The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. Starling adds Nutmeg to its Marketplace, while Pockit kicks off a crowdfunding campaign.
SmartSearch continues growth with senior hires
Global payments platform Galileo hires former Twitter exec Seth McGuire as chief revenue officer. McGuire is responsible for expanding Galileo’s business relationships, as well as scaling marketing and business development functions for additional growth.
One Inc, the digital payments platform for the insurance industry, has bolstered its executive team. Jig Patel is now president and chief operations officer, Paul Schmidt is chief financial officer, Kathy Tuite is chief marketing officer, while Kevin Ostrander is chief sales officer. The C-suite expansion follows its August acquisition of payment firm Invenger and February recapitalisation by Great Hill Partners.
UK anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has expanded its senior team with a trio of appointments. Chris Clayton-White is now vice-president of customer success, Lee Carter has joined as head of sales, while Matt Bevan joins as enterprise business development manager. The appointments follow its recent hiring of international development director Martin Turvey to oversee expansion into US and European markets.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Alternative finance provider eCapital Corp has snapped up UK-based specialty lender and factoring company Advantedge Commercial Finance. The North American company says the acquisition continues its mission to further establish its presence in the factoring space. In addition, it will help it build out a full suite of specialty lending solutions and geographically diversify its book of business.
Irish payments regulation firm Sysnet has acquired a division of US managed security services firm ControlScan. Sysnet, which provides cybersecurity and compliance software for businesses, has picked up the managed compliance solutions (MCS) division in order to ‘help more merchants than ever at a time they need it most’.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Fast Budget partners with Salt Edge
Personal financial management app Fast Budget partners with Salt Edge to provide a fully automated way to manage daily finances. The app will leverage Salt Edge’s bank data aggregation technology, so its customers can connect and access all bank accounts in one place via open banking and PSD2.
Payments testing firm Fime has unveiled a partnership with Android to perform biometric security evaluation in order to help smartphone manufacturers and software providers evaluate anti-spoofing ability and achieve compliance.
UK fintech startup Imperium Risk Platform partners with risk consultancy Risk Shapes to boost its operational resilience. Risk Shapes’ clients can access Imperium Risk Platform’s data-driven support for decision-making around non-financial risks. While, Imperium Risk Platform’s subscribers can benefit from Risk Shapes’ knowledge of implementing effective risk management frameworks.
UK bank Starling has added digital wealth manager Nutmeg to its Marketplace. Launched in September 2012, Nutmeg offers fully managed and socially responsible pension portfolios, with a minimum investment of £500.
Meanwhile, global payments platform APEXX Global hooks up with payments infrastructure provider PPRO to drive transaction efficiencies. Following the partnership, APEXX will accelerate the delivery of local payment methods across APAC, EMEA and the Americas.
Funding and Investments
Pockit raises £15million
Inclusive fintech Pockit has raised £15 million in a Series B funding round. It has also launched a crowdfunding campaign, which is already oversubscribed by existing investors and customers. And, it has completed a migration of its payment services from Wirecard to PayrNet Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Railsbank.
Growth equity firm Greater Sum Ventures has revealed a majority investment in integrated payment technology provider Fattmerchant. The funding will provide additional capital that will enable Fattmerchant to increase its investment in innovation and accelerate its growth.
Salv, an anti-money laundering (AML) startup, has raised €1.5million in order to expand its pilot programme to other EU countries. Salv’s AML Bridge pilot was introduced in Estonia two months ago. Superangel led the funding round with support from existing investors.
Ziglu, the personal money app, has closed its crowdfunding campaign after raising £6million from 1,250 investors. The Seedrs equity raise was more than five times oversubscribed. The company has now raised £11million during 2020 and will use the investment to fund its technology and product development teams, as well as expand internationally.
Fintech Updraft raises £16million – with support from specialist investment firm Quilam Capital and the UK government’s Future Fund – to help its members avoid unnecessary credit card and overdraft charges. Updraft describes itself as a part lending, part credit report, and part financial planning app for millennials.
Digital payments start-up Pomelo Pay raises £2.1million in investment in a seed funding round led by Force Over Mass. The investment will be used to expand its team, as well as build its international reach. Pomelo Pay helps businesses take payments from anyone, in any location (physical or digital), at a low cost and without the need for hardware.
Fintech unicorn PingPong is now authorised as an electronic money institution (EMI) by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier in Luxembourg. It says it is the first Luxembourg-based B2B fintech to achieve this feat in the EU after applying in December 2019. The licence will help PingPong broaden its existing business model to beyond e-commerce platforms
The City of London Corporation has launched a taskforce to tackle a lack of diversity in UK financial and professional services. HR tech firm MyKindaFuture will support the initiative dedicated to improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels. Almost nine in 10 senior employees in financial services come from higher socio-economic backgrounds, according to recent research.
The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment has launched a new Kenya National Advisory Council in order to develop professional standards across the finance profession. The Council wants to ensure Kenyan practitioners meet competence requirements required by local and global markets.
Bank ABC wins The Banker – Bank of the Year 2020 in Bahrain
AI firm Webb Fontaine is to open an artificial intelligence research and development centre in Africa. The centre will grow and nurture fresh local talent, as well as support local governments to drive economic growth powered by the latest technology.
The UAE will host an Israeli business, tech and investor delegation at 40th GITEX Technology Week. The Israel Export Institute, IEI, Strategic Country Partner for GITEX, in partnership with Bank Hapoalim, will lead the delegation of Israeli government officials, entrepreneurs and business executives.
Meanwhile, Bank ABC wins best Bahrain bank award for 2020. The international bank won Bank of the Year in Bahrain Award from The Financial Times publication The Banker magazine.
Dubai-based Codebase has unveiled a digital banking as a service platform – Digibanc SaaS. As part of the solution rollout, Codebase has partnered with Masria Digital Payments to launch MDP Neo for its North African customers. MDP Neo is an API-driven digital onboarding and instant decision management solution for banks and fintechs.
SaaS pricing software firm Pricefx has unveiled a new ‘streamlined, powerful and agile’ version of its pricing platform. Unity UI showcases all of Pricefx’s pricing modules. The company has also launched PriceOptimizer AI, a price optimisation solution powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Investment firm Curo Fund Services has adopted a post trade processing solution from financial transaction firm SmartStream. The SmartStream transaction lifecycle management Aurora Trade Process Control solution ensures all trade processing and executions management is based on verified data.
Finally, cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent has enhanced the way it helps SMEs manage their cash flow. New functionality uses data from FreeAgent accounts to automatically build a near-term cashflow forecast. In addition, it proactively warn users about any financial issues that may be on the horizon.