News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech 

Crypto and fiat currency payments provider Wirex is readying itself for the launch of its first crowdfunding campaign, according to AltFi.  

“The UK-based fintech is hoping to raise £1m on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, with Wirex giving its customers the chance to pre-register earlier on this week.  

Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex, said: “Millions of ‘Wirexers’ have supported our growth—this funding round is deliberately aimed at giving them an opportunity to own a share of the brand as we go to the next phase of our growth and scale-up.”  

“Wirex has been making huge strides in changing the financial landscape, by making it easier for everyone to access cryptocurrency and spend it in the everyday. By offering a platform that bridges the traditional and digital economy, we are helping to encourage the mass adoption of cryptocurrency for future generations,” he added.  

Wirex is currently valued at £125m and has over 3m customers who use its multicurrency card to store and pay with both fiat and cryptocurrencies across 130 countries around the world.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra report: 

“Cloud-native core banking provider Thought Machine has appointed former HSBC group chief operating officer Andy Maguire as chair. 

Maguire takes on his new role immediately, replacing Richard Little. In five years at HSBC he led the bank's IT, business operations, change support, procurement and real estate services before leaving this summer for a stint at Boston Consulting Group.

Founded in 2014 by former Google engineer Paul Taylor, Thought Machine's core banking engine Vault counts Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Chartered, SEB and Atom Bank as clients. The firm says it has several new client announcements in the pipeline as it continues a busy 2020 that has seen it close a $125 million Series B round and hire more than 150 people, bringing its headcount to 400 plus.” 


3. UK – FinTech 

AccelerComm, the supercharging 5G, satellite and other wireless communications with IP which increases spectrum efficiency and reduces latency, has raised £5.8m in Series A funding in a round led by IQ Capital alongside  existing investors Bloc Ventures and the IP Group. UK TechNews reports: 

“The funding will be used to expand the current team, drive US and global expansion, and develop the technology further as demand for the company’s cutting-edge digital signal processing IP grows among mobile operators, telecoms equipment vendors, satellite operators and connected device manufacturers. 

Low latency and high spectrum efficiency are crucial in protecting cellular and other radio networks from insufficient capacity, low data rates, sparse coverage and poor quality-of-service.” 


4. International – FinTech 

AltFi reports: 

“Global payments platform Currencycloud has joined forces with fellow payments firm Tribe Payments to build a new banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform for digital banks and fintechs.  

The partnership will allow the two firms to offer transparent foreign exchange costs with international card transactions, whilst also offering access to multi-currency wallets.  

As part of the collaboration, Tribe Payments is looking to offer virtual accounts in 35 currencies, enabling customers to receive and store funds and make payments by using Currencycloud’s infrastructure.  

Stephen Lemon, head of strategic partnerships and co-founder of Currencycloud, said: “Our partnership with Tribe payments is really helping digital banks and fintechs gain access to a wholesale, quick, and easy solution to enhance their customer experience."  

As well as offering new accounts, customers of Tribe Payments will have access to real-time, wholesale FX rates, further lowering the costs of making international payments.” 


5. International – Fintech 


Russian technology giant Yandex is poised to buy digital bank Tinkoff for around $5.5 billion. Finextra reports: 

“In a statement responding to speculation on a takeover, Tinkoff says the two firms have "come to an agreement in principle on a transaction".

The cash and share deal, worth about $5.48 billion or $27.64 per Tinkoff share, would represent a premium of eight per cent on Tinkoff's closing price on 21 September.

Yandex recently ended a joint venture with state-owned Sberbank, paving the way for an agreement with Tinkoff, Russia's biggest challenger.”