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Social Savings Platform CollegeBacker Rebrands to “Backer” & Scores $8.4 Million in Venture Capital

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CollegeBacker, a U.S.-based  social savings platform for digital investment advice to 529 plans, announced on Wednesday it not only has changed its name to Backer but has also raised $8.4 million in venture capital. According to Backer, the funding round was led by Crosslink Capital with participation from Rally Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and Expansion Ventures. Jim Feuille, an early investor and board member at Chime, Pandora, and Personal Capital, has joined the Backer board.

Founded in 2016, Backer describes itself as a social savings platform that helps people create tax-free 529 accounts for their children, provides investment guidance, and allows family and friends to contribute with ease. Backer founder and CEO, Jordan Lee, shared more details about the company by stating:

 “We started with a social college fund powered by a 529 plan because parents were clamoring for a more modern way to save. As Backer, we will continue to propel the 529 industry forward technologically and support our families in new ways, making it easy to help loved ones arrive at life’s biggest milestones with financial security.”

Backer further revealed that its rebrand comes in part because Congress has been steadily expanding the use of 529 plans beyond traditional college costs to include K-12 private school, apprenticeship programs, and student loan paydown. Backer also reported it has already helped its clients save $20 million for college, with 40% of the money coming from family and friends – a rate of gifting that’s 30x higher than the industry average.

Funds from the latest investment round will be used to continue the growth and development of Backer’s platform.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/04/174717-social-savings-platform-collegebacker-rebrands-to-backer-scores-8-4-million-in-venture-capital/

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Major UK Retailers and Business Organizations Commit to Cash-Friendly Pledge from Which?

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Thousands of UK supermarkets and other retail outlets have reportedly committed to a “cash-friendly” pledge from Which?, an expert testing, reviewing, and advice service. According to the terms of the pledge, retailers are guaranteeing that they will keep taking physical currency notes and coins as an alternative to virtual payments.

Some of the UK‘s largest retailers, such as Aldi, Asda, Co-op, John Lewis, LloydsPharmacy and Waitrose have pledged to continue to take cash at their store locations.

The supermarkets committing to this initiative are responsible for nearly 4,500 outlets in the United Kingdom, and claim a grocery market share of over 30%.

The Which? initiative has reportedly been backed by major retail associations in the UK that represent thousands of shops. The British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Independent Retailers Association have asked their clients to sign up.

The Federation of Small Businesses is backing the initiative as well. The scheme has also received considerable support from the Bank of England.

Chief cashier Sarah John stated:

“The ability to use cash as a way to pay for goods and services, as well as for day to day budgeting, remains vitally important for many people. By signing up to this pledge, businesses are helping to ensure that everyone in the UK is able to use the form of payment that best meets their needs.”

Which? research has revealed that around 34% of UK consumers have said they were not able to make cash payments on at least one occasion when attempting to purchase certain items since the COVID-19 crisis began (or awareness spread around March 2020).

The lobbying group is also asking the UK government to confirm when legislation to protect access to cash will be released. The group expects a lot more clarity regarding these plans.

This may include putting the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in charge or responsible for the cash-friendly scheme, Which? noted.

Anabel Hoult, CEO at Which?, remarked:

“The government announced it would legislate to protect access to cash more than a year ago. Now it must set out when this will be introduced and explain its long-term plan to protect cash for as long as people need it.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175303-major-uk-retailers-and-business-organizations-commit-to-cash-friendly-pledge-from-which/

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Overfunding: Poland-Based Transport Tech Nevomo Surpasses €1 Million Equity Crowdfunding Target Through Seedrs Campaign

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Nevomo, a Poland- based transportation tech, has successfully surpassed its initial €1 million funding target through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.

Founded in 2015, Nevomo stated it has developed technology for a magrail system, which it describes as a passive magnetic levitation train operating on existing railway tracks at speeds up to 550 kph (341 mph). The hybrid solution allows for the functionality of both the magrail system and conventional trains on the same tracks.

“At Nevomo, we are creating transport of tomorrow which will cut down the time and costs of travel while reducing the carbon footprint produced by the transport sector. The railway industry requires a major upgrade to regain its competitive edge and our magrail technology can be the right solution.”

Nevomo further revealed it is also aiming to implement these components earlier as part of a unique magrail system.

“It allows for the use of magnetic levitation within the existing railway infrastructure while keeping the functionality of conventional rolling stock. We estimate that vehicles will be able to move at speeds of up to 550 kph (342 mph).”

Nevomo then noted that it expects to achieve a flexible and diversified business model with several potential revenue sources in high-value elements of the value chain:

  • Licensing royalty fees from OEMs on protected IP
  • SaaS fees from operators & infrastructure managers for monitoring services
  • Income from joint-development agreements with hyperloop promoters
  • Systems’ sales to railway OEMs & infrastructure managers

The investment round is set to close at the beginning of June.

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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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175349-overfunding-poland-based-transport-tech-nevomo-surpasses-e1-million-equity-crowdfunding-target-through-seedrs-campaign/

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U.S. Fintech MovoCash Teams Up With Mastercard & Coastal Community Bank to Launch On-Demand Mobile Banking App

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MovoCash, a U.S. fintech, announced on Thursday the launch of its on-demand mobile banking app, which was created through the company’s partnership with Mastercard and Coastal Community Bank.

Founded in 2014, Modo describes itself as a next-generation digital bank with “powerful, secure, and fast payment functionality.

MOVO is more than a banking service, a mobile payments wallet or a financial hub. It’s an all in one-digital-financial solution designed for speed and backed by unparalleled security, so you can do more with your digital cash network in real time, right from the app.”

Modo reported that its patented technology, HyperBIN, is built to use digital tokens to manage the convergence of traditional banking solutions with mobile payments, blockchain, distributed ledger, cryptographic, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. 

HyperBIN® delivers real-time bank accounts and debit cards. This includes instant delivery, issuance, activation, secure and settled banking, merchant payment and P2P transactions redeemable at 45 million merchants and over one million ATMs worldwide.”

Speaking about the app’s launch, Eric Solis, CEO and Founder of MovoCash, Inc, stated:

“Our patented ‘Digital Cash’ Brand Network is what every consumer will expect from this day forward. [The app]  will fundamentally shift the way people act and think about digital transactions.”

 Eric Sprink, President and CEO of Coastal Community Bank, added:
“We’re thrilled to partner with MovoCash, a digital leader that brings a unique solution with top-notch fraud protection and compliance security to the market. MOVO is changing the payments game, we are excited to join them on this journey.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175347-u-s-fintech-movocash-teams-up-with-mastercard-coastal-community-bank-to-launch-on-demand-mobile-banking-app/

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Pakistani Fintech SadaPay Shares How they Creatively Designed Payment Cards, Company Appoints New Head of Legal

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Pakistani online payments Fintech SadaPay notes that it’s been well over three months now since they began rolling out their numberless debit cards. The SadaPay team points out that the designs “perfectly” fit their vertical debit cards.

The company’s management noted that they wanted to create something that tells their brand story while designing it in a manner that communicates their message in a “sada” (or plain and simple) manner. The cards have also been designed to have a “skater-smooth unboxing experience.”

Omar Qureshi from SadaPay claims that it “wasn’t easy to come up with what’s out there on the shelves right now.” He revealed that it took their team (Brandon Timinsky, Founder and CEO at SadaPay, Omer Salimullah, Asad Amjad and him) more than 3 months to finalize all the packaging.

Qureshi also mentioned that their debit cards and their jackets are the “only two collaterals” that allow them to have a “tangible connection” with the end-users (because they’re supposed to be a neobank).

After a lot of hard (and creative design) work, the SadaPay’s Official Card Packaging was “rendered for the last time, zipped, and sent to our printers across the border via WeTransfer,” the Fintech firm noted in its blog post.

Last month, the SadaPay team also welcomed Zainab Samantash as their Head of Legal. This appointment is “a testament to SadaPay’s emphasis on enlisting top-tier talent to help in achieving its mission to bring modern financial services to millions of Pakistanis,” the announcement noted.

Zainab will be working out of the firm’s Islamabad office and will work closely with the compliance division to develop a solid legal infrastructure for their innovative financial products.

As noted in the update:

“Zainab obtained her LLB Honors from the University of London with a First Class Distinction and later completed her LLM from Harvard Law School. She has since undertaken many notable representations in her legal career. She most recently represented Tencent Corporation, in connection with the ban on PUBG mobile game by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, which was later overturned.”

Zainab also represented the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in connection with the “unauthorized access and breach of internal corporate databases,” the SadaPay team noted.

Zainab has also advised Google LLC, a former White House advisor, and has “worked as part of the legal teams representing various high-profile government officials.”

Abdul Qadir Sultan, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, stated:

“We are excited to have Zainab Samantash join SadaPay. She has a great personality, skillset, and experience. We believe every fintech needs to be well within the boundaries of the law and Zainab is the best person to help us out with our legal needs. Her attention to detail and understanding of the local laws on the fintech circuit in Pakistan impressed us all. We wish her all the best and look forward to working with her.”

In her new role, Zainab is expected to manage all legal affairs related to the structure of the firms including providing guidance on corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

Zainab will also be “overseeing the negotiation and drafting of contracts, risk management, and the development of plans and policies.” Her strategic thinking and deep knowledge of legal frameworks “solidify her ability to lead SadaPay’s legal wing as we continue to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what is possible in the financial landscape of Pakistan,” the announcement noted.

As previously reported, SadaPay aims to bring modern financial services to Pakistan in “partnership with MasterCard.” By removing the “high costs of managing the physical infrastructure of traditional banks from the equation,” SadaPay claims it is able to “pass those savings onto the customer to provide free financial services.”

The company’s mission is to “eliminate the complexity of banking and make money so simple that any other way would become unthinkable.”

As reported in March 2021, SadaPay secured $7.2 million in capital through a seed funding round led by Recharge Capital.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175333-pakistani-fintech-sadapay-shares-how-they-creatively-designed-payment-cards-company-appoints-new-head-of-legal/

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