Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 18 April.
Ecospend, the UK open banking technology provider recently acquired by Trustly, appoints Lord Chris Holmes of Richmond MBE, as an adviser to support the company as it grows in the UK and overseas. Lord Holmes is a passionate advocate for the potential of technology and the benefits of financial inclusion.
Innovative wealth app Chip hires Gina Silvester as its new COO. She joins Chip from TriplePoint, where she was responsible for leading the company’s operational and strategic initiatives. Prior to that, she held senior leadership roles at Handelsbanken. Silvester replaces Sharon Miles, who becomes group chief operating officer at OakNorth Bank.
Lucie Shaw, an executive search consultant, has been promoted to managing partner at Amrop UK. She co-leads Amrop’s global consumer and retail practice, while working with a range of domestic and international clients.
Christian Saunders has joined Linklaters as a senior consultant in the Middle East banking practice. He has 20-plus years’ experience advising creditors, corporates, as well as other stakeholders on financing transactions and restructurings. He was a partner with Allen & Overy in the UAE for over 14 years, until his retirement in 2021.
CleverCards, the global payments platform provider, has named Gaurav Khurana as senior VP of marketing. Khurana joins CleverCards at a period of market expansion across Europe. Prior to joining CleverCards, Gaurav served as EMEA head of commerce payment partnerships at Meta.
EBANX has appointed Wiza Jalakasi as its director of Africa market development across the continent. He most recently served on the global merchant business team at Chipper Cash. He also currently serves as a mentor for Google for Startups Accelerator Africa (Launchpad) and a technical partner at Rally Cap Ventures.
Fintica AI, a provider of next-generation AI for the financial industry, has announced a new advisory board. Thomas Zeeb is named chairman, while René Karsenti and Dr. Yanming Xiao also join as members. Earlier this year Fintica AI closed an A Round of funding with a diversified global investor base from Asia, the Middle East, Europe as well as the US.
radicant bank ag has selected Swiss fintech NetGuardians’ software for enhanced payment protection. NetGuardians software forms customer profiles through its behavioural analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. radicant says it is the first digital sustainability bank in Switzerland strategically aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ImaliPay, a fintech-as-a-service provider, has selected Centropy PR to manage its global communications. The news comes follows ImaliPay’s successful $3million funding round to offer financial services to under-served gig workers across Africa.
Optima Partners, a UK insight-led business consultancy, has teamed up with AI cloud company H2O.ai. The partnership sees the two organisations work together to produce a series of specialist resources and solutions for financial services organisations aimed at overcoming the challenges of operationalising advanced machine learning within credit risk and strong fraud defences.
Kyckr, the corporate KYC company, and Blacksmith KYC, the regtech venture of ING Bank, have also announced a partnership. Blacksmith said the integration gives its clients access to real-time data from over 300 primary regulated sources.
Bottomline has joined the marketplace of Datadog, a monitoring and security platform for cloud applications. This extends the availability of the company’s Record and Replay user monitoring solutions. Joint customers can reconstruct user sessions, as well as capture performance metrics and security logs to protect against fraud and data breaches in critical IBM environments.
Pidgin, a real-time payments platform, has partnered with U.S Century Bank. Miami-based U.S. Century Bank is dedicated to serving business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs in their south Florida community. Following the collaboration, U.S. Century Bank can support faster payments across various use cases.
The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) has signed an agreement with R3 to accelerate the development of Qatar’s fintech industry. Under the agreement, the QFC and R3 will work together to create a potential lab environment that caters to commercial banks and fintechs in Qatar.
Funding and investments
VoxSmart, a communications surveillance and financial AI solutions company, has raised an additional $12million. In its latest funding round, the cash infusion comes from existing investors including UK-based ToscaFund, as well as existing US investors. It follows Toscafund’s investment of $25million in March 2021, as well as VoxSmart’s acquisition of GreenKey Technologies in November 2021.
Globant Ventures has invested in SaaS financial industry platform Fivvy. The investment includes a planned $4million investment over a two-year period to help speed Fivvy’s vision of revolutionising the financial services industry while positioning the company as a ‘top SaaS platform in the Americas’.
Challenger credit card Yonder announces a raise of £12.5million in equity and £50million in debt following its Series A funding round. The round was co-led by Northzone and RTP Global alongside angel investors. The funding has resulted in a post-money valuation of more than £70million. Yonder plans to use the investment to accelerate its growth by doubling its team, expanding its credit rewards offering into new verticals as well as launching in new UK cities.
Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds has invested in Canadian fintech company Nuvei. Reynolds’ latest investment comes less than a month after it was announced that Mint Mobile, the budget wireless provider partly owned by Reynolds, had been acquired by telecoms giant T-Mobile US Inc. for $1.35billion.
The TON Foundation, a non-profit association that exists to advance The Open Network (TON), has announced the launch of a trustless, two-way bridge TON Bridgethat enables the seamless transfer of ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum to natively wrapped fungible tokens (Jettons) on TON. The bridge is designed to provide a seamless transactional interface between Ethereum and TON, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of the TON ecosystem.
OCR Labs Global has renewed an ISO 30107-3 conformance for its Presentation Attack Detection accreditation (PAD) from BixeLab, a NIST-accredited test lab. Secondly, it has demonstrated that its verification techniques are robust through conformance with the NIST 800-63A Enrolment and Identity Proofing guidelines, achieving an Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL 2).