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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 31/08

Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 31 August 2023.

Company updates

Pluto, a provider of financial corporate spend management solutions in the UAE, can offer corporate cards to all employees of UAE businesses across the whole GCC as well as Egypt, as part of its expanded service offering. Pluto will focus on the technology and building a world-class platform, while the financial products on its platform are provided by its regulated partners.

ZA Bank has become the first settlement bank for HashKey Exchange, Hong Kong’s first licensed retail virtual asset exchange, as it starts offering fiat-currency deposit and withdrawal services to investors who hold a ZA Bank account. ZA Bank users can now transfer HKD/USD to and from HashKey Exchange via the ZA Bank App and conduct virtual asset transactions on HashKey Exchange.

Clear Junction, the global cross-border payments solution company, has secured ISO 27001 certification, the highest global standard that corporates can achieve for information security. With this globally trusted stamp of approval, Clear Junction assures clients and their customers that their transaction data is protected in accordance with the strongest possible industry standard.

MyFatoorah, a payments platform offering solutions across the Middle East, has obtained licences from the central banks of six regional countries, including the acquiring licence from the UAE Central Bank. With the issuance of these licences, the payments platform introduces its ‘Payments Without Borders’ concept, aimed at enabling seamless cross-border payment acceptance.

insightsoftware, a global provider of reporting, analytics, and performance management solutions, has acquired Vizlib, a UK-based software company that builds products for Qlik Sense. With this deal, insightsoftware can provide Qlik users with new capabilities to supercharge operational planning, reporting, and analytics. It also complements insightsoftware’s previous acquisition of Power ON.

partnerships

Partnerships

Astra, an infrastructure provider for faster payments, has extended its partnership with Plaid, a data network powering the digital financial ecosystem. Astra currently leverages Plaid’s payment authorisation APIs (Auth, Balance, Identity) to facilitate bank-based payments. The addition of Plaid Identity Verification provides a complete solution for identity verification, payment authorisation, and payment processing.

Web3 data platform OmniIndex and Future-X Education announce partnership to manage data of over 500,000 students in Nigeria. Data from all educational institutions (from primary through to training schools) will be managed through Future-X’s EMIS tool and stored and analysed in OmniIndex’s platform.

Applifting has unveiled strategic collaboration with FactSet, a provider of open data and software solutions for over 185,000 investment professionals worldwide. The collaboration enables Applifting to assist FactSet clients with their software and app development needs.

Tech Mahindra has forged a partnership with Google to launch generative AI powered Email amplifAIer under Tech Mahindra’s TechM amplifAI0 suite of AI offerings. The Email amplifAIer serveS as a one stop solution to manage all email communication of contact centre for enhanced customer service.

job moves

Appointments

Zodia Custody, a digital asset custodian, has appointed Jonathan Hugh as its new chief financial officer. Hugh will oversee the bank-owned custodian’s financial operations, while helping to enforce its global growth as the company expands into new markets. He will also contribute to enhancing internal capabilities and efficiencies. Hugh joins Zodia Custody from GSR.

Singapore-based software products company Azentio Software names Sanjay Singh as its new CEO. This strategic move marks Azentio’s preparation for its next growth phase. He previously held the chief revenue officer at Datto, a provider of cloud-based software and security solutions. Current CEO Tony Kinnear continues his role as a board member, while David Hamilton is named chairman of Azentio.

Bank Ashman has appointed Ella Keyes as chief people officer, as the business enters its next phase of development. She joins Ashman from building society The Nottingham with previous roles also at Totemic, National Sales Academy, Baines & Ernst and Phones4u. Keyes will look to attract new talent as well as manage internal engagement programmes.

DiffusionData, which specialises in real-time data streaming and messaging solutions, welcomes Scott Fink as its new managing director for the Americas. Fink is responsible for all customer and partner engagements across the US, Canada and Latin America.  He was previously an executive director at CME Group.

Private market investment platform Treble Peak has appointed Divyesh Hindocha as chief investment officer to strengthen its fund selection process as well as its engagement with the private markets community. He is also responsible for building a consistent and coherent strategy around how funds available on the platform are selected.

StreaksAI PLC, a LSE-listed provider of AI-focused conversational technologies, unveils Philip Blows as CEO. He previously co-founded crypto exchange and startup incubator AQRU Plc. Blows has been executive director of StreaksAI since 20 February 2023.

funding roundup

Funding and investments

Channel, an alternative investment fund manager, has provided funding to support lending activity at Tint, a new fintech platform providing cross-border trade finance. Channel’s investment enables Tint to finance customer trades supporting cross-border transportation for large quantities of goods and commodities.

Lyvely, a UAE-based social networking and content monetisation platform, has raised an undisclosed amount from venture firm Cypher Capital. Following the support, Lyvely will develop a cryptocurrency token that seamlessly integrates into the platform, enhancing the user experience and earning potential.

British Business Investments has committed £30million to the Panoramic SME III fund as part of a final close of £100million. This commitment will allow Panoramic to fund growth opportunities and management transitions for smaller businesses across the UK. Panoramic is an established fund manager that invests across the UK but focuses specifically on Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.

Instant Financial has raised a second funding round led by TTV Capital, a fintech-focused venture capital firm, as well as an original investor in Instant. The funding round also saw participation from ITC Holdings and InComm, along with reinvestment from existing partners. The newly secured funds are earmarked to accelerate Instant’s growth initiatives, including substantial investments in product development as well as enhancements in client support services.

SSImple, a SaaS DLT platform, has concluded an angel funding round. Leading the investment is David Little, a serial angel investor.  Little also holds the position of chairman at Aora Law and serves as a non-executive director for startups including OTCX, Century Tech and ETA Green Power. SSImple has also named Matthew Cook as chairman.

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