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Fintech focus: Hovde, ICBA launch fund for banks interested in fintech investing

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Fintech focus: Hovde, ICBA launch fund for banks interested in fintech investing

S&P Global Market Intelligence rounds up financial technology companies' recent product launches, partnership announcements and fundraising activity, as well as regulatory developments in the financial technology space. For more fintech news, click here.

Top News

Hovde Group LLC and Independent Community Bankers of America are among the latest institutions to launch a financial technology-focused fund with community banks as investing partners.

Banktech Ventures LP is a venture capital fund with a $150 million to $200 million goal for its first fund, whose first close is expected at the end of October. Aside from Hovde and ICBA, it also has general partners from The Venture Center and executives at community banks Everett, Wash.-based Coastal Community Bank and Sandy, Utah-based Sunwest Bank.

Recently, Elizabeth Park Capital Management Ltd., Strandview Capital and about 50 community banks partnered to launch a $100 million fund to invest in emerging banking technology companies. Anton Schutz, founder of Mendon Capital Advisors, is also helping set up a fintech fund designed to let community banks find new technology for both deployment and investment. And Jacobs Asset Management launched its fund, JAM FINTOP Banktech, earlier in the year.

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Integrated payments platform Paysafe Ltd. extended its partnership with payments provider ZEN.COM, allowing for its eCash solution, Paysafecash, to be used by individual customers and business clients throughout 25 European countries. With the solution, customers are able to make cash deposits into ZEN.COM's virtual wallets.

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With interest in new cards for the cryptocurrency sector rising, card-issuing platform Marqeta Inc. is powering cryptocurrency spending and rewards products for Coinbase Global Inc., Fold, Shakepay Inc. and Bakkt Holdings Inc.

Coinbase and Bakkt revealed Visa debit cards that allow consumers to spend cryptocurrency. Shakepay announced a new Visa card that offers Bitcoin rewards, and Fold unveiled a Bitcoin cashback debit card.

Banking and lending

Atlanta-based Atlantic Capital Bancshares Inc. and fintech company Self Financial Inc. broadened their partnership, through which Atlantic Capital will combine its size, scale and expertise with Self Financial's credit builder products. The combination will expand Self Financial's secured credit card offering.

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Customers Bank, a subsidiary of West Reading, Pa.-based Customers Bancorp Inc., and Tassat Group Inc., a provider of blockchain technologies for digital payments, launched Customers Bank Instant Token on blockchain-based real-time payments platform TassatPay. The platform will immediately start serving business-to-business clients looking for instant payments.

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HSBC, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC, will launch a banking-as-a-service offering to let customers create and provide business banking services via their own platforms. The company and Oracle NetSuite, a cloud enterprise resource planning system, are working together to offer international payments and expense management services that can be embedded into Oracle's SuiteBanking product.

Payments

JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched a new line of business called Chase Payment Solutions, American Banker reported. The company, through the combination of Chase Merchant Services with WePay Inc., is putting together its traditional payment acceptance services and newer digital tools that cater to merchants, according to the report.

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Artificial intelligence company Previse is integrating Mastercard Cross-Border Services, the global push payments platform of Mastercard Inc., into its InstantPay platform. The collaboration will allow instant payments to suppliers in more than 100 markets globally.

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Intuit Inc. introduced Money by QuickBooks, expanding its QuickBooks offerings that cater to small businesses to handle payments. The Money by QuickBooks mobile app allows business owners to process debit card transactions and bill payments.

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Interactive Brokers Group Inc. unveiled Request for Payment, a real-time payment-related messaging service from JPMorgan Chase & Co. that is provided through The Clearing House RTP network. Through Request for Payment, investors can make instant deposits 24/7 to fund brokerage accounts and start trading immediately.

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American Express Co. and Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking are collaborating to offer large corporate clients a cloud-based payments solution that will support multiple payment options and offer data and analytics in one integrated platform. The collaboration unites Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s TxB platform with American Express' card expertise and direct buyer and supplier relationships.

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Plaid Inc. will debut an ecosystem of payments partners to help improve account-to-account payment experiences, according to a blog post on the company's website. The digital financial solutions provider also partnered with Checkout.com LLC and Marqeta Inc. to bolster its global ecosystem and form connected payments experiences for fintech companies that use the companies' services.

Data and information management

Pagaya Technologies Ltd. and SoFi Technologies Inc. announced a partnership. Pagaya provides artificial intelligence-driven models to expand financial access beyond existing, traditional credit models.

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MSCI Inc. and Burgiss Group LLC unveiled a new analytical tool that measures the carbon intensity of private equity and debt funds. The Carbon Footprinting of Private Equity and Debt Funds will provide institutional asset owners and managers with analysis about the impact of climate change on private asset portfolios.

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Cloud payments and financial messaging company Volante Technologies Inc. secured $10 million in funding from Wells Fargo Strategic Capital and has now received $45 million of total institutional investment to date. Wells Fargo & Co. recently selected Volante to help its migration to the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard as part of the bank's strategic payments modernization effort.

Trading and investing

Republic, New York-based firm that operates a retail investment platform, announced a $150 million series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners. Republic will utilize the additional funding to expand geographically and develop new investment products, among other initiatives.

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Q2 Holdings Inc. and NYDIG disclosed that Warsaw, N.Y.-based Five Star Bank and UNIFY Financial Credit Union are the first U.S. financial institutions that allowed their banking clients and members to buy, sell and hold bitcoin powered by NYDIG. The capability was made possible through the integration of NYDIG into the Q2 Digital Banking Platform.

Insurance

EPlus inc., a consultative technology solutions provider, launched security services that will aid organizations in addressing requirements connected to cyber liability insurance standards. The company's cyber services include cyber insurance consulting, ransomware preparedness assessment, incident response services, cloud-managed backup and managed security services.

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