This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 21/10

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Today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup is packed to the rafters with funding success stories and fintech collaborations.

Funding and investments

Zopa Bank has announced a $300million pre-IPO funding round led by Softbank. Additional investors included Chimera Abu Dhabi, IAG Silverstripe, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, NorthZone and Augmentum Fintech. The funding will be used to meet the capital requirements of Zopa Bank’s rapidly growing balance sheet.

Rossum, the AI document tech company, has raised $100million from General Catalyst in what is Eastern Europe’s largest ever Series A. Previous investors, including LocalGlobe, Seedcamp, Miton and Elad Gil, also participated. Rossum looks to capitalise on surging corporate demand for automation in business processes.

Meanwhile insurtech startup BondAval has secured a $7million seed round led by UK-based venture fund Octopus Ventures. The company also received co-investment from Expa, along with support from existing investors Insurtech Gateway and TrueSight Ventures. The company plans to use the funds primarily for growth in the UK, US and new markets, as well as continuing the scale of its platform and services.

Neo-lender Proportunity has raised £105million investment through debt and equity funding. The new investment follows a £7.3million funding round in 2020 for the London-based fintech. This latest debt and equity round was led by VentureFriends, Kibo Ventures and existing investors Anthemis and Entrepreneur First. The funding will help Proportunity grow its team and will also increase its maximum loan size from £90,000 up to £150,000 per home.

Proportunity raises over £100m to support UK home ownership Proportunity raises over £100m to support UK home ownership
The Proportunity team celebrates after raising over £100million
Further investment updates

Animoca Brands, the company driving digital property rights via NFTs, has closed a capital raise for $65million. The new capital will fund strategic investments and acquisitions, product development and licences for popular intellectual properties. Investors in the round included Liberty City Ventures, Ubisoft Entertainment, Sequoia China and Dragonfly Capital.

Fintech Galaxy has raised $2million in seed funding to further boost the development of its open finance platform. The UAE-based firm plans to expand its reach and boost financial inclusion across key Middle East and North Africa markets. The seed round was led by Ahli Fintech and joined by Raz Holding Group, OMQ Investments and EFG EV Fintech.

Insurami, a real estate deposit guarantee platform, has raised £42million to expand its products across the commercial property sector. It says the funding will help a further 4,000-plus businesses benefit from deposit-free leasing. Fasanara Capital joined existing investors including Global Founders Capital, Entrepreneur First and Clocktower Ventures in backing Insurami.

MODA DAO, a decentralised autonomous organisation created to bridge the legacy music industry with the Web3 entertainment world, has raised $5million in a private sale of its $MODA token. Musicians Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5) and Richie Hawtin as well as VCs Outlier Ventures and Blocksync Ventures took part. MODA is releasing the governance token on 10 November via SushiSwap’s MISO platform.

Primer has announced a $50million Series B funding round led by ICONIQ Growth that values the company at $425million. The funding will ‘supercharge an aggressive expansion plan’ for the UK payments technology startup across the EU, UK, US and APAC. Primer lets merchants connect and control their entire payments stack, building their ideal payment flows autonomously from scratch.

Primer automation platform for paymentsPrimer automation platform for payments
Primer is an automation platform for payments
Even more investment successes

Lithuanian fintech startup kevin. secures $10million seed round co-led by OTB Ventures and Speedinvest to support product development and new market expansion. kevin. is building a payment infrastructure based on open banking to compete with Visa and Mastercard. Also joining the funding round were OpenOcean, Global PayTech Ventures and AmRest founder Henry McGovern.

Supply Chain Ventures LLC, the venture capital firm investing in supply chain and data analytics innovators, has invested in Finboot. Mark Doiron, general partner at Supply Chain Ventures, is also personally investing in the tech firm. Their strategic backing follows Finboot’s $3.6million fundraise announced earlier this year.

UK-based banking, exchange and investment app Ziglu has passed £5million investment in its crowdfund campaign on Seedrs. The fintech originally set out to raise £1million but was oversubscribed in 81 minutes when it launched on Monday 27 September. The crowdfunding campaign, run in conjunction with a major Series A fundraise, will drive continued expansion at Ziglu.

Fintech Asante closes first tranche of $7.5million Series A funding. The investment was anchored by Goodwell Investments with participation by other investors including Sorenson Impact Foundation and Forsage Holdings. The funding will help Asante scale its credit offerings to the underserved segment of MSMEs in Kenya and Uganda, and expand to Nigeria and Rwanda.

Finally, Archax, the digital securities exchange, has completed the first fundraise on its primary issuance platform working with DLA Piper. The oversubscribed round of $1.5million was conducted for its recently announced Montis Digital subsidiary, which is building blockchain-based market infrastructure for the post-trade ecosystem.

New appointments

Elliptic, the cryptoasset risk management firm, has added two senior hires to its executive team. Safiya Karsan joins as chief operating officer, while John Connolly is chief product officer. Earlier this month, Elloptic secured $60million of Series C funding to invest in research and development and product delivery.

Raul Arribas has joined community fintech 11Onze as chief technology officer. Previously, Arribas has led engineering, IT and cybersecurity projects for Amazon, Glovo and Blueliv. He will look into cybersecurity issues and adding new functionalities to the super app El Canut that 11Onze recently launched.

Stefan Krafft Stefan Krafft
Swedish fintech Dreams hires Stefan Krafft

Dreams, the financial wellbeing platform, has appointed Stefan Krafft as its new VP of B2B marketing in order to further drive the company’s bank acquisition strategy. His appointment follows a year of growth and expansion for Dreams – it also recently launched its platform in Ukraine, in partnership with Ukrainian commercial bank UKRSIBBANK. Further partnerships will be revealed in the coming months.

Moneyhub has boosted its senior team with two high profile hires. Paul Goodwin joins from Mercer as key account director, while Lee Jackson joins from Experian as client success director. The appointments align with Moneyhub’s step change in growth following significant increasing interest in open finance.

Finally, former SEC trading and markets director Brett Redfearn joins the Securitize leadership team as senior strategic advisor to CEO Carlos Domingo. Redfearn will also serve as chairman of the company’s advisory board. He also plans to advise other firms within the blockchain ecosystem in support of furthering the development and adoption of digital asset securities.

Partnerships

Payments platform Paysafe has extended its partnership with payments provider ZEN.COM. Paysafe’s e-cash solution Paysafecash can now be used by customers across 25 countries in Europe to make fast and secure cash deposits into ZEN.COM’s virtual wallets.  ZEN.COM’s business clients already have the option of accepting payments via Paysafe’s paysafecard and digital wallet Skrill.

There’s also a partnership for risk analytics consultancy 4most and financial services provider Fair Finance. 4most is collaborating with the risk team at Fair Finance to create a series of initiatives designed to improve the customer journey and boost several aspects of the risk assessment and credit decision process.

Fintech company Stax has partnered with management consulting firm Gallaher Edge to intentionally design Stax’s organisational culture. Gallaher Edge is working with the Stax team to build self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-accountability through customised practices and feedback sessions.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has selected Worldpay from FIS as its preferred payments partner. The cruise company will also use Worldpay value-added services including customer authentication and advanced data analytics. It was looking to streamline its global payments acquiring and processing services while accelerating online and mobile checkout.

Izola Bank, a Maltese bank, has chosen lending platform vendor HPD Lendscape as its new technology partner to replace the legacy working capital technology. The first stage of the migration, due to be delivered in early 2022, will see Izola Bank’s domestic and international factoring business migrated to the latest version of Lendscape, HPD Lendscape’s flagship solution.

Meanwhile, GoodBox partners with the Costa Foundation to support fundraising to help provide education and eradicate poverty in coffee growing communities. GoodBox supports the charity sector with a range of digital fundraising tools and contactless technology. Its contactless devices will be available at Costa Coffee stores around the UK.

Costa Foundation

Costa Foundation

Further partnerships and collaborations

Digital B2B marketplace Flipkart Wholesale and embedded lending fintech Rupifi partner to offer embedded BNPL to MSMEs. The partnership enables 1.5 Lakh Kiranas and MSMEs members on Flipkart Wholesale get instant and digital credit, with flexible repayment terms.

VTB Bank has teamed up with the Moscow Metro to launch a joint project enabling metro users at all stations to pay fares using face recognition technology. Moscow residents can now pay their fares by  presenting their face without smartphones or cards. VTB Bank will automatically charge the fare to the relevant account.

US tech firm Orbis partners with banking workflow automation platform Signzy to automate customer onboarding. Orbis will leverage Signzy’s AI powered onboarding suite to offer identity verification services for Indian and global customers. It will use Signzy’s advanced onboarding technology to confirm the authenticity of a wide range of government-issued ID.

Meanwhile fintech Ebury has unveiled a new partnership with payroll and employer record provider TopSource Worldwide. TopSource Worldwide will use Ebury’s technology to provide clients with a scalable payroll payment service that can make payments to employees based in over 200 countries across 140 currencies.

Clipper Logistics has announced a new partnership with UK fintech Wagestream. The collaboration will see a range of services rolled out to reduce employees’ financial stress, build financial resilience and improve their overall wellbeing. All Clipper staff will now have access to Wagestream’s charity-backed service.

Minsait, a technology and consulting company, has joined forces with banking software firm Temenos. Together they will provide consulting services to banks across Europe and Latin America wanting to modernise their technology infrastructure and take advantage of Temenos’ open cloud banking platform.

Launches 

Oracle NetSuite has unveiled SuiteBanking – a unified suite that embeds fintech into cloud ERP. SuiteBanking helps customers automate key financial processes and gain full visibility into cash flow. HSBC is the first SuiteBanking alliance partner giving NetSuite customers access to financial services, including a global digital wallet and virtual payment card.

Altum Faithful Investing has launched Altum Explorer, a web-based platform enabling investors to apply a faith-based filter to decide to what extent companies, in which they are considering investing, enter in conflict with Catholic teaching. Using Altum Explorer, investors and asset managers can build investment portfolios for their clients coherent with their Christian beliefs.

Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth has unveiled the Strive Learning Network as part of its new micro and small business programme, Strive UK. Strive UK support 650,000 British MSEs, with a particular focus on businesses owned by women and those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Over the next three years, Strive UK will provide access to free guidance, tools, and personalised, one-to-one mentoring.

Meanwhile open banking and payment firm Banfico expands with a new subsidiary in Brazil. The creation of Banfico Tecnologia follows the launch of Brazil’s open banking roadmap in February 2021. Banfico was already operating in Brazil through a partnership with Câmara Interbancária de Pagamentos.

Finally, PrimeRevenue, a provider of tech-enabled B2B payments, has unveiled The PrimeRevenue SurePay platform. The platform streamlines B2B payment services to provide early and on-time payment solutions for the entire supply chain.

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

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