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Novena Global Lifecare completes US$350 million merger with China’s Xingkeduo to expand the NOVU and Xingkeduo brands in China and beyond

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Novena Global Lifecare (the “Company”), one of the world’s largest integrated medical healthcare and aesthetic companies with over 100 clinics in 20 cities mainly in the Asia Pacific region, has completed its US$350 million (S$476 million[1]) merger with Xingkeduoan express haircut business with nearly 100 stores in high foot-traffic prime locations in China’s first- and second-tier cities and a China-wide e-commerce platform.

The merger provides Singapore-owned Novena Global Lifecare with access to Xingkeduo’s internet technology and physical network of nearly 100 stores, which will now be complemented by the Company’s medical aesthetic expertise through its NOVU Aesthetics (NOVU) brand. This merger will also see an accelerated expansion of NOVU and Xingkeduo brands in China, as plans are underway for the creation of a one-of-a-kind hybrid store format offering complementary medtech-based aesthetic and hairdressing solutions driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as generate cross-selling opportunities for both brands.

The new company‘s English name will remain as “Novena Global Lifecare”. Evolve Capital Asia and InsightX Capitalare the financial advisers for Novena Global Lifecare and Xingkeduo, respectively, for this merger funded by cash and shares in Novena Global Lifecare. In addition, the merged entity will manage the expansion of the NOVU and Xingkeduo brands in China and in the Asia Pacific region.

Following the merger, DORR Group and Novena Global Lifecare’s Executive Chairman and co-founder Nelson Loh will serve as Novena Global Lifecare’schairman, while DORR Group and Novena Global Lifecare’s CEO and co-founder Terence Loh and Xingkeduo’s founder Willy Chuangwill be appointed co-CEOs of Novena Global Lifecare.

AI-based Beauty OS platform to drive growth

Founded in Beijing in 2015, Xingkeduo is the first company in China that combines hairdressing with online-to-offline commerce using Internet technology for online order, queue reservations in the cloud, with the actual hairdressing services provided in the shop. To date, Xingkeduo has served more than 3 million customers, with over 6 million sales made online, and maintained a 99.54% positive rating online.

Xingkeduo’s founder Willy Chuang said: “China has the most developed and active e-commerce retail system in the world. With our proprietary AI-based Beauty OS system, Xingkeduo has been able to evolve and scale up from a hair salon offering express haircuts to one offering its own brand of professional scalp care and hair styling products to target customers’ needs, not only in stores but also on e-commerce platforms. With Novena Global Lifecare’s participation, we are confident that we can grow our combined business exponentially in China and beyond.”

Mr Chuang added: “We analysed the prospects of the service industries and the healthcare sector, and we believe that the future unicorns will be multi-brand matrices, and the customer experience will not be limited to the store, but consist of a seamless online-to-offline experience, covering a full range of on-demand products and services, including customised aesthetic and medical solutions.”

As part of the business integration, Xingkeduo plans to implement version 3.0 of its growth plans and expand into the provision of medical care services, such as scalp management and hair transplants. This builds on Xingkeduo’s successful transformation from version 1.0 (purely haircut services) into the current version 2.0, through the integration of offline and online services in a short span of just three years.

Growing footprint in China

Novena Global Lifecare is one of the successful portfolio companies in DORR Group, which is a privately held investment holding company managing over US$4 billion of assets across various industries from consumer, healthcare, technology and media. The DORR Group is also in the process of setting up a new US$150 million Sino-Singapore Healthcare Fund for the tri-party of Novena Global Lifecare, Sinopharm Capital and Cedarlake Capital to invest in a portfolio of companies involved in Southeast Asia’s medical services, biomedical projects, mature drugs and precision medicine sectors.

DORR Group’s Nelson Loh said: “Through this merger, Novena Global Lifecarewill immediately reinforce our leading presence in the aesthetics beauty and wellness industry in Asia Pacific. More significantly, it would further improve our retail and service quality, and disrupt the current industry model and cost structure. We strongly believe that in the future, whether in SingaporeChina, or even in Asia and Latin America, we can use this model to empower customers to have more customised products and services.”

“As an investor in the medical industry, and with our experience in operating a global chain of aesthetic healthcare stores, both data and intuitive experience tell me that this industry is a field where consumers need more affordable and convenient services, and has very broad growth prospects. With the experience of Xingkeduo in China’s beauty market, the resources of the company’s shareholders and the Beauty OS system built for the company’s business, we are confident that we will continue to be a trailblazer in China’s medical beauty and medical care markets, bringing more choices for Chinese consumers,” Mr Nelson Loh added.

Moving forward, Novena Global Lifecarewill continue to provide consumers with convenient, efficient and cost-effective products and services, based on both parties’ common vision and consistent development goals for the lifecare and medical industries.

The Company will also accelerate the development of both brands, NOVU and Xingkeduo, and launch the development of multi-stores in China and Asia Pacific, as well as introduce NOVU’s skincare technology to consumers in China and leverage on the Beauty OS system to accelerate the service upgrade of NOVU stores around the world.

DORR Group’s co-founder Terence Loh said, “Asia has become the capital of the world’s beauty industry, with China and Southeast Asia recording the fastest development and the most promising market for Asian beauty and medical care. China is a huge market and we believe we are well positioned to seize opportunities especially in its highly fragmented aesthetic healthcare market. There’s definitely room for a well-run, well-funded integrated practice that provides affordable and accessible healthcare and medical aesthetics services to the mass market.”

 

SOURCE Novena Global Lifecare

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Credorax Partners With Cisco to Boost Payments Gateway to the Next Level

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Today, Credorax announced that it has partnered with Cisco to upgrade its data-center network’s capabilities, capacity and latency. The agreement enables Credorax to adopt Cisco’s advanced data-center networking technology, including an automation, visibility and management system. Credorax has also agreed to beta-test Cisco’s advanced and future monitoring and management products.

Credorax’s system is already considered one of the fastest in the world with its cutting-edge high throughput, low latency, and multi-continent redundancy, and Cisco’s technology will allow Credorax to push the envelope even further in terms of decreasing transaction latency and increasing throughput. Cisco’s software solution for centralized management and monitoring of network components will play a significant role in Credorax’s solutions, simplify their roll-out of new products and reduce ongoing cost of ownership.

As a licensed merchant acquiring bank, Credorax helps merchants accept payments easily with its recently launched Source gateway. The platform offers telecom-grade (99.999%) availability for processing payments as well as a host of payments products and services, including cards and alternative payment methods, hosted payment pages, advanced KYC screening, smart fraud solutions, and sophisticated business intelligence and data tools.

Cisco is at the forefront in building the network platform that can now deliver a connected, autonomous, and programmable digital platform for Credorax customers.

Cisco-Israel General Manager, Oren Sagi said about the collaboration: “Cisco is committed to do its utmost to provide its customers with the most innovative technologies while maintaining uncompromising quality. We are excited to collaborate with Credorax and help them develop the fastest and most reliable payments gateway possible. I am confident that this project is the first milestone for a successful cooperation between the two companies.”

Moshe Selfin, Credorax CTO & COO stated: “We’re thrilled join forces with Cisco. We have always strived to provide best-class service to our customers, and are confident that by incorporating Cisco’s network platform for data capacity and processing speed into our NextGen payments and acquiring platform, we are offering our merchants the best technology on the market.”

In an era of demanding customers and changing expectations, e-commerce merchants simply can’t survive without the best-in-class cross-border payments processing capabilities. Being both a technology company and an acquiring bank, Credorax has built a full suite of NextGen products and services to help merchants grow their business online. And now with Cisco’s support, Credorax has augmented its offering even further.

 

SOURCE Credorax

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MetricStream Wins “GRC Product of the Year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards Hosted by Risk.net

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MetricStream, a market leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) apps and solutions, announced today that its Enterprise GRC Solution has been awarded the “GRC product of the year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards, hosted by Risk.net.

“We’re honored to win this award,” said Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, MetricStream. “We believe that it validates the strength, breadth, and depth of our GRC/IRM offerings, as well as our focus on continuous innovation—reflected most prominently in our GRC cloud, advances in predictive analytics, automation, and AI. Our mission is to enable organizations to ‘Perform with Integrity™’. To that end, we’re deeply committed to forging long-term partnerships with our customers and supporting them throughout their integrated GRC journeys.”

The annual Risk.net awards recognize the need for innovative technology solutions to manage risk in a highly dynamic and complex business environment. The average financial services firm faces a plethora of risks, ranging from cyber threats and regulatory pressures, to fintech related disruptions and money laundering issues. As these risks grow more interconnected, siloed approaches to GRC are rapidly giving way to more integrated solutions.

The MetricStream Enterprise GRC platform provides a single, unified system to manage, coordinate, and track multiple types of GRC activities. The solution cuts across organizational silos, enabling a holistic and collaborative approach to GRC. Users can efficiently roll up operational risk, audit, compliance, Cyber and third-party risk information from across the enterprise, and transform it into actionable business intelligence to support decision-making. With support for mobility, real-time reporting, advanced risk analytics, and regulatory notifications, the MetricStream solution helps users manage complex risk requirements in an efficient manner.

Top industry analysts have consistently recognized MetricStream as a leader in GRC/IRM. The company’s wide range of solutions and underlying GRC platform are leveraged by leading financial services firms worldwide, including large global banks, mid-sized banks, private equity investors, investment banks, wealth managers, insurance firms, asset management companies, federal financial agencies, and clearing corporations.

 

SOURCE MetricStream

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MPOWER Financing rated Top international student lender by Nerdwallet and U.S. News

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MPOWER Financing, a mission-driven fintech that provides financial access to higher education for high-promise international and DACA students, was recognized by both Nerdwallet and U.S. News & World Report as the top student loan provider for international students.

Nerdwallet, a comparison website for personal finance products, awarded MPOWER a 5-star rating for its student loans, indicating that its products are “among the very best for consumer-friendly features.” Nerdwallet also commended MPOWER for offering loans that are “ideal for international and DACA students without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.” MPOWER’s loans are available to students from around the world for both graduate and undergraduate degrees at more than 350 top universities in the U.S.and Canada.

U.S. News & World Report recognized MPOWER Financing as the “best lender for international students.” This determination was made on the basis of MPOWER’s product offerings, cost, customer servicing ratings, eligibility, and other features. U.S. News also detailed that MPOWER’s underwriting process considers a student’s academic success and career path – a process that is enabled by MPOWER’s use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“I was having a tough time obtaining education loans from India without collateral,” wrote Kaushik Krishnan, one of MPOWER’s early students. “MPOWER was truly life changing for me. I’ve since graduated from my Masters program, found a job, and paid off my loan.”

“MPOWER allowed me to achieve my dream,” said Sol Bee, a South Korean student. “I was admitted to Berkeley in Fall 2016, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. MPOWER empowered me to be who I wanted to be by allowing me to take control of my finances and my life.”

“We’re honored by the industry recognition we’ve received, and the hundreds of heartfelt stories we get from students whom we have the privilege to serve,” says Manu Smadja, Co-founder and CEO of MPOWER. “We’re working hard to further improve our customer experience and to remain the best international student lending product on the market.”

MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Bengaluru, New York City, and Toronto, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received over $1B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after school. The team is backed by Zephyr Management, Goal Structured Solutions, Gray Matters Capital, Lloyd Crescendo Advisors, 1776, Village Capital, Potentia, Breega, VARIV, DreamIt, Fresco, Chilango, Common Sense Fund, K Street, and University Ventures.

 

SOURCE MPOWER Financing

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