The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 28 September 2023.
Investment and funding
Vega, a UK-based wealthtech platform set up by a team of former executives from leading hedge funds, private equity firms, and fintech scale-ups, has launched with over $8million in equity investment from venture capital firms and angel investors. With Vega, users can invest across the asset allocation spectrum and build diversified portfolios.
Fintech platform Apron has raised $15million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, as well as Bessemer Venture Partners and Visionaries Club. With the Series A funding, Apron will expand its 20-strong team, which includes talent from Meta, Revolut, Square and Yandex. The news also coincides with two new product offerings for accountants.
Bold Penguin has partnered with NEXT Insurance, a technology-first small business insurer, to enhance small business coverage options on the Bold Penguin Terminal. Bold Penguin is on a mission to simplify small commercial insurance for carriers and agents. Through this partnership, Bold Penguin users gain access to NEXT’s General Liability and Professional Liability products.
Bitfinex, the digital asset trading platform, has partnered with Zodia Custody, an institution-first digital asset custodian whose shareholders include Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings and Northern Trust, to use the custodian’s off-exchange settlement solution, Interchange. The move is part of a wider commitment from both firms to evolve the digital asset ecosystem infrastructure, focusing on greater security and compliance.
Deluxe, a payments and data company, has teamed up with fintech Aliaswire, Inc. The new partnership introduces Aliaswire’s DirectBiller bill payment technology across the Deluxe network of banks, partners, and direct clients. The integration of DirectBiller into the Deluxe platform amplifies its capabilities, broadens outreach, and “fortifies its ability to serve a more diverse range of clients”.
Helvetia, a Swiss insurance company, has chosen Qover, an embedded insurance orchestration company, as its insurtech partner to reshape the European automotive insurance sector. This collaboration, powered by Qover’s modular platform, introduces a pan-European automotive insurance offer, operating under a Freedom of Services model.
S64, the alternatives and technology partner to asset managers and private banks, announces the appointment of David Hallifax as head of Australia and New Zealand. The appointment will further bolster the company’s presence in Asia-Pacific following recent senior hires, including in Japan. Hallifax previously served as head of Australia and New Zealand Funds at J.P. Morgan Asset Management for almost a decade.
Australia’s flagship deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations has appointed Dr Katherine Woodthorpe as its new chair. Dr Woodthorpe replaces outgoing chair, Andrew Rothery, who occupied the role for almost eight years alongside CEO Sally-Ann Williams. It results in one of Australia’s longest-standing deep tech institutions now being helmed by two women for the first time in 23 years.
DigitalAPICraft, a provider of white-labeled private API marketplace products, names Marco Tedone as CTO. He joins the company from HSBC, where he led the API strategy and governance as well as modern architectures for the group. DigitalAPICraft also revealed it is partnering with Google Cloud as an ISV partner and its enterprise API Marketplace is now available on Google Cloud marketplace.
iBanFirst, the European alternative for international payments, has appointed Luis Miguel García de Águeda as the country manager for Spain. He is responsible for expanding iBanFirst’s client portfolio in Spain, with the goal of becoming the top choice for Spanish SMEs doing cross-border payments.
Australian consumer data leader Biza.io has unveiled Jessica Booth as head of customer success.Brisbane-based Biza.io helps banks, financial institutions, energy retailers and data economy participants navigate the highly regulated Consumer Data Right (CDR) ecosystem, and comply and innovate within the Australian data sharing landscape. Prior to joining Biza.io, Booth worked at cloud enterprise software company Mastt.
MorganAsh, a provider of support services to the financial services sector, has strengthened its team with two senior appointments. Peter Labrow joins as head of marketing, while Tracey Johnson is named underwriting and claims manager. Launched ahead of the FCA’s Consumer Duty regulation, MARS (The MorganAsh Resilience System) enables organisations to identify, record and manage vulnerable consumers.
Cashplus, the UK digital bank, appoints Leigh Bartlett as chief financial officer and Brennan Elliott-Jones to the newly created role of finance director, strengthening its finance and executive teams to support the firm’s ambitious growth plans. Bartlett previously held key executive roles at Novobanco. Elliott-Jones joins from the fintech firm Greengage,