This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 27/07

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The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Tuesday 27 July delivers the latest international fintech news. Funding Options bolsters leadership team with appointment of Ian Savage, while Goldman Sachs unveils plans to create a DeFi and blockchain equity ETF.

Acquisitions and rebrands
Suits MeSuits Me
New-look Suits Me

Visa has agreed to snap up Currencycloud. The acquisition builds on an existing strategic partnership between the two companies and values Currencycloud at £700million. Currencycloud’s cloud-based platform offers a broad set of APIs enabling banks and financial services providers to offer currency exchange services.

Fintech Suits Me has updated its brand identity with a brand-new logo and website. Its new tagline, ‘the account for everyone’, represents its mission to ‘break down the restrictive barriers that exclude people from mainstream financial products’. Meanwhile, it has ditched its traditional blue colour scheme for bright, gradient colours against a fresh white background.

Announcements

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) in on the hunt for financial institutions that practice activities to promote ESG investment, as well as businesses practicing SDG management initiatives. Since 2018, TMG has granted prizes to financial institutions that provide and develop innovative products and services that meet Tokyo citizens’ needs and challenges.

DivideBuy, the lendtech provider, has released an e-book that offers insight into why retailers should be offering interest free credit. The guide is designed to help merchants who want to understand the benefits and logistics of adding point of sale finance to their checkout.

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has filed an application with the US Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Reports suggest the fund would invest at least 80 per cent of its assets into companies that advance blockchain technology and the digitisation of finance.

Job moves
Ian SavageIan Savage
Funding Options hires CFO Ian Savage

Funding Options has appointed Ian Savage as chief financial officer. Most recently, Savage was CFO for multinational SME wealth management technology company Finantix. The hire follows the launch of lending platform Funding Cloud, as well as the UK’s first Green Finance Marketplace earlier this year.

LendKey, the fintech company, has added Joe Proto, EVP senior advisor at Mastercard, to its board of directors. Proto currently serves on LendKey’s advisory board and is also chairman for fintech provider Dade Systems.

Retail finance ecosystem Deko has appointed Tom Myles as chief technology officer as well as Rob Fernandes as chief product officer. The roles will drive the expansion of the business as it looks to add value to its users as well as enhance its product offering.

MineralTree, a payment provider, has unveiled Jim Bork as chief sales officer. Bork has responsibility for all sales efforts at the company, which plans to accelerate growth as well as increase its market share. Most recently, Bork was vice president of sales at Stord.

Partnerships

Banking Circle has teamed up with SIA, the European payments firm, to launch its new instant payments service in Europe. Using the ultra-fast fiber optic network infrastructure SIAnet, Banking Circle enables financial institutions and corporates to execute instant payments in less than 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, Allfunds, the B2B wealthtech and fund distribution platform, has forged an agreement with securities broker Interactive Brokers LLC. The agreement helps Interactive Brokers offer mutual funds to RIAs, broker-dealers and self-directed investors. It also helps Interactive Brokers strengthen Allfunds’ reach in the USA offshore market.

Bitcoin Depot, the crypto ATM network, has forged an international partnership with convenience and fuel retailer Circle K. It is the first major retail chain to deploy Bitcoin ATMs within its stores. The aim to provide new ways for people to buy Bitcoin instantly.

Investments and funding

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, has invested in UK-based legaltech startup Clara. The investment reflects DIFC’s commitment to driving the automation and digitisation of legal services. It is from the DIFC FinTech Fund, a $100million fund to help establish, grow and upscale startup and growth stage companies targeting MEASA.

Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC is a global financial hubDubai International Financial Centre DIFC is a global financial hub
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a global financial hub

Meanwhile, investment fund Velocity Capital Advisors has unveiled a new venture debt provider, Juice Ventures. It provides non-dilutive growth capital to digital distribution businesses that are early-stage through to series A. Juice’s payments infrastructure will be powered by fintech Modulr.

Sila, an API platform that provides payment infrastructure as a service, has secured $13million in Series A funding led by Revolution Ventures. It brings its total funding to more than $20million. Existing investors, Madrona Venture Group, Oregon Venture Fund and Mucker Capital also participated in the round.

Paystand, the blockchain-enabled payment network for business, has unveiled a $50million Series C round. Led by NewView Capital with additional participation from SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, King River Capital, Industrious Ventures and Transform Capital. Paystand will use the new capital to invest in accelerating the shift to a more business-centric payment infrastructure. With the funding, Jazmin Medina of NewView Capital will also join the board.

Launches

VibePay has launched ‘Channels’ to link multiple bank accounts, as well as provide an ongoing, dedicated timeline of all payments between users and another party. According to VibePay, the introduction of Channels ‘takes embedded finance to the next stage’. Channels provides ongoing visibility of all transactions in-app in a new dedicated space.

Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat Digital, has unveiled a fully cloud-delivered managed advanced web application firewall (AWAF) service. It protects customers’ web-hosted applications from attacks, which target known and unknown exploits, without interrupting legitimate traffic.

Meanwhile, CAPEX.com, the global multi-licensed broker, has launched StoX – a zero commission product. Regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, StoX will help clients diversify their portfolio by accessing more than 50 of the world’s largest US listed companies. It also also brings fractional trading, letting clients trade fractions of the shares value.

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

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