Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.


Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”


Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on Finovate.com

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CallVU Teams Up with Banca Transilvania to Boost Mobile Banking.
  • Finovate Global: Fintechs Merge and Rebrand in Vietnam; Tinkoff Launches New Voice Assistant Oleg.
  • Hi Oleg! Tinkoff Launches Virtual Assistant.

Around the web

  • Jscrambler introduces self-healing JavaScript to fight code tampering.
  • AlphaPoint sets up shop in Switzerland to access the growing market for tokenization in the country.
  • BlueRush announces that its Best of Show winning IndiVideo platform has topped $100,000 in committed monthly recurring revenue.
  • AiThority interviews founder and CEO of Arkose Labs, Kevin Gosschalk.
  • Global alternative asset manager EJF Capital joins the Artivest platform.
  • INTELid Digital ID blockchain platform integrates ValidSoft’s voice recognition technology.
  • Choosemycompany.com recognizes YSEOP on itsAtWork and HappyIndex.
  • Ayondo’s COO and CFO resign.
  • NDGIT receives Finance IT Innovation Award 2019.
  • Fenergo enters the Taiwanese market through a partnership with TUNG-I Information Services (TUNG-I).

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

  • Twisto Closes $15.7 Million Capital Raise.
  • FinovateSpring Best of Show Winners Announced.
  • Welcome to FinovateSpring’s Conference Day.

Around the web

  • ID.me launches discounts for new affinity groups: nurses, age segments, and alumni.
  • TechCrunch: SoFi launches Gig-focused ETF.
  • Ayondo inks deal to sell UK unit for £5.7m.
  • Cornèr and NDGIT partner to provide direct access to third-party service providers under PSD2 regulation.

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

  • Capital Bank of Jordan Selects Backbase for Digital Transformation.
  • StockTwits Launches Free Online Trading.

Around the web

  • Validis’ DataShare to integrate with Baker Hill NextGen.
  • Insuritas partners with Nymeo FCU to launch digital insurance agency.
  • SGX orders Ayondo to shelve planned disposal of unit.
  • TechCrunch reports: Coinbase launches in 11 countries with crypto-to-crypto conversions.
  • Jack Henry & Associates recognized on Forbes’ America’s Best Employers List for third consecutive year.
  • Flywire integrates with TRUE North to connect the application, enrollment and cross-border payment and receivables processes to bring transparency to education payments.

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.

ayondo Goes Pro

Social trading company ayondo announced a new professional trading platform this week. A complement to the Singapore-based company’s B2C product, ayondoPRO caters to the needs of professional traders.

Specifically, ayondoPRO clients will be able to trade more than 2,000 instruments with leverage of up to 200 times. Participants can also join a Spread Rebate Program that gives clients part of the spread they have paid back to their trading account. And professional traders don’t need to sacrifice ayondo’s standard benefits such as negative balance protection and free additional insurance that covers each Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) eligible customer up to $1.3 million in excess of the FSCS standard.

To qualify as a professional for an ayondoPRO account, users must:

  • Have executed significantly sized leverage trades at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the last four quarters
  • Have a financial instrument portfolio, including cash deposits, exceeding $569,000
  • Currently work or have worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position

“With ayondoPRO, professional and experienced traders will benefit from a combination of excellent service, great trading conditions, and customer protection. We have seen a lot of demand for a platform that provides high-leverage with trading conditions offering tight spreads,” said Raza Perez, Chief Product Officer of ayondo. “The launch of ayondoPRO is part of our commitment to keep improving and investing in our B2C product offering while introducing a PRO White Label facility for B2B clients, at the same time.”

Founded in 2008, ayondo offers a brokerage platform that lets users copy the moves of top traders to optimize returns. At FinovateEurope 2013, the company unveiled a new version of its service, its London brokerage, and a trader career training curriculum. The company became the first fintech to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange this March, following a failed reverse takeover deal from Starland Holdings. Earlier this fall, ayondo formed a white-label agreement with Phnom Penh Derivative Exchange to provide its TradeHub to its derivative broker clients in Cambodia.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Boku Acquires Mobile ID and Authentication Company Danal

Around the web

  • CU Broadcast interviews Larky CEO Gregg Hammerman on what credit union CEOs are prioritizing for their members’ engagement today.
  • IdentityMind protects FIs with virtual currency risk assessment.
  • 32 fintechs graduate from Envestnet | Yodlee’s incubator.
  • Token brings Open Banking to Mena region.
  • Coinbase continues to explore support for new digital assets.
  • The city of Rye, NY partners with Passport to manage parking.
  • Mortgage Cadence integrates Radian’s mortgage insurance service into its Enterprise Lending Center solution.
  • The CX Show interviews SaleMove co-founder and CEO Dan Michaeli about creating contact center leaders.
  • TechCrunch interviews Transferwise cofounder and CEO Kristo Käärman on growing money transfers despite global turbulence.
  • Pendo Systems partners with Azimuth GRC and Global Comply.

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

  • Finn AI Closes $11 Million Series A.
  • Plaid Signs Open Banking Agreement with JPMorgan.
  • Moven Enterprise Goes Global.

Around the web

  • Klarna pairs up with Rancourt to let shoppers pay over time.
  • Credit Karma launches new personalized shopping experience.
  • Temenos ramps up AI efforts to power its digital banking platform.
  • Feedzai launches AI-powered Feedzai Genome to help users visualize and fight financial crime.
  • Jumio stays ahead of fraudsters with certified 3D liveness detection.
  • Clover announces additions to its Partner Portfolio with enhanced integrations with Nav, AP Intego Insurance Group, and Gusto.
  • Ayondo forms white label agreement with Phnom Penh Derivative Exchange to provide TradeHub for derivative brokers trading CFDs for PPDE’s clients in Cambodia.

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 Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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

Asia-Pacific

  • MoneyTap, DLT-based payment app developed by SBI and Ripple goes live in Japan.
  • Indonesia’s biggest telecommunications company, Telkomsel, picks Kinetica to support its accelerated analytics, location-based visualization and AI.
  • Ayondo expands B2B offering in Asia with a new white label deal.
  • First Circle, a lending platform for SMEs based in the Philippines, has raised $26 million in new funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Daon Inks Deal with South Africa’s Capitec Bank.
  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia deploys UP Retail Payments from ACI Worldwide.
  • Ivory Coast subsidiary of Togo-based Banque Atlantique goes live with Temenos’ T24 core banking system.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank customers can now add “cash postcards” – automated images with sound – to their money transfers.
  • Payfone partners with Orange to fight identity fraud in four new global markets, including Poland and Romania.
  • Ukraine’s Akhmetov Bank leverages Corezoid’s cloud-based operating system.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Daon partners with Akbank, making the Turkish bank the first in the country to deploy facial recognition technology for mobile banking authentication.
  • Alcazar Capital Limited (ACL) to launch $100 million global fintech fund in collaboration with Fintech Consortium’s InQvest Partners.
  • Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange launches Sahmi, a new integrated digital platform for individual investors.

Central and South Asia

  • Bank of Punjab, based in Lahore, Pakistan, implements core banking technology from Oracle.
  • Entrepreneur.com considers the effect Indian fintechs have made on financial inclusion in India.
  • VC Circle looks at the rise in investment in insurtech innovators like India’s PolicyBazaar.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian challenger bank Nubank raises $180 million in funding.
  • UniBank Panama to implement biometric authentication technology from Ipsidy.
  • COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union (COKCU) of Jamaica to modernize its core processing technology courtesy of a new partnership with Smart Solution.

Top image designed by Freepik

 

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Klarna Rakes in $20 Million in Fall Funding Round

Around the web

  • Entrust Datacard named Employer of Excellence.
  • Ayondo expands B2B offering in Asia with a new white label deal.
  • Tradeshift appoints Silicon Valley veteran as its First CLO, CCO.
  • eToro cuts crypto costs to support mass adoption.
  • Roostify announces bidirectional integration with Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage 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 Global: Fintech News from the Periphery

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

Africa

  • TechCrunch profiles Africa-focused microlender, Branch, which recently picked up an investment of $70 million.
  • IT News Africa takes a look at the demand for “senior leaders” in Africa’s growing fintech industry.
  • International money transfer firm PaySend partners with Access Bank Nigeria

CEE

  • Polish Financial Supervision Authority signs MoU with Hong Kong Monetary Authority to encourage fintech collaboration.
  • U.K.-based cross border payments company Ebury opens first office in Bucharest, Hungary. (In Hungarian.)
  • Crowdfundinsider notes the surge in number of registered fintechs in Lithuania courtesy of report from Invest Lithunia.

Asia

  • ayondo celebrates being the first fintech to list in Singapore.
  • Sri Lanka’s largest bank, Bank of Ceylon, to deploy anti-money laundering solution from CustomerXP.
  • Central Bank of Malaysia establishes open API implementation group to develop standards for financial sector.

MENA

  • World Finance Magazine awards Temenos Best Islamic Banking & Finance Software Solution at 2018 Islamic Finance Awards.
  • RAKBANK, also known as The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, launches contactless cash withdrawal facility for its more than 170 NFC-enabled ATMs.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) signs MoU with Middle East Venture Partners to support development of the area’s capital technology ecosystem.

LATAM

  • Nubank Challenges Brazil’s Big Banks in Wake of $150 Million Funding Round.
  • Mexico enacts legislation to regulate its fintech sector.
  • Colombian roboadvisor Ualet wins honors as Latin America’s Most Innovative Startup at industry event sponsored by Finnovista.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • TESOBE’s Open Bank Project Powers API for Forty Seven Bank.
  • TD Bank to Deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Malauzai to Power Mobile Banking Tech for Axiom.
  • Endor Raises $45 Million in ICO.

Around the web

  • ayondo celebrates being the first fintech to list in Singapore.
  • TD Bank leverages nCino’s Bank Operating System across corporate and commercial lending divisions.
  • CustomerXPs‘ Clari5 to power real-time AML solution for Bank of Ceylon.
  • PayActiv appoints COO.

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 Global: Fintech News from Asia, Africa, MENA, Latin America, and CEE

With our first conference in Dubai last month, FinovateAsia back on the Finovate calendar and our first trip to Africa scheduled for later this year, Finovate VP Greg Palmer’s observation that “the sun never sets on the Finovate Empire”, rings all the more true.

Here’s a look at some of the latest fintech news from places where technological innovation helping create better life opportunities for those who need it help most.

Asia

  • Ayondo to list on Singapore Exchange.
  • Kreditech partners with PayU to launch PayU Monedo in India, which offers cardless EMI for online purchases.
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade for Vietnam (Vietcombank) picks trade finance platform from Finastra.

Africa

  • Angola’s domestic payments processor EMIS migrates to EMV chip and pin courtesy of solution from Gemalto.
  • Standard Chartered Bank launches digital bank in Cote d-Ivoire
  • Partnership between Mastercard and Uganda’s M-Kopa brings QR payment technology to pay-as-you-go, pilot solar energy program.

MENA

  • Turkish digital wallet firm, BKM introduces payment-without-checkout shopping experience.
  • Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia unveils contactless bracelets and stickers for tap-and-go shopping.
  • Entrepreneur India looks at how a Bahrain-based payments firm, Arab Fianncial Services, is taking its business to India.

LATAM

  • Banking Technology: Banpro launches Finn.ai’s first Spanish-speaking virtual banking assistant.
  • Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City introduces its inaugural cohort of startups: Billin from Spain, Facturedo from Chile, and Expediente Azul, Pagamobile, and Quotanda from Mexico
  • Tech Bullion highlights the new report on international fintech’s expansion to the Latin American market from Finnovista.

CEE

  • Money.pl looks at the number of Polish companies that demoed at FinovateEurope 2018 this month.
  • The Bank of Lithuania reaches out to developers interested in its regulatory sandbox platform for blockchain projects, LBChain.
  • Romanian bank Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) launches accelerator program, Elevator Lab with five startups, Gauss Algorithmics, SONECT, 360kompany, Asteria, and Moxtra.

Top image designed by Freepik