Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 31 October 2023, bringing you the latest updates from across the world.
Elavon, a global payments company, is to provide a range of payments services for Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic will use Elavon’s global acquiring services, and Multi-Currency Conversion (MCC) – which allows merchants to settle in one of 100 currencies. Elavon currently serves eight of the top 10 airlines globally, and has more than 100 airlines partners.
European community fintech 11Onze has entered the vehicle insurance sector by partnering with non-profit Mussap, a mutual insurance company which serves the Catalan community in Spain. 11Onze offers three types of third-party insurance (third-party, third-party with windscreen cover and extended third-party), as well as medical assistance, appeals against fines and travel assistance.
BR-DGE and Sift have launched a partnership to support merchants in the fight against payment fraud. This new partnership gives BR-DGE merchants access to Sift’s machine learning platform for fraud and risk decisioning via BR-DGE Connect, its payments ecosystem connectivity tool. Merchants can benefit from the combined integration of payment orchestration, network tokenisation and a fraud prevention platform.
Coincover, the blockchain protection company, has teamed up with global fintech firm AlphaPoint to provide an additional layer of protection for AlphaPoint customers. The partnership enables AlphaPoint clients to access Coincover’s asset protection technology, enabling them to mitigate security risks such as hacking, human error, and scams.
CSI, a provider of fintech and regtech solutions, is partnering with Dragonfly Financial Technologies, a digital banking and treasury management fintech. This collaboration provides financial institutions with a range of services, including more than 20 types of automated clearing house transactions, positive pay, reverse positive pay services, sweep accounts, and expanded domestic and international wire functionality.
Animoca Brands has entered into a strategic partnership with NEOM to drive regional Web3 initiatives in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 plan. NEOM Investment Fund is proposing to invest $50million in Animoca Brands, of which $25million will be via the issuance of convertible notes. Animoca Brands will work with NEOM on building Web3 enterprise service capabilities with global commercial applicability.
TrueLayer, the European open banking payments network, has forged a partnership with UK gaming operator William Hill. The collaboration introduces TrueLayer’s payments product to enable instant pay-ins and payouts for UK players. Users can now select the Instant Bank Transfer option to quickly pay into their William Hill accounts.
CatalystPay has appointed Hristian Nedyalkov as its new chief product officer. His appointment aims to steer product development toward CatalystPay’s goal of becoming an all-in-one financial hub for scaling online businesses. The hire follows CatalystPay’s recent achievement of profitability and setting the stage for the company’s planned expansion.
Regtech firm Qomply appoints Sophia Fulugunya as director of transaction reporting. She has spent six years at the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), specialising in MiFID II Transaction Reporting and Instrument Reference Data regimes. After leaving the FCA, Fulugunya served as an associate in Bovill’s capital markets team, a regulatory consultancy.
Millennium Advisors, a fixed income broker-dealer, has appointed Dylan Blair as a MD and global head of US dollar credit trading. Blair will be responsible for the coordination and management of Millennium’s global credit trading teams across a range of markets and is mandated to further leverage the existing capabilities of Millennium into new trading opportunities.
Fintech Wales has introduced three new board members and nine new panel members at its latest AGM. It has elected Rhys Thomas at Cardiff Capital Region, Rachel Hillier at Capital Law as well as Lucy Cohen of Mazuma as new board members. New panel members include David Landen at Hodge, Gareth Lewis of Delio; Gemma Hallett at CFIT, Jessica Leigh Jones MBE at Iungo Solutions, Lynsey Walden at Front Door Communications, Scott Cargill at Admiral Money; Sophie Mason of Thinkedi, Tim Barnett of Creda and Tony Smithr at Principality. Existing chair Louise O’Shea is also stepping down after five years.
XS.com, the global fintech and financial services provider, has named Pavlina Zinonos as senior customer support manager. XS.com offers traders, institutional investors and brokers worldwide access to deep institutional liquidity and advanced trading technology.
The Clearing House (TCH), the operator of US payments networks, welcomes Margaret Weichert as chief product officer to lead product development for the company’s payments networks. Weichert joins TCH from Accenture where she was the North American payments practice lead and worked with clients in banking, government, retail and travel, as well as fintechs and technology providers.
Thunes, the global B2B cross-border payments infrastructure company, has appointed Chloé Mayenobe as its new chief operating officer. Mayenobe joins Thunes at a pivotal moment as the company continues its strategic expansion following its successful Series C fundraising in July 2023. Most recently, she served as COO of fintech unicorn Solaris Group. Prior to this, she was deputy CEO of Natixis Payments.
Funding and investments
Upfort, a cybersecurity and insurance platform, has raised $8million in a Series A funding round led by SYN Ventures, with participation of Eniac Ventures and Fika Ventures, which co-led Upfort’s seed round. This investment advances Upfort’s goal to simplify the way brokers and insurers sell insurance and shield their clients from cyber threats.
AI-led insurance claims automation company Sprout.ai has raised £5.4million in a round led by venture capital investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Praetura Ventures. The funding will be used to drive forward Sprout.ai’s go-to-market strategy, accelerate its growth and to continue to invest in product innovation and AI. The investment will also be used to expand into new insurance lines and global territories, including North America.
Mergers and acquisitions
Ebury has received the nod from the Central Bank of Brazil for its acquisition of Bexs Group, including both Bexs Banco (foreign exchange) and Bexs Pay (payments). Now, both companies will work to advance the integration procedures and efforts to accelerate the launch of new products in the Brazilian market. Luiz Henrique Didier Jr (previously CEO of Bexs Group) is signed as ED of Ebury in Brazil.
Shift4 has completed its previously announced acquisition of Finaro, a cross-border ecommerce payments provider and fully licensed bank with a large European presence. Finaro will provide the global infrastructure and technology needed to drive Shift4’s international expansion into Europe and beyond. The acquisition will also enhance the company’s cross-border ecommerce capabilities to deliver a unified global payments platform for merchants and partners around the world.