INVESTMENTS

Wealthbox Announces $31 Million Equity Investment from Frontier Growth

Wealthbox | March 10, 2022

Wealthbox_Announces_$
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.

Spotlight

Don Ellis, Claims Manager at MRIB Group discusses the importance of choosing a broker like MRIB Group who have an in house claims team. In the event of a claim the MRIB claims team manages the insurer on their clients behalf and work diligently to ensure a positive outcome. This also significantly reduces the time to obtain settlement compared to if the client had to go through this process on their own.


Other News
PAYMENTS

GLOBAL PAYMENTS COMPANY LAUNCHES U.S. CROSS-BORDER WALLET FOR ECOMMERCE RETAILERS AND ENTREPRENEURS

LianLian Global | June 27, 2022

LianLian Global, a leading global cross-border payment service provider, announced the launch of its multi-currency Cross-Border Wallet after securing licenses to operate in all 50 states. The cross-border digital wallet is designed to make payments faster, more accessible and cheaper than the traditional cash and bank transfers for U.S.-based retailers and merchants that sell their products internationally on marketplaces such as Allegro, Amazon, Cdiscount, Fruugo and Kaufland.de. Data Catalyst found that almost 70 percent of U.S. SMEs use third-party online marketplaces or their web store, with most firms opting to use multiple online markets. However, despite having such a significant digital presence and many selling to multiple countries, cross-border payments remain a significant challenge for U.S. businesses, especially small and medium-sized organizations looking to make payments in less familiar, emerging market currencies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For instance, the evolving international regulatory requirements and capital control policies concerning the transfer and movement of funds in local currencies adds a considerable compliance burden for many U.S. ecommerce businesses. This is particularly true in relation to China, Vietnam and other vital Asian supply chain hubs. Such supplier payment challenges can significantly impact the supply of goods and services from those regions. LianLian Global's Cross-Border Wallet is designed to address these concerns by enabling U.S. businesses to make and receive payments or convert U.S. Dollars to certain regional currencies quickly and compliantly. The introduction of LianLian Global's Cross-Border Wallet virtually eliminates the bureaucratic burden of facilitating payments between Western businesses, customers and suppliers in China and other emerging markets worldwide. LianLian Global allows ecommerce customers of all sizes to make payments up to U.S.$1.5 million at a time. Additionally, the wallet can hold multiple currencies, including U.S. Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, British Pound Sterling, European Euro, Chinese Yuan and Polish Złoty. We are delighted to have launched our fully-licensed Cross-Border Wallet in the United States, and see the positive response from US businesses. This is an evolution of our globally trusted platform that our customers around the world have come to rely on, Our new cross-border wallet helps businesses of all sizes grow, by making it easy to manage multiple currencies on a single platform and do foreign exchange (FX) conversion at fair and transparent rates. Our aim is to help our U.S. customers better navigate the complexity of cross-border payments and the volatility of FX." David Messenger, Executive Chairman, LianLian Global. Unlike other prominent providers in the market, customers can use LianLian Global's Cross-Border Wallet without committing to an annual fee or (in certain countries including the U.S., U.K. and China) paying to open an account or receive payments. Instead, LianLian Global charges a fixed 0.5% rate for FX conversion, with even more competitive rates available to high-volume customers. LianLian Global is a global cross-border payments provider with offices in 12 different countries that helps more than 1.2 million ecommerce stores grow their cross-border businesses. LianLian Global owns over 60 licenses worldwide, with full coverage in all 50 U.S. states. The company has also partnered with leading financial institutions such as Citi, Deutsche Bank, and J.P. Morgan to power their solutions. About LianLian Global LianLian Global is a leading cross-border payments company that connects local sellers to global opportunities. We make it easy for ecommerce merchants to do more international business. So when sellers need to receive international payouts, get financing, solve shipping logistics, manage foreign exchange, or pay tax obligations abroad, we simplify the complexity of operating in other countries, giving merchants and sellers the freedom to do business seamlessly. Part of LianLian Digitech, and with licenses and offices in the Americas, Europe and throughout Asia, LianLian Global is integrated into mainstream ecommerce platforms worldwide, with services covering more than 100 countries and regions.

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PAYMENTS

PayTabs introduces SwitchOn®, the next generation payment solutions suite

PayTabs | June 07, 2022

PayTabs - MENA's award-winning payment processing powerhouse, made a jump start last year in its pursuit to pioneer next generation payments, by announcing the launch of its new home owned, globally validated unified payments and transaction processing platform, PayTabs SwitchOn®. After multiple launches with clients across the region, the payment card industry (PCI) certified solution, includes a Switching and Authorization System, a Card and Wallet Management System, and the Unified API Gateway. PayTabs SwitchOn® is now available for local deployment, at a fraction of the cost. With its own IP and built upon deep use case expertise, the flexible and compelling solution aims to empower innovation in the region by enabling flexible payment orchestration at scale. As a Fintech enabler for the region, PayTabs' mission is to simplify and yet orchestrate a unified payments experience and value for key players in MENA and beyond. Fintechs will find it particularly suitable to comply with local in-country regulations. Established Financial Institutions and fintechs' specific needs are met via the modular and hybrid deployment modes available. PayTabs SwitchOn® architecture is designed to ensure a unique payment orchestration capability allowing clients from multiple industries and scale to maximise the benefits they get while in conjunction with the legacy systems. From the Card and Wallet Management System to the Unified APM Gateway and passing by the various value-added modules, clients can select what best fits their needs. PayTabs' experts will ensure the right deployment mode is provided, either it is a Hosted Managed Service, On-Premises, or Hybrid. PayTabs also provides custom fit white-label solutions. PayTabs SwitchOn® solution for omni channel payments and its deployment modes provide answers and checks all the boxes to the growing demand for solutions that are compliant with the data localization directives and regulations for each country of operation. Which enables brands and large corporations across countries and regions to manage their payment complexities with a 360-degree view, reducing dependencies with third parties and thus streamlining the speed to market. In the post covid era of emerging payments, this is good news for the region. By orchestrating a groundbreaking technology and as the next generation payment system architects, we have elevated our payment processing capabilities. With PayTabs SwitchOn® we are now able to deliver a 360-degree payment experience in a few weeks, at a fraction of the cost." Johnson S Sasikumar, Group Head of Strategy, PayTabs. About PayTabs PayTabs is an award winning, payments solutions powerhouse founded by Saudi entrepreneur Abdulaziz Al Jouf in 2014. PayTabs processes transactions in multiple currencies and markets, safely and securely. Using API plugins, PayTabs facilitates seamless B2B e-commerce solutions for small and medium enterprises across industries, to 'plug and play' payment features on to their websites. PayTabs prides itself on offering e-invoicing services enabling businesses to enjoy digital invoicing, pay by QR code or secure social media payment links. Originally backed by Saudi Aramco's "Waed" and later by private Saudi investment, over the years, PayTabs has in-built and exported a full stack of game changing solutions. These include mobile applications, hospitality, governmental, education, airline, travel, transport, and biller solutions, to interlink the multi-billion-dollar enterprise market chain in the MENA region. In 2021, PayTabs launched "PT Touch", the first SoftPOS solution in MENA to transform smart phones into merchant POS terminals. Last month, PayTabs launched its own social commerce platform, 'Paymes' to ease payments for micro merchants. A proven game changer in the global payments space, PayTabs has dedicated offices in the UAE and KSA and presence in other locales including Egypt. The company is an equal opportunities employer with a diverse and multi-cultural team from over twenty nationalities.

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PAYMENTS,BLOCKCHAIN

SGH to Acquire Stratus Technologies

SGH | June 30, 2022

SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (“SGH” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: SGH) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC, to acquire Stratus Technologies (“Stratus”), a global leader in simplified, protected, and autonomous computing solutions in the data center and at the Edge. Under the terms of the agreement, SGH will pay $225 million in cash at closing and an earn-out payment of up to $50 million, based on the gross profit performance of the Stratus business during the first full 12 fiscal months of Stratus following the closing. Consistent with the Company’s existing lines of business, Stratus delivers differentiated technology solutions to specialty end markets. In particular, the addition of Stratus’ high-availability, fault-tolerant computing platforms, software, and services will expand the Company’s Intelligent Platform Solutions (“IPS”) business to better serve Stratus and IPS customers worldwide. This transaction builds upon our successful track record of M&A at SGH, The high-availability and fault-tolerant capabilities of Stratus will expand our IPS offerings in Edge, Core, and Cloud, and will enable us to more comprehensively address our combined customers’ needs. We look forward to welcoming the Stratus team to SGH.” Mark Adams, CEO of SGH. About Stratus For leaders digitally transforming their operations to drive predictable, peak performance with minimal risk, Stratus ensures the continuous availability of business-critical applications by delivering zero-touch Edge Computing platforms that are simple to deploy and maintain, protected from interruptions and threats, and autonomous. For 40 years, we have provided reliable and redundant zero-touch computing, enabling global Fortune 500 companies and small-to-medium sized businesses to securely and remotely turn data into actionable intelligence at the Edge, Cloud and Data Center – driving uptime and efficiency. About SGH At SGH, our companies are united by a drive to raise the bar, execute with discipline and focus on what’s next for the technologies that support and advance the world. Across computing, memory, and LED lighting solutions, we build long-term strategic partnerships with our customers. Backed by a proven leadership team, we operate with excellence around the globe while unlocking new avenues of growth for our business and industry. About Siris Siris is a leading private equity firm that invests primarily in mature technology and telecommunications companies with mission-critical products and services, facing industry changes or other significant transitions. Siris' development of proprietary research to identify opportunities and its extensive collaboration with its Executive Partners and Advisors are integral to its approach. Siris' Executive Partners and Advisors are experienced senior operating executives that actively participate in key aspects of the transaction lifecycle to help identify opportunities and drive strategic and operational value. Siris is based in New York, Silicon Valley and West Palm Beach, and has raised nearly $6 billion in cumulative capital commitments.

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CORE BANKING,PAYMENTS

PNC BANK SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDS SURCHAGE-FREE ATM ACCESS THROUGH NCR'S ALLPOINT NETWORK

PNC BANK and NCR Corporation | August 17, 2022

PNC Bank announced today a new partnership with NCR Corporation and its Allpoint ATM network, providing customers with surcharge-free access to cash through more than 41,000 machines across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. PNC customers now have surcharge-free access to nearly 60,000 PNC Bank and PNC partner ATMs across the country. "As a Main Street Bank, PNC is committed building a platform that empowers the financial well-being of our customers. A key part of that is making our solutions available to customers no matter where they live or where they may travel, Partnering with NCR's Allpoint ATM network allows us to more than triple our already expansive network, providing our customers with significantly greater surcharge-free access to their cash from coast-to-coast." - Alex Overstrom, head of Retail Banking for PNC NCR's Allpoint network, the largest retail-based surcharge-free ATM network in the United States, provides banks like PNC with access to ATMs at top retail establishments including grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies, and big-box stores. We know consumers prefer a financial services provider that delivers convenient account access and management, including surcharge-free cash access, Through NCR's robust Allpoint ATM network, PNC can help meet their customers' cash access needs in the places that work best for them – the conveniently located stores that already are part of their lives, said Don Layden, EVP, Payment & Network, NCR. PNC Bank National Association PNC BankNational Associationis a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

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Spotlight

Don Ellis, Claims Manager at MRIB Group discusses the importance of choosing a broker like MRIB Group who have an in house claims team. In the event of a claim the MRIB claims team manages the insurer on their clients behalf and work diligently to ensure a positive outcome. This also significantly reduces the time to obtain settlement compared to if the client had to go through this process on their own.

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