The Fintech Fix Weekly Roundup 13/04/2022
Welcome to The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest stories of the financial week. Whether it’s the next groundbreaking trend in cryptocurrency or Blockchain technology, a new partnership about to change the global, economic landscape or an upcoming startup generating a huge following, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
Hot Topics – Kicking things off, we look at the world of regulation. The FCA have released a new report highlighting their plans for the next 3 years. The strategy seems to be geared towards mitigating fraud, market abuse, money laundering, sanction evasion and terrorist financing. There was also an indelible focus, inevitably, on cryptocurrency.
The investment market has seen an increase in uptake over the last few years, as more people understand the importance of long term financial planning. App Radar, an analysis of the investment app market, has found that the top UK apps for trading and investing gained over 1.38 million downloads on Google Play store in 2021, up nearly 40% from 2020, with Moneybox, Hargreaves Lansdown, Plum and Freetrade all gaining the most downloads. Thomas Kriebernegg, MD & Co-Founder, App Radar, reviewed how “Fintech has been the great democratiser of financial services” as more people are clearly taking control of their finances through apps.
HSBC, are delivering a new counterparty credit risk (CRR) and derivative valuation adjustment (XVA) engine with in-house built analytics library NOLA 2.0, powered by Google Cloud. Beyond the acronyms, this will allow the future-proofing of risk management on the cloud, boosting computational capability by 10x, turning more active risk management into competitive advantage and opening the door to AI. Faisal Yousaf, Global Head of Treasury Risk Management & Risk Analytics at HSBC, commented how with this latest development “we can really be ambitious now. We can be bold about what we want to do next. There are lots of ideas coming to the table, and we know we can deliver.”
Kippa, the fintech startup offering digital business and financial management solutions for SMEs in Africa, announced the launch of Kippa Payments, a digital payments solution enabling users to send and receive payments from customers and perform extended payments transactions automatically. This latest digital product can automatically detect, record, synchronise and therefore validate users’ business data, which was previously self-recorded by merchants on the app. Jephtah Chidozie-Uche, Co Founder and CTO, said the new solution comes “at a key time for Nigeria’s fintech sector, as demand from SMEs for digital payments solutions continues to rise. Kippa Payments will also enable us to have a deeper understanding of our customers through transactional data, so that we can offer more tailored and bespoke products over time, unlocking deeper value within the Kippa ecosystem alongside our existing solutions.”
Furthering financial inclusion is always inspiring. US fintech Nova Credit has expanded into Europe as it looks to unlock opportunities for those historically excluded from the credit system, such as immigrants who are without any credit history that lenders in their destination country can evaluate. Collin Galster, VP International at Nova Credit & Director of Nova Credit UK, commented how “the global credit reporting system was built within national silos that fail to meet the needs of an increasingly globalised and integrated world. We’re thrilled to finally bring our cross-border capabilities to serve migrant corridors destined for and within Europe.” To date, Nova Credit has helped unlock consumer-permissioned access to over 2 billion credit profiles.
Big Partnerships To Watch – As shown with Kippa, improving financial accessibility for SMEs has been a strong focus in the community. With that in mind, an exciting partnership has emerged between Finastra and Microsoft to bring new lending options to thousands of SMEs through Microsoft Dynamics 365. Here, SMEs will be able to unlock vital financing offers without leaving their business management platform, typifying a seamless and frictionless use experience. With Finastra’s expansive network of over 5,000 financial institutions in the US, Angus Ross, Chief Revenue Officer at Finastra, highlights how this lending proposition “demonstrates the huge benefit that embedded and contextual finance will bring to the industry and the communities within it.”
ecolytiq and Snowdrop Solutions, both members of the Visa Fintech Partner Connect program, joined forces to accelerate climate awareness and behavioural changes for banking customers. This partnership will allow ecolytiq access to Snowdrop’s precise categorisation and location of banking transactions and other key merchant data, whilst Snowdrop’s clients can benefit from ecolytiq’s proprietary carbon footprinting technology based on the EU-OSR’s “Open Payment Standard” methodology. Ulrich Pietsch, ecolytiq CEO commented on the announcement: “By combining the best of our expertise areas, this new partnership will prove mutually beneficial by refining our carbon footprinting technologies even further and making them more accessible.
Funding – Uplinq, whose technology allows SMB lenders to use billions of unique data signals that go beyond traditional credit indicators, announced they have raised USD $3.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by N49P and Surface Ventures. With this money, Uplinq intends to scale its operations across the globe and refine its solution even further, becoming more precise and predictive to ultimately empower lenders to understand the financial performance of SMBs like never before.
And our last story of this week’s roundup takes us to IMMO, the tech-driven residential investment platform that experienced 1,200% growth in the last 6 months and is revolutionising how people can sell, rent and invest in single-family rental housing. IMMO closed a whopping $75 million Series B equity funding, led by Oak HC/FT, which will use the capital to accelerate its expansion across Europe and purchase 10,000 homes backed by $2.5 billion in commitments from leading institutional investors.