The FinTech Five – 7th April 2023
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. Trade & Invest Wales feature: Sorodo Soars by Drawing on Local Welsh FinTech Knowledge
First this week, Sorodo, who offer online platform-based financial services ranging from business funding to merchant cash advances and invoice factoring, have been featured on the Trade & Invest Wales (Welsh Government) website for the FinTech sector.
The article reads: “When you think of Financial Technology (Fintech) centres of excellence, the City of London, Frankfurt and even Singapore spring to mind.
“Increasingly though, some of the most transformational Fintechs are being developed in far less traditional locations. None more so than Sorodo, which is based in Flintshire, North Wales.
“There’s a good ecosystem in Flintshire. There are a lot of Fintech companies around here,” says Sorodo co-founder Simon Moorcroft, noting that MoneySupermarket and Money Saving Expert are both based here.
Being part of Wales’ Fintech ecosystem is a big bonus. “Back in the early days, we knew that if we hired someone from Money Supermarket, they would have the skill sets we needed to help us drive the business forward,” says Moorcroft. Today, Sorodo works with Starling Bank and Creditsafe, both of whom have offices in South Wales, while continuing to draw on the support of the North Wales Fintech scene.
2. Cardiff-based FinTech AGAM International Partners with Bangladeshi Firm SBK Foundation
“The partnership will provide financial access to unbanked and underserved communities, including Ready-made Garment (RMG) factory workers, small business owners and gig-economy workers.”
“The Sharia finance product is designed to help individuals and small businesses who need access to financial resources but may not have the collateral or credit history required for traditional loans.”, the article explains.
AGAM International’s founder and chief executive, Shabnam Wazed, said:
“Our provision of a Sharia digital microlending takes us a step further in achieving our mission of promoting financial inclusion in Bangladesh, especially among women and the gig-economy group. We are harnessing AI to transform traditional Sharia lending, making the process faster, efficient and fair.”
3. Newport insurer Acquis acquired by US insurance giant NSM Insurance Group
The Welsh firm, which also has a base in Amsterdam and supports over 100 clients in 16 different countries, said the acquisition will ensure it is well placed to achieve its growth ambitions of expanding its services in existing and new territories.
Headquartered in Pennsylvania, NSM is a global leader in speciality insurance with premium of more than $1.5bn (£1.2bn) across over 25 niche insurance programs and brands in the US and UK including collector cars, pets, coastal condominiums, and sports and fitness.
Nick Leader, chief executive of Acquis, said:
“This investment from NSM Insurance Group marks a significant opportunity for Acquis to meet the increased demand we are witnessing for our products, and to continue to develop our market-leading insurance solutions for the asset finance market.”
4. Business Lender Sonovate Surpasses £3.5bn in Funding to Support Customers
Next, FinTech lender Sonovate has surpassed £3.5bn in total funding and £1 billion in annual funding for the first time as rising costs force businesses to seek finance to manage cashflow and drive growth.
During 2022, Sonovate provided businesses with £1.1 billion in finance, a 58% increase on the £700 million lent in the previous year, and more than double 2020’s figure of £444 million. Lending hit £312 million in Q4 2022 alone – up 30% from the same period in 2021.
Last year also marked the first time the amount of funding provided in a month surpassed £100 million, with Sonovate initially hitting this sum in October, then again in November when £110 million was loaned to businesses. This high was a 22% jump on the previous highest performing month, when £90m was provided to businesses.
Richard Prime, Co-founder & CEO of Sonovate, commented:
“Rising costs have presented many challenges, but ambitious businesses are embracing the opportunities to drive growth and increase their competitiveness by securing finance to invest in their workforce.
5. de Novo Partners with ERP Risk Advisors to Optimise Risk Management for Clients
Last but not least this week, de Novo Solutions, a leading provider of industry vertical solutions, digital transformation and business support services for both Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow applications, has today announced a new partnership with ERP Risk Advisors, a well-respected and trustworthy provider of Risk Advisory services for organisations using Oracle Applications.
The partnership between de Novo Solutions and ERP Risk Advisors will provide organisations with comprehensive services to analyse, design, and remediate their ERP and HCM role-based access control (RBAC) systems. This is an important aspect of IT security as RBAC allows organisations to control access to sensitive information and systems. By analysing and designing RBAC systems, organisations can ensure that only authorised users have access to critical systems and data, reducing the risk of security breaches and improving compliance with relevant regulations and standards. With the expertise of both organisations combined, clients can be assured that their RBAC systems are well-designed and effective in managing access to their critical systems and data.
Ian Carline, Chief Technology Officer at de Novo said:
“We are delighted to be working with ERP Risk Advisors in order to help our clients improve their IT security and compliance posture. This is an important area for businesses, as security risks and compliance requirements are constantly evolving, and organisations need to stay ahead of these changes to protect their assets and maintain their regulatory compliance in order to avoid costly security breaches and compliance violations, which can have significant financial and reputational impacts.”
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.