Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 25 May.
SmartSearch has appointed Ian Wright as its new strategic alliances manager. In his role, Wright will look to expand SmartSearch’s partnership offering across both domestic and international markets. Prior to joining SmartSearch, he has also held senior roles with AML providers and data and analytics firms.
Bamboo Payment, a payment enabler of payins and payouts across Latin America, names Francisco León as its first CEO. The appointment is aimed at scaling Bamboo’s business and ensuring accelerated growth in Latin America. León joins from PayU, where he served as CEO of the Latin America division. He also oversaw PayU’s delivery of its digital payments offering to global merchants.
Plenitude has expanded its leadership team with Mark Humphries joining as its non-executive chairman. He will provide strategic insights to the board to allow Plenitude to strengthen its capabilities while also guiding the firm in executing its business strategy. Humphries’ career includes handling mergers and acquisitions for FTSE 100 groups.
Muse Finance, a capital business finance provider, appoints Julie Ashmore as COO. Ashmore was previously CEO of NatWest Rapid Cash. Her appointment follows Muse Finance launching BNPL for businesses as part of its working capital suite of embedded finance products and services.
Ecommpay, a payment service provider, has hired Karan Johal as its global head of sales. Johal has worked for companies such as Feast HQ, Flubit and Checkout.com. The recently expanded sales team’s expertise will bring significant advantages as Ecommpay develops in the Australian, Asian, and Latin American markets.
Tuum, the core banking provider, appoints Jean Souto as vice president of global partnerships. Souto will spearhead Tuum’s partnership strategy to drive growth and customer success. Tuum is also expanding beyond its Nordic client base, across Europe and the Middle East.
Fidelity International announces Emilie Goodall as its head of stewardship, Europe. In the newly created position, Goodall will lead Fidelity’s collaborative and thematic engagement with companies in the region, manage Fidelity’s proxy voting in EMEA and Americas and also provide market and thematic ESG insights.
OneID, the identity service provider, hires Nigel Savory and Tim Gregory to its board of directors. They will support OneID’s recently appointed CEO, Paula Sussex, in driving the company through a period of expansion. Sussex said both hires have a strong track record in the industry of building partnerships.
Wellx, the health and wellness focused insurtech platform, appoints Dr. Anushka Patchava as its chief product officer. Dr. Patchava joins Javed Akberali and Vaibhav Kashyap in a co-founder capacity. Dr. Patchava will be responsible for the company’s product strategies, roadmaps as well as partnerships.
Atom bank names Lee Rochford as its new chairman. He will replace Bridget Rosewell when she steps down in September, having held the role for five years and overseen a critical period of Atom’s growth. Rochford previously worked at Virgin Money, RBS as well as Arrow Global Group.
Provenir appoints Basil Macklai as the director of sales in the Middle East. Macklai will help Provenir to meet the growing demand for the company’s data and AI-powered risk decisioning solutions. He will also help drive the organisation’s next stage of growth in the region.
Trade Nation, the global trading platform, has promoted Richard Nathan to CEO of Trade Nation Bahamas. His previous role was head of customer success at Trade Nation. He said he plans to “continue to strengthen our position as a trusted financial services provider”.
Embedded finance SaaS provider Toqio has announced a new VP of sales, Michael Pierce. He will be responsible for building and executing a go-to-market strategy, as well as evangelising a rapidly developing embedded finance industry.
UK insurer Aviva has appointed Phoebus to service its equity release portfolio, replacing its legacy servicing system. From May, Aviva will commence the onboarding of equity release completions onto the latest
Phoebus servicing solution, utilising its originations and migrations API. Later, Phoebus will support Aviva in migrating its portfolio of 300,000 accounts, equating to £13billion-plus of assets, onto the Phoebus system.
Banfico Ltd, an open banking technology solution provider to banks and fintechs, has partnered with InfoCert S.p.A to bring enhanced security solutions to its OB Directory product. This partnership will allow both banks and TPPs to request and manage their open banking certificates through the directory while ensuring regulatory compliance and secure data transmission during financial transactions across Europe.
Sprinklr, a unified customer experience management platform, has launched Sprinklr AI+. Sprinklr AI+ integrates with the OpenAI enterprise API to help ensure a more robust protection of data for enterprises. It is currently in a limited availability beta.
Hopper Cloud, the B2B business unit of the travel app Hopper, is partnering with Australia’s CommBank to power an end-to-end travel portal. The new travel experience in the CommBank app will integrate with Hopper via the company’s B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud, and offer customers the lowest price on 300 airlines, two million hotels and 100 rental car companies.
SEI has extended its strategic partnership with Verso Wealth Management, an independent financial advisor consolidator. Verso will continue to benefit from the modern, integrated wealth management infrastructure of the SEI Wealth Platform, helping Verso achieve its goals of business scale and growth.
Cloud accounting business iplicit and global software as a service business Lightyear have joined forces to provide an accounts payable solution. The partnership sees cloud accounting provider iplicit integrate its product with Lightyear’s accounts payable automation system.
Airwallex, the payments and financial platform, has partnered with payments network TrueLayer. TrueLayer will leverage Airwallex’s global payments and financial infrastructure API to build new products and services on a global scale. With this partnership, TrueLayer will deliver enhanced real-time payments and treasury operations to maximise ROI for merchants.
Bluestone Mortgages announces a strategic partnership with Experian to launch an open banking solution, enabling brokers to get automated lending decisions. Building on the success of Bluestone’s Open Banking pilot in 2019 on the lender’s previous portal, Experian will provide Bluestone with access to timely and high quality customer information to streamline the mortgage application journey.
Snowdrop Solutions, a data enrichment company, partners with GoHenry, the prepaid debit card and financial education app for kids aged six to 18. The partnership enables GoHenry to leverage Snowdrop Solutions’ data enrichment capabilities to enhance the in-app experience for its members. Its enriched location services will enable GoHenry to provide more detailed information about transactions.
Krungthai Bank, a Thai state-owned commercial bank, is expanding its multi-year collaboration with Google Cloud to accelerate open innovation and financial inclusion. Under the expanded collaboration, Infinitas, the bank’s digital innovation arm, will work with Google Cloud to build a scalable co-innovation platform and talent ecosystem.
There’s also a partnership for JCB International and SumUp, to enable acceptance of JCB Cards across SumUp’s European merchant network. With the return of international travel, the collaboration will provide new opportunities of growth for merchants by welcoming JCB’s card members.
Funding and investments
Ballerine, an open-source risk decisioning platform, has raised $5million in a seed funding round led by Team8. The open source platform allows companies to verify and underwrite their business customers globally or at scale. The funding round was led by Team8, with participation also from Y Combinator, Vera Equity and executives from Brex, Trulioo, Venmo, Melio and Coinbase.
Sonovate, a provider of embedded finance and payment solutions for the contingent workforce, has enhanced its funding technology platform to enable it to better serve large, multinational recruitment businesses. It will also launch new lines of products in the future as it continues to grow and expand its customer base.
FinTech Australia has updated and relaunched one of its key resources for the fintech industry, its interactive ecosystem map. Additionally, the peak body is calling for local fintechs to check and update their business details on the map to ensure that they fully capitalise off the resource. As part of the update, non-member fintechs can now add their details to the map at no cost.
VerifyVASP, a Singapore-based regtech solution provider to virtual asset service providers, has joined the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) as a validation agent. It is also the first validation agent to operate exclusively in the crypto and digital asset trading space.