Mortgagetech Roostify Integrates Indecomm’s IncomeGenius; Appoints New COO Nadia Aziz

Mortgagetech Roostify Integrates Indecomm’s IncomeGenius; Appoints New COO Nadia Aziz
  • Roostify announced a partnership with Indecomm that will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius technology into Roostify’s Roostify Beyond platform.
  • The integration will make it easier for Roostify to calculate income for self-employed borrowers.
  • A Finovate alum since 2014, Roostify also announced this week the appointment of Nadia Aziz as its new Chief Operating Officer.

A new partnership with intelligent automation solutions company Indecomm will bring automated income calculation technology to Roostify’s data intelligence solution Roostify Beyond. A Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateSpring 2014, Roostify will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius solution, which will add to its current income calculation capabilities – especially when it comes to income calculations for self-employed borrowers.

“Improving loan assembly and processing costs, and timeframes is an imperative for all lenders in today’s environment,” Roostify co-founder and CEO Rajesh Bhat said. “Roostify Beyond already incorporates income calculation and analysis for the most common employment scenarios. With the integration of IncomeGenius, we can now simplify and automate calculations for self-employed borrowers, an increasingly important use case as the gig economy expands.”

IncomeGenius leverages standardized rules and algorithms to minimize the risks associated with manual data entry. IncomeGenius doubles productivity at loan set-up, reduces time spent on income calculations by 60%, and guarantees 100% compliance with audit requirements, including a complete audit trail. Courtesy of the integration, Roostify Beyond’s Analysis Assistant will send self-employment documentation and data to IncomeGenius, which generates a thorough, self-employment income analysis and GSE worksheet – in accordance with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. IncomeGenius then returns the information to the Roostify Beyond platform for presentation in the interactive Analysis Assistant dashboard.

Roostify launched its Beyond platform near the end of 2021. The latest iteration of the company’s Roostify Document Intelligence (RDI) Service, Roostify Beyond integrates RDI at the start of the lending process, providing borrowers with instant alerts if they upload documentation that is incorrect or illegible without having to engage with a human representative. Roostify Beyond also has data extraction capabilities that allow lenders to highlight data discrepancies, automatically create tasks, and publish document classification and validated information to the loan origination system (LOS).

“When we launched RDI a couple of months ago, we were excited to use data to propel the industry forward,” Bhat said in December when Roostify Beyond was introduced. “Data empowers lenders to spend less time in systems and more time with customers, and we are truly happy to provide our customers with this experience.”

Founded in 2012, Roostify most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage in 2018. In the years since, the company has grown into a mortgagetech leader that helps lenders process more than $50 billion in loans each month. The San Francisco, California-based company counts more than 250 financial institutions as clients and has 150+ employees.

This week Roostify introduced its new Chief Operating Officer, Nadia Aziz. With a focus on home lending, Aziz brings more than 20 years of financial services and fintech experience to Roostify’s C-suite. Before joining Roostify, Aziz was General Manager of Opendoor Home Loans, a digital lending platform for residential real estate.

“Roostify’s goal is to provide lenders with the tools and capabilities they need to deliver an exceptional experience for their customers while ensuring they achieve their business objectives by digitizing the loan origination process,” Aziz said in a statement. “I am excited to help Roostify on this mission and expand our impact on the industry by transforming the home lending journey.”


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FIS Launches Guaranteed Payments Solution for Protection Against Chargebacks

FIS Launches Guaranteed Payments Solution for Protection Against Chargebacks
  • FIS is launching its Guaranteed Payments solution this week that boosts merchants’ ecommerce transaction approval rates and guarantees protection against chargebacks.
  • FIS is partnering with ecommerce fraud prevention company Signifyd to reduce merchant chargebacks.
  • “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. 

Core banking expert FIS is launching a Guaranteed Payments solution this week. The new tool guarantees merchants increased ecommerce transaction approval rates and eliminates the financial liability of chargebacks resulting from fraudulent purchases.

Guaranteed Payments, which is available across the Signifyd Commerce Network and integrated into FIS’ Worldpay platform, facilitates increased merchant approval rates and provides guaranteed chargeback protection. The new technology combines machine learning and transaction intelligence to analyze aspects of a consumer’s purchase, including email address and payment credentials. Leveraging that information, Guaranteed Payments can instantly distinguish legitimate orders from fraudulent orders. The reduced fraud helps merchants optimize revenue and fulfill orders more quickly.

“Guaranteed Payments brings together two powerful sources of transaction intelligence—the Worldpay data stream produced from processing 40 billion orders annually and the Signifyd Commerce Network of thousands of merchants worldwide,” said FIS Chief Product Officer Vicky Bindra. She adds that the new tool can “combine fraud protection with increased approvals to enhance payment optimization and the overall user experience.”

Preventing chargebacks is at the heart of Signifyd’s technology. The California-based company helps identify fraudulent product orders using machine learning algorithms that sift through big data, including user behavior patterns, to reduce merchant chargebacks on fraudulent charges and save money on shipping goods on declined orders. In the event an order turns out to be fraudulent, Signifyd reimburses the merchant for the chargeback.

“Merchants using Signifyd experience a 5 to 9 percent increase in top line conversion on average,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities.”

FIS’ Guaranteed Payments is launching at a time when ecommerce activity and the fraud the comes along with it are at an all-time high. While the ecommerce market is predicted to grow 50% in the next two years, so is the fraud that comes along with it. In the past year, nine out of 10 merchants lost revenue due to payment fraud. False positives are hurting merchants, as well. Even though fraud currently accounts for about 1% of online transactions, merchants routinely reject as much as 9% of orders to avoid fraud, missing out on $443 billion in potential revenue.


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Further Unveils VC Fund Investment Platform

Further Unveils VC Fund Investment Platform
  • Further, a company that helps democratize investing in VC funds, is launching this week.
  • The London-based company enables users to invest as little as £1,000 in startups that are not publicly available.
  • The company allows anyone to invest, as long as they agree not to invest more than 10% of their net assets in shares, bonds, or funds that are not listed or sold on a stock exchange.

London-based Further is launching this week to help democratize investing in VC funds. The company enables users to invest in startups that are not publicly available.

The company’s platform enables users to browse, review, and compare funds, and easily invest as little as £1,000. Once the investment is made, Further enlists U.K. fund managers to invest users’ money into startups that are not generally available to everyday investors. Investors receive returns after around five to 10 years when the startup they invest in exits via sale or IPO.

Accessibility is Further’s differentiating factor. The company allows anyone to invest, as long as they agree not to invest more than 10% of their net assets in shares, bonds, or funds that are not listed or sold on a stock exchange.

That limit is in place for good reason– there is significant risk associated with VC investments. However, while many funds fail, others are quite successful. According to Pitchbook, European VC has delivered an internal rate of return of 14% across a 10-year timespan.

At a time when the public markets are in bear territory, Further’s launch comes at an ideal time. “I’d much prefer to be investing in a fund now and getting the valuations VCs are getting now [rather than last year’s],” Further CEO and cofounder Rob Tominey told Sifted. “The early returns will be strong.”

Further makes money in a couple of different ways. The company charges the funds a marketing fee and also charges investors a small percentage. Consumers also face fees from the funds themselves; each fund they invest in charges fees for onboarding and fund management services. Further argues, however, that the tax benefits users receive help to balance out the expense of the fees. “In addition, the company’s website states, “you can receive tax reliefs alongside each fund’s expert knowledge and management. These tax reliefs typically exceed the lifetime fees charged by funds, although this is not guaranteed.”


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Location Identity Leader Incognia Secures $15.5 Million to Help Fight Identity Fraud

Location Identity Leader Incognia Secures $15.5 Million to Help Fight Identity Fraud
  • Mobile fraud prevention specialist Incognia, which made its Finovate debut in May at FinovateSpring, has raised $15.5 million in Series A funding.
  • The capital will be used to help fuel the company’s growth; Incognia currently has 200 million mobile users in more than 20 countries worldwide.
  • Incognia leverages location and motion sensors to create a unique “location footprint” for trusted users that rivals other authentication methods in accuracy.

In a round led by Point72 Ventures, mobile identity company Incognia has secured $15.5 million in Series A funding to help fight identity fraud. The investment will help fuel the Palo Alto, California-based company’s continued growth, building on the 200 million mobile users in more than 20 countries currently protected by Incognia’s technology.

“Today’s authentication and fraud detection solutions aren’t working for the user, or for businesses, and the market is looking for more innovative technologies,” Incognia founder and CEO André Ferraz said. “Incognia is pushing the frontier of identity assurance and authentication to deliver increased security with minimal user friction.”

Incognia leverages location signals and motion sensors on an individual’s mobile device to help combat identity fraud. The technology creates a privacy-first location identity that is unique to each user and acts like a “location fingerprint” that effectively differentiates trusted users from fraudulent ones. The company says that its solution, which can be deployed in industries ranging from fintech and crypto to gaming and social media, is 10x more accurate than FaceID in terms of uniquely identifying users. Further, Incognia notes that the technology has a false acceptance rate of less than 1 in 17 million.

“We’re emerging as the global location identity leader, effectively combating the increasing fraud on mobile around the world,” Ferraz added. “We’re dedicated to enabling our customers to deliver frictionless mobile experiences without compromising security and privacy.”

Incognia made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2022 in May. At the conference, the company demonstrated how its frictionless fraud prevention solution for mobile apps combats identity fraud without bringing additional friction to the authentication process. The technology’s zero-factor authentication requires no action from the user in order to provide a highly accurate risk assessment with low false acceptance rates.

Founded in 2020, Incognia also recently introduced its new location-based liveness spoofing detection solution module. The offering prevents biometric liveness spoofing during the onboarding process. This particular form of fraud is often used by cybercriminals to create “money mule” accounts for money laundering – as innovative fraudsters have turned to liveness spoofing to get around selfie-based liveness detection algorithms. The challenge of liveness spoofing has become even greater with the availability of cheap – or even free – deepfake video technology. Incognia’s location-based liveness spoofing detection module is designed to prevent these deepfake attacks in real-time.

“As fraudsters advance their techniques to trick liveness detection tools, it is critical that there is a solution on the market that can successfully combat the use of deepfakes at onboarding,” Ferraz said.


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Finovate Newcomer Lokyata Integrates its Credit Decisioning Technology with Infinity Software

Finovate Newcomer Lokyata Integrates its Credit Decisioning Technology with Infinity Software
  • Lokyata, a credit decisioning specialist, announced a partnership with Infinity Software.
  • The integration will make Lokyata’s BankAnalyze solution available to Infinity Software’s financial services customers.
  • Lokyata, founded in 2017, made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring earlier this year.

Just over a month after making its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2022 in San Francisco, California, credit decision solutions provider Lokyata has announced that its real-time, automated credit decisioning tool, BankAnalyze, is now integrated with Infinity Software’s loan management software platform.

Courtesy of the API-enabled integration with Lokyata, Infinity Solutions will give its customers the ability to access key loan decision information. This includes customer-permissioned bank statement analysis such as average monthly net income, minimum balance, average monthly loan payments, and insufficient funds (NSF) notification histories. The integration will also enable lenders to configure both auto-fund and auto-deny rules to bring additional streamlining to the loan decisioning experience.

“At Lokyata, we are always looking to work with innovators in the market and Infinity Software is demonstrating the value of scalable, modern technology in an evolving lending ecosystem,” Lokyata CTO Steve Bireley said. “Increasingly, lenders are looking for ways to responsibly help more consumers gain access to credit, and through tools like BankAnalyze and Infinity Software’s platform, more lenders are successfully meeting that goal.”

With 20 years of experience providing lending solutions and other tools to direct-to-consumer lenders, Infinity Software has helped more than 700 businesses enhance their lending processes. The company uses a configurable loan product engine that gives lenders access to advanced accounting and reporting, as well as a built-in collections suite and access controls. Infinity Software offers a wide range of services to lenders, ranging from website design to optimized loan agreements to automated underwriting waterfalls, as well as a number of additional consumer loan solutions.

“Infinity has worked with hundreds of vendors to meet the needs of lenders in our space,” Infinity Software Director of Products Shannon Lee said. “Lokyata has proven to have a unique product that helps lenders better meet the needs of underserved borrowers and grow their business in a responsible and innovative way.”

Currently headquartered in Washington, D.C., Lokyata made its Finovate debut last month at FinovateSpring 2022. At the conference, Lokyata’s Bireley demoed the company’s BankAnalyze solution. The technology assesses the bank statements from a loan applicant and then provides an automated credit decision recommendation based on a combination of a weighted rules and a Lokyata score created in collaboration with the client. The company believes that using borrower-permissioned data is a major boon to the lending process, creating a more accurate, and up-to-date depiction of the borrower’s credit status. Moreover, Lokyata says that this approach “primes” near and subprime borrowers by making it easier for financial institutions to lend to “near prime” borrowers without taking on excessive risk.

Lokyata’s other products include ExcelRate, a lending and lead decision platform, and FraudBlock, a real-time identity verification and fraud intelligence solution for financial transactions. With $1.5 million in funding, Lokyata has scored more than 6.1 million loans impacting more than 240,000 customers. Founded in 2017, the company has raised $1.5 million in funding. Santosh Thiruthi is co-founder and CEO.


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Digital Bank Kroo Receives Full U.K. Banking License

Digital Bank Kroo Receives Full U.K. Banking License
  • Digital banking startup Kroo received a full banking license from the Bank of England.
  • Kroo will use the new authorization to offer personal current accounts in the coming months.
  • The full banking license places Kroo in competition with Monzo, Starling Bank, and Atom Bank.

Digital banking startup Kroo just received a full banking license from the Bank of England. With the new authorization, the U.K.-based bank plans to offer personal current accounts (checking accounts).

Founded in 2016, Kroo offers a prepaid Mastercard with a tandem mobile app that provides spending insights, peer-to-peer money transfers, bill-splitting capabilities, and more. The payment card, which is biodegradable, works in more than 75 countries.

Kroo will add current accounts to its product line “in the coming months.” After launch, the company will offer its 23,000 customers the option to migrate to the new offering for free.

Kroo CEO Andrea De Gottardo said that the banking license represents a “phenomenal milestone” for the company, which has a mission to create a bank that connects people financially. “The bar to be granted a U.K. banking license is exceptionally high, and I am incredibly proud of the team and our work in achieving this,” De Gottardo added.

Having a full banking license helps Kroo differentiate itself from the massive number of competitors in the digital banking space, since the accreditation enables the bank to protect customers’ deposits of up to £85,000 via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Along with this, the license allows Kroo to offer a wider range of products, including loans and savings.

Kroo is only the second bank to earn a full banking license with a personal account since 2016. Having the full license places Kroo in competition with major digital banks, including Monzo, Starling Bank, and Atom Bank. Other European-based digital banks RevolutKlarna, and Wise, have yet to receive their full banking licenses.

Today’s news comes weeks after Kroo closed on a $30 million (£26 million) Series B funding round. The investment brought Kroo’s total funding to $71.5 million.


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Array and Alkami Technology Team Up to Help Banks Boost Digital Engagement

Array and Alkami Technology Team Up to Help Banks Boost Digital Engagement
  • Two Finovate alums – Alkami Technology and Array – have teamed up to help financial institutions offer credit and identity solutions to their customers.
  • The partnership makes three of Array’s signature solutions: My Credit Manager, ID Protect, and Offers Engine, available to a wider range of bank and credit union customers and members.
  • Alkami made its Finovate debut in 2009 as iThryv. Array won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2021 and again at FinovateSpring 2022.

A new partnership has been forged between digital banking solution provider Alkami Technology and financial enablement platform Array. The collaboration will bring a range of new solutions to Alkami clients that will help their customers and members better monitor their credit, benefit from anti-fraud identity monitoring, and access actionable, credit-based offers.

“Improving the digital-first banking experience is a top priority for banks and credit unions,” Alkami founder, Chief Strategy Officer, and Product Officer Stephen Bohanon said. “Our partnership with Array enables banks and credit unions to provide added-value products to account holders, which increases engagement and potentially revenue as well.”

Among the solutions that will be made available to Alkami’s bank and credit union partners are Array’s My Credit Manager, ID Protect, and Offers Engine. My Credit Manager keeps users updated on changes to their credit score, enables them to explore different credit scenarios with a credit score simulator, allows them to conduct debt analysis, as well as see how different factors impact their credit score. With ID Protect, users can take advantage of a number of anti-fraud protections including identity and Dark Web monitoring, alerts, insurance, and restoration services in the event of identity theft. Array’s Offers Engine empowers banks and credit unions to better market their products and services to customers and members using targeted, actionable offers that are based on the individual’s actual credit circumstances.

“Today’s success formula for personal service includes a mix of in-branch experiences and digital tools that add value to account holders every time they log in,” Array co-founder and CEO Martin Toha explained. “Alkami and Array are making it easier than ever to help banks and credit unions deploy a consistent roadmap of innovative digital products for account holders.”

A Finovate alum since 2009, when it debuted at FinovateSpring as “iThryv,” Alkami has grown into a leading digital banking solution provider. The Plano, Texas-based fintech serves both retail and business customers with onboarding, engagement, and account servicing. Clients can enhance their use of the Alkami platform with upgrades and leverage both Alkami’s product suite, as well as integrated, third-party solutions to enhance and customize their experience. Alkami is a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker “ALKT,” and has a market capitalization of $1.3 billion.

Winning Best of Show honors in its Finovate debut at FinovateFall last September and again in its return to the Finovate stage last month for FinovateSpring, Array is a financial enablement platform that specializes in embeddable and white label solutions. Founded in 2020, the company enables its clients to boost end customer engagement by providing them with innovative credit and identity solutions that enhance the customer experience.

Array raised an undisclosed amount of funding in June 2021 from Operator Partners and the FIS FinTech Accelerator in Partnership with The Venture Center. The company is based in New York City.


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Raisin Bank’s Newest Acquisition Helps it Expand into Bulk Payments and Cash

Raisin Bank’s Newest Acquisition Helps it Expand into Bulk Payments and Cash
  • Raisin Bank has agreed to acquire the payment division of Bankhaus August Lenz.
  • The move will help Raisin Bank diversify its revenue sources by adding payment services to its product lineup.
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Banking-as-a-service player Raisin Bank is adding cash and payment services to its product lineup. This comes as the Germany-based firm has acquired the payment division of Bankhaus August Lenz, a private bank headquartered in Munich. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The move will help Raisin Bank diversify its revenue sources by adding payment services. The new capabilities enable Raisin Bank to offer customers electronic payment transactions and cash solutions. Bankhaus August Lenz’s Mirko Siepmann will head up the new division, which aims to help retailers, restaurant, gas stations, and non-bank operators of ATMs, facilitate the operation of more than 4,500 ATMs in Germany. 

“As a service bank, we will act much more independently and powerfully with the expansion of our payment solutions and continue our growth in the banking-as-a-service market throughout Europe advance,” said Raisin Bank Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Andreas Wolf. “With the new business area, we can position ourselves even better as a provider for bulk payments.”

Raisin Bank, previously MHB-Bank, was founded in 1973. The bank acquired European fintech Raisin in 2019 and has since been working toward its goal to become the leading banking-as-a-service provider in Europe. The bank offers digital solutions to help startups, institutional investors, and financial service providers seeking banking licenses to enhance customer and account management, payment transactions, and lending. Raisin Bank stated in today’s press release that adding payment services represents an “important strategic step on the way to becoming a powerful full-service provider.”


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Glia Acquires Finn AI for Undisclosed Sum

Glia Acquires Finn AI for Undisclosed Sum
  • Digital customer service firm Glia agreed to acquire conversational AI technology company Finn AI.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Glia Co-founder and CEO Dan Michaeli said that Finn AI is a strong fit for Glia because of its technology, market approach, and company culture. 

Digital customer service firm Glia is enhancing its offering with its recent acquisition of conversational AI technology company and fellow Finovate alum Finn AI.

Financial terms of the agreement, which will integrate Finn.ai’s conversational AI solutions into Glia’s customer service platform, were not disclosed. Glia Co-founder and CEO Dan Michaeli said that Finn AI is a strong fit for Glia because of its technology, market approach, and company culture. 

“This marks a new chapter for Virtual Assistants: Verticalization with Scale,” Michaeli said. “Generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ bot providers have largely failed to meet the full potential of conversational AI, leading to the emergence of vendors focusing on specific industry verticals. Until now, none of the financial services bot vendors have been able to achieve widespread adoption on their own.”

Finn AI Co-founder and CEO Jake Tyler said that joining forces with Glia will offer Finn AI scale. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Finn AI aims to transform customer engagement and increase financial literacy with its AI-powered conversational banking technology. Among the company’s clients are ATB Financial, BECU, United Federal Credit Union, EQ Bank, Civista Bank, and Truist Momentum.

According to the press release, Finn AI and Glia have a lot of shared clients, and Finn AI’s technology is already integrated into Glia. Post-acquisition, the company’s leadership team will take on leadership positions within Glia. As for Finn AI’s Canadian headquarters, Glia plans to use the location to establish a “Conversational AI Center of Excellence.”

Glia was founded in 2012 as SaleMove. The company offers digital communication choices, on-screen collaboration, and AI-enabled assistance tools. Glia, which has taken home 10 Finovate Best of Show awards for its live demos, most recently showcased its tools at FinovateSpring 2021. Finn AI also boasts accolades from the Finovate audience, having taken home two Finovate Best of Show awards for its demos at FinovateAsia 2016 and FinovateFall 2017.

Payments Solution Provider SumUp Raises $624 Million at a Valuation of $8.5 Billion

Payments Solution Provider SumUp Raises $624 Million at a Valuation of $8.5 Billion
  • E-commerce payments enabler SumUp raised $624 million (€590 million) in a combination of equity and debt financing this week.
  • The funding round was led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.
  • This week’s investment gives SumUp a valuation of $8.5 billion (€8 billion).

In a round led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities – and featuring participation from funds managed by BlackRock, btov Partners, Centerbridge, Crestline, Fin Capital, and Sentinel Dome Partners – e-commerce payments innovator SumUp has secured an investment of $624 million (€590 million). The funding gives the London-based company a valuation of $8.5 billion (€8 billion). SumUp co-founder Marc-Alexander Christ said in a statement that the capital will “enable us to continue to build out our product ecosystem, expand into new markets, (and) pursue value-adding acquisitions.”

The funding was a 50/50 mix of debt and equity and includes SumUp’s first equity infusion since 2017. The company’s total funding stands at $1.6 billion – most of which is debt financing. SumUp secured €750 million in debt funding in 2021.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Christ called the company’s new valuation “true and fair”. This statement comes months after it was reported that SumUp was seeking an investment that would give the company a significantly higher valuation – to the tune of $21 billion (€20 billion). Christ suggested that the current valuation reflects “the price people put on the company in the worst of markets” and that SumUp’s valuation was unlikely to move any lower in the future.

SumUp won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. In the years since, the company has grown to serve more than four million businesses with its payment solutions that range from card readers and point of sale solutions to business accounts and invoicing. The company began this year teaming up with Worldpay from FIS to support its global expansion efforts. SumUp will use Worldpay’s global acquiring services, including authorization, clearing and settlement, dispute management and data insights.

Also this year, SumUp announced a referral deal with Latin American and European e-commerce platform PrestaShop. The partnership gave “hundreds of thousands” of merchants on the PrestaShop platform access to SumUp’s product suite of payment solutions and business tools. Nearly 300,000 websites rely on PrestaShop’s technology, and the company sees its collaboration with SumUp as part of its strategy to enable more merchants to launch and scale their businesses.

“By partnering with PrestaShop, we will continue to expand our support for digital transformation of small businesses, by ensuring their products and services are also available online for their customers,” SumUp Head of Sales and Partnerships James Henry said. “Our partnership will enable merchants with a seamless and secure payment experience for all major credit and debit cards, an important tool in enabling small business success in today’s environment.”

Founded in 2012, SumUp is headquartered in London. Daniel Klein is founder and CEO.


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Shopify Unveils More than 100 New Features

Shopify Unveils More than 100 New Features
  • Ecommerce company Shopify has unveiled more than 100 new announcements today.
  • Among the top new releases are a marketplace that allows fans to use their NFTs to receive personalized benefits and a tool that allows merchants to sell to their audience on Twitter.
  • The announcements were made as part of Shopify Editions, Shopify’s new, semi-annual showcase of fresh tools and updates for its merchant clients.

Ecommerce player Shopify is debuting Shopify Editions, the company’s semi-annual showcase of new tools and capabilities for merchant clients. In today’s announcement, the company is unveiling more than 100 new updates and launches to power what it is calling Connect to Consumer (C2C).

“Welcome to Shopify Editions, where twice a year we show you everything that we’ve been building,” Shopify stated on its website. “We know that brands need new ways to engage with their customers—and that means creating new connections. So this release of Editions features everything you need to win in the new era of commerce: Connect to Consumer.”

Here are some highlights of features Shopify has released so far this year:

  • Point of Sale, which helps merchants sell to customers where they are, including in-person, online, and anywhere else.
  • Hydrogen and Oxygen, which helps any size of merchant start, build, and deploy custom storefronts.
  • B2B on Shopify, an offering that enables Shopify Plus merchants to sell to other businesses on the same platform that they use for selling direct-to-consumer.
  • Shopify Markets, which makes it easy for merchants to engage with and sell to buyers in international markets.
  • Tokengated Commerce, a marketplace that allows fans to use their NFTs to receive personalized benefits such as exclusive merchandise and early access to product releases.
  • Twitter Sales Channel, a tool that allows merchants to highlight their products on their Twitter profile and sell to their audience on Twitter.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone, which leverages a partnership with Stripe to enable Shopify point-of-sale merchants to expand into offline retail without additional hardware.
  • Local Inventory on Google, a tool that automatically notifies nearby customers when a product is available in store.
  • Shopify Functions, which allows developers to extend or replace Shopify’s backend logic with custom code.

Shopify has also released some smaller updates over the past six months. The company has added data sharing controls, money management tools, carbon neutral shipping options, and its Shopify Capital tool has increased the funding limit for first-time borrowers.

For a look into the rest of the 100+ announcements Shopify is making today, check out the Shopify Editions release page.

While many of the new releases themselves are notable, so is the way the company has decided to unveil them. By rolling up all of the new updates and releases into one large announcement, Shopify is able to make a big deal of even the smallest of updates. For fintechs with fast development cycles and international rollouts, this could be a good model for complex public releases.

Canada-based Shopify was founded in 2004 to bring ecommerce websites and tools to retailers. Since then, millions of businesses in 175 countries have used Shopify to make over $496 billion in sales. Tobias Lütke is CEO.


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DigiShares Receives Grant from Polymesh Association to Support Tokenization of Securities

DigiShares Receives Grant from Polymesh Association to Support Tokenization of Securities
  • Two Finovate newcomers – DigiShares and the Polymesh Network – have teamed up to promote the use of tokenization to create and manage securities.
  • The partnership comes in the form of a grant from the Polymesh Ecosystem Development Fund (EDF), a part of the not-for-profit Polymesh Association.
  • DigiShares is headquartered in Denmark and demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2021; Polymesh is based in Switzerland and demoed its technology a year later at FinovateSpring 2022.

Digishares, a Danish white-label platform for tokenizing real estate, is the first company to receive a grant from the Polymesh Ecosystem Development Fund (EDF). The EDF is a creation of the Polymesh Association, which is a part of Polymath, the company behind the Polymesh Network. The Polymesh Network is an institutional-grade, permissioned blockchain for regulated assets that was featured in Polymath’s Finovate debut last month at FinovateSpring.

With $10 million in funding, the EDF is designed to financially support companies and projects that can bring value to the Polymesh ecosystem. DigiShares received its grant for integrating Polymesh and expanding the Polymesh ecosystem to DigiShares’ network of clients and partners. Additionally, DigiShares will facilitate the migration of its clients’ current ERC-1400 assets from Ethereum to Polymesh. DigiShares has supported ERC-1400 on Ethereum since 2019 and been an early supporter of Polymesh, as well, having joined the company’s partnership ecosystem back in January of 2021. The integration announced this week will allow issuers to DigiShares’ tokenization platform to create and manage security tokens on Polymesh.

“Polymath has been a long and trusted partner of DigiShares and we are proud to soon support the Polymesh blockchain,” DigiShares CEO Claus Skaaning said. “We believe that Polymesh has long term potential to lead the security token space.”

The grant award announcement arrives weeks after the Polymesh Association introduced its Ecosystem Development Fund, which itself follows the listing of Polymesh’s native token POLYX on Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world. The fund is a wager that financially backing businesses that can help promote wider adoption of Polymesh will prove an effective way to incentivize companies to build, integrate, and use the institutional-grade blockchain infrastructure.

“The Ecosystem Development Fund delivers two benefits to service providers,” Polymesh Association Head of Tokenization Graeme Moore said. “Successful applicants not only receive funding but they can also attract clients by adding a Polymesh integration to their roadmap.”

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Aalborg, Denmark, DigiShares made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateSpring 2021. At the event, the company demonstrated its white-label tokenization platform for real estate, which adds both automation and liquidity to the property market. The DigiShares platform digitizes and automates both the financing and the corporate management aspects of real estate projects. The platform also provides a bulletin board marketplace that leverages blockchain technology and peer-to-peer trading without counterparty risk.

Among Finovate’s newest alums, Polymath demonstrated its Polymath Token Studio at FinovateSpring last month in San Francisco. The Token Studio is an interface that enables the user to create, issue, and manage blockchain-based securities. “Thanks to blockchain and tokenization we can reduce the costs of creating, issuing, and managing securities by over 90%,” Moore explained from the Finovate stage in May. “Banks, custodians, transfer agents, broker-dealers and these other service providers can give their clients new and fresh experiences, and we can create new securities and new financial instruments that previously weren’t possible.”

Polymath and the Polymesh Network are based in Zug, Switzerland. Vince Kadar is Polymath CEO.


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