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Divvy Sells to for $2.5 Billion



Corporate expense management platform Divvy has agreed to sell to small business financial software provider for $2.5 billion.

Adding Divvy’s technology to its platform expands’s solution. The new capabilities will help the California-based company enable its 115,000 customers to automatically manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, and corporate card spend. Additionally, Divvy’s tools will offer businesses real-time insight into their B2B spending and provide them access to multiple payment solutions.

Combining the two companies also boosts Divvy’s capabilities. The Utah-based company will be able to offer its 7,500 small business customers automated payable, receivables, and workflow capabilities. “As we listened to our customers, we heard them ask for a comprehensive payments platform so that they don’t have to use multiple software systems to manage their finances,” said Divvy CEO and Co-Founder Blake Murray. “Today I’m proud that Divvy is joining to bring the one-stop-shop platform that our customers and the market have been asking for.”

“Since founding, I have been driven by the desire to build solutions that make a real difference for small and mid-sized businesses. Customers have been asking us to help them with their spend management, and I am excited that together with Divvy, we can deliver on that ask, furthering our vision to transform SMB financial operations. Our expanded platform will provide more automation and real-time information to SMBs, enabling them to make more informed decisions,” said CEO and Founder René Lacerte. “We are excited to work with the talented Divvy team. We have a shared passion for helping SMBs succeed and both companies are driving our customers’ digital transformations. Together, we can further empower SMBs to transition quickly and easily.”

Today’s deal is expected to close by the end of September and is subject to regulatory approvals closing conditions. was founded in 2006 and went public in 2019. With a market capitalization of $12.33 billion, the company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BILL.

Founded in 2016, Divvy has raised $418 million from investors including PayPal Ventures, Insight Partners, and New Enterprise Associates.

Photo by Maranda Vandergriff on Unsplash

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa


Switzerland based Proptech Firm Properti Continues Expanding Operations, Hires Umut Sentürk as COO



The team at Properti, a technology-driven real estate firm focused on modernizing residential properties in Europe, reveals that it remains focused on expanding its operations.

They recently welcomed Umut Sentürk as their new Chief Operating Officer at Properti AG.

As noted in an update from the company, Umut continues to be “responsible for the development and expansion of [their] management department and now also the operational management of the business.”

Umut Sentürk has 14 years of industry experience, 7 of which he worked in real estate management, the Properti team revealed. He’s currently completing his MAS in Real Estate Management and has worked as a part-time real estate consultant for the homeowners association of Burgdorf and Trachselwald for the past 5 years.

Umut is now looking forward to the new challenges.

He added:

“After just 20 months, Properti is a fast-growing company with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. As someone who is passionate about people and the real estate industry, I am looking forward to making another contribution as COO to achieve our vision.”

Company CEO Levent Künz remarked:

“His profound expertise in day-to-day business, coupled with his profound understanding of tenant and landlord concerns and the evolving requirements make him an excellent candidate for the position of COO. “

The team at Properti revealed earlier this year that as of April 1, 2021, they have expanded their team “in the areas of marketing, business development, management, customer value, customer acquisition, back office, HR and IT – we welcome our new employees to the Properti family!”

During March 2021, Properti reported that it was able to launch more than 212 new listings (real estate) – which is notably the strongest month ever for the platform.

The Properti team also mentioned that a move can be an “intense” and “exciting” time, and it’s always best to be well-prepared. In a blog post, Properti explained that an acceptance report serves “to confirm that the tenant and landlord have jointly and properly recorded the handover of the apartment.” To learn more about this process from Properti, check here.

As reported in early January 2021, Switzerland-based Proptech firm Properti received 580 applications last year and ended 2020 with 508 active properties.

Levent Künzi, Co-founder and CEO of Properti, had shared the company’s key milestones from last year in an annual review 2020 update.

Künzi confirmed that Properti handled CHF 69 million (appr. $77.52 million) in total mediated volume. It managed to make 419 successful placements, placed 16,212 total ads, and employed 37 professionals (as of January of this year).

As noted by the Properti team:

“We offer a wide range of services related to sales and rentals for private and commercial real estate. Our service includes accompanying you from start to finish, communicating openly and transparently with you and only incurring costs in the event of success.”

As covered in August 2020, Künzi had pointed out that the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that even large transactions, such as purchasing a property, may be finalized completely in an online or virtual environment.

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Hong Kong Monetary Authority Executive Director Reveals how They’re Protecting Consumers from Emerging Threats



In a keynote speech that focused on fraud and financial crime at a conference in Asia, Carmen Chu, Executive Director (Enforcement and AML), Hong Kong Monetary Authority, discussed anti-money laundering and financial crime risk issues and the ability of authorities to address these problems.

While speaking at the Fraud and Financial Crime Asia 2021 Conference, Chu noted that there are certain challenges presented by online fraud and related money laundering. Chu discussed how regulatory authorities, working closely with the industry, are currently helping to create an effective response “to deter, detect and disrupt new and emerging threats to businesses and individuals.”

She noted that the respective AML and risk management systems are able “to deliver a more effective return on the huge investment at the institutional, sectoral and national levels.” She added that the required changes include “richer data streams like digital footprints to drive the gains from analytics; technology-enabled information sharing partnerships to deliver more responsive and actionable suspicious activity reporting; and, for regulators, data-driven supervision and industry engagement.”

Chu also mentioned that the past 12 to 18 months have been “a landmark for the banking sector” in Hong Kong. The launch of eight virtual banks and collective efforts across the region’s banking sector have been key when overcoming major challenges “arising from the pandemic – banks had to make changes to meet customer demand within a very short time to launch or expand digital and online financial services.”

Chu also noted that while this is in the interests of customers and “has brought huge benefits, the global AML community, led by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), saw increased levels of online fraud and cybercrime.”

Chu also mentioned that the scale at which the online economy was developing has been “matched only by the increasingly sophisticated attempts of criminal networks to exploit it.”

She added that the scale and speed with which this has happened “are breathtaking; fraudulent websites and spam emails targeting Government-led pandemic relief efforts, for example, often surfaced within hours of the initiatives being launched.”

She continued:

“Hong Kong has not been immune to this global phenomenon. There were over 15,000 deception cases in 2020, almost doubling from about 8,000 cases in the previous year. A similar increase was noted by the HKMA in bank customer complaints related to fraud and financial crime, which rose by about 120% in the first half of 2021 when compared with the same period a year ago.”

Chu further noted:

“It’s not all bad news, however. When we coordinate effectively, when we formulate and implement strategies for the public and private sectors to work closely together and take timely actions, we can make an impact.”

The Anti-Deception Coordination Centre of the Police, which is responsible for leading the action against fraudulent activities, has managed to intercept HKD 6.3 billion “conned from victims of phone and internet scams in its first three years of operation since 2017,” Chu revealed while noting that the Centre “intercepted a staggering HKD 3 billion in a single year in 2020, and none of this success would be possible without the close cooperation of banks, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, in helping disrupt fraud and financial crime and protecting customers from losses.”

She added:

“These numbers must be a matter of concern for everyone in the global AML ecosystem and the wider economies. We all need to reflect on how effective we are being, while staying alert to new tricks and doubling our efforts to slow and reverse the tide. This is not to say that we expect to be able to pre-empt all fraud and financial crime, but that when these crimes unfortunately happen, our responses are quick and targeted.”

Chu also mentioned that the HKMA’s approach has been guided by their commitment to global  standards and related best practices in how AML and financial crime risk management systems have been implemented.

HKMA’s ‘Fintech 2025’ strategy also outlines how innovative tech can help with achieving “effective outcomes.” She further revealed that they’ve been working to realize their vision, “beginning with an AML/CFT RegTech Forum in 2019 to raise industry awareness and explore the role that technology could play in AML work.”

She added that the HKMA regularly releases different papers and reports “to share Regtech use cases including AML, and will be putting all relevant resources in [their centralized ‘Regtech Knowledge Hub.’”

She also noted:

“We must also talk about data – quality data – to drive Regtech adoption. Specifically, the availability of richer data streams, such as digital footprint data, with proper integration, can have a significant impact on system effectiveness.”

She added that other external data and information are also “becoming increasingly important in monitoring customer risk and to this end, [they] have recently shared key observations and best practices from a thematic review to assist banks in identifying and using these resources.”

Chu confirmed that they’ll further these pieces of work later in 2021 when they introduce their first interactive lab session “featuring machine learning in the area of monitoring.”

She pointed out that some of those technologies “featured prominently in the successes we have seen in identifying and disrupting mule account networks linked to COVID-19 and investment scams, which have been shared through our public-private information sharing partnership, the Fraud and Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce – or FMLIT.”

The FMLIT partnership has seen dramatic growth during the past 3 years, “bringing about clear improvements in our collective abilities to identify and disrupt financial crime,” Chu revealed.

She also shared:

“Since its launch in 2017, actions taken by banks through FMLIT have identified over 11,000 bank accounts which were previously unknown to law enforcement agencies, leading to restraint or confiscation of about HK$700 million in crime proceeds mainly from investment scams and other frauds involving financial impacts on customers and/or banks themselves.”

While addressing how effective they have been their AML and financial crime work, she revealed:

“It is essential for regulators to ask ourselves how AML/CFT supervision needs to change in the age of digital innovation. The HKMA’s approach is to build on our strong foundations as a risk-based AML supervisor, while recognizing the need to constantly learn and adapt to the digital age. We are implementing a series of changes to better leverage the latest technology in our supervisory work, while building capacity to allow us to adopt new technologies and techniques as they emerge.”

To review the full speech, check here.

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UK based PensionBee, an Online Pension Provider, Reports Doubling Assets Under Administration to £2B



UK’s PensionBee (LON: PBEE), an online pension provider, recently revealed that its assets under administration have now more than doubled during the past year.

PensionBee is reporting 117% growth in its assets under administration to nearly £2 billion in just the past 12 months ending  June 30, 2021. The company confirmed that this growth has mainly been due to its acquisition of new clients.

PensionBee’s first half 2021 results reveal that its number of invested clients increased by 81% to around 92,000 during the same time period, meanwhile, the number of registered customers surged 81% to about 538,000, Pension Sage reported.

Active clients, which are those customers who had asked to become invested users but hadn’t seen their transfer or contribution process being finalized, also grew by 78% to 155,000, meanwhile, PensionBee confirmed that that recurring revenues from existing clients have also been fairly steady.

PensionBee also shared that its annual run-rate revenue jumped by 114% to £12.3m during the financial year. The firm’s business operations have been supported by solid customer satisfaction and 95% customer retention.

The 6-month timeframe also saw PensionBee acquire £55 million in funding from an IPO in April 2021, which enabled even more innovation while leading the company to profitability by the end of 2023 (if current developments remain on track).

PensionBee added that they are expecting their company performance to be consistent with the market guidance offered during their IPO. This is being supported by regular marketing investment growth, continuous product innovation as well as additional investments in new talent and tech.

The company further revealed that it’s now expecting its growth to be driven by consistent demand for online pension consolidation along with positive contribution behavior.

Romi Savova, CEO at PensionBee, said he’s pleased to report yet another period of strong financial and operational performance following the firm’s IPO. Savova also noted that they’ve been able to achieve steady growth by prioritizing their clients and giving them more control over their financial future.

He added that they’re looking forward to the immense opportunity ahead and plan to continue  working towards their goal of making pensions simple “so everyone can look forward to a happy retirement.”

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Elon Musk discusses merits of Bitcoin, reveals Space X holds BTC



Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed Bitcoin during a live-streamed session of The ₿ Word event, saying that he supports and holds the original cryptocurrency, as does his aerospace company SpaceX.

“[Bitcoin] has an open ledger, which is quite good. But transaction volume is low, transaction cost is high and usability for the average person is not yet very good but has a lot of potential,” Musk said, while wearing a t-shirt that touted Bitcoin as the pinnacle of monetary evolution. “But on balance I support Bitcoin… I do own bitcoin and Tesla owns bitcoin, SpaceX owns bitcoin.

Musk has made mixed public statements about Bitcoin in the past, calling himself a supporterseeing Tesla purchase $1.5 billion worth of BTCrenouncing the ability for Tesla customers to make purchases in bitcoin over misguided environmental concerns, then walking those statements back somewhat. He is an outspoken supporter of the altcoin project Doge.

During the panel, Musk continued to tout alternative cryptocurrency projects like Ethereum and Doge, but also acknowledged that Bitcoin’s throughput and scalability could be improved via Layer 2 platforms like the Lightning Network. He noted that Tesla is likely to resume bitcoin payments as a higher proportion of miners utilize renewable energy sources.

“Bitcoin with a Layer 2 system could scale to do a vast number of transactions,” Musk said. “I want to do a little more diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage [in bitcoin mining] is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend toward increasing that number, and if so Tesla will resume accepting bitcoin… Most likely, Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”

He also noted that the only significant assets he personally owns consist of stock in his companies, bitcoin, ether and doge, with bitcoin being the largest and most profitable of his cryptocurrency holdings.

“If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money… I might pump, but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “SpaceX, Tesla and I own bitcoin… The companies just own bitcoin and the bitcoin I own is worth much more than the Ethereum or Doge.”

Musk was joined in the session, “Bitcoin As A Tool For Economic Empowerment,” by Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, ARK Investment Management CEO Cathie Wood and Square Crypto Lead Steve Lee, who moderated it.

Dorsey, who has been more consistently favorable toward Bitcoin in his public statements and work, highlighted Bitcoin’s transformative nature as a currency that is global, permissionless and native to the internet.

“When I saw Bitcoin in 2009, you see a chance to replace the whole foundation,” Dorsey explained. “It really just opens the aperture and that is what I want to see in my lifetime, is a currency that is standard and sound for the internet that everyone can use.”

Wood, whose firm has been stockpiling bitcoin exposure this month, emphasized bitcoin’s current value propositions from an investment standpoint and the remarkable economic outlook of its development community.

“The store of value is a very big role, and means of exchange with apps built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, we think are going to become more of a reality,” Wood said, describing where her positive outlook on BTC as an investment comes from. 

“I’ve had the honor of meeting Bitcoin Core developers,” she added later. “They know economic history better than anyone I’ve ever met.”

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