- Funding to be used to further develop the platform and expand into new markets in the UK and mainland Europe
- Funding round led by investment from SAATCHiNVEST
Vallie, an on-demand valet parking service, is announcing its seed funding of $750,000, led by Saatchi Invest.
Co-founded by Nash Islam and Robin Doble in 2015, Vallie is an on-demand personal valet parking service that allows customers to drop their car anywhere in Central London, where it is collected by a driver and parked for £5 per hour or £25 a day; far less than the average car park and a lot more convenient.
Vallie has parked thousands of cars and grown its coverage area 5x since launch.
In addition to SAATCHiNVEST, this round’s investors include the London Co-Investment Fund and the CEO of the Met Group Danny Kessler and his partner, Michael Jacobs, who invested after using Vallie’s service.
Vallie works in the following way:
- For Customers: Users book a collection time and place using the app. Upon arrival, they hand over the car and keys to a designated Vallie driver, who then parks it at a secure location. The car can then be returned to any chosen destination within 15 minutes.
- For Companies: The service can be offered as a company benefit to employees who need to drive into the office especially where a designated parking spot is either in short supply or prohibitively expensive. Vallie’s parking rates are 40% lower than the London average.
- Additional Concierge services: car washes, fuel refills, electric charging, MOT checks, tyre pressure checks and pretty much anything else a London driver would need.
“London is one of the most difficult and expensive places to park in the world. Our customers love Vallie and the services we provide. It’s not just parking, it’s about improving the entire car owner experience and make driving into London work for both the driver and the city. Vallie’s model can work well in almost any city across the world. This round allows Vallie to deliver on that potential immediately” – Nash Islam, CEO of Vallie.
“SAATCHiNVEST backs big ideas that change the world in elegant yet simple ways. We love what Vallie are doing and are impressed with their overall customer experience. We see untapped potential and believe Vallie is not only the future of parking, but also very relevant to the way communities and cars converge in the ongoing forging of smart cities ” – Leo Castellanos, Partner at SAATCHiNVEST
“Vallie makes parking phenomenally easy – my wife and I both love it and use it regularly. We use it for the office, business meetings and even for dinners and going to the theatre in town. I was so impressed by the convenience and luxury experience of the service I said I had to invest from the first time I used it.” – Danny Kessler, CEO of the Met Group & early Vallie customer
England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry
By Sarah Young
LONDON (Reuters) – Burberry stuck to its full-year goals on Wednesday after a media campaign fronted by high-profile English soccer star and social justice advocate Marcus Rashford drew a younger clientele to the British luxury brand.
Higher full-price sales would boost annual margins and Asian demand remained strong, Burberry said, while warning that it could suffer more sales disruption from COVID-19 lockdowns.
Manchester United striker Rashford, 23, has won plaudits for his campaign to help ensure that poorer children do not go hungry with schools closed during the pandemic.
A first coronavirus wave last year cut Burberry’s sales by as much as 45% before a bounce back on strong demand in mainland China and South Korea, which continued in the last few months.
Shares in Burberry were up 5% to 1,825 pence at 0905 GMT, with Citi analysts saying that improved sales quality from fewer markdowns would drive full-year consensus upgrades.
Burberry’s 9% sales decline in its third quarter was worse than the 6% fall in the second, and the company said that 15% of stores were currently closed and 36% operating with restrictions as a result of measures to curb COVID-19’s spread.
“We expect trading will remain susceptible to regional disruptions as we close the financial year,” Burberry said, adding that it was confident of rebounding when the pandemic eases given the brand’s resonance with customers.
In the third quarter, comparable store sales in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa declined 37%, hit by shops shut in lockdowns and a lack of tourists visiting Europe, but in the same period, it posted sales growth of 11% in Asia Pacific.
Burberry said that Britain’s new relationship with the European Union would cause headwinds, warning of a modest increase in costs to comply with new rules and also the impact of an end to a scheme for VAT refunds for non-EU tourists.
This would make Britain a less attractive destination for luxury shopping when tourism returns after the pandemic, Burberry said, adding that it would try to mitigate the effect.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton, James Davey and Alexander Smith)
Alibaba’s Jack Ma makes first live appearance in three months in online meet
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma met 100 rural teachers in China via a live video meeting on Wednesday morning, in the businessman’s first appearance since October, triggering a sharp jump in the Hong Kong listed shares of the e-commerce giant.
Social media speculation over the whereabouts of China’s highest-profile entrepreneur swirled this month after news reports that he missed the final episode of a TV show featuring him as a judge, amid a regulatory clampdown by Beijing on his sprawling business empire.
Ma had not appeared in public since Oct. 24, where he blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech at a Shanghai forum that set him on a collision course with officials, leading to suspension of a $37-billion IPO of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.
Tianmu News, a news portal under Zhejiang Online, which is backed by the provincial Zhejiang government, first reported that Ma had met with the teachers via a live video conference on Wednesday.
The Jack Ma Foundation said that Ma participated in the online ceremony of the annual Rural Teacher Initiative event on Wednesday. Alibaba Group also confirmed that Jack Ma attended the online event.
Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped more than 6% after the reports of his reappearance, compared with a 0.64% rise in the Hang Seng index.
Ma’s public appearance comes as Alibaba plans to raise at least $5 billion through the sale of a U.S. dollar-denominated bond this month. Reuters reported the bond proceeds could reach $8 billion, which the e-commerce leader was likely to use for general corporate expenditure.
Alibaba is also the target of an antitrust investigation launched last month by Chinese authorities, who have in recent months accelerated a crackdown on anticompetitive behaviour in China’s booming internet space.
In the 50-second video, Ma, dressed in a navy pullover, spoke directly to the camera from a room with grey marble walls and a striped carpet. It was not clear from the video or the Tianmu News article where he was speaking from.
He addressed teachers receiving the Jack Ma Rural Teachers Award, who in previous years would have attended a ceremony organised by the Jack Ma Foundation in the Chinese seaside city of Sanya.
“We cannot meet in Sanya due to the epidemic,” he said in the speech, which did not discuss his whereabouts. “When the epidemic is over, we must find time to make up for everyone’s trip to Sanya, and then we will meet again!”
Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab, said the media and public had over-interpreted Ma’s move to lay low and that his step away from the public spotlight should not have been seen as a problem for Alibaba.
“We shouldn’t over-interpret his reappearance into public view this time, said Xie Pu, founder of Chinese tech website Techie Crab. “Alibaba still has a good governance structure — there are partners and a board of directors.”
(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong, Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle)
ComplyAdvantage Releases State Of Financial Crime Report For 2021
Designed as an must-have strategic roadmap for compliance teams, the comprehensive report covers financial crime insights related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering, the rise of crypto,
and the ever-changing sanctions landscape
ComplyAdvantage, a global data technology company transforming financial crime detection, today announced the availability of the firm’s much anticipated report The State Of Financial Crime 2021. Designed as a strategic guide for global compliance teams, the report lays out the many emerging threats that governments and financial institutions will face in 2021, along with prescriptive recommendations for implementing best compliance practices for combating financial crimes.
The research on which The State Of Financial Crime 2021 report is based was administered in November and December 2020. Interviews were conducted with 600 C-suite and senior compliance decision makers across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The respondents represented enterprise banking, investments, crypto, insurance organizations, and fintechs.
One of the biggest challenges that compliance teams face is keeping current on the rapidly evolving regulations, and the advances of criminal behavior while balancing their organizations’ risk appetite. Risk indicators are also becoming harder to spot as the amount of information available grows exponentially and the speed of change gathers pace. This is why ComplyAdvantage has dedicated the company’s resources and anti-money laundering (AML) expertise in order to help compliance executives mitigate regulatory risks related to the most extreme AML financial crimes.
The State Of Financial Crime 2021 delves into the most important financial crime trends that Compliance Officers are most concerned with in the coming year. Specifically, these trends include increased fraud related to COVID-19 relief; risk vulnerabilities related to inconsistencies in global AML and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) system; the growth in sophistication of computer and mobile-enabled cybercrimes via payment systems; the continued use of sanctions as a tool of first resort and more.
A sample of key insights from the report include:
- SARs filing was on the rise with 74% of respondents saying they filed more SARS in 2020 than the previous year
- 93% of respondents stated that real-time AML risk data would improve their compliance operations
- Cybersecurity and third party risk management were noted as organizations’ biggest compliance-related pain points in 2020. With 54% of respondents ranking cybersecurity as a top pain point.
- 62% of respondents plan on upgrading their legacy systems in 2021.
- 54% of respondents plan on replacing or upgrading their transaction monitoring system in 2021.
“Due to the massive economic, political and social disruption brought about by COVID-19, international crime syndicates, rogue nations, global terrorists and cyber-criminals have become increasingly more aggressive, “said Charles Delingpolefounder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage. “Therefore, we felt it was imperative to prepare Compliance Officers and their teams for the potential onslaught of financial crimes driven by nefarious organizations.
Already the preferred choice of some of the world’s largest banks, enterprises and high-growth fintechs, ComplyAdvantage uses machine learning and natural language processing to help regulated organizations manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime. The company’s proprietary database is derived from millions of data points that provide dynamic, real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80% and improves how companies screen and monitor clients and transactions.
ComplyAdvantage releases The State Of Financial Crime 2021 a comprehensive report covering financial crime trends related to fraud, cyber, and money laundering. #compliance #financialcrime #AML #antimoneylaundering #cybercrime
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