The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup brings you the latest global fintech stories. ICA, the Paris-based fintech, is rebranding while MOSTLY AI has unveiled a partnership with Erste Group.
Funding and investments
Social investment app Invstr has raised more than $40million in funding, including a recent Series A. Private and institutional investors include Ventura Capital, Finberg, Jari Ovaskainen and Rick Haythornthwaite. It plans to use the additional capital to launch new brokerage and analytics tools and a portfolio builder.
While Pledg announces a fundraising of €80million euros to accelerate its already exponential growth in the buy now, pay later market in France and across Europe. The latest round of financing received support from Portag3 Ventures and Aquiline Capital Partners (USA), as well as Smart Lenders Asset Management, Financière Arbevel and ODDO BHF.
Fintech startup YAP from M2P Solutions has raised $10million in a Series B funding co-led by Flourish Ventures and Omidyar Network India. YAP’s existing investors Beenext, 8i Ventures and Better Capital also participated in the financing round. It is a second fundraising for YAP in less than a year – it previously raised $4.5million as part of its Series A round in April 2020.
Pollinate has announced a $50million Series C funding round, led by Insight Partners. In addition to signalling the software business’s further global expansion into North America, the investment will also accelerate expansion of its white label marketplace.
Finally, Nigeria’s Termii raises $1.4million seed led by Future Africa and Kepple Africa Ventures. The communications platform-as-a-service startup also attracted investors including Acuity Ventures, Aidi Ventures, Assembly Capital, Kairos Angels and Nama Ventures.
BTON Financial, the independent dealing desk technology firm, has hired Ray Tierney, as non-executive director. He will help shape the direction of the company, expand its US footprint, as well as bring the company’s technology to the global investment management community.
Paysafe, which will become a public company via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Foley Trasimene, has unveiled its post-merger board of directors. Led by chairman Bill Foley, the board features 11 directors, including Anthony Jabbour, Dagmar Kollmann and Jonathan Murphy.
Open banking firm Yodlee has appointed William Napier as product director for EMEA. He was previously product lead at Experian. Napier will continue the expansion of Envestnet, Yodlee’s open banking solution, across the region, while also helping develop new solutions.
Meanwhile, digital transformation company Atos appoints Carol Houle as global head of consulting and marketing for financial services and insurance (FS&I). She will be part of the global FS&I leadership team, based in the US.
Plenitude, a consultancy and fintech firm, has appointed former HSBC managing director Barbara Patow as senior advisor. Patow will provide transformation expertise to help clients manage financial crime risk, as well as support Plenitude’s growth plans.
Global Digital Finance, the cryptoassets industry membership body, has unveiled Malcolm Wright as chair of its advisory council. He was also recently appointed chief compliance officer at 100x Group, the holding structure for the BitMEX platform.
Fintech aircrex appoints David Hanna to its strategic advisory board. He will provide the team with strategic regulatory advice around the development of its autonomous finance offering that provides instant financial management, automated goal tracking and a payment finance solution.
Swedish fintech Dreams appoints Lucia Hegenbartova as chief commercial officer in order to spearhead the company’s new B2B and bank acquisition strategy. She will also play a leading role in developing Dreams’ international expansion strategy.
JP Morgan-backed research fintech Limeglass appoints Citi and BNP Paribas financial research expert Steven Saywell. He says he is delighted for the opportunity to ‘be part of a team bringing innovative change and evolution’.
MEA digital commerce firm Network International has announced key appointments across its senior management team. Marcello Baricordi joins as president for financial institutions, fintechs and payments partnerships. While, a number of internal promotion of several employees, expands the responsibility of some existing senior management team members.
Finally, Barrel Kfir has joined Vintage Investment Partners as principal. Most recently, Barrel was director of portfolio at Ignite – Intel for Startups. Kfir says he is looking forward to ‘leveraging his sector and investment experience, working on new deals and helping the technology investment firm’s portfolio grow’.
Announcements and launches
Online pension provider PensionBee has signed the Fintech for All Charter, an industry-led initiative to promote diversity within the fintech sector. Signatories commit to a five-point Charter, which includes having one member of the senior executive team accountable for diversity and inclusion. In addition, it must provide a range of appropriate reporting channels to help employees speak up.
Delta Capita has announced the launch of inSPire Due Diligence in both the Americas and Asia Pacific. It is a global utility service that centralises and standardises ‘know your distributor’ due diligence for the benefit of structured product issuers and distributors.
ICA, the Paris-based fintech, is changing its name to Opensee. It says the strategic rebrand reflects new targeted direction and milestone in company’s growth. The company also wanted a name that more closely captures its vision on big data and helping business users analyse data deeper and faster.
The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator, managed by BFA Global in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Covid-19 recovery and resilience program and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, has unveiled the first cohort of digital commerce companies to be scaled. Boost Ghana and KudiGo will receive up to $120,000 in capital funding.
Crypto businesses can now set up at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) in Dubai following an agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). The agreement helps businesses dealing with crypto assets gain access to bespoke licences offered by the DMCC Crypto Centre.
Finally, the Communications Regulatory Authority has published a public consultation on its website related to the Wireless Local Area Network (Wi-Fi 6). The CRA has a proposed policy for assigning the full frequency band (5925 – 7125 MHz) to this network.
MoneyNetint, the payment service provider, has unveiled a new service that ‘slashes the cost of doing business with Brazil’ following a partnership with Banco Rendimento. The Sao Paulo-based specialist bank for SMEs will distribute payments from companies to local Brazilian businesses and individuals made through MoneyNetint.
A three-year partnership agreement with synthetic data firm MOSTLY AI will help Erste Group accelerate innovation in digital banking. George Labs, Erste Group’s in-house fintech lab, and MOSTLY AI have already completed a number of successful projects. Future plans include the development of AI models and intelligent banking function.
Identity verification service startup iDenfy has agreed a duo of new partnerships. Firstly, it is partnering with Wittix on its identity verification enablement. In addition, it is also working with payment services app KogoPAY to enhance payment security and currency transfers worldwide. iDenfy’s goal is to turn a customer’s device into an ID scanning and face recognition system that meets KYC and AML requirements.
Meanwhile, Sapiens International Corporation, a provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, and digital payment processor ECHO Health have forged a partnership. The joint offering will allow clients to reconcile payments across multiple modalities, with minimal IT requirements and maximum-security protection.
Finally, stc pay, Saudi Arabia’s largest and leading mobile wallet, has chosen Red Hat to help it expand its fintech services. stc pay uses Red Hat OpenShift, the enterprise Kubernetes platform, along with Red Hat integration and cloud storage technologies, to enable the portability of applications across any cloud.