This Tuesday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup delivers up a healthy dose of fintech updates from around the world.
Funding and investments
Fintech lender Creditspring raises £48million to boost its mission to improve financial stability across the UK. Creditspring will focus funds on substantially growing the team, aiming to double the employee base by the end of the year and targeting 30 new hires this quarter. It will be hiring for positions across all areas of the business, including data, engineering and customer operations.
Caribou, the auto fintech, has bagged $115million in an oversubscribed Series C funding round. The round was led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from new investors, including Innovius Capital and Harmonic. Caribou will use the funding to invest in its platform and innovative new products as well as expand the team.
Azra Games, a blockchain games company, has raised $15million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from NFX, Coinbase Ventures, Play Ventures and Franklin Templeton. This seed funding will be used to accelerate development on Azra’s first game, a sci-fi/fantasy collectibles and mass combat RPG.
Socotra has acquired Avolanta, a software startup catering for the insurance industry. As part of the acquisition, the Avolanta team will join Socotra and Avolanta’s technology will become Socotra Unified Portal. Socotra also recently raised a $50million Series C funding round.
BridgerPay, a payments operations platform, has appointed Laoura Salveta as head of marketing. Salveta Laoura joins ahead of BridgerPay’s first worldwide hybrid event, which will be broadcast live from Limassol on 25 May.
Global fraud fighters SEON names PJ Rohall as its new head of fraud strategy & education. As part of his new role, Rohall will continue to raise SEON’s brand awareness within the US, as well as developing new strategic business relationships in the region.
Haven Life, a digital direct-to-consumer life insurance agency, has unveiled Mitch Ocampo as its new head. He most recently served as co-CEO of Cookhouse Lab, part of the LOGiQ3 Group acquired by RGAX.
Accounts payable automation provider Yooz has named Laurent Charpentier as its new CEO. Charpentier has been COO and CIO at Yooz since 2016, leading business development in the US while also remaining involved in product and integrations. As CEO, Laurent will now lead the company’s next growth momentum and development on its two newest solutions – Yooz Rising and YoozPay.
More job moves
Atom has appointed Andy Sturrock as the bank’s new chief technologist. He joins Atom from BP plc. Sturrock’s immediate plans include an upgrade of Atom’s core banking platform, which will enhance its ability to ‘change banking for the better’ across personal savings, mortgages and business banking.
Ronelle Arbib has become Recognise Bank’s first chief operating officer, stepping up from her previous role of head of customer experience. Meanwhile, Mo Fadaei has been promoted to director, banking platforms and partnerships. He was previously head of technology, change and transformation. This follow’s last week’s fundraise of £8.7million in new capital.
Product governance fintech Kore Labs has added two non-executive eirectors to its board. Phil Smith, previously founder of the Embark Group, as non-executive chairman. While Sally Clark, currently an independent board member and NED at Citibank, Metro Bank and Acin, also joins the board.
Fintech Skaleet has partnered today with Mobiblanc to offer turnkey solutions to financial institutions across Africa. Mobiblanc, based in Morocco and Tunisia, delivers an efficient and effective consulting and integration service for a wide range of clients. The pair will participate at Africa Pay & ID Expo 2022 (APIDE) on 26 to 28 May in Marrakech, Morocco.
Yokahu, an insurtech providing hurricane/tropical cyclone protection, has launched four strategic partnerships with insurance brokers based in the Caribbean. BCMG Insurance Brokers Limited in Jamaica; Colina General Insurance Agents and Brokers in The Bahamas; W J M Holdings Inc in Saint Lucia; and Caribbean Risk Group LLC in the US Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, Sokin, the fintech payment firm, has partnered with Mastercard to support the rollout of its fixed-price payment services across new markets in the Middle East and Africa. Sokin will leverage Mastercard’s banking solutions and card services to expand its footprint as well as launch its next-generation card programs for businesses and consumers.
Mastercard partners with Swedish fintech Dreams to deliver sustainable banking solutions and help banks tackle climate change. The pair will collaborate on developing digital banking solutions which will help banks bolster their ESG credentials as well as empower customers to adopt more sustainable consumption habits.
Chimney has added two banks to its platform: Northwest Bank and Farmers & Merchants Bank. Chimney helps banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders increase engagement and deliver a personalised experience to their customers and members.
Research and insights
New research has found that California is the most NFT obsessed state in America. The study conducted by NFT experts Los Muertos analysed all 50 states to establish which states have been searching for NFT search terms, the most over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the least NFT obsessed in America is Mississippi.
Mercuryo, a crypto payments company, has hit three million users worldwide. The milestone represents a significant acceleration in growth for the London-headquartered business, having hit two million users just four months ago. Since its inception in 2018, Mercuryo has secured more than 200 partners.
UAE proptech startup Stella Stays announces its expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Stella Stays Riyadh Olaya Tower will open its door in June 2022. Guests and residents in Saudi Arabia will be able to use the Stella Stays app to navigate the entire journey – from booking and managing their stays, checking in, controlling smart home systems, to also ordering guest services
Singaporean investor and entrepreneur Calvin Cheng has established a non-fungible token (NFT) and fan token investment holding company in Dubai. Cheng, formerly an appointed Member of Parliament in Singapore, will invest in projects to integrate crypto into fashion, media and entertainment via Calvin Cheng Web3 Holdings FZE.