German Neobroker Trade Republic Earns $5 Billion Valuation; Binance Labs Secures $500 Million to Fund Web3

German Neobroker Trade Republic Earns $5 Billion Valuation; Binance Labs Secures $500 Million to Fund Web3

European investment and savings platform Trade Republic has topped up its 2021 Series C round with an investment of €250 million led by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. The funding gives Trade Republic a valuation of more than $5 billion (€5 billion), and will enable the company to “double down” on its product.

“We are amid a transformation of pension systems in Europe,” Trade Republic co-founder Christian Hecker said. “The financing will help us to invest strongly into product innovation to empower millions of Europeans to put their money to work. Improving our valuation in the light of the current market environment is the true testament to our progress in the last twelve months and the large potential ahead.”

Trade Republic enables its more than one million European customers to invest in equities, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as fractional savings plans. With more than six billion euros in assets under management, Trade Republic offers investors the ability to invest in 9,000 stocks and ETFs; take advantage of 4,000 stock and ETF savings plans; and participate in more than 50 cryptocurrency-based savings plans. Trade Republic also provides access to 300,000 derivatives including warrant bonds, “knock-out products”, and factor certificates.

Trade Republic was founded in 2015 by Christian Hecker, Thomas Pischke, and Marco Cancellieri. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.


Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of international cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has raised $500 million to invest in companies that are “building Web3”. The capital comes from VC firms DST Global and Breyer Capital, and featured participation from a variety of family offices and corporations which remained unnamed.

The new fund arrives at a time when cryptocurrrency prices are in a significant retreat. Binance Labs has suggested that the current weakness in digital asset prices might provide an opportunity for investment in companies involved in everything from NFTs to blockchain infrastructure. “The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more,” Binance Labs Executive Director of Investments and M&A Ken Li said.

The new fund will invest in projects in a wide range of development stages including incubation, early-stage venture, and late-stage growth. Binance Labs has invested in and incubated more than 100 projects from more than 25 countries. The firm’s portfolio includes companies such as blockchain research firm Dune Analytics, as well as blockchain networks such as Elrond, The Sandbox, and Polygon.


In other international fintech news, Canadian Finovate alum Buckzy Payments announced an expansion to the Netherlands and its plan to pursue an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license. The company, which demoed its real-time cross border P2P payments solution at FinovateFall 2019, opened a new office in Amsterdam this summer. The firm also noted that an EMI license will enable members of the Buckzy Payment Network to leverage virtual account services and real-time payments across the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) of 36 European countries and territories.

“Europe is a mature, technologically advanced market that is also a hotbed of fintech innovation thanks to its adoption of open API technology,” Buckzy President and CEO Abdul Naushad said. “(This) has opened up the financial sector and created opportunities for innovative new companies to provide new products and services. More and more of our customers around the world want to send and receive real-time payments to and from Europe, and we are enabling them to do so.”


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia


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Temenos Serves Up ESG Investing-as-a-Service

Temenos Serves Up ESG Investing-as-a-Service
  • Banking technology provider Temenos is launching ESG Investing-as-a-service.
  • The tool will help banks and wealth managers offer a digital experience that allows end customers to build an investment portfolio that reflects their values.
  • The move comes amid a time of major growth for ESG investing, which is expected to exceed $53 trillion by 2025.

ESG investing has been on the rise for the past couple of years. According to Bloomberg, money held in sustainable mutual funds and ESG-focused ETFs rose by 53% in 2021 to reach $2.7 trillion and ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025. Banking software provider Temenos has taken note of this and is launching a new tool to help banks and wealth managers compete in the new environment.

Temenos’ ESG Investing-as-a-service, which can be run in the cloud or on-premise, combines Temenos’ market data management and digital capabilities such as filtering, scoring, and modeling techniques with external data feeds. The company generates easy-to-understand ratings to evaluate hundreds of ESG factors such as carbon footprint, water usage, diversity and gender equality, and executive compensation.

“At Temenos, our purpose is to power a world of banking that creates opportunities for everyone,” said Temenos Product Director of Wealth Alexandre Duret. “With the new ESG Investing service, we will help private banks and wealth managers to become compliant, and their customers invest with a purpose. Available as a service on our open platform for composable banking, it provides a fast track for our banking clients to launch innovative ESG investment products underpinned by robust, compliant processes, including new MiFID rules applicable in the EU from August 2022.”

Banks and wealth managers can leverage the tool to create ESG compliant products, with a lower cost of development. Ultimately, they can offer a digital experience that allows end customers to choose investments that they feel good about and build a portfolio that reflects their values.

Temenos serves 3,000+ banking and financial institutions worldwide representing 1.2 billion end customers. The Switzerland-based company has embedded sustainability practices into its own operations with ESG governance, reporting, and measurable targets. The Carbon Disclosure Project awarded Temenos an A- rating along with platinum recognition.


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Fintech in India: Neobanks, Crypto Exchanges, and Google Pay Loans

Fintech in India: Neobanks, Crypto Exchanges, and Google Pay Loans

This week’s Finovate Global takes a look at developments in the Indian fintech industry. Leading off is news that Indian neobank Niyo has secured $100 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Accel and Lightrock India and also featured investment from Beams Fintech Fund, Prime Venture Partners, and JS Capital, among others. Niyo, founded in 2015 by Vinay Bagri and Virender Bisht, will use the capital to support product innovation, marketing, and branding, as well as increasing its distribution footprint and adding talent.

“We have always strived to offer tangible value and a delightful experience to our customers,” Bagri said in a statement. “In the process we are transforming the way India banks.” Co-founder Bisht highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the pace of digitization of financial services in the country. “We are seeing massive tailwinds for digital products since COVID,” he noted.

Niyo collaborates with banks to offer digital savings accounts and other banking services. The neobank serves four million customers via its banking and wealth management operations and says that it is adding customers to its platform at a rate of 10,000 new users a day. With more than $3 billion in transactions, Niyo claims it is the biggest consumer-based neo-banking platform in India.

Earlier this month Niyo introduced the country’s first, fully digital salary account. Over the next three months, the company plans to offer additional banking products including personal loans, credit cards, and integrated forex.


The soaring interest in cryptocurrencies is another trend that has accelerated in recent years. To help more institutions take advantage of the opportunities in digital assets, Indian crypto exchange WazirX has unveiled new tools to help institutions build cryptocurrency exchanges.

“We can relate to you when you say – Building a crypto exchange is difficult,” WazirX co-founder and COO Siddharth Menon wrote on the company’s blog earlier this week. “While we have learned it the hard way, we want to simplify it for you.”

WazirX’s BUIDL with WazirX program will enable organizations to build their own crypto exchanges leveraging WazirX. The program includes tools, support, guidance, access to angel and VC investors, and more. The exchanges built via WazirX’s new offering will feature access to 300+ of the highest liquidity markets, and the ability to leverage WazirX’s custody and exchange infrastructure for cryptocurrency withdrawals and deposits.

“To be the world leader, we believe that India should build more for Web3,” Menon added. “This is a billion-dollar opportunity, and that is why we at WazirX are here to support you.”

Founded in 2017, and recognized as India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX enables cryptocurrency traders and investors based in India to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and many other digital assets. The company was acquired by international cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem Binance in 2019. Nischal Shetty is CEO.


From neobanks to cryptocurrencies to embedded finance, we now turn to news that Google Pay users in India are now able to apply for and receive personal loans in their bank accounts via the Google Pay app. Loans of up to $1,332 (100,000 rupees) are available and can be repaid over a period of as many as 36 months.

The new service is being offered in partnership with India-based digital finance company DMI Finance, who also will determine eligibility for the financing. The loans will be processed in “near real-time” and are geared toward supporting financial inclusion by helping Indian consumers access short-term credit.

“Our teams have worked closely together to bring transparent and seamless credit to millions of Google Pay users,” DMI Finance co-founder and joint Managing Director Shivashish Chatterjee said. “We look forward to scaling this new partnership in the years to come and make the promise of financial inclusion a reality for many millions more.”


FinovateEurope 2022 is less than one month away. If you are an innovative fintech company with new technology to show, then there’s no better time than now and no better forum than FinovateEurope. To learn more about how to demo your latest innovation at FinovateEurope 2022 in London, March 22 and 23, visit our FinovateEurope hub today!


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa


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ThetaRay Forges Historic Partnership with UAE’s Mashreq Bank to Enable Secure Cross-Border Fund Transfers

ThetaRay Forges Historic Partnership with UAE’s Mashreq Bank to Enable Secure Cross-Border Fund Transfers

Historic news out of the Middle East leads off our international fintech coverage this week on Finovate Global. Israel’s AI-powered transaction monitoring innovator ThetaRay has been selected by the UAE’s Mashreq Bank to help ensure secure cross-border transfers for its correspondent banking business.

The partnership marks the first time that an Israel-based fintech company has teamed up with a financial institution from the UAE. The collaboration was made possible by the historic Abraham Accords, signed in the fall of 2020, which normalized relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.

“Mashreq Bank is our first customer in the UAE,” ThetaRay CEO Mark Gazit said. “We look forward to accelerating collaboration with additional financial institutions in the UAE and the entire Middle East, as part of the continued expansion of ThetaRay’s global reach.”

Making its Finovate debut in 2015, ThetaRay offers banks and financial payment providers the ability to detect anomalies in multiple data sets, regardless of size or source. This makes the company’s cloud-based, SaaS AI analytics platform is especially effective in monitoring cross-border payments, an area that has become increasingly vulnerable to financial crime – including money laundering – in recent years. ThetaRay estimates that the cross-border payments market will grow from $37.15 trillion in 2020 to nearly $40 trillion by 2026, potentially attracting an even greater number of fraudsters and thieves.

“ThetaRay’s technology, underpinned by advanced machine-learning based models complementing rules, sets the foundation for next-generation transaction monitoring,” Mashreq Bank’s Group Head of Compliance and Bank MLRO Scott Ramsay said. “By combining speed and agility with efficiency, it allows banks to effectively thwart financial crime risks in the increasingly complex space of cross-border payments.”

A leading MENA-area financial institution, Mashreq Bank is the oldest privately owned bank in the UAE, founded in 1967 as the Bank of Oman. Last fall, the bank announced a partnership with Visa to develop a new digital reconciliation platform for business expense tracking. Mashreq Bank was also the first regional bank to launch an API developer portal, going live with the platform back in October. A month later, the institution reported a net profit of $72 million (AED 265 million) for the nine months ending September 30th.

“Mashreq’s advanced digital transformation program has continued to deliver outstanding service to customers throughout the nine months ending 30th September 2021,” Group CEO Ahmed Abdelaal said. He highlighted the role of digital platforms in supporting the bank’s growth, and embraced the “development of a diverse, inclusive, and enabling working environment” courtesy of Mashreq’s adoption of a “work from anywhere culture.”


FinovateEurope 2022 is just one month away. If you are an innovative fintech company with new technology to show, then there’s no better time than now and no better forum than FinovateEurope. To learn more about how to demo your latest innovation at FinovateEurope 2022 in London, March 22 and 23, visit our FinovateEurope hub today!


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific


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Temenos Joins the Buy Now Pay Later Revolution with Explainable AI-Powered Offering

Temenos Joins the Buy Now Pay Later Revolution with Explainable AI-Powered Offering

Just when you might have thought that the momentum behind the Buy Now Pay Later phenomenon might be waning, banking software company Temenos announced today that it is launching its own BNPL offering.

Temenos brings its patented Explainable AI technology to the BNPL party with its Temenos BNPL. The company says that the new solution will give banks and fintechs new revenue opportunities, enable them to access new markets, and strengthen their relationships with both customers and merchants with its ethically-driven lending program.

“In an extremely competitive market, financial services providers need to evaluate new business models to drive revenue,” Temenos CEO Max Chuard explained. “As the strategic technology provider for over 3,000 banks worldwide, we are committed to empowering our clients to pioneer and adopt those new, profitable business models. Buy-Now-Pay-Later has shown the industry that we can come up with new solutions to old problems.”

Temenos BNPL brings transparency to the automated decision-making and credit offer-matching aspect of the Buy Now Pay Later process. Courtesy of embedded Explainable AI, the technology allows clients to pre-approve loan applications or offer variable installments in real-time, contingent on pre-determined criteria. The technology offers visibility into the credit decisioning and provides a recommended payment timetable during the application process so the borrower can be assured of being able to make the repayments as scheduled.

Temenos BNPL is core banking system agnostic – accessible via the Temenos Banking Cloud, which means that institutions and businesses can deploy the technology along with Temenos Transact or any other core banking system. In a statement, Temenos noted that one company – “a global payments provider” – went live with its own Temenos BNPL-based Buy Now Pay Later service and received 22 million loan applications in nine months. The product launch was reportedly the fastest and most successful in the company’s history. It was also especially popular with customers, 70% of whom are repeat users of the technology with 50% using the technology more than once within three months.

“(Buy Now Pay Later) has challenged the way we think about customer engagement, acquisition, and retention,” Chuard said. “We are very excited to launch this new solution to enable our clients to offer alternative financing that is fast, seamless, and scalable.”


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Temenos, Jack Henry Secure New Bank, Credit Union Partnerships

Temenos, Jack Henry Secure New Bank, Credit Union Partnerships

Every week is a good week to be a Finovate alum. But for those alums that focus on forging partnerships to help credit unions and banks transition from legacy systems to modern, cloud-based environments, the first full week of December so far has been especially productive.

Westmark Credit Union, an Idaho-based financial institution with more than $1 billion in assets, announced yesterday that it will swap out its current core banking system for Jack Henry & Associates‘ Symitar. The credit union cited Symitar’s open and flexible architecture, including the ability to both use the core “as-is” as well as to introduce additional functionalities in the future should they choose to. Symitar will provide Westmark CU with built-in workflows to bring automation – and lower error rates – to key processes.

“Symitar’s workflows and connectivity provide the opportunity to realize significant financial and efficiency gains,” Westmark Chief Information Officer Don West said. “And most importantly, it gives us the optionality we need to integrate with the products and service providers of our choice. With Symitar, we can build the best technology plan for our unique business needs, fueling future growth and keeping a highly competitive pace with the accelerated speed of change in today’s market.”

The transition will also take Westmark from an in-house core banking system to one that leverages a private cloud environment instead. This will enable the credit union to focus less on managing the day-to-day tasks of core maintenance and hardware updates and more on improving their member experience.

Speaking to this point, Jack Henry & Associates VP and President of the company’s Symitar division, Shanon McLachlan noted, “Jack Henry has seen a significant movement from on-premise to the private cloud environment with approximately 30 existing customers a year making the move, and this isn’t limited to any asset size. While this shift continues to be a huge trend, so is the need to have a modern core that enables credit unions to provide their members with the options they need to succeed,” McLachlan said.

Jack Henry & Associates made its first Finovate appearance at FinovateFall in 2010. Headquartered in Monett, Missouri, the company announced a major collaboration with fellow Finovate alum Envestnet | Yodlee last week to enable financial institutions to access consumer-permissioned financial data.


Another major fintech/financial institution partnership announced by our Finovate alums in the first half of this week is the collaboration between Trusted Novus Bank, a Gibraltar-based institution, and banking software company Temenos. As part of a “complete, end-to-end digital transformation,” the bank will trade its legacy core banking and front office systems for Temenos Transact and Temenos Infinity on the Temenos Banking Cloud.

“We want to expand our retail, corporate, and private banking and scale fast to increase our customer base,” Trusted Novus Bank CEO Christian Bjørløw explained in a statement. “With the Temenos Banking Cloud, we can deliver personalized, real-time customer experiences on a scalable platform that will foster innovation and keep the bank at the forefront of technology, and at the same time be true to our vision and values.”

The oldest established bank in Gibraltar, Trusted Novus Bank was reorganized in 2020 with goal of growing its business and enhancing the digital experience for its customers, as well. With its new core and front office system and access to the Temenos Banking Cloud, the bank will be able to build and offer personalized, real-time customer experiences that are customized for its different lines of business. Trusted Novus Bank will also be able to take advantage of straight-through-processing (STP) and automation, enabling its professionals to prioritize value-added, customer-facing services rather than on time-consuming administrative tasks.

“With banking services powered by the Temenos Banking Cloud, Trusted Novus can dramatically reduce costs and turbocharge innovation to deliver outstanding customer experiences,” Temenos President of International Sales Jean-Paul Mergeai said. “Trusted Novus has exciting plans to extend its banking services on our platform, and we will be working closely to ensure rapid time-to-value.”

A Finovate alum since 2013, Temenos operates worldwide and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The company recently announced that it was moving its North American regional headquarters to new offices in Manhattan, New York.


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Strands and Credolab Bring Smart Money Management to Banks

Strands and Credolab Bring Smart Money Management to Banks

Barcelona, Spain-based Strands and Singapore’s credolab announced a partnership this week that will give banks a new solution to help their customers make better decisions with their finances. The collaboration will embed credolab’s credit scoring technology into Strands personal finance management platform, giving banks the real-time ability to obtain relevant customer insights with embedded risk assessments.

“Strands’ expertise in developing customizable digital money management solutions for banks will add great value to our clients globally,” credolab founder and CEO Peter Barcak said. “We are confident that our embedded technology will help Strands develop solutions to promote a more delightful way of banking that empowers customers with meaningful interactions, and makes them happier, more loyal, and more profitable.”

In their joint statement, Strands and credolab noted that retail banks often face challenges when it comes to improving customer engagement and providing long-term value to their customers. They blame a lack of relevant data, as well as the inability to generate significant insights into customer behavior and preferences. The integrated solution will serve as a “one-stop shop” for banks to realize new potential revenue sources by helping their customers be smarter with their money.

“By partnering with credolab, Strands is in a stronger position to deliver state of the art financial management solutions to banks worldwide,” Strands CEO Erik Brieva said. “This collaboration will allow us to embed next generation scoring technology into our AI-driven product suite, meeting financial institutions’ increasing demand for smart, highly customizable, and scalable FinTech white-label solutions.”

Credolab demonstrated its CredoScore technology at FinovateAsia 2018. This spring, the company has announced a collaboration with regional credit risk and decision analytics company Qarar to help the UAE-based company enhance its credit risk scoring processes.

Strands made its most recent Finovate appearance last month at FinovateAsia Digital. Teaming up with Tearsheet to publish its guide to “Banking as a Service,” in May, Strands began the year with news that CEO Brieva had been named to Analytics Insight’s Top 10 Most Inspiring CEOs.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin American and the Caribbean

Temenos Ties Up with Huawei

Temenos Ties Up with Huawei

Banking technology provider Temenos has teamed up with telecommunications equipment and consumer electronic giant Huawei this week. Through the partnership, Temenos will make its cloud-native core banking solution available on the Huawei Public Cloud.

The agreement makes Temenos the first core banking software certified with Huawei infrastructure and Huawei Public Cloud.

Specifically, banks will be able to use Huawei Public Cloud to modernize their core banking systems, an action that is critical in today’s digital-first, partnership-forward banking environment. Ultimately, modernizing their core will help banks scale, reduce cost, and gain operational efficiencies by increasing agility and opening up new business models.

“Together, we can help digital-first banks as well as large banks in need of core modernization accelerate their move to the cloud,” said Temenos President of Strategic Growth Philip Barnett. “Our API-first, cloud-native core banking solution based on Huawei Cloud will provide flexibility, agility, elasticity, and accelerate time to market for banks.”

The two will focus on marketing in China, which represents a six billion dollar addressable market. Temenos’ solution will also be available to the broader APAC region and include Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Temenos serves 3,000+ banking and financial institutions worldwide representing 1.2 billion people with its cloud-native, API-first technology. Huawei counts more than 2,000 financial institution clients worldwide, including 47 of the world’s top 100 banks.


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Temenos Offers Digital Asset Access for Banks

Temenos Offers Digital Asset Access for Banks

Switzerland-based banking technology provider Temenos partnered with digital assets platform Taurus this week. Through the partnership, Temenos integrated Taurus’ digital asset and blockchain infrastructure with Temenos Transact, the company’s core banking software.

As a result, Temenos’ 3,000 bank and FI clients across the globe will have access to digital assets. Taurus will enable them to integrate and manage any digital asset, traditional securities, and cash.

“Investors are increasingly aware of the performance of cryptocurrencies, which can effectively participate in the diversification of a portfolio,” said Temenos Product Director Alexandre Duret. “Taurus is leading the field in cryptography and blockchain technology. By joining forces, we can help banks to bridge the gap between traditional investments and digital assets.”

With its securities firm license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Taurus can cover digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, as well as tokenized assets. The company offers three main products: Taurus-CAPITAL for tokenization and lifecycle management, Taurus-PROTECT for hot, warm, and cold digital asset custody, and Taurus-EXPLORER an API-based blockchain connectivity to more than 10 blockchain protocols.

Temenos has added Taurus’ tools to the Temenos Marketplace, a partner ecosystem of 50+ fintech solutions. All tools in the MarketPlace are pre-integrated for fast implementation.

Founded in 1993, Temenos is a public company, listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange under the ticker TEMN. The company has a market capitalization of $9.84 billion.


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Dubai Showcases Seed Stage Fintech Startups from MENA and Beyond

Dubai Showcases Seed Stage Fintech Startups from MENA and Beyond

This week for our Finovate Global Lists feature we congratulate the graduates of Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai. Eleven startups successfully completed the MENA-based accelerator program in late February, wrapping up the three-month experience with a pitch opportunity before an audience of investors, corporate partners, mentors, and industry analysts.

“As the Demo Day has passed and the 11 startups of our third cohort continue their growth journeys – we are incredibly proud to welcome the 23 amazing founders of these startups as part of our global @sbcFinTech family!” Startupboootcamp Dubai announced via Twitter.

The graduates are:

  • Finllect: a UAE-based financial wellness app for Gen Zs.
  • Flaist: a digital transformation platform for banks.
  • Singular Capital: a digital asset mobile wallet based in Malaysia.
  • Open CBS: a Hong Kong-based, open and scalable, cloud-based core banking system for smaller FIs.
  • Absolute Collateral: a digital B2B capital markets trading platform based in the U.K.
  • Tajjir: a Jordanian startup that offers a stock trading software solution for retail investors.
  • Aura Technologies: an insurtech firm that enables non-insurance businesses to sell insurance to their customers.
  • CaaS (Compliance-as-a-Service): a regulatory reporting platform based in the U.K.
  • Stornest: a UAE-based digital legacy planner to support end of life planning.
  • Raseed: an investment platform that enables users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to buy and sell U.S. stocks.
  • Kilde: a global private debt marketplace headquartered in Singapore.

Startupbootcamp FinTech is conducted in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Visa, HSBC, and Mashreq Bank. The program is open to fintech startups throughout the MENA region, as well as around the world, and offers expert-led Master Classes, tailored mentorships, as well as coworking space and living expense support for the duration of the program. Participants also benefit from access to corporate partners and an alumni growth program that helps startups remain networked after the program ends.

Since its launch in 2018, more than 30 fintech startups innovating in payments, lending, and Islamic digital banking count themselves as alumni of the accelerator. Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai is part of an international network with more than 20 industry-focused programs for technology startups. The network boasts 950 startups accelerated – 41% of which were female-led – that have raised a combined $869 million (€ 727 million) in total funding.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Berlin, Germany-based financial crime risk quantification company, Elucidate, secured EUR 2.5 million in pre-Series A funding.
  • Hellenic Bank unveiled its new mobile banking app, which was developed in partnership with Backbase.
  • Mobile payments company Settle launched in Bulgaria.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia


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Ten Finovate Alums Join FedNow Instant Payments Pilot Program

Ten Finovate Alums Join FedNow Instant Payments Pilot Program

More than two years in the making, the FedNow payments initiative – launched by the U.S. Federal Reserve to accelerate payments and transfers – is picking up speed. The project currently has more than 110 banks, financial services providers, and other organizations slated to participate, and among them are ten Finovate alums.

“We’re gratified by the industry’s tremendous interest and willingness to devote time and energy to help us develop the FedNow Service,” Esther George, executive sponsor of the Federal Reserve’s payments improvement initiatives, said. George, who is also President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, added that the pilot has had to “adjust” to accommodate greater than expected interest.

The idea behind the service is to expand the reach of instant payment services offered by financial institutions and enable businesses and individuals to send and receive instant payments, with full access to their funds within seconds. The FedNow Service will leverage the Federal Reserve’s FedLine network, which connects to more than 10,000 financial institutions directly or via their agents.

The pilot program is designed to review the technology’s features and functionality, assess the user experience, and greenlight the product for further testing and eventual general availability. Participating institutions will be retained, post-launch, to provide additional review and advice with regard to issues like adoption roadmap, industry readiness, and overall payments strategy.

“The FedNow Service marks a turning point in the industry’s move to making real-time payments a reality,” Booshan Rengachari, founder and CEO of Finzly, explained. Finzly is one of Finovate’s newest alums – most recently demoing its technology at FinovateWest Digital last fall – and is one of the participants in FedNow’s pilot program.

Rengachari further suggested that this “turning point” was a moment his company had anticipated. “We created our Payment Hub specifically to help FIs prepare and go to market faster with newer RTP networks,” he said. Finzly’s CEO added that this helps “address the challenges of offering single payment API for multiple payment networks without having to run disparate payment systems from multiple vendors.”

The 10 Finovate alums participating in the FedNow project are listed below.


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Five Ways Partnerships Between Banks and Fintechs Help Drive Innovation

Five Ways Partnerships Between Banks and Fintechs Help Drive Innovation

To steal a line from Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, when it comes to innovation in fintech, it takes two to make a thing go right. Whether the “thing” is an end-to-end digital transformation or creating the technology infrastructure to enable firms to build and market their own innovations, collaboration and partnership with fintechs increasingly seems to be the path that the most forward-looking banks and other financial institutions are pursuing.

With this in mind, here’s a look at some of the more interesting recent partnership announcements over the past month – with an eye toward what these collaborations might be saying about the near-term future of fintech.

DBS Bank: Headquartered in Singapore. Total assets of $420 billion (SGD 579 billion) in 2019. Largest bank in Southeast Asia. Operates in 18 markets around the world.

  • Partner: Infor
  • Project: Digital trade financing
  • Objective: Faster “more cost efficient” financing for the 68,000+ SMEs on Infor’s Nexus network.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC): Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Has 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S., and 34 other countries. Total assets of $1.2 trillion (1.49 trillion CAD) as of 2019.

  • Partner: Red Hat, Nvidia
  • Project: In-house, AI-based private cloud platform
  • Objective: The new build will allow the bank to develop “transformative intelligent applications” and to bring those solutions to market faster.

Orange: Telecommunications corporation headquartered in Paris, France. Fourth largest telecom in Europe and one of the ten largest in the world with 26 million customers. Total assets of $124 billion (€106 billion) and revenues of $49 billion (€42 billion) as of 2019.

  • Partner: Temenos, NSIA
  • Project: Orange Bank Africa launch
  • Objective: Partnership will bring savings and micro credit services to underserved customers in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal.

Lloyds Banking Group Headquartered in London, U.K., Lloyds is the country’s largest digital bank with 16.9 million active customers online and 11.5 million on mobile. Founded in 1765, the bank currently has total assets of more than $1 billion (£833 billion).

  • Partner: Form3
  • Project: Along with partners Google Cloud and Microsoft, Form3 will help the U.K.-based bank “investigate and develop” a cloud-payments-as-a-service platform.
  • Objective: The collaboration, which also includes a minority equity stake in Form3, will simplify Lloyd’s payment capabilities and support enhanced data and new overlay services.

Banca Ifis: Specialty commercial and corporate banking firm for SMEs headquartered in Venice, Italy. The firm has more than 130,000 retail clients in the country, and online funding and deposits totaling more than $4.7 billion (€4 billion).

  • Partner: Raisin
  • Project: New deposit products
  • Objective: Raisin’s customers in Germany will gain access to deposit solutions available from Banca Ifis. The collaboration will enable German customers to take advantage of relatively higher interest rates available in Italy.

Other fintech/financial institution partnerships of note this month:


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