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Industry roundup: 23 November

smartTrade buys FX SaaS provider TickTrade

smartTrade Technologies, which specialises in multi-asset electronic trading solutions, has acquired Toronto, Canada-based TickTrade Systems, which offers FX trading and payments SaaS solutions for financial institutions.

smartTrade, whose head office and research and development centre is based in Aix-en-Provence, France has subsidiaries in London, Geneva, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Singapore.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition is a strategic one as both the companies provide liquidity management solutions and FX trading systems. TickTrade will now integrate and operate within its new parent, and smartTrade said that its connectivity, aggregation and risk management technology will be complemented with TickTrade’s analytics, payments and rich advanced distribution technology.

“For both smartTrade and TickTrade customers, the combination is extremely compelling. It brings two industry-leading technologies together, one complementing the other, creating a unique breadth and depth of product capabilities,” said David Vincent, smartTrade’s co-founder and CEO.

The acquisition agreement will see Vincent lead the combined organisation as the CEO, while TickTrade co-founders, Baha Ohcebol and Alexander Culiniac, will take senior management roles and remain significant investors in the group.

However, the majority investor in the combined entity will be the specialist software and services investor Hg Capital, which has backed smartTrade since 2020, along with two other long-term investors, Keensight and Pléiade Venture.

“This is great news for TickTrade customers,” Ohcebol said. “To have the backing of smartTrade and Hg means we can significantly build on and continue to innovate the products we know our clients highly value. This also offers further opportunities for product collaboration, wider distribution and cutting-edge innovation, meaning we can bring even better services to even more clients.”

“This is great news for TickTrade’s customers, who have supported us, and for employees who have worked so hard to build the business to this stage since we first founded TickTrade back in 2013,” added Culiniac.

Estonia the latest to welcome bitcoin

Estonia has become the latest country to adopt Bitcoin as LHV Pank, the country’s largest bank allows customers to buy crypto.

From next week it will be possible to trade major assets such as Bitcoin on the LHV mobile app. LHV joins Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, which recently announced it will allow customers trade Bitcoin and Ethereum.

While customers can store cryptocurrencies at LHV for free, all purchases and sales are subject to a 0.5% service fee. The firm is enabling access to another seven the most popular cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin: Ethereum, Litecoin, Uniswap, ChainLink, Stellar Lumens, Polygon, and Aave.

Open Banking Exchange links with Brankas in SE Asia

Open Banking Exchange (OBE) has announced a partnership with Indonesia’s open finance technology company, Brankas, to develop open banking and open finance across the Southeast Asia region.

OBE describes itself as a worldwide community designed to facilitate learning, collaboration and discussion on open banking and open finance topics. It was established to leverage the past achievement and know-how of Open Banking Europe, enabling open banking and open finance communities around the world find practical solutions to issues relating to open banking and open finance.

“By bringing market players together to provide a collaborative environment for exchanging experiences and solving problems via guidance, standards and tools, OBE turns vision into operational reality,” it adds.

Founded in 2016 Brankas provides open finance technology solutions to financial institutions and digital businesses across the Asia-Pacific region and, through their local knowledge and expertise, will ensure that the OBE programme is made relevant for the national market.

A press release stated that OBE Asia, led by Brankas’ Todd Schweitzer, will bring ecosystem members together through educational events and publications, with support and input from regulators and national banks, to help drive financial inclusion and resilience in the region.

OBE will be sharing best practice and learnings from other regions globally to enable the creation of common standards and rules both at a country specific and regional level.

“We have a proven track record in supporting the ecosystem in the evolution of Open Banking and Open Finance across Europe, and other international markets,” said John Broxis, Managing Director, Open Banking Exchange. "Each country and jurisdiction are different, so there is no model that fits them all. Through OBE Asia, there will be many opportunities for collaboration and learning and we believe that Todd and his team are best placed to support us in the region.”

Schweitzer added: “John and the Open Banking Exchange team have unparalleled experience in enabling ecosystem members to successfully turn regulatory standards and rules into operational reality. We believe that combined with our local market expertise, the Open Banking Exchange Membership Programme can bring real value to the open banking community in Asia.”

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