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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 20/12

Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 20 December 2022. Today we hear news of funding success for Plooto and a new hire for Kore Labs.

Jobs

Kore Labs appoints Ged Brannan as chief operating officer. He leaves his role as an associate partner at Q5. The appointment helps Kore build on its significant recent growth and further strengthens the leadership team.  Kore enables investment managers to digitise the management and governance of their product.

Sarah Cardell is named the new CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Cardell has held the position of interim CEO since July 2022 following the departure of Andrea Coscelli. Cardell was previously general counsel at the CMA.

Banking as a service fintech Griffin unveils two new executive hires. Sameer Dubey joins as chief product officer while Fergus Speight is named general counsel. These appointments aim  to strengthen Griffin’s leadership team as the company enters a key phase of growth.

The British Business Bank has appointed Edward Tellwright to the role of senior manager for the South West. Before his business career, he played professional rugby with stints at Sale Sharks, Rotherham and Jersey. More recent roles included working at Business West with early-stage businesses and on StartUp Loans, before moving to Innovate UK EDGE.

ConnexPay, a payments technology company, has appointed Blair Jeffery as chief operating officer. The strategic hire follows significant Series C investment and strengthens international growth plans. He previously served as CEO at Vertical.

Funding and investments

fundingPlooto, which provides end-to-end accounts payable and accounts receivable automation software for SMBs, has closed a $20million Series B funding round. The all-equity round was led by Centana Growth Partners with participation also from FINTOP Capital and Luge Capital. Funding will be used to drive customer expansion, introduce new product lines, ramp up hiring as well as help Plooto customise its offering for accounting and bookkeeping firms.

Aerotruth, a partner tech SaaS company, has raised A$1.3million in an oversubscribed Seed round, led by Archangel Ventures. It also saw participation from Afterwork Ventures, Black Sheep Capital and Change Com. The company launched globally in May this year and currently has over 40 financial institutions on its platform.

Updraft, a financial habit forming platform, has raised £108million. A debt funding round was led by NatWest, with Hampshire Trust Bank also joining. In addition, LightHouse Canton and Auluk Investment led equity funding. Updraft said the funding will help power its ambitious growth strategy. The company said it plans to open its Series B funding soon.

Walnut Insurance, a technology company that provides infrastructure for embedded insurance, reveals a $4million seed round, with ATB Financial and NAventures, National Bank of Canada’s corporate venture capital arm, as the lead investors. Other investors including Harvest Venture Partners, Highline Beta and N49P also took part.

There’s also funding success for Rest Less, a digital community and financial services platform for people aged over 50. It has secured £6million in its latest funding round led by Moneta Venture Capital. It also enjoyed additional new investment from Sony Financial Ventures/Global Brain and Exceptional Ventures. It plans to accelerate investment in unique financial services offerings in the pensions and later life lending space.

Partnerships

BOKIS, a Danish payment company, has extended an agreement with Nets, part of the Nexi Group. BOKIS member banks will continue to issue and process the Danish domestic card, Dankort, and international payment cards through Nets.

MAG, the UAE real estate developer, has signed an agreement with CoinMENA, a crypto asset service provider in MENA to facilitate real estate purchases using cryptocurrencies. Under this agreement, the developer will accept stablecoins, including USDT and USDC.

Clarity AI, the sustainability tech platform, has partnered with Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business, to develop SFDR Reporting Professional. The tool helps LSEG’s customers comply with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) through accurate reporting of 20 mandatory and optional fields.

Fintech DKK Partners launches Christmas campaign with Shelter to tackle homelessness in London. As part of the package, DKK will distribute a £10,000 donation fund to organisations including Shelter. DKK staff members will also spend time volunteering at local London soup kitchens and food banks.

Hargreaves Lansdown has chosen Origo to connect to the central digital architecture of the pensions dashboard and respond to citizens’ data requests. Origo Dashboard Connector was designed to enable pension providers and administrators to connect to the pension dashboard’s core architecture easily, securely and cost-effectively.

DNB Bank has partnered with conversational AI firm Boost.ai, to transform customer satisfaction through the adoption of virtual agents (VAs). As a result, DNB has been able to fully automate 50 percent of all its chat traffic and improve customer satisfaction scores to over 65 per cent.

partnerships

Company updates

Temenos is recognised as a global sustainability leader in the 2022 Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI), achieving the top score for the software and services industry. The achievement marks Temenos’ inclusion in the DJSI World Index for the fourth year running and the DJSI Europe Index for the third consecutive year.

Humans is named Best Fintech 2022 from Visa. Every year, the payments company presents awards to banks and fintech organisations that issue bank cards jointly with Visa. According to the 2022 results, Humans has become a leader in this field in Uzbekistan. Humans VISA cards provide citizens of Uzbekistan with access to offline and online products anywhere in the world.

Fintech Conotoxia launches a multi-currency card 2.0. The new product makes it possible to share cards with family members or company employees. Card owners can share the balance as well as control expenses and set limits.

Swedish fintech Brite Payments, plans to scale further as it enters 2023, on the back of high growth over the past 12 months. The instant payments company has more than doubled revenue and transaction volume on its platform this year, as well as reaching a number of significant growth milestones. The second-generation fintech has also expanded its operations to reach new markets in Europe.

Alipay+, a provider of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions, has rolled out its first year-end promotion campaign with merchants across Asia and Europe, in collaboration with five Asian e-wallet partners – AlipayHK (Hong Kong SAR, China), GCash (Philippines), Kakao Pay (South Korea), TrueMoney (Thailand) and Touch ‘n Go eWallet (Malaysia).

Author

  • Claire works across print and online as Editor for The Fintech Times.

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