Weekly news highlights 28 August 2020

Weekly news highlights 28 August 2020

Weekly news highlights 28 August 2020

Tandem Bank has brought in a new acquisition, Allium Money, a company that specializes in financing energy efficient home improvement projects. This new purchase will help Tandem Bank to expand its current product offerings, moving towards green lending solutions for clients and further enhance its in-house lending services. Paul Nove, Allium CEO, stated that this opportunity represents a step forward for finances moving into a “green” direction: “This is great news for our customers and the team that have worked tirelessly to develop the business focussing on financing improvements for our environment”.

Hg’s Saturn private equity firm targeting technology buyouts is further investing in software company Visma, valued currently at $12.2bn (€10.09bn). Hg Saturn 2 Fund will acquire the stake from European private equity firm Montagu and other investors, such as Hg’s Genesis 7 Fund. With the transaction completed, Hg will have a 54% stake in Visma

Standard Chartered Bank Korea has new plans for its consumers, collaborating with PayKey for its social banking to provide an efficient UX. With the new embedded keyboard system installed on the app, clients will be able to access account balances, manage and send money, perform transactions with multiple Korean banks from various checking accounts. 

WorldRemit, an online money transfer business that provides international money transfer services in more than 50 countries, has announced a new acquisition: remittance company Sendwave. For WorldRemit, this purchase will provide the opportunity to expand on new markets, such as the low-fee East and West Africa. 

According to Forbes, the founder of bitcoin venture capital Ribbit Capital firm has launched its IPO at a $350m sum (€294.38m). The filing for IPO does not contain any information at the moment on how the company will take advantage of its public entity. However, the firm is expected to follow the same patterns in terms of financial services similar to the $2.6 billion (€2.19bn) Ribbit Capital’s existing portfolio, including $8 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, $11.2 billion (€9.42bn) Robinhood, and $1.2 billion (€1.01bn) Figure Technologies.

Q1 2021 could potentially witness a new digital bank launch in the UK from JPMorgan Chase. However, it’s important to notice that the new entrance could face competition from existing companies, such as Monzo, Starling, Revolut and Goldman Sachs. For JPMorgan UK, this deal will be the second attempt of launching a digital-only banking system, after shutting down its former app project Finn in 2018 due to low number of users. 

For quantum technology, further developments are in store due to the recent collaboration between BBVA and Spanish startup Multiverse. The goal of this partnership is to ensure an optimal dynamic configuration for investment portfolios. The results could lead to further new developments for the current existing tools on the market, as stated by Escolastico Sanchez, Head of research and Patents, BBVA:  “Methods based on quantum computing and quantum-inspired methods are new and can improve the current tools that are already in practice.”

With the dominance of the Big Techs in financial services, the European Central Bank advises on measurements to be taken against concentration risks, operational failures and cyberattacks. Due to the fact that most EU businesses are acquiring cloud services from US techs such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, the ECB has limited power when it comes to cloud-based service providers. 

For New Zealand, recent DDoS cybersecurity attacks have taken place with strong repercussions for the stock market. The cause of the crash is suspected to come from offshore, damaging the exchange’s website as well. The attack occurred just as companies reported their first annual results of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, government agency CERT NZ reported that for the first half of this year, New Zealand experienced a 42% increase in cyberattacks.Brandfolder, a growth-stage SaaS company, announced that it will be acquired by Smartsheet for the sum of $155m (€130.37m). According to Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader, with the new deal, Smartsheet will be able to enhance its collaborative work management platform:  “Brandfolder’s content capabilities coupled with Smartsheet’s powerful workflow and collaboration features will provide teams with a dynamic solution to securely manage, share, and publish their content, empowering cross team and organization collaboration”.

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