by Florin Oprea
Peter Evans -The Times
London fintech start-up Duco has raised $28m (£19.8m) from two early backers of tech giant Alibaba and Michael Spencer’s NEX Group. Duco allows financial institutions to manipulate enormous amounts of data through remote internet servers. It is understood the funding round values the company at about $100m.
FAO: Duco joins the plethora of companies/businesses Spencer’s NEX is currently nurturing. As some of you might know NEX was formerly known as ICAP. It changed its name to NEX Group in December 2016 after the disposal of its global hybrid voice broking and information business to Tullett Prebon.
After first announcing the service last summer, Venmo released an instant transfer feature that lets consumers send money to their debit cards without waiting days for their funds to appear. The feature, which costs users $0.25, could help consumers cash out before a holiday or on Sundays — in other words, times that banks usually don’t process transactions.
DNT: A really good feature which was initially available only for PayPal beta users. But the service will work only with Visa and Mastercard, as we are informed in the story.
Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg (subscription)
AI was on the lips of seemingly every corporate chief and policy maker attending this year’s conference in Davos, Switzerland. The term “artificial intelligence” appeared in more than 20 headlines and stories Bloomberg ran about the gathering.
DNT: This proves the importance of AI in our living times. As Florin already said, (Artificial Intelligence section) 2018 will be AI year. Read the story to find out some intriguing opinions about AI from Google CEO Sundar Pichai or Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Jeremy C. Owens – MarketWatch
CEO Steve Smith resigned after what the company called “poor judgment with respect to an employee matter.” Equinix will replace Smith on an interim basis with former CEO Peter Van Camp, who had been serving as executive chairman for the data-center company since handing the reins to Smith in 2007.
FAO: This was unexpected, especially after Smith’s eleven years at the helm of Equinix.
Shanny Basar – Markets Media
Fintech firms will continue to target the bond market as trading becomes more electronic and regulations change how firms approach data and reporting according to consultancy Aite Group.
Social Finance has acquired the engineering and product teams of mortgage startup Clara Lending, bolstering the fintech company’s offerings beyond student-loan refinancing.
FAO: SoFi’s freshly named CEO, Anthony Noto, former COO of Twitter, has a quick and difficult first task – rebuild SoFi’s team asap!
Via Finews – The Zurich-based fintech Additiv is hiring 13-year Citibank veteran Adrian Weiss to expand its business in Asia.
DNT: Weiss, who currently is Citibank’s regional head of advisory for Asia & EMEA, will replace Loic Pitrou, as we are informed.
Via Crowdfund Insider – Canadian fintech Katipult appointed Karim Teja as new CFO.
DNT: According to the company, Karim Teja has more than 15 years of experience in senior positions at tech companies in the medical, environmental and financial sectors.
Hugh Harsono – TechCrunch
Blockchain projects have the potential to reduce, and possibly eliminate, settlement times due to their digital nature, ensuring the timely and secure processing of these operations.
Denise Tsang, Su Xinqi & Yujing Liu – SCMP
The Shenzhen special economic zone had in recent decades evolved from a fishing village to “factory of the world” to hi-tech hub – and now holds 12 million people and three million businesses, including Chinese technology names known to the world including internet giant Tencent, drone maker DJI and infocomm bigwig Huawei.
FAO: Fresh competitors on the horizon?
As the Romanian start-up scene has begun to develop in recent years, so has the surrounding ecosystem supporting it.
FAO: Useful list of incubators and accelerators in Romania.
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider
The head of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fintech says Brexit will present “opportunities” for the sector, despite reservations in the industry.
Afriyie: “I think we’re poised to continue to take the world by storm on fintech… Brexit, I think, is actually more of an opportunity than a threat.”
DNT: Mr. Afriyie supported Brexit..so, it’s no wonder he’s saying this…We will see.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News