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.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • BanQu launches partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to revolutionize supply chain transparency in Zambia.
  • WorldRemit unveils new digital money transfer service for Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • Forbes looks at the presence of fintech specialists – including representatives from Azimo and Standard Chartered – during UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent visit to South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Entrepreneur.com features Fintech OS in a discussion on fintech innovation in Romania.
  • Fortytwo Data opens its first international office in Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Hungary to go live with instant payments in July of 2019.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Finastra joins Bahrain FinTech Bay to promote fintech innovation in the Middle East.
  • FinTech Hive, the biggest accelerator in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia introduces its incoming startup cohort – 50% of which is fintech.
  • Sarwa, a wealth tech innovator based in the UAE, raises $1.3 million in pre-Series A funding.
  • United Bank of Egypt leverages technology from Finastra to upgrade its core banking infrastructure.

Central and South Asia

  • India-based IT consultancy Wipro inks agreement with Alight Solutions.
  • Legendary investor Warren Buffett reportedly casts his gaze on India’s fintech market.
  • Tech in Asia features the 20 top-funded fintech companies in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • NICE provides its Desktop Automation solution to Latin American CRM and BPO solution provider, Liq.
  • Fintech Futures publishes a look at neobanks in Latin America.
  • LATAM Tech features Christine Chang of Startupbootcamp on the fintech startup scene in Latin America.

Asia-Pacific

  • Fiserv to power Philippine Veterans Bank’s digital transformation.
  • Bangkok Bank invites fintech startups to apply to its 12-week, InnoHub accelerator program.
  • Standard Chartered appoints Deniz Güven as CEO for its virtual bank in Hong Kong.
  • Visionet Data International and SmartPesa bring mPOS payment service, Mobey, to Indonesia.

Top image designed by Freepik

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

  • InComm launches Google Play gift cards in Thailand as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Bank of Thailand announces plans to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
  • Indonesia’s KoinWorks, an online P2P lending marketplace, locks in $16.5 million in funding.
  • Singapore-based crypto payments startup, Terra, raises $32 million in funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Azimo forges strategic partnership with African payments business, Interswitch Group.
  • Nigerian payment startup Paystack picks up $8 million Series A investment in round led by Stripe.
  • South Africa-based bitcoin wallet Luno tops two million customer milestone.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank becomes Founding Partner of World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity.
  • A pair of fintech entrepreneurs from Latvia have bought Colorado National Bank for $8.97 million.
  • Bank of Russia’s Corporate University hosts workshop on functioning of regulatory sandbox.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Modo teams up with Etihad Airways to build loyalty solution for airline industry.
  • Emirates NBD launches DirectRemit service to the U.K.
  • Forbes Middle East profiles the fintech industry in Lebanon.

Central and South Asia

  • India-based startup PaySpoon to provide mobile-first credit options for consumers.
  • ZestMoney, a digital lending startup based in Begaluru, has raised $13.4 million in Series A funding.
  • Entrepreneur India explains why new entrepreneurs should “consider fintech as a sweet spot.”

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Compass Plus migrates Brazilian prepaid card issuer, BPP, to its platform.
  • PYMNTS.com looks at partnerships between fintechs and traditional FIs in Mexico.
  • Wirecard Brazil introduces new financial features for its entrepreneur customers.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • SigFig Buys SmartWealth from UBS.

Around the web

  • Compass Plus migrates Brazilian prepaid card issuer, BPP, to its platform.
  • UBS shutters its robo advisor, SmartWealth, selling technology to SigFig.
  • Azimo forges strategic partnership with African payments business, Interswitch Group.
  • BehavioSec unveils its Behavioral Biometrics Platform, which boosts security with invisible, continuous authentication.
  • PayPal’s Xoom partners with Ria Money Transfer to accelerate global expansion in 86 countries.
  • Bluefin and SoftPoint partner for comprehensive PCI-Validated P2PE solution for POS systems.
  • NCR appoints Andre Fernandez as Chief Financial Officer.
  • Kony teams with Payveris to help banks deliver digital money movement services.
  • Cryptoline News: Payfone’s technology now used to prevent SIM swap attacks.

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.

Azimo Adds 10 Countries for Nordic Users

For international remittance platform Azimo, the world just became a bit more flat. That’s because the U.K.-based company recently expanded its services to allow customers to send money to 10 more countries.

Azimo users in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden can now send funds to bank accounts in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Hungary. Other recently-added countries include the Philippines, Nigeria, China, and Poland.

The Nordic region is a strategic focus for Azimo. The purpose of the company’s recent $20 million in funding round from Rakuten Capital was to fuel Azimo’s growth in Nordic countries as well as in the broader European region. And the demand can be seen in the metrics– the number and volume of transfers from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have increased by more than 150% in the last year.

Founded in 2012, Azimo has raised a total of $66 million. The company debuted its global money transfer platform at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. The platform allows users to send money in the recipients’ local currency directly to their bank account. Last year, the company reported triple-digit growth.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • BlueRush’s IndiVideo to Boost Customer Engagement for Meridian Credit Union.
  • Tradeshift Collaborates with MakerDAO on Blockchain Payments.
  • Azimo Adds 10 Countries for Nordic Users.

Around the web

  • Inc. talks to Kabbage about why its holding off on an IPO.
  • Lendio has helped facilitate nearly $120 million in growth capital through 5,000 loans to small businesses in California to date.

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

  • Fortytwo Data Upgrades Entity Screening Platform.

Around the web

  • Munnypot honored for Best Website DFM/WM and Most Innovative Robo Advice/Guidance Proposition at the Investment Marketing and Innovation Awards 2018.
  • ThreatMetrix announces a new 3D Secure 2.0 offering as part of its summer 2018 release.
  • CREALOGIX takes over remaining 80% of ELAXY Business Solution & Services from Fiducia & GAD.
  • Azimo enables customers in Nordic countries to transfer money to accounts in 10 new countries in Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Inverse highlights Revolut’s planned U.S. launch.
  • Jack Henry & Associates named a top workplace by The Tennessean for fourth consecutive year

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.

Azimo Raises $20 Million in New Funding

International money transfer innovator Azimo has locked in $20 million (£15 million) in new funding. The Series C investment was led by Rakuten Capital, and featured participation from a host of investors including e.ventures, Frog Capital, GR Capital Partners, Greycroft Partners, MCI, Quona Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. The new funding takes Azimo’s total capital to $66 million.

Founder and CEO Michael Kent said the funding would help the company improve its platform and continue to grow its customer base. He added that Azimo would continue to focus on the European market, which he referred to as “the largest, most diverse and chronically underserved money transfer market in the world.”

Rakuten Capital managing partner Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel credited Azimo’s ability to keep customer acquisition costs low as one of the benefits of its partnership with the London-based fintech. “Customer acquisition costs have dropped by two-third since we first got involved with Azimo,” he said. “This latest funding will comfortably bring the business to sustained profitability within 12 months.”

Japan-based Rakuten Capital has been a consistent investor in fintech companies, including funding for other Finovate alums like CurrencyCloud, BlueVine, and Kreditech. Mielczarek de la Miel told The Financial Times that growth in the international digital money transfer industry has not only attracted investors, but also made firms like Azimo “very coveted assets,” that could be the target of acquirers.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, U.K., Azimo demonstrated its international digital money transfer service at FinovateEurope 2013. The company offers safe and secure money transfers, verified by MasterCard and Visa, to more than 195 countries and in more than 60 different currencies. Azimo provides instant cash delivery to more than 50 countries, and most money transfers are processed in less than 24 hours. Azimo’s mobile app, available at Google Play and the Apple App Store, gives users instant updates and real-time currency alerts, as well.

With more than 1.5 million registered customers and more than $1 billion in annualized sending volume, Azimo has made significant additions and enhancements to its coverage in recent months. The company announced new, improved service to China in March and last December, Azimo revamped its service in Nigeria to bring faster transfers and broader cash delivery options. Also that month, Azimo launched its cash pick-up service in the Philippines.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Lidya Scores $6.9 Million in Series A Investment.
  • Azimo Raises $20 Million in New Funding.
  • WorkFusion Closes Add-On Funding Round.

Around the web

  • Baker Hill to provide loan origination technology for Old Point National Bank, a Virginia-based FI with $988 million in assets.
  • Multiple-time Best of Show winner CREALOGIX adds cryptocurrency and blockchain market data to its Digital Banking Hub.
  • EdgeLab honored as MarketPlace Provider of the Year at the Temenos Partner and Customer Awards.
  • MarTechSeries features Persado’s AI platform.
  • CryptoGlobe: Currencies Direct Completes Successful European Pilot of Ripple’s xRapid and Calls XRP ‘A Game Changer.’
  • Payworks teams with Visa to enable omnichannel payments for CyberSource’s merchants.
  • ThetaRay wins Asian Banker Risk Management Award for “Regulatory Technology Implementation of the Year.”
  • Revolut unveils its “App Store for Business Banking” solution, Revolut Connect.

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

  • Tink Teams Up with BNP Paribas Fortis, Brings PFM, Aggregation, Payments to Belgium Bank’s Mobile App.

Around the web

  • TransferWise selects Wirecard to issue a debit card alongside its digital borderless account offering.
  • Vipera partners with Mastercard to launch new mobile payment service, SME Pay.
  • Thomson Reuters teams up with MarketPsych to introduce sentiment data feed for Bitcoin.
  • Azimo unveils new, improved money transfer service to China.

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.

Azimo Brings Faster Money Transfers to Nigeria

International remittance service Azimo has sped up money transfers in Nigeria. Just shy of a year after launching its service in the African country, the U.K.-based company announced last week it has enhanced that service.

The revamped money transfers empower users to receive cash at all major Nigerian banks 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, depending on the availability of the payout partners. Additionally, the service ensures that money sent from 22 European countries to the Nigerian market will reach recipients within 30 minutes, including on weekends.

Faster money service to Nigeria has the potential to make a real difference in the country. According to the press release, “64% of transfers to the country [are] sent for family support – including to pay for hospital and food bills – a speedy service every day of the week is essential.” Azimo also leverages its own network to offer money transfers at a lower rate than traditional, brick-and-mortar services.

Azimo was launched in 2012 to serve as a better way to send funds around the world. Its digital network enables customers to send money to more than 190 countries from any internet-connected device. The company debuted its global money transfer platform at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. Earlier this year, Azimo updated its service to add instant transfers to the Philippines.