-shops in the Baltic region. Through one integration, an e-commerce business can work with a wide range of different couriers in order to offer customers the best available delivery options. This service is available in Lithuania first, and will later be expanded to the wider market in the Baltic.
Network International has teamed up with TerraPay, the payments infrastructure company. The agreement will boost acceptance of African mobile wallets across Network’s large base of merchants in the UAE. The proposed association will play a ‘key role in building sustainable and scalable interoperable payment options’.
Bank Indonesia and the Bank of Thailand launch a cross-border QR payment linkage between Indonesia and Thailand. The connection is the first that links the retail payment system operators in both countries. It also marks a key milestone in the ASEAN Payment Connectivity initiative, aiming to promote financial integration in the region.
Volt, the open payments gateway, has unveiled a new partnership with global payment processing firm DECTA. The partnership provides customers from 70+ markets – including banks, merchants, online payment service providers and fintechs – with a portal to open banking architecture.
kompasbank, the Danish challenger bank for SMEs, has gone live on Mambu’s SaaS banking platform. Carsten Smith, COO at kompasbank said “We have set ourselves ambitious targets to serve SMEs in Denmark and we think Mambu is the right choice to help us on our growth trajectory, thanks to their proven, and truly cloud-native, API-first architecture.
TPAY MOBILE, a digital payments platform, has unveiled the first phase of its strategic app monetisation partnership with Huawei. The partnership is live across twelve mobile operators in seven countries within the MEA region. It enables local and global developers to accept DCB payments for their apps and services through Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).
Insurtech ecosystem specialist Quotall has entered into a strategic partnership with global insurance distribution business Acrisure. Under the partnership, Acrisure will provide insurance product sourcing and insurer partnership services to meet the portfolio needs of Quotall clients.
GoCardless, the account-to-account payments firm, has unveiled a partnership with Piano, the analytics and activation platform, to deliver new bank debit capabilities. The new integration is designed to help publishers and brands market, sell and fulfill premium content offerings.
Glint, the gold-based payments system, has revealed its total transactions have surpassed £200million since launch. Its UK crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs has also proved successful, raising more than £3million from 1,200 investors. Emmanuel Ide also recently joined as Glint’s new head of engineering to develop its technology platform.
Mode Global Holdings, the LSE-listed fintech group, has launched a range of initiatives to tackle its carbon footprint. It has signed the Crypto Climate Accord and agreed to reduce net emissions from its cryptocurrency activities before the end of the decade.
Research and insight
Strong digital transformation has taken place in the finance and accounting functions across companies of various sizes in the Middle East and India. A new report by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), reveals digital transformation of finance has rapidly gained speed across this region, propelled by normal business competition, and accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.