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Monday 03 August 2020

Curve set for major cash call as economy slows

CurveAccording to reports, UK payments consolidator, Curve, is looking to raise up to £120m in new funding. The fintech is apparently in the throes of launching a Series C funding round, as it looks to secure new investment to support its operations and growth ambitions.

Curve enables users to make payments from any bank card they hold via a single consolidated source. The fintech recently integrated its services with Google Pay allowing customers to link all their cards to Google Pay, regardless of the provider, including Mastercard or Visa cards.

Curve was one of a number of UK fintech’s whose services were crippled recently by the temporary suspension of payments processor, Wirecard (see: Wirecard collapse hits UK fintechs). The collapse of Wirecard’s German parent had a major impact on the UK fintech ecosystem, leaving several prominent UK service providers unable to transact business.

The fintech has previously proved to be popular with investors and its Series B funding round raised $250m. In September, the company successfully raised £4m within minutes of launching a massively oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign (see: Investors swarm around an upward Curve).

Curve has previously indicated that it would endeavour to operate more efficiently that some other fintechs and, by inference, limit large cash calls. Whatever the impact on Curve’s prospects of the recent Wirecard hiatus, COVID-19 and the downturn in the wider economy, may have forced the fintech’s founders to re-assess their strategy.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: funding  

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Monday 03 August 2020

Accenture: Technology Delivery Partner for critical BoE programme

Accenture logoAccenture has secured a contract with Bank of England, which puts it at the heart of a critical service for the UK economy. It has been selected as the Technology Delivery Partner for the Real-Time Gross Settlement Service (RTGS) Renewal Programme. The RTGS service is the infrastructure that holds accounts for banks, building societies, and other institutions, delivering final and risk-free settlement.

The programme will renew this critical national payments’ infrastructure, which processes c£685b worth of transactions each working day, introducing resilience and innovation to support future requirements. In its role, Accenture will work with the Bank of England to build and integrate the new RTGS platform and improve data access, providing a service to support the financial services sector and its customers.

In the announcement, Accenture states that it will be “designed to respond to the changing structure of the financial system, give access to a wider number of firms, ensure resilience is at the heart of the service, offer wider interoperability and improved functionality, and strengthen end-to-end risk management of the U.K.’s high value payment system.” The rise of digital and instant payments has changed the way we pay, and the new system will reflect that.

The programme is expected to run until 2025; it will be delivered in “multiple transition states” to minimise risk. After a few periods where we believe Accenture’s UK performance was dragged down by challenges in its financial services business (see Accenture to cut up to 900 UK staff), this will be a welcome win for the firm.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: contract   financialservices  

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Monday 03 August 2020

FY20 looks like it will be better than expected at Seeing Machines

Seeing Machines logoBack in May Seeing Machines was compelled to undertake restructuring and redundancies in response to C-19 and the impact on the transport industry it serves with its computer vision based driver monitoring safety technology (see here). Against that background its FY20 trading update was better than expected with revenue and income ahead of guidance and net cash position “significantly ahead” as its technology continues to be installed across Automotive, Fleet/Offroad and Aviation industries globally.

FY20 revenue for the Australian HQ’d but AIM listed company is expected to be $39.7m which would be 8.5% ahead of consensus guidance, and a modest increase on the FY20 revenue total of A$38.7m. Income is expected to be A$42.6m, a 30% increase on the previous year. It reported a net loss in FY19 so the details of the profitability line will be one to watch when full results are released. Cash as of 30 June 2020 was A$38.7m, up 22% on consensus guidance.

With safety technology a core competency for driver operated, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles Seeing Machines is well placed, indeed despite the difficulties, connections of its Guardian product increased 46% yoy. As a measure of how important the safety system is considered, installations within commercial fleets rose despite around the clock work to deliver supplies. Seeing Machines hasn’t had a particularly easy time over the past couple of years but demand for its products is increasing.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: software   AI   machinelearning   tradingupdate  

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Monday 03 August 2020

Evosys helps Mastek look to the future with optimism

MastekIndian SITS provider, Mastek, has released Q1 results reflecting headline growth and improved profitability, helped by its recent acquisition of Oracle cloud partner, Evosys. Combined global revenues for the period ended 30 June 2020 were 386.1 Rs crore (£39.4m) representing an increase of 14.7% on the company’s delayed Q4 results (see: Mastek looks to the future with Evosys under its wing). Meanwhile total EBITDA improved by 17% to 68.1 Rs crore (£6.9m).

The segmented comparison reveals that, excluding the contribution from Evosys, Mastek generated revenue of 252.3 Rs crore (£25.7m) in the first quarter of its new fiscal, marginally down on the 252.7 Rs crore that the company reported for the same period last year (see: Mastek: US turnaround evident).

The enlarged Mastek appears to have started the year well and has added 48 new logos since 1st April 2020. The company indicated that it had a 12-month order book worth 764.5 Rs crore (£78m). Mastek also revealed that it had recently signed a framework agreement with a major

Group CEO John Owen was bullish about Mastek’s performance and prospects, whilst acknowledging that Covid-19 is continuing to have some drag on the business via the marketplace and the wider economy. However, he also highlighted that Mastek’s cloud migration and digital services have experienced heightened demand, as sectors re-assess their technology budgets in light of the pandemic.

Mastek's latest results indicate the greater emphasis being placed on app-based technology, within financial services in particular. Meanwhile, cost cutting and efficiency is helping to drive spend within the government and healthcare sectors. Across the board, the key industry themes of automation, cloud migration and infrastructure modernisation are increasingly reflected by Mastek's order book.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: results   IPP   covid-19  

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Monday 03 August 2020

BAE Systems grows in H1

BAE Systems logoIt feels unusual to be reporting on a large company achieving revenue growth in the current times. But all down to the nature of the beast with BAE Systems; 90% of its business is attributable to the defence sector internationally where “fundamentals remain robust” and Governments continue to prioritise the area. Describing its business as “resilient”, it achieved growth in sales of close to 5% to £9.9b in the six months to end June. Meanwhile, despite being pleased with the company’s ability to be agile and respond rapidly to the pandemic, adjusted EBITDA declined by c10% to £895m, with COVID-19 disruptions blamed.

The part of the business related to our ‘software and IT services’ (SITS) world is the Cyber and Intelligence business unit, which represents just 9% of worldwide revenues. Here, sales increased by 5% to £913m. Within that, Intelligence and Security (72% of the total) was up 8%, while Applied Intelligence (AI, 28% of the total) was “stable” displaying modest underlying growth. In the latter, the exit from the loss-making UK-based Enterprise Managed Security Services business was completed in April. Across AI, the Government business continued to perform well and has increased order intake driven by the actions of international customers. Meanwhile, the Financial Services business delivered growth in order intake but, in the UK, there were revenue declines. Overall, AI made a small profit, which represented an improvement on previous years with strategic actions, including a focus on operational efficiency and a restructuring of legacy business, starting to take effect.

Looking ahead, BAE Systems expects a stronger H2. Single digit percentage growth is expected for the full year, including the contribution from two acquisitions (neither of which had a big impact on H1).. As well as highlighting the numerous initiatives that BAE has been involved in to support the COVID-19 pandemic, including being part of the VentilatorChallenge UK consortium, the Group is also pleased to point to the fact it still has plans to take on 800 apprenticeships globally. This supports the view that the defence sector is viewed as important to economic recovery. In the UK, there is comfort in the Government’s commitment to above inflationary increases in spend for defence. But it is the commercial business in AI that is expected to contract in the near-term, dragging down revenues.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: results   defence   financialservices   cyber  

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Monday 03 August 2020

Altran acquisition keeps Capgemini growing

LogoCapgemini expects that it will report Q2 revenue of just north of €4b, up 13.4% yoy on a constant currency basis. The company’s turnover for the three months to 30th June, however, includes for the first time the impact of the purchase of Altran for €3.7b which was consummated in March this year. The underlying growth picture for both businesses has, unsurprisingly, been far less rosy.

In a trading update issued ahead of the publication of its H120 results on 3rd September, the company estimated that sales in the second quarter excluding changes in Group scope fell by 7.7% yoy. The organic top line decline in the period for Capgemini was 6.9%, while Altran found the going even tougher with revenue contracting by 11.6% in Q220. Operating margin is, however, anticipated to have held up well during the first half of this FY with the decrease limited to just 60 bps to 10.8%. No indicative details regarding either regional or vertical industry performance were provided.

Capgemini, like many other SI’s, had braced itself for a challenging Q2 (see here). The measures it took to both reduce and control expenditure have obviously helped minimise the bottom-line impacts of the coronavirus driven sales downturn. Aiman Ezzat, the new Chief Executive Officer of Capgemini Group, confirmed the company’s assessment of the outlook which it provided with the Q120 results and still expects a gradual recovery in the 3rd and 4th quarters. It will be interesting to hear whether this cautiously optimistic tone remains unchanged come the announcement of the full H120 numbers on the other side of Les Grande Vacances.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: results   systemsintegration  

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Monday 03 August 2020

Oxford Nanopore’s LamPORE accelerates COVID-19 testing

logoThe news this morning that high-speed COVID-19 tests are being rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs is a fantastic achievement by Harwell-based Oxford Nanopore, the developer of ground-breaking portable DNS sequencers (see Tech Goodness: Harwell Campus, Oxford Nanopore and the fight against COVID-19).

picOxford Nanopore’s new LamPORE COVID-19 assay (analytical test) can process 15,000 samples a day on its GridION desktop DNA sequencer or 2,000 a day on its MinION palm-size device. Performing the analysis ‘on site’ rather than having to send samples to central testing laboratories reduces the time to get results from 1-2 days to just 90 minutes.

Oxford Nanopore is also developing LamPORE to test for multiple pathogens within a single sample, including influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

Founded in 2005, Oxford Nanopore has so far raised £529m in multiple funding rounds, most recently in May 2020 (see Oxford Nanopore raises £48m as develops new COVID-19 test).

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Oxford Nanopore’s LamPORE will be a real game-changer in the global fight against COVID-19. We should all be very proud of this UK innovator and hope that it does not suffer the same 'fate' as ARM (see Is Nvidia poised to buy ARM?) and so many other brilliant UK tech companies no longer 'British'.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

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Monday 03 August 2020

Support your business planning with a virtual TMV engagement

TMV logoAre you interested in digging deeper into our UK SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2020-2023 and UK SITS Supplier Rankings 2020 research? Well now you can. TechMarketView is offering a virtual engagement to explore the meaning behind the written word of our two flagship reports. We have designed a session to enable you to get the most out of our latest analysis and support your business planning activities.

Report coversIn such an extraordinary year, defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated global lockdowns, TechMarketView’s expert analyst team has had to consider the extreme uncertainty that remains for us all and we have created forecasts for the next four years based on two market scenarios. The scenarios will determine how quickly confidence will return. But regardless of the pandemic’s progression and the resultant impact on the UK economy, change is coming. In fact, it’s already here.

Strategic planning in the current environment is filled with unknowns. There’s a strong desire to leverage past investments while accelerating change. Suppliers must recognise the fundamental shift in their clients’ attitudes, and help them ‘reset and reimagine’, ensuring that technology remains at the heart of the agenda.

TechMarketView is on hand to help you with these challenges and a virtual engagement or webinar with one of our expert analysts is a great way to kick off your business planning process. 

Contact info@techmarketview.com to book your session. Exclusively for subscription clients and priced at £2,950 +VAT.

Posted by: HotViews Editor

Tags: webinar  

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Monday 03 August 2020

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Posted by: HotViews Editor

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Sunday 02 August 2020

Is Nvidia posed to buy ARM?

ARMI guess I don’t really have to remind you of my feelings when ARM was acquired by Softbank in July 2016 for $24b. My heading Sadness as ARM falls to Softbank says it all. I know that many readers felt the same way. Including Sir Robin Saxby who wrote to me at the time of his great disappointment.

ARM was, in my opinion, the best tech company to come out of the UK in the last half dozen decades. The UK Govt should not have allowed the sale. Can’t think of any other country that would have allowed their Crown Jewels to be plundered in that way.

Since then Softbank have run into a few problems of their own of which WeWork was a prime example. Now they want to raise cash. I had hoped that we might see ARM returning to being a quoted company on the LSE. But all the current rumours are that a sale (or partial sale) to US chip maker Nvidia Corp is on the cards. It would make sense to Nvidia which has never really mastered chips for smartphones. Can’t think that ARM’s customers would be too pleased. ARM prides itself on being ‘smartphone manufacturer agnostic’. Something that the Softbank deal maintained. Not the case with Nvidia who are an ARM customer.

ARM still has its Cambridge centre. Softbank committed to DOUBLE the number of UK-based employees. Something that is far from happening yet.

My sadness continues...

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Sunday 02 August 2020

Mission Accomplished

SpaceXOn 1st June 20, I reported on the flawless launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule carrying its two astronauts to dock with the ISS. I ended that article saying ‘Of course, the mission cannot really be claimed a total success until Crew Dragon brings the astronauts safely back to earth’.

Well, that’s exactly what happened tonight. In typical Elon Musk style, they were greeted with the announcement ‘Welcome back to Planet Earth. Thanks for flying SpaceX’.  It’s the first time a commercial venture has taken humans to the ISS. SpaceX will repeat the exercise in September.

It’s been quite a month for Elon Musk as Tesla reported a surprise 4th consecutive profit which could put them into the S&P500. See Tesla soars into the stratosphere.

Pretty amazing stuff!

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Sunday 02 August 2020

Share Indices in July 20

SharesJuly 20, yet again, turned out to be ‘A Tale of Two Economies’. Tech – particularly BIG TECH - has continued to soar. NASDAQ was up 6.4% in July making it a massive 18.5% INCREASE YTD. Conversely, the FTSE100 - which now has only two tech constituents and is a kind of proxy for the ‘rest of the economy’ -  dived another 4.4% in July making it an equally massive 21.8% DECREASE YTD.

The UK FTSE IT Index was up 6.7% in July but is still down 7.5% YTD. The FTSE SCS Index  - which most closely tracks the UK publically quoted software and IT Services companies that we track at TMV – was also up 5.6% in July but down 10.1% YTD.

Outlook

COVID-19 is the first pandemic I have witnessed. I don’t have any previous formbook to consult. We do know that the UK – and probably the world – is looking into the abyss of the deepest recession of my lifetime (Even I wasn’t around in the 1930s!) I ought to be suffering along with the rest. But the Holway Share Portfolio is going great guns – up over 35% YTD – as I am many invested in either Big Tech or companies like Computacenter and Kainos that have been having ‘a very good C-19’. On top of that our own TechMarketView LLP has just finished a surprisingly good quarter with double-digit growth. We too seem to have what our customers – old and new – seem to value in these strange times. Of course, it helped that we’d all been WFH since inception in 2009 – so disruption to working practices was minimal.

I suspect – fear - the future will be one of great polarisation with the good doing very, very well and the bad (or just the mediocre) not managing to survive. Problem is that even if you are doing well but all about you are suffering, ultimately you will suffer too. Everyone is part of an extended family where some members will require support. In a wider world, taxes will have to go up to repay debt and those that are doing well are bound to have to pay more. At HVPthe extreme, we could see a return of civil unrest – even riots on the streets – if sections of society are badly hit and see themselves as badly treated. A polarised society is no good to anyone. At the end of the day, all strata of society must have some level of success or society itself will breakdown.

For an extended and detailed review of Share performance in July see HotViews Extra - available to all paying subscribers including HotView Premium.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Friday 31 July 2020

BT reveals the challenge ahead as Shuter comes on board

BTBT Group has released a Q1 trading update, highlighting marked falls in revenue and profitability against the backdrop of COVID-19. For the three months to 30 June 2020, group revenue was down 7% to £5.2bn whilst profit before tax declined by 13%.

During the first quarter, revenue from BT’s Enterprise arm (which includes most of the company’s UK SITS business) was down 9% to £1.4bn, meanwhile operating profitability (EBITDA) declined by 13%. BT Global revenue was also down 9%, to £990m, whilst Consumer revenue fell 7% to £2.4bn. Compared to BT's other units, OpenReach was the shining light, as revenue grew by 1% to £1.3bn and EBITDA improved by 2% to £729m.

In May, BT announced that it was launching the next phase of its transformation journey (see: BT steps up the pace of transformation). The new 5-year initiative is designed to continue the ongoing modernisation of the business and its technology as it further rationalises its offerings. The programme is designed to deliver gross annualised savings of £2bn by March 2025 at a cost of £1.3bn.

BT remains a business in transition and still needs to be far more streamlined if it is to achieve its declared ambition of becoming a modern technology provider. No doubt with this goal in mind, the company has announced the appointment of Rob Shuter as the new CEO of its Enterprise unit. Shuter, is CEO of Africa's leading mobile telecoms provider, MTN and previously served as CEO of Vodafone Europe. He will take over from Gerry McQuade who is retiring, and is expected to join before the end of the current fiscal.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: tradingupdate  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Growth eases for AWS and Google Cloud in Q2

awsThe very closely watched revenue growth figures for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google (GCP) show growth easing in Q2 (three months to end June) – a period that saw so much of the world in lockdown.   goo

For AWS, the second quarter of 2020 saw revenue growth of 29% - down from 37% in Q2 2019 and 33% in Q1 of this year. GCP saw growth slow from 52% in Q1 2020 to 43% in Q2. Similarly, Microsoft recently announced that Azure growth slowed to 47% from 59% (Microsoft grew 13% overall) in the same period. It is worth reiterating that various other Software and IT Services players saw revenue decline/grow only slightly during this period.

The pandemic may have had some impact on the growth numbers in the short-term, but the broader trend also sees an easing of the top line as the Hyperscalers gain scale. However, AWS and Azure are both very large businesses so even with growth of ‘just’ 29% and 47%, the amount they are adding in pound/dollar terms is very substantial. Furthermore, regardless of what the numbers look like precisely, the trend in the market is still very much towards greater cloud adoption.

We’ve seen a ‘swings and roundabouts’ scenario during lockdown, whereby some organisations are spending more on cloud and some less. AWS has been helping clients in the hardest hit sectors reduce costs over the past 3-4 months – which will lead to a short-term hit on revenue. On the flipside, investment from organisations in videoconferencing and entertainment, for example, has spiked upwards.

While a pandemic is likely to be a once-in-lifetime event, flexibility and resilience in infrastructure (including Business Continuity Plans that are genuinely effective) should also be considered essential for more ‘normal’ times. The past few months have underlined this for many organisations. The cloud players may have seen a squeeze on their top line numbers (and a slowing of growth is a general trend outside of the pandemic), but there is no doubt about the general direction of the market. Organisations (commercial and Public Sector) are committing to cloud (e.g. AWS and cloud adoption help drive HSBC transformation) and the pandemic will accelerate this or see just a short-term squeeze of the brakes.

See ‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’ for analysis on the results of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.

Read UK SITS Market Trends and Forecasts 2020 for TechMarketView’s Scenarios on the market for this year and beyond TechMarketView Foundation Service clients only).

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: results   cloud  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Tough H1 for Intertek

Intertek logoAs a provider of integrated Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification (ATIC) services, Intertek’s brief goes beyond software and IT services but it does have a streak of information security risk capability. This is provided through its own test engines and staff who deliver manual, in depth penetration tests. Testing can be performed remotely or onsite and covers applications, networks, wireless networks, remote access, and other aspects of a customer’s IT infrastructure.

It has been a tough six months for the company. At £1.3bn H120 revenue was down 7.8% yoy, while adjusted operating profit dropped 32% to £168m. However, by managing working capital and with strong cash conversion, its cash position has moved in the right direction with adjusted free cash flow of £141.9m vs. £104.6m in H119. Cyber security performance was not separated out but given that C-19 has heightened security awareness (see here for a flavour of recent cyber security sector performance) we expect it performed better than the overall company. 

One of Intertek’s strategic goals is M&A in the fragmented QA market. It is not alone in spotting this opportunity - California-based test and measurement technology company, Keysight Technologies acquired UK software testing and monitoring solution developer Eggplant recently in a $330m deal for example – so it will face more competition. What it does have working for it is its ability to bridge technology and physical boundaries which is one of the requirements of today’s QA, and to join the dots between organisations’ various operations, strengthening the links between initiatives such as customer experience improvement and back office and supply chain quality and reliability.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   software   cybersecurity  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Tech Mahindra ‘endeavours’ to get back to growth

logoFew surprises from the junior member of the offshore services top tier, Tech Mahindra, whose results showed headline revenues for the June quarter (FQ1) down 3.2% yoy (-1.8% ccy) to £1.21b, representing a 6.7% decline (-6.3% ccy) over the prior quarter. There was a slight sequential increase in operating margin to 10.1%, albeit still 140bps down yoy.

Tech Mahindra’s ‘Enterprise’ business (built from the legacy Satyam acquisition) was less impacted than the core Communications business, where revenues declined by 8.2% yoy and 6.5% qoq (ccy) compared to a 5.1% yoy decline but a 1.6% increase qoq (ccy) for the Enterprise unit. Communications now comprises 40% of Tech Mahindra’s revenues.

Management did not opine as to whether they thought the worst was over, though said they have  “the endeavour … to be back on the growth path amid increased signs of demand normalization.”

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: offshore  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Teleperformance’s solid first half

TPContact centre specialist Teleperformance put in a decent shift to grow revenues by 5% in the first half of 2020 to €2.66bn (H119 €2.56bn). EBITDA margins however took a hit from Covid, declining to 16.9% from 19.7% in first half last year.

The fact that TP has had to deploy some 80% of its staff from home, nearly 220,000 employees compared to less than 10,000 pre-covid, the firm should be credited for solid progress in the first half of the year. Business in the UK also “remained brisk” throughout the first half, mainly supported by the deployment of government Covid- 19 helpline services.

Given the scale of Teleperformance’s global operations it should be commended for its agility, in what significantly included the roll out of a cloud-based contact centre homeworking solution that must now be the largest of its kind in operation. 

Indeed, I have been critical in the past of the ability of the large contact centre outsourcers to adapt to the changing demand of customers and the wider market, but credit where its due, Covid has accelerated TP’s digital adoption and given the scale of challenge facing outsourcers the business has held up pretty well. 

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results   contactcentre   customerexperience  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Monzo lays bare its problems as losses mount

MonzoFollowing the news of recent job cuts, digital challenger bank, Monzo has highlighted the strength of the difficulties it faces as economic conditions worsen (see: Progress hits the buffers as Monzo cuts staff). The bank’s latest financial results have revealed a £115m loss for the year, with the global impact of the coronavirus adding to the bank’s existing woes.

In May, Monzo’s founder, Tom Blomfield, stepped down from his role as CEO to be replaced by the head of the bank’s US operations, TS Anil (see: Monzo’s founder makes way…). Anil has admitted in Monzo's new annual report that the economic impact of COVID-19 has had a "significant impact" on the bank. Pre-tax losses more than doubled during the last fiscal, up from £50.7m FY19. Meanwhile, the bank has warned of “material uncertainties that cast significant doubt upon the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

Whilst the coronavirus has clearly not helped Monzo's situation, its problems stem from well before the global pandemic erupted. As losses have mounted, there have been increasing signs that the bank has been struggling to grow effectively, whilst simultaneously trying to keep its costs in balance to the satisfaction of its backers. As history has demonstrated, confidence is a vital ingredient in banking and it will be interesting to see what impact these latest warnings have on Monzo's prospects.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: banking   FinTech  

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Friday 31 July 2020

‘Workforce Success’ start-up EduMe finds funding success

logoSelf-styled ‘Workforce Success’ start-up EduMe seems to have broadened its remit since its seed funding round in November 2018 (see EduMe gets dosh to bring CBT to gig workers). The core proposition is still remote workforce training, but they’ve added messaging functionality too. Makes sense.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Chiswick, West London, EduMe has raised a further $5m in a Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley-based Valo Ventures. The round also includes participation from existing investors Connect Ventures.

EduMe has also expanded its gig worker client base, with the announcement last month that Deliveroo has signed a global deal for EduMe to support worker onboarding, training and ‘continuous learning’, adding another 60,000 potential users for the platform. Uber is also a customer.

EduMe has become coy about pricing, which is no longer disclosed on its website. They used to charge $1.99 per user per month ‘at scale’. EduMe claims to have customers in over 30 countries but does not disclose user numbers.

Another start-up very much ‘right time, right place’.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup  

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Friday 31 July 2020

Metro Bank tests Wipro's transformation credentials

WiproUK challenger bank, Metro, has selected Wipro as its strategic transformation partner for testing and environment services. The high street bank has awarded a multi-year contract to Wipro whist the SITS provider has also been selected as a preferred partner to help deliver business IT services across Metro Bank functions.

As Metro Bank looks to improve the cost-effectiveness, speed and quality of its operations, Wipro will help to accelerate automation, service virtualisation and DevOps enablement. The initiative is foundational to effective roll-out of other technologies at the bank and should help to improve the overall efficiency of technology change.

Despite the widespread economic impact of COVID-19, Wipro’s overall fortunes have remained resilient relative to some other providers. The company recently revealed a profitable start to its new fiscal, despite a small fall in headline revenues (see: Profit holds at Wipro as revenue slides). However, with BFSI revenue down by nearly 7%, this latest deal will be welcome news.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

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