Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Ryft, Ledgy, SeaO₂, Cohesity and Microsoft.
Ryft receives FCA licence
PSD2-compliant payments system Ryft received a UK licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – after the fintech raised £1.5million in a seed round in August 2022.
Ryft enables automated next-day payouts for marketplace businesses and their merchants, for a single flat fee per transaction. The UK FCA licence enables the fintech to expand its in-house compliance team; allowing it to facilitate more complex payments, enabling B2B digital and marketplace platforms to monetise payments across their technology as well as independently broker relationships with other organisations.
Sadra Hosseini, CEO and founder of Ryft, said: “We are both incredibly proud to have secured our FCA licence after a year and a half. This furthers our ability to provide support to marketplaces and merchants in the industry. Ryft was created to handle everything so your business doesn’t have to.”
US insurtechs take the lead compared to UK counterparts
The insurtech landscape is set to experience a significant shift, after the FCA recently imposed new operational resilience guidelines on UK insurers. Over the next two years, 42 per cent of UK firms plan to streamline their financial operations as a priority – revealed a new report by financial services software provider AutoRek.
AutoRek’s report found that US insurance professionals were more likely to report their firm to be highly profitable than those in the UK. For 40 per cent of respondents across both the UK and US markets, faster processing times are the key driver behind automation initiatives.
Gordon McHarg, CEO at AutoRek, said: “As the report sets out, there are many challenges which firms have faced and will continue to face over the coming years, both from an external market perspective and competing business-as-usual processes perspective. How well-prepared firms are to meet the challenges discussed throughout this report will define their success over the months and years to come.”
Investment for carbon extraction plant
Ledgy, a capital markets technology platform, has partnered with oceanic carbon capture startup SeaO₂ and is making a strategic investment to help fund the carbon capture startup’s first prototype carbon extraction plant.
Ledgy has initially invested €21,750; pre-purchasing six tons of carbon captured from SeaO₂’s prototype, launching from the REDstack renewable energy plant at the Afsluitdijk dam in the Netherlands. The initial prototype has the capacity to extract one ton of carbon per year, with SeaO₂ on track to launch a second ‘pilot plant’ which plans to extract 250 tons of carbon per year, by the end of 2023.
Ben Brandt, co-founder and chief product officer at Ledgy, said: “Our commitment to SeaO₂ represents a price per ton of €3,375 – which is a pretty high price by market standards. But by validating SeaO₂’s commercial model, and investing in the research and development behind SeaO₂’s next pilot plant, we’re confident that the investment will mean SeaO₂ can offer competitive pricing in the future. Essentially, we’re one of the Tesla Roadster customers paving the way for the development of the Model 3.”
Cohesity and Microsoft partnership looking to protect business data
Data security and management company Cohesity has expanded its partnership with Microsoft; as the companies aim to help companies across the globe broaden and harden data security.
Cohesity’s DataProtect recovery solution will integrate with the cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) platform: Microsoft Sentinel. This enables joint customers to benefit from streamlined access to incident reporting and ransomware alerts.
Sanjay Poonen, CEO and president of Cohesity, said: “Cohesity is integrating with Microsoft’s broad platforms across security, cloud and AI – all in order to help joint customers secure and protect their data against escalating cyberattacks. This expanded collaboration will make it simple for thousands of Microsoft customers and ecosystem partners to access Cohesity’s award-winning platform, including its differentiated benefits of scalability, simplicity and security, in hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud scenarios.”
New ‘financial inclusion’ podcast to launch
Dr Pål Vik and Andrew Wallace, researchers at the University of Salford Business School, are launching a new podcast: Innovation in Financial Inclusion, on Wednesday 19 April.
The podcast episodes plan to explore issues facing low-income consumers in the current climate, including the reality of managing on a low income, barriers to saving and accessing affordable credit.
Episodes are set to launch every two weeks on all major podcast streaming platforms, including Spotify.
Dr Pål Vik said: “In this podcast series, we will be discussing the issues and problems low-income consumers experience in terms of savings, borrowing and debt. We will also focus on a number of innovative programmes designed to help people save, smooth their consumption and repair their finances. Drawing on the latest research and lived experience, the podcast series will provide recommendations for financial inclusion policy and practice for practitioners, funders, policymakers and government.”