The FinTech Five – 28th April 2023 

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Welcome to the FinTech Five, where we take a fortnightly look at the best articles, news, insights and features from our FinTech Wales members.  

1. Sero secures second round of investment from Hodge Bank and Legal & General Capital

First this week, Sero has secured further investment of £6m from Welsh bank Hodge and Legal & General Capital (LGC), a clean energy transition investor and the alternative investment arm of Legal & General Group, following initial investment from both in December 2021. Founded with the mission to enable zero carbon homes, Cardiff ‘B-Corp’ Sero provides expert products & services to help the planning, funding, implementation, and operation of homes along their pathway to net zero carbon.

Hodge Bank led the current funding round, bringing the combined equity stake of both investors to 44%. Sero is excited to accelerate its journey with the continued confidence and backing of both its Series A investors at a key stage in the company’s growth.

James Williams, Chief Executive officer at Sero said: 

“I’m delighted that Sero has secured further investment from Hodge and Legal & General Capital, following on from the initial investment secured at Series A in December 2021. This is a great vote of confidence in the Sero team, our technology and our ambition to rapidly increase the scale of net zero homes in the UK.

David Landen, chief executive officer at Hodge, said: 

“In the 16 months since we made our first investment in Sero we have seen the company go from strength to strength, working with more housing associations in England and also extending its reach to a point where it’s now advising construction companies about how to build more sustainable homes.

Click here to read the full announcement. 

2. The Centre for Finance, Innovation & Technology (CFIT) selects Recruit121 as Recruitment Partner for Core Senior Leadership Team

Next, the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) is proud to announce that it has partnered with Recruit 121, a global talent specialist in the technology and finance sector, to source its core senior leadership team.

CFIT’s mission is to unblock the barriers to growth for financial technology, and the success of this mission is dependent on building a strong and effective leadership team. As such, the selection of the right individuals for these key roles is critical.

Ezechi Britton, CEO of CFIT, commented:

“The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) is extremely pleased to announce that we have partnered with Recruit121 in order to source our core leadership team. These first few roles are critical to making CFIT a success and to carrying out our mission to unblock the barriers to growth for financial technology. We are confident that Recruit121’s expertise in identifying and recruiting top talent in the technology sector will be invaluable in achieving this goal.”

Emma Peterson, Director of Recruit 121, said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen by CFIT as their talent partner for their senior leadership team. We recognize the critical importance of these roles to the success of CFIT’s mission, and we are committed to identifying and recruiting the best possible candidates to fill them. We are excited to work with CFIT to build a team that will drive innovation and growth in the financial technology sector.”

Click here to read more. 

3. FinTech Wales welcomes PwC as its newest Enterprise Member

Next this week, the independent members association and champion of the FinTech and Financial Services industry in Wales, FinTech Wales, has welcomed one of the largest professional services networks in the world, PwC, as its newest Enterprise Member.

By joining the organisation, PwC will have full access to the FinTech Wales community and the resources it provides.

PwC has offices in 155 countries and is among the leading professional services networks in the world. In addition to its traditional assurance, tax and advisory services, the firm has in recent years expanded its offering to lead in areas such as deals, digital transformation, cyber and managed services. 

In Cardiff, PwC is undergoing a period of rapid headcount expansion, having taken a third floor at its One Kingsway workspace to give it an extra 10,000 sq ft and enable it to grow its headcount by a further three hundred over the next 18 months.

On becoming a member of FinTech Wales, PwC’s Regional Market Leader for West & Wales John-Paul Barker commented: 

“It’s exciting to join FinTech Wales at a time when the industry continues to go from strength to strength regionally, and Cardiff is flourishing as a FinTech hub in the UK. FinTech Wales, and the community of entrepreneurs, founders and innovators it represents are aligned to our ambition to create hundreds of digital and tech jobs in Wales.”

Click here to read more on the announcement.

4. IE Hub CEO Speaks Out About Reformed Gambling Laws

Next, In a move welcomed by many, the UK government has proposed a significant overhaul of the country’s gambling laws to introduce measures aimed at tackling problem gambling, which affects an estimated 300,000 people in the country. The reformed gambling laws come in response to concerns about the growing number of individuals seeking help for gambling-related debt.

In a recent Insight piece, IE Hub explained the proposed changes and why the UK government is making them. 

Finally, Dylan Jones, CEO of IE Hub, expressed his support for the reformed gambling laws:

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals seeking our services in recent months for gambling-related debt. This underpins the urgent need for effective measures to address this pressing issue,” he said. The proposed measures aim to promote responsible gambling and protect vulnerable individuals from falling into debt.

As part of IE Hub’s efforts to support individuals struggling with gambling-related debt, IE Hub offers a range of free resources and tools designed to help people manage their finances and break free of the cycle of debt. “Our tools can help people track and manage their finances to break free of the cycle of gambling debt,” said Dylan Jones. “We urge anyone working to overcome their gambling problem to utilise our free platform. We aim to help alleviate some of the stress around their financial situation.”

Click here to read the full insights from IE Hub.  

5. Sonovate partners with Deel to fund international expansion of organisations across the globe

Last but not least this week, Embedded finance provider, Sonovate, has partnered with global HR platform, Deel, to support its customers with on-demand, scalable funding solutions as they expand overseas.

The partnership will see Sonovate become the sole funder on Deel’s Marketplace, and its embedded finance solutions will be integral to helping Deel’s customers to fund and place candidates globally efficiently and seamlessly.

Deel is a global payroll solution which helps businesses – including Nike, Revolut, and Shopify, hire anyone, anywhere as independent contractors or full time employees, compliantly and in minutes.

The combination of Deel’s Employer of Record service and Sonovate’s multi-currency, embedded finance solution will drive efficiencies for recruiters, providing a fast, holistic HR and funding solution that allows for frictionless expansion into new territories.

Richard Prime, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Sonovate: 

“This partnership marks yet another step change for us, as Sonovate evolves our service to better support larger recruiters and consultancies who want to expand overseas. Deel’s global platform empowers us to offer our services to more organisations who place workers across the globe, propelling us forward on our mission to fund the future of work. Sonovate customers can now place contractors in more jurisdictions than ever before, with Deel providing access to more than 150 countries, including all of the major markets.

Click here to read more about the new partnership. 

Until Next Time

That’s it for the FinTech Five this week. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join us fortnightly for more of the best content from across our FinTech Wales membership.

If you want to join our dynamic FinTech Wales community, then click here to learn more about the exclusive benefits FinTech Wales membership has to offer.