Avaloq to Help Banks Deliver ESG Investment Portfolios

ESG investing index funds topped $1,258 billion at the end of September, cementing ESG stock selection into more than just a passing fad.

Taking note, digital banking and wealth management Avaloq launched a new offering today to help banks build ESG portfolios for their clients. The tool also facilitates compliance with the EU’s upcoming MiFID II amendment.

Avaloq’s ESG investment solution includes third party data streams and extra functionality to help wealth managers build portfolios tailored to their individual clients. Some of the tools integrated into the new solution include standardized scorecards, green benchmarks, exclusions, norms-based screening such as the UN Global Compact or the OECD Guidelines, and thematic investments.

The ESG market is expected to grow even more rapidly as investors begin to focus on addressing climate change, environmental damage, social inequality, and discrimination. Also promoting growth is the update to MiFID II which will require wealth managers to account for a client’s ESG preferences when deciding suitable investments.

While Avaloq’s tool will help with MiFID II compliance, it will also assist banks and wealth managers in addressing the lack of standards when it comes to ESG preferences. “One challenge for providers is that there are no rules defined by regulators or standard setters for how the ESG preferences should be collected – it is considered an area of competition between investment companies,” explained Martin Greweldinger, Avaloq Group Chief Product Officer. “As such, we believe that banks and wealth managers that can offer the most comprehensive ESG service will be the ones that see stronger market growth.”

Today’s launch is the latest aspect of Avaloq’s green agenda, which also includes sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 9% in 2019 compared to 2018, and receiving a Climate Neutral Company label.

The new ESG investment solution will be available “starting next year.”

Founded in 1991, Switzerland-based Avaloq agreed to be acquired by NEC Corporation last month. The transaction, which is valued at more than $2.2 billion, is anticipated to close in April of 2021.


Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

NEC Acquires Avaloq in $2.2 Billion Deal

After 35 years in operation, Swiss-based digital banking solution provider Avaloq has agreed to be acquired by Japan’s NEC Corporation. The deal, in which NEC will buy 100% of the company’s shares from existing shareholders, valued the Swiss firm at more than $2.2 billion (CHF 2.05 billion), is billed at enabling Avaloq to “accelerate” its “growth, global expansion, and value creation strategy.”

“With NEC, Avaloq found a perfect new home to continue our success story of serving our clients with solutions that make their lives simpler in an ever more complex world,” Avaloq CEO Jürg Hunziker said. Company founder and chairman Francisco Fernandez added that acquisition would help the company continue to “invest heavily in R&D,” and highlighted the two firms’ shared emphasis on the “caring about customers and people.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in April 2021. The company will continue to operate as its own entity, based in Zurich.

First introduced to our audiences at our developers conference, FinDEVr London, in 2017, Avaloq made its Finovate debut a year later at FinovateEurope with a demonstration of its goal-based, wealth management solution. The cloud-based microservice enables wealth managers to provide risk-optimized investment objectives for their clients, which helps ensure that the client and their investment preferences, concerns, and risk tolerance are at the center of the investment advisory experience.

With more than 150 clients in 30 countries and nearly $5 trillion (4.5 trillion CHF) in client assets managed using its software, Avaloq recently announced partnerships with Belgium’s Banque Degroof Petercam in October and integrated with Enterprise Bot, an conversational AI and automation solution provider, in September. Also that month, FintechNews Switzerland featured Avaloq Group Chief Product Officer Martin Greweldinger, author of a report on the need for wealth managers to “democratize” their offerings to a wider audience in order to survive and grow.

“This democratization requires wealth managers to deliver personalized advice at scale while addressing the specific needs of this new affluent clientele through a balance of industrialization, innovation, and individualization,” Greweldinger noted. Read more about Avaloq’s report.


Photo by Bing HAO on Unsplash

A Look at the Top 50 Fintech Companies in Europe

The following is a guest post from Scott Raspa, Head of Marketing, Hydrogen.


The European fintech scene has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. One of the key drivers of this growth is open banking. This is causing financial institutions and fintechs to partner together to provide more innovative, user-friendly solutions for consumers throughout Europe.

European consumers are receptive to the idea of non-financial players offering financial products, according to EY’s Global FinTech Adoption Index 2019. The survey finds that fintech adoption throughout Europe, especially in countries such as the Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, are well above the global average of 64%, and aren’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon.

Below is a list of the top 50 fintech companies in Europe, based on their valuations.

RankingCompanyFundingValuationCountry
1Adyen$266M$22BNetherlands
2NexiPublic$8.2BItaly
3Klarna$1.4B$5.5BSweden
4Checkout$380M$5.5BU.K.
5Revolut$917M$5.5BU.K.
6Transferwise$1.1B$5BU.K.
7Greensill$1.7B$3.5BU.K.
8N26$782.8M$3.5BGermany
9Oaknorth$1B$2.8BU.K.
10IZettle€273.2M$2.2BSweden
11MetroBankPublic$1.92BU.K.
12Wefox$268.5M$1.65BGermany
13Funding Circle$746.4M$1.5BU.K.
14Monzo£384.7M$1.24BU.K.
15Rapyd$170M$1.2BU.K.
16Ledger$88M$1.2BFrance
17AvaloqCHF350M$1.1BSwitzerland
18Deposit Solutions$198.9M$1.1BGermany
19Ivalua$134.4M<$1.0BFrance
20Sumup$425.6M$1.0BU.K.
21Radius Payment£150M$1.0BU.K.
22Numbrs$78.8M$1.0BSwitzerland
23Monese$80.4M$1.0BU.K.
24Worldremit$407.7M<$900MU.K.
25Ebury$123.5M>$900MU.K.
26Oodle Car Finance£160M>$850MU.K.
27Qonto$151.5M>$770MFrance
28Starling Bank£363M>$600MU.K.
29Atom Bank£429M$590MU.K.
30Raisin$206M<$550MGermany
31Tradeplus24$103.5M>$550MSwitzerland
32Kreditech$347.5M<$500MGermany
33Pleo$78.8M$500MDenmark
34Smava$188.7M$500MGermany
35Tink$205.5M>$500MSweden
36Pagantis€76.2M>$400MSpain
37Gocardless$122.3M>$400MU.K.
38Wynd$123.5M>$400MFrance
39Moneyfarm$127.3M>$400MU.K.
40Soldo$83.2M>$400MU.K.
41Ratesetter£43M$360MU.K.
42solarisBank€155.1M$360MGermany
43Bitstamp$12.4M$350MU.K.
44Tinubu Square€79.3M>$350MFrance
45Nutmeg$153.6M$318MU.K.
46Banking CircleN/A$300MDenmark
47BIMA$170.6M$300MSweden
48LendInvest$1.3B>$300MU.K.
49PayFit$101.1M>$280MFrance
50Curve$74.2M$250MU.K.

These companies have raised over $16.8B (€14.3B) in venture capital funding and are valued, collectively, at over $92B (€78B).

The U.K. fintechs are valued at nearly $40B (€34B). The Netherlands are second, all thanks to Ayden, the most valuable fintech in Europe.

The U.K. has also invested the most money, nearly $11B (€9.4B), almost 65% of the funding of these top 50 fintech companies. After the U.K., Germany and Sweden have invested the most with 12.9% ($2.1B / €1.78B) and 12.4% ($2.0B / €1.7B) of the overall funding, respectively.

Fintech Enablement in Europe

Here at Hydrogen we work with companies all over the world. Our award-winning fintech enablement platform enables organizations to quickly and easily build fintech products and components. Whether you want to offer a PFM app in France, a challenger bank in the U.K., or issue cards in Germany, Hydrogen is here to help. Hydrogen has pre-built integrations, workflows, business logic, and UI already built in and available in white labeled/no-code modules or through our robust API.

It’s free to get started, so start building with Hydrogen today!


*Note: Funding information was provided by Crunchbase.com and the Euro, Pound, and US Dollar conversions were based off of today’s conversion rate. Also, total funding amounts didn’t include public companies or companies where we couldn’t identify the funding received.


Photo by H. Emre from Pexels

Finovate Alums Earn Top Honors in Wealthtech 100

More than ten Finovate alums have earned spots on Fintech Global’s second annual Wealthtech 100 roster. The collection of companies is meant to represent the most innovative businesses operating in the wealth and asset space worldwide.

Companies were evaluated based on a variety of criteria ranging from industry significance and technological innovation to growth in capital raised and the ability of the company to save clients money, boost revenues, or increase efficiency. More than 1,200 companies were provided by Fintech Global to its judging panel of fintech analysts and industry experts.

Here are our winning Finovate alums:

“We’re thrilled to have made the WealthTech 100 list from Fintech Global,” Wealth Wizards said on Twitter after the news was announced. “There are some brilliant U.K. firms included.” Finantix and additiv also tweeted about the announcement this week.

See the full WealthTech 100 roster.

Headquartered in London, U.K., Fintech Global provides comprehensive data, insights, and analytical tools on fintech around the world.

Moven Powers KSA-Based Neobank; Nigerian Fintech Scores $10 Million

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Dusseldorf, Germany-based apoBank partners with Avaloq.
  • German challenger bank N26 announces withdrawal from the U.K. market.
  • Sifted highlights the “fastest growing fintech startups in Germany.”

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A partnership between Moven and STC Pay seeks to launch a new challenger bank in Saudi Arabia.
  • The biggest bank in the country by assets, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), has joined the RippleNet payment network.
  • Wamda interviews more than 600 startups as part of its examination of pre-seed startups in the MENA region.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Uber establishes its Uber Money team at India’s Hyderabad Tech Centre.
  • Deal Street Asia looks at how fintechs in India are re-invigorating banking.
  • BusinessWorld reviews ways fintech in India can help “bridge the gap” between banks and the public.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • In a round led by DOMO Invest, Brazilian P2P marketplace IOUU locks in $1.3 million in its latest funding round.
  • Chile-based investment platform Fintual teams up with Invermerica in new foray into Mexican market.
  • Brazilian fintech Bloxs Investimentos raises $690,000 in new funding to build out its collective investment platform.

Asia-Pacific

  • Vietnam’s central bank refuses to cap foreign ownership of e-payment companies at 49%.
  • Fintech News Singapore features “6 Agri-Fintech Startups in Asia to Follow in 2020.”
  • Thailand-based “crowdfunding bonds” fintech PeerPower announces pre-Series A round funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian fintech Aella Credit secures $10 million in debt financing.
  • CNBC Africa looks at how fintechs can help South African consumers avoid “credit traps.”
  • VentureBurn highlights the work of South African financial inclusion specialist Meerkat.

Top image designed by Freepik

SoftBank Showers Latin American Fintechs with Millions in New Capital

SoftBank Backs Latin America

Last week, the international fintech buzz was all about the booming investment in African startups. As you can see in our sub-Saharan Africa section below, that buzz continues as analysts wonder how African fintechs can best leverage their good financial fortunes of late.

But this week, it’s all about Latin America as fintechs from Mexico to Argentina lock in triple digit investments. What’s especially interesting is that two of the week’s biggest beneficiaries – Konfio and Uala – have the same participating benefactor in SoftBank.

The investment in Argentina’s Uala was the first time the Japanese-based firm had funded a company from Argentina, but not SoftBank’s first funding in the region. The firm invested $1 billion in Colombian delivery app Rappi in April of this year. SoftBank has a deeper history investing in Mexican startups, having funded payments startup Clip and used car buying platform Kavak. SoftBank is also especially active in Brazil; the firm led a $140 million round for the country’s e-commerce solution provider VTEX in November.

FinovateEurope Goes to Berlin!

It’s not too early to start thinking and planning for 2020 – especially with our first conference right around the corner in February.

After six years of basing our annual European fintech conference in London, Finovate is crossing the channel and setting up our stage in Berlin, Germany next year. Our new FinovateEurope location will also feature a new event format designed to ensure attendees maximize their time at the conference. Take a look at our developing agenda to see what we have in store February 11th through the 13th.

Here’s our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore’s FinAccel, maker of Kredivo, raises $90 million in round led by Asia Growth Fund and Square Peg.
  • Maybank Group, the fourth largest bank by assets in Southeast Asia, goes livewith Avaloq’s banking suite.
  • South Korea announces plans to launch opening banking system before year’s end.
  • Vymo brings AI-powered sales coaching to insurance giant Sompo.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Can Africa’s fintech startups learn from the experience of M-Pesa? TechCrunch considers the opportunities now available thanks to recent positive funding trends.
  • A partnership between Smartstream and Union Systems will help African FIs digitize their post-trade environments.
  • QuartzAfrica takes a look at the “niche ecosystems” that are developing amid Africa’s rapidly expanding fintech industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Berlin, Germany-based SME digital banking platform Penta teams up with SumUp.
  • First Investment Bank (Fibank) goes live with the first, PSD2-compliant, open banking platform in Bulgaria.
  • Tinkoff GDRs will be included in MOEX Russia indices next month.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Sudan’s Nile Bank is the latest FI to choose Oracle’s Flexcube core banking solution.
  • Temenos teams up with Egyptian National Post Organization.
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority inks fintech pact with Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier.

Central and Southern Asia

  • DriveWealth helps Indian investors access U.S. stocks via new partnership.
  • Indian banking technology provider TCS Financial Solutions migrates three credit unions to a cloud-version of its TCS Bancs system.
  • Paysend introduces worldwide money transfers to Uzbekistan.
  • Sri Lanka’s central bank examines the possibility of applying blockchain technology to streamline KYC processes for FIs.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Uala, a money management app from Argentina, raises $150 million in Series C round led by Tencent and SoftBank.
  • Mexican SME credit assessment specialist Konfio closes $100 million investment from SoftBank.
  • MercadoLibre picks up $125 million loan from Goldman Sachs.

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zopa Raises $182 Million En Route to Full Bank Launch
  • Banks Shift to Automation in 2020

Around the web

  • Fenergo teams up with PwC to provide KYC compliance and client onboarding as managed services.
  • SumUp forges partnership with German fintech Penta which will offer the company’s card reader to its customers.
  • Personetics joins Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) Global Startups Program.
  • Temenos inks partnership with Egyptian National Post Organization.
  • Maybank Group, the fourth largest bank by assets in Southeast Asia, goes live with Avaloq’s banking suite.
  • Installment payment specialist Splitit partners with smart bed solution provider ReST.
  • SoFi scores New York BitLicense, which will permit the company to offer crytocurrency trading services in the state.
  • Jack Henry to provide a comprehensive technology upgrade, including deployment of its SilverLake core system, for Parkside Financial Bank & Trust.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Nigerian Fintechs Near $400m Week; Ant Financial Eyes License in Singapore

The nearly-$400 million poured into fintech companies in Nigeria alone this week is being remarked upon as a testament to the growing investor interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The three recipients of the new capital in recent days are OPay ($120 million), Interswitch ($200 million), and PalmPay ($40 million). The investors include Sequoia Capital China and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as China’s Transsion and Visa.

For comparison, African fintechs raised $357 million in all of 2018, according to a 2019 report from the GSM Association, The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted in the Financial Times on the week’s funding news, Guaranty Trust Bank chief executive Segun Agbaje credited the payments industry for the surge in investment, calling the growth in the sector “probably like no other on the continent.”

Finovate made its African debut last year in Cape Town, South Africa. For an in-depth look at recent trends in African fintech, check out Jonathan Gregson’s “Africa’s Fintech Makeover.”

China’s impact on international fintech is also evident in the news that Ant Financial is considering applying for a virtual banking license in Singapore. Successfully securing such a license would enable Ant Financial to compete against Chinese incumbents like DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ant Financial secured a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong last year.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s digital bank Neon raises $94 million in round led by General Atlantic and Brazil Banco Votorantim.
  • Biz Latin Hub’s Craig Dempsey makes the case for Mexico as the fintech sector to watch in 2020.
  • Mexican non-bank wallet service Todito Cash inks partnerships with four financial payment solutions companies.

Asia-Pacific

  • Ant Financial may be one the hunt for a Singaporean virtual banking license, reports Bloomberg, following the online finance titan’s recent scoring of a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong.
  • InstaReM rebrands as Nium, announces cross border payments partnership with Cambodian banking group, PhillipBank.
  • Indonesia’s biggest banking group, Bank Mandiri will use the Avaloq’s Banking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigeria’s OPay raises $120 million in new funding. The investment adds to the $50 million the mobile payments service raised in June.
  • Asilimia, a Kenya-based fintech that helps SMEs access more efficient mobile payment solutions, secures $350,000 in funding.
  • South African digital commerce fintech Vectra wins Seedstars Cape Town competition.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Revolut reaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
  • Latvia-based, P2P lending platform TWINO surpasses €1 billion euros in originated loans.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A partnership between BPC and WeNet will bring a new instant payments system to Yemen.
  • ZagTrader wins full certification for its market making technology from Bourse Kuwait.
  • In partnership with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Wethaq pilots Sukuk issuance on its securities market infrastructure.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Perfios, a fintech software company based in Bengaluru, raises $50 million from Warburg Pincus and Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Pakistan’s Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.
  • CredoLabNeener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • BlueVine Raises $102.5 Million in New Funding
  • Aerospike Raises $32 Million for NoSQL Data Platform
  • ACH Alert Partners with Apiture to Fight Payments Fraud

Around the web

  • ACI Worldwide announces strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver Universal Payments technology via Microsoft Azure.
  • Citi extends its existing contract with Temenos to continue using its Multifonds Global Accounting solution.
  • Arkose Labs and Trusona earn spots on CNBC’s 2019 Upstart 100.
  • Quadient awarded gold for sustainable development.
  • Salt Edge crosses the mark of 600+ integrated PSD2 APIs.
  • ACH Alert partners with Apiture to offer ACH Alert’s fraud detection services to Apiture’s 450+ customers.
  • Bank Mandiri selects Avaloq for wealthtech.
  • Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • New Experian Credit Solution Brings Enhanced Predictive Performance
  • Finovate Global: Visa’s Minority Stake in Interswitch Creates Africa’s Latest Fintech Unicorn

Around the web

  • Avaloq completes acquisition of Derivative Partners.
  • TransferWise to offer $150,000 in prize money to Singaporean bank customers to help them defray the cost of hidden fees charged by their banks.
  • DefenseStorm completes (SOC)2 Type II Audit examination for its security data platform.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • WeInvest Bolsters its WealthTech with the Launch of StratWealth.
  • Kofax Embraces AI and ML as Intelligent Automation Platform Evolves
  • Financial Literacy Focused Best of Show Winner Zogo Unveils 11 New Partners

Around the web

  • Thurgauer Kantonalbank integrates Avaloq’s e-banking solution to its existing platform.
  • MoneyGram launching Ripple’s XRP in multiple markets.
  • FIS brings core banking technology to Apple Bank.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Avaloq Seeks Exit: M&A or IPO?
  • eToro’s Latest Acquisition Boosts its Crypto Presence
  • IBM and Bank of America Partner on Public Cloud for Financial Services

Around the web

  • DefenseStorm names Chief Revenue Officer Steve Soukup as its new President.
  • NICE Actimize introduces its new Federated Learning capability that offers higher fraud detection via Collective Intelligence.
  • Fiserv inks global agreement with German grocery industry leader ALDI.
  • GoCardless to use TransferWise’s API, TransferWise for Business product, and provide TransferWise’s FX rates to its customers.
  • PayKey forms SBI PayKey Asia, a joint venture with SBI Holdings that will support the sales and market launch of PayKey across the region.
  • ThetaRay taps Moran Goldwein as SVP for Human Resources.
  • Infinex to integrate Jemstep’s Advisor Pro to deliver digital advice to Infinex’s client firms.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.