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EMEA Daily: UK FinTech Plum Raises $13.9M in Series A Funding; Nigerian B2B Startup Alerzo Acquires FinTech Firm Shago Payments

In today’s top EMEA news, U.K. FinTech Plum closes a $13.9 million Series A funding round, and The Digital Pound Foundation wants to see a U.K. CBDC materialize. Plus, U.K.’s Banking Protocol helps stop cybercriminals in their tracks, and Nigerian retail-tech startup Alerzo acquires FinTech firm Shago Payments.

Plum Snags $13.9M in Series A Funding 

London-based FinTech Plum announced the close of a 12-million-euro ($13.9 million) Series A funding round on Friday (Oct. 15) that will be used to expand the company and increase interest in its money management app.

The firm also launched a crowdfunding round on Crowdcube this month that saw more than 20,000 people register in the first 12 hours of the campaign.

The Digital Pound Foundation Wants to See UK’s CBDC Materialize

A group of innovation and regulatory experts, including big-name brands like Accenture, Electroneum and Ripple, have teamed up to launch the Digital Pound Foundation (DPF), a  nonprofit aimed at promoting the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the U.K.

Chaired by Barclays senior executive Jeremy Wilson, the recently launched forum aims to push forward the implementation of the proposed CBDC in the U.K., conducting research and advocacy while increasing stakeholder engagement for the rollout.

Nigerian B2B Startup Alerzo Acquires FinTech Firm Shago Payments

Retail-tech startup Alerzo is taking serving mom-and-pop stores in Nigeria to another level, with the recent acquisition of FinTech company Shago Payments to provide new digital services to its 150,000-plus informal retailers.

With the integration of Shago into the company’s payments arm, AlerzoPay, informal retail stores can now access services such as mobile airtime top-up, bill payments and peer-to-peer transfers.

UK’s Banking Protocol Helps Stop Cybercriminals in Their Tracks

With the increasing digitization of payments due to the pandemic, it is estimated that over $6 trillion will be exchanged through digital channels by the end of 2021, representing a 40% increase over the past two years.

This data was gathered in a recent PYMNTS report on authenticated payments, which also revealed that the value of the digital payments market is predicted to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.

But while these numbers are an indication of a thriving digital economy, this increase in payments volume goes hand in hand with a surge in fraud attacks.

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