In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, we bring you the latest partnerships, investment rounds and job appointments from around the world.
Fintech Ebury has promoted Victor Tuson Palau to the chief technology officer role. He was previously SVP of engineering within the company. Palau will ontinue to focus on scaling Ebury’s platform, both in terms of the volume of payments and transactions and internationally as Ebury’s reach expands.
Thunes, the cross-border payments company, has unveiled four new senior executives to lead its business in Asia Pacific, the Americas, Middle East and North Africa and Greater China. Jenna Wyer is SVP for the Americas, while Simon Nelson is named SVP for MENA. Also joining Thunes is Biren Zandani as SVP for APAC and Daphne Huang as SVP for Greater China.
Fintech SaaS platform Toqio has appointed Dafna Martin Beltran as head of sales for new markets. Her appointment follows that of Alessandro Palma, Toqio’s new CFO. Both will play a key part in the future growth of Toqio as it ramps up expansion plans across Europe.
Meanwhile, KPMG in the UK has named Bharat Bhushan as a partner in its financial services technology practice. Bharat will act as chief technology officer for consulting and will strengthen the firm’s offering to clients in areas such as innovation and business platforms, digital transformation and cloud migration.
Unicorn insurtech bolttech hires Romaney O’Malley as group chief financial officer. Based in the UK, Romaney will be responsible for driving the financial strategy and management of the group’s businesses and operations in its 26 markets across three continents.
Research and insight
New research conducted by Cynergy Bank reveals that 18–34-year-olds are the most disappointed with digitalisation. Sixty-four per cent of this age group believe that customer relationships with banks have become worse due to less human interaction in comparison to 58 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 61 per cent of over 55-year-olds. Those aged 18 to 34 also believe that digital transformation in banking has led to a reduction in products tailored to suit customers.
Funding and investments
Aikido Finance, the cloud-based investment platform, is launching a fundraising round to raise €5million. The investment will support its plan to further scale the growth of the business and explore new markets. Aikido also aims to grow its team from six to 10 employees in early 2022.
Accel Club, a company which buys and scales businesses selling on Amazon, comples $170million of equity and venture debt funding round. The equity round was led by Redseed, with additional participation from Flyer One Ventures. While the debt financing round was led by European special situations investor North Wall Capital. Accel Club also plans to expand to European and Asian platforms in the future.
Lenderwize, a fintech platform for digital commodities, has received €100million in funding from alternative lender Fasanara Capital. Lenderwize will use the funding to accelerate its international expansion plans, including launches in France, Germany, Spain and the US during 2022.
Thought Machine raises $200million in Series C funding. New investors JPMorgan Chase Strategic Investments, Standard Chartered Ventures and ING Ventures join cap table and client list. This new round sees Thought Machine achieve unicorn status. Thought Machine will use the funding to continue developing and expanding Vault. It will aldo expand its international reach and targeting new key markets.
Groundswell, the philanthropy-as-a-service platform that’s empowering employees with their own personal donor-advised funds (DAFs), has raised $15million in seed investment funding. The round was led by GV, with participation also from Human Ventures, Moonshots Capital, Felicis Ventures and Core Innovation Capital.
TISAtech partners with NextWave to accelerate and de-risk the adoption of innovation across financial services. Together, they offer fintech solutions for banks, asset and wealth managers and building societies. As TISAtech’s principal consulting partner, member financial institutions can now draw on NextWave’s expert consultants.
TotallyMoney, the credit app, has announced an API integration with car credit broker Zuto. In doing so, it’ll be able to provide customers with a broader range of more personalised car financing options. Customers can also use the TotallyMoney car insurance service to search for their best offers, without impacting their credit score.
Landsbankinn, the Icelandic bank, has joined forces with open banking firm Salt Edge to comply with Icelandic law on the PSD2 legislation. Leveraging Salt Edge’s PSD2 Compliance Solution, Landsbankinn will offer its customers the possibility to view their bank accounts in apps and websites external to the bank
Paymentology joins Mastercard as a network enabling partner in the MENA region. The partnership will offer new customers live issuance in accelerated time. The Network Enablement Partner programme is a Mastercard initiative to enrich the fintech and digital payment ecosystem in the region.
While, Virgin Money adds Accelerated Payments to its fintech partnerships. The fintech, which has offices in London, Dublin and Toronto, offers working capital solutions to help businesses manage their immediate cash flow. The Accelerated Payments partnership forms part of Virgin Money’s working capital health proposition.
Emirates NBD has announced its association with ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN). It is now a member and industry partner to support the global fintech registry, ChekFIN. Created in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group FinTech Control Tower and Temasek-founded Affinidi, ChekFIN was officially launched at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2021.
Redwood Bank has become one of the fastest challenger banks to reach profitability. The Bank, headquartered in Hertfordshire and with a regional office in Warrington, has now achieved monthly profitability after attracting more than 5,000 customers. It has lent more than £400million supporting British SMEs and attracted deposits of over £400million.
Weavr, the embedded finance firm, is named in the TechRound 100 – an annual competition that celebrates innovative startups in the UK. Weavr also recently confirmed a strategic partnership with Finway to issue physical and virtual cards for SMEs. It currently powers platforms including Thanks Ben and Myskillcamp.
GIANT Protocol is developing a web3 protocol to decentralise and democratise access to the internet and financial services. The tokenized bandwidth platform will allow anyone with a mobile phone to access the internet and earn rewards based on their connectivity. GIANT Protocol is in an advanced stage of development.
Activist investment platform Tulipshare launches campaign to hold JP Morgan accountable for misleading climate change commitments. Tulipshare is also calling on JP Morgan to strengthen its commitment to ending all investments in fossil fuels to significantly reduce their impact on the environment and the impacts of climate change.
GBG has integrated mobile network operator data into its identity verification and anti-fraud solutions. This external source of data can help businesses further strengthen their multi-level identity and fraud prevention strategies and drive confident decisions on customers.
Ingenico, a Worldline brand, has announced a full commercial launch of PPaaS, its payments platform as a service solution to its clients and partners. PPaaS is a suite of payment and commerce services that combines proprietary solutions for managing terminals with third-party applications and alternative payment methods such as Alipay.