有消息指出，本轮融资将由Silver Lake Partners领投，另有包括日本软银集团、DCM Ventures和对冲基金Third Point等在内的多家机构也将参与本次融资。此外，上述机构同时还会购买SoFi的贷款产品。
2016年世界金融行业十大关键词：Calexit、NAFTA、Trumpflation、Black swan、Interest rates、Fintech、Peer-to-peer lending、Dodd-Frank Regulatory Reform Bill、Blockchain和Trumponomics。
近日，总部位于伦敦的金融科技初创公司TrueLayer宣布完成130万美元种子轮融资，Connect Ventures 和Graph Ventures领投。据了解，Nexmo的创始人，著名天使投资人Tony Jamous和Eric Nadalin也参与了本次投资。
摩根大通（JP Morgan）、芝加哥商业银行（CME Group）、BNY梅隆银行（BNY Mellon）和桑坦德银行（Banco Santander）已公开表示加入联盟。此外，微软（Microsoft）、Red Hat 和思科（Cisco）也宣布将对该联盟提供支持。
越南正在尝试改变国内人们的支付方式，减少现金交易，提高电子支付普及率。越南副总理Vuong Dinh Hue曾发布相关政策，加快国内与电子支付有关的基础设施建设，争取到2020年全面普及电子支付。
该条例涉及直接出借己方资金的在线借贷机构，即所谓的资产负债表（balance sheet lenders）。
Regtech公司Qumram获Mundi Ventures 150万瑞郎天使投资
Qumram是一家专注于监管合规和风险管理的金融技术公司，日前，该公司宣布获得来自Mundi Ventures的 150万瑞郎投资。公司负责人表示，Mundi Ventures作为公司的天使轮融资，将帮助Qumram扩大在英国和北美的服务市场。Mundi Ventures是一家总部位于西班牙马德里的风险投资集团。
Bitbond是一家以比特币业务为核心的在线借贷公司。日前，该公司宣布，已经完成了120万美元的天使轮融资，投资人包括Fyber的创始人Janis Zech和Andreas Bodczek，以及Kreditech的创始人Alexander Graubner-Müller。
戴姆勒的财务和IT控制部门主管Jonas von Malottki在Hyperledger管理委员会上代表德国巨头表示说，汽车公司作为"高级会员"加入其中。
本月20日， BharatQR移动支付系统正式在印度上线。印度储备银行副行长R. Gandhi表示，随着印度逐步推进电子支付产业发展，必须加强市场监管，完善行业法律法规，对支付服务提供商资质进行严格把关。
近年来，对冲基金与人工智能的联系变得愈加亲密。包括Bridgewater Associates、Point72和Renaissance Technologies在内的传统对冲基金都在不断加大技术研发投入，尝试进行新突破。但目前来看，它们对人工智能的应用仅限于进行现状分析和趋势预测，而Sentient Technologies则致力于利用人工智能管理整个股票交易流程。
近日，Northern Trust已经与IBM就利用区块链技术建立私募股权基金达成合作协议。此前，Northern Trust曾通过瑞士的资产管理公司Unigestion对该系统进行了部署，目的是解决传统私募股权基金管理中存在的的效率，安全和透明度缺陷。
Standard Chartered connects corporate customers to WeChat
Standard Chartered has aligned its cash management offering with WeChat's online payment gateway, giving corporate merchant customers access to 800 million consumers in China. The QR based connection with WeChat Pay will help Standard Chartered's Chinese clients harness the growth in e-commerce and alternative payment methods, says the bank, a market which is expected to reach $2.4 trillion globally by 2019.
In addition to simplifying receivables management, the TenCent connection allows for corporate merchants to customise the online checkout and secure transactional data. (Source: Finextra)
SoFi closes in on $500m funding round
SoFi is on the verge of closing a $500 million funding round led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners that would value the online lender at $4.3 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Citing sources, Bloomberg says that the round could close next week and is likely to include several investors from Asia, including Japan's SoftBank, DCM Ventures and Third Point. The investors will also buy SoFi's loans.
It is now looking to move into other retail banking areas, recently buying fellow fintech player Zenbanx, enabling it to offer checking accounts, credit cards and international money transfers. (Source: Finextra)
Trump, fintech win big among top 10 financial terms of 2016
Finance news and education site Investopedia released its list of the top 10 financial terms of last year - and President-elect Donald Trump, unsurprisingly, and tech lingo both had a big impact.
According to Investopedia, the Top 10 terms of 2016 were: Calexit, NAFTA, Trumpflation, Black swan, Interest rates, Fintech, Peer-to-peer lending, Dodd-Frank Regulatory Reform Bill, Blockchain and Trumponomics. (Source: CNBC)
Private digital currencies need regulation to flourish - Bank of Canada research
Digital currencies such as Bitcoin will not be safe without government intervention and are likely to be counterfeited, according to a Bank of Canada report drawing on the lessons off private bank notes in the 1800s.
The paper examines what happened when both private bank notes and government issued notes were simultaneously in circulation, arguing that both share many characteristics with today's digital currencies.
Drawing lessons from this experience, the report argues that "well designed and managed private digital currencies could circulate widely but only with appropriate government regulation to ensure their safety, soundness, and uniformity". In addition, private digital currencies are likely to be counterfeited and are unlikely to be inflationary. (Source: Finextra)
QR code-based payment initiative rolls out in India
A government sponsored quick response(QR)code-based payment service, IndiaQR, has launched today in India, heralding the next major step in its ambition to be a cashless society.
The QR codes can be used to store data such as weblinks and bank account details and can be read by smartphone cameras. They also enable merchants without a terminal or POS machine to accept card payments by scanning the QR code.
IndiaQR is a government-mandated initiative which has been developed by MasterCard, Visa and RuPay and launched in Mumbai and is designed to make the codes present in as many merchants as possible. Consequently, the initiative has led various payment providers to invest heavily in developing related services. (Source: Finextra)
Fintech start-up TrueLayer closes $1.3m funding round
London-based Fintech firm, TrueLayer, has closed a $1.3m seed funding round led by Connect Ventures with participation from US-based Graph Ventures. Investment has also come from angels including Nexmo Co-Founders, Tony Jamous and Eric Nadalin.
TrueLayer is working on a platform which makes it easier for FinTech startups and developers to access data and details from mainstream financial service providers and banks.
Recently launched in beta, the technology could prove a key part of the new generation of financial apps, such as money management and payment services, which pull data from their user's different accounts and banking services. (Source: Altifi)
Jaguar Test-Drives Embedded Payments
Owners of a new Jaguar have an additional reason to feel superior to other drivers. Going forward, with a tap of the touchscreen on their cars' digital dashboards, they will be able to pay for gas at UK Shell stations using either PayPal or Apple Pay.
Working collaboratively, the car manufacturer and the global fuel giant created the app-based program, which leverages geolocation technology and a cloud-based pre-payment check with the PayPal or Apple Pay wallet to make the purchases happen via the Shell App.
The app is is available for download in the UK as of today and will be introduced to other global markets as the year wears on. (Source: PYMNTS)
Chase preps digital mortgage platform
Chase is gearing up to launch a digital self-service mortgage platform that lets customers track their loan applications to closing entirely online or from their mobile phones. The bank has teamed up with mortgage technology specialist Roostify on the platform, which will launch later this year, letting users upload, track and sign documents digitally, while communicating with loan officers and real estate agents through a real-time messaging. (Source: Finextra)
Global fintech funding plunges in 2016 but expected to regain momentum in 2017
Funding for fintech companies around the world plummeted in 2016, with American and European firms experiencing a particularly sharp drop in investment, according to a report from KPMG and CB Insights which nevertheless predicts a bumper 2017. Total fintech funding declined by almost 50%, falling to $25 billion in 2016 from $47 billion in 2015.
In the US, total funding fell from $27 billion to just $12.8 billion, while the total number of deals was down from 615 to 489, a drop blamed by the report on political and regulatory uncertainty, a decline in mega-deals and investor caution.
For Europe, the picture was even bleaker, with total fintech investment dropping 80% from $10.9 billion in 2015 to $2.2 billion last year. Europe's fintech leader, the UK saw deal value down from $4.6 billion to $654 million, although transaction volume remained steady. (Source: Finextra)
Big banks join coalition to promote Ethereum uptake
A new Alliance to promote the uptake of Ethereum as the foundation for running smart contracts in Fortune 500 enterprises is set to host its inaugural meeting in New York next week. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance aims to connect Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts.
Initially proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer, Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality.
JP Morgan, CME Group, BNY Mellon and Banco Santander are understood to be among the big banks lending support to the initiative, which has also won the support of Microsoft, Red Hat and Cisco among others. (Source: Finextra)
Bank of Korea, R3 consortium to carry out blockchain project
The Bank of Korea said it will carry out the Proof-of-Concept project with R3 consortium by using blockchain technology.
Kim Jung-hyuk, head of the e-finance planning team at the Bank of Korea's Financial Supervisory Service, said "We recently decided to proceed with the proof-of-concept with R3 Consortium and once the final decision is made internally, the specific scope and schedule of the project will be announced".
Meanwhile, the Bank of Korea has launched a task force team (TFT) to overlook the issuing of the digital currency.
The TFT will examine the effect of digital currency on the monetary policy of the Bank of Korea and its financial stability, and a separate technology research team will be looking into how to issue, circulate, and regulate the trading of the digital currency. (Source: Econotimes)
Vietnam Shifts Toward Cashless Economy
Vietnam is moving forward in reducing cash transactions and formalizing electronic payment methods. Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue signed a plan that ensures that the country has the infrastructure and equipment that it needs to progress toward a cashless economy by 2020.
Focus areas that the government is pushing toward cashless payments include supermarkets, shopping malls, and distributors. Vietnam wants to see that less than 10 percent of transactions in these areas are completed in cash. The country also wants to reduce cash transactions for utility services and telcos by 30 percent, and by 50 percent amongst urban households. (Source: Crowdfundinsider)
SEC & NASAA Sign Agreement to Share Data on Intrastate Crowdfunding
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) have signed an information-sharing agreement regarding new rules to facilitate intrastate crowdfunding offerings and regional offerings take effect. NASAA is the lobbying group that represents state securities regulators.
According to the SEC, the agreement is intended to ensure that the new exemptions are serving their intended purpose of facilitating access to capital for small businesses. The SEC said that under the memorandum of understanding (MOU), federal and state securities regulators will be better able to monitor the effects of the new rules and also guard against fraud. (Source: Crowdfundinsider)
Online lenders like UangTeman to face new regulations in Indonesia
ndonesia's financial services authority (OJK) is working on new rules for online money lenders, The Jakarta Globe reported earlier this week. The expected release date is between April and June this year.
The regulations concern online lenders who give out loans from their own capital - so-called balance sheet lenders.
That's different to peer-to-peer (P2P) lending - where the online platform matches third-party money lenders with borrowers, taking a cut from each transaction. OJK already introduced regulations specific to the P2P lending model.
The rules will put a cap on the the maximum amount balance sheet lenders can hand out, OJK official Dumoly Pardede told the Jakarta Globe. The aim here is to keep the loan size small. This way, online balance sheet lenders would fill a gap rather than compete directly with banks. (Source: Tech In Asia)
Russia to Deploy Blockchain By End of 2019: Sberbank Chief
Sberbank Chief Herman Gref has said industrial-scale Blockchain deployment in Russia will be possible before the end of 2019.
Speaking at the Real Estate Market Innovation Conference, Gref said that although the timeframe was "perhaps a little optimistic," it was nonetheless workable.
Gref also said that prime minister Dmitry Medvedev had given the go-ahead for a working group to be created for the purposes of studying Blockchain applications.
Speaking about the technology itself, Gref added that he assumed it would affect "literally all industries." (Source: Coin)
Regtech Firm Qumram Receives CHF 1.5 Million Investment from Mundi Ventures
Mundi Ventures has invested CHF 1.5 million in Qumram, a Fintech firm that focuses on regulatory compliance and risk management. Qumram said Mundi's investment finalized their 2016 angel funding to expand services both in the UK and North America. Headquartered in Madrid, Mundi is a tech-focused venture capital group.
Qumran described the Mundi investment as strategic as the VC will be providing due diligence support and will facilitate access to corporate executives, new markets, and new customers.
Qumram allows all digital activity and interactions (web, social, mobile) to be recorded and replayed, in movie-like form, providing a transparent digital audit trail for financial services organizations. (Source: Crowdfundinsider)
ING and SocGen make blockchain-based oil trade
ING and Societe Generale have teamed up with commodity trading house Mercuria to test the use of blockchain technology for a live oil trade. Blockchain tech was used to sell an oil cargo shipment containing African crude three times on its way to China, with traders, banks as well as an agent and an inspector, all performing their role in the transaction directly on the 'Easy Trading Connect' platform.
The experiment found that by making efficiency gains in certain processes, the average total time for a bank to complete its role in the transaction could be slashed from approximately three hours to 25 minutes.
In addition, applying distributed ledger technology to the commodity trade financing chain can prevent issues such as documentary fraud and allows for the digitalisation of assets, claim the pilot participants. (Source: Finextra)
UK and Ontario regulators form fintech pact
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) has inked a deal with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) designed to make it easier for fintech startups from each market to gain access to the other. The FCA has made a concerted effort to foster London's position as a global fintech hub, setting up its innovation hub back in 2014 to help young firms navigate the complex regulatory landscape.
The partnership means that, once referred by the home regulator, and ahead of applying for authorisation to operate in the new market, businesses will have access to dedicated staff that will help them to understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join, and how it applies to them.
The FCA and OSC have also committed to share information on emerging trends and regulatory issues pertaining to innovation in financial services. (Source: Finextra)
Bitcoin-based marketplace lending platform scores $1.2m fundraise
German SME lending platform with bitcoin at its core looks to grow into new markets.
Bitbond, the small business loans marketplace built on bitcoin, has scooped $1.2m in equity funding from a number of angel investors. The backers included Fyber founders Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek, in addition to Kreditech co-founder Alexander Graubner-Müller.
The cash will be used to continue growing a user-base which has already swollen to 76,000 people, from 120 countries, and for further product development. A particular emphasis will be placed on acquiring new users in markets that are underserved by the banks. (Source: Altfi)
Mercedes Benz Maker Daimler Joins Hyperledger Blockchain Project as Premium Member
German automaker and multinational Daimler AG has joined the open-source blockchain working group, the Hyperledger Project.
Daimler AG, the parent company behind one of the world's most recognizable brands in Mercedes-Benz, is the latest example of an industry giant investing and researching blockchain technology.
The automotive company joins as a 'Premium Member' in an arrangement that will see Daimler's head of Finance and IT Control, Jonas von Malottki, represent the German giant on the Hyperledger Governing Board, an announcement revealed.
Daimler AG CIO Jan Brecht stated: We see Blockchain as a promising technology, not fully mature yet, but continuously growing. Now is the right time to get into it, build up knowledge and form a network of like-minded people to share experiences. (Source: Cryptocoinsnews)
RBI not for free licensing of payments sector: Deputy Governor
Launching the BharatQR mobile payments acceptance system here on Monday, RBI Deputy Governor R. Gandhi said granting licences to payment service providers cannot be an automatic "tick box exercise" and such entities need to be selected as per proper selection criteria.
BharatQR is an inter-operable and low cost payment acceptance solution, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Mastercard and Visa.
With this new digital payments solution, consumers will not need to scan different quick response (QR) codes at the same merchant provided by the different payment networks. The merchants will only need to display one QR code at the storefront or through the acquiring bank's mobile application. (Source: PCMag India)
AI trader? Tech vet launches hedge fund run by artificial intelligence
Sentient Technologies Inc., a startup that has spent nearly a decade-largely in secret-training an AI system that can scour billions of pieces of data, spot trends, adapt as it learns and make money trading stocks.
While traditional hedge funds including Bridgewater Associates, Point72 and Renaissance Technologies have poured money into advanced technology, many use artificial intelligence to generate ideas-not to control their entire trading operations.
All the same, Sentient, which currently trades only its own money, is being closely watched by the finance and AI communities. The venture capital firm owned by Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, and India's biggest conglomerate, Tata Group, are among backers who have given the company $143 million. (Source: Bloomberg)
Northern Trust runs private equity fund on blockchain
Northern Trust has engaged with IBM on the commercial deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market. Northern Trust has deployed the system at Unigestion, a Swiss asset management firm, with the aim of addressing efficiency, security and transparency failings in the administration of traditional private equity funds.
The blockchain network, built on the Hyperledger fabric, provides real-time insight and transparency to all parties, including the fund managers and investors as well as allowing regulatory access when required. It was developed in concert with Government and regulatory authorities in Guernsey, where the fund is domiciled. (Source: Finextra)