Welcome to The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 28 November 2023, bringing you the latest updates from across the world.
Embedded finance platform CredibleX launches after bagging regulatory licences from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). CredibleX has also announced partnerships with ADGM as the first fintech partner of its SME financing platform, Numou; as well as with partners in FMCG and financial services. During 2024, CredibleX aims to reach 20,000 SMEs.
Tokenbridge, a token aggregator and distribution platform, has launched a suite of services targeted at fund managers, financial advisors and their clients. Tokenbridge offers an open-architecture and blockchain agnostic solution that drives tech stack optimisation while reducing complexity, risk and cost as well as enabling hyper-personalisation.
Connectd, a platform for managing and growing relationships between startups, investors and advisors, is expanding into the US, with an initial launch in Florida slated for 1 December. The launch will also be followed by a launch party at Mana Tech’s Miami HQ on 17 January.
Klarna, the AI-powered payments network and shopping assistant, is authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide regulated payments and credit services in the UK. Following Brexit, Klarna Bank AB, a fully licensed Swedish Bank, continued to provide regulated services in the UK under the FCA’s Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR). As the TPR will expire on 31 December this year, Klarna has established a new, UK-based entity, Klarna Financial Services UK to provide all consumer-facing services in the UK.
Funding and investments
Financial literacy startup Yabi by Souqalmal has closed an $8million seed round. Yabi launched in Saudi Arabia this November, boasting a localised personal finance masterclass platform in both English and Arabic offering two new classes every month. The round focuses on product development and pushes growth into regional markets.
Brisbane-based digital impact lender WLTH closes a $14million investment round, featuring PNG’s largest digital bank Kina Bank as well as investment group Rajomon. The funding helps the acquisition of digital mortgage outfit Mortgage Mart, bringing WLTH’s loan book to over $1.5billion. Investors will also integrate several of WLTH’s software tools into their own fintech offerings.
HSBC appoints Vinay Mendonca CEO of its recently-announced joint venture with B2B fintech Tradeshift for developing and commercialising embedded finance solutions. The business, set to launch in the first half of 2024, will be 75 per cent owned by HSBC and 25 per cent owned bycTradeshift. Mendonca is currently chief growth officer for HSBC’s Global Trade and Receivables Finance (GTRF) division.
Fino Bank has appointed Rajat Kumar Jain, independent director, as part-time chairman of the bank. He is the founder director of PadUp Ventures, a knowledge and mentoring platform. He also serves as a non-executive director on various boards including group companies of Aditya Birla and Mahindra.
Smarter Contracts has welcomed Ghela Boskovich to its team. Boskovich currently serves as the head of Europe for the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA). As strategic advisor, Boskovich’s knowledge and experience of open data will be used to deepen and enrich features of Pulse.
MVGX Tech MetaVerse Green Exchange, a carbon software-as-a-service company, has forged a strategic carbon trading infrastructure partnership with Exberry, an independent capital market exchange technology provider. Both firms are developing foundational carbon infrastructure to streamline carbon trade across interconnected national markets and global registries.
JCB International, the has teamed up with FrenchSys, a subsidiary of CB-Investissements (CBI), to facilitate a greater JCB certification process for payment terminals across France. This alliance helps banks, terminal manufacturers, and merchant partners to accept JCB Cards through an integrated certification process, hosted by FrenchSys. This partnership means that French acquirers do not need to perform an additional Level 3 certification for terminals to accept contact and contactless payments from JCB card members.
Platform bank Wio Bank has joined forces with Fuze, a digital assets infrastructure provider in MENA, to introduce virtual assets trading services to users. Customers can buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, directly through Wio Bank’s recently launched application, Wio Personal. The banking app integrates access to a broad range of financial instruments, including global stocks, ETFs, fractional shares, and even UAE IPOs.
Ezra, the microlending fintech, has partnered with Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. and Global Bank of Ethiopia to launch a digital lending service in Ethiopia. This new partnership with Ezra reflects both companies’ shared commitment to providing inclusive services that empower financially underserved communities. Ezra has worked with Kacha to develop a platform as a service model.
Klarna, the AI-powered payments network and shopping assistant, has partnered with premium airline Cathay Pacific to offer flexible payments to travellers in six countries across Europe. The agreement is the latest in a series of travel tie-ups for Klarna as the company aims to further expand into the travel sector.
The ClearScore Group, a global financial services marketplace group, has teamed up with alternative lender Plend. Plend loans are now available on the ClearScore UK consumer marketplace. As well as the marketplace, Plend also uses ClearScore Group’s open banking services arm ‘D•One’ for comprehensive and specialised open banking connectivity and transaction categorisation intelligence.