The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 21 January features the latest international fintech stories. Paymentology joins Mastercard‘s fintech programmes, while Avanti Finance pledges affordable loans to micro-entrepreneurs in India.
Fintech Paynetics AD has appointed Ian Clowes as chairman of Paynetics UK. Previously, Clowes was founder of B2B payments platform Payment Cloud Technologies. The appointment follows Paynetics UK’s acquisition of Wirecard UK and Ireland assets, as well as the addition of Mike Peplow as CEO.
Ross Watts of Sandstone Technology
Global fintech supplier Sandstone Technology has named Ross Watts as chief customer officer. He previously held the role of sales director at the company. Watts replaces Michael Phillipou, who is now Sandstone’s CEO.
Digital Identity Net has unveiled former NatWest group senior manager Stuart Kempster as its COO. He will oversee the rollout of the company’s OneID digital identity service in the UK.
Meanwhile, Alon Feit has joined the global advisory board of global payment innovation company Verrency. He will also take responsibility for its commercial operations in Israel and selected countries within Europe.
Rakshit Kapoor has joined Santander UK as chief data officer for Santander UK and head of data transformation for Europe. Kapoor will be responsible for developing Santander’s data strategy, organisation, technology and governance.
Transformational consultancy Brickendon has unveiled a series of internal promotions and a key senior hire. Will McDonald is now director of financial services, strategy and business development. Meanwhile, Bala Ethirajalu is promoted to partner of global head of delivery and Maureen McKinley steps up to senior manager.
Three independent board members have joined the board of directors at fintech Endorse. Nayera Amin, Tarek ElHusseiny and Farid El Chiat join as the company aims to create ‘a new perspective for financial technology in Egypt’.
Finally, events firm SiGMA has welcomed Nicole Fields as VP growth and strategy for its US markets. Fields will be responsible for driving SiGMA’s plans for advancement and development in the US.
Regtechs TruNarrative and TrustID have joined forces to help businesses identify fraudulent documents. TrustID’s document analysis will sit within TruNarrative’s AI driven platform providing firms the option to refer identity documents to human experts.
Billing firm SunTec has partnered with Oman’s Ahli Bank to provide its GCC VAT compliance solution. Ahli Bank is the 50th customer to select SunTec’s indirect taxation solution. VAT is likely to be introduced in Oman in early 2021.
TransUnion partners with South Africa’s Fincheck in order to make credit applications easier for consumers. By combining their strengths, Fincheck says it will be able to ‘allocate the right lead to the right bank, lender or insurer, saving time for all parties’.
While, payments technology specialist Form3 signs Belgium-based digital bank AION in new partnership. Aion Bank will utilise Form3’s API-first payments platform to run its real-time payment processing via a simple API integration, across all payment types.
Payments platform Paydock and fintech Azupay team up to deliver new payments platform for digital merchants. Paydock merchants can now receive their funds instantly. In addition, Azupay reduces the likelihood of fraud and eliminates chargebacks.
Meanwhile, open banking platform finleap connect has signed a strategic partnership agreement with payment firm SIA. It will allow the pair to integrate their respective PSD2 compliant solutions at international level, in order to boost the growth of new digital payments applications.
Finally, fintech unicorn dLocal partners with embedded lending platform Dinie to bring pay later to Brazilian SMEs. The partnership deal will allow global merchants to offer instalment payments to their customers as a form of small business lending.
Funding and Investments
British Business Investments (BBI), a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has completed a commitment of €40million to the first close of Harbert/Claret European Growth Capital Fund III. The fund will provide growth debt to early-stage, fast-growing, technology-focused smaller businesses in the UK and Europe. Other investors also include the European Investment Fund.
Tel Aviv-based global fund manager Liquidity Capital and Dubai-based Vault Investments are forming a joint $100million venture debt investment fund based in Dubai. As part of the partnership, Liquidity Capital and Vault investment will also open offices in Dubai. The joint venture marks a pivotal step forward in the rapidly solidifying relationships that have emerged between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
The Zinia team toasts successful funding round
Ziina announces backing from Y-Combinator and raises seed round from US and MENA venture capital funds. The UAE’s peer-to-peer payment app becomes the third company from the UAE to be selected as part of the elite start-up accelerator’s programme.
Cash management firm Trovata.io secures $20million in Series A Funding from syndicate of financial institutions led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. It will use the investment to fuel new services, bank partnerships, as well as upmarket expansion.
Tamara, the Saudi Arabia-based buy now, pay later startup has closed a $6million seed funding round, led by Impact46. The round also included participation from leading local and regional investors: Vision Ventures, Wealth Well, Seedra, Khwarizmi, Hala and Nama, in addition to multiple family offices.
Fintech wealthpilot has raised €8million in a new financing round. Investor Seventure has contributed €3.4million with the remainder from previous investors Bayern Kapital, MIG Fonds and a consortium of business angels.
Avanti Finance has collaborated with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to support micro-entrepreneurs in securing low-cost debt. The Foundation has provided the digital inclusion platform with a low-cost debt of INR 15 crore, which Avanti will utilise to provide unsecured loans to low-income borrowers in India.
Digital assets data provider Kaiko is to work with Bloomberg in order to extend data standards to crypto assets. Kaiko has been approved as a certified provider of the financial instruments global identifier (FIGI) standard for crypto assets.
TestingXperts is expanding into Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa with a new office in Singapore. It has also appointed Niranjan Kumar as APMEA regional head. Tx provides next-gen QA and software testing services.
Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has opened offices in eight global hubs to help investors unlock opportunities in Abu Dhabi. The offices in Tel Aviv, New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Beijing and Seoul are part of a series of strategic initiatives to boost support for investors around the world.
The Citco group of companies has opened offices in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) after increasing its assets under administration in the region last year by 400 per cent. Citco will partner with ADGM to create a sustainable, fully-integrated ecosystem for the investment management industry.
Finally, payment processing platform Paymentology has been selected by Mastercard to join its Fintech Express programme and its Engage Programme. Paymentology can now support clients in the categories of digital wallets, commercial payments and speed to market.
imagin, the digital service and lifestyle platform for millennials offered by Spain’s CaixaBank, has attracted 400,000 new users. It has also grown by 15 per cent over the last six months. Additionally, in recent months, more than half of imagin users have accessed the app more than four times a week.
Banking group Emirates NBD has recorded an increase of more than 20 per cent in the number and value of funds transfers via its digital money transfer service in 2020, compared to 2019. DirectRemit allows Emirates NBD customers to make remittances to India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt and the UK.