Wall Street Pushes Higher Amid Deal Flurry

Wall Street | January 13, 2020

U.S. stocks pushed higher after the open Monday, as global macro concerns eased and investors took on board positive company-specific news, including a flurry of midcap mergers and some upbeat earnings guidance. The S&P 500 index was trading 6 points, or 0.2%, higher by 0935 ET (1435 GMT), with the NASDAQ Composite up 33 points, or 0.4%. The Dow Jones gained 27 points, or 0.1%. Fears of major military action in the Middle East have dimmed, although the Iranian authorities are under pressure from domestic protests over the downing of a Ukranian passenger plane last week. At the same time, the trade spat between China and the U.S., the two largest economies in the world, looks set to come to an end with Chinese negotiators traveling to Washington this week to sign a phase one trade deal with the U.S.

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The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian company with $42.9 billion in assets under administration. We insure over two million people Canada-wide. We are active corporate members of our communities, a catalyst for a sustainable society and a true leader with strong co-operative roots. The Co-operators is ranked among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

MO Technologies Chooses Esri's ArcGIS Platform to Support Alternative Credit Scoring Tool

MO Technologies | March 22, 2022

MO Technologies, which offers financial technology (fintech) companies a more complete view of a person's creditworthiness through location intelligence, has adopted Esri's ArcGIS Platform to provide the precise, frequently updated data at the core of MO's tools used to complement traditional credit scoring models. Understanding that the financial life of a person doesn't always fit the mold used by credit scoring bureaus and banks, leaders at MO believe knowing more about where a person lives and works can help fill in gaps and warrant extending credit to some of the hundreds of millions of people left out of the financial system. Situations can change dramatically, as we've seen in the last two years, It's important to account for evolving characteristics in a location where a credit applicant lives. Placing data in a geographic context offers valuable insights and crucial understanding." Javier Díaz-Cely, MO's chief analytics officer. Central to MO's software as a solution (SaaS) offerings—including its latest product, MO Geo—is reliable information from Esri, the global leader in location intelligence. By adopting ArcGIS Platform, Esri's platform as a service (PaaS), MO unlocked access to Esri's rich demographic data and precision geocoding services. We're excited MO turned to ArcGIS Platform when the company needed reliable data and geocoding, By offering flexible solutions, we allow our customers to focus on what they do best." David Cardella, Esri product manager for developer technologies. MO uses data about housing prices, the cost of food, access to transportation and public utilities, and more, to create models that can help estimate what a person's income or financial risk might be. MO's team discovered that in Argentina, for example, the distance between a person's home and an ATM is a significant factor. In Mexico, it is important to consider home prices and how many grocery stores are in an applicant's vicinity. MO Geo, the company's recently launched stand-alone product, provides fintechs and other financial institutions with geographical indexes—developed through machine learning—that can be used as inputs to complement traditional models. The product also works in tandem with MO Score, the company's own credit scoring platform. Beyond financial institutions, the company has worked with businesses in the gig economy as well as consumer product goods manufacturers that wanted to extend credit to small merchants with little financial history. Based in Bogotá, Colombia, MO has focused its work so far in the Latin America and Caribbean regions. The company's technology has already played a role in one million credit assessments. A free version of the MO Geo solution is being made available in the US. The company is expanding the product's availability to Mexico, Colombia, and the rest of the Latin America and Caribbean regions. About MO Technologies At MO, we are moving technology forward for a more inclusive, digital & seamless financing. We are a SaaS credit tech company covering the E2E digital credit lifecycle management for origination, servicing, and debt collection in a one-stop-shop schema. Our productized solution enables a laser speed launch of your new hyper-personalized product, fully digital and integrated seamlessly with your platforms. We are the right tech partners for Fintechs and traditional issuing players as we enable them to revolutionize the credit industry. About Esri Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics.

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PAYMENTS

Bit.Store Adds Alternative Payments and Pay-Outs Via Alchemy Pay

Bit.Store | May 31, 2022

Asia's leading SocialFi crypto investment platform, Bit.Store (STORE) has deepened its partnership with crypto payment provider Alchemy Pay (ACH). Further to the current credit card and paypal connections, Alchemy Pay will add popular alternative payment methods to Bit.Store including mobile wallets and domestic instant transfer services. Furthermore, Alchemy Pay will provide Bit.Store with off-ramp capabilities, meaning their users can convert their crypto funds into over 100 local fiat currencies and have them deposited directly into their bank accounts. These new capabilities once again highlight Alchemy Pay's impressive service within the industry and will elevate Bit.Store's app, which has already become very popular in Southeast Asia and Europe. In Indonesia, in particular, Bit.Store has become one of the top social cryptocurrency investment platforms for retail investors. The platform was launched in 2021 and has seen rapid growth. The number of users has grown 30% to 700k since the partners' first collaborated in November 2021. With its simple and intuitive design, Bit.Store has positioned itself as a beginner-friendly investment service that allows everyday people to access crypto conveniently and securely. The simplicity of design and functionality overcomes the barrier to entry for many and the app outshines competition by cleverly leveraging social elements and exploring a new 'SocialFi' model. Bit.Store educates inexperienced investors so they can make smarter investment decisions. It embraces the web3.0 era by allowing users to create decentralized communities for the sharing of information alongside experienced and professional investors. The app has multiple groups and forums for trading discussions, as well as up-to-date news and educational items. It is a big step forward to offer the flexibility of Alchemy Pay's easy, secure payments to our users. Acceptance of mobile wallets are crucial, in particular, to our Asian users where so-called alternative payments are now becoming the dominant method. Additionally, the ability to pay-out from our platform via Alchemy Pay puts us way ahead of many of our competitors." Bit.Store's co-founder, Carl Moss. Our focus right now is on our ramps that are integrated onto crypto and web3 services. The ability to onboard users to platforms directly via global and local fiat payments, and then offer the chance to cash out again makes for a seamless, user-friendly experience. We are expecting to make a huge impact on the web3 movement with these ramps." John Tan, CEO of Alchemy Pay. About Bit.Store Bit.Store (STORE) is a SocialFi investment platform designed with beginner investors in mind. The platform gives its users access to global digital currency markets quickly and easily by supporting different money transfer methods via cooperations with a wide network of regional payment providers. The app provides a variety of features, including social trading, following, and copy trading strategies published by seasoned experts in the space, and allows experts to monetize their contribution to the platform. About Alchemy Pay Founded in Singapore in 2018, Alchemy Pay (ACH) is a payment solutions provider that seamlessly connects fiat and crypto economies for global consumers, merchants, and developers. It provides merchants with convenient acceptance of crypto, enables easy onboarding to blockchain ecosystems, and makes web3 services highly accessible. Today, Alchemy Pay is supported in over 70 countries with 300 payment channels, has touchpoints with more than 2 million merchants through partnerships with industry leaders such as Binance, Shopify, NIUM, and QFPay. Alchemy Pay's token, ACH, is an ERC20 native to the Ethereum blockchain.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Nium Launches Virtual Card Issuing Solution for the United States Travel Industry

Nium | December 16, 2021

Nium, a leader in global payments and card issuance for businesses, today launched its virtual card issuing solution in the United States, making it faster and easier for travel-related businesses to pay suppliers. The Nium virtual card solution enables online travel agencies (OTAs), travel management companies, travel tour operators, and corporations to streamline, revamp their spend management processes, and drive greater productivity and cost savings. Businesses can now digitize their supply chain, such as payments to suppliers and vendors, or internal processes, such as automated reconciliation - all with better rebates and higher levels of security. Even before the current global pandemic, the travel industry has been long overdue for technology and process modernization. Our virtual cards solve an urgent need for online travel companies looking to improve operations and to create long-term efficiencies that improve margins and cash flow." Spencer Hanlon, Global Head of Travel Payments at Nium. Recent events including COVID-19 have propelled virtual card issuance capabilities from "nice to have" to "essential" status for travel businesses, and card issuance is a particular opportunity for growth within the United States. It is estimated that the annual value of virtual cards used by businesses will exceed $1 trillion by 20221. The Nium virtual card issuing solution helps travel-related businesses optimize payments across the value chain, by: Unlocking more working capital Straight through funding closes funding gaps, while scheduling card loads 'just in time' for charges maximizes working capital Reconciling transactions faster Easily attach and match booking references to payments with a unique card for every booking Minimizing fraud Single use cards, individual card limits, scheduled card loads, and automated deletion minimize fraud exposure Efficiency in implementation Nium virtual cards come with a host of features to power efficiency including implementation in as little as two weeks Following the acquisition of Ixaris earlier this year and the great success of its card issuance business in EMEA and APAC, Nium will use its new virtual card solution to expand its card issuing capabilities in the United States, initially within the travel sector, with plans to expand into new verticals. The global reach of Nium's card issuance business now includes 34 countries, with more than 31 million physical and virtual cards already issued. Nium's customer centric approach and modular platform allows businesses to embed financial services, including virtual card issuing, in weeks, not months. In addition to card issuance, Nium supports pay-outs to as many as 190 countries (85 in real time) in 100+ currencies and pay-ins to 35 markets, all supported by 11 global financial licenses and a robust suite of regulatory and compliance technologies. About Nium Nium is a leading embedded fintech company that provides banks, payment providers, and businesses of any size with access to global payment services. Its modular platform powers frictionless commerce, helping businesses pay and get paid across the globe with services for pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance, and banking-as-a-service. Once connected to the Nium platform, businesses have the ability to pay out in more than 100 currencies to over 190 countries - 85 of which in real time. Funds can be received in 27 markets, including Southeast Asia, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, India, and the US. Nium's growing card issuance business is already available in 34 countries, including Europe (SEPA), the UK, Australia and Singapore. Nium's license portfolio covers 11 of the world's jurisdictions, enabling seamless global payments and rapid integration, regardless of geography.

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INVESTMENTS

Wealthbox Announces $31 Million Equity Investment from Frontier Growth

Wealthbox | March 10, 2022

Wealthbox, a leading CRM software platform for financial advisors, announced today that Frontier Growth, a growth equity firm focused on fast-growing software businesses, has taken a minority stake in the company with a $31M equity investment. Founded by serial entrepreneurs John Rourke and Dan Ferranti, Wealthbox is a purpose-built CRM technology for financial advisors at wealth management firms and broker-dealers to track client relationships, collaborate as a team, and streamline operations. Launched in 2014, Wealthbox is known for its modern product design, powerful features, and intuitive user experience and is now integrated with leading custodial platforms and wealth-tech products. Frontier Growth has an amazing track record in helping rapidly growing companies scale even faster, and we're delighted to partner with them in our Series B round of financing, The investment capital for Wealthbox will allow us to accelerate product development and innovation so we can continue providing best-in-class CRM and related software solutions for financial advisory firms of all sizes." John Rourke, CEO of Wealthbox. Wealthbox's talented team, impressive growth rate, and excellent business metrics are a great fit for the added support, expertise, and funding we offer, We look forward to the partnership with the Wealthbox team to help financial advisory firms better operate their businesses with Wealthbox as their hub software." Richard Maclean, Managing Partner and cofounder of Frontier Growth. As part of the transaction, Richard Maclean and Matt Williams of Frontier Growth will join John Rourke and Dan Ferranti on Wealthbox's board of directors. Prior to the transaction, Starburst Labs, the parent company of Wealthbox, spun out Wealthbase, a social trading app for retail investors, which is now operating as its own separate company. Wealthbox is now the sole property of Starburst Labs, Inc. About Wealthbox Wealthbox operates as a remote-first company with employees located across the United States, and a large part of the team is located in Rhode Island. The Wealthbox CRM technology is purpose-built for the wealth management industry vertical and designed for financial professionals at advisory firms and broker-dealers to manage client relationships and streamline operations to grow their practices. About Frontier Growth Frontier Growth supports the growth of software companies that have $5M to $30M in revenue by deploying both investment capital and operational expertise. The firm was founded with a culture that puts People Before Numbers, because it's people that lead to real growth. With over 20 years' experience, over $1.5B in AUM, and actively investing its fifth fund, Frontier respects that each of their companies represents someone's life's work. It's why the firm's explicit focus is to help them grow without stifling the innovation that's made them successful.

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Spotlight

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian company with $42.9 billion in assets under administration. We insure over two million people Canada-wide. We are active corporate members of our communities, a catalyst for a sustainable society and a true leader with strong co-operative roots. The Co-operators is ranked among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.

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