Morning Brief 10.3.19: Tencent, Citi highlight $585 million Indian B2B e-commerce investment

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Big round

As India's digital payment ecosystem grows, the technology market is becoming more attractive to investors, with consumer e-commerce technology drawing funds from Amazon and Warren Buffett.

On the business side of e-commerce, Tencent, Citi Ventures, and GGV Capital are part of a $585 million investment in Udaan, a three-year old platform that operates an online marketplace, reports TechCrunch. The brings Udaan's valuation to about $2.7 billion.

Udaan, which supports electronics, home appliances and produce categories, will use the funds to add to its existing base of 3 million merchants, with a focus on local stores, chemists and small businesses.

Jack Henry execs

Payment and financial services technology company Jack Henry will reorganize its executive team as Mark Forbis, executive vice president and chief technology officer, will retire on Nov. 15.

The company has appointed Ted Bilke to be chief technology officer and promoted Gred Adelson to chief operating officer. Bilke is currently vice president of Jack Henry and president of Symitar, Jack Henry's credit union brand, while Adelson is vice president and general manager of JHA Payment Solutions.

Forbis' career at Jack Henry dates to the 1980s, and was named chief technology officer in 2006.

Turning to crypto

Venezuela plans to use cryptocurrency as a method for free banking transactions , including national and international payments as a hedge against the country's inflation and economic crisis.

President Nicolas Maduro said the nation's finance department will produce new instruments to connect crypto to banks, reports Finextra, which adds Venezuela is testing how the central bank can hold cryptocurrency.

Venezuela offers its own cryptocurrency, Petro, as a means to counter sanctions, though that effort has run into transaction glitches over the past couple of years.

In the desert

U.K. ATM administrator Link has set up a fund of about $1.2 million to pay for ATMs in areas where cash access is scarce, such as a lack of existing ATMs or a post office.

The "cash desert" fund will only pay for about 50 ATMs, reports the BBC, though Link says it will add to the fund if the service takes off.

The number of ATMs is a controversial issue in the U.K., partly due to Link's changing interchange policy, which has drawn criticism from consumer groups, and the increase of mobile payments.

From the web

Samsung Pay is rolling out a money transfer service for US users
CNBC | Thu October 3, 2019
Samsung has teamed up with financial technology firm Finablr on a money transfer service for its payments app. U.S. users of Samsung Pay will now be able to send money to people in 47 countries including India, Mexico and China, with the option to deposit directly into a recipient’s bank account or transfer to a local cash pickup point.

Western Union Expands Real-Time Cross-Border Payment Service
YAHOO FINANCE | Wed October 2, 2019
Western Union Co. has made available its real-time cross-border platform. This service will accelerate international consumer, consumer-to-business and business-to-consumer payments to eligible accounts, cards and digital wallets. For international cross-border real-time payments, Western Union is leveraging its core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network across 20,000 corridors in local currency, and compliance and technology systems.

Unum ID App Launches To Protect Against Mass Identity Theft
YAHOO FINANCE | Wed October 2, 2019
ePluribus, a civic tech platform that empowers Americans to speak up and get to the top of legislators' inboxes, today launched its Unum ID app, a decentralized identity platform that sits within ePluribus to enable users to take control of their personal information and securely prove their identity as verified constituents.

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