The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup sees digital bank Tandem unveil a new director of savings, while tech company FUEL hopes funding boost will help it to become the ‘Shopify for NFTs’.
WTW (Willis Towers Watson), a global advisory, broking and solutions company, has appointed Tammy Richardson as Europe regional leader for its insurance consulting and technology business. Richardson most recently served as UK & Ireland leader for the same business.
Online specialist mortgage broker Haysto has appointed Trussle’s former VP of sales & operations Miles Robinson as its chief commercial officer. Appointment comes at a pivotal time in Haysto’s growth, with plans for 100 team members by the end of 2022.
Specialist later life lender LiveMore unveils two new senior hires as it continues to accelerate its growth. Jon Sturgess joins the team as sales director, while Nina Harrison is named partnership manager. LiveMore also recently announced its expansion into the Scottish market as well as a £275million senior funding line from NatWest Markets.
Synchtank, which provides royalty accounting solutions for the music, media and production industries, names Janet Kirker as chief product officer. Prior to joining Synchtank, Kirker served as VP rights and royalties at Warner Music Group. Her appointment follows Synchtank’s $5.8million Series A fundraise in November 2021.
Meanwhile, digital bank Tandem announces the appointment of Ben Mitchell as director of savings. The newly created senior role is designed to accelerate and amplify Tandem’s mission to build the UK’s fairer, greener digital bank. He has previously held senior roles at Leeds Building Society, National Australia Bank as well as Allica Bank.
Finallly, Stephan Müller is named managing director for Broadridge in Germany. He is responsible for leading and growing Broadridge’s overall business in Germany, as well as managing its payments-as-a-service business. Müller joins Broadridge from Commerzbank AG.
Mergers and acquisitions
Mitek, a digital identity verification firm, has announced the acquisition of UK’s KYC company HooYu. HooYu’s orchestration capabilities enables Mitek customers to optimise workflows and accelerate the deployment of identity solutions across channels.
Fintech Cornerstone Global Management has snapped up Paydrop via cash and stock swap. Paydrop’s senior leadership team will join Cornerstone, integrating new features into its pay conversion platform. By acquiring Paydrop, Cornerstone will provide payroll conversion services within the US.
Meanwhile, UK open banking startup Credit Kudos is acquired by US tech giant Apple. The deal values Credit Kudos at an estimated $150million. Credit Kudos develops software that uses consumers’ banking data to make more informed credit checks on loan applications.
Construction payments fintech ProjectPay has launched its first investment round with plans to raise at least £5.6million to accelerate its UK expansion and launch into the US. ProjectPay currently integrates with ANZ bank in Australia as well as Lloyds Bank in the UK. It is also in discussion with leading banks in US to agree a banking partner.
US fintech Brex has provided $10million in growth capital via venture debt to Zesty.ai, a predictive data analytics firm. The financing will help Zesty.ai power its growth and expand into use cases beyond insurance, including lending.
Merchant payments platform Zepto has raised $25million in a Series A funding investment by AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners. Zepto’s Series A will drive domestic growth, support its international expansion and enhance its payment infrastructure, including an investment into building additional functionalities.
Meanwhile, Connect Earth, an environmental data company, has closed its first funding round, raising $1.8million. Its first API product calculates the carbon impact of consumers and companies based on their spending in line with carbon accounting standards, to banks and fintechs globally. The capital raised will help Connect Earth expand its data offering across Europe and the US.
Berlin-based FUEL raises €1.5million for its no-code NFT platform for creators. The platform enables creators to build their own custom-branded NFT shop without any technical knowledge. The pre-seed round attracted investors including FintechCollective, Seedcamp and Notion Capital.
Further funding news
Income has closed its Series Seed funding round, led by Tolaram Fintech with participation also from Seedrs and Seedblink, raising €1.3million. It will use the funds to develop further and improve the product and scale its business.
Banking super app Douugh bags up to $20million in discretionary equity funding from US investment fund Long State. Funding will be allocted to scaling Douugh’s US operations and customer base, while also investing in ongoing rsearch and development.
Finally, spend management platform Yokoy has raised $80million in a Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital with participation also from Speedinvest, Visionaries Club and Zinal Growth. Since launching in 2019, Yokoy’s team has grown to five global offices, including the newly opened Amsterdam hub.
BNPL firm Payl8r forges new partnership with Faces Consent, the aesthetics app. The partnership is expected to bring in £24million in revenue to Payl8r in the first nine to 12 months. Payl8r is also expanding. It has hired an inhouse talent acquisition partner and is also extending its office space in Greater Manchester.
Insurance exchange Sherpa gets a strategic investment from insurance exchange bolttech. Together, they also aim to close the advice gap for insurance customers by expanding Sherpa Score to new markets in Asia and the US. Businesses selling insurance can integrate the Sherpa Score platform into their own channels to drive increased engagement.
Meanwhile, PXP Financial partners with booking engine platform Profitroom. Profitroom has implemented a redirect checkout page on its booking engine. When customers book hotels via Profitroom, the payment is captured by PXP Financial’s payments platform and sent direct to the hotel.
There’s also a partnership for payments firm Worldline and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection. The collaboration enables Worldline’s enterprise-level customers to deal with increasing challenges caused by online payment fraud. Worldline can now offer a next-generation hybrid fraud solution that can help increase accuracy and efficiency.
ZoodPay, a fintech super app in the Middle East, has collaborated with digital commerce firm Network International to provide BNPL solutions to merchants in Jordan. Merchants already using Network’s POS terminals will receive an automatic service upgrade as the ZoodPay service rolls out.
CellPoint Digital has teamed up with Virgin Atlantic. The airline and holiday package provider will use CellPoint Digital’s full payment orchestration platform to seamlessly integrate new payment methods, new acquirers and stored card facilities.
SailGP has partnered with NEAR, a carbon-neutral, community-driven blockchain development platform. As part of the partnership, SailGP will explore the sale of a new team to a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) launched on the NEAR Protocol – a community engagement and activation platform in professional sports.
Netcetera and Covalent enter new international partnership to expand online payments in Middle East & Africa. The joint software-as-a-service model ensures that any bank, electronic money institution or non-banking financial institution can offer its customer the convenience of safely and securely authenticating themselves for ecommerce transactions.
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has licensed three new companies specialised in finance and electronic payments. Mobily Pay, Lendo and FinZey are granted licences aligning with SAMA’s goal of enhancing the Kingdom’s financial stability and supporting its economic development and growth.
European investment platform SeedBlink has opened an office in Sofia, Bulgaria, to complement the company’s expansion plans and continue its accelerated growth. The office offers a range of investment instruments and tech startup opportunities as well as market access solutions to local investors, startups and partners.
GoCardless has launched Verified Mandates in the UK, a feature within its global bank pay platform that combines the Account Information Services (AIS) capabilities of open banking with direct debit. New research from GoCardless also reveals merchants that take an active role in fraud prevention benefit from a ‘halo effect’.
Finally, football club AS Monaco and consultancy Capital Block have partnered to launch NFTs to fans. Capital Block will work with AS Monaco to assist the club and its fans to discover and navigate the world of NFTs; and then utilise them to engage with each other.