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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
The nearly-$400 million poured into fintech companies in Nigeria alone this week is being remarked upon as a testament to the growing investor interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The three recipients of the new capital in recent days are OPay ($120 million), Interswitch ($200 million), and PalmPay ($40 million). The investors include Sequoia Capital China and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as China’s Transsion and Visa.
For comparison, African fintechs raised $357 million in all of 2018, according to a 2019 report from the GSM Association, The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted in the Financial Times on the week’s funding news, Guaranty Trust Bank chief executive Segun Agbaje credited the payments industry for the surge in investment, calling the growth in the sector “probably like no other on the continent.”
Finovate made its African debut last year in Cape Town, South Africa. For an in-depth look at recent trends in African fintech, check out Jonathan Gregson’s “Africa’s Fintech Makeover.”
China’s impact on international fintech is also evident in the news that Ant Financial is considering applying for a virtual banking license in Singapore. Successfully securing such a license would enable Ant Financial to compete against Chinese incumbents like DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ant Financial secured a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong last year.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil’s digital bank Neon raises $94 million in round led by General Atlantic and Brazil Banco Votorantim.
Biz Latin Hub’s Craig Dempsey makes the case for Mexico as the fintech sector to watch in 2020.
Mexican non-bank wallet service Todito Cash inks partnerships with four financial payment solutions companies.
Ant Financial may be one the hunt for a Singaporean virtual banking license, reports Bloomberg, following the online finance titan’s recent scoring of a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong.
InstaReM rebrands as Nium, announces cross border payments partnership with Cambodian banking group, PhillipBank.
Indonesia’s biggest banking group, Bank Mandiri will use the Avaloq’sBanking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.
Nigeria’s OPay raises $120 million in new funding. The investment adds to the $50 million the mobile payments service raised in June.
Asilimia, a Kenya-based fintech that helps SMEs access more efficient mobile payment solutions, secures $350,000 in funding.
South African digital commerce fintech Vectra wins Seedstars Cape Town competition.
Central and Eastern Europe
Revolutreaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
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.
Middle East and Northern Africa
ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
Temenospartners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.
Central and South Asia
BankBazaarannounces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’sAppzillon.
Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.
Latin America and the Caribbean
German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
Institutional order management platform ZagTrader has inked a deal with cryptocurrency trading company BeQuant. The partnership builds on the current relationship between the two companies to enable institutional investors – including market makers, quant desks and active traders – to access cryptocurrencies using the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) and robust APIs.
“Over the years, ZagTrader focused on delivering an end-to-end regulatory compliant platform to clients in the traditional market space,” company CEO Shihab Khalil said. “As regulators become more involved in the crypto space, ZagTrader is ready to deploy with all the bells and whistles to keep the client’s business running smoothly and the regulators satisfied.”
ZagTrader demonstrated its technology at FinovateMiddleEast last year. A specialized fintech that serves clients in the brokerage, investment banking, capital markets, and asset management industries, ZagTrader provides a platform that supports front, middle, and back office operations; global feeds; order management; as well as mobile and online trading. Advanced real-time analytics, market intelligence insights, and algorithmic trading are among the platform features that help users get the best possible trade execution and performance.
BeQuant CEO George Zarya pointed to a growing interest in cryptocurrencies from institutions despite recent price pressures in the digital asset market, and said that working with ZagTrader will help them make the most of this reality. “This partnership will allow us to further engage with the institutional investment market, providing an increased quality of service for ZagTrader’s community and improved access to the numerous crypto assets available,” Zarya said.
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, ZagTrader was founded in 2009. Last fall, the company reported that the number of crypto exchange destinations covered by its platform had climbed to more than 130. ZagTrader also announced last fall that investment solution provider Bitbloxx would go live with its cryptocurrency order management solution.
Other partnerships forged in the second half of 2018 included a deal with Digital Gamma that expanded the company’s reach into the U.S., market, and a partnership with TickerChart announced in September.
ZagTrader is a leading financial technology company specializing in serving the global financial services industry and licensing its proprietary technology solutions, market data, and hosting services.
Electronic connectivity to crypto exchanges globally
Access to more than 200 exchanges worldwide
Robo-advisory and structured product capabilities
Why it’s great
ZagTrader provides the ability to handle multi-asset class instruments such as stocks, commodities, futures, FX, as well as digital crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum ETC within the same platform.
Shihab Khalil, CEO
With in-depth experience in fintech and capital markets, Khalil is driving ZagTrader towards becoming a global fintech company serving the banks, brokers, asset management, and capital markets. LinkedIn