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Weekly News Highlights – 24 March 2022

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, lending, banking, crypto, NFT and more. Enjoy reading!

Sequoia launches accelerator programme in Europe and US (Sifted)
US VC giant Sequoia has launched an accelerator programme in Europe for seed-stage companies. It’s yet another sign that VCs are trying to connect with companies earlier than ever as competition for the best deals heats up.  The roughly 15 seed-stage companies selected will go through an eight-week programme to learn the basics of company building from other founders and operators. They will also receive a $1m investment from Sequoia. Read more.

Amsterdam-based online ticket resale platform TicketSwap expands to Latin America and Europe (Siliconcanals)
TicketSwap, an Amsterdam-based online marketplace for buying and selling tickets, announced that it has expanded to new markets in Europe and Latin America. TicketSwap has also signed a multi-year deal with Sziget, the company behind Sziget Festival, Balaton Sound and Volt, as the brand’s official resale partner until 2026. However, the details of the anniversary festivities will be announced shortly, says the company. The Dutch scaleup is growing its international presence by opening offices in London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Berlin, and Stockholm. São Paulo will serve as the company’s first Latin American office. Read more.

Apple buys UK fintech start-up Credit Kudos (CNBC)
Apple has acquired British fintech start-up Credit Kudos, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal was finalized earlier this week, the people told CNBC, preferring to remain anonymous in discussing commercially sensitive information. The deal values Credit Kudos at around $150 million, one of the people said. A spokesperson for Apple said the U.S. tech giant “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Credit Kudos was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. Read more.

Mastercard Invests in Global Processing Services, Expands Their Partnership (Fintech News)
Payment technology platform Global Processing Services (GPS) has announced a new partnership with Mastercard, who has also made a strategic investment into the company for an undisclosed sum. The funding was due to GPS’ strong investment in international expansion and product development with an eye on new and fast-growing verticals where adoption continues to rise including digital banks, crypto, BNPL, open banking and cross border payments. Through GPS’ agile cloud-based technology, fintechs can access a diverse and expanding suite of modern open APIs that enable organisations to scale at speed. Read more.

SC Registers Two Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) Operators (Fintech News)
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today announced that it has registered two Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) operators, Kapital DX Sdn Bhd and Pitch Platforms Sdn Bhd, to promote responsible innovation in the digital assets space. The registered IEO operators will provide an alternative avenue for eligible companies to raise funds via the issuance of digital tokens in Malaysia. An issuer may raise funds up to RM100 million from retail, sophisticated, as well as angel investors, subject to the investment limits provided in the SC’s Guidelines on Digital Assets. Read more.

Boost, a regional FinTech firm, becomes first fully digital financier to secure investment grade A1 rating in Southeast Asia (Hubbis)
Boost, a regional financial technology (FinTech) provider, has announced that its maiden tranche of Senior Class A Medium Term Notes (MTN) has been rated A1 by Malaysia-based, RAM Rating Services Berhad (RAM Ratings). This establishes Boost as the first fully digital regional financier to receive an investment grade A1 rating for its securitised Malaysian receivables. The FinTech giant, which provides services spanning payment services, alternative lending, digital insurance, content services and merchant solutions, is the fintech arm of Bursa Malaysia-listed Axiata Group Berhad. Boost currently operates primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia. Read more.

Egypt’s Largest Banks Join Forces to Launch New $85M Fintech Fund (Itnewsafrica)
Three of Egypt’s largest national banks – Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt, and Banque du Caire – and Global Ventures, a leading MEA-focused venture capital firm – have announced the launch of Nclude by Global Ventures, a new fund focused on the acceleration of fintech innovation and financial inclusion in the North African country. This follows the approval by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Currently, an equivalent of $85-million has been invested into the Nclude fund. The investments were led by Banque Misr as an Anchor Investor and National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire as Strategic Investors. Read more.

Shorooq Partners launches $150m FinTech fund (IBSinteligence)
Shorooq Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in innovative start-ups across the MENAP region, has officially launched the second edition of its seed stage-focused fund, Bedaya Fund II, targeting a fund size of $150 million. Bedaya Fund II is a continuation of the same strategy Shorooq Partners has been executing since its inception. This is aligned with the firm’s fundamental principle of acting as founders’ partners, company builders and value investors. Read more.

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