Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
Checkout.com snaps up French ID verification firm ubble
London-based payments solutions provider Checkout.com is set to acquire French ID verification start-up ubble for an undisclosed sum.
Checkout.com says the deal, set to close later this year, will help build out its financial product offering, enabling e-commerce merchants to verify customers and capitalise on the expanding digital economy.
The addition of ubble’s ID verification capabilities will enable fintechs and merchants to remain compliant with local regulations and future-proof their operations ahead of potential changes to EU and global regulations.
Founded in 2018, ubble’s flagship solution enables the automated verification of more than 2,000 types of documents from 214 countries and territories using machine learning models.
Thoma Bravo reportedly in takeover talks with Temenos
Fintech-focused private equity firm Thoma Bravo has reportedly approached Swiss banking software provider Temenos about a potential takeover.
According to Bloomberg, Thoma Bravo has held initial talks with Temenos which saw shares in the Geneva-based firm rocket by as much as 16%, valuing the company at around $7.4 billion.
While early-stage talks seem to have been rumbling on for a few months, with Bloomberg first reporting in October that Thoma Bravo was interested in Temenos, the unnamed sources who leaked the news to the publication believe a deal could prove “challenging” thanks to the firm’s high valuation.
UK government unveils new law to protect access to cash
The UK government has announced a new law to protect access to cash, ensuring the continued availability of withdrawal and deposit facilities across the country.
The new Financial Services and Markets Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech at the state opening of parliament, is designed to shore up the country’s cash infrastructure for the long term.
Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen says: “We know that access to cash is still vital for many people, especially those in vulnerable groups. We promised we would protect it, and through this Bill we are delivering on that promise.”
The government says the Financial Services and Markets Bill will maintain and enhance the UK’s position as a global leader in financial services post-Brexit, by cutting red tape and maintaining high regulatory standards.
The Bill will revoke EU law as it pertains to financial services and replace it with “an approach to regulation that is designed for the UK”, the government adds.
Crypto firm Talos bags $105m from investors including Citi, Wells Fargo and BNY Mellon
Cryptocurrency trading platform Talos has secured $105 million in a Series B funding round at a valuation of $1.25 billion.
The funding round was led by growth equity firm General Atlantic and featured a number of new investors including Stripes, BNY Mellon, Citi and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, among others.
Existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, PayPal Ventures, Castle Island Ventures and Fidelity Investments also took part in the round.
The company intends to use the new capital to scale its platform and extend its product offerings. The cash will also fuel its planned expansion into Asia Pacific and Europe.
KuCoin hits $10bn valuation with new $150m funding round
Global cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has raised $150 million in a pre-Series B funding round, taking its valuation up to $10 billion.
Led by Jump Crypto, the round saw participation from multiple investment funds including Circle Ventures, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners.
With the new capital, KuCoin is aiming to boost its presence in the Web3 space. The firm will specifically look into crypto wallets, GameFi, DeFi and NFT platforms via its investment arms KuCoin Labs and KuCoin Ventures.
KuCoin also aims to build out its core trading system, with the new funding set to enhance performance by “tenfold”.
Launched in September 2017, KuCoin is a global cryptocurrency exchange for over 700 digital assets.
It claims to have 18 million users in over 200 countries and currently provides features such as spot trading, margin trading, P2P fiat trading, futures trading and staking.