The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday sees the Cardano Foundation unveil a number of strategic partnerships.
First Internet Bank welcomes Dustin DeNeal as first vice president, counsel. He will be responsible for a range of legal and regulatory matters, while also providing guidance to the First Internet Bank executive leadership team. He joins from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP where he practiced for 13 years.
HPD Lendscape also welcomes Xavier Lang-Claes as a full-time consultant. As well as helping the company achieve new sales objectives, he will also take on the role of product owner for HPD Lendscape’s working capital finance solution. Lang-Claes said he has known HPD Lendscape for more than 20 years and worked with their solutions regularly.
Meanwhile Neptune Networks, the fixed income pre-trade market utility, has appointed John ‘Coach’ Robinson as permanent CEO. Robinson has worked with Neptune as a senior consultant since November 2020. Neptune has been under the leadership of interim CEO Byron Cooper-Fogarty since January 2020. He will remain part of its management team as COO.
GoCardless, a global fintech in account-to-account payments, has appointed Ben Knight as head of environmental sustainability while Lena Tailor joins as director of diversity and inclusion. GoCardless said it wants to create an inclusive environment where employees from ‘all walks of life can thrive’.
Airewallex has bolstered its global executive with a pair of key senior hires. Joanne Chin joins the fintech as global head of people and talent. While David Bicknell joins as global SVP finance. Both will be based in Melbourne. Airwallex has nearly doubled its headcount in 2021 and employs almost 1,000 employees in more than 20 locations globally.
Further job moves
Jerome Kemp, former global head of futures, clearing, and FXPB at Citigroup, is named president of fast-growing fintech Baton Systems. The former chair of FIA Board joins to grow ‘new global standard for payments and settlements’.
Cloud8 appoints Graham Jarvis as chair of the board. The Cloud-based employee benefits platforms provider has recently embarked on a scaleup journey.
“Graham’s appointment and insight will help us shake up what’s on offer to SME’s within our space right now.”
Hawk AI, a financial crime fighting software platform, has hired Georg Hauer as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. He will drive its expansion into new markets worldwide, as well as go-to-market-strategy. Hauer joins from neobank N26, where he was general manager of the German-speaking markets.
Meanwhile deVere Group has appointed Beverley Yeomans as its inaugural chief diversity officer role. Yeomans is also the chief operating officer at the independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisation.
Finally, UAE-based fintech startup Trade Capital Partners (TCP) has named Adel Alkhaja as commercial director. His appointment will help ‘kickstart the process of continuous reinvention as TCP embarks on the next phase of growth’.
Mergers and acquistions
VoxSmart, a communications surveillance firm, has announced the acquisition of GreenKey Technologies Inc, the automated speech recognition and natural language processing provider. The acquisition marks a period of rapid growth for VoxSmart, following a $25million growth equity investment injection from Toscafund.
While Market Pay, the European and omni-channel payment platform, has snapped up Dejamobile, a French fintech specialist in mobile and connected equipment payment solutions. Market Pay and Dejamobile have already partnered pre acquisition by developing PayWishâ, a service for mobile purchasing experiences. The deal is the second acquisition for Market Pay in September following the acquisition of the Acoustic Payment platform.
SourceScrub, an intelligence platform for financial services, has secured strategic growth investment from Francisco Partners. Existing investor Mainsail Partners and SourceScrub’s founders will remain significant equity holders in the company. The investment will help drive SourceScrub’s expansion into new markets and customer segments in addition to continued product development.
Card platform Highnote has enjoyed $54million in combined funding from both a Seed and Series A round. Oak HC/FT led the Series A and co-led the Seed with Costanoa Ventures, with additional participation from XYZ, SVB Capital and WestCap. Bill Ready, president of commerce and payments at Google and Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Upgrade, also participated as angel investors.
BNY Mellon has completed a strategic investment in Quantexa, the data and analytics software company. It follows a 12-month engagement with BNY Mellon using Quantexa’s platform. The investment closes Quantexa’s series D led by Warburg Pincus.
Meanwhile Omneky, the AI platform that generates social ad creatives, has raised $2.5million in a round of seed funding with multiple investors, including venture capital firms Village Global and Hyphen Capital. The seed funding will support further build out of Omneky’s AI platform, which powers growth for small businesses.
Predictive blockchain monitoring and investigative platform Merkle Science has closed a $5.75million Series A round. Led by Darrow Holdings, with additional participation from Kraken Ventures and Uncorrelated Ventures. Merkle Science also adds venture investing veteran and Susquehanna’s head of digital asset investment Dean Carlson to its board.
Finally, Optimove, a CRM marketing firm, announced a $75million investment led by global growth investor Summit Partners. The financing will support investment in strategic hiring, expansion of its marketing platform and further acceleration of Optimove’s growth. The company also announced the addition of Summit Partners’ head of Europe Han Sikkens and MD Steffan Peyer to its board.
Payments fintech Mint Middle East has forged a strategic partnership with Texas-based global payments firm Payolog. Based on Payolog’s technologies, Mint will invest and partner with several banks and financial institutions in the region. They announced the collaboration at Seamless Middle East 2021, a payments technology conference and exhibition.
The Cardano Foundation has announced a number of strategic partnerships that will drive further adoption and utilisation of the Cardano blockchain. It followes the launch of smart contract capabilities earlier this month. One partnership sees tree planting verification company veritree secure its records on Cardano’s blockchain. While Cardano also partners with esports and gaming platform Rival. It also revealed a strategic collaborations with UBX and AID:Tech.
Keebo, a UK credit card provider, has partnered with Yolt Technology Services, the open banking provider, to deploy next generation of credit card management.
“YTS have extensive API coverage and offer a simple, fully functional sandbox enabling super quick development thus reducing our time-to-market.”
KBC, a multi-channel bank-insurance group, has teamed up with Personetics, a provider of financial-data-driven personalisation and customer engagement solutions. The companies will deliver multi-lingual, data-driven solutions to increase customer engagement on KBC’s mobile application.
Payment technology provider Tribe Payments is now a payment partner for Amon.Tech‘s Amon Card. Tribe will provide issuer processing services including its proprietary 3D Secure product for the Amon Card in the UK and across Europe.
DIFC Academy and K2 Integrity partner to lffer the DOLFIN e-learning platform in the UAE. The DOLFIN platform offers comprehensive resources on anti-money laundering, sanctions, export controls, terrorism and proliferation financing, anti-bribery and corruption and fraud. DOLFIN will be introduced to 2400 firms in the DIFC Academy ecosystem.
Paysafe and Shelby Financial partner to safeguard US airline payments. Shelby Financial’s escrow solution will mitigate financial risk and secure airline ticket payments for American carriers that plug into Paysafe. Shelby Financial will also leverage its customised technology and experienced staff to oversee data validation.
Meanwhile Western Union has signed a partnership with invoice financing platform Crowdz to power payments for SMBs using the platform to sell unpaid invoices for capital. The collaboration follows Crowdz securing $7million in venture capital over the past twelve months from the likes of Global Cleantech Capital and Bold Capital Partners.
xpate Links and INDUSTRA BANK join forces to streamline acquiring. xpate’s next-generation payment solution Links will provide end-to-end operational risk and fraud management for Latvian bank’s payment services.
Company growth stories
Fintech Deriv is expanding into Europe as part of a £5million investment, including a new office in London. This is in addition to a new office in Paris, opening later this month, and another in Guernsey by the end of this year. Deriv boasts more than 4.3 million registered users across more than 100 countries.
Visa plans to grow its presence in Atlanta, including opening a new office in 2022. The new office is located at 1200 Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta and represents a wide range of Visa teams and functions. Michelle Gethers-Clark, Visa’s chief diversity officer and head of corporate responsibility, will reside in Atlanta and help to lead the new office.
UK bank Starling is expanding into Europe. It plans to offer its banking as a service (BaaS) solution in the EU, including France, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain. Starling launched BaaS in the UK in 2018 and has 25 payment and banking services customers, including Raisin, CurrencyCloud, Moneybox and Vitesse.
Pipe, creator of a trading platform for recurring revenues, is launching its first international market in the UK. To support the expansion and further accelerate growth, Pipe has also hired Brad Coffey as chief customer officer. While Sid Orlando joins to head up content to increase global awareness on the impact of alternative finance.