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Industry roundup: 11 August

Female FinTech Competition returns for third instalment

Deutsche Bank has again partnered with Atos, Google Cloud and TechQuartier to launch the third annual Female FinTech Competition. Fintechs with a female founder or one or more women in the top management groups are invited to enter the competition to pitch their business case. Prizes will be offered from the hosting companies. Winners will have the opportunity to access and benefit from the hosts’ expertise and resources, including spending time with relevant coaches.

"Gender diversity is much-needed in the fintech sector," commented Gil Perez, chief innovation officer at Deutsche Bank. "There is plenty of evidence that greater gender diversity results in more successful new ideas, products and services. The Female FinTech Competition is a fantastic opportunity to showcase technology talent, it is also a way for Deutsche Bank to engage and support a community of female founders. After the incredibly high standard of pitches at last year’s event I am excited to meet the 2021 contestants."

Joining Perez on the judges panel are Lucas Schmitt, head of Innovation Products at TechQuartier, Laurence Lafont, VP Industry Sales EMEA at Google Cloud, and Carol Houle, SVP global head of Consulting and Marketing in Financial Services and Insurance market at Atos.

Ahead of the event the hosting organisations will offer a coaching event on 31 August during which they will share their expertise and perspectives on how to create a winning business case in order to access capital and resources to grow a fintech. 


HSBC joins Walmart to improve working capital for diverse US suppliers

HSBC Bank USA has become Walmart’s first banking collaborator supporting its initiative to make access to working capital affordable, transparent and more equitable. The financing programme, working with C2FO, provides certified diverse and minority suppliers with convenient and consistent access to reliable funding sources.

The funding could in turn be applied to initiatives that spur growth and improve resiliency such as hiring more employees, investing in innovation, and creating a cash cushion for leaner times.

This initiative supplements an existing HSBC and Walmart programme that pegs a supplier’s financing rate to Walmart’s sustainability standards. Walmart suppliers who demonstrate progress in sustainability credentials and help with Walmart’s initiative to reduce one billion metric tons of greenhouse gases from their global value chain by 2030 (Project Gigaton) have access to improved financing from HSBC.

"Minority-owned and diverse businesses face significant barriers to access capital so we are excited to help these businesses receive the funding they need to prosper," said Priyamvada Singh, head of North America Global Trade and Receivables Finance Product at HSBC. "It’s always great to team up with clients who share our commitments, and we look forward to continuing this journey with Walmart."


Western Union to sell Business Solutions arm to Goldfinch Partners and The Baupost Group 

The Western Union Company, a provider of cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, together with Goldfinch Partners, a private equity firm, and The Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment firm, have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which a consortium of Goldfinch and Baupost will acquire Western Union Business Solutions for approximately US$910m in cash.

Western Union Business Solutions was established following the acquisitions of Custom House in 2009 and Travelex Global Business Payments in 2011. Western Union Business Solutions, which facilitates cross-border, cross-currency payments and foreign exchange solutions for small and medium-sized businesses and other organisations, represented approximately 7% of total Western Union revenue during the 12 months to 30 June 2021.

The transaction is expected to close in two stages. In the first closing, which is expected to be completed in early 2022, Western Union Business Solutions, excluding the business that is operated through Western Union International Bank in the European Union and the United Kingdom, will transfer to an entity controlled by Goldfinch and Baupost. In the second closing, which is expected to be completed by late 2022, the remaining Western Union Business Solutions business operated through Western Union International Bank will transfer.

Both closings are subject to requisite works council and trade union consultations, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Lazard Frères & Co. served as financial advisor, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP served as legal counsel to Western Union in the transaction.

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