The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Thursday puts the spotlight on the latest partnerships, funding success stories, as well as new launches.
Eficode, the DevOps company, has unveiled the acquisition of Beecom AG, an Atlassian consultant in Switzerland. It says the move will aid the accelerated growth of the Eficode ROOT DevOps platform. Beecom has more than 200 customers in Switzerland in banking, automotive, business services and security.
Samana Developers now accepts Dogecoin cryptocurrency as a payment option for its upcoming residential project in Jumeirah Village Circle Dubai. It will use Cayman-islands based Binance cryptocurrency exchange for payments.
The Spanish Fintech and Insurtech Association has invited Cobertoo, Regtech Solutions, Mi Legado Digital, Onyze and Pensumo for its Sandbox project. Sandbox promotes the generation of new initiatives in the fintech ecosystem, facilitating access to financing and fostering greater competition. Projects are authorised by the General Directorate of Insurance and Pensions (DGSFP) to help develop new projects by insurtechs.
The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade (BMCI) has a network of 52 branches and more than 200 partner-businesses following the launch of its digital bank Masrvi last month. It partnered with TagPay to use its next-generation core banking system for rolling out Masrvi.
Meanwhile, Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has selected 16 tech startups from 11 countries to join its community. Hub71 picked startups that have collectively raised more than AED274million in funding. Each quarter, Hub71’s selection committee selects startups to join the ecosystem.
Digital money transfer service Azimo is now available to people in Canada to send money to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. All new Azimo customers in Canada will receive two fee-free transfers when they start using the service.
Crown Prince of Dubai launches digital crowdfunding initiative to boost entrepreneurship. The Dubai Next platform enables community members to participate in supporting emerging projects. The platform will contribute to stimulating positive competition and encouraging youth to put forward innovative ideas as well as obtain community support through crowdfunding.
Axiory Global has unveiled a new MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading account and trading platform. New features include the ability to host trading assets besides CFDs, such as exchange products, ETFs and bonds. MT5 Tera has also extended its 50 per cent bonus campaign for traders to make up to $5000 in trading credit.
A Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) taskforce has launched several initiatives to accelerate green finance in Singapore. The Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT) issued a guide for climate-related disclosures by financial institutions, as well as a framework to help banks assess eligible green trade finance transactions. It also released a whitepaper on scaling green finance in the real estate, infrastructure, fund management and transition sectors.
Wingocard, the mobile banking app and debit card for rewarding teens has officially launched. It is built for teens aged 13-plus, who link their account to a parent’s account. Wingocard lets them request money from parents, manage their finances in the app, as well as make purchases with a Visa Wingocard debit card. Wingocard has also secured $1.7million in a round led by Panache Ventures.
Buy now, pay later firm Openpay has forged a partnership with OneStepCheckout. The collaboration enables OneStepCheckout merchants to offer a range of Openpay’s payment plans at checkout. One Step Checkout AS is a Norwegian company with a mission to improve checkout conversion for Magento stores.
Meanwhile, Silverflow has unveiled a partnership with Deutsche Bank to launch new payment solutions for corporate banking clients in Germany and PSPs across Europe and the US. The collaboration will see two new payment services launch in Autumn 2021.
Arab Financial Services (AFS), the payment provider in the Middle East and Africa, and payment firm Discover have signed a strategic network alliance agreement. This will give Discover, Diners Club International, as well as network alliance cardholders the ability to use their card on AFS Android-based point-of-sale terminals across the Kingdom of Bahrain.
epay, a business segment of Euronet Worldwide, is now the digital gift card and prepaid products partner for Revolut. The partnership spans across 36 countries via an API integration into Revolut’s three apps. In addition, epay’s services will form part of the standard Revolut proposition for future international launches.
Commit USA and Joyn Insurance have teamed up to support the development of Joyn’s upcoming insurtech platform. Commit will help with both design and development of the new platform’s user experience. Joyn will work with retail brokers to provide insurance services across a range of industries.
Meanwhile, Wethos has partnered with Unit to launch embedded banking and payments to help freelancers grow and scale their business. Wethos users can make free and instant peer-to-peer payments to teammates as well as bill clients. Wethos users are also eligible for a free business bank account with a debit card, powered by Unit’s banking-as-a-service API.
Silicon Valley Bank UK Branch (SVB) has provided Wise a new £160million capital facility to refinance existing debt. The financing supports the payments firm with its funds flow and ongoing working capital needs. According to reports, Wise is also mulling a direct listing on the London stock market.
Digital marketplace noon.com has unveiled a partnership with trading firm Al Himam and noon’s electronic platform Mahali. More than 60 Al Himam sellers have joined the platform, listing more than 40 handmade items including prayer beads, embroidered towels and ceramics.
AI lending platform Upstart has expanded and extended a partnership with super-community bank Customers Bank. Using the Upstart Referral Network and its own consumer banking site, Customers Bank will scale its personal loan programme.
Digital asset infrastructure provider Taurus has adopted GMEX trading technology to support the launch of Taurus Digital eXchange (TDX) – its digital assets marketplace. Taurus obtained a securities firm licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA to operate TDX as an organised trading facility. TDX utilises the GMEX exchange trading and market surveillance solutions.
Meanwhile, CEX.IO, the cryptocurrency exchange, has selected FIS to provide card management and processing services to launch crypto-based consumer cards across Europe. The cards will tie traditional debit capabilities to modern cryptocurrency accounts.
Payment orchestration platform IXOPAY has teamed up with Aplauz, the fair payment firm. The partnership means both can provide clients with a payment solution that enables them to make every payment a conscious choice.
Everysk Technologies, the investment technology company, is providing automated portfolio risk monitoring technology to XP’s institutional asset management business. XP is a financial services platform in Brazil. Everysk provides stress testing, factor modelling and risk attribution for multi-asset, multi-currency portfolios covering 90 exchanges, 200,000 global equities, 40 currencies, government and corporate bonds, derivatives and private assets.
Meanwhile, Lunch Money, the personal finance and budgeting app, has partnered with Zabo to offer cryptocurrency account tracking across 50-plus exchanges and wallets. The partnership will enable Lunch Money’s users to track holdings in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies alongside their regular banking, investment and credit card accounts.
Modularbank, the next-generation core banking platform, has teamed up with AI-powered identity verification software provider Veriff. Veriff’s compliance and KYC offering will be added to Modularbank’s product ecosystem as a ‘plug and play’ solution. According to Veriff’s recent Fraud Report, the rate of fraud in the fintech industry more than tripled in spring 2020.
Swedish neo insurer Hedvig has initiated an international expansion across Europe starting with Denmark. The company aims to reach 100 employees by the end of 2021, hiring an additional 30 employees in tech, product and growth. Launched in Sweden in 2018 and Norway in 2020, the company has secured $23million in funding to date.
oneZero, a multi-asset enterprise trading technology solutions provider, has hired Marc Reider as director of hub product management. He will oversee building of the advanced execution and risk management capabilities of oneZero’s Hub technology to meet the needs of institutional clients.
Funding and investments
Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has tripled its valuation after closing a $285million funding round.
The Indian fintech firm serves more than 150,000 merchants across Asia and the Middle East. New investors included Baron Capital Group, Duro Capital, Marshall Wace, Moore Strategic Ventures and Ward Ferry. While existing investors Temasek, Lone Pine Capital and Sunley House Capital also participated.
Back Market, the electronics marketplace, has secured an investment round of €276million led by General Atlantic with the support of Generation Investment Management, as well as existing investors Aglaé Ventures, Eurazeo, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity and daphni.
Commission-free brokerage platform Stake has enjoyed a successful funding round of $30million. Investment from Tiger Global Tiger Global Management, LLC and partners of DST Global will fuel Stake’s expansion into new markets as well as broaden its product offering.
StudentFinance.com – the fintech company building helping education providers offer Income Share Agreements (ISAs) – has secured a $5.3million seed round. Co-led by Giant Ventures and Armilar Venture Partners, StudentFinance.com intends to expand into the UK later this year.
Meanwhile, Amount has closed a Series D capital raise, bringing in nearly $100million of additional primary equity capital from growth equity firm WestCap. Now an official startup unicorn with a post-money valuation in excess of $1billion, Amount will use the capital to boost growth.
Finally, e-commerce delivery business Bosta has closed a Series A investment of $6.7million. Silicon Badia led the round, with participation from 4DX Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Wealth Well VC, Khwarizmi VC, as well as other regional and global investors.
Further funding news
Climate intelligence platform Cervest has enjoyed an oversubscribed Series A funding round of $30million. The funding, led by Draper Esprit, will be used to accelerate the platform’s rollout into Europe and the US. Cervest provides access to data on how flooding, droughts and extreme temperatures can impact assets.
ThetaRay, an Israeli technology company accelerating cross-border payments between banks, has completed a $31million fundraising round. New investors include Benhamou Global Ventures and Saints Fund, which has appointed one of its managing partners to the ThetaRay board. The company will use the capital to market a cloud version of its AI-based anomaly-detection products. It will also expand its target audiences to any organisation that deals in cross-border payments.
Meanwhile, Irish fintech Payslip has closed a $10million Series A financing round, bringing the company’s total financing to $14.5million. MiddleGame Ventures led the round, with Mouro Capital serving as co-lead and additional participation from Frontline Ventures. Funding will be used to hire more talent across a range of departments, as well as help Payslip scale into new markets.