Fintech funding round-up: 18 January 2018
US, Ireland, Russia – fintech funding fuels the world. Here’s another round-up – featuring BB&T Corporation, Solgari and Tinkoff Bank.
Starting in the US, North Carolina-based BB&T Corporation says it will set aside up to $50 million to invest in and/or acquire emerging digital technology companies as it pushes further into the fintech fray. BB&T chairman and CEO Kelly S. King says this investment “represents an important strategic milestone in our digital business transformation”.
BB&T says its ambitions began in 2015 by appointing a chief digital officer. Since then, it has delivered new tools and platforms for retail and commercial clients featuring payment technologies and the “U by BB&T“ digital banking platform. BB&T operates over 2,100 financial centres in 15 states and Washington DC.
Irish firm Solgari, a provider of cloud communications services, has completed its latest €4.5 million funding round from Enterprise Ireland along with Focus Capital Partners and private technology investors in the US, UK and Ireland.
The funds are being used for product development, including Solgari Communicator, and the launch of an integrated solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365 on Microsoft’s AppSource marketplace. The firm says it has customers in 33 countries, and it delivers all the digital communication channels – including voice, WebRTC video, chat, IM and SMS – as an integrated cloud software service while addressing MIFID II, GDPR and PCI DSS compliance requirements.
In Russia, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov and Tinkoff Bank managers have established a RUB 100 million ($1.7 million) endowment fund to support artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning research. The fund has become the largest MIPT endowment, and is an open fund, which means that MIPT alumni joining Tinkoff Bank will be able to contribute to the fund at a later stage.
Tinkov, founder of Tinkoff Bank, says it is “ready to engage in close co-operation and share practical knowledge with universities”. He also reminds people that in the first half of 2017, Tinkoff Bank opened a special Financial Technologies Department in the Phystech School of Applied Mathematics and Informatics at MIPT. Last year, we had an exclusive interview with Oliver Hughes, CEO of Tinkoff Bank. He talked about its online financial supermarket, maintaining momentum, and how US and UK banks can be occasionally underwhelming.