Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 22 August 2023, bringing you the latest industry news from around the globe.
Katana Technologies, the inventory software solutions provider for small and medium-sized businesses, has teamed up with Intuit QuickBooks. Through the new integration, clients can automate data transfers between QuickBooks Online and Katana’s cloud-based inventory platform, convert purchase orders to bills, as well as automatically create or update invoices based on sales order statuses in Katana.
OKX has onboarded singer and actor Ali Zafar as a global Web3 brand ambassador. Under the partnership, Zafar will participate in a number of events as part of OKX’s global Web3 campaign, with a focus on South Asia and the Middle East. The partnership follows OKX’s ‘The System Needs a Rewrite’ global brand campaign, which advocates for a new Web3-enabled paradigm.
Apex Group, a global financial services provider, is to provide fund administration and AML solutions to VC firm Sadu Capital. Sadu’s latest fund currently focuses on investing in early-stage startups (pre-seed, seed and Series A) that are based in the Middle East and North Africa region.
There’s also a partnership for Xceptor, a data automation platform provider, and Taskize, a provider of inter-company workflow to the financial services industry. They will provide supply financial institutions and energy firms with improved counterparty experiences and significant operational efficiencies.
Tottenham Hotspur has unveiled fintech AstroPay as its official payment partner. This partnership introduces a Spurs-branded prepaid card, equipping fans with exclusive benefits and rewards tied to the Club. Fans who use the Spurs-branded prepaid card and other AstroPay products will enjoy accumulating AstroPoints with each purchase. These points open the door to ‘unforgettable experiences’.
Bamboo Capital Group has partnered with STACS to utilise STACS’s platform ESGpedia to support corporate sustainability and ESG reporting for businesses in Vietnam. The partnership also aims to bring greater transparency to the renewable energy certificates (RECs) market in ASEAN.
Chiliz, the sports blockchain, creators of Fan Tokens and the Socios.com app, has forged a partnership with Crypto Blockchain Industries (CBI), which develops, operates and invests in video games and apps related to blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrencies. The partnership sees Chiliz Chain integrated into CBI’s new digital universe, Football at AlphaVerse (FAV).
Global payment orchestration platform FinMont has forged a partnership with micro-hedging and risk management platform ZooPay. The partnership helps FinMont expand its global payment ecosystem and offer airlines and merchants an automated solution to help manage multi-currency transactions and make multiple payments.
Humans.ai, a blockchain for AI, has partnered with RAK DAO to help drive AI development and adoption within its Web3-focused Free Zone. Companies in RAK DAO gain access to its partner ecosystem including access to toolkits, Dapps and tech solutions such as Humans, investment opportunities as well as licensing. The partnership could also potentially encompass joint accelerators and venture studios.
Currencycloud has joined forces with South Korea-based cross-border payment company MOIN to expand its global coverage. As a result of the collaboration, MOIN enjoys bolstered security and compliance competencies, boosting remittances in more geographies. Its customers will also benefit from Currencycloud’s FX rates.
Dock, a B2B technology company for payments and banking, is working with Tenpo, Chile’s largest digital bank. Dock’s expertise and infrastructure is behind the issuing and processing technology that Tenpo uses for its recently launched credit cards. The customer acquisition also marks a major step in Dock’s Latin American expansion.
Islamic Coin, a Shariah-compliant digital money, is working with Republic Crypto, the Web3 advisory group. The collaboration includes white-glove support to promote Islamic Coin’s go-to-market strategy, along with advisory services focused on tokenomics, DAO governance and long-term economic utility value. Republic Crypto will also engage with strategic partners, exchanges and market makers.
Funding and investments
Clean Growth Fund, the UK clean tech venture capital fund, has led a £3.6million investment in Kamma, a UK property data and analytics business. The investment will fund the expansion of Kamma’s property data engine that acquires, integrates, and calibrates thousands of property data points in order to deliver optimal routes to achieve Net Zero in the UK property sector – both residential and commercial property.
Cynergy Bank has secured a £20million Tier 2 capital facility from British Business Investments. The capital will be deployed across Cynergy Bank and Cynergy Business Finance. The funding enables the challenger bank to accelerate the delivery of its current business strategy to be the UK’s premier ‘human digital’ bank and market leader in the SME lending space. The facility will also support Cynergy Bank’s growth plans.
Everest Assets Group (EAG) has launched with a £5million growth fund to empower a new generation of cybersecurity and IT scale-ups. The new investment fund, founded by Steven M Windmill, targets high growth tech companies. Windmill will serve as chairman and CEO.
WealthKernel, a provider of digital investment infrastructure, has appointed Aqsa Tariq as its new chief financial officer. She previously held roles at FNZ Group, Goldman Sachs International and EY LLP. Tariq is tasked with driving growth as well as improving WealthKernel’s ongoing processes and organisational procedures.
Investing app Stash has named Chien-Liang Chou as the company’s chief technology officer. He joins from mobile banking platform Dave, where he served as CTO for around two years. Over the course of his career he’s also held leadership roles at Salesforce, Lending Club, Flexport and Stockpile.
Pepper Advantage, a global lending loan servicing and credit data company, has appointed Holly Stewart as director of people. Stewart was most recently at Shutterstock as a HRBP director for global technology and data. She will formalise Pepper Advantage’s talent identification process and developing its high-performance training activities, firm-wide succession plans and workforce assessments.
Fintech NOW Money has appointed Maksim Golub as its new head of product. Prior to joining, Golub held leadership roles at fintechs including Singapore-based Salttmine. NOW Money hopes the hire will drive its product offerings, empower more individuals and communities with financial inclusion and financial literacy while offering effective payroll solutions for businesses.
FeatureMind, a provider of digital solutions within the retail environment, has welcomed Onur Tepeli as CEO. In this role, Tepeli will develop and execute a growth-oriented strategy that will help to build on the company’s presence in the region, leading the FeatureMind team based out of the Middle East, Turkey and Nigeria and supporting the growth of partnerships with Salesforce, Mulesoft, Akeneo, as well as others.
Meanwhile, Nina Hargus has joined the WSO2 board of directors. Most recently, she served as CMO and head of strategy at Virtustream, a Dell company, following CMO roles at EMC and VCE. Hargus will counsel and collaborate on WSO2’s brand management as well as cultivate customer engagement and satisfaction.
TrueLayer has appointed Michael Brown as head of ecommerce. Before joining TrueLayer, Brown was director of UK enterprise sales at PayPal. He will lead TrueLayer’s push into retail and ecommerce, following recent customer wins including UK listed firm Topps Tiles.
BMS Group, the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, has welcomed Tim Hewitt as head of BMS in Japan. His focus will be to broker insurance solutions for inbound-outbound mergers and acquisitions activity as growth in the Japanese M&A market accelerates.
MyFatoorah, a payments platform offering solutions across the Middle East, has obtained licences from the central banks of six regional countries, including the acquiring licence from the UAE Central Bank. With the licences, MyFatoorah introduces its ‘Payments Without Borders’ concept, aimed at enabling seamless cross-border payment acceptance while enhancing trust and convenience in digital payments.
Unicoin, an assets-backed cryptocurrency, has agreed to acquire from Electroquímica the rights to explore and exploit mineral rights located in Argentina, primarily copper. The purchase price will be paid in unicoins. Upon closing of the transaction, Electroquímica will become the largest single holder of unicoins.
Komainu, a regulated digital asset custody service provider built by institutions for institutions, is granted an operating licence by the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai. Komainu can offer its full suite of custody services, including institutional staking and collateral management, to clients in the Emirate.
Data management company Cloudera has introduced new sales, technical and industry accreditations for partners globally as part of its redesigned Cloudera Partner Network (CPN) programme. The new accreditations validate a partner’s understanding of the value of Cloudera’s solutions, helping them to build their knowledge of Cloudera products, programs, tools as well as resources.
Thales has launched a subscription-based digital payments security service built on its payShield 10K Payment Hardware Security Module (HSM) technology. ‘payShield Cloud HSM’ aims to help customers accelerate the adoption of cloud-based payments infrastructure. The monthly subscription service also integrates with Azure, AWS as well as Google Cloud Platform for multi-cloud implementations.
Cashfree Payments, a payments and API banking solutions company, has launched ‘Vendor Payments’, a platform that empowers businesses to streamline and manage their purchase-to-pay cycle, improving efficiency and reducing processing time. ‘Vendor Payments’ aims to simplify not only vendor payments, but other account payables including utility bill payments, other business expenses and due taxes.