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Broadridge Ties Up With AWS to Extend Its DLT-Based Private Market Hub



Broadridge Financial Solutions, a US-based technology solutions provider, has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to extend its Private Market Hub platform.

The platform utilises distributed ledger technology (DLT) to better streamline and connect the private equity ecosystem and assets.

The updated platform now has added connectivity to existing industry tools and technologies to help further automate workflows between front-, middle- and back-office functions providing a consistent, secure, real-time view of the data.

According to a statement by Broadridge, this is said to be the industry’s first deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market.

Bringing together private equity ecosystem participants, Private Market Hub not only reduces friction for fund managers, investors and administrators, but also allows for easier auditability.

The hub allows for independent auditor access, and adding connectivity to existing industry tools and technologies via its’s open API architecture.

Eric Bernstein, Broadridge’s President of Asset Management Solutions.

Eric Bernstein

“We are leveraging blockchain technology to drive further innovation, removing industry friction in workflows and delivering real savings in terms of cost and time, by offering seamless connectivity to critical applications and solutions that industry participants rely on.

The trends around digitization and data and analytics are only growing, and digital assets mark the start of an exciting new era for the private markets industry and fund managers and investors alike, accentuating the need to access best-in-class products to address the evolving landscape.”

said Eric Bernstein, Broadridge’s President of Asset Management Solutions.

Saman Michael Far, VP, Financial Services Technology, Amazon Web Services

Saman Michael Far

“We are excited to support Broadridge’s Private Market Hub, which accelerates the digitization of a critical part of the financial services infrastructure.

Private Market Hub’s use of Amazon Managed Blockchain, a fully managed blockchain service, allows us to help Broadridge scale efficiently and more effectively serve its customers.”

said Saman Michael Far, VP, Financial Services Technology, Amazon Web Services.

Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash

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Overfunding: Digital Investment Platform Clim8 Secures £1.6M+ from 885 Investors via Crowdcube



Clim8, a digital investment platform that’s focused on a firm having a “positive impact” on climate change, has raised £1,630,460 from 885 investors via Crowdcube, at the time of writing. There are now 21 days remaining for this offer with the platform already surpassing its £750,000 target.

Clim8 is reportedly backed by £5 million of venture capital and also by 3,000 retail investors. The company has managed to acquire “up to £2 million in airtime” for equity from Channel 4 Ventures. Clim8 has launched in the App Store “to target part of the £1.6 trillion held by retail investors.”

Instead of making investments and immediately acquiring shares, in this particular round payments will be sent directly to the firm and shares “issued at a future date,” the announcement noted while adding that a convertible lets a firm secure funds without having to commit to a set valuation.

The firm’s management says they established Clim8 so “anyone can invest in companies that are making a positive impact on climate change.” They think that there’s a lot of “greenwashing” happening. In contrast, they’ve got an in-house investment team that “focuses on renewable energy, clean technology, sustainable food, electric mobility, clean water, & the circular economy.”

As mentioned by Clim8’s management, an estimated $2.4 trillion “needs to be invested, every year, into clean energy.” This is required in order to meet the United Nation targets on climate change to avoid “catastrophic damage.” The market opportunity in the United Kingdom alone “is vast, with some £1.6 trillion held in retail investments.”

As noted in by the company:

“We launched the Clim8 Invest app on IOS & Android in private beta in October 2020 and then in the App Store in March 2021. Our users have invested from £25 all the way up to £97k. We charge a fee as a % of assets under management.”

They added:

“We have already raised £5M+ of venture capital plus a recent £2M in airtime from Channel 4 Ventures. Our investors include a venture capital fund backed by the British Business Bank & Atomico, the Future Fund, plus 3,000 investors from two successful Crowdcube campaigns (overfunded by 300% & 500%).”

Crowdcube investors now have the chance to invest along with Channel 4 and may also join the Clim8 journey. Clim8 says that it’s raising further funding “to accelerate user acquisition & launch new product offerings including pensions.”

Some of the key stats shared by the team are as follows:

  • Experienced team from Credit Suisse, Expedia, LendInvest, Monese
  • Tripled size of the team from 10 to 30 people in last year
  • £5m in venture capital raised to date
  • 4.8-star rating in the App Store, from c.100 reviews

Have a crowdfunding offering you’d like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!

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Big Data

Forget cryptocurrencies and NFTs—securing devices is the future of blockchain technology



Cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) may be all the rage right now, but they’re overshadowing better uses for blockchain and other distributed-ledger technologies. Rather than using them to disrupt financial systems or the art world, distributed ledgers can be used to create trust among Internet of Things devices, which is essential for any successful IoT network.

Trust among devices can enable scenarios like an autonomous security robot checking the security clearances of drones flying overhead, or a self-checkout register at a grocery store that flags recalled meat when someone tries to buy it. Unfortunately, these use cases exist in primarily theoretical or pilot stages, while flashy crypto applications garner the most attention. But finally, an upcoming smart-home standard is using blockchain to create trust among devices.

The new standard, put forth by the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) working group in the Zigbee Alliance, an organization developing the ZigBee wireless standard, focuses on improving IoT-device compatibility. That includes making sure devices from different manufacturers can securely interact with one another. Project CHIP’s ledger is one of the first scaled-out blockchain efforts outside of cryptocurrency launches.

CHIP’s standard describes a blockchain-based ledger that contains each CHIP-certified device, its manufacturer, and facts about that device, such as the current version of its software and whether or not it has received a particular update. The standard also includes other basic security features such as encryption among devices.

The creation of this CHIP Compliance Ledger will let anyone with access to the ledger automatically monitor the status of all connected devices listed. People living in smart homes with hundreds of sensors, devices, and connected appliances could then use a service provider to keep everything up to date. The ledger also allows manufacturers such as Amazon, Apple, or Whirlpool to monitor the security of their own devices automatically.

What’s great about this blockchain approach is that it eliminates the need for users to track and monitor the security of all their devices. Depending on how the ledger is set up, it could also alert people to device vulnerabilities. The ledger could even be used to automatically quarantine those vulnerable devices.

CHIP hasn’t shared a lot of details on the ledger yet, but it’s unlikely that it will use a difficult, energy-intensive proof-of-work approach to verify a change to the ledger. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum currently use such approaches, with the downside that they make the currencies extremely energy hungry. But because smart devices are already designed to merely sip battery power, CHIP’s ledger will hopefully require less-taxing proofs to add to or change the ledger.

While CHIP’s ledger may not be as flashy as an NFT selling for over US $60 million, it’s an important step toward a more useful approach to distributed ledgers. A device’s ability to establish its bona fides and list its software patches over its lifetime is invaluable for device security. If the companies participating in Project CHIP can show the world that its blockchain approach can certify and secure millions of smart-home devices, then we can expect to see more efforts to scale up distributed ledgers. Those efforts may not be meme-worthy, but it will be a relief to have more machines that trust one another.

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Digital Banking: India’s ICICI Bank Introduces Virtual Bank Solutions for Corporates and their Ecosystem Partners



ICICI Bank Ltd, a privately-owned Indian development finance institution with its registered office in Vadodara, Gujarat, and corporate office in Mumbai, Maharashtra, has launched “ICICI STACK for Corporates,” which is described as a complete set of digital banking services for corporates and their promoters, group companies, employees, dealers, vendors and various other stakeholders.

The extensive range of solutions should allow corporates to easily address different banking requirements of their clients in an efficient manner. With this digital banking product launch, ICICI Bank says that it wants to become the preferred bank partner for firms and their affiliates.

The environment in which corporate clients conduct business is now quite dynamic and competitive, especially due to the accelerated adoption of all-digital platforms that are now streamlining key business processes.

In this rapidly-evolving environment, a banking partner, which may serve corporates and the ecosystems in which they do business, adds considerable value to corporate clients, the announcement from ICICI bank noted. With this in mind, the bank has implemented “ICICI STACK for Corporates” to serve the firms and their ecosystem by bringing the complete bank to the clients.

The “ICICI STACK for Corporates” aims to offer specialized digital banking solutions to firms operating in more than 15 key industries– like financial services, IT/ITES, pharmaceuticals, steel, among many others  — and their ecosystem.

These services may be customized for firms and their partners.

The ICICI STACK for Corporates includes digital banking solutions for companies; digital banking services for channel partners, dealers and vendors; digital banking services for employees and  curated services for promoters, directors and signatories.

ICICI Bank has established eight ecosystem branches — five are located in Mumbai and three are based in the National Capital Region (NCR). The company intends to establish another four branches during this year.

Vishakha Mulye, Executive Director, ICICI Bank stated:

“In an increasingly competitive and dynamic environment with rapid digital transformation impacting every industry, corporates look towards a banking partner, which can offer the breadth and depth of solutions for the entire ecosystem. With an objective to cater to the ecosystem of every corporate, we have launched a digital ‘ICICI Stack for Corporates’ with many industry first features. It offers banking solutions to corporates with backward and forward integration for their entire network of employees, dealers, vendors and all other stakeholders. We look forward to partnering with our customers for the banking needs of their entire ecosystem and unlock the full potential.”

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Fintech Holding Firm APPS Acquires Cloud enabled Software Company Clique Payments



Atlantic-Pacific Processing Systems NV, Corp. (APPS), a Fintech holding company offering technology and financial services, has reportedly acquired Cloud-enabled software firm Clique Payments, Inc.

The acquisition should allow APPS to further expand its enterprise resource planning and accounting payments integrations solutions to include QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero, Sage and other software apps. It will also be offering support for various payment processing services and over 20 major payment gateways. The terms of the deal were not shared publicly.

Abe Maghaguian, President and CEO at APPS, stated:

“Clique’s reseller-focus is highly complementary. The acquisition is also a really good fit with our APPSos platform for merchant lifecycle management and will enable independent software vendors, independent sales organizations, payment facilitators and bank sponsorship clients to expand their offerings while helping their clients streamline operations. We are very excited about the acquisition and welcome Clique to the APPS family.”

Clique’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offers a set of solutions that comes with integrated payments acceptance for accounting and ERP software. Clients are able to access a front-office point-of-sale system that allows merchants to handle different types of transactions, such as fully integrated EMV, along with swipe and key-entered payments synched with back-office accounting software in real time.

Additionally, the platform supports invoice creation with email and text delivery, recurring billing, convenience fees, tokenization and various other features.

APPS’ “semi-integrated” Cloud POS terminal comes with connections to widely-used payment processing providers and gateways. The firm’s payment facilitation program and platform are  supported as well. ISVs who would like to provide card present payment services using the payfac model have managed to integrate access to solutions they require (all from a single source).

APPS CIO Brent Gephart remarked:

“Acquiring Clique gives ISVs, ISOs and their merchant customers easy access to a comprehensive suite of products and services, including highly desirable payments integration application programming interfaces, user interfaces and plugins to top accounting and ERP platforms. We look forward to rolling out Clique capabilities to clients and others looking to expand their offerings through this time-tested platform,.”

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