This Thursday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest fintech stories from around the world. TransferWise is to create 750 jobs globally, while Outfund raises £37million in investment.
untied, the UK’s personal tax app, has appointed Paul Loberman as its new chief product officer. In addition to overseeing product strategy and product delivery, Loberman also joins the untied leadership team.
Fintech PR agency SkyParlour has unveiled a slew of new appointments including two senior hires. Adriana Screpnic, former editor-in-chief of The Paypers, joins as senior content strategist, while B2B PR expert Jenna Walker joins as an account director. Two digital communications assistants also join the team.
Former Nationwide non-executive director Mitchel Lenson has joined Exizent, the platform for professionals involved with managing the bereavement process, as chairman. Exizent connects data, services and the network of people involved when someone passes away.
Meanwhile, Cayuse, the research administration cloud platform, has unveiled John Starr as its chief financial officer. He will set Cayuse’s financial direction as it accelerates its expansion plans, as well as bring new innovations to market.
TransferWise is to create 750 jobs globally in the next six months. The recruitment move follows a period of exponential growth for the business, with revenue growing 70 per cent in the last financial year to £302.6million.
Cloud computing firm Nutanix has appointed Rajiv Ramaswami as president and CEO. Ramaswami succeeds co-founder Dheeraj Pandey, who has retired. He plans to advance Nutanix’s leadership in the emerging hybrid cloud infrastructure category.
OakNorth has unveiled Bruce T. Richards to its advisory board. Previously, Richards spent six years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where he was senior vice president and head of supervision for complex financial institutions.
While, global bank Citi has appointed Elissar Farah Antonios as the first woman to head its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations. Antonios joined Citigroup in 2005 as head of Citi Private Bank Head in Abu Dhabi, and has been working as its head of operations in the United Arab Emirates, Levant and Iraq since 2019.
Finally, Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) has appointed two new board directors to strengthen its leadership team in promoting investor relations in the Middle East. Marwa Faisal Almaskati, director of marketing and business development at Bahrain Bourse and Dalal AlDousari, deputy general manager of investor relations at Gulf Bank, will join the now 12-strong MEIRA board of directors.
Funding and Investments
Mobile-first insurance company Getsafe raises $30million in Series B funding led by reinsurer Swiss Re. It will use the capital to bolster its brand among millennials in Germany and the UK, as well as expand into additional European markets.
European Investment Bank has provided €15million to identity verification-as-a-service provider IDnow. The financing, provided under the Investment Plan for Europe, will support the startup’s development as well as its international expansion.
Modularbank has raised €4million in late seed funding from French investors BlackFin Capital Partners and Estonia’s VC Karma Ventures. The investment will be used to bolster its engineering and commercial teams, and further invest in its technology platform.
Meanwhile, fintech Outfund has closed a £37million late seed round of capital. The funding round was led by Fuel Ventures, alongside TMT Investments and Force Over Mass. Outfund has now committed to lending £100million to businesses in the next 12 months.
tabby, the buy-now-pay-later provider, has raised $23million in a Series A funding round. Led by Arbor Ventures and Mubadala Capital, the funding will boost its growth plans, as well scale its product and engineering capabilities.
Pico, the software solution provider for the financial markets, has raised $135million from investors, including Intel. Pico’s Series C investment round will be used to fuel Pico’s global expansion plans.
Fintech Upvest has secured an additional €5million in funding from Earlybird to close its Series A round at €12million. Alongside Earlybird, investment comes from Notion Capital, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Maximilian Tayenthal.
Crowd Data Systems has secured funding to develop its treasury management systems. RLC Ventures led the round, alongside further investment from Ascension Ventures and Force Over Mass Capital.
Finally, ApTap unveils a funding round worth £500,000. ApTap will use the capital to test distribution channels and onboard new clients.
OpenFin, the operating system of finance, has secured a strategic investment from SC Ventures, the fintech investment arm of international banking group Standard Chartered. The capital investment will accelerate new product development and brings OpenFin’s total funding to date to $50million.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Cybersecurity firm Sysnet has acquired cyber defence platform Viking Cloud to ‘accelerate its market expansion plans’. The acquisition follows Sysnet’s acquisition of the MCS division of ControlScan, earlier this month.
“The combination of the three security powerhouses – Sysnet, Viking Cloud, and ControlScan – creates a technically dynamic, entity that will continue to provide security and compliance services to organisations of all sizes across the world.”
Global technology consultancy Capco has snapped up andrion AG, the Switzerland-based consultancy for fintechs and companies in the financial services sector. andrion’s leadership team and all its staff will be joining Capco as part of the acquisition.
Partnerships and Collaborations
European neobroker BUX has extended its partnership with enterprise connectivity platform Yapily to France and Austria. The extension allows French and Austrian BUX Zero users to invest in brands and companies they care about commission-free.
Fintech BCRemit partners with Clear Junction to provide a disruptive money transfer service to the Philippines. Over the course of the next six months, it is expected that BCRemit will fully integrate with Clear Junction’s APIs and make use of virtual IBANs.
Payments firm Worldline has partnered with PayMyTuition in order to simplify payments for international students and their universities. Using Worldline’s localised payment offerings, PayMyTuition has expanded on the payment methods it offers to its 600-plus educational partners across five continents.
IT services firm HCL Technologies has expanded its partnership with asset management company Linedata. Together they will build digital workspace practices and next generation technologies. The new agreement builds on a seven-year collaboration on the CapitalStream commercial loans platform.
Mastercard and Pine Labs will expand their integrated pay later solution to additional markets next year. The expansion builds on their existing offerings in India and Malaysia. The solution will be rolled out in Thailand and the Philippines in February, followed shortly by Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
Zuora and Stripe partner to accelerate the growth of the subscription economy, as well as offer advanced payment capabilities. A new product integration will enable Zuora customers, including Carbar, Intercom and Seiko Epson, to enhance their subscription experience with advanced payment capabilities.
Open banking platform Fabrick and payment solutions provider Nets have forged a partnership for creating products, services and business opportunities in the instant payments space. Fabrick and Nets have previously cooperated with Bankart on the launch of Flik, the instant payment solution for Slovenia.
Three London startup experts – Roei Samuel, Nathan Weeks and Sam Luckett – have hooked up to launch a matchmaking service. The Connectd smart-matching platform gives startups access to investors, advisors and experts.
SC Ventures has launched SOLV, a B2B marketplace for micro, small and medium enterprises in India. The fintech investments unit of Standard Chartered says the platform is part of the bank’s vision to rewire banking to serve clients in the digital age.
Payments platform Dwolla has unveiled Drop-in Components – designed to handle the tedious tasks of a payments implementation. Dwolla says the new offering is part of its commitment to provide customers with easy ways for moving money.
Meanwhile, Payoneer has rolled out its payment orchestration platform to e-commerce merchants across Asia-Pacific. Payoneer’s agnostic platform serves as a technical layer that provides merchants with a single integration to the best payment providers, payment methods and risk solutions.
Fintech Paymerang has unveiled a new Invoice Automation Solution in order to help organisations improve their automated payment processes. It says the tool will save time in approving and posting invoices, as well as reduce errors through automated invoices.
Emirates Islamic has launched digital business banking platform businessONLINE to help businesses in the UAE manage all their banking needs. The omni-channel platform is also available as a mobile banking app.
PayPal has launched QR code payments in iZettle’s point of sale app to support UK businesses post-lockdown. The roll-out marks the first time UK merchants can accept PayPal QR Code payments in-store via a point of sale solution.
Dr Wajeeha Awadh has become the first Bahraini woman to be awarded a PhD in fintech. As the section head of digital banking and fintech Al Baraka Banking Group, Awadh focuses on leveraging the power of technology to better serve customers.
The Arab Monetary Fund and the MENA Fintech Association have published a report – Open Banking Vision from the Arab World. It aims to bring regulators, banks, fintechs and other third parties together around a common vision for open banking and open finance.
Mastercard has announced a three-way collaboration with MatchMove and Tappy to introduce network tokenisation for custom wearables. This partnership will enable MatchMove Mastercard cardholders to add their payment cards to a chip which can turn accessories into payment-ready wearables.
Finally, business finance marketplace Funding Options is joining forces with the Institute of Financial Accountants to give members access to SME lending market insights. Funding Options has also launched a next-generation platform designed specifically for accountants