The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. There’s funding success for Rundit and Neuro-ID, while Stocard utilises Moorwand’s issuing services for European expansion.
Funding and Investments
Neuro-ID has raised a $7million Series A funding round led by Fin VC and TTV Capital. Canapi Ventures also participated in the round. The behaviour-as-a-service (BaaS) expert provides a new standard for collecting, translating and actioning on the real-time behaviours of digital interactions.
While, Finnish startup Rundit raises €1million in seed funding. The platform for portfolio management and monitoring, will use the capital to scale across Europe and the US, while improving its product offering. The round was led by two new angel investors, including Luxembourg finance veteran Pierre Weimerskirch.
Specialist lending platform SoMo – rebranded from BridgeCrowd – secures £300million funding from Deutsche Bank. Since 2012, the company has lent over £132million to customers seeking a bridging loan to cover property purchases, while delivering six to 12 per cent returns to investors.
HSBC appoints Steve Van Wyk as new CIO
HSBC has unveiled Steven Van Wyk as its new group chief information officer. Joining from PNC Bank, Van Wyk says there is ‘huge potential’ to use technology to improve and differentiate HSBC’s customer experience, as well as to increase speed and efficiency.
Cross-border payment platform dLocal hires two new members to its executive team. Hernán Di Chello will serve as chief technology officer, while Diego Cabrera Canay joins as chief financial officer. The appointments are part of dLocal’s expansion plans following a $200m funding round in September.
Former Goldman Sachs and UBS executives Andy Brown and Moritz Baier-Lentz have joined upcoming fintech Zytara. The appointments to Zytara’s advisory board follows the news that the company plans to launch its digital banking platform for gaming and e-sports fans in early 2021.
Scottish fintech firm AutoRek has appointed Kenny Bain as chief financial officer. The company also recently announced a partnership with iSoftware4Banks, a provider of services to support compliance.
Roland Daher is the new CEO for AstroLabs after serving as the Dubai-based incubator’s COO for the last three years. AstroLabs says in that time it has tripled in size, expanded internationally, as well as launched multiple new lines of business.
Fintech MonetaGo has hired Tat Yeen Yap as head of product Asia-Pacific. Tat Yeen has previously worked at Trade Finance for Société Générale Singapore, Citibank and ABN AMRO. He will support MonetaGo’s growth in the region.
Mergers and Acquisitions
IDEMIA, the France-based augmented identity specialist, has snapped up Saudi Arabian card personalisation bureau PCARD. Strengthened by PCard’s capabilities, Idemia said it will offer an expanded range of card payment services and solutions to the kingdom’s banking and payment ecosystem.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Fintech MonetaGo teams up with Singapore-based digital trade platform GUUD in order to roll out a secure financing programme across Asia to eliminate fraud. MonetaGo uses blockchain technology to prevent double invoice financing, while GUUD has an ecosystem of trade finance stakeholders across Asia.
London-based insurtech KASKO partners with German digital insurer Neodigital on a mobile insurance product that took six weeks to build. Using the myNeo online portal, users can manage all relevant data in one place.
OakNorth Bank partners with fintech Insignis to help pensioners make the most of their pension pots. The Insignis marketplace brings together pension savers of various SIPP and SSAS administrators and introduces them to cash savings products of numerous savings providers.
bolttech brings its device switch programme to Three Ireland
Česká spořitelna, the Czech Republic’s largest bank, is working with Irish banking technology firm LEVERIS to ‘transform its IT infrastructure’. The cooperation involves generating a blueprint for developing new software, a new database and general infrastructure, as well as training Česká spořitelna employees on operating a modular banking system.
Data-driven digital banking firm Meniga has partnered with Swedbank to launch new services. New digital banking solutions based on customer behaviour are now live in Swedbank’s mobile bank app and internet bank across the bank’s home markets in Sweden and the Baltics.
Hong Kong-headquartered insurtech bolttech is expanding into Ireland. The company has sealed device protection partnerships with telecoms operator Three Ireland and CKH Innovations Opportunities Development. ‘3PhoneSwap’ lets customers switch their mobile devices with no exclusions up to two times a year’.
Meanwhile, German fintech Stocard has chosen Moorwand to help its European expansion. UK’s Moorwand is a BIN sponsor and issuer with an e-money licence. Stocard is using Moorwand’s licence in order to provide a virtual card linked to a mobile wallet.
New Products and Launches
Fintech Modulr has announced the alpha launch of its Payments Dashboard and new accountancy Pathfinder programme. The launch is part of the payments-as-a-service firm’s plans to ‘revolutionise the way accountants and bookkeepers manage and make payments for their clients’. The Dashboard provides accounting and payroll platform connections, multi-step approvals, granular access control and workflow management.
Intelligent automation software firm Brightmast has launched an AI-driven service for NHS Trusts. The online portal ASK AP is designed to help suppliers resolve invoice queries without any human interaction. ASK AP is currently used by 15 Trusts.
Capital launches a new tool that shows private investors how non-dilutive capital improves their fund returns. Portfolio Analytics is free for any venture capitalist firm, private equity firm, or investors onboarding up to 10 active investments. It also provides the ability to benchmark companies on a fundamental basis.
Fotis and Johnson launch Predatech
Jigsaw XYZ has launched new websites showcasing two of its core product offerings. Sense is a next-generation digital banking platform for clients to launch their own digital bank, while Spoke is a marketplace-as-a-service platform.
B2B payments firm Adflex has unveiled Payment Links – a service designed to enable supply chain merchants to simplify and accelerate payment acceptance from corporate buyers. The service integrates into a merchant’s existing system using Adflex’s enterprise card payment API.
Cybersecurity firm Predatecha has launched with a focus on the financial sector. Predatech was founded by Michael Fotis, formerly the founder of startup Smart Money People, and Jason Johnson, a CREST-registered penetration tester. It says forty-six per cent of businesses have reported security attacks in the last 12 months.
Research and Analysis
The Foreign Exchange & Remittance Group (FERG) says 83 per cent of its members want more UAE nationals to undertake professional education in the financial sector. Meanwhile, 61 per cent believe that technical education for practitioners needs to be increased to improve the industry.
Amendments to the UAE Commercial Companies Law will enhance ease of doing business, says Sami Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai Economy. Foreign investments are also expected to see a 35 per cent increase as a result of the amendments, which came into effect on 1 December.
Regtech ClauseMatch wins ‘Global FinTech Startup of Year’ at FinTech Abu Dhabi Awards. The company has also recently completed work with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market to develop new possibilities for digitalising regulation. It presented actual regulation in a form of a structured knowledge graph.
Finally, Kuwait’s Gulf Bank is embarking on a multi-year multi-experience transformation journey assisted by US tech firm Avaya. By basing its transformation efforts on Avaya’s communications platform-as-a-service product, Gulf Bank says it will meet expectations of its customers for a digitally driven experience.