This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 14/12

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In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, climate insurtech platform IBISA raises a €1.5million seed round.

Job moves

EQONEX Limited, the digital assets financial services company, has appointed Evelien van den Arend its chief compliance officer. Most recently she spent 2.5 years at crypto exchange Kraken. van den Arend will lead the regulatory compliance function across the company’s entire product ecosystem.

 Daniel Ciment  Daniel Ciment
Daniel Ciment joins Elwood

Melanion Digital, the Bitcoin Venture, appoints Gian Luca Fetta as head of trading. He will support the expansion of Melanion Digital’s business model while ensuring benefit to the company’s shareholders, teams and partners.

Elwood Technologies has appointed equities electronic trading veteran Daniel Ciment as chief operating officer. He will lead Elwood’s operations and preside over the firm’s global expansion, starting with building a presence in the US. Prior to joining Elwood, he was COO of the IEX Exchange, a registered US stock exchange.

Pinwheel, a payroll connectivity platform, has unveiled Charles Tsang as its head of marketing. He most recently worked at Visa, where he launched its Fintech Fast Track program as well as the Visa Partner portal. Tsang will drive marketing around the launch of new products, partnerships as well as other ‘fairer financial’ initiatives.

Elron Ventures, an early-stage investment firm focusing on cybersecurity, has added four new executives to its advisory board. Jeff Trudeau, CISO of Chime and Gil Gur Arie, chief global data insights & analytics at Ford Motor Company join Al Ghous, CISO of Snapdocs and co-founder of SVCI, and Dr. Selim Aissi, a technology & cybersecurity leader, on the board.

Company updates

EML Nuapay‘s open banking connectors now reach 95 per cent of all bank account holders in four countries and close to 300 million people across Europe. The open banking solution provider has expanded into Spain, Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands. Nuapay said it plans to further expand its reach both across Europe and globally, with ‘more announcements coming soon’.

EML Nuapay

EML Nuapay

Funding 

Resolve has raised an additional $25million in strategic equity funding. Launched as a spinout from Affirm in 2019, Resolve also secured combined $60million asset and equity financing in early 2021. The funding round, led by Insight Partners, will help further expand its platform and team.

Egypt’s Sympl platform has raised $6million following its soft launch last month. The funding round was led by Beco Capital along with A15 and Global Ventures. Sympl will use the cash to accelerate the growth of its merchant network, covering multiple product and service categories across online and in-store, as well as improve the product offering.

UK buy now, pay later provider Bumper secures $12million Series A from Autotech and Jaguar Land Rover. The UK startup offers interest-free flexible payments for car repairs. The latest round brings total funds raised by the company to $17.5million. Meanwhile a Bumper consumer app is due to launch in the UK in January 2022.

Fintech FlyFin has raised $8million in a seed and pre-Series A round. Accel Partners led the round, alongside Falcon Edge. The mobile tax app startup will use the funds to accelerate its growth and enhance product development.

Meanwhile, climate insurtech platform IBISA enjoys a €1.5million seed round led by Insurtech Gateway. The funding will fuel further expansion across the Philippines and India, alongside hiring and entering new markets. The round also attracted investment from Rockstart’s AgriFood fund.

Further funding

Nairobi-based fintech startup Kwara has secured a $4million seed round from investors across Africa, Asia, Europe and the US. The round was led by Breega, with participation also from SoftBank Vision Fund Emerge, Finca Ventures, New General Market Partners and Globivest. It will use the funds to further develop its neobank app in order to enable credit unions in emerging markets to digitise financial services.

Global fintech Finder is celebrating its first external funding since its inception in 2006. Future Now Capital has committed an initial AU$30million, which implies a pre-money AU$650million valuation for Finder. The funding will contribute to Finder’s development of innovative and compelling consumer products in key markets including Australia, USA, UK and Asia.

Payments firm Tipalti has closed a $270million round led by G Squared, valuing the company at $8.3billion. The funding will power Tipalti’s upcoming virtual and physical card products and integrations with expenses fintechs including Expensify and Zenworks.

Fintech innovator fonYou has secured €7million in growth funding from Banco Santander’s Smart Fund. The new framework finance agreement will fund fonYou’s product development programme and strategic roadmap, as it expands its sector focus beyond telecoms to integrated digital finance enablement across global fintech and ecommerce markets.

Arab Financial Services is to raise $98million to support growth strategy. The digital payment solutions provider and fintech enabler in the Middle East and Africa wants to increase the company’s authorised share capital to $150million. The capital increase aims to propel AFS’s revenue growth and strategic expansion.

Launches

Talenthouse has launched ElloU, a money management platform for creatives. As a first step ElloU will launch in Europe but will be rolled out worldwide. ElloU is a regulated banking solution, provided in partnership with banking-as-a-service platforms.

Coinbase has introduced DeFi ‘yields’ using the Dai stablecoin for customers in more than 70 countries, including the UK, Germany and Spain. When users opt-in to earn DeFi yields, their Dai is deposited into Compound Finance, a DeFi platform.

Wise Business has launched its new employee expense card. Available both digitally and physically, the cards can be used by employees to make company payments globally. At launch the card is available to Wise Business customers in Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.

Partnerships

Zurich-based fintech Yokoy has partnered with Visa to deliver a business debit card that digitises and automates transactions. The debit card is powered by card issuing platform Marqeta. Yokoy’s software works as an integration platform connecting the card to spend management software and existing enterprise resource planning systems.

IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl has forged a global, strategic partnership with Google Cloud focused on accelerating customers’ digital transformations.  They will apply their expertise in data and analytics, AI and infrastructure moderniSation to help customers gain new insights.

TradeHelp and Fineon Exchange partner to provide trade finance solutions and access to trading capital for global SMEs. Integrated API between the pair will enable both AI-powered platforms to provide better trade finance and funding opportunities to commodity trading companies and all service providers.

MX, the financial data platform, has teamed up with fintech platform upSWOT to provide insights, analytics and dashboards to small businesses. upSWOT will be powered by MX in enabling SMBs to seamlessly and securely connect their bank accounts to import their account details and transactions.

Amadis, a global payment software provider, has provided its payment card processing software to Middle East financial solution supplier eMcREY for its SoftPOS app. eMcREY’s SoftPOS enables its merchant customers to accept contactless payments from Visa, Mastercard, Amex and MADA.

Chainalysis, the blockchain data platform, has unveiled an integrated partnership with online brokerage app Robinhood Crypto. Robinhood will leverage Chainalysis data and tools to meet compliance requirements and provide Robinhood customers with the confidence they need to trade cryptocurrency safely. Robinhood Crypto will adopt Chainalysis KYT as well as Chainalysis Reactor software solutions.

Additional partnerships

The National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) has partnered with global venture studio Talino Venture Labs’ portfolio startup Asenso Finance to build NAAC Finance, a digital lending service designed to facilitate loans for low- to moderate-Income communities who have historically been left out of traditional banking services.

There’s also a partnership for PImetrics and Finextra Research to provide the first open access dashboard monitoring the real-world performance of open banking, PSD2 payments, fintech and crypto APIs. The dashboard is hosted on the Finextra website. It provides a snapshot view of the real-world performance of the top 30 regulated open banking brands and 36 leading crypto exchanges operating in the UK.

Meanwhile, a partnership between global information services company Experian and TIPTrust gives people access to faster, more accurate financial support. Through the TIPTrust self-service Debt Adviser Support Portal, more than 800 advisers were able to gain instant access to detailed credit reports from Experian.

Uber and Paymob sign new partnership in Egypt. The collaboration sees expanded payment options on the Uber app, to financially integrate more Egyptian drivers and riders. Riders can top up wallets on the Uber app.

JCB International and payments firm Planet have expanded their European partnership. This new deal ensures Planet will perform as a JCB acquirer across European territories for both face-to-face and ecommerce transactions, including JCB Contactless.

Research and insight

US males are more interested in cryptocurrency than their female counterparts, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult. Fifteen per cent of US adults have a ‘very favourable’ opinion of cryptocurrency, while 17 per cent have a ‘somewhat favorable’ opinion. In comparison, 10 per cent have a ‘somewhat unfavourable’ opinion, and 11 per cent have a ‘very unfavorable’ opinion.

Mergers and acquisitions

Investment firm TCM & Technologies is merging with Trovio – a company focused on digitisation, tokenisation and provenance services for the commodities and carbon industries. The merger — led by Ellerston Capital, Sun Hung Kai Strategic Capital and Amherst Holdings — was heavily oversubscribed. New investment will accelerate growth, deliver new fund strategies as well as enable key hires.

LeakBot has plans to enter the public market under the name of Ondo Insurtech Plc, pending a planned reverse takeover by Spinnaker Acquisitions. LeakBot now has nine live insurance partnerships with insurers such as Hiscox, TopDanmark and Direct Line.

  • Claire works across print and online as Editor for The Fintech Times.

https://thefintechtimes.com/this-week-in-fintech-tft-bi-weekly-news-roundup-14-12/