Nigerian Fintechs Near $400m Week; Ant Financial Eyes License in Singapore

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • 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’s Banking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • 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

  • Revolut reaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
  • Latvia-based, P2P lending platform TWINO surpasses €1 billion euros in originated loans.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A partnership between BPC and WeNet will bring a new instant payments system to Yemen.
  • ZagTrader wins full certification for its market making technology from Bourse Kuwait.
  • In partnership with the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Wethaq pilots Sukuk issuance on its securities market infrastructure.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Perfios, a fintech software company based in Bengaluru, raises $50 million from Warburg Pincus and Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Pakistan’s Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.
  • CredoLabNeener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.

Finovate Global: Vymo Launches in Vietnam; ZagTrader Helps FIs Go Crypto

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.
  • Temenos partners 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

  • BankBazaar announces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
  • Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’s Appzillon.
  • 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.
  • FXCompared profiles Argentina-based PayPal rival, MercadoLibre.

Asia-Pacific

  • Leading Vietnam-based consumer finance firm, FE Credit, chooses Vymo’s AI-powered personal sales assistant.
  • Bambu and CredoLab earn spots on Fintech News Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019 roster.
  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Tymebank goes live with core banking tech from Mambu.
  • Nigerian digital banking solution provider TeamApt raises $5.5 million in funding.
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank to launch private cloud-based distributed ledger platform for payments and settlement.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russia’s Tinkoff Bank joins the country’s Faster Payments System.
  • Ukraine finishes its pilot project, begun in December, in support of its national digital currency, the e-hryvnia.
  • UK-based Rimilia and Association of Credit for Central and Eastern Europe to promote adoption of AI-based technologies to automate AR in the CEE region.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Veridium’s InMotion Uses Behavior Analytics for Authentication.
  • FinovateGlobal: Vymo Launches in Vietnam; ZagTrader Helps FIs Go Crypto.
  • FinovateEurope Demo Videos Are Live!

Around the web

  • HackerOne announces that one of its bug bounty hackers is the first to top $1 million in bounty awards.
  • Equifax extends its partnership with the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE).

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.

ZagTrader and BeQuant Team Up to Help Institutions Go Crypto

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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • ZagTrader and BeQuant Team Up to Help Institutions Go Crypto.
  • Best of Show Winner Finn AI Partners with IDaaS Firm AuthO.

Around the web

  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.
  • Insuritas teams up with Iowa’s Peoples Bank ($332 million in assets) to launch bank-owned digital insurance agency.
  • NCR selects former FIS executive Douglas Brown as its new General Manager for Digital Banking in its Banking Business unit.
  • Payoneer launches expansion of its Capital Advance working capital offering for online merchants.
  • Fenergo introduces James Follette as new Global Head of Commercial and Retail Banking.

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.

FinovateMiddleEast Sneak Peek: ZagTrader

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateMiddleEast on 26 and 27 of February in Dubai, U.A.E. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

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.

Features

  • 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.

Presenters

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.
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