This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 25/01

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The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Tuesday sees untied and Lendlord launch integrated tax filings for landlords. While Capital.com appoints Joe Rundle as its chief of staff.

Launches and product updates

Open banking platform Tink has launched ‘Income Check’ in the UK – a service to streamline income verification via open banking. The product lets banks and lenders instantly verify a person’s income using secure real-time data from their bank account. This launch follows the rollout of Tink’s Income Check in seven other European countries.

Fintech platform Severus unveiled a limited edition NFT collection – African Hero – to commemorate Africans who have shaped history and to inspire young Africans to build a brighter future. The African Hero NFT collection launched on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Fintech Acrisure unveils the formation of Acrisure Cyber Services. It joins insurance, reinsurance, real estate services and asset management as divisions powered by Acrisure’s technology capabilities and global distribution network. Acrisure Cyber Services offers businesses an all-in-one solution addressing the most critical risks posed by cyberattacks.

Ekata expands account opening solution to help online businesses assess risk at account creation. New capabilities enable e-commerce sites and marketplaces to create seamless onboarding experiences while fighting fraud. Ekata’s new capabilities expands its existing account opening solution for financial services and fintech companies.

Job moves

Fintech Baton Systems has appointed David Ornstein as the company’s first chief operating officer. Ornstein was previously chief operating officer of global markets at Barclays Investment Bank. Baton recently announced its blockchain-inspired Core-FX solution is now facilitating the world’s first interbank payment vs payment settlements outside of CLS.

Meanwhile, Jim Tate is named chair of payments disruptor mx51. His appointment builds on his other roles as chair of Westpac Foundation as well as director positions on the boards of New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA) and Ausiex Pty Limited. The news follows mx51 raising $25million last year, in a round led by Acorn Capital, Artesian, Commencer Capital and Mastercard.

WTW (Willis Towers Watson), a global advisory firm, has appointed Lou Smith to its insurance consulting and technology business. In her new role, Smith will lead the commercial lines data strategy and accelerate its digital trading capability. Smith most recently served as chief digital officer at Lloyd’s of London.

Encompass Corporation, a provider of anti-money laundering software, has appointed Doris Honold to its board. The news follows Encompass’ major US expansion as well as the promotion of Alex Ford to president, North America.

Encompass appoint banking industry vet, Doris Honold, to its boardEncompass appoint banking industry vet, Doris Honold, to its board
Encompass appoints Doris Honold to its board
Further job appointments

IT firm Azentio Software unveils Aliza Knox as a non-executive director to the board. Most recently, Knox was head of APAC for Cloudflare and previously was chief operating officer at Unlockd. Her mission is to accelerate Axentio’s core business initiatives and shape a ‘robust, sustainable growth path’.

Meanwhile, enterprise software firm R3 hires Dr. Alisa DiCaprio as its first-ever chief economist. Before joining R3 as head of research in 2017, she was a senior economist with the Asian Development Bank. She continues to be responsible for R3’s research programme as well as advising on topics of relevance to R3 and its wider ecosystem.

Capital.com, the trading and investing platform, has named Joe Rundle as its chief of staff. Rundle will oversee Capital.com’s expansion into new markets, as well as support the company’s diversification strategy with better products and solutions.

Finally, Network International has appointed Abdulaziz Al-Dahmash as managing director for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is tasked with driving Network’s business growth and increasing digital payments adoption in the Kingdom. Al-Dahmash was previously at Saudi Central Bank.

Funding and investments

UK-based fintech firm EVERYTHING has secured €2million in funding to launch the next social finance experience. The free to join debit card and app has been designed for the Gen Z and young millennial age group, rewarding their everyday transactions. The company plans to launch in the UK in the coming months with a waitlist for people to sign up.

Meanwhile, 365 Business Finance secures £55million funding. The London-based fintech is aiming to quadruple lending to SMEs in the next two years. The equity round saw Kendal Capital invest in the business, while the debt facility was concluded with Pollen Street Capital.

Saudi fintech Lean Technologies has raised a $33million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation also from existing investors RAEDVentures, Outliers, Shorooq and JIMCO. Lean intends to use these proceeds to grow its team and further expand across the region.

Sayata, the marketplace for insurance brokers and carriers, adds $35million to the previous $17million raised just five months ago, for a total A round of $52milllion. The additional raise was led by Pitango Growth and Hanaco Ventures, with participation from previous investors Team8 Capital, Vertex Ventures, Elron Ventures and OurCrowd.

Fintech SavvyMoney announces $45million growth investment led by Spectrum Equity. TransUnion, an existing investor, also participated in the round. The company plans to invest in new product development and talent, including expanding operations, HR, sales, marketing and engineering teams.

Finally, M2P Solutions secures a $56million Series C1 raise led by Insight Partners with participation from MUFG Innovation Partners. The company has raised more than $100million in the past year. The investment lets M2P further build its technology and team, while accelerating its plans to expand internationally.

Mergers and acquisitions

Pluto Digital PLC acquired by NFT Investment plc for £96million in a reverse takeover. NFT will acquire 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Pluto. It gives NFT the opportunity to advance its investment in the non-fungible tokens sector and it lets Pluto scale up its NFT business as well as exploit opportunity in the decentralised finance and metaverse sectors for its software products.

Partnerships

Arab Financial Services (AFS), the payment provider, has become Bahrain’s first acquirer to enable a buy now, pay later solution for the Kingdom’s merchants. This is through its latest partnership with Dubai-based Spotii. This solution is available to all credit and debit cardholders in Bahrain and not limited to an individual bank.

Meanwhile, European identity verification company iDenfy becomes a partner of Placet Group to provide the company with its ID verification. Placet Group provides loans to businesses and private consumers.

Huawei has partnered with Curve, the financial super app, to launch Curve Pay to bring contactless payments to Huawei smartphones. The release of the Huawei P50 series will be the latest smartphone to benefit from Curve and Curve Pay. In addition to the P50 series, Curve Pay, will also work with the recently launched Nova 9, and other HMS smartphones across Europe.

nova 9 huawei

nova 9 huawei

Forghetti has announced an exclusive cybersecurity agreement with CSL Mobile Limited, Hong Kong’s mobile communications service provider, to equip csl and 1O1O customers with the Forghetti password management solution. This unique application will be made available free of charge to all csl and 1O1O customers subscribing to 5G service plans.

i2c Inc, a provider of digital payment and banking technology, has been selected to power payment programs across nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its clients include Banco Popular, Cornerstone Trust & Merchant Bank, Credijusto, Crypto.com and Facebank with several others to be named in the coming months.

Finally, untied, the UK personal tax app, reveals Lendlord has chosen it to power its tax capability for its landlord and property investor community. With untied’s technology, Lendlord users will be able to manage their taxes from the Lendlord platform. Lendlord has also joined untied’s Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment early adopter programme.

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

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