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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 21/07

Delve into the latest fintech partnerships, job moves and funding successes in the The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday.

Job news

IDnow, a European provider of identity proofing and digital identities, has appointed Mike Kiely as its sales director for financial services. Kiely most recently headed up identity and biometric sales at GBG. He will drive the firm’s substantial growth ambitions in the financial sector in the UK.

Judith Hartley has been appointed CEO of British Business Investments, one of the British Business Bank’s commercial subsidiaries. Catherine Lewis La Torre has been appointed CEO of British Patient Capital and has also been appointed chair of British Business Investments, taking over from Francis Small who recently concluded his term in office.

Abhish Saha is revealed as the new CEO for Sandstone. He replaces Michael Phillipou who is leaving the business. Saha says he is excited to have the opportunity to lead one of Australia’s leading fintechs through its next period of growth. He previously held the role of executive general manager of the firm’s digital banking and elevate business unit globally.

Meanwhile, William Blair, the boutique with expertise in investment banking, has unveiled three senior hires in its tech-enabled services investment banking practice. Blake Jones joins as MD in Chicago while Josh Funt and Louis Oliver join as directors based in Atlanta. All three will focus on the financial services sector.

Finally, European payments firm Recharge.com appoints Martine Tiemersma as chief of staff. She has worked at Recharge for five years in various positions. Tiemersma will help open regional outposts, including Recharge’s office in Lisbon, Portugal – home to the company’s new tech development hub.

job moves

Funding updates

Sudan-based fintech Bloom has raised $6.5million in a seed round. backed by Visa. Other investors also included Y Combinator, Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Goodwater Capital. Bloom offers fee-free accounts for users to save in dollars and buy and spend in Sudanese pounds.

Insurtech Gateway has completed the first close of its Seed Fund II. It can now back 20 startups over the next four years from pre-seed to Series A. The firm already supports 24 portfolio companies, live in 37 countries, working with 26 insurers.

Partnerships

GoCardless has partnered with Xero, the global small business platform, to provide its Instant Bank Pay feature to Xero’s customers in the UK. With Instant Bank Pay, Xero users can receive one-off bank-to-bank payments from new and existing customers while still reaping the benefits of Direct Debit for their recurring payments.

Payments and FX fintech Freemarket is appointed by Alternative Airlines, the flight search and booking site, to provide multi-currency payment and foreign exchange services. The appointment enables Alternative Airlines to expand its footprint and trade in the currencies of Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Mambu, the SaaS cloud banking platform, has teamed up with Portuguese financial services brand Universo. Mambu will help Universo iterate products faster and expand its digital offering further. Following their partnership, Universo can offer a ‘hyper personalised end-to-end financial experience, helping customers manage their money better’.

Moneyhub is partnering with Pennyworth, a financial planning and banking app, to redesign digital banking for the aspiring-affluent consumer. Pennyworth, which has applied for a UK banking licence, has developed a planning tool powered by Moneyhub’s APIs. The tool uses a combination of open banking, open finance and machine learning to turn goals into a customised financial plan and track progress against those targets.

Sage has announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft. The news includes plans to integrate Microsoft Business Products, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, as embedded services in Sage products and the Sage Digital Network. The aim is to simplify workflows for small and medium businesses.

parntnerships

More collaborations

Fraud prevention firm SEON reveals it has helped B2B buy now, pay later business Biller reduce fraudulent transactions by 87 per cent across its platform. It has also helped decrease the company’s manual review times by 93 per cent. In addition, SEON’s fraud fighting solution has helped Biller cut lending decisions from four days to 10 seconds.

Network International, a digital commerce enabler in MEA region, has forged a strategic partnership with Foodics, the cloud-based restaurant payments platform. Through this partnership, SMEs in the UAE’s F&B sector will get access to Foodics’ electronic cash register and its software platform.

Property and casualty carrier Harford Mutual has turned to One Inc, the payments network for the insurance industry, in order to process claims payments and synchronise its workflow. Harford Mutual will integrate One Inc’s ClaimsPay technology with its claims administration software provider, Origami Risk.

Meanwhile, Virgin Money, the high-street bank, is partnering with Superscript, the insurtech scale-up, to provide its business banking customers with customisable, flexible, subscription-based business insurance. Superscript will be the business insurance provider on Virgin Money’s new online marketplace.

Company updates

Cheeky Rangas NFT Collection, a collection of 9,700 unique, utility-enabled non-fungible tokens (NFTs) themed around the plight of orangutans and the destruction of their rainforest habitat, will donate proceeds to The Orangutan Project with the aim of protecting over 100,000 acres of rainforest.

Financial app KoinWorks has opened an operational office in Singapore. It will serve as its main hub in Asia. KoinWorks also revealed its plans to develop closer relationships with international institutions that share its goals for success.

FNZ, the global wealth management platform, has acquired New Access, a specialised private banking technology operating in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. The strategic acquisition of New Access represents a further investment by FNZ into the growing private banking and cross-border wealth sector.

Payment technology provider Dojo has moved into a fancy new home in @TheDock, a major regeneration scheme in Hull’s Fruit Market, adjacent to the city’s Central Dry Dock. Designed by interior design firm Chameleon Business Interiors, the design includes workspaces and desking for individual teams, as well as training facilities and meeting rooms.

Dojo

Launches and product updates

Sydney-based payments fintech disruptor Till Payments has launched its NextGen Pay By Link offering, offering a secure, PCI compliant way for businesses to take remote payments, as well as the ability to accept Apple Pay and other alternative payment methods. The solution has been deployed in a pilot programme.

Meanwhile, ESG Book launches fund scoring solution enabling investors to assess the sustainability, emissions intensity ratio, and corporate risk attached to the world’s largest funds. ESG Book analysed more 35,000 funds. Its analysis shows that across funds worth $40trillion, 20 percent of assets fail to disclose emissions on average. It also reveals that none of the world’s major market indices will remain below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.

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