Today in FinTech: Stax Joins Unicorn Club; PPRO Acquires Alpha

Today in FinTech: Stax Joins Unicorn Club

In today’s FinTech news, minority-led startup Stax hits unicorn status, while PPRO aims for a bigger Asia Pacific (APAC) presence with the purchase of Alpha Fintech. Plus, hotel payment software startup Selfbook plans to use its $15 million Series A extension to team up with hotel owners and operators, and NCR purchased FinTech intellectual property to facilitate its move into open banking.

FinTech Stax Reaches Unicorn Status Following $245M Funding

Minority-led, integrated payments platform Stax reached unicorn status with a valuation of just over $1 billion after raising $245 million. Co-founders and siblings Suneera Madhani, CEO, and Sal Rehmetullah, president, said the startup’s hard-won, early success is a milestone that can serve as a source of encouragement to people of color trying to “build their own business and make history.”

PPRO Snaps Up Alpha Fintech

Digital payments infrastructure firm PPRO has an acquisition deal on the table for payments technology platform Alpha Fintech. The acquisition will give PPRO a wider presence in the APAC region and facilitate the offering of a plug-and-play orchestration layer.

Selfbook Completes $15M Series A Fundraising Round Extension

Hotel payment software startup Selfbook is closing a $15 million Series A extension that will be used to form strategic partnerships with hotel owners and operators. The capital will also go toward furthering research and development efforts. Selfbook enables hotels to accept one-click payments on their websites.

NCR Buys Intellectual Property to Advance Open Banking

Global enterprise technology provider NCR bought FinTech intellectual property from Spoke Technologies to facilitate open banking. The purchase aligns with the company’s strategy to acquire intellectual property as a means to boost established and emerging product capabilities.

ID Verification FinTech Thirdfort Raises $20M

Identity verification startup Thirdfort is planning to use its $20 million funding to further develop its B2B platform that encompasses know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), source of funds, and secure payments. Powered by its proprietary risk engine, Thirdfort targets corporates in the legal, property and finance industries.

Gig Economy Businesses Turn to FinTechs to Enable Instant Payments

B2B payments startup Hopscotch launched in private beta in conjunction with a $6.1 million seed extension to further develop its fee-free digital payments app for small businesses and startups. The first group of pilot users started using the platform in February to work out the kinks, and the full beta launch is expected next month.

‘Proactive Finance’ Gives Banks, FinTechs Vision Into Unknown Customer Needs

Blend Founder and CEO Nima Ghamsari told PYMNTS that “proactive finance” could be a deciding factor in defining success for providers of financial services over the next three years. PYMNTS research repeatedly indicates that people will drop their financial institution (FI) for another to get smart, seamless flows — something that only happens when financial data is optimally used.