The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. As well as industry movers, this Tuesday we cast an eye on fundraisers and acquisitions.
Daniel Awe is the new head of the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an initiative by Nigeria’s Access Bank. The AFF, which aims to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of fintech startups in Africa, says Awe is the right person to lead Nigeria’s next wave of financial technology disruption.
Paymentology has welcomed Dubai-based Nauman Hassan to its senior team. The fintech cloud-payment processor says the former Wirecard implementation head will enhance Paymentology clients’ customer journeys as the client portfolio grows. In addition, Dubai is a central location from where its global clients can best be managed.
Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, former president and CEO of Bank Leumi, is joining the board of blank check company Fortress Value Acquisition – according to a filing at the Securities Exchange Commission. Previously, Russak-Aminoach has been linked to the formation of the fintech arm of Israeli cyber-security think tank Team8.
Nigerian crypto startup Yellow Card has appointed Jason Marshall, former senior director of payment services at Walmart, as its chief operating officer.
Finally, FinTech Wales is looking for a new CEO after establishing a 20-strong advisory board in its first year. The association says the CEO can help Wales become a leading player in the global fintech community.
The time is right for FinTech Wales to appoint a CEO who will lead us through the next phase in our development. It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone with the right experience to give something back to the fintech community.
Scott Jones, board member of FinTech Wales
Startups ProvenMed, Callix and PlasticFri are celebrating success in the 5th Dubai Smartpreneur Competition. More than 1,900 startups from around the world have applied to the last five cycles of the competition, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The UAE is looking to set up Agriota E-Marketplace, a new blockchain-driven platform that helps farmers in India, reports suggest. The agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform would connect Indian farmers directly with the UAE food industry.
Amazon is adding insurance and gold to its suite of fintech offerings in India. In addition to expanding its customer base, Amazon is also looking to attract more subscribers to its Prime loyalty programme. Furthermore, Amazon is aiming to to make Amazon Pay India’s payment method of choice.
African fintech startup Makeba secures $200,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Makeba is also entering into a partnership with the Government of Cape Verde to provide pension funds via contactless Makeba wallet transfers.
Insurtech Urban Jungle has raised an extra £1.6million to expand into new markets. The company previously raised £2.5million in March 2020 and says it is enjoying rapid growth and industry recognition. According to Urban Jungle, it cuts overheads by operating online and using artificial intelligence to reduce risk and screen out fraud.
While Yellow Card, a Nigerian-based cryptocurrency exchange startup, has raised $1.5million in seed capital to extend its reach to new markets in Africa. Along with the fundraise, Yellow Card has also revealed it is launching its services in Kenya and Cameroon this month.
Shareholders of Cornerstone have approved the intended acquisition of FXPress Payments Services. Following completion, FXPress’ strategy is to ‘build a significant business in the provision of international payment services for SMEs’.
Bitstocks, the Bitcoin educational media house, has secured new licencing through the Financial Conduct Authority for its banking platform Gravity. In addition, Bitstocks has also submitted an application for FCA anti-money laundering registration.
Singapore-based fintech company Atlantis is entering the Indian market with the launch of digital bank Neo-Bank. As well as focusing on serving Millennials and Gen Z consumers, Neo-Bank aims to push the transition to ‘self-driven finance’.
Digital asset trading platform Bitfinex (owned by iFinex Inc) is investing more than $1million in fintech Dusk Network’s security token exchange. Dusk Network aims to be the first compliant blockchain platforms for securities, bringing the benefits of tokenisation to the regulated market.
TrueLayer and Freetrade have joined forces to ‘deliver seamless investing experience using Open Banking’. Under the deal, investment app Freetrade will implement TrueLayer’s data and payments APIs.
TrueLayer’s innovative technology is enabling us to introduce and optimise a seamless funding experience that will further help our customers meet their financial goals.
Adam Dodds, CEO of Freetrade
Meanwhile, fintech Intellect says it is joining BIAN to help help revolutionise the API-driven contextual banking technology framework. BIAN is a collaborative not-for-profit ecosystem formed of leading banks, technology providers, consultants and academics from all over the world.
Finally, Tipalti has revealed an expansion of its strategic partner portfolio after cementing new strategic partnerships with accounting services firm Burkland, cloud technology firm SCS Cloud and influencer marketing company Klear. The accounts payable technology company says it will help the trio further modernise their clients’ financial operations.