In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, Tide commits £100million investment into India, while Klarna partners with Liberis to offer merchants revenue-based financing.
Equifax UK has appointed Phil McGilvray as the new managing director for its debt services business, which incorporates TDX Group and Indesser. He will manage the growth and ongoing development of the Equifax debt services businesses in the UK and Spain.
Fabian Vandenreydt, innovation ecosystem advisor to Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), has joined the advisory board of RE5Q. The real estate AI and technology platform said Vandenreydt brings a wealth of knowledge in technology, capital markets and corporate innovation.
Diginex Limited, recently rebranded as EQONEX Group, has appointed Chris Ashe as group chief technology officer. He will lead the roll out of EQONEX’s technology and product roadmap. Ashe previously held the position of CTO at virtual bank Mox.
Meanwhile, LPA Group, the capital market technology firm, has expanded its French office with two new senior hires. Michael Lemke is head of client delivery solutions, while Vincent Stefanović is client director sales for the buy-side.
Mergers and acquisitions
Visa has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tink, the European open banking platform. Visa will pay €1.8billion, inclusive of cash and retention incentives, to acquire Tink. Furthermore, Tink will retain its brand and current management team, and its headquarters will remain in Sweden.
Fintechs Deposit Solutions and Raisin have completed a merger to form Raisin D. The merger will unite both companies to provide a European B2C savings marketplace. It will also lead to accelerated growth, providing wider European coverage and help Raisin D develop a significant US presence.
Partnerships and collaborations
Stax by Fattmerchant has partnered with expense management platform Divvy. The collaboration serves as a referral partnership with Divvy delivering qualified business leads that have expressed interest in a payment processing solution. Stax is also part of Divvy’s recently launched SMB Toolbox, an initiative providing capital and software to businesses.
Prove, the identity verification service, has integrated TransUnion’s TruValidate ID verification feature into its offering in order to launch in Hong Kong. Prove’s phone identity network is now in 60 countries. They say the solution will help businesses better secure customer journeys and help stop fraud before it happens.
HIPS Payment Group Ltd., a provider of e-commerce and mobile payment solutions, has paired up with Vourity, a Swedish SaaS platform for sales and payments. Together they will enable crypto payment for 50,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the European Union.
Meanwhile, One Inc unveils partnership with Insuresoft to expand integrations for inbound and outbound claims payments. The partnership will also offer carriers out-of-the-box integration of One Inc’s digital payments solution with the Insuresoft Diamond platform.
There’s also a partnership for Nium and Pelekin with travel cards. Through the Nium platform, Pelikin can quickly deploy new financial services from card issuance to cross-border payments. Cards are available for use in more than 100 global markets with the Visa acceptance mark.
While law firm Pinsent Masons has advised digital asset management company 3iQ on its listing of The Bitcoin Fund on Nasdaq Dubai. The fund is the Middle East’s first listed digital asset-based fund.
Global technology platform Stripe is teaming up with Hargreaves Lansdown, the digital wealth management platform. As its primary payments partner, Hargreaves Lansdown will use a range of Stripe products including Stripe Payments, Stripe Radar and Stripe Connect.
Klarna selects Liberis to provide revenue-based finance to e-commerce companies across 17 countries. Liberis will embed business finance solutions within Klarna platform to expand scope of services to its customers. Through the partnership, Klarna will offer pre-approved revenue-based financing to its global merchant base.
Instant payments provider Transactive has plumped for Sentinels to upgrade its compliance efforts. It wanted to enhance its existing processes rather than replace them, such as bringing in risk detection capabilities that Sentinels delivers.
Meanwhile, JCB expands partnership with Nets Group to grow JCB Contactless acceptance in the Nordics. JCB card members can now use JCB Contactless on 244,000 merchant POS systems across Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Payfare will integrate Mastercard Send into its financial technology platform in order to expand real-time payment options for the gig economy. Payfare is leveraging Mastercard’s full-service disbursements and person-to-person platform. Gig workers will also be able to send domestic and international money transfers in Payfare digital banking apps.
Emirates Development Bank and Zoho Corporation have signed a MoU to support SMEs with cost-competitive enterprise solutions. Following the partnership, existing EDB customers get Zoho Wallet credits worth $900 to purchase Zoho One. While new EDB customers can benefit from the solution for $1800.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched a global challenge for retail central bank digital currency solutions – the Global CBDC Challenge. It’s in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN Capital Development Fund, UN High Commission for Refugees, UN Development Programme, as well as the OECD. Fintechs can submit solutions that enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.
SINOSURE becomes first Chinese insurer to open regional office at Dubai International Financial Centre. The China export and credit insurance corporation has plumped for DIFC for its first office in the Middle East. SINOSURE says Dubai is the ideal ecosystem for Chinese businesses looking to expand in the region.
Digidentity, the online identity verification company – and provider of GOV.UK Verify – has experienced year-over-year annual growth of 20 per cent. Digidentity is also celebrating the establishment of a strong base in the UK and Netherlands alongside a growing client list across the EMEA region.
Nium has expanded its global payments network into Poland. Nium customers can send money to Poland in its local currency PLN (Polish Zloty). The expansion will help businesses overcome the complexity of sending local payments into Poland and open pay-outs into the country to facilitate transactions.
A high-level forum, organised by Dubai Chamber, has identified prospects for driving future economic growth in Dubai. The Future Growth Forum, hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre, was attended by more than 500 participants representing 24 sectors.
Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH) has announced the Demo Day for Wave 2 of its incubator and accelerator programmes. Taking place virtually on 1 July 2021, QFTH Demo Day for Wave 2, sponsored by Doha Bank, will be one of the major fintech events.
Mamo, the UAE-based fintech, has been granted an Innovation Testing Licence to operate in or from Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The licence allows Mamo to test its products and services under conditions defined by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has invited local and international firms to apply to join the next cohort for its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme. The cohort will be open to applicants from 1 to 31 July. The ITL is a licensed regulatory sandbox.
Finally, Rain Management, the cryptocurrency platform, has crossed $1billion in trading volume during the first half of 2021. It say the 20-times growth makes it one of the highest trading volume by any crypto platform in the MENA region.
Tapoly launches bespoke instant professional treatment insurance for the health and wellbeing sector. Launched in partnership with Peach Pi, a UK niche commercial insurer, the product will provide bespoke cover for dental nurses, hairdressers and barbers, massage therapists, counsellors and therapists, as well as physiotherapists.
tZERO launches new crypto app with higher buy limits, additional cryptocurrencies and faster settlement times. The tZERO Crypto app now supports Chainlink (LINK), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and Basic Attention Token (BAT), with plans to add more assets in the near future.
Meanwhile, Future FinTech Group has registered new subsidiary FTFT Capital Investments, to do business in the UAE. FTFT Capital intends to operate digital currency trading service and crypto asset management businesses in Dubai.
FinaMaze, the MENA digital wealth manager, launches two new opportunistic investment themes: cryptocurrency and inflation protection. FinaMaze is an AI digital wealth manager regulated by ADGM’s FSRA and launched during the Abu Dhabi Fintech Festival in November 2020.
Paxful, the peer-to-peer fintech, has unveiled Paxful Pay, an e-commerce solution that lets businesses worldwide to receive Bitcoin. Merchants will also have control over the configuration of the solution on their Paxful Merchant Dashboard and can track every transaction.
E-current account provider Unizest has launched in the UK with support from Mastercard and Railsbank alongside the Association of Labour Providers, as well as several international recruiters. Unizest lets workers and students coming to the UK open an e-current account before they leave their home country. Upon arrival in the UK, customers receive a Debit Mastercard.
Funding and investments
EQONEX (formerly Diginex & EQUOS) has announced that total spot and derivative trading volumes on its cryptocurrency exchange have exceeded $5billion over the past 30 days. EQONEX says it has devoted substantial time and resources towards bootstrapping its volumes organically at s level where it could begin generating revenue.
Smart, the global retirement savings technology platform provider, announces new £165mIllion funding round. Chrysalis Investments, a UK crossover investor, has led the funding round with a £75million equity investment, with additional investors to be announced in the coming weeks. The overall round will comprise £110million of primary and £55million of secondary equity.
Cashee, a UAE-based fintech and edtech startup, has successfully raised a $1million pre-seed funding round. Cashee provides a prepaid card and digital platform for families. The vision of the company is to improve financial literacy in the MENA region whilst empowering the youth on the subject of money management.
While ClearScore, the free credit score and credit marketplace, receives $200million investment from Invus Opportunities. The investment will accelerate ClearScore’s ongoing investments to expand its team and product suite, as well as grow its customer base globally. The deal also sees Benjamin Tsai of Invus join the ClearScore board.
Drata raises $25million series A to accelerate rapid growth of its security and compliance automation platform. The new financing follows six months after the company’s initial seed round and launch out of stealth. New investors Okta Ventures and Silicon Valley CISO Investors (SVCI), as well as Cowboy Ventures and Leaders Fund also participated in the round.
More investment updates
Tide, the UK business financial platform, has unveiled plans to invest more than £100million in India. It has selected India as its first international market, with a fully-fledged launch early next year. It will also create 1,000 jobs, including product development, software development, marketing, risk and compliance.
Finally, Marstone, the digital wealth technology firm, has closed a $5million Series A round. It brings the company’s total funding to more than $20million. The first close, led by Apex Fintech Solutions, was completed in May 2020. Amerant Bancorp Inc led the latest with a $2.5million investment.