This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 27/01

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In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup we reveal Tink’s new UK head and share news of a partnership for Mollie and Chargebee.

Product and service launches

Fintech Payfare has unveiled a new rewards programme powered by Cardlytics. Payfare provides instant payout and digital banking solutions for the gig economy, including platforms Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. With this addition, Payfare cardholders can now earn cash back when they shop thousands of local and national brands.

Santander has launched Zinia, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform. The technology behind Zinia has operated in Germany for the past year, acquiring more than two million customers. Zinia will be rolled-out across Santander’s markets starting in 2022 with the Netherlands.

EarlyBird, the platform for parents, family and friends to collectively invest in a child’s future, has launched EarlyBird Crypto. Parents can now also add Bitcoin and Ethereum to the portfolio they manage for their child. Parents who sign up for the EarlyBird Crypto waitlist will get early access to the offering later this year, a $25 sign-up bonus, as well as an eight-part educational email series.

Early Bird

Early Bird

Fintech firm Pello Capital has launched the Oratio Project, a tech-led charity campaign that aims to help combat and reverse homelessness in the UK. The initiative offers homeless individuals access to contactless NFC cards to raise donations and spend vouchers at accredited Oratio vendors. It also offers a digital PO box temporary address in shelters to help them apply for ID and traditional banking solutions.

Expensify, a payments superapp, has introduced the Expensify CPA Card. The smart card is built specifically for accountants and includes benefits such as reimbursed CPA licence and CPE credit fees, dedicated account managers, instant approvals with high credit limits, and no personal guarantees.

Partnerships

FactSet, a provider of integrated financial information, has partnered with fintech firm Tiller Technologies Limited to integrate its ‘Construct’ product into the FactSet workstation. This partnership gives FactSet’s wealth management clients the tools to manage and rebalance client portfolios, and ensure oversight of client portfolios at scale.

Meanwhile, Worldline has joined the Spreedly Payment Service Provider Program. The partnership provides merchants, platforms and marketplaces streamlined access to Worldline’s payment processing solutions through Spreedly’s payments orchestration platform.

Banking software firm Temenos has joined FinTech Australia‘s corporate partner programme. It joins Facebook, Xero and Amazon Web Services as the latest company to join the initiative. FinTech Australia’s ecosystem partnership programme helps companies collaborate with the fintech sector.

Stripe has partnered with Spotify to help podcasters accept payments, launch recurring revenue streams, and deepen their connection with fans. Stripe provides the payment infrastructure for Spotify’s Podcast Subscriptions, a service that lets podcasters to offer paid monthly content.

Spotify Stripe

Spotify Stripe

More partnerships

Hope for Haiti is now an inaugural grant recipient and nonprofit partner of Coinbase through the cryptocurrency exchange platform’s ‘Coinbase Giving’ philanthropy programme. Coinbase’s $150,000 grant will expand the impact and capacity of Hope for Haiti’s existing pilot project with Emerging Impact and the Celo Foundation.

Keebo, the challenger credit card, has announced a beta launch with Mastercard. It will let people download the app and apply for the new credit card. Keebo launched to offer a credit card and mobile app that empowers users to build their credit, while also developing financial stability and personal growth.

Smith and Williamson announces partnership with Innovate Finance. The collaboration provides its members with professional and financial services insights. Innovate Finance is the independent industry body that represents and advances the global fintech community in the UK.

Chargebee is partnering with Mollie to help drive growth for customers. Chargebee’s integration with Mollie provides an advanced subscriptions solution to businesses of all sizes. It supports more than 500 recurring-billing use cases and offers automated invoicing with accurate taxes, smart dunning, and quick onboarding.

Funding and investments

Growth Capital Ventures has led a £150,000 seed investment round into n-gage.io, an audience engagement platform that powers content driven mobile-web experiences. The funds will be used to drive the development of the technology forward while supporting n-gage.io’s market entry strategy.

Ripple announces $200million share buyback. The company has repurchased all Series C shares originally issued to Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings and Route 66 Ventures in December 2019. The blockchain payments firm says the decision is because ‘business is booming’.

Scribe Security, a provider of a SaaS platform for securing software across various supply chains, has bagged more than $7million. The seed round was led by Elron Ventures as well as Tal Ventures and YYM Ventures. Scribe lets organisations develop, distribute and maintain code produced within the company.

Payfactory, a fintech payment facilitator for software platforms, has announced a growth investment from P2PE encryption payments firm Bluefin. Bluefin’s investment will facilitate Payfactory’s domestic and international market expansion and leverage the strategic partnership between the two companies.

Meanwhile, Tuum (nee Modularbank) has enjoyed a €15million Series A funding round. Investors include Portage Ventures, as well as existing investors Karma Ventures and Blackfin Tech. It will use the funding to strengthen its UK and EU presence, invest in product innovation as well as prepare for expansion beyond Europe.

Company updates

Ownera, the firm leading the deployment of the FinP2P open-source protocol for digital securities has joined the Global Digital Finance (GDF) Patron Board. The FinP2P protocol orchestrates the real-time custody, payment and settlement of any digital security across diverse blockchain and ledger networks. GDF is an industry membership body that promotes the adoption of best practices for cryptoassets and digital finance technologies.

Ebury to expand in Latin America after opening Brazil office. Ebury has enjoyed huge demand for its services in Latin America which simplify trade and international payments for SMEs. The fintech now plans to expand its product range and further develop its platform for the Latin America market. It follows the investment of Banco Santander in 2019.

BrazilBrazil
Brazil skyline

Meanwhile, payments platform Paysafe has expanded into the regulated New York sports-betting market steered by Zak Cutler, the firm’s new CEO of North America iGaming. The move builds on the company’s growth across the US and Canada, where its established presence benefited from federal sports-betting regulation.

Urway, a Saudi Arabia-based fintech, has obtained the Electronic Merchant Service Provider – Payment Technical Service Provider certificate granted by Saudi Payments. It becomes the first fintech to be certified after issuing the new regulations and rules of the payment sector in the kingdom.

TrueLayer adds Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Portugal for open banking data and payments. The open banking platform has also increased connectivity in existing markets including the Netherlands and Spain.

Bloomberg has unveiled the 418 companies on its 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI helps bring transparency to gender-related practices and policies at publicly-listed companies. Santander says it is the world’s first bank in the Index, while Temenos is also named in the report.

Mergers and acquisitions

IT company Softline has agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Central and Eastern European fintech SoftClub. Softline says the transaction is part of its journey to ‘grow the share of services in its turnover, to have more than 5,000 software engineers at Softline available to its customers, and to receive more than half of its gross profit from services’.

Online car seller Cazoo buys Italian car retailer brumbrum for €80million. Cazoo has sold more than 50,000 cars online since its launch just over two years ago. brumbrum’s CEO said the deal will drive the digital transformation of the car buying, selling and subscription experience across Italy and the rest of Europe.

SAP SE is to acquire a majority stake of Taulia, a provider of working capital management solutions. The move is aimed at giving companies better access to liquidity and improving their cash flows. Taulia will operate as an independent company with its own brand in the SAP Group. Meanwhile, Cédric Bru will remain CEO of Taulia and SAP CFO Luka Mucic will become chairman of the board.

Cornerstone FS plc, the cloud-based payment provider to SMEs, announces the acquisition of Capital Currencies Limited, the foreign exchange broker, for a consideration of up to £3 million. This reflects delivery on Cornerstone’s stated strategy of growing via acquisition and organically.

Job moves

Saudi-based fintech savings app Hakbah names Dimitar Kazakov as chief technology officer and co-founder. Meanwhile, Marcin Szynal joins as vice president of engineering. Hakbah offers its solution under a Fintech Sandbox permit from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

Coalition, the digital insurance and security company, has appointed Chung-Man Tam as its first chief product officer. His appointment follows a successful 2021 for Coalition, including a $205million funding round at a $3.5billion valuation and the acquisition of technology-powered broker platform Attune.

Axle, the all-in-one financial platform for modern freight brokers, has added Jamie Waldinger as vice president of revenue, while Heather Beckstead is named head of people. Last year, Axle raised its Series A, grew revenue and headcount almost five times. It also expanded its product offering beyond the initial payments solution.

Tom Pope

Tom PopeMeanwhile, Alice Katwan joins the board of Sift while April Oman is named chief customer officer. They join the company following Sift’s acquisition of Keyless in November 2021. Katwan currently serves as the senior VP & general manager of sales at Twilio. While Oman most recently served as the senior VP of customer engagement at D2L.

Tink, the open banking platform, has appointed Tom Pope to lead its UK office. After joining Tink in June 2021 as head of payments and platforms, Pope will now lead both the London office and its global payments business. Tink has also promoted Tasha Chouhan from head of business development for banking services to UK & IE banking lead.

Finally, Riskalyze appoints Dr. Shari Hensrud as vice president of risk and analytics. Dr Hensrud will develop advanced risk functionality at the risk-centric wealth management platform. She previously served as head of product management for wealth at Refinitiv.

Other industry news

FinTech Awards London, designed to recognise the fintech professionals and companies making a difference in London, will take place on 13 July 2022 at The Underglobe. Companies interested in taking part as well as exploring sponsorship opportunities, can visit www.fintechawardslondon.com.

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

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