Fireblocks Raises 133 Million in Series C Funding thumb

Fireblocks Raises $133 Million in Series C Funding

Fireblocks announced today it has raised $133 million in Series C funding led by Coatue, Ribbit, and Stripes with strategic investment from The Bank of New York Mellon ( “BNY Mellon”) and Silicon Valley Bank. The completion of this round of financing, which includes participation from previous investors, including Paradigm, Galaxy Digital, Swisscom Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Cyberstarts Ventures, makes Fireblocks the most well-funded crypto infrastructure provider in the industry with a cumulative total of $179 million raised to date. With the new injection of funds from strategic investors, Fireblocks will continue to expand global resources to service the world’s biggest banks and fintechs and connect them to the entire crypto capital markets.

With bitcoin topping $1 trillion in market value, banks and fintechs around the world are faced with overwhelming demand from customers and investors to enable digital asset products and services. Now, Fireblocks will offer banks and traditional financial institutions the ability to seamlessly plug into the broader decentralized finance ecosystem and all of its market participants. Using Fireblocks’ platform, banks and fintechs can rapidly deploy custody, tokenization, asset management, trading, lending and payment solutions across public and private blockchain networks.

“Fintechs and banks require not only a specialized custody and settlement infrastructure to ensure customers funds are safely managed, but a platform that enables new lines of digital offerings,” said Michael Shaulov, CEO of Fireblocks. “While we have no plans to become a bank, we believe our infrastructure will lend itself perfectly to power an entirely new era of financial services. We are humbled to have the top VCs in Fintech, and the most important strategic partners support our mission to re-platform the financial ecosystem into digital assets. Their financial backing guarantees the long term stability, technology superiority and service delivery to our exponentially growing customer base.“

Fireblocks began with serving crypto-native institutions and exchanges, and has grown over the last three years to become the first and only institutional digital asset transfer and wallet network trusted to secure more than $400 billion assets for its customers. Strategic investor, BNY Mellon, the world’s largest asset servicer, announced earlier this year their commitment to accelerate the development of enterprise solutions to service the rapidly evolving digital asset space.

“Developing products to bridge digital and traditional assets is foundational to the future of custody,” said Roman Regelman, Chief Executive Officer of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital at BNY Mellon. “Following significant due diligence and market research, we recognize Fireblocks as a market leader in providing secure technology to support digital asset services.“

“Our partnership with Fireblocks is consistent with our belief that a new financial ecosystem is emerging and that companies like Fireblocks are essential,” said Kris Fredrickson, Managing Partner at Coatue. “We have been thoroughly impressed with Fireblocks’ team, technology, and vision for the future. We believe that Fireblocks can help set a new industry standard for companies looking to participate in the digital assets industry.”

“We are standing at the cusp of the biggest transformation that the world’s financial system has ever seen,” said Micky Malka, Managing Director of Ribbit Capital. “Fireblocks is standing right at the forefront of this revolution, and we believe that their technology will play a critical role in driving tremendous innovation in the financial sector for decades to come. We are excited to join their team and help fuel their exciting journey ahead.”

“Fireblocks has built the most powerful technology stack for anyone that’s looking to get into the digital asset business,” said Ken Fox, Founder and Managing Partner of Stripes Group. “Fireblocks is leading the breakthroughs in MPC wallets, settlement network and access to DeFi and tokenization services. It has the versatility that banks and fintechs need to continue competing in this market.”

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About Fireblocks

Fireblocks is a leading enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables banks, fintechs, exchanges, liquidity providers, OTCs and hedge funds to securely manage digital assets across a wide range of products and services. The technology consists of the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 200 financial institutions and has secured over $400 billion in digital assets. Fireblocks has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage & transit and offers 24/7 global support. For more information, please visit www.fireblocks.com.

Digital Tokens With Exposure to Astrea VI Bonds Issued For The First Time, Enabling iSTOX To Reduce Minimum Investment By Up To 10 Times

iSTOX tokenises Temasek-linked Astrea private equity bonds lowering minimum investment by 10x

  • The tokenisation of bonds linked to the Singapore government-owned Temasek is a strong validation of both digital securities (also known as security tokens or digital tokens) and the iSTOX platform.
  • With the efficiency gains from tokenisation, iSTOX was able to reduce the minimum investment size in Astrea VI bonds for individual investors by 10 times – from US$200,000 to US$20,000, significantly expanding access to the bonds.
  • This ensures the benefits of private equity are spread more equally among smaller investors, and was made possible by issuing securities using blockchain and smart contract technology.
  • Founded in 2017, iSTOX is a fintech company backed by Singapore Exchange (SGX), Temasek-subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japan government-backed investors Japan Investment Corporation – Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ).
  • iSTOX Chief Commercial Officer Oi Yee Choo said, “Over time, as issuers and investors become better acquainted with digital tokens, we expect market forces to shift much if not all of the global bond market to digital issuances.

 

The Astrea VI private equity bonds issued this month by Astrea VI Pte. Ltd. have been tokenised by iSTOX (through Prometheus-3 Pte. Ltd.)  to reduce the minimum investment ticket by up to 10 times, private market platform iSTOX, which handled the digital token allocation, announced today. This marks the first time digital tokens with exposure to bonds in the Astrea series have been offered.

The manager of the Astrea VI transaction is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Azalea Group, which is in turn an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. iSTOX’s digital tokens lower the threshold for accredited investors to gain exposure to the private equity bond asset class.

The digital issuance, or tokenisation, covered bonds from the two USD-denominated tranches – Class A-2 and Class B bonds, which saw interest rates fixed at 3.25% and 4.35% per annum respectively. iSTOX was able to reduce the minimum investment size for Class B security tokens to US$20,000, from the typical US$200,000 minimum denomination for wholesale bonds. Class A-2 security tokens were also made available from US$20,000, instead of the bonds’ US$50,000 minimum denomination. Under Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulations, the Class A-2 and Class B security tokens were open to subscriptions from accredited individual investors and institutions.

With tokenisation, bonds or other types of securities such as equity or funds are issued on a blockchain network that uses smart contracts. This enables the automation of manual processes in the issuance, distribution and post-sale management of the bond, including coupon payments. The efficiency gains make it cost effective for the bond to be offered to a much larger group of smaller investors via lower minimum ticket sizes.

Investors who successfully subscribed via iSTOX to the security tokens that provide Astrea VI bond exposure can now begin trading them, as the tokens have been listed on the iSTOX exchange. New investors can participate in secondary trading by signing up as iSTOX users. The speed of the blockchain network reduces transaction costs and allows trades to be settled instantly, instead of the usual 2 working days for exchanges not powered by blockchain technology.

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of iSTOX, said, “Like Azalea, iSTOX aims to democratise the private markets and ensure the benefits of private equity and other private asset classes are spread more equally among smaller investors. Studies have shown that global private equity averaged returns roughly double to that of global public equity over the past 10 years.  Since 2018, Azalea has offered Astrea Class A-1 Private Equity Bonds to retail investors. At iSTOX, we believe the next logical step in democratisation is to help individual investors gain access to the other two USD-denominated tranches as well – Class A-2 and Class B bonds. With this latest digital token issuance, iSTOX further levels the playing field by lowering minimum investments significantly, putting these tokens within the reach of many accredited investors – hundreds of thousands in Singapore and tens of millions worldwide.”

“Digital tokens are transforming the financial markets in a profound way,” she said. “The technology is fundamentally more efficient. Over time, as issuers and investors become better acquainted with digital tokens, we expect market forces to shift much if not all of the global bond market to digital issuances.”

She added, “The issuance of digital tokens with exposure to the Astrea VI Private Equity Bonds is one of the most significant deals on the iSTOX platform to-date. Since the Monetary Authority of Singapore granted iSTOX a full license in February 2020, our strategy has been to offer high-quality issuances to accredited investors, as the issuers of these securities lead the market in embracing innovation and set standards that other issuers follow.”

The Astrea VI bonds are backed by cash flows from a diversified portfolio of 35 private equity funds managed by reputable general partners. The portfolio consists of buyout funds (81%) and growth equity funds (19%), with exposure to 802 underlying companies at launch. The US$228 million Class A-2 bonds are rated Asf by Fitch, and have a scheduled call date in March 2026. The US$130 million Class B bonds are rated BBBsf by Fitch, and are amortizing after the full redemption of the Class A bonds. This means Class A-2 bonds could be fully or partially redeemed in March 2026, while Class B bonds could be fully or partially redeemed after the redemption of Class A-2 bonds. Interest is paid to bond holders every 6 months.

At a time when global interest rates are at historic lows, private equity bonds can offer steady returns with relatively low risk. Furthermore, like in earlier Astrea issuances, Astrea VI investors benefit from structural safeguards such as a credit facility and diversion of cash to bondholders when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 50%.

iSTOX is fully regulated by the MAS as a multi-asset digital securities platform for the issuance, custody and secondary trading of private market products, such as hedge funds, wholesale bonds and private equity. Founded in 2017, iSTOX is backed by Singapore Exchange, Temasek-subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japan government-backed investors Japan Investment Corporation – Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). Individual accredited investors using the iSTOX platform today come from 24 countries, spanning Asia, Europe, the Americas (excluding the US), Australia and New Zealand.

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About iSTOX

iSTOX is a future-ready capital markets platform set to usher in a new era for capital fundraising and investment. Through digital securities, iSTOX offers a more innovative, flexible, inclusive, and efficient system for an emerging generation of investors and issuers. As part of its mission, iSTOX seeks to enable all users to transact exactly the way they want to and extends capital market access to a wider segment of the community. iSTOX is owned and operated by ICHX, which has been approved by MAS as a recognised market operator (RMO) and has a capital markets services (CMS) license to deal in securities and collective investment schemes, and to provide custodial services. For more information, visit www.iSTOX.com.

 

Singaporean led Arrow Capital Co-sponsors $240 million Nasdaq tech SPAC in

Singaporean led Arrow Capital Co-sponsors $240 million Nasdaq tech SPAC in partnership with Silicon Valley-Based VC Tribe Capital

Arrow Capital (“Arrow”), a regulated financial and investment advisory business, with offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre and Mauritius,  announces the closing of the initial public offering of a $240 million technology SPAC, Tribe Capital Growth Corp I. Arrow has co-sponsored the SPAC, in partnership with leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Tribe Capital. Tribe Capital Growth Corp I’s units are trading under the ticker ATVCU on Nasdaq.

The blank check company will seek a target in the technology sector, pursuing M&A opportunities with top private technology companies showing inflection points in their growth trajectory.

The SPAC listing marks an exciting step for Arrow and its investor base in the Middle East and South East Asia. The deal marks a first for Arrow Capital, which joins an elite, exclusive group of Middle East investment firms, including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund who were both involved in recent SPAC investments earlier this year.  The listing is the culmination of Arrow’s 12 months of intense due diligence and risk assessment to identify the right SPAC co-sponsor. In its collaboration with Tribe Capital, Arrow has partnered with one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, offering to its investors some of the most attractive technology investment opportunities coming out of the West Coast of the United States.

Tribe Capital’s team of experts combines data scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs from some of the most prestigious technology companies in the world such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Slack, Lyft and Bridgewater. Combining this expertise with Arrow Capital’s finance pedigree facilitated the resulting successful initial public offering of the SPAC.

With this collaboration with Tribe, whose recent investments include software developer Carta, 3D-printing rocket maker Relativity Space and self-driving simulator Applied Intuition Inc, Arrow will be one of the first firms in the Middle East to present its investors the opportunity to invest in some of the most cutting edge, fast growing technologies, spanning autonomous vehicles, AI, machine learning, and enterprise software. Arrow will stand differentiated to the region’s investment managers, in granting its investors coveted early access to investment opportunities in innovative technologies alongside sophisticated tech investors around the world.

Arrow sees significant opportunity and economies of scale for technology investing in the Middle East and Asia, where the firm has significant expertise and an expanding investor base. Arrow boasts a strong track record of investment management and advisory for Asian investors, managing 70% of its assets under management out of Singapore.

Rohit Nanani, Arrow Capital’s CEO and Founder and Singaporean national, has more than 20 years’ experience including senior executive positions at UBS and Barclays Bank, and has enabled Arrow to build good access to UHNWIs and financial institutions in South East Asia. The SPAC and partnership with Tribe will only broaden further the firm’s reach in the region, enabling the company to play an increasingly active role in technology investments, on both the buy-side and the sell-side.

Arrow believes SPACs will be instrumental in facilitating greater access and adoption, enabling investors to get in early and allowing greater room for long term value creation. The rapid rise of SPACs as an effective, alternative route to growth capital has led to substantial interest from institutional investors globally. On the funding side, many blank-cheque companies have looked to Asia for M&A targets and Singapore companies are very well positioned to attract these acquisition vehicles. Arrow is energized by the potential that exists in the Middle East and South East Asia.

“The SPAC, and our collaboration with Tribe, is a major milestone for our business and our investors”, comments Nanani. “As innovators in our industry, we are constantly seeking new, exciting investment opportunities for our clients. In Tribe, we have a trusted partner right at the heart of Silicon Valley’s innovative technology ecosystem. We are very excited to be able to extend their expertise and insights to our network of investors in the Gulf and in South East Asia, where growing demand from investors and family offices for wealth creation, rather than wealth preservation, means appetite for new and innovative investment structures is set to increase rapidly. We are delighted to share in this journey with Tribe and are proud to be an investment bridge for Tribe into the emerging markets. We are very excited about the potential for our collaboration and look forward to the bright future ahead.”

Arjun Sethi, Tribe Partner and Co-Founder adds, “The Middle East has fast become an increasingly attractive marketplace, hub for innovation and a valuable conduit into other emerging markets like South East Asia. To be able to access South East Asian markets and provide local investors with high quality, high return technology deals is something we are very excited about – and we are honoured to be collaborating with Arrow to enable this. Arrow’s seasoned investment experience, quality of due diligence and entrepreneurial vigour makes them an ideal collaborator for us as we continue to evolve our offering for our clients around the world.”

Tribe Co-Founder and Partner Arjun Sethi is leading the company as the SPAC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Sethi is joined by Omar Chohan, also a Tribe Partner and leader of Tribe’s Special Situations and Capital Markets Groups, who will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the SPAC.  Sumit Mehta, Arrow Capital’s Managing Director, will serve as Vice President of the SPAC and Tribe Co-Founder Ted Maidenberg, will act as the Secretary of the SPAC.  Arrow Founder Rohit Nanani will join the SPAC’s Board of Directors.

Cantor Fitzgerald was the sole bookrunner on the SPAC initial public offering.  The SPAC initial public offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the prospectus may be obtained by contacting Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Attention: Capital Markets, 499 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, or by e-mail at prospectus@cantor.com.

A registration statement relating to the securities has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and became effective on March 4th 2021. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

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About Arrow Capital

Arrow Capital is a registered investment management company with offices in Dubai and Mauritius.  Arrow Capital (DIFC) Limited is regulated by DFSA and Arrow Capital Mauritius is regulated by Mauritius FSC. Arrow Capital services include Wealth Management, Investment Advisory& Corporate Finance services to ultra-high net worth individuals, families, trusts and corporate entities around the world. As a boutique financial and investment advisory firm, Arrow Capital aims at incorporating superior values of trust and integrity while providing excellent advisory and execution. Arrow Capital has a strong network of global banks, financial institutions, investment companies across domain such as Venture Capital, Private Equity and special opportunities funds, which enable our team to curate bespoke solutions & services for our clients based across multiple jurisdictions.

For more information please visit www.arrcap.com

About Tribe Capital

Tribe Capital is a team of Silicon Valley technologists and engineers who harness data science and leverage our hands-on operating experience to accomplish two goals: to identify the most significant companies of our generation, and to generate outsized returns by driving growth at each inflection point. The firm has approximately $540 million in assets under management and has made notable investments in Bolt, Carta, Front, Instabase, Momentus, and Relativity Space.  An affiliate of Tribe Capital, Tribe Capital Management, LLC, is a United States registered investment advisor.

To learn more, visit tribecap.co.

 

Adrit Raha Co-Founder and CEO Symbo

InsurTech Symbo to scale Southeast Asia & India Platform with US$9.4 Million Series A Raise, Acquires Digital Health Platform Vivant

Symbo Platform Holdings (“Symbo” or “the Company”), a Singapore-based InsurTech platform, announced the completion of a US$9.4 million funding round led by CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. The round also saw significant participation from San Francisco-based investment firm Think Investments along with follow on investment from existing investors Integra Partners, Insignia Ventures and AJ Capital.

Established in 2017, Singapore-based Symbo’s sophisticated InsurTech platform seamlessly supports agents, third party administrators (TPAs), brokers, corporates and insurers in the purchase, distribution and administration of insurance across India and Southeast Asia.

With the new investment, the Company will bolster its core technology platform and leadership team to bring its offerings to scale across India & Southeast Asia. Key areas of investment include recruitment across senior technology and product functions, in addition to senior business development hires in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. A large proportion of the funds has also been earmarked for investment into Symbo’s Indian affiliate, with the intention of acquiring complete ownership of the business, subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the Series A raise, Symbo’s Co-Founder and CEO Adrit Raha said:My colleagues and I are thrilled to welcome CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and Think Investments to the company, and are also extremely grateful to Integra Partners, Insignia Ventures and all our investors for their continued support. This is the dream team of investors and their deep knowledge of Asia will play a pivotal role in Symbo’s continued growth. With this significant investment, we will rapidly scale our leading technology platform to improve the delivery of insurance to millions of underinsured individuals and families across India and Southeast Asia.”

 “Digital-driven insurance and healthcare markets have huge potential, especially in India and Southeast Asia where customers are largely underserved, struggling to manage their insurance policies or ending up being sold generic and irrelevant products,” said Dennis Cong, Managing Partner of CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. “Symbo is well positioned to bring corporate and individual customers brand new experiences by providing customised products in a more accessible and convenient way. Insurtech and healthtech are key areas we are focusing on and we expect Symbo to help more people get better protected.”

 The latest funding round follows the Company’s acquisition of Singapore-based digital health platform Vivant, bringing a comprehensive and highly complementary digital health offering to its robust InsurTech platform, and deepening its client base across India and Southeast Asia.

Symbo’s notable engagements include AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad (Malaysia), PM Care (Malaysia), Bajaj Finserv Health, and many more leading corporates, insurers and national retailers. The combined technology platform empowers over 80,000 agents and 45 technology licensing partners, supporting over USD 100 Million in annual GWP across India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

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About Symbo Platform Holdings

Incorporated in 2017, Singapore based Symbo is one of the region’s leading InsurTech companies. Symbo’s technology supports agents, TPA’s, brokers, corporates and insurers in the seamless purchase, distribution and administration of insurance across India and Southeast Asia. The comprehensive platform supports over USD 100 Million in annual GWP spanning life & general insurance across personal and commercial lines.

About CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund

Founded in February 2016, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund (“CEFIF”) is a $1 billion venture fund investing in Fintech companies globally. The Fund was named “Top 9 Fintech Unicorn Investors” globally by CB Insights and listed on “Most Active Fintech Investors 2019” by Financial Technology Partners. The fund was also nominated for “Top Fintech Equity Investor” Award at LendIt USA Annual Conference. en.cefintechfund.com

About Think Investments

Think Investments is a global investment firm headquartered in San Francisco, California. Think uses fundamental, proprietary research to identify exceptional investment opportunities in both public and private companies with an emphasis on emerging markets.

About Integra Partners

Integra Partners is a venture capital firm that was founded in 2015 with a mission to fund the future and drive access to financial services and healthcare in Southeast Asia. The firm is based in Singapore.

About Insignia Ventures

Insignia Ventures Partners is an early-stage technology venture fund focusing on Southeast Asia started in 2017 and manages capital from premier institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, foundations, university endowments, and renowned family offices from Asia, Europe, and North America. Insignia Ventures Partners is the recipient of “Most Innovative Early-Stage Tech Partner – Southeast Asia” (2020) from Capital Finance International, “Investor of the Year” (2019) from New Entrepreneurs Foundation, “Best Early-Stage Technology Venture Capital Fund – Southeast Asia” (2020) by APAC Insider, and two back-to-back “VC Deal of Year” awards for Payfazz (2019) and Carro (2018) from the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Its portfolio includes many other technology leaders in Southeast Asia.

See more at http://www.insignia.vc/

Rewire founders from right to left - Saar Yahalom, Guy Kashtan and Adi Ben Dayan. Photo - Eric Sultan

Rewire, Leading Neobank for Expats, Raises $20M to Extend Financial Services

Rewire, a fintech startup that develops cross-border online banking services tailored for the needs of expatriate workers worldwide, today announced a Series B funding round of $20M and a significant line of credit from a leading bank.

The funding round further builds on the firm’s explosive growth in Southeast Asia. Since launching its services in the region in 2016, Rewire has seen users remit hundreds of millions per year to Asia, and has acquired over 230,000 users originally from China, the Philippines, India and Thailand. The firm’s userbase continues to grow rapidly, with users from the Philippines and Thailand growing at 300% year-on-year. Similarly the number of users originally from India is growing at 350%, while the pool of users originally from China is growing at 1000% year-on-year.

Rewire was founded with the vision to empower every migrant to fulfill their financial potential for a better future, for themselves and their families. The current round of funding will enable the fintech startup to continue enhancing its product portfolio and services, as well as its strategic partnerships in the migrant’s country of origin and the country in which they currently reside.

The round, led by OurCrowd, included new key investors Renegade Partners, Glilot Capital Partners (through its early growth fund Glilot+), and Jerry Yang, former Yahoo! CEO and director at Alibaba, through AME Cloud Ventures. They were joined by current investors including Viola Fintech, BNP Paribas through their venture capital fund Opera Tech Ventures, Moneta Capital, and private angel investors.

Rewire has recently secured its EU Electronic Money Institution license (EMI), granted by the Dutch Central Bank, which allows the fintech startup to (I) issue electronic money, (II) provide payment services, and (III) engage in money remittance. Rewire was also granted an expanded Israeli Financial Asset Service Provider. Acquiring these licenses is another major step for the fintech startup in its mission to provide secure and accessible financial services for migrant workers worldwide.

To boost its cross-border solution, Rewire plans to enrich its platform with new value-added services such as bill payments and insurance, in addition to credit and loan services, investments, and savings. Adding these to its existing remittance services, payment account, and debit card, Rewire is able to make its first-rate financial services more accessible to migrants and, thus, include them in the financial systems.

“I was most impressed with Rewire’s understanding of its customers and the unique pain points of migrants around the world. As an investor, it’s crucial to know that alongside a solid business plan there’s a wider view of social impact. Rewire proves to have both. I look forward to seeing Rewire’s meaningful impact in shaping the future of cross-border banking as this young startup takes on the noble cause of financial inclusion,” Jerry Yang said.

Rewire CEO, Guy Kashtan said: “At our core, we aim to create financial inclusion. Everything that we do at Rewire is aimed to help migrants to build a more financially secure future for themselves and their families. To do so, we aim to provide services that go beyond traditional banking services such as insurance payments in the migrant’s home country and savings accounts. This investment and licenses are major steps towards fulfilling our company’s vision and will be used for additional expansion of geographies and products.”

OurCrowd CEO, Jon Medved said: “We have been strong supporters of Rewire since inception, investing in the seed round and leading this current round. It is a real pleasure to be proven right about our initial investment thesis, especially when this company is not only producing great results and growing at a very rapid rate, but also helping so many people achieve financial inclusion and get absolutely necessary banking services from a great platform like Rewire.”

With this new round of investment, managed internally by Alex Bakir (GM Europe) and Nir Mlynarsky (CFO), Rewire is now able to develop further and march towards fulfilling its vision.

Rewire saw success in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With $500M processed through its systems, the company has tripled its customer base in 2020 and will soon reach 0.5M registered users, with 40% attributed to organic growth. Rewire has penetrated new markets in Europe and the UK and introduced new cross-border bill payments.

Rewire established solid partnerships with prominent financial institutions in multiple countries such as UkrSibbank in Ukraine and mobile wallet enablers in Nigeria and the Philippines. Other partners of note across Asia include the likes of Philippine headquartered Metrobank and Indian private sector bank Yes Bank.

Serving dozens of nationalities, Rewire offers its cross-border solution in 8 different languages and a localized app. In June 2020, Rewire gained global recognition as a fintech leader at the Samsung powered Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) 2020 competition.

Investor Remarks

Glilot Managing Partner, Lior Litwak said: “Israel continues to grow companies out to change the world and Rewire is undoubtedly one of them. We are excited and proud to join Rewire’s journey to fulfill their social and business vision, which seeks to create equal financial opportunities for expats around the world. Rewire has proven itself unique in its ability to quickly take a leading position in the global financial market, with an emphasis on offering innovative products and a deep understanding of the company’s customers.

 

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About Rewire

Rewire is the first neobank for migrants worldwide. It was founded by entrepreneurs Guy Kashtan (CEO), Adi Ben Dayan (VP R&D), Saar Yahalom (CTO), and Or Benoz. To answer the unique cross-border needs of migrants, Rewire harnesses the power of innovative technology and develops strategic partnerships with leading financial institutions in the migrant’s country of origin and in their new home. From remittance and payment accounts to upcoming advanced financial services such as bill payments, savings, and mortgage loans, Rewire is able to provide innovative and accessible financial services tailored for migrants.

Rewire manages several online global communities for its diverse customer base who have migrated to Europe from over 20 countries in Asia and Africa such as the Philippines, Nigeria, India, Thailand, and China. With innovative technology, strategic partnerships, and values of equality, inclusivity and social good, Rewire is able to place migrants at the center and provide financial services that make them feel at home. To learn more, visit www.rewire.com

Partnership

Rewire partners with leading financial investors and banks such as BNP Group and Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), which is one of the largest banks in Africa. Rewire integrates banking services into its platform and provides global accounts to its customers. Rewire is expanding to serve customers from additional countries in Asia and Africa in the near future.

 

Revolut Singapore launches Junior accounts for children aged 7 - 17

Revolut Singapore launches Junior accounts for children aged 7 – 17

UK fintech superapp Revolut launches Revolut Junior (also called “Junior”) to customers in Singapore today. This feature will allow parents to create a Junior account for their children using their personal Revolut app.

Revolut Junior is an account, card and app that parents can control from their own app. Since Junior was launched in the US, UK, Australia, and wider Europe last year, approximately 10,000 Junior accounts are being created each week. To date, over 320,000 Junior accounts have been set up in over 30 markets.

Track spending and freeze account if needed

Parents can send money to their child’s Junior account and get instant spending alerts for their online and physical in-store payments. They can also freeze and unfreeze their kid’s card to secure their account in the event of card loss.

A child can download the Revolut Junior app to their phone so they can use Revolut’s famous money tools, which have been adapted especially for them to make learning fun. Parents can participate in their child’s financial literacy journey by showing them how the app helps them work towards a saving goal and how budgeting works.

Pam Chuang, Head of Growth, Revolut Singapore:

“In Singapore, 7 is the average age a child starts to get pocket money. This is the perfect time for parents to start teaching them how to manage their money. In Revolut Junior, parents will find the perfect platform to talk about topics such as goal-setting, budgeting, and responsible spending.”

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei:

“Digital technology usage is prevalent amongst young children and teens who are extremely technology savvy. At Visa, we believe the importance in educating youths on money management skills and digital payments usage starting from a young age and parental guidance is crucial. That is why we are extremely excited to partner with Revolut to launch the Revolut Junior account, which enables parents to transfer money to their children’s accounts seamlessly whilst having visibility of how they are spending online, and in stores. Being equipped with financial literacy skills will empower children and teenagers to manage their finances better when they enter the workforce in future and learn how to use digital payments wisely,”

A taste of independence with peace of mind

For tweens and teenagers, the Junior contactless payment debit card will lend a sense of independence while giving parents peace of mind. This is also a great opportunity to teach them how to manage their finances in an increasingly cashless society.

It is free to create a Junior account. Standard customers can create 1 Junior account, Premium customers, 2, and Metal customers, 5. Premium and Metal customers will enjoy additional features such as Co-Parent – where 2 adults can send money to and help manage the Junior account, Tasks – where parents can reward their children for completing chores, Weekly Allowance – where pocket money is automatically added to the Junior account, and Goals – where children can save up their spare change to help with a future purchase or target.

Revolut Junior is slated for launch on 15 February 2021. Images can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/revjunior

 

ABOUT REVOLUT 

Revolut gives our customers the power to spend, transfer, and control their money without the sky-high fees charged by big banks. Since our launch in 2015, Revolut has expanded significantly beyond our origins as an FX product, adding new features such as Gifting, Rewards, Bill Splitting, Group Vaults and Donations. Our ambition is to be the world’s first financial super-app.

Revolut does not charge a fee when customers exchange currencies in-app during London FX trading hours. We now have over 13 million customers and have processed more than 1bn transactions worth over US$100bn.

ABOUT VISA INC.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

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Junior: Frequently Asked Questions

 1. Junior at a glance:

  • Available for kids aged 7 – 17
  • Can only be set up by a parent or legal guardian (“Admin”) with Revolut account
  • Funded by a parent or guardian and/or a co-parent (“Co-Parent”) from their main Revolut accounts
  • Parent or guardian can control Junior account holder’s security features
  • Instant notification to parent or guardian’s phone when Junior card is used
  • Great way for young people to develop essential money knowledge
  • Card details printed on the back of the card, to reduce risk if card is shown on social media

2.  How do I set up a Junior account?

  • Open your Revolut app and tap on “Junior”
  • Fill out the information for the child or teen who will be using the account
  • Order a Junior card for them
  • Add money to their Junior card from your account

3.  Is it necessary to download the Revolut Junior app into my child’s phone?

Using the Revolut Junior app is optional; the card will still work even if your child does not have a mobile phone or the app. If your child would like to download the Revolut Junior app to their phone, they can scan a QR code displayed on your phone.

4.  How much control does a parent or guardian have?

A parent or guardian will have the tools to assist them to control the child’s or teen’s use of their Junior account, such as adding or removing money, and freezing or unfreezing the account. As a safety measure, only the “Admin” and “Co-Parent” can send money to the child, other adults will not be able to fund your child’s Junior account.

5.  What are the limits placed on the Revolut Junior account and card?

  • Only S$4,000 can be sent to a Revolut Junior account in any one year and only S$1,000 can be held in it at any one
  • Only S$500 can be spent on a Revolut Junior card, and only 15 transactions can be made, per
  • The child will not be able to use their Junior debit card at an

More FAQs can be found at https://www.revolut.com/en-SG/legal/revolut-junior

blockchain-3448502_1280

Eastspring Investments, BNP Paribas Securities Services and STACS collaborate to develop blockchain-powered trade lifecycle management solution

Eastspring Investments (“Eastspring”), BNP Paribas Securities Services and Singapore-headquartered fintech firm Hashstacs Pte Ltd (“STACS”) announced today the successful implementation of a first-in-market blockchain-driven solution to enhance trade lifecycle management capabilities for exchange traded derivatives (ETDs). The trading fee calculation platform, named Mercury, addresses current inefficiencies in the trade lifecycle management of ETDs.

 

ETD contracts are complex and require multiple inputs to calculate broker fees, which can lead to trade breaks and many hours of investigation and reconciliation work. The continued growth of the ETD market, combined with some of the remote working challenges brought by Covid-19, required a sustainable solution such as Mercury, which provides centralised and transparent real-time ETD data thanks to the use of blockchain technology.

 

The first phase of the Mercury platform roll-out launched successfully in June 2020. Within the first month, Eastspring and BNP Paribas Securities Services observed an 84 per cent reduction in trade breaks and a significant four-hour per day reduction in non-value-added reconciliation work, with reduced risk of errors in client reporting. 

Lilian Tham, Chief Operating Officer of Eastspring, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has posed additional challenges to the complex and rapidly expanding ETD market. By using blockchain technology, we are transforming the ETD trade cycle for the entire industry through increased transparency, security and operational efficiency. Asset managers and brokers will now be able to leverage a single source of truth and focus on value-added activities for their clients.”     

Diana Senanayake, Chief Executive Officer South East Asia of BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: “We built the solution with long-term partner Eastspring and Singapore fintech STACS, using an agile co-creation approach, leveraging the expertise of the BNP Paribas Design Factory in Singapore. The Mercury solution has the potential to benefit other industry players. It also addresses one of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s ambitions to promote collaboration between local fintech firms and large corporates with a view to positioning Singapore as a regional digital hub.”

 

Benjamin Soh, Managing Director of STACS, said: “We are excited to have resolved specific industry needs and simplified pivotal business activities for financial institutions like Eastspring and BNP Paribas through the implementation of our Mercury platform solution. With our recent win at the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global FinTech Innovation Challenge Award 2020, we are set to achieve exciting things in 2021 and remain committed to empowering financial institutions to unlock massive value presently locked up in inefficient systems and processes through transformative technology. Thanks to the collaboration and trust from our clients, we also have a good pipeline of roll-outs in 2021 to expand our live ecosystem, especially in connection with the theme of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and sustainability.”

 

Showcased during the 2020 Singapore Fintech Festival, Mercury is the Asia Pacific winner at the Gartner Eye on Innovation Awards for Financial Services 2020, which recognises financial services companies for their innovative use of technology to drive best-in-class initiatives. STACS was also selected to present Mercury at the inaugural IMAS (Investment Management Association of Singapore) Fintech Jam, which aims to showcase top fintech firms with cutting-edge innovative solutions for the financial industry in the Asia Pacific region.

 

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About Eastspring Investments
Eastspring Investments is a leading Asia-based asset manager that manages over USD 220 billion (as at 30 June 2020) of assets on behalf of institutional and retail clients. Operating in Asia since 1994, Eastspring Investments is the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, an international financial services group, and has one of the widest footprints across the region*. We provide investment solutions across a broad range of asset classes including equities, fixed income, multi asset solutions, quantitative and alternatives and are committed to delivering high quality investment outcomes for our clients over the long term. Eastspring Investments is a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a voluntary program which encourages best practice in environmental, social and corporate governance issues.      

About BNP Paribas Securities Services
BNP Paribas Securities Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the BNP Paribas Group, is a leading global custodian and securities services provider. Backed by the strength of the BNP Paribas Group, we provide multi-asset post-trade and asset servicing solutions for buy and sell-side market participants, corporates and issuers. With a global reach covering 90+ markets, our network is one of the most extensive in the industry, enabling clients to maximise their investment opportunities worldwide.

About STACS
STACS (Hashstacs Pte Ltd) is a Singapore FinTech development company with a Vision to provide Transformative Technology for the Financial Industry, with its complete infrastructure of ready platforms that make global markets simpler. STACS is leading the way forward by digitalizing assets, processes, and documents using its proprietary STACS Blockchain technology. Its clients and partners include global investment banks, national stock exchanges, custodian banks, asset managers, and private banks. STACS is an Award Winner of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Global FinTech Innovation Challenge Awards 2020, a technology partner of Project Ubin led by MAS, and also a two-times awardee of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof of Concept (POC) grant, under the Financial Sector Development Fund administered by MAS. STACS remains committed to its Mission to empower financial institutions to discover new opportunities through its technology.    

ZA Bank App_Opening Lai-see_Non-ZA Bank users

ZA Bank launches ‘HKD 10M Joy of Lai-see’ Maintaining traditional lai-see giving experience in a new way

Starting from 10 to 28 February 2021, ZA Bank will continue to be the game changer through creating a unique electronic lai-see function. The Bank will also launch the “HKD 10M Joy of Lai-see” campaign, reserving as much as HKD 10 million for users, their friends, and families to win fabulous cash rewards1.

Under the theme of “traditional in a new way”, the electronic lai-sees of ZA Bank boasts several features:

  • Preserving the essence of “packing lai-sees”: Users do not have to worry about queuing up to exchange new banknotes. ZA Bank has banknotes with different face value for users to choose in the App. All they need to do is to click the banknotes they want and drag them into the lai-see envelope. Another option is to enter the dollar amount directly, with lucky numbers like 168, 188, and 888 – all up to users’ preference.
  • Giving lai-sees in pairs: As the old saying goes: Good things often come in pairs. Users can give a pair of lai-sees by choosing “In pairs” when packing the lai-see. Newlyweds should find this particularly convenient.
  • Customising lai-see envelopes: Users often spend efforts in buying lai-see envelopes with different styles. That is why ZA Bank took a step further when designing the e-lai see function. After users drag the money and check the amount, they can click ‘Next’ to proceed and pick the lai-see envelopes. The Chinese New Year-themed visuals featuring Zappy and Alfie with greeting messages should put a big smile on the face of relatives and friends who receive the lai-see.
  • Bringing back the feeling of “opening lai-sees”: After receiving the lai-sees, the payee needs to click on the sticker at the seal. The envelope will then open and he/she can see the banknotes inside.
  • Giving lai-sees to everyone for real: As long as the payee has registered Faster Payment System (FPS) with a mobile number, he/she can receive the lai-see from ZA Bank users through the default receiving bank even without a ZA Bank account. Non-ZA Bank users will receive a link on which they can click and open the lai-see in a web browser.

Calvin Ng, Co-Head of Retail Banking at ZA Bank, said: “Users may not be able to give physical lai-sees to family and friends in the coming Chinese New Year as they reduce family gatherings. Thus, we have put a lot of thought into our design, just to make sure that users can feel the festive vibes and traditions from the entire journey from packing, sealing, sending to opening lai-sees. It is way more than just a few taps on the phone screen. We have preserved the essence of giving physical lai-sees in every single detail, hoping that users, their family and friends can feel the human touch at finger tips. By doing so, they can celebrate a good start for the Year of Ox.”

During the campaign period of “HKD 10M Joy of Lai-see”, ZA Bank will roll out two promotional offers with a plan to reward participants with HKD 10 million cash in total.

Offer 1: Earn $168 lai-see, together

User can receive HKD 168 cash reward by inviting a friend or family member to open a ZA Bank account. The referee will also get HKD 168 cash reward2.

Offer 2: Win $1,000 at the quest of the Ox

Users who have given lai-see via the ZA Bank App will get a chance to win HKD 1,000 cash reward3 (commonly known as “Golden Ox” in Cantonese).

The lai-see function and the associated promotional offers will be officially launched next week. Please stay tuned.

ZA Bank App – CNY-themed home screen

 

 

 

Packing lai-see

Sealing lai-see

 

Opening lai-see (ZA Bank users)

 

Opening lai-see (Non-ZA Bank users)

_______________

1 Terms and conditions apply.

2 The Participant refers a person (“Referee”) to successfully open an account with ZA Bank during the applicable period upon receiving an invitation code. The Participant must forward that invitation code to the Referee; the Referee must redeem the invitation code and successfully submit an account opening application with the invitation code; and the Referee has passed ZA Bank’s internal review for account opening. Terms and conditions apply.

3 The rebate is in the form of ZA Coin. ZA Coin is a third-party reward scheme operated by ZA International Financial Services Limited. User must link the ZA Bank account to ZA Coin Account in order to join the rebate promotion. Terms and conditions apply.

 

***

 

About ZA Bank

ZA Bank Limited (“ZA Bank”), licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) on 27 March 2019, is one of the first batch of virtual banks in Hong Kong, offering a wide range of online financial services to Hong Kong users. ZA Bank was established by ZhongAn Technologies International Group Limited (“ZA International”). With a “Community-Driven” approach, ZA Bank encourages users to directly contribute to its product development and design process together, guiding the bank to design and develop innovative products and services that will better serve the needs of Hong Kong customers.

ZA International was established in Hong Kong in December 2017, by ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. (HKEX stock code: 6060), an online-only insurtech company in China, to explore international business development, collaboration and investment opportunities in the area of fintech and Insurtech in overseas market.

 

About ZA Insure

ZA Insure is a digital-only insurance platform which strives to break the time and wealth constraints on insurance products. It brings the needs of users back into focus and helps them obtain the most suitable protection at a most reasonable cost. ZA Insure is dedicated to providing a user experience that is simple, fast, and accessible through its 24/7 online platform from quotation, underwriting to claim.

ZA Insure is the trade name of ZA Life Limited, a joint venture between ZA International and Fubon Life Insurance (Hong Kong) Company Limited. On 4 May 2020, ZA Life Limited obtained a digital-only insurer license from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority under its Fast Track pilot scheme.

Singapore Cancer Society_photo

Revolut markets band together to support cancer charities  this World Cancer Day 

  • Revolut  commemorates  World  Cancer  Day  by  driving  support  in-app  for  cancer  charities around the world
  • In  2020,  Revolut  customers  globally contributed almost S$6.5 million in donations through the app
  • In Singapore, Revolut is a proud sponsor of Relay for Life 2021 and will be fielding a team to complete a 100km race

Each  year,  10  million  people  die  from  cancer. By 2030, experts  project cancer deaths to rise to 13 million. With the appropriate strategies, we can save up to 3.7  million  lives every year. In light of these sobering statistics, Revolut will be encouraging its  customers to make a donation to cancer charities this World Cancer Day.

Using Revolut’s Donations product feature in the app, over 13 million customers worldwide will be able to round up their card payments and donate to a cancer charity in-app. Customers also have  the  option  to  make  a  one-off  donation  or  set  up  recurring  contributions,  which  can  be  terminated at any time in the app. Unlike traditional fundraising platforms, Revolut does not charge  its  customers  or  the  charities  a  fee  for  the  donations.  100  percent  of  the  donations  collected from Revolut customers through the app goes to the charities.

In Singapore, Revolut has stepped up to sponsor Singapore Cancer Society’s Relay for Life 2021 – a  virtual  fundraiser  aimed  at  celebrating  the  lives  of  those  who  have  battled  the  terrible disease. Revolutwill also be fielding a team in Relay For Life 2021 where collectively, Revolut Singapore’s employees will complete a 100km race by running, biking, or swimming.

James Shanahan, CEO of Revolut Singapore says: 

“In  Singapore,  39  people  are  diagnosed  with  cancer  every  day.  Although  extraordinary  breakthroughs have been made in the area of cancer research, inequities exist and we must support  organisations  that  are  working  tirelessly to ensure equal access to cancer prevention,  treatment, and care. The Singapore Cancer Society’s work ensures that no one has to fight cancer alone and Revolut is proud to support them in their work.”

Albert Ching, CEO of Singapore Cancer Society, says: 

“We  at  the  Singapore  Cancer  Society  (SCS)  strive  to  provide  the  cancer  community  with  a  meaningful and hopeful life through many enriching programmes and services. The generosity from Revolut Singapore will help SCS drive the programmes and services that improve the lives of  countless  beneficiaries.  SCS  appreciates  Revolut  Singapore  for  being  a  part  of  our  cancer  journey, showing solidarity and unwavering support for the cause. We look forward to working more closely with dedicated partners such as Revolut.”

 

Four Researchers in Singapore Awarded

Four Researchers in Singapore Awarded Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation Research Grant on Senior Citizen Welfare

The Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (“MSIWF”) Research Grant Award today announces its four Singaporean recipients with a total award of close to SGD 40,000. Coinciding with the government’s efforts towards improving eldercare in Singapore, findings from the researches awarded will contribute to advancing healthcare needs of the elderly, empowering their caregivers and supporting active ageing in the community respectively.

These awards make a total of 53 grants to date, amounting to more than SGD 500,000 being awarded to Singapore-based researchers by MSIWF since its inception here in 2007.
The fourteenth year running, the research grant is administered by MSIG, a subsidiary of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, which founded MSIWF as part of the company’s commitment to contribute back to society meaningfully.

For the 2020 MSIWF Research Grant Award, there were a total of nine grant applications in Singapore, of which the following four were selected:

  • Mandy Lau Man Yi, PhD candidate at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, for her research in the motivations of caring for elderly parents today within specific sociocultural contexts in Singapore. The study will examine the evolving expectations and practices of filial piety as well as discrepancies, if any, between expectations and reality, and the resulting coping strategies. Findings in the research will help contribute to the development of more culturally appropriate services for eldercare in Singapore.
  • Dr Vivien Wu Xi, Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, for her pilot trial of a newly-developed Intelligent Advisory System for safe and active living among community-dwelling elderly. The project aims to monitor and analyse the older adults’ vital signs and physical activity with the goals of providing advice on the range of safe physical activities, creating awareness of physical capability, enhancing functional status, and promoting healthy ageing.
  • Adj Assoc Professor Lim Si Ching, Senior Consultant from the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the Changi General Hospital, for her research on the use of simulated presence therapy (“SRT”) as an alternative non-pharmacological therapy for people with dementia or cognitive impairment in the isolation ward. SRT is based on physical attachment theories and could help in managing behavioural symptoms of elderly patients and improve patient experience during their hospital stay. In practice, SRT uses a tablet for video calls or playback of personalised video or audio recording of family members to simulate their presence for the patients.
  • Dr Dawn Tan, Senior Principal Physiotherapist at the Singapore General Hospital, for her research in constructing a comprehensive assessment of patients’ gait freezing severity caused by Parkinson’s disease, together with a team of Iinternational collaborators. The ability to assess and identify subtle impairment early is crucial in providing the appropriate intervention for better symptom control, and a better quality of life which may inevitably be impacted too. In Singapore, Parkinson’s disease strikes three in every 1,000 individuals above the age of 50 years.

Every year, MSIWF awards a maximum grant of SGD 10,000 to each of the selected recipient who has demonstrated that his/her research project will have an impact on society and strong practical applications in the area of elderly well-being and/or traffic safety.

A total of 45 research grants (33 from Japan, four from Singapore, four from Thailand and four from Taiwan) with a value of more than JPY 39 million have been selected for the 2020 MSIWF Research Grant Award.