The latest The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 24 June. Putting the spotlight on recent industry updates, appointments and funding success stories.
Fenergo, the know-your-customer and client lifecycle management software provider, has announced two new hires. Stella Clarke is now chief strategy and marketing officer, while Alan Molloy is chief product officer. The appointments follow Fenergo’s recent acquisition by Astorg and Bridgepoint.
Financial marketing firm Prosek Partners has unveiled Phil Walters as managing director in its London office. Prior to joining, Walters spent 14 years at consultancy Finsbury Glover Hering.
Meanwhile, Wilco Slabbekoorn has joined Nets Group as senior vice president, retail Europe and omnichannel payments, in the merchant services division. He will be responsible for building one pan-European commercial retail organisation, leveraging all capabilities, knowledge and experience in the Nets Group.
Yorkshire-based litigation and commercial law firm rradar has hired Andy Clarke as its new chief technology officer. He will drive and implement rradar’s digital transformation roadmap as part of its five-year business strategy.
Mark Perry is the first chief customer officer for Australian fintech Biza.io. The company, which boasts more than a dozen tier 2 and 3 banks as well as ‘sizable fintechs’ as its customers, says Perry’s appointment will give its customers confidence as they navigate their journeys to consumer data right compliance.
While Michael Cottrell has joined global fintech firm Metrics Global as president. He is responsible for the company’s technology development and day-to-day operations. He previously served as vice president of product at Global Payments, as well as president of ProPay.
Sancus, the specialist property lender, has appointed two new business development managers. Emma Tempest and Saimir Kurti joins its UK team to expand the bridging finance division. Sancus specialises in property bridging and development financing across the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.
Digital assets hedge fund manager Nickel has hired Henry Howell as head of business development. Prior to joining Nickel, Howell worked at Eisler Capital, a London-based macro hedge fund. Nickel has also unveiled plans to launch its new Defensive Bitcoin Fund.
Jay Puentes is appointed US director of sales at Irish fintech Wayflyer as it expands into Georgia, US. Additionally, Jack Pierse, co-founder of the revenue-based financing and growth platform to e-commerce merchants, will relocate to Atlanta to oversee the expansion. Wayflyer’s investment into Georgia will lead to 50-plus new sales jobs by year-end.
Meanwhile, intelliflo has expanded its leadership team with the addition of chief product officer Blake Kannady. Plus, Geoff Rogers is named the financial advisory firm’s first head of Australia. Back in March, intelliflo combined five software businesses under one brand.
Nayax, the global commerce enablement and payments platform, has unveiled Sagit Manor as chief financial officer. She will be responsible for the company’s global finance activities as well as supply chain and procurement operations. Nayax’s current CFO Liron Grosman is leaving for pastures new after more than four years with Nayax, following the completion of a successful IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Finally, Paul Chua is joining Bank of Singapore as global head of wealth planning on 28 June 2021. He will drive expansion and innovation in the bank’s wealth planning, family office, trust and succession offerings. Furthermore, Tariq Salem will relinquish his position as global head of wealth planning and is now head of the bank’s structured solutions group.
Mergers and acquisitions
Unlimint (formerly Cardpay) and payments network Discover have signed an acquiring agreement that increases the global acceptance footprint for Discover Global Network and furthers Unlimint’s goal to help businesses worldwide.
Financial services company Fifth Third announces acquisition of fintech Provide. Provide will maintain its brand identity and operate as an independent business line as it continues to scale and expand product offerings for healthcare practices.
Meanwhile, Alter Domus, a provider of fund administration, debt capital markets and corporate services backed by the Permira funds, has unveiled the acquisition of Investors Economic Assurance (IEA). It is the third acquisition in North America for Alter Domus in the last six months, including UK-based technology firm Credit-Vision in late 2020.
Integrity360, the cybersecurity specialist, has unveiled a major strategic investment from private equity firm August Equity. As part of a significant growth and expansion plan that will build the brand internationally, Integrity360 founder and CEO Eoin Goulding will also partner with Ian Brown, who joins the company as executive chairman. Goulding will take on the new role of president. Brown and Goulding intend to use the investment to accelerate the growth of Integrity360 across Europe.
Partnerships and collaborations
Simplex, the fiat infrastructure for digital currencies, and multi-asset DeFi platform Kava have joined forces to provide the first ‘Fiat-to-DeFi ramp’ for users of Kava and other DeFi lending platforms on the Kava blockchain. The pair say the partnership provides a simple and streamlined way to use credit or debit cards to buy KAVA.
Meanwhile, League Data has selected Mambu’s SaaS banking platform to empower its member credit unions. Through open APIs, Mambu provides League Data and the Atlantic Credit Union system ‘greater user experience, as well as sophisticated digital tools and services’.
Business management platform MYOB has forged an exclusive partnership with Sydney fintech Valiant to enable predictive financing offerings for Australia’s small businesses. The partnership will see eligible MYOB customers gain access to a tailored subset of Valiant’s more than 80-strong lending panel.
KPMG in the Crown Dependencies has become an alliance partner of The ID Register. The combination of The ID Register’s KYC hub with the expertise of KPMG tax and advisory teams aims to ‘make a compelling offering to family offices, institutional investors, investment managers and their service providers and fiduciary companies.
Meanwhile, Hometrack has teamed up with open finance firm Moneyhub to deliver streamlined income and expenditure verification for lenders, brokers and consumers. Hometrack, a provider of insight and intelligence to the mortgage market, will integrate Moneyhub’s open banking tech into its Credit Risk Hub.
Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance Company PJSC (Aman) has partnered with philanthropic organisation Al Jalila Foundation. Aman will support the Foundation’s A’awen programme, which aims to provide financial assistance to people in need of quality medical care, as well as its research-focused initiatives.
Baker Hill, a financial technology provider, has unveiled a partnership with Baker Boyer National Bank. The bank for Walla Walla in Washington, will implement Baker Hill’s unified solution that streamlines loan origination for commercial lending.
Finastra has established a new partnership with Uni Systems Information Technology. Uni Systems will bring Finastra treasury, risk and payments software to local markets with on-the-ground implementation and support services. The partnership covers selected customers in Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Swoop Funding has announced a partnership with BNP Paribas Asset Management in order to offer unsecured loans of up to £5million to SMEs. Borrowers can access funds of between £500,000 and £5million. The loans will form part of BNPP AM’s SME alternative financing direct lending activity in the UK, The Netherlands and Germany.
TipRanks, the financial accountability engine, has partnered with Questrade, Canada’s online brokerage. Its data-driven tool is now integrated into the Questrade web and IQ Edge platforms. TipRanks’ data will cover both US and Canadian companies.
Tellco AG, a specialist in pension provision and wealth management services, has plumped for additiv’s Hybrid Wealth Manager solution to assist its move to offer comprehensive wealth management solutions. Tellco will offer a ‘hybrid’ selection of full investment services via a SaaS model.
City of York Council has enlisted Barracuda Networks, a provider of cloud-enabled security solutions, to help protect its Office 365 data. Until early 2019, the Council’s email and other office and collaboration solutions were hosted on-premises.
Emprise Bank has launched an affiliate programme in partnership with Fintel Connect. It says Fintel Connect’s ‘network and strategic partnerships in the US market represent a tremendous opportunity for Emprise to build new and successful customer relationships’.
Acquiring and issuing services provider Viva Wallet has partnered with Fraudio, the payment fraud prevention & anti-money laundering AI-driven fintech. Fraudio ‘enables Viva Wallet’s internal team with more agility in their decision-making process in regards to fraud & AML’.
Finally, Kansas-based family owned community bank Emprise Bank launches an AI-powered affiliate programme with fintech marketing firm Fintel Connect. Fintel Connect’s technology monitors marketing content for compliance making influencer marketing for financial institutions.
Investments and funding
Accenture has made a strategic investment in Imburse, a cloud-based payments-as-a-service enterprise platform. Imburse also joins Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight – an engagement and investment programme aimed at connecting technology startups with the Global 2000.
Dubai-based buy now, pay later company Tabby has raised $50million in debt financing from Partners for Growth. It is one of the largest ever such facility for a fintech startup in the MENA region. It will use the funds to expand its lending capacity and support company growth.
G2, the software marketplace, has announced $157million in Series D funding. Led by Permira, the funding will help G2 expand its community and products, as well as grow its team. Additional investors include Accel, Emergence and IVP. Plus, HubSpot Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, who join prior strategic investor LinkedIn.
Payment service provider Mollie has closed an $800million Series C funding round led by Blackstone Growth. The round was led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital as well as Alkeon Capital. TCV, which led a Series B investment in September 2020, also participated in the funding round. The funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling and continued investment in product and engineering.
DataRails has raised $25million in a Series A extension, doubling the company’s valuation. The provider of next generation financial reporting for SMEs also raised $18.5million in April 2021. Investors include Zeev Ventures, Vertex Ventures Israel and Innovation Endeavors, as well as Vintage Investment Partners.
Additional funding updates
Kredivo, the digital credit platform for retail borrowers across Indonesia, has closed an additional $100million warehouse financing facility with Victory Park Capital. The capital will be used to fund consumer loans for Kredivo’s borrowers in Indonesia.
Drata has raised $25million Series A to accelerate rapid growth of its security and compliance automation platform. Led by GGV Capital, the funding will help Drata expand its products to support additional compliance frameworks.
Finally, mobile app Donut has secured $2million in a new funding round. Redalpine added to its commitment, bringing Donut’s total funding to date to $3.8million. Other investors include Inventures, Compound founder Robert Leshner, Entrepreneur First, as well as the owners of the Washington Nationals baseball team.
A coalition of fintech companies has launched the RIA Tech Suite: a set of tools that advisors can use to help automate and streamline back-office tasks. Providers include digital-first wealth management platform Betterment for Advisors, compliance, cybersecurity and operational software RIA in a Box, as well as RightCapital, the wealth planning software.
Financial services firm Financial Independence Group and fintech company SIMON Markets have launched a centralised platform for independent advisors and broker-dealers.They can access a range of tools and resources spanning education, product selection, analytics and lifecycle management.
IDnow, a platform-as-a-service provider for identity verification, has launched 24-hour AML-compliant video identifications. Users can now perform non-automated identity verification procedures at any time thanks to the overnight operation.
Meanwhile, My Pension Expert has expanded its offering with the launch of a new will writing service. The Doncaster-based retirement adviser has brought the service in-house, launching the new offering under the name My Will Expert.
Atlas VPN has launched a new feature called Tracker Blocker. It aims to stop data brokers from using third-party trackers to gather insights about users’ online activities. By blocking third-party trackers and preventing ads and pop-ups from loading, Tracker Blocker also improves page load time and preserves device battery life and mobile data.
Fintech Happy Money has committed to ‘distributed-first as the future of work’ and introduced new benefits to support employees working from anywhere. It has rolled out a 360 onboarding experience that pairs virtual sessions with physical elements.
Crypto.com‘s cryptocurrency payment solution for online merchants now accepts BTC payments from any wallet. It has also announced that it will offset more carbon than is generated by all activities across the company’s platforms.
Meanwhile, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is celebrating a successful Innovation Month after bringing together 250 speakers from more than 40 companies. Core themes included: ‘Future of Finance, Regulation and Legal, Growth and Funding, Technologies of Tomorrow and Sustainability and Future Skills’.
Insurtech Zego has launched a Trans and Non-Binary workplace policy. It includes a code of inclusion, paid leave for medical transition and unlimited therapy sessions for six months. It is also hosting a panel event entitled, ‘#MoreThanAMonth – Why Trans and Non-Binary Issues Matter’ on Tuesday 6 July.
South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) has revealed the first cohort for its regulatory sandbox. It includes fintech company Centbee – the first Bitcoin SV business for the sandbox. Centbee’s cross-border remittance app Minit Money was selected to participate to test the regulatory treatment of cryptocurrency assets for low-value cross-border remittances between South Africa and Ghana.
DIFC FinTech Hive says the third edition of its FinTech Hive AccelerateHer programme will double in size this year, supporting up to 40 female participants, compared with 14 last year. AccelerateHer first launched in 2019 to develop female talent in financial technology and innovation sectors.
Saudi Arabia grants licence to two digital banks. Firstly, STC Pay will be converted into a local digital bank, with a capital of SAR2.5 billion (STC Bank). Secondly, a number of companies and investors, led by Abdul Rahman bin Saad Al-Rashed and sons Company, will establish a local digital bank to conduct banking business in the Kingdom, with a capital of SAR1.5 billion (Saudi Digital Bank).
Technology firm Gentech-LLC is now called H2 FinTech. Parent company GWM Holdings is restructuring the capital stack of H2 FinTech, retaining Oppenheimer and Company to advise on the new capital structure and to assist with preparations for the first round of capital funding.
There’s a brand refresh for global payments and e-commerce innovator Payoneer. The rebrand includes a new look logo and messaging. Payoneer also has plans to begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker PAYO later this month at an enterprise value of approximately $3.3billion at closing.
Finally, fintech lender LendingArch is continuing its expansion throughout North America. It recently completed the signing of a major deal with a lending institution to provide personal loans across Canada. It also signed its 500th car dealership in Canada.