The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup delivers fintech stories from around the world. This Thursday we cover the latest investment rounds, fintech job moves, as well as new industry partnerships.
Funding and Investments
Meniga has closed a €10million investment round led Velocity Capital and Frumtak Ventures. Meniga will use the funding to strengthen its sales and service teams, as well as invest in the development of innovative green banking products.
Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis firm, has secured a $100million Series D financing led by Paradigm. Previous investors Addition and Ribbit ploughed more into the company, while TIME Ventures also participated. It follows a $100million Series C round in November 2020.
UAE-based fintech NOW Money has secured $7million to expand its digital banking solution across the GCC. The funding round, led by venture investor Anthemis Exponential Ventures, is hailed the ‘most significant, multinational fintech deal in the Middle East’. Additional investors include Knuru Capital, Wamda, Commercial Bank of Dubai, DIFC FinTech Fund, Accion Venture Lab, Greenhouse Capital and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency portfolio management platform CoinStats has raised a $1.2million seed round of funding. Investors include Imperii Partners and Formula VC as well as Stefan Cohen, Jonathan Weiner and Alexander Pack. The capital will be used to build new features including a CoinStats wallet, in addition to trading capabilities for its community.
PPRO, a provider of local payments infrastructure, has announced new investment from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Eldridge. The latest investment is an extension of the $180million round from Eurazeo Growth, Sprints Capital and Wellington Management a few weeks ago.
Finally, Nigerian fintech startup Bankly has closed a $2million seed round. Investors include Vault, Plug and Play Ventures, Rising Tide Africa and Chrysalis Capital. Bankly aims to grow its customer base to two million unbanked Nigerians over the next three years.
Citi has named Sandeep Arora head of digital and chief investment officer for its institutional clients group. He will drive consistency across ICG’s investment decisions and portfolio management, as well as develop an end-to-end strategy and execution of electronic platforms.
Kani Payments, the specialist data reconciliation and reporting platform, has unveiled three senior hires. Alina Ciocan is now head of finance, Melissa Beckett is chief marketing officer, while Sophie Harbisher is data science lead. The appointments follow the scaleup’s expansion across Europe, the US, Middle East and Australia.
Consumer-lending startup Fintern has appointed Dr. Mark London (right) as chief risk officer. Prior to joining Fintern, Mark was a partner at EY. Fintern has hailed London’s passion for using data and analytics ‘to fix the failings of the credit score system and improve access to affordable credit’.
ACROBOND Financial, the economic and financial data analytics firm, has named Ian Hissey as regional managing director for Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, Hissey will drive the expansion of its business into Japan and South Korea.
Mergers and acquisitions
Nordic Capital has agreed to sell Itiviti to Broadridge Financial Solutions in a deal worth €2.143billion. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Nordic Capital has also invested €3.8 billion in 19 tech and payment companies since 2004.
Creditinfo Group, the decision analytics provider, has become the majority shareholder in JSC Kredītinformācijas Birojs (KIB) to 51 per cent. Earlier this month, US private equity fund Levine Leichtman Capital Partners became the majority shareholder of Creditinfo Group. As the result of that transaction, the share capital of the KIB joint stock company increased, with ABLV Bank selling its shares.
SABB partners with Saudi fintech Geidea in order to launch its new payment acceptance solution SoftPoS. SAAB describes SoftPoS as ‘just the beginning to our great collaboration with Geidea with many more financial payments innovation initiatives in the pipeline’.
Meanwhile, AEVI and Mastercard Payment Gateway Services have unveiled an expanded partnership to simplify the omnichannel shopping experience. The collaboration will see AEVI and MPGS initially focus on Europe, with further expansion opportunities. In addition to the commercial relationship, Mastercard will become a minority investor in AEV.
Curve and Equifax UK partner to deliver consumer credit solution to Curve Credit. Powered by open banking, Curve Credit enables consumers to ‘go back in time’ and pay later via instalments on transactions made with their Curve card.
The Spanish Association of FinTech and Insurtech (AEFI) and its Israeli counterpart The FinTech Community of Israel are to develop initiatives of interest to improve the fintech ecosystem in both countries. They will also foster collaboration between companies from both countries and propose joint solutions to future needs of the financial sector. It was also announced that AEFI scooped an award at the Galicia Segura Awards in the insurance progress and development category.
Fintech platform Wagestream has partnered with Virgin Care to boost employees’ financial wellbeing. Wagestream enables users to track their income, put money away with a micro-savings tool as well as learn money skills with financial education delivered within the app.
Meanwhile, creative workspace Huckletree has unveiled three strategic sustainability partners – Silicon Valley Bank, law firm CMS UK and VC firm A/O PropTech. All three will provide support and services to Huckletree’s educational programmes, members and events.
Risk analytics consultancy 4most is teaming up with fintech IE Hub. Working together they plan to make life easier for the growing number of people struggling financially in the UK. 4most says it will use its analytical expertise in risk data and modelling to help IE Hub develop the best solutions and outcomes for customers.
There’s a partnership agreement for e-wallet provider STICPAY and financial platform trading provider CWG Markets. The deal expands the choice for CWG’s customers to deposit and withdraw funds and conduct forex trades with STICPAY’s e-wallet. STICPAY offers 33 wallets for both local fiat and crypto currencies.
Openpay has revealed the merchant signing of ezyVet, the Australian fintech’s first UK partnership outside of the retail sector. The pairing will enable pet owners to spread the cost of care instead of facing an immediate upfront bill.
While Tata Consultancy Services is celebrating after Societe Generale Securities Services successfully deployed TCS BaNCS as its next-generation, multi-entity asset servicing platform in Germany, UK, France, Ireland and Luxembourg. TCS BaNCS is an integrated asset servicing platform providing access to data in real-time.
Announcements and launches
Payfare has closed its initial public offering of 10,900,000 Class A common shares for C$65.4million. It will use the net proceeds to repay its short term debt in full and finance growth. Payfare partners with on-demand gig platforms to power free digital banking and instant payouts to their workforce.
Meanwhile, Aryza has unveiled the Aryza Lending Division to drive opportunities for its customers in the lending and credit space. The software, which has full FCA-approval, can be white labelled to support individual brand needs.
Finally, Crown Agents Bank has unveiled EMpower Payments – an automated gateway for cross-border transactions into emerging markets. The API-enabled solution enables Crown Agents Bank’s customers to send cross-border payments in more than 70 currencies.