The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup we put the spotlight on the latest international stories, including funding success for London-based fintechs Zilch and FintechOS.
Zink Pay chooses Codebase Technologies – the open API banking solutions provider – to power its payments processing systems. Zink says the partnership will help evolve the UAE’s payments landscape, while providing more flexibility for payers and greater assurance for billers.
Cryptocurrency wallet platform Klever.io has added Apple Pay as a payment method for crypto through its integration with Simplex. Simplex pioneers global on/off ramps to the entire crypto ecosystem, working with exchanges, brokers and digital wallets.
Sunwest Bank, a business bank serving the Western United States, has forged a partnership with electronic payments consulting firm Serve First Solutions. Sunwest has selected Serve First as its sole merchant services partner for its clients.
There’s also a partnership for Forter Partners with Flutterwave for driving e-commerce growth across Africa. The new partnership connects more than 290,000 businesses with Forter’s global network to approve more legitimate online transactions and block fraud instantaneously.
Group 42 (G42), based in Abu Dhabi, has signed an agreement with Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to form a new joint venture. Called Presight.AI, the venture will commercialise artificial intelligence and big data technologies. Presight.AI will also establish an R&D centre in Israel.
Passwordless authentication firm Secret Double Octopus has named Steve Laubenstein as vice president of global sales. He most recently served as general manager at Core Security and prior to this, executive positions at multiple cybersecurity software and solutions organisations.
FSS (Financial Software and Systems), a global payment processor, has appointed Sanjoy Bose as chief revenue officer for South Asia. He will focus on expanding and further strengthening the brand in the region with new logo acquisitions, as well as revenue growth for multi-faceted retail payments.
RTGS.global, the real-time cross-border liquidity network, has unveiled Dave Sissens as CEO. The company describes Sissens as ideal to help execute its commercial growth strategy, as well as bolstering its leadership team.
Aire, the data and technology firm, is looking for a new senior commercial executive in order to lead the credit fintech’s international go-to-market strategy. Aire recently promotes Tom Oscherwitz to VP operations and counsel further bolstering the credit bureau’s intentions within the US market.
Meanwhile, Rahim Daya has been appointed CEO of Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA and relocated to the Barclays’ Geneva office. He will be responsible for positioning the business for growth in the region. Daya will also retain his position as head of the Middle East market for Barclays Private Bank.
Finally, Standard Bank Group has chosen Yinka Sanni as CEO for Africa Regions, as well as a member of the Group Leadership Council. Sanni, previously the Group’s regional chief executive for West Africa, succeeds Sola David-Borha, who has retired.
Mergers and acquisitions
Lion Group Holding Ltd, the trading platform operator, has completed its acquisition of Lion FinTech Group. It has entered into a share purchase agreement with Jian Wang, a majority shareholder and director of the company. Chunning Wang, CEO of Lion, said the acquisition will expand its trading business into the crypto asset market.
Funding and investments
FintechOS, the global technology provider, has raised $60million in Series B funding. Led by Draper Esprit, the round included additional participation from existing investors Earlybird Digital East, Gapminder Ventures, LAUNCHub Ventures and OTB Ventures. Funds will fuel international expansion in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and North America.
London-based buy now, pay later Zilch has raised $80million in Series B funding round. The funding will be used to invest in a US presence and continued growth in the UK. Investors included Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund. Over the last two years, Zilch has raised more than $120million as well as quadrupled its internal headcount to 80.
Starling has secured a £50million investment by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. The investment is an extension of the bank’s oversubscribed £272million Series D funding round in March 2021, which valued it in excess of £1.1billion pre-money. This takes the total raised in the Series D round to £322million.
Welsh bank Hodge has made a landmark investment in payment platform Yoello. The investment will help the Wales-based fintech continue its accelerated growth of its mobile payments and banking platform. The partnership will accelerate Yoello’s international expansion while ‘enabling disruptive financial products’.
Investors Maven ploughs £2.5million into big data analytics business Cardinality. Following the investment, Cardinality will deepen its foothold within its existing market as well as expand its data ingestion and analytics platform Perception into other verticals. It will also help Cardinality accelerate its traction in the North American market.
Fintech startup BezoMoney has secured $200,000 in a seed funding round led by Goodsoil VC. The funding will be used to acquire a Payment and Financial Technology Service Providers licence in Ghana and build new products. In addition, the funding will be used to grow its user base, expand its team and scale across Ghana.
Announcements and launches
Apiiro, the code risk platform, is one of 10 finalists in the RSA Conference 2021 Innovation Sandbox Contest. On 19 May, Apiiro will present its technology to a panel of renowned cybersecurity industry judges and a live virtual audience. Other finalists include Strata, Sartori, Deduce and CapePrivacy.
Liv., the digital lifestyle bank by Emirates NBD, is expanding its ‘millennial-friendly proposition’ with the launch of a credit card programme. The Liv. Platinum and Liv. World credit cards offer customers the flexibility to switch between reward programmes, as well as obtain higher rewards.
Fintech startup Fundkiss has been granted peer-to-peer lending licence from Financial Services Commission (FSC), the regulating body in Mauritius. This marks Fundkiss’s move from the regulatory sandbox licence it operated under for the last two years, granted by the Economic Development Board (EDB) Mauritius.
Finally, Emkan, which offers financing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has marked its first anniversary with the launch of an E2E digital financing solution. It offers customers instant financing with no paperwork requirements along with preferred repayment plans.