The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 28 February brings news of funding success for Pagos and Carmoola.
Bahrain-based SINNAD Company, a card processing payment company, has appointed Rana Almaeeli as its chief executive. Almaeeli has held a range of senior managerial positions at SINNAD. The appointment is part of SINNAD’s efforts to drive its digital strategic vision and scale business offerings across the GCC and the African market.
MetaComp, a Singapore-based digital asset platform, appoints John Kang as its new chief financial officer. Kang will oversee the firm’s financial activities, including those of MetaComp’s sister company, MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX), the Singapore-based green fintech firm. Kang has previously held roles at Citigroup Global Markets, Citadel Investment Group and Goldman Sachs.
Standard Chartered Bank names Muhannad Mukahall as the new CEO at Standard Chartered Bank Qatar.
Mukahall joined Standard Chartered in 2013 and has since held senior assignments including CEO of
Standard Chartered Bank Jordan. Prior to joining Standard Chartered, he held multiple leadership roles at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Arab Bank, HSBC Dubai and Jordan Kuwait Bank.
Global Processing Services (GPS) has appointed three non-executive directors to its global board. The appointments of Paulette Rowe, Shane Happach and Lynn McCreary follow three other additions to its senior leadership team last month with the appointment of Jim McCarth, Kevin Fox as well as Jeff Burns.
Investcorp, a global alternative investment firm, enters the Japanese market with the opening of its office in Tokyo. Furthermore, Investcorp has appointed Professor Heizo Takenaka in the role of chairman. The opening of Investcorp’s Tokyo office will allow the firm to provide global alternative investment solutions in Japan, in addition to setting the grounds for Investcorp direct private equity and real estate investing.
General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, hires Samir Assaf for the newly created role of chairman of MENA. Assaf will work with the General Atlantic team to identify investment opportunities and build relationships in the MENA region as the firm seeks to expand its global footprint.
Cellulant appoints Ibrahim Gbolahan Aminu as general manager for Nigeria. He will manage and oversee the day-to-day operations and provide leadership as Cellulant expands coverage for Tingg, Cellulant’s digital payments platform, across the country.
UK fintech startup ZIPZERO has successfully raised over £1million in seed funding. ZIPZERO, which has more than 100,000 users in the UK, will use the funding to grow its platform further. It will also secure new partnerships with retailers and brands and give consumers value and autonomy over their personal shopping data.
Pagos raises $34million. The company’s bird-themed SaaS platform turns complex payment data into real-time actionable insights. The funding will be used to expand the Pagos engineering team and advance the platform’s enterprise product suite including Parrot, Peacock, Canary, Toucan and Loon.
UK car finance fintech Carmoola has raised a £8.5million Series A round and £95million debt facility. The round was led by US-based fintech specialists QED Investors, with participation from existing investors VentureFriend and InMotion Ventures. It also includes a debt facility provided by Natwest, priming Carmoola for rapid growth in a lucrative market worth £120billion in the UK.
Finmap, a cash flow management tool for businesses, closed a new funding round of €1million. The lead investor is SMOK Ventures, a US-Polish venture capital fund that was founded with the participation of investor Paul Bragiel. Its portfolio of 400 companies, includes unicorns UBER, Stripe, Niantic, Unity and Zappos. This is the fund’s first investment in a Ukrainian project.
Sprout, a platform for underserved private investors to access a curated selection of leading venture capital funds, has raised $1million in pre-seed funding. The funds will be used to scale the Sprout platform and build on its impressive growth since the business launched in late 2021.
Mergers and acquisitions
Spanish merchant acquirer Sabadell agrees to sell payments arm to Nexi for up to $370million. Nexi will acquire 80 per cent of Sabadell’s merchant acquiring business, after its carve-out into PayComet. Nexi will finance the transaction entirely through available cash resources. A long-term exclusive distribution partnership is also agreed, with an initial term of 10 years and two potential renewals of five years.
MAPFRE AM, the asset management arm of Spain’s largest insurance group, has acquired a further 26 per cent equity stake in French ESG specialist mutual fund boutique La Financière Responsable (LFR). It takes its total holding to 51 per cent as it targets growth of SRI derived strategies. It also seeks to boost its international footprint into the French fund market.
Vallourec, a multinational pipe and drilling manufacturer, has selected Balance to power the payments solution for its new online platform. Behub-e enables energy and industrial market players to interact and transact online. In partnership with Balance, companies in the global energy market can securely facilitate payments online with multiple sellers worldwide.
iDenfy, the end-to-end identity verification, compliance and fraud prevention startup, teams up with AMLYZE, the SaaS anti-financial crime solutions provider. A referral agreement signed by AMLYZE and iDenfy will enable mutual growth.
eToro, the social investing network, has partnered with Sentifi to launch a social sentiment portfolio. SocialSentiment offers exposure to US companies with solid ESG performance as well as high levels of positive social chatter. Sentifi analyses over 50,000 stocks, currencies, commodities, indices, passive and active funds.
Pundi X forges a partnership with Binance Pay. This partnership will bring Binance Pay, Binance’s payment service, to Pundi X’s XPOS devices, enabling thousands of merchants across 30 countries to accept payments in cryptocurrencies more easily.
Payment orchestration provider BR-DGE has partnered with payments firm Total Processing to drive better payment experiences for merchants and customers. The partnership gives BR-DGE’s merchants access to Total Processing’s solutions. In turn this offers a network of global acquirers, full-featured dashboard and dynamic risk-based fraud tools.
Biometrics company Fingerprints is collaborating with Flywallet, a biometric wearables technology startup. Together they will develop and launch biometric wearable products for the European market. Wearable products from Flywallet will now feature Fingerprints’ biometric sensors, software and algorithms.
Davies has unveiled a new organisational structure that sees it simplify its operations, following a period of organic and M&A growth. From March the firm will align across three operating units: Davies Global Solutions, Davies UK & Ireland, and Davies US, enabling the business to focus its investment and growth plans. Globally, Davies’ 6,500+ colleagues operate across 10 countries, including the UK and the US.
FinanZero, the online credit marketplace in Brazil, has reached 40 million loan applications made through its platform to date. Founded in São Paulo in 2016, FinanZero’s partner banks include Santander, Itaú, Inter, Creditas.
DKK Partners has launched a Dubai operation. It will act as a central hub for DKK in the region granting greater access to the Middle East, Africa and Asia trade corridors. The expansion will be led by senior associates within the region all with Tier 1 banking experience in forex, trade finance and structured products.