Financial Innovation – Eq Muscle Release Thu, 22 Jul 2021 02:47:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial Innovation – Eq Muscle Release 32 32 The United Kingdom will overhaul the way research and development is funded Wed, 21 Jul 2021 23:01:07 +0000

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will report on Thursday a further reshuffle of the network of bodies the UK government uses to fund research and development, as he unveils initiatives to boost UK competitiveness after Brexit.

Only three years ago, the government led by Theresa May reorganized the sector to create a new super-quango dedicated to financing innovation.

Ministers then merged Innovate UK and Research England with the UK’s seven research councils to create a comprehensive national funding agency called UK Research and Innovation with a budget of £ 6 billion.

But Boris Johnson’s government has drafted legislation to create a rival ‘blue sky’ science research agency that will invest taxpayer dollars in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The new body, called the Advanced Research and Invention Agency, with a budget of £ 800million over four years, was originally headed by Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister.

Kwarteng’s innovation strategy involves an independent review which “would assess the landscape of UK organizations undertaking all forms of research, development and innovation”.

He will say it is the government’s job to make sure the UK keeps pace with the ‘global race for innovation’, adding: ‘If we do it right, we can lay the groundwork for new industries. of tomorrow and ensuring that UK companies are at the forefront of turning global cutting-edge science into new products and services that are successful in international markets.

The government has said it has pledged to increase public investment in R&D to £ 22 billion every year.

However, a recent study by the Higher Education Policy Institute, a think tank, found that the UK is likely to miss its target of spending 2.4% of its gross domestic product on research and development by 2027.

Kwarteng’s Innovation Strategy outlines seven strategic technologies that focus on existing R&D strengths in the UK, including robotics, genomics and AI.

The strategy also offers “high potential individuals” and “scale-up” visas to allow “internationally mobile” entrepreneurs to work in the UK.

Separately, Kwarteng and Lord David Frost, Minister of the Cabinet Office, will define a post-Brexit regulatory approach in the UK on Thursday, including reviving the “one in, two out” model to cut red tape.

Kwarteng will announce that the new regulations will now be drawn up on a “principle of proportionality”, marking a break with what he claims to be the EU’s excessive use of the “precautionary principle”.

It also seeks to make more use of regulatory “sandboxes” where certain rules are lifted to test new products in the markets under the supervision of watchdogs.

Part of the program was possible before Britain left the EU: David Cameron’s coalition government introduced the model of removing two regulations for every new regulation, but the policy atrophied after he left. his duties in 2016.

Kwarteng and Frost jointly developed the deregulation plan in response to a report from a task force led by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Frost said that “for the first time in a generation we are free to implement rules that put the UK first”.

Joe Marshall of the Institute for Government, a think tank, said the ‘one in, two out’ regulatory model was open to being ‘played’ by officials who might be looking for trivial old rules to drop and make way. to important new regulations.

While he welcomed initiatives such as the expansion of the ‘sandbox’ approach, he said the new regulatory policy also came with risks, as the more Britain strayed from Brussels rules, the greater the likelihood of border friction with the EU.

Marshall said in an article last month: “A deviation from EU rules in Britain could deepen the border along the Irish Sea, with Northern Ireland still being forced to follow many EU rules on goods.

KakaoBank seeks to drive innovation through IPO of W2.55tr Wed, 21 Jul 2021 05:50:00 +0000

KakaoBank CEO Yun Ho-young speaks during an online briefing with reporters on July 20. (KakaoBank)

South Korea’s first mobile-only bank, KakaoBank, on July 20 announced its goal of becoming the country’s # 1 retail bank in financial innovation through its market debut at the country’s senior board, Kospi, next month.

“KakaoBank has proven the business ability of a mobile app as it secured 16.15 million users (in the first quarter of this year) and went black within a year and a half (after the company was founded in 2017 ), “Yun Ho-young, managing director of KakaoBank, told reporters during an online press briefing.

“We have fostered the growth of our business by creating a synergy between banking activities and platform activities. It is a unique mechanism that other economic operators (in related fields) had never tried before.

The combined amount of transactions by users of the mobile-only commercial lender jumped 160 percent year-on-year to 79.1 trillion won ($ 68.7 billion) in the January-June period of this year. KakaoBank’s service is especially popular with people in their 20s and 30s, but the proportion of teens and people over 50 has increased four and six times, respectively, over the past four years, Yun said.

Fueled by the growing popularity, Kakao’s financial subsidiary’s net profit surged after posting its first profit in 2019. It posted net profit of 46.7 billion won in the first three months of this year, reaching quickly 40% of the previous year’s record of 113.6 billion. won, according to the company’s prospectus.

“I think the innovation is based on the high frequency of users. From this point of view, KakaoBank is the No. 1 financial platform in the country. … We will show our future growth based on a massive amount of capital after listing, ”he said, unveiling his market debut on August 6.

KakaoBank hopes to provide new financial services opportunities to users by actively using its innovative technologies, the power of its platform and the Kakao ecosystem. As part of this plan, the company seeks to extend its services to funds, insurance and wealth management.

It is also expected to introduce new products and services related to non-financial industries such as e-commerce and travel. The exclusively mobile bank emphasized its willingness to enter global markets through equity investments and form joint ventures using the proceeds of its IPO.

KakaoBank aims to raise up to 2.550 billion won from the IPO proceeds by offering approximately 65.45 million new common shares at a price range of 33,000 to 39,000 won. The exact share price will be determined after the book building process which is expected to end on July 21. The two-day retail tranche is scheduled to take place on July 26 and 27, with KB Securities and Credit Suisse Securities leading the way. subscribers.

The company’s market capitalization after listing is expected to reach nearly 18.5 trillion won. KB Financial Group’s market capitalization was 21.08 trillion won, while that of Shinhan Financial Group was 19.37 trillion won, as of the close on July 20.

Meanwhile, KakaoBank’s upcoming listing is of major importance to both the market and investors, as it is the first time in 27 years that a local financier has gone public after Kospi’s debut of the Industrial Bank of Korea in 1994.

But at the same time, the mobile-only banking valuation was also called into question as it was based on a price-to-book ratio of comparable companies, which only included foreign fintech companies such as Rocket Companies, TSC Group. Holdings and Nordnet AB.

KakaoBank CEO defended his move, saying it was difficult to define local financial players as his peer group due to its “distinctive business model” such as a contactless selling operation and its potential fundamental and differentiated growth, unlike ordinary local lenders.

By Jie Ye-eun (

Technological boom in NC? What You Need To Know About The Regulatory Sandbox Offered In Tarheel State | Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Tue, 20 Jul 2021 18:15:59 +0000

Technology is evolving and advancing at a breakneck pace across the world. Emerging technologies are reinventing everything from how we interact with each other to how we interact with businesses and institutions. Given the upward trajectory of technology, it looks like the “innovation” industry is ripe for the opportunity – an opportunity that looks set to take off in North Carolina.

In 2021 alone, North Carolina has been the target of high-profile tech announcements, including Google’s plans to open a cloud engineering center in Durham and Apple’s new campus at Research Triangle Park. These exciting developments are now coupled with a recent proposed legislation that would create a ‘regulatory sandbox’ further pushing for technological economic development to expand access for North Carolina citizens to unique products and services or business models that are not currently widely available.

A regulatory sandbox allows companies and entrepreneurs to test emerging technologies, products, services or business models at the forefront (or even outside) of an established regulatory framework. Sandboxes have popped up across the country – from Arizona in 2018 to Kentucky, Nevada, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming in 2019 to Florida and West Virginia in 2020 – to stimulate economic growth and remove often encountered barriers to market access. by creative business models and startups. North Carolina is one of the most recent states to study the potential economic benefits of becoming a hub of innovation. Although North Carolina has tried and failed to implement a sandbox in 2019, the 2021 iteration seems more likely to be successful given the growing number of peer states that have since adopted, or are currently working on, comparable legislation creating a sandbox.

North Carolina’s Regulatory Sandbox Act of 2021 (the “NC Sandbox Act”) aims to establish a more flexible regulatory environment for the financial services and insurance industries within the state. Here’s what you need to know about the NC Sandbox Act bill, currently pending before the Trade Committee:

Purpose and Applicability

The NC Sandbox Act would allow an applicant to temporarily test an innovative financial product or service, making that product or service available to consumers on a limited basis without subjecting the applicant company to certain licenses or other regulatory obligations imposed by Canadian law. the applicable state.

The NC Sandbox Act would apply to entities regulated by the Office of Commissioner of Banks or the Department of Insurance and offering a product or service that falls within the definition of an “innovative product or service”, that is say that the entities use a new or emerging technology, or provide products, services, business models or delivery mechanisms that are currently not widely available to the public.

North Carolina Innovation Council established

To govern the program, the NC Sandbox Act proposes to create an “Innovation Council”, which would be responsible for supporting innovation, investment and job creation in North Carolina by encouraging participation in the bac. regulatory sand. The 11-person council would set standards, principles, guidelines and policy priorities for the types of innovations the regulatory sandbox program would support. Interestingly, the first analyzes of the bill expressly mention the authorization of the Innovation Council to focus on blockchain initiatives (here is a legislative analysis of SB470). The Innovation Council would also be responsible for approving admission to the regulatory sandbox program.

Innovation exemption requests

For $ 50, an innovator can apply for admission to the regulatory sandbox program. In determining whether to admit a candidate, the Innovation Council will consider:

  1. The nature of the innovation product or service proposed to be made available to consumers, including the potential risk to consumers;
  2. The methods that will be used to protect consumers and resolve complaints during the sandbox period;
  3. The entity’s business plan, including the availability of capital;
  4. Whether the management of the entity has the necessary expertise to lead a pilot of the innovative product or service during the sandbox period;
  5. If a person substantially involved in the development, operation or management of the innovative product or service has been convicted of or is currently under investigation for fraud or violations of state or federal securities; and
  6. Any other factor that the Innovation Council or the competent public body deems relevant.

By instructing the Innovation Council to take consumer protection in addition to economic growth into account when evaluating candidate entities, proponents of the legislation are apparently trying to avoid some of the criticism that surrounded the proposal. 2019 sandbox.

Applicants must also have a physical presence in North Carolina. A waiver of the specified requirements imposed by law or rule may be granted as part of entry into the program and would be valid for the duration of regulatory sandbox participation, but generally should not exceed 24 months.

More soon

The proposed legislation also further addresses sandbox program requirements, consumer protection, registration requirements, privacy, and other initiatives and obligations. As mentioned above, the legislation is currently pending before the committee, and Bradley is closely monitoring this legislation and will ensure continued coverage of the proposed bill in the weeks and months to come. If passed, the law could come into force on October 1, 2021.

Thales biometric payment card: a secure innovation in your pocket Tue, 20 Jul 2021 06:07:19 +0000

Content of the article

PARIS LA DEFENSE – Payment cards are familiar products that are part of our daily lives. They have evolved rapidly in recent years with the emergence of contactless technology. At the heart of this process, Thales has helped banks to constantly reinvent the card itself and offer the best payment experience. This new innovative card, which incorporates a biometric sensor, offers users increased security and comfort. This latest generation of cards represents a key step in the payment space.

The contactless biometric card greatly simplifies proximity payments and also offers an essential level of confidentiality and trust. The user’s fingerprint data is loaded onto the card via a simple and secure personal enrollment process, carried out from home or at a bank branch. In addition, none of the biometric details used for registration are shared with a third party; the fingerprint in the card chip is only used to provide local authentication of the card holder during contactless payment. Neither the merchant nor the bank have access to the biometric data because it remains securely stored in the card chip.

In terms of security, the biometric card ultimately means that a lost or stolen card is useless without the owner’s fingerprint to authenticate a contactless transaction. In such trustworthy payment environments, it is not necessary to set a payment limit. In addition, when the cardholder’s fingerprint cannot be used – such as with cash withdrawals from ATMs – the use of a PIN code is still possible as a fallback solution.

The Thales EMV contactless biometric payment card is the only solution in the sector fully certified by the main EMV payment systems such as MasterCard and Visa. After a series of successful trials around the world, the solution has been marketed in several countries.

“After a test of the Thales biometric payment card and its positive results, we have now opened the offer to all our customers with complete peace of mind. This premium solution addresses several challenges such as convenience, security and contactless. A simple but rigorous registration process has been put in place at the branch so that biometric data never leaves the card. This is an essential prerequisite as we take the privacy of our customers’ data very seriously.. “Jean-Marie Dragon, Payments and Cards Manager, BNP Paribas.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the tech industry to develop contactless solutions and indirectly resulted in higher transaction levels being processed without a second factor of authentication. The biometric payment card allows contactless payment for any amount while preserving the confidentiality of this very personal data. Bertrand Knopf, SVP Banking and Payment Solutions at Thales

Content of the article

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a world leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and deep tech innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future that is crucial for the development of our societies. The Group offers its customers – companies, organizations and governments – in the fields of defense, aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security solutions, services and products that help them fulfill their essential role, with the consideration of the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020, the Group achieved sales of 17 billion euros.


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BIRD will invest $ 6 million. in joint US-Israeli innovation projects Sun, 18 Jul 2021 13:22:00 +0000

Cyberint Technologies (Petah Tikva) will work with Secure Systems Innovation Corporation, dba X-Analytics (Arlington, VA) to develop an operational cyber threat intelligence capability to inform financial decision making on cyber risks.

YonaLink (Jerusalem) and Trialjectory (Closter, NJ) will work to develop a platform to enroll diverse patients from diverse sites in clinical trials by automating the clinical trial value chain, from patient selection to management of clinical trials. data.

GrayMatters Health (Haifa) and McLean Hospital Corporation (Belmont, MA) will develop personalized auto-neuromodulation therapy for major depressive disorders using clinical biomarkers.

Over-Sat (Netanya) and MIL-SAT (Surry, Virginia) will collaborate to develop a LEO satellite end user mobile terminal capable of tracking multiple satellites.

Sensifree (Kfar Saba) and the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH) will work together to develop next-generation continuous non-invasive blood pressure monitors for hospital use.

Skillreal (Ramat Gan) and Siemens DI (Plano, TX) will develop an improved high-precision AR system supporting workers on installation and assembly lines with automatic validation to increase productivity and reduce machine errors. assembly.

In addition to grants from IBRD, projects will have access to private sector funding, bringing the total value of all projects to $ 13 million, IBRD said.

These projects are in addition to a thousand others that the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 44-year history. To date, IBRD’s total investment in joint projects amounts to over $ 370 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of over $ 10 billion.

“In a world affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with almost no face-to-face cross-border meetings during this period, BIRD’s role as a catalyst for the creation of new R&D partnerships has become even more impactful,” said the executive director. said Dr Eitan Yudilevich. “The framework provided by the BIRD Foundation offers reduced risks and improved partnerships, attracting high quality innovative proposals, which is reflected in the projects selected in this cycle. “

The BIRD Foundation encourages collaborations between American and Israeli companies in various technology sectors for joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $ 1 million. (up to $ 1.5 million for exceptional projects), the foundation helps by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the next IBRD cycle is September 2, 2021, with project approval taking place in December.

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3 Ways Companies Can Effectively Harness Innovation Ecosystems to Create Cutting-Edge Solutions for Their Customers Sat, 17 Jul 2021 16:20:22 +0000

Innovation ecosystems extend beyond startups to research and expert networks, which provide an excellent pipeline for futuristic and disruptive startups. Some examples include Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Ohio University, and Oregon State University, that support everything from technology development and commercialization to sustainability and entrepreneurship. Of course, the expected players are also participating: MIT is currently partnering with more than 700 companies (including Boeing, DuPont, Ford and Google) on innovation projects, while Stanford University is actively engaging industry to engineering to help solve real world problems. . Ajay Bhaskar of Wipro proposes three steps to tap into a powerful engine of innovation.

Traditionally, companies have relied on large technology partners who provide systems, software and professional services as solutions tailored to their needs. Such partnerships are essential because they allow companies to leverage valuable expertise, and companies will increasingly rely on a network of many different stakeholders for all kinds of purposes, including as a source. innovation.

As the pace of innovation and disruption increases, businesses are beset by competition from all sides. Today, a revolutionary startup like Uber or Airbnb can redefine an entire industry virtually overnight, and large, established companies must defend their positions and their intellectual property by learning how to create their own innovation ecosystems. This is not an easy task for large forestry companies, but the very survival of the company may depend on it.

Capitalize on an efficient ecosystem

Innovation ecosystems can provide huge benefits in almost any industry, but they have the greatest impact in the sectors that change the most rapidly. Take cybersecurity, where there is a 24/7 arms race between hackers and the companies they seek to steal. In most recent cyberattacks in the United States, businesses and even local governments have had no choice but to pay ransoms so they can get back to business as quickly as possible. Although solutions and technologies exist to combat this persistent threat, many of them are innovative and disruptive startups.

Artificial intelligence is another area where rapid evolution makes innovation ecosystems essential. Governments around the world are fining financial institutions for failing to detect the use of their systems by human traffickers, arms dealers, drug dealers and terrorist groups. And despite a large market for compliance solutions, banks continue to break the rules.

In Europe, for example, banks spend $ 20 billion on anti-money laundering (AML) measures every year, but 90% of European banks have been fined between 2009 and 2019. Banks with an effective innovation ecosystem can harness the latest developments in AI and effectively apply technology to anti-money laundering initiatives. With better solutions helping an institution incur fewer fines, it can gain a serious competitive advantage.

Innovation ecosystems extend beyond startups to research and expert networks, which provide an excellent pipeline for futuristic and disruptive startups. Some examples of these outings from universities and research laboratories are Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Ohio University and Oregon State University, which support everything from technology development and commercialization to sustainability and entrepreneurship. Of course, the expected actors are also present: MIT is currently in partnership with more than 700 companies (including Boeing, DuPont, Ford and Google) on innovation projects, while Stanford University actively solicits the engineering industry to help solve real world problems. The list is long.

The benefits of innovation ecosystems are clear, but their creation does not always come naturally to the company. Executives of large companies often have reservations about engaging small organizations like startups that have not been proven successful and lack financial security. To overcome the most common obstacles and tap into a powerful engine of innovation, follow these three steps:

  1. Look for partners who have the innovation ecosystem agenda as a key priority.
    Companies work with countless partners, and some of them are well equipped to play a key role in the search for innovation. When a company uses a partner that prioritizes an innovation ecosystem program, it has access to all of that partner’s knowledge and innovation networks. With this in mind, the presence of mature innovation ecosystems should be a key factor when selecting potential partners for a wide variety of services.
  2. Access cutting-edge solutions through venture capital branches
    Many companies have venture capital branches that invest in startups as strategic investors, but focusing specifically on areas very close to the business can help embed this innovation into core businesses and platforms. that the company is building. These efforts are often transformational because they can generate new value for clients in much less time and because the approach has been validated time and time again in industries such as technology and finance. A faster approach for businesses is to partner with companies that have active corporate activities with the aim of bringing cutting edge solutions to businesses, getting the most out of the partner and the startup.
  3. Look for ways to form partnerships with research networks.
    Major innovations (especially in areas where the problems are large and complex) are underway in the laboratories of universities and research institutes around the world, and they could also benefit from a partner company that would bring the statement of customer problem and the data needed to better understand the problem. When the research team comes up with a new approach, the business or client can proof-of-concept and send real feedback to the research team that helps them refine and triangulate a solution that works with the partner and l ‘business.

Ideas and innovations are like living organisms, and they need the right ecosystem to grow and thrive. When a business populates the landscape with experienced partners, industry experts, academics, researchers, etc., it creates an environment where innovation can flourish, benefiting both the business and its people. customers in countless ways.

Written by Ajay Bhaskar.

Follow the latest news live on CEOWORLD magazine and get updates from the US and around the world. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of CEOWORLD magazine. Follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter and
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CFOs on the move: week ending July 16 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 13:46:58 +0000

Rebecca Rooms

Genomic diagnostics company Veracyte appointed Rebecca Rooms as the new CFO. Chambers was until recently CFO of medical technology company Outset Medical. Prior to that, she worked at Illumina, where she held several financial positions including Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasury, and as Senior Director investor relations. She was previously responsible for investor relations and corporate communications at Myriad Genetics and, prior to that, held various positions in investor relations at Life Technologies. Earlier in her career, she held positions at Bank of America and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Chambers sits on the board of directors of the medical device company Inari Medical.

Anaplan appointed Vikas mehta as CFO, effective July 19. Prior to joining the software company, Mehta held leadership positions at Microsoft in their business, cloud computing and digital transformation efforts, particularly in business strategy, business development and finance. He also held a key role in investor relations. Previously, he was the CFO of Nike’s direct operations and led the digital and direct-to-consumer transition. Earlier in his career, he worked at Walmart eCommerce, eBay, and Autodesk.

Todd sanders

ECI software solutions hiring Todd sanders as CFO. Most recently, Sanders was CFO of enterprise software company Planview, where he led the business through a sale to TPG Capital and TA Associates in late 2020, made operational improvements that led to better gross margins and managed post-merger integrations for two acquisitions. He has also held executive positions in high growth public and private software companies including SymphonyEYC, Aldata Solutions, Retalix USA and StoreNext Retail Technologies. He succeeds Sarah Hagan, who has assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of ECI.

Burlington Stores appointed Travis Marquette as the new President and COO of the retailer, effective October 4. Marquette resigned this week from his position as CFO of Ross Stores. Other positions he has held at Ross include Group Senior Vice President, Assistant CFO and Senior Vice President Finance. Prior to joining Ross in 2008 as Director of Strategic Planning, Marquette held various consulting and management positions for 12 years with Bain & Company, Carter’s and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mike Loftus

Mike Loftus joined Eyemart Express as Chief Financial Officer, effective July 20. Loftus brings over 25 years of finance experience to the optical retailer with a significant focus in the retail industry. He joins the company from Lori’s Gifts, the largest provider of hospital gift shop concierge and retail services, where he most recently served as CFO. Prior to that, he held financial leadership roles at GameStop and Blockbuster.

Andy Schmidt was appointed financial director of a medical aesthetics company Sientra. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Guardion Health Sciences. At Guardion, Schmidt was part of a team that raised $ 35 million and also restored the company’s compliance to the Nasdaq list. Previously, he was CFO of technology company Iteris. He previously held CFO positions at Smith Micro Software and Genius Products. Previously, he held financial leadership positions at Peregrine Systems and Mad Catz Interactive.

Kristin guillory

Kristin guillory has been promoted to the position of CFO of the energy holding company Cleco. Guillory worked at Cleco for 17 years and held several financial positions of increasing responsibility, including Treasurer, General Manager of Finance and Assistant Treasurer. Most recently, she was president of Cleco Cajun LLC.

Towards innovationSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Steven roth will retire from the company in 2022. Roth joined Rudolph Technologies in 1996 as CFO and assumed the responsibilities of CFO of Onto Innovation when Rudolph Technologies and Nanometrics merged in October 2019. Roth will remain CFO until ” that his successor is appointed and will help the company assess candidates.

Daryl raiford

Bandwidth appointed Daryl raiford as the new CFO of the cloud communications company. Most recently, Raiford was CFO of Ribbon Communications, a communications software and network solutions provider. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, then Vice President of Business Transformation at Freescale Semiconductor. He was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Travelport Worldwide Ltd. Previously, he was Vice President of Finance and Administration, Americas for Hewlett-Packard, and Corporate Controller for Compaq Computer Corp. before its acquisition by HP. He was also CFO of Shell Technology Ventures.

Universal Baby Registry Platform Babylist hiring michelle newbery as the first CFO. Newbery was previously President and Chief Financial Officer of Crowd Cow, where she helped evolve and streamline its farm-to-fork business models and new markets. Prior to that, she held several positions at Lowe’s Companies, including President of The Mine, and was COO and CFO for

Anaplan, Burlington Stores, careers, CFOs on the Move, corporate finance, Veracyte

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Revolut Confirms $ 800 Million New Funding at $ 33 Billion Valuation to Boost Financial Services SuperApp – TechCrunch Thu, 15 Jul 2021 08:45:45 +0000

Fintech funding continues to arrive at a rapid pace, due to the huge change underway in the way consumers spend and manage their money. In the latest development, Revolution – the London-based financial ‘superapp’ which provides banking, investing, currency transfer and other money management services to some 16 million users worldwide – confirmed this morning that she had raised $ 800 million. The company said this E-Series round of funding valued Revolut at $ 33 billion.

This makes Revolut the UK’s most valuable fintech, as well as one of the largest large-scale startups backed by the private sector, not only in Europe, but globally. It also follows in the footsteps of Klarna, the Swedish buy now and pay later start-up, which is also branching out into a wider range of other services for consumers and the businesses that integrate it. Klarna raised $ 639 million last month valued at just under $ 46 billion. Stripe in the United States earlier this year raised to a valuation of $ 95 billion.

This latest Series E is co-led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global, who appear to be the sole backers of this round. It comes on the heels of rumors earlier this month Revolut was lifting big. Revolut last lifted about a year ago, when it closed a Series D at $ 580 million, but what’s astonishing is how much its valuation has changed since then, multiplying by 6 (it was $ 5.5 billion last year).

“The investments from SoftBank and Tiger Global are an endorsement of our mission to create a global financial superapplication that enables clients to manage all of their financial needs through a single platform,” said Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, in a statement.

For further reference, when Revolut released its financial figures for 2020 last month, it noted that it had a turnover of $ 361million (£ 261million) in the fiscal year. , a 57% increase from 2019 revenue of $ 229m (£ 166m). ). Gross profit for the period was $ 170m (£ 123m) last year, although it still operates at a net loss, with the first quarter of 2020 seeing an adjusted operating loss of $ 76m (£ 55million), with $ 277million (£ 200.6million) in operating losses for the full year. In other words, the large sum of money placed now, and this large valuation, are long term bets.

Revolut now has over 16 million customers and records over 150 million transactions / month, and the plan will be to offer a wider range of services and promotions both to grow this base and to get its users to spend more. money and time to apply. . It will also include exploring new areas like insurance and a deeper dive into investment and trading, and possibly a significant increase in credit services (which have been a major growth engine for other neobanks and financial technology companies). Revolut will also do more to develop its user bases in the United States and India, he said.

Like other “neobanks” that have emerged in recent years, Revolut was built around the idea of ​​exploiting an infrastructure of banking and financial services already built, which it uses via APIs and fits into its service. Revolut then focuses on creating a smooth and user-friendly experience both within its application and with its customer service.

The goal of its technology is therefore to improve the personalization of the service and to create new tools that are not so commonplace, such as budgeting tools and other financial management features.

“We believe Revolut’s superior customer experience and focus on rapid product development places the company in a strong position to continue to grow in existing and new geographies,” said Scott Shleifer, Partner of Tiger Global, in a press release. “We are excited to partner with Nik and the Revolut team as they build the next generation of financial services. “

This has particularly appealed to younger users, who not only are more comfortable with digital services, but will be less experienced in all things finance.

But it will be interesting to see how and if Revolut integrates more basic financial infrastructure into its application, or if integrated finance reigns supreme.

In the meantime, investors believe that there is a lot of room for the development of the technology in its current model.

“Revolut’s rate of innovation has redefined the role of financial services, placing [Revolut] at the forefront of the emerging neobanking sector in Europe. The company’s rapidly growing user base reflects sustained demand for Revolut’s expanding range of services, ”Karol Niewiadomski, senior investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Nikolay and his team in continuous product innovation and bringing their services to new markets globally.”

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Blockchain Technology Will Increase Nigeria’s GDP By $ 29 Billion Wed, 14 Jul 2021 08:29:38 +0000

By Collins Nweze

Little research by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has shown that blockchain technology can add $ 29 billion to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 and promote financial inclusion.

The report, titled “Blockchain Potential for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria,” describes the potential of blockchain to boost financial inclusion and illustrates potential use cases for blockchain technology in Nigeria.

Fostering financial inclusion in Nigeria has been highlighted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a key objective. However, EFInA’s 2020 Survey on Access to Financial Services in Nigeria highlighted that financial inclusion in Nigeria stands at 64%, below the national financial inclusion strategy to reach 80% of financial inclusion. financial inclusion by 2020.

The EFInA blockchain study highlights that blockchain-based solutions can support progress towards Nigeria’s financial inclusion goals and address some of the key challenges related to financial inclusion, such as lack of formal identity, high transaction costs and lack of transparency.

EFInA said that achieving this would require building trust in businesses, government transactions and processes. EFInA has identified four key use cases for blockchain technology in Nigeria – enabling identity management, payments, access to finance, as well as title granting and registration – outside of crypto -currency, which is a major application of blockchain technology and a recurring topic of discussion between regulators and government entities around the world today.

Recently issued circulars by the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on cryptocurrency talk about the fact that blockchain technology is on the radar of Nigerian policymakers. Cryptocurrencies fall into different categories – speculative coins, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies – which present varying degrees of risk and opportunity.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced its intention to launch a central bank digital currency, which has the potential to support government intervention programs for people living in underserved areas and enable efficient remittances. cross-border funds.

To ensure that the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is realized in Nigeria, a collaborative effort among multiple stakeholder groups is essential – regulators, financial service providers, development institutions and donors / organizations. financial sector development.

These stakeholder groups need to find ways to communicate and collaborate to drive policies conducive to innovation and ensure that we take a balanced approach to risk in the implementation of emerging technologies in Nigeria.

Other countries have leveraged public-private partnerships and embraced blockchain technology to drive inclusion and efficiency in their financial systems. For example, the South African Reserve Bank, in collaboration with ConsenSys (a fintech) and the national banking community, leveraged blockchain to reduce transaction processing time by 75% while increasing trust, confidentiality and the scalability of their financial system.

The Nigerian financial ecosystem must learn lessons from other climates and find ways to apply them locally to improve the way we deal with each other and enable the inclusion of Nigeria’s most vulnerable groups.

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Central Bank of Thailand sees increase in number of companies adopting cryptocurrency Mon, 12 Jul 2021 19:56:13 +0000

Southeast Asian country Thailand like most countries lately is embracing cryptocurrency as a growing number of companies prefer digital currencies like ether (ETH-USD) and bitcoin (BTC) as a method of payment. However, the country’s central bank may well appear to have concerns about such a move by these companies, as they have warned them of the risks of using crypto as a form of payment.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) in a press release mentioned that you have to be careful when using digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services. The central bank’s public relations statement revealed that some companies across the country have started soliciting payments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.

– Publicity –

With that in mind, the financial institution has maintained a firm stance on this matter, as the recently released public relations statement stated that digital assets are not considered legal tender. In addition, it was also stated that BOT does not support the idea of ​​cryptocurrencies being used as a means of payment for goods and services. The institution went on to explain that this poses risks for buyers and sellers, including computer theft, money laundering and price volatility.

BOT x SEC team up

It was also mentioned in the press release that in the event that the use of crypto assets becomes widespread in the country, BOT will coordinate with Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies involved to take the measures necessary to ensure that these digital assets will not pose “significant risks” to both the general public and the country’s financial and economic system.

The Bank of Thailand has made it clear that it recognizes the importance of innovation and financial applications for improving payment systems, adding that it will continue to assure its employees that they are getting the maximum benefit. of these developments in the financial system. He then revealed that the BOT has a central bank digital currency (CBDC) which is currently in development. Along with this, there is the formation of policy guidelines to “regulate fiat coins or other forms of stablecoins to provide more reliable digital payment channels” to their people.

Thai government and crypto

Thailand has this penchant for issuing policies for various areas of the cryptocurrency industry. In early 2021, Thailand’s SEC proposed a decision requiring investors to invest at least one million baht ($ 30,696) in crypto. This aroused the ire of stakeholders in that country, as said proposal elicited only negative reactions from them. They (stakeholders) believe the proposed policy would exclude both middle and low incomes from the cryptocurrency market, BTC Manager noted. The agency then clarified all this by stating that the intention to apply the aforementioned qualifications set out in the proposal was not there … yet.

Last month, the SEC drafted a new ruling to ban trading of meme tokens, fan tokens, exchange tokens and non-fungible tokens on local exchanges in Thailand. It is said that the agency’s decision “aims to clean up the local digital currency market and ensure consumer protection.”

This move can be seen as a positive one as it is pretty much obvious that the SEC is committed to ensuring that the public will only trade legitimate cryptocurrency projects rather than ban crypto trading itself.

In recent times, these so-called “crypto amulets” have swept the Thai cryptocurrency scene. The prices for these digital religious items run into the thousands if blessed by a popular and respected monk.

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