This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 15/04

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In this Thursday’s bumper The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup we put the spotlight on the latest partnerships, job moves and funding success stories.

Appointments

First up, Reach, the global payment localisation provider, has appointed Tyler Barry as chief technical officer. He will drive the company’s strategic technology action plan, as well as develop the Reach Platform.

Jörg Bode is the new CEO of Zurich-based provider of securitisation platforms GenTwo. Meanwhile, the company’s previous chief executive and co-founder Philippe A. Naegeli moves into the role of chief vision officer.

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Napier’s Roy Williamson and Lila Boyce

Fintech SocietyOne appoints Melanie Cochrane and Jamie McPhee as independent non-executive directors. The hires boost SocietyOne as it strengthens its strategy, governance and risk capabilities as well as embarks on a new stage of development and growth.

Mark Nicholas Cutis will lead the newly constituted Abu Dhabi Global Market Authority as CEO from 1 June. The new Authority will play a pivotal role in driving ADGM’s growth by leveraging the trends emerging across the international financial services sector and the developments associated with the post pandemic world. Prior to ADGM, Mark was the group chief financial officer at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Regtech firm Napier has bolstered its senior management team with the appointments of Lila Boyce as global human resources director and Roy Williamson as EMEA head of sales. Napier also recently appointed former HSBC group COO and BCG global banking chair Andy Maguire to its advisory board.

Meanwhile, Sunil Patel is PwC UK’s first chief data officer (CDO). Patel, who is also a partner, will be responsible for developing the firm’s overall vision and strategy for the use of data and will join PwC’s global CDO network.

More hires

Aviva Singlife Holdings, the holding company established following the merger of Aviva Singapore and Singlife, has hired Kim Rosenkilde as group chief investment officer. Rosenkilde will coordinate investments across the two licensed insurers and will also be seconded to the Asset Liability Committees of Singlife and Aviva.

Ibrahim Ennali

Ibrahim EnnaliSentinels, a scale-up specialising in AI-driven AML transaction monitoring, has appointed Ibrahim Ennali as its chief technology officer. Prior to joining Sentinels, Ennali held executive positions at Digital Insurance Group, UL and Irdeto.

Former president of Mastercard Europe, Javier Perez, joins the board of Danish fintech scale-up Cardlay. Cardlay has also secured €8million in funding from Javier Perez’ Global PayTech Ventures. Cardlay is a strategic partner to banks, card issuers and processors in the digital transformation process.

Freetrade appoints senior leaders for European expansion. Karl Broomé joins from J.P. Morgan as managing director for Sweden, while Annica Lundblad and Torbjörn Ericsson join as non-executive directors. The investment platform has also applied to the Finansinspektionen (Sweden) for its regulatory licence.

UAE-based LuLu Financial Holdings has named Richard Teng, former CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), as an independent director to its board. At ADGM, he helped develop innovative regulatory regimes and offerings to bridge gaps in the ecosystem.

Mergers and acquisitions

Zeepay, the African challenger fintech, has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Mangwee Mobile Money Zambia. The private placement deal makes Zeepay the majority shareholder of Mangwee. Zeepay’s financial advisor, Verdant Capital, acted as its merger and acquisition advisor on the deal.

UK-based software company White Clarke Group has been acquired by US-headquartered IDS in a deal described as the creation of a ‘secured finance technology powerhouse’. The deal is expected to close before the end of Q2 2021. Together, the combined company will serve more than 300 customers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and will also be co-headquartered in Minneapolis and Milton Keynes.

Fintech unicorn Tipalti acquires cloud procurement solutions provider Approve.com. Together, they want to help mid-market companies optimise and scale their financial operational processes end-to-end. The transaction is expected to close in early Q2 2021.

Meanwhile, Delta Capita has snapped up International Compliance Partners (ICP). The acquisition enables Delta Capita to further extend its customer reach in Benelux financial services and accelerate growth through the development of innovative products.

Partnerships

Emirates NBD, a MENAT banking group, is partnering with fintech platform MoniMove to complement the bank’s E20. digital business bank initiative. The integration will help MoniMove platform users ‘achieve a high level of transparency and credibility on their end-to-end transactions and interactions with suppliers.

There’s also a partnership for business management platform MYOB and fintech Butn Limited. It provides MYOB with a fully integrated invoice funding solution. The undisclosed investment forms part of Butn’s successful $12.5million funding round to provide qualifying MYOB Australian small business customers with access to upfront payments for outstanding invoices.

Meanwhile, Archax – the FCA regulated digital securities exchange, brokerage and custodian – has selected NorthRow to provide an enhanced client due diligence process.T he partnership will also enable Archax to understand their customer lifecycle from the point of onboarding to ongoing monitoring.

HSBC

HSBCHSBC has joined independent not-for-profit BIAN in order to develop its IT architecture through the use of common standards. One of BIAN’s main selling points is its coreless banking initiative, which promotes a more efficient and effective approach to modernising banking software.

While Scienaptic, the AI-powered credit decision platform provider, has announced the deployment of its platform at American Cycle Finance (ACF). ACF is partnered with more than 450 motorcycle retailers across 24 states in the US.

Lithuanian tech startup iDenfy announces partnership with Emirex. The two tech enterprises have teamed up to provide identity verification services in the MENA region in order to make online transactions more secure.

Emirex and iDenfy partnership announcement.

Emirex and iDenfy partnership announcement.

Further collaborations

European technology companies Evina and Telecoming have signed a global alliance to promote direct carrier billing (DCB) payment technology for mobile. The alliance will use a DCBMaster service that allows users to measure their exposure to fraud, as well as their market and regulations knowledge. The alliance will also enable the launch of the first global DCB indicator.

Australian bank MyLife MyFinance has turned to Temenos cloud technology to streamline its loan application process. Following implementation, MyLife MyFinance has moved to one central core banking system to store and run all of its processes and data.

Meanwhile, African fintechs SECDEX and KOINON collaborate to interlink mobile money and digital assets. Together they will foster the intersection of African B2C and B2B payments and asset conversion between fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Cardlytics, the purchase intelligence platform, has teamed up with credit card provider MBNA to drive its new ‘Smart Rewards’ programme. ‘Smart Rewards’ enables MBNA credit card customers to earn as they spend. They receive up to 15 per cent cash back on purchases when they activate tailored offers from UK brands across retail, entertainment, hospitality and travel.

Netherlands payment service provider Online Payment Platform has chosen Banking Circle to enhance its marketplace offering. It will use Banking Circle’s accounts in multiple currencies to gain access to various local clearing methods. Online Payment Platform is also using Banking Circle’s virtual IBAN solution for accounts reconciliation.

Even more partnerships

Semafone, which provides contact centre data security solutions, has unveiled a global reseller partnership with communications firm Avaya. The partnership will give Avaya’s customers access to Semafone’s secure and compliant payment solutions in the cloud.

CrescoFin has partnered with Currencycloud to offer seamless FX and multi-currency e-wallet. The integration of Currencycloud Spark will allow CrescoFin to accept up to 30 currencies under one unique SWIFT IBAN. In addition, it can execute forward FX transactions in-house.

There’s a partnership for Nium and Travelex to extend digital remittance services in Australia and Singapore. Travelex is tapping on Nium’s remittance-as-a-service solution that makes it easier for companies to become providers of payment services as well as offer remittance services on their own digital platforms.

Finally, Synctera has unveiled partnership agreements with CheckAlt and Socure to build out fintech-as-a-service offerings. In addition, Synctera has also announced two new product offerings for its fintech and community banking partners. The news follows Synctera’s launch and seed funding in December 2020.

SaaS company Acin has bolstered its existing partnership with J.P Morgan. The global financial firm is expanding use of the Acin platform to cover its global markets business. Now, J.P. Morgan will be able to further validate aspects of ongoing operational risk management and assessment. It complements the existing operational risk management practices established within J.P. Morgan.

Announcements

VTB Bank, together with other members of the Russian Fintech Association, has become the founder of a blockchain operator that will develop distributed ledger technology in Russia. The bank will establish a centre of excellence for the use of blockchain technology in the financial sector, with plans to create new business models using blockchain to develop services for retail customers and businesses.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Bank of Italy sign a memorandum of understanding to facilitate continued cooperation in the area of financial supervision. The agreement builds on a previous MoU signed by the two authorities in 2013. It updates the framework for effective cooperation and information exchange between the two authorities.Amazon Payments MENA

Amazon Payments MENA

Amazon Payment Services is waiving all fees for new businesses wishing to benefit from its services in Egypt. It won’t charge account setup and maintenance fees for MSMEs throughout the month of Ramadan until the end of June 2021. Meanwhile, Amazon is also contributing more than one million meals to support families in need across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan during Ramadan.

Finally, Edenred UAE, on of the largest salary processing providers in the region, is named one of the best places to work in the UAE. Best Places to Work, an international certification programme, says Edenred employees in the UAE feel overwhelmingly positive toward its workplace culture.

Launches

Wealth Dynamix launches cloud-based client lifecycle management SaaS solution for wealth management firms. CLMi helps relationship managers meet regulatory obligations as well as facilitate focus on profitable outcomes for clients and AuM growth. Wealth Dynamix is hosting a CLIMi introduction webinar on Thursday 29 April 2021.

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has introduced a new online, intermediate-level course on sustainable and responsible investment. Aimed at both CISI members and non-members the course is designed to ‘to help unravel the jargon around ethical finance’.

Funding and investments

DeFi mtual fund Sheesha Finance has raised $9.44million in two weeks. Contributors to its liquidity generation event can claim their liquidity provision tokens to stake for platform native tokens (SHEESHA). As an additional staking reward, the community also receives an NFT created by crypto and mixed-media artist VESA.

Huspy, a Dubai based PropTech startup, has raised a funding round led by VentureFriends. In addition, Amir Farha (Cotu), B&Y Ventures and  Plug and Play also took part. Launched in August 2020, Hupsy is a licensed mortgage platform that offers home financing with no paperwork.

Meanwhile, ConsenSys raises $65million with investment from J.P. Morgan, Mastercard and UBS. The integrated Ethereum software company has outlines its plans to further converge the centralised and decentralised financial domains.

Loyalize, the white label engagement platform, has raised £250,000 in pre-seed funding. Backed by fund investors SFC Capital, Loyalize will expand its development team and build out new platform features as it looks toward a larger seed round later this year.

Smart comparison fintech Monva more than doubles fundraising target, reaching £451,905 on Crowdcube. The latest funding round attracted more than 600 investors. It comes ahead of a larger institutional round expected to take place towards the end of 2021.

Talon Cyber Security raises $26million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Team8, Zohar Zisapel and other cyber angel investors. The investment will be used to further develop its technology and expand its development team.

Finally, Snoonu, a Doha-based e-commerce startup, has raised $5million in a Series A funding round. Led by Qatar Development Bank alongside other investors, Snoonu will use the funds to further develop its product and brand.

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

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