News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

A footpath and a shortcut

1.UK – FinTech

Altfi reports: 

Plaid has splashed out around $250m on ID verification company Cognito. 

Cognito, based in California, offers several services to companies, including compliance services, such as Know Your Customer rules (KYC) and anti-fraud and identity verification technology. 

Its services are used by hundreds of digital financial companies, including customers of API provider Plaid. 

Plaid is buying a company that can help with the “major challenge” of ID verification, while Cognito will likely benefit from Plaid’s scale. The $250m was paid in cash and stock.” 


2. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Mastercard has unveiled a virtual card offering that uses machine learning and straight-through processing for instant payment of supplier invoices. 

Mastercard says that slow and inefficient payment processes continue to hamper businesses, hitting cash flow for suppliers while being time consuming for buyers. Other payment methods, like ACH, require buyers to safeguard sensitive bank account information, adding another layer of complexity.

The firm's answer is Mastercard Track Instant Pay, which it says can safely and intelligently authorise an immediate payment to a supplier once they submit an invoice.

Machine learning analyses invoices and identifies those likely to be rejected, enabling the rest to be authorised for payment on the same day they’re received. Using straight-through processing, digital payments are sent directly to a supplier’s bank account via a Mastercard virtual card, with no manual intervention required.” 



3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Routefusion, an Austin-based startup that helps tech companies embed cross-border payments in their applications, has raised $10.5 million in a seed prime funding round co-led by Canvas Ventures and Silverton Partners. 

Haymaker Ventures, Initialized Capital, Jeeves co-founder Sherwin Gandi and Novel Bank co-founder Aldrin Clement joined the round.

Routefusion's API enables neo-banks, payroll providers, platforms, crypto, and marketplaces to expand their products globally with easy-to-implement embedded financial capabilities such as local and international payments (Swift wires) and multi-currency bank accounts.

Since its seed round last February, the firm says it has seen more than 200% organic customer growth and 5000% revenue growth.

The latest funding will be used to expand in new markets with a focus on Latin America and Africa, bringing the company's total reach to more than 180 countries and more than 150 currencies.” 



4. US – FinTech 

The Fintech Times reports: 

“A new report from Juniper Research has found that blockchain-based insurance will transform claims administration; saving $10billion in costs globally by 2024, up from $1.1billion in 2021. Insurance providers will increasingly leverage the benefits of increased process transparency and real-time data sharing. Data on blockchain networks is accessible to all parties; eliminating duplication of effort and minimising fraud. 

The new report, Blockchain in Financial Services: Key Opportunities, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2030, found that the insurance sector will see cost savings from blockchain use across all processes, particularly in insurance-heavy markets such as the US. This market will see sharp rises in total cost savings through blockchain use for premium issuance and management between 2021 and 2024; representing more than half of all cost savings globally by 2024. Insurance is a complex, data-siloed, often inefficient area of business, and blockchain offers critical advantages by enabling equitable data access and minimising fraud through increased data transparency. 

US Health Insurance Will Be a Key Area for Savings 

As a significant market for health insurance, the US will see the number of claims processed via blockchain climb from two million in 2021 to 24 million by 2024. Health insurance is a resource-intense area and the capacity for blockchain to replace inefficient processes and increase system interoperability will prove key to its success.” 

5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Digital asset firm Gemini noted on January 19, 2022, that they’re acquiring Omniex, a trading tech platform that offers order, execution, and portfolio management system solutions for institutional cryptocurrency trading. 

As mentioned in a blog post, the acquisition enables Gemini to “publicly launch Gemini Prime, a crypto prime brokerage offering that has been supporting a select client base over the past year.” Following the full rollout of Gemini Prime in Q2 2022, the integration of Omniex with Gemini’s existing custody, clearing, and OTC trading capabilities “will simplify trading for institutional investors” by offering: 

  • A single point of access to multiple exchanges and OTC liquidity sources 
  • Sophisticated tools and algorithms to ensure best execution and trade transparency 
  • An institutional-grade trading experience with full API connectivity”