Stripe Goes Live in Mexico; Revolut in Singapore; Lidya in Poland

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.

Fresh off a successful return to Singapore for FinovateAsia, we are happy to announce that FinovateMiddleEast will be back in Dubai next month, November 20 and 21. For more information about our upcoming fintech conference in the UAE, visit our FinovateMiddleEast page today.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Berlin-based, pan-European digital debt marketplace, CrossLend, picks up €34 million in round led by Santander.
  • Bank of Lithuania names IBM and Tieto as finalists in its LBChain technology initiative.
  • Islamic, mobile-only, challenger bank insha goes live in Berlin, Germany.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Partnership with Diebold Nixdorf helps Lebanese Bankmed become first bank in country to introduce cash recycling.
  • Bloomberg Intelligence recognizes the UAE as the world’s top Islamic fintech hub, with Bahrain as a rising challenger.
  • MAGNiTT and ADGM launch new publication focusing on fintech and venture capital funding in the MENA region.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Pakistan’s JS Bank launches chat banking via WhatsApp.
  • Western Union enables real-time payments and money transfers to India.
  • Paytm president Madhur Deora encourages Indian fintechs to appreciate the differences between Indian and Chinese markets “and adapt accordingly.”

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Stripe makes its Mexico debut.
  • Brazilian fintech Nubank reaches 15 million customer mark.
  • Posnet, a First Data/Fiserv company, helps Argentine consumers make purchases using digital wallets and QR codes.


  • Revolut launches in Singapore after successful 30,000 customer beta.
  • CIMB Bank Singapore completes first structured trade finance transaction on blockchain.
  • In partnership with Compass Plus, Mongolia’s largest bank, Trade and Development Bank (TDB) introduces the nation’s first instant card issuance project.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian digital SME lender Lidya expands to Poland and the Czech Republic.
  • Fintech Futures features Absa’s Thabo Makoko on the challenges and opportunities in the African payment industry.
  • Ghana government makes plans for a cashless future.

Top image designed by Freepik

Lidya Launches SME Lending Platforms for Poland and Czech Republic

Digital small and medium enterprise (SME) lender Lidya is launching its platform in Poland and the Czech Republic, marking the Nigerian firm’s first international expansion into Europe since it was founded in 2016 in Lagos, reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

Lidya’s launch in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region is being led by former CEO of Polish lender Idea Money, Tomasz Sekalski, and the former head of retail banking for ING Bank Czech Republic, Libor Vanicek. Sekalski and Vanicek will become country directors for Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively.

The company’s proposition is to provide loans within 24 hours to SMEs and create 100 million jobs worldwide. To date, it has raised nearly $10 million.

“Through Lidya, we have the opportunity to empower the growth of SMEs in Africa, Europe and around the world,” said Lidya’s co-founder, Ercin Eksin. “SMEs create the most number of jobs and significantly contribute to GDP. We are on a mission to support the creation of 100 million jobs in fast-growing economies.”

The fintech says it has issued more than 10,000 loans in Nigeria, and aims to become the largest lender in the country’s market for SMEs by the end of this year.

“We are planning to disburse €1 billion to small businesses in Poland and the Czech Republic over the next five years,” said fellow Lidya Co-founder, Tunde Kehinde.

Eksin demonstrated Lidya’s credit scoring algorithm at FinovateFall 2016. The demo showcased how the bank helps small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) share or upload their bank data to manage cash flow, customer data, and create and send digital invoices. To help businesses smooth lumpy cashflow held up in invoices, Lidya lends from $500 to $50,000 without requiring the business to visit a physical branch.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Investment Firm Takes Minority Stake in OurCrowd.
  •’s New Release Targets Midmarket Companies.
  • DriveWealth Teams with Nigerian Trading Platform.
  • Lidya Launches SME Lending Platforms for Poland and Czech Republic.

Around the web

  • CU Broadcast features Larky CEO and Co-founder Gregg Hammerman.
  • eToro partners with The TIE to develop unique sentiment-driven investment strategies for traders.
  • Trustly launches Trustly Live to bring instant cashless payments to land-based casinos and sportsbooks.
  • Home Bank renews relationship with Baker Hill, adding Baker Hill NextGen CECL and Baker Hill NextGen Business Loan Origination.
  • Salt Edge to power PSD2 API for Habib Bank AG Zurich.
  • Chetu earns #3 for dollar growth and #15 for percentage growth at the SFBJ technology awards 2019.
  • Insuritas to power bank-owned insurance agency for Signature Bank of Georgia Partners.

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.


  • Lidya Scores $6.9 Million in Series A Investment.
  • Kenya finance ministry publishes draft of initial regulations its digital lending industry.
  • Fintech Futures profiles Cameroon-based crypto wallet and exchange app, Interstellar.


  • Argentine lending platform Moni raises $3 million in funding.
  • Brazil’s central bank launches new fintech sandbox, Laboratório de Inovações Financeiras e Technológicas (LIFT).
  • MarkitSERV extends network of derivatives clearinghouses to include Mexico’s Asigna.


  • Czech Republic’s Worldcore announces completion of its cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Is fintech an “opportunity or threat” to emerging Europe?
  • Czech utility conmpany, Pražská Plynárenská, to accept payments in bitcoin.


  • Ant Financial inks deal with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, its third deal with an established Chinese bank in a week.
  • Malaysian fintech Jirnexu raises $11 million in Series B led by Japan’s SBI Group.
  • Philippine government points to northern Philippines as a future blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech hub.


  • Emirates NBD teams up with Diebold Nixdorf to introduce digital kiosk, Emirates NBD EasyHub.
  • ADGM and KPMG Lower Gulf announce FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge.
  • Emirates NBD introduces its NBD Accelerator Auto Loans program.

Top image designed by Freepik

Lidya Scores $6.9 Million in Series A Investment

Nigeria-based digital bank Lidya landed a fresh round of funding this week. The bank pulled in a Series A round totaling $6.9 million, an amount that marks the round as one of Nigeria’s largest tech investments. Combined with the $1.25 million Lidya received last March, today’s round brings the bank’s total funding to $8.2 million.

Omidyar Network led the round and was joined by new investors, Alitheia Capital, Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures; as well as existing investors Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital. Ameya Upadhyay, Principal at Omidyar Network, is slated to join Lidya’s board of directors.

“We are excited by the overwhelming support from the investor community, which signals a great confidence in our business model and team,” said Ercin Eksin, Lidya co-founder. Lidya will use the funds to expand its loan book, scale in Nigeria, enter new markets in Africa, and onboard more employees, specifically data scientists and engineers.

“Access to flexible, affordable credit is at the crux of unlocking growth in the MSME sector. Lidya is addressing that by using smart algorithms to analyze transaction data from small businesses to assess their creditworthiness,” said Upadhyay. “This data-driven approach allows the company to offer loans without the need of hard collateral– a requirement that has scuttled MSME financing in Africa. In the process, Lidya gathers insights that help expand its product portfolio to become a holistic partner to small businesses.”

Eksin demonstrated Lidya’s credit scoring algorithm at FinovateFall 2016. The demo showcased how the bank helps small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) share or upload their bank data to manage cash flow, customer data, and create and send digital invoices. To help businesses smooth lumpy cashflow held up in invoices, Lidya lends from $500 to $50,000 without requiring the business to visit a physical branch.

Since it was founded in 2016, Lidya has extended 1,500 loans to help SMEs in industries ranging from farming to technology. The bank was recently accepted into MasterCard’s Start Path Program, an accelerator program that supports the next generation of commerce solutions.

Interested in learning more about the state of fintech in Africa? Check out FinovateAfrica, held in Cape Town, South Africa on November 27 and 28, 2018.

Finovate Alumni News


  • 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.

Ready for a Sneak Peek? How to Best Prepare for FinovateFall


To give you a sense of the many new ideas at the upcoming FinovateFall conference in New York, we’ve launched our Sneak Peek series. Eight companies are featured each week leading up to the 8/9 September event (tickets now available).

In the meantime, here is a quick summary of the 66 announced companies (six more are in stealth mode). It’s a lot to take in; pace yourself!

  • Agreement Express offers an an end-to-end platform that helps traditional financial institutions automate labor-intensive parts of the customer onboarding process to remain compliant while quickly opening customer accounts.
  • Aleo’s marketplace uses e-procurement, e-commerce and supplier financing bundled in a single open platform to offer small and medium enterprises an online procure-to-pay solution.
  • AutoGravity’s mobile-first digital marketplace helps digitally minded customers, looking to buy and finance a vehicle, circumvent the inefficiencies of the auto-financing process by leveraging the full potential of their smartphone.
  • Avoka’s customer-acquisition platform integrates multiple fintech services to help banks, wealth managers and insurers use mobile and digital channels to onboard customers.
  • Backbase offers 60-second onboarding for financial services companies to accelerate customer acquisition with a simple, fast, and seamless omnichannel onboarding journey.
  • Bankjoy offers developers a banking API for a modern, real-time, holistic interface for credit unions and community banks.
  • Bitbond’s automated, international credit-scoring mechanism compares small business-loan applicants from different countries by using machine learning and data from the applicant’s business accounts.
  • Bluescape offers large financial services companies a highly interactive, visually collaborative platform that uses real-time, cloud-based architecture that’s ultra-scalable, all-capturing, and accessible anytime from any device.
  • BondIT offers financial advisers and portfolio managers a data-driven solution that uses machine learning advanced algorithms to manage fixed-income portfolios and solve optimization challenges.
  • brandCrowder has developed an alternative investment platform focusing on branded franchises. It leverages 45+ years of franchise-operations experience to help retail investors finance franchises, helping to bring them to market quicker.
  • Clinc’s mobile, voice-activated personal financial adviser uses artificial intelligence to help consumers get answers to financial questions and tasks.
  • Consdata offers banks and financial institutions a comprehensive platform for e-form management and customer-communication complexities.
  • Currencycloud’s dedicated API services use intelligent APIs to help businesses with the cost, limitations, and boundaries of existing payment infrastructure.
  • Daon bridges convenience and security by offering financial services companies a mobile biometric authentication platform that turns a smartphone into a mobile capture device.
  • Divy’s app and social investing community uses an approachable interface and engaging content to help first-time and emerging investors access direct marketing and financial literacy material.
  • Dynamics offers issuers and their cardholders interactive payment cards and an authorization-based, real-time loyalty processing system.
  • ebankIT’s platform offers financial institution clients an omnichannel experience.
  • Econiq’s Conversation Hub uses color-coded conversations to help bank and insurer frontline staff, and operational management and executives avoid disconnected customer conversations in branches and contact centers.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee offers millennials a solution for measuring financial health and promoting a healthy financial lifestyle.
  • Experian CrossCore is a single platform that helps manage customer identities, fraud-prevention tools, workflows and decision strategies in an easy-to-use and scalable format.
  • EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID offers banks and other financial services companies eye biometrics via smartphone cameras for convenient, secure and private authentication.
  • Featurespace’s ARIC Engine helps financial services clients spot and prevent fraud attacks in real time using adaptive behavioral analytics.
  • Finicity offers an API for companies to build financial apps.
  • Fiserv helps financial institutions enable social finance by providing customers access to a safe, collaborative bank-secured social funding product.
  • Full Profile uses the blockchain and smart contracts for real-time settlement and reporting of physical agri-commodities to help farmers, buyers, banks and government counter party and credit-risk exposures.
  • FutureVault’s cloud-based filing cabinet helps financial service providers and their clients organize asset documents and accounts using a secure, structured and collaborative B2B2C cloud environment.
  • GainX’s SaaS platform uses decades of market research and leading-edge technology to help large financial institutions overcome innovation and adaption failures.
  • GoodData helps large banks, credit-card processing and insurance companies commercialize and monetize their data using a scalable, manageable and secure platform that is exclusively designed for data products and embedded analytics.
  • iBank Marketing offers millennials a multifunction digital wallet to help them achieve personal goals around life events by using its local eco-system that bridges consumers and small- to medium-sized enterprises.
  • identitii uses tokens and blockchain to help financial institutions with KYC, CTF and AML compliance using an information layer over legacy systems.
  • InSpirAVE’s social e-commerce platform curates advice and financial support from the user’s friends and family, financial institutions, and merchants. It helps multiply savings, for big-ticket purchases for customers who otherwise may not be able to afford them, by placing important goals for life’s special moments within reach, without the crushing burden of debt.
  • KORE’s platform transforms enterprise applications, online banking and mobile apps into personalized, conversational engagements to help financial institutions meet customer-experience expectations using the power of bots and simplicity of messaging.
  • LendingFront’s lending platform leverages a cloud-based system that furnishes small businesses with capital using their cashflow data.
  • Lidya offers African small- to medium-sized enterprises access to finance using online receivables-based lending and proprietary credit scoring.
  • Liferay’s Digital Experience offers banks a richer understanding of customers by orchestrating personalized customer experiences.
  • M1 Finance places assets held in low-yielding cash accounts into an asset-linked bank account and intuitive investment platform.
  • MapD’s Immerse helps quantitative hedge fund and asset managers query datasets with billions of rows in real-time by applying the parallel processing power of GPUs to the challenges of databases, visualization and analytics.
  • MarketX’s cross-border investment platform helps international investors with the lack of liquidity for U.S. startup shares and limited access to U.S. pre-IPO investment opportunities.
  • ModoPayments offers financial companies a digital payments hub to connect disparate sources of value to diverse destinations using Modo’s COIN technology.
  • Moonraft Innovation Labs helps banks innovate and evolve by rapidly adapting to changing market needs using Catamera, its unique customer experience delivery framework.
  • Moven’s growing platform reaches the millennial, mobile first, digital native audience by bringing banking (specifically savings) into the moment.
  • MX helps financial institutions become true advocates for their account holders by using analytics to power a revolutionary category of data-driven money management.
  • nanoPay offers a payments and loyalty solution for merchants.
  • Overbond’s digital platform offers transparency, efficiency, and liquidity in the fixed income market for corporate issuers, investors, and dealers.
  • Personetics offers financial services providers a digital personalization platform that uses real-time, ultra-scalable predictive analytics to keep customers engaged in the digital age.
  • ProActive FinTech uses a phone app and debit card featuring unlimited mini bank accounts and pre-purchase categorization to help millennial moms with cash-flow management.
  • QE Data offers commercial banking systems a real-time predictive model for net cash-flows that uses machine learning, rich visualization, speedy deployment and real-world banking experience.
  • Qumram uses 100% real-time, video-like recording of every mouse movement, keystroke and button click to help financial services organizations with compliance and transparency issues relating to digital business.
  • RightCapital’s financial and tax-planning platform helps advisers deliver unbundled, quality financial planning and tax-planning services. It works to efficiently and digitally help consumers with the lack of viable business and technology solutions.
  • SaleMove offers financial institutions a live engagement platform to help sell and service complex financial services products online. The platform uses instant video chat and guided browsing with no downloads or installations.
  • Sindeo’s self-directed consumer rate quote and prequalification tool simplifies home financing and refinancing using an integrated platform that offers consumer, real estate partner, and adviser tools that conform to CFPB regulation and ensure a simple and easy consumer experience.
  • SpeechPro’s customer onboarding solution offers multichannel access to help CTOs, developers and other technologists focus on KYC, identity and verification.
  • Swych’s mobile gifting platform offers gift-card recipients a better way to buy, gift, and manage gift cards.
  • Tango Card’s RaaS API 2.0 uses simple-yet-complete delivery technology and domain expertise to help enterprises deliver incentives efficiently and effectively.
  • TokBox’s Financial Services Accelerator Pack offers banks and financial organizations secure and easy-to-embed, real-time communications technology.
  • TransUnion’s interactive data-visualization solution uses big data and analytics to connect and interpret consumer financial data for lenders.
  • Trulioo’s GlobalGateway uses traditional and cyber ID data sources to offer banks, financial services providers, and online marketplaces secure access to reliable, global data sources for instant ID-verification.
  • Trusona’s anti-replay and TruToken technology offers an insured identity platform for sensitive assets.
  • Unbill’s API enables companies to offer bill pay in their app or technology platform without complicated integration or high costs.
  • Uniken’s REL-ID, a card-not-present approval solution, uses mobile API tool kits and DMZ software appliances to help enterprises secure mobile communications.
  • Urban FT’s enhanced, white-label digital banking platform gives financial services organizations, wireless carriers, and other consumer-facing organizations a long-term, competitive advantage that makes their brand integral to customers’ daily financial and online social activities, financial tools, and social features.
  • Xentral Station’s supply-chain funding app helps vendors of all sizes receive cash for trade financing within 24 hours.
  • Zenmonics uses a single, common platform to help banks and their customers minimize friction in customer engagement with channelUNITED.
  • Zooz offers an agnostic, cross-border payments platform to help merchants act on payment processes and save money to maintain their client base.

Stay tuned on the blog for more detailed descriptions. And don’t forget to register now to reserve your spot.