This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 22/02

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The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Tuesday delivers you a dose of the latest job appointments, partnerships and funding successes.

Acquisitions

Pakistani fintech and influencer ecosystem Walee Technologies has acquired Emirati machine vision solution Mirrorr.  The acquisition comes within six months of Walee raising $2.7million from Z2C Limited. Mirrorr is a machine vision tool that can detect and identify brands and logos inside social media content.

Walee MIrrorr

Investments and funding

MarketForce, the B2B platform for retail distribution of digital financial services in Africa, closes a $40million Series A round. The round was led by V8 Capital Partners with participation also from Ten13 VC, SOSV Select Fund, Vu Ventures, Vastly Valuable Ventures and Uncovered Fund. MarketForce plans to scale merchant inventory financing through a BNPL offering, while also doubling its team by end of the year.

Technology provider Weavr has closed a $40million Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. Weavr has raised more than $55million in just 18 months. Weavr’s plug-and-play finance supports all industries with digital growth focusing on health, education, logistics, real estate and HR.

SME lending fintech Tradeplus24 launches into the UK with the close of a £30million debt facility provided by Partners for Growth, with advice also offered by Neu Capital. The funds will be used to rapidly scale Tradeplus24’s lines of credit for SMEs across the UK. It has previously experienced ‘great success’ with SMEs across Switzerland, The Netherlands and Australia.

Amber Group, a global digital asset platform, secured a $200million Series B+ round. Led by Sovereign Wealth Fund Temasek with participation also from Sequoia Capital, Pantera Capital, Tru Arrow Partners and Coinbase Ventures.

Meanwhile, superapp Jambo has raised $7.5million in seed funding. The funding will be used to position Jambo’s all-in-one education, play-to-earn and digital wallet app as ‘the defacto Web3 portal for the African continent’. The round saw participation from investors including Delphi Digital, Coinbase Ventures and 3 Arrows Capital.

Property lender Blend Network has secured £10million. It capped the round following an oversubscription. The funding will scale its origination team as well as further strengthen the company’s lending capacity. In addition, the business will invest more money in its technology.

Appointments

Iliad Solutions, the payments testing firm, has appointed Jill Pyper as chief operating officer. Pyper has been a member of the Iliad team for the last six years joining in a project management capacity before becoming head of client services.

Reassured, the UK life insurance broker, has appointed Mareena Flint as chief people officer. As Reassured’s first ever CPO, Flint will work with the board to ensure the company continues to prioritise and support its people. The appointment follows the recent hire of James Turnbull as chief digital officer.

Meanwhile, Making Science, the international technology and digital marketing consultancy, has announced the foundation of its global advisory board and its founding members. Matthew Hudson, CEO of MJHudson, and Robert Horler, CEO of Whalar, join the board.

Global ecommerce payments firm Reach has unveiled Mike McGirr as vice president of compliance. In his new role, he’ll build and lead a new dedicated compliance and risk team at the company. In the past 12 months, Reach has made four high-profile hires. It has also acquired additional office space in the Edison building in Canada and achieved a fourth consecutive year of 50 per cent year-on-year growth.

Global Kapital Group names David Papier as head of institutional sales for GKPro, its UK based B2B broker. The appointment will also be followed by further top-level hires, as GKPro expands in the B2B space. Papier began his career at CMC Markets and held senior client management positions at ETX Capital.

Payments platform 2C2P has expanded its global team with three hires. Based in Singapore, all are senior executives tasked with furthering 2C2P’s mission to power digital payments and e-commerce worldwide.
Stefan Kuhn is director of risk and compliance, Jerry Wee, head of digital goods, while Majid Bhatti, uis named director of group project management.

2C2P

More job moves

ALPIMA, the analytics platform, appoints Rafael Febres-Cordero as executive chair. Febres-Cordero will help drive product development, as well as long-term business growth. Geoff Langham was also recently named interim CEO after Pierre Mendelsohn, ALPIMA’s founder and CEO passed away.

Meanwhile, Simon McLoughlin is named CEO of Uphold, the digital money platform. JP Thieriot is elevated to vice chairman, with additional responsibility for strategic partnerships and M&A.  McLoughlin will also continue in his current roles at subsidiary companies, including Uphold Europe Limited and Uphold Lithuania UAB.

Bitfrost, the fintech ecosystem, has appointed Eva Lorenzo as head of compliance. In her role, Lorenzo will lead a team of staff responsible for organising licensing expansion in Gibraltar, Switzerland, Cyprus, Hong Kong and the UK.

Fernando Luis Vazquez Cao has joined the board of The Cardano Foundation. He currently serves as CEO of SBI Digital Asset Holdings. The Cardano Foundation is the non-profit organisation and custodian of the Cardano blockchain.

Partnerships

The Digital Pound Foundation (DPF) has forged a strategic partnership with CryptoUK as part of its plans to foster a stronger ecosystem for new forms of digital money in the UK.

Partnering with DPF to enable the success of the work both organisations are driving around advocacy and regulation will prove to be an essential element of the whole crypto ecosystem in the UK.

Ian Taylor, executive director, CryptoUK

Sandstone Technology partners with Codat in order to expand into the SME market. The partnership ‘ensures that accounting information can be used for assessment’. Sandstone’s goal is to help customers achieve a quicker ‘time to yes’, without ‘having to worry about paper-based accounting details’.

Cloud banking platform Mambu and global payments as a service provider Change Financial have teamed up to deliver digital banking and payment capabilities in Australia and New Zealand. Change’s Vertexon PaaS platform is added to Mambu’s API-driven cloud banking platform.

Vyne, an account-to-account payments platform, has paired up with Gr4vy, the cloud-native payment orchestration platform. The partnership gives Gr4vy’s merchant partners access to Vyne’s array of account-to-account payment processing solutions.

Finally, global cybersecurity firm NCC Group has secured a partnership to offer its services to FinTech Scotland’s cluster of almost 200 fintech businesses with the aim of strengthening security postures and boosting resilience. The partnership will also see NCC Group collaborate with FinTech Scotland on marketing, events and research.

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