Fintech Digest: Israel Has a New Cybersecurity Lab for Israeli Fintech Startupsby Fintechnews Africa 21 November 2021
In a tech solutions crossover last week, Enel X and Mastercard have launched a ‘FinSec Innovation Lab’ — a lab that focuses on cybersecurity capabilities for Israeli fintech companies — in Israel.
The FinSec Innovation Lab will create state-of-the-art environments to simulate real world situations based on actual data, so Israeli fintech and cybersecurity-related startups can test new products along with the support of both Israeli and international mentors, a statement said.
It is also aimed at integrating startup solutions in the Enel X Financial Services business portfolio, CEO Francesco Venturini said. Enel X is the smart energy services arm of Italian energy group Enel.
As of now, five startups chosen from over 100 applications have been selected to develop Proofs of Concept (PoCs) over the next six months. Applications were received across multiple related industries, including cybersecurity, IoT, smart homes and cities, biometrics, and identity management. Israeli fintech startups with digital wallets, open banking, fraud detection and financial inclusion solutions also applied.
The Israeli fintech and cybersecurity lab isn’t Enel’s first such venture in Israel. It opened its first innovation hub in Tel Aviv in 2016, followed by a smart grids and infrastructures-focused Infralab in 2017.
Enel X also has its toes dipped in several other industries apart from its parent company’s energy focus. This includes electric mobility, smart home and city, business solutions and fibre connectivity.
MEA Fintech News Highlights
Global payments network Thunes and cross border payments company UniTeller partner to expand the latter’s services across Africa and APAC (Fintech News Africa).
Early stage venture capital firm VentureSouq launches its US$50 million fintech-focused MENA FinTech Fund I (Fintech News Middle East).
Nomod, a payments fintech company with a GCC focus, raises US$3.4 million in a seed round (Fintech News Middle East).
Indian fintech company Paycraft launches in the UAE, expects to roll out its offerings in Africa soon (The Hindu).
Nigeria-based consumer credit company CredPal launches its BNPL solution CredPal Pay in Africa (The Paypers).
South Africa-based payments company Ozow secures US$48 million in a Series B (Fintech News Africa).
South African insurtech startup Root raises US$3 million seed funding round for expansion (Disrupt Africa).
Nigeria-based business accounting startup Kippa raises US$3.2m in a pre-seed funding round (Disrupt Africa).
Nigerian money transfer startup Aboki Africa picks up pre-seed funding to scale (Disrupt Africa).
Lending marketplace Evolve Credit in Nigeria launches its cloud lending software Configure (Disrupt Africa).
Rwanda-based fintech startup PesaChoice receives seed funding from Kigali-based Norrsken Foundation (Disrupt Africa).
Saudi insurtech startup Rasan raises US$24 million in a growth stage funding round (Fintech News Middle East).
Saudi Central Bank SAMA licenses its 14th fintech company (Zawya).
Saudi-based NFT marketplace Nuqtah closes pre-seed round led by Shorooq Partners (company announcement).
Fintech Saudi launches the fourth edition of Fintech Tour (The Fintech Times).
Saudi’s Geidea partners with financing firm Alamthal over lending solutions for SMEs in Saudi Arabia (Arab News).
UAE’s Verity secures US$800,000 pre-seed funding for its family banking and financial literacy app (Fintech Futures).
Abu Dhabi-based crypto trading platform Hayvn closes its Series A round (company announcement).
UAE’s Mashreq Bank and Visa collaborate over a digital reconciliation platform to track, trace and analyse company expense accounts (Pymnts).
UAE’s Emirates Development Bank and National Bank of Fujairah sign MoU to provide credit guarantees and co-lending for UAE-based SMEs (The Fintech Times).
Dubai has a new AED 1 billion Future District Fund for startup investments (Khaleej Times).
The American University in Cairo’s Venture Lab fintech accelerator graduates the biggest cohort to date (Albawaba).
Egypt-based peer-to-peer money exchange app raises funding from dfin (Tech In Africa).
ADCB-Egypt launches an AI-powered fraud detection solution in partnership with SAS (The Paypers).
Pakistan-based salary advance startup Abhi raises undisclosed funding at US$40 million valuation (Bloomberg).
Oman’s Phaze Ventures launches US$30 million early stage fund for MENA, Europe and North America startups, with a focus on UK fintech (Arabian Business).
Irish digital banking platform Layer launches in Bahrain through a partnership with Al Baraka Islamic Bank (Irish Tech News).
Qatar-based private sector bank Commercial Bank partners with the General Tax Authority over digital tax payment solution (Pymnts).
“Amidst all this growth, it may seem that traditional banks in Africa may be left behind. But that may not be the case, a report from CR2 suggests. Established commercial banks may be able to “gain an edge over VC backed ventures” by using the “right mix of innovation and partnerships,” the report contends. How true this will be depends entirely on how these traditional players and regulators respond to the wave of fintech innovation taking over the continent right now…”
Click to read the four top trends in Africa’s fintech space, and how traditional banks can capitalise on them.
“As crypto investing picks pace in the Middle East, using local platforms provides two key advantages to traders and investors. First, it allows them to purchase crypto in their local currencies, beating any FX disadvantages. Secondly, being licensed locally provides investors with an added layer of security (although crypto trading remains an inherently risky activity)…”
Crypto investors looking for platforms with local currency options, look no more. Read more here.
Featured image: edited from Unsplash