The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. As well as a new partnership for Crowdcube, this Tuesday we put the spotlight on the latest fintech appointments.
Partnerships & Collaborations
Crowdfunding platform Crowdcube unveils partnership with London-based £100million fund Episode 1 in order to fuel digital infrastructure and deep tech startups. Selected businesses will have pitches reviewed by Episode 1, which backs Zoopla and Shazam, ahead of a funding round on Crowdcube.
UAE’s HBK DOP is joining forces with Indian APCO Digicon to roll out it Internet of Things telemedicine solution. The HBKiCare platform offers healthcare services to hospitals, insurance companies, and rural homes. The partnership also involves HBK DOP acquiring a stake in APCO Digicon. Plus, the launch of a blockchain solution through HBK DOP subsidiary, HBK GoChain.
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has teamed up with UAE-based fintech startup Tabby to enable acceptance of its buy-now-pay-later solution at FAB merchant partners. The partnership is part of the roll-out of FAB’s newly launched ‘payment as a platform’ initiative.
JCB has extended its partnership with Banco Santander to additionally support online exchange between its card members and the bank’s Spanish online merchant portfolio. The pair first forged a partnership in 2019 to support the growth of face-to-face transactions made by JCB card members across Spain.
FastBitcoins has partnered with prepaid voucher giant Flexepin to increase its global footprint. The partnership will expand FastBitcoins’ coverage to more than 20,000 stores globally, while also giving Flexepin customers the option to redeem pre-paid cash vouchers for Bitcoin online.
Immigrants can establish US credit in minutes after Mitek partners with cross-border credit rating startup Nova Credit. Nova will integrate Mitek’s identity verification technology into its system.
Meanwhile, fintech Ebanx has expanded its partnership with Visa in Brazil. The pair say they will work together to improve payment solutions for international online merchants that sell in the country.
Industry news & insight
Arishi has opened the doors to a new Abu Dhabi hub in order to ‘develop exciting new relationships and strengthen existing ones in the Middle East’. The London-based tech solution provider will work out of an office in Al Khatem Tower on Al Maryah Island.
Covid-19 has seen consumers ditch cash in favour of online spending, according to Standard Chartered’s latest global survey. Almost two-thirds of people in the UAE expect the country to go fully cashless by 2030. The report also found that many people are keen on tools that block card-spend over specified limits.
Spend management company JAGGAER has unveiled an entry-level procurement solution in order to support Middle East SMEs. JAGGAER NOW is designed to help organisations automate manual tasks, provide structured process flows, as well as manage risk more effectively.
Banker Päivi Rekonen is joining SEBA Bank as the chair of the board of directors. In addition, digital legal expert Hans Kuhn and financial risk leader Sanjeev Karkhanis, are joining the crypto bank’s board as independent members. As part of the board reshuffle, Erich Ettlin, Urs Zulauf and Reto Kunz will step down.
Chris J. de Bruin, CEO of UAE digital finance firm Deem, is on the move after delivering ‘significant positive change to the business’. Chief financial officer Jayasheel Bhansali will take on the role of interim CEO. Deem is a strategic partnership between Mubadala Investment Company, Fullerton Financial Holdings, Waha Capital and AA Al Moosa Enterprises.
Abu Dhabi Global Market appoints Emmanuel Givanakis as new CEO of its regulatory authority FSRA. Currently the senior exec director of policy at FSRA, Givanakis will succeed Richard Teng, who will step down in March 2021.
Fintech unicorn Airwallex bags an additional $40million in an extended series D funding round. It brings the total equity funding raised to date to more than $400million. Airwallex says the additional funds will enable it to invest in its product suite, strengthen its existing footprint in key regions, as well as expand its global payment coverage to regions, including MENA and Africa.
Agricultural fintech startup Tarfin aims to reach more farmers in Turkey after raising $5million in series A funding round. Tarfin says it will use the new funds to further invest in its data analytics and mobile technology.
Payments Fintech Total Processing has received a £5million investment from BOOST&Co; an alternative lender, specialising in supporting high-growth SMEs. As well as accelerating its growth internationally, Total Processing intends to provide more than 30 new jobs in the UK.
Finally, eight startups have completed Flat6labs Bahrain’s first virtual acceleration programme in the Kingdom. The 5th Cycle received more than 200 applications from more than 50 countries. Flat6Labs Bahrain says it has also invested in 36 startups in just over two years, resulting in 100+ full time jobs.