This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 29/07

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Dig into The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Thursday 29 July for the latest global fintech news. Jumio has a new marketing boss, while insurtech Spot raises $17.5million in funding. 

Job moves

Fintech Snap Finance has unveiled a trio of senior hires. Doris Hektor is chief compliance officer, Gaurav Kohli takes on the chief technology officer role, while Tim King is Snap’s new chief financial officer. The appointments will help Snap navigate ‘future growth’ as demand for its flexible pay-over-time fintech platform rises.

Eric Gewirtzman Chief Executive Officer and Co-founderEric Gewirtzman Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
Eric Gewirtzman, CEO and co-founder

Meanwhile, unicorn insurtech bolt has reshuffled its senior leadership team. Eric Gewirtzman, currently CEO of bolt United States, will become CEO, insurance exchange for bolttech. He will also join bolttech group’s executive committee. While Jim Dwane, currently bolt’s chief revenue officer, takes on the role of bolt’s CEO in the US. The company also recently completed an oversubscribed series A funding round.

GoCardless, a global fintech in account-to-account payments, has appointed Alexandra Chiaramonti as general manager of Southern Europe. Prior to GoCardless, she served as CEO at GoBeep, as well as roles at Criteo and Teemo. GoCardless plans to open up significant new market segments with open banking, including B2C subscriptions.

Jumio, the AI-powered end-to-end identity verification firm, has unveiled Anna Convery as chief marketing officer.  She joins from Radware, where she was previously the chief marketing officer. Jumio also recently welcomed Bala Kumar as chief product officer and secured a $150million investment from Great Hill Partners.

Mergers and acquisitions 

Bishopsgate Financial, the financial services change management consultancy, has been acquired by CubeMatch Ltd. Both firms offer consultancy, resource augmentation and managed services for change programmes to be embedded in their clients’ businesses. The existing Bishopsgate Financial management team will remain in place, while assignments with existing clients will continue.

Astorg and Bridgepoint have completed its acquisition of Fenergo. The transaction completed following approval by the European Commission. Fenergo aims to drive deeper market penetration and geographic footprint through the innovation of its SaaS and on-premise platforms and product line development.

Partnerships

The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE federal export credit company, have agreed to inject capital into the UAE’s industrial sector. The MoIAT-ECI partnership offers a package of financial incentives to support UAE exports. It will also financing facilities for manufacturers and tech projects, guarantees for loans, an umbrella insurance for SMEs, and assistance in securing IP rights for startups.

Numerated has forged a partnership with San Francisco’s Community Bank of the Bay (CBB). CBB will leverage Numerated’s platform to power digital lending for small businesses, providing a digital loan application process and offering lines of credit up to $500,000.

Meanwhile, Mastercard and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking have partnered to deliver a new open banking payment solution to Lloyds’ business clients. Lloyds Bank’s PayFrom Bank has attracted initial interest from charities for online donations and wallet funding use cases, although it can be used for any payment scenario.

Fintech Vitesse has selected compliance solution Alessa by Tier 1 Financial Solutions to enable secure real-time global transactions. Vitesse will use Alessa, as well as Refinitiv’s World-Check, for its real-time customer and transaction screening and monitoring services. Vitesse provides international payment services and treasury management solutions to insurance companies and corporates.

PayMaya

PayMaya

More partnerships

Paymaya has plumped for Iliad Solutions as its payments testing supplier. The Philippines mobile money and payments provider has licenced t3:Switch, Iliad Solution’s test platform for checking the interoperability of its solutions with global payment schemes.

Meanwhile, valU, a buy now, pay later fintech platform in Egypt, has unveiled a partnership with Club S, SODIC’s premiere sporting club. valU will offer financing plans for Club S members at the SODIC East, SODIC West, and Allegria branches of the club. Through the partnership, members can pay for new memberships, renewals, as well as facilities, in installments.

Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco, has enlisted tech vendor HES FinTech to develop lending software and predictive analytics software for its financial services. The digital product will also help scale up Wa’ed’s activities.

“HES FinTech’s expertise will support the launch of our updated platform, which will benefit from automation, clear UI & UX, and a fully functional customer portal.”

Mazen Alasnag, head of loan management, Wa’ed

Payments platform Vyne has announces its integration with remittance firm RemitONE. The deal gives RemitONE’s 100-plus remittance clients instant access to Vyne’s payment solution. Vyne uses open banking to move money in real time between bank accounts.

While, Silkbank, a commercial and Islamic bank in Pakistan, has gone live with digital banking platform Temenos Infinity. Silkbank plans to migrate its 350,000-plus customers to the new digital banking platform within four months. The implementation was carried out by Xpert Digital (XD), a certified Temenos services partner.

Research and insight

Islamic insurers in the GCC may see profitability wane in the second half of 2021, according to S&P Global Ratings. Very high competition in the overcrowded GCC insurance industry will continue to weigh on earnings, it says. A new insurance law with higher reserving requirements due to come into force could also increase pressure on small and unprofitable takaful players.

Customers have continued to prioritise sending money transfers to support the education of family and friends overseas, says cross-border digital payments service WorldRemit. Overall, remittances remained resilient with $540billion of transfers sent last year.

The Arab Monetary Fund has launched its second Arab Region Fintech Guide. In cooperation with the Arab Regional Fintech Working Group, the guide aims to be a gateway to learn about the fintech industry in the Arab countries and the related legislations.

Funding and investments

Customer engagement company Dixa has unveiled Series C funding round totaling $105million. Led by General Atlantic, with additional participation from existing investors Notion Capital Project A and Seed Capital. Dixa will use the funds to invest in product development, including potential new acquisitions. It also plans to quadruple its engineering team by the end of 2022 and significantly scale its global presence.

LogicGate, a provider of transformative risk and compliance solutions, has announced a $113million Series C funding round led by PSGGreenspring Associates also increased its commitment since its original investment in 2019. The new capital brings LogicGate’s total funding to date to $156million.

Prime Trust has closed a $64million Series A round. Led by Mercato Partners, the round also included participation from Samsung Next, Nationwide, Commerce Ventures, Ayon Capital, Kraken Ventures and Seven Peaks Ventures. Zane Busteed at Mercato Partners Traverse Fund and Tom Gonser, of Seven Peaks Ventures, will join Prime Trust’s board.

Spot, the insurtech startup, has raised $17.5million in funding. This round was led by GreatPoint Ventures, alongside Montage Ventures, Silverton Partners, Mutual of Omaha and MS&AD. The company will use the new capital to grow the team, forge new partnerships, as well as ramp up marketing efforts.

Announcements 

Nigeria

NigeriaNigeria plans to launch its own digital currency in October, its central bank governor has said. Earlier this year, Nigeria stopped its banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies. Central bank governor Godwin Emefiele said the ‘e-naira’ would operate as a wallet against which customers can hold existing funds in their bank account.

Alif, a Central Asian fintech challenger bank, has plans to launch in the UK in August. The expansion to the UK is led by Firdavs Shakhidi, who will oversee the launch of a new London office. Alif will also look to raise debt financing to grow its buy now, pay later portfolio size.

Investment group Quantum Group has expanded its London offices to further support its next phase of growth and drive product innovation. Its companies Tail, Volopa and Vantage will move into new offices located in Victoria, while Quantum Group HQ and Valkyrie will move into new premises in Belgrave Square. Quantum Group has also adopted a hybrid work approach model including a rotating day schedule.

Launches

Terra Virtua, the digital collectibles platform, has unveiled a liquidity mining programme. It incentivises users who add liquidity to the Uniswap TVK/ETH trading pairs. Terra Virtua has also unveiled Prestige, a staking club that lets users earn more from their TVK tokens. The platform lets collectors of digital assets display and interact with their virtual goods in augmented reality, virtual reality and in 3D on PCs.

Barclaycard has introduced a new Cashback Rewards programme with Visa. It gives new and existing shoppers automatic cashback when spending at a range of high street and online retailers. Cardholders can also have their cashback redeemed back to their Barclaycard, trade up for an e-voucher, or donate to a chosen charity.

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

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