Delve into The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Thursday 22 July for the latest fintech news snippets from around the world. Payment provider Mollie is opening a development hub in Portugal, while Revolut selects Equifax as data and analytics partner in UK.
LPA Group, the capital market technology firm, has added Mark Reeves to its team as a senior advisor. Based in London, his focus is to accelerate growth in LPA’s US and British software and consulting businesses. He will also help develop new solutions for the complex capital markets environments.
LedgerEdge, the ecosystem for trading, unveils Michelle Neal as CEO of US operations. The appointment supports the US expansion of the firm as well as the rollout of a global corporate bond trading platform built on distributed ledger technology. LedgerEdge will launch a UK multi-lateral trading facility in Q3 2021, followed by a US alternative trading system in 2022.
Meanwhile, fintech Validis – a provider of open accounting data and analytics – appoints Ronan O’Dea as head of product. He’s tasked with strengthening global proposition, unifying product vision as well as accelerating innovation and growth plans. O’Dea previously worked at Lloyds and Metro Bank.
Carolyn Schuetz is now a non-executive director at OakNorth Bank. For the past 16 years, she has worked at HSBC, most recently as the chief operating officer for group retail banking and wealth management. Schuetz also worked with Charles Schwab & Co to help build its first-generation digital brokerage services platform.
FETCH, the pay and order solution for hospitality venues from POS8, has welcomed Craig Fenton to its advisory board. Fenton currently leads strategy & operations for Google in the UK and Ireland. FETCH also recently exceeded a second round of funding on Seedrs by 142 per cent.
Finally, Finastra has appointed Oren Marmur as general manager, payments. Based in Israel, he will continue to promote the firm’s product modernisation journey towards a cloud-based platform and ecosystem. He will also support new and existing customers on their digital transformation journeys.
Bahrain-based Batelco has become the first telecom company in the GCC to receive licences for open banking. It can provide both consumers and SMEs with services, such as digital wallet creation, cards issuance services, bank accounts aggregation and bank account payments initiation on behalf of clients and third parties.
Conexiom, a provider of document automation solutions, says Q2 2021 was its best quarter in company history. Its cloud-based solutions are purpose-built for automating documents used in the O2C and P2P processes, such as sales orders, advanced shipping notices and accounts payable invoices.
Meanwhile, Mollie, the payment service provider, has opened a new development hub in Portugal. Diogo Antunes, a senior engineering manager at Mollie, will manage the Lisbon Development Hub. By the end of 2022, the hub will support up to 60 staff. The move follows Mollie’s Series C round where it raised €665million.
MoonPay, the global payments solution for cryptocurrency, supports Polygon, a protocol and framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks, to enable purchases of MATIC (Polygon’s token and PoS chain) assets with fiat currency. It also lets users access NFT marketplaces and decentralised apps on the Polygon ecosystem.
New data released by Tech Nation, the UK’s tech scaleup guru, and Dealroom finds that the UK ranks third in the world for its number of tech businesses valued above $10billion. Seven companies reached $10billion valuations in 2021; Revolut, Wise, Arrival, eToro, Checkout.com, Farfetch, as well as Ocado.
iPipeline, the financial software services firm, has integrated with a reinsurer for the first time. Global reinsurance firm PartnerRe has adopted iPipeline’s SSG Digital Platform to grow its global protection portfolio. The integration means PartnerRe can host multiple insurer underwriting philosophies in a single engine.
Infrastructure and connectivity provider BSO has upgraded its main routes between Shanghai and key financial hubs in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The upgrade is part of its ‘ongoing commitment to improve and extend low-latency connectivity to international traders and banks’.
LOQBOX and ClearScore have partnered in order to help UK consumers build a credit history. ClearScore x LOQBOX will let customers view their credit-building progress, learn how to build a healthy credit score as well as receive updates all in one place.
Lithuania-based identity verification company iDenfy has forged a new partnership with Polish fintech brand Payment Financial SA. Paymento will incorporate iDenfy’s security features, including an automated verification process, to reduce fraudulent activity.
Chargebacks911, the dispute resolution company, has unveiled a strategic partnership with Vindicia, a B2C digital service monetisation firm, to protect merchants offering subscription billing models from fraudulent chargeback attacks. Chargeback management solutions include Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry, chargeback alerts, as well as dispute resolution.
There’s also a partnership for Equifax UK, the business and consumer insights firm, and challenger bank Revolut. The Revolut app is now powered by Equifax cloud-based data both in the UK and US markets. Using Equifax bureau data sets, Revolut can obtain decision intelligence and real-time predictive analytics.
Meanwhile, Sightline Payments and Aristocrat Technologies have paired up to deliver cashless gaming solutions through Aristocrat’s Oasis 360 casino management system. The partnership gives casino operators new capabilities including digital mobile payment and contactless wallet options for their guests.
Money management app Plum has teamed up with online broker Anorak to help inform customers about their ‘financial choices throughout life’. As well as providing access to Anorak’s range of life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover products, Plum will also notify customers already making life insurance payments if they could find a better deal via Anorak.
Payments platform Paysafe has unveiled a partnership with Bankable, an architect of banking-as-a-service solutions. The two companies will launch a range of integrated, omnichannel banking services from Paysafe. Paysafe previously collaborated with Bankable on its card issuing services including the roll-out of prepaid cards for the British Red Cross in 2020.
Meanwhile, Swedish tech firm Minna Technologies has joined Visa Fintech Partner Connect – a programme designed to help Visa’s issuing clients connect with vetted technology providers. Minna is keen to bring its solution to additional markets including the US and Australia, expanding its reach beyond Europe.
Finally, Universo, a Portugese financial institution, has teamed up with open banking platform Token. The deal is part of Universo’s strategic plan to digitally transform its services. Now, customers of its Cartão Universo can load funds into their accounts quicker to increase their monthly spending limits.
Exizent has unveiled a new digital platform to help accountants that manage probate cases. Easier estate management and case administration includes court and tax forms. Exizent connects data, services and the network of people involved when someone passes away.
Creditinfo Group, the credit information and decision analytics provider, has introduced a scorecard solution tailored for SMEs in Kenya. It will help financial institutions improve their credit assessment and facilitate financing to the small business market. There are also plans to roll the solution out across Africa, and several other key global economies.
Aerial has launched a tool for offsetting the carbon emissions of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It follows a tool for offsetting the carbon emissions of NFTs, launched earlier this year. Contributions made through Aerial’s crypto offset tool will be distributed between the Kootznoowoo Improved Forest Management Project and Charm Industrial, which converts captured CO2 into a harmless bio-oil.
Alternative payment platform Sezzle has unveiled Sezzle Capital, a programme enabling retail partners with working capital up to $10million. Powered by Wayflyer, the funding platform provides merchants with a bridge to fast, affordable, unsecured funds.
While Santander UK and Infosys Finacle launch an international cash management platform. Santander Global Connect is designed to support the international growth plans for Santander’s corporate and commercial customers. The platform will power global cash and liquidity management services.
Barclaycard Payments has agreed to join Mastercard Track Business Payment Service, making new services available to its customers later this year. The open loop network simplifies and automates the set up and execution of business payments using multiple payment rails. The two businesses also recently signed a new multi-year agreement to deliver commercial payment services to global businesses.
Funding and investment
Yapily, the open banking infrastructure provider, has closed a $51million Series B funding round. Sapphire Ventures led the round, with existing investors Lakestar, HV Capital and Latitude also participating. It will use the funding to expand across Europe, extend open banking to cover 95 per cent of the continent by the end of the year; as well as invest in its infrastructure to pave the way for open finance.
While, European pay and spend automation fintech Soldo has secured $180million in a Series C funding round. The fundraise was led by Temasek. Soldo will use the cash injection to expand internationally, as well as accelerate product development.
Clim8 Invest (Clim8), the UK sustainable investing app, has closed its latest crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. More than 1,800 investors took part in the third crowdfunding round, which coincided with the public release of the Clim8 Invest app. It will use the £2.85million it raised to focus on growing its user base and driving product innovation.
Mergers and acquisitions
Helix Applications, the Canadian blockchain technology company, has completed the previously announced business combination with GlobalBlock Limited. GlobalBlock is a UK-based digital asset broker that provides a personalised telephone broking service, trading platform and mobile app. Future plans include expanding beyond the UK, securing jurisdiction licences as well as adhering to local regulations in any new territories.