February 6, 2023

In today’s top news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), U.K.-based online payments firm AstroPay launched a new affiliate program, Israeli smart grocery cart startup Shopic raised $35 million in a Series B round and more.
Capify Announces £40 Million Fund in Response to UK SMBs’ Difficulties
Capify, a specialist small- to medium-sized business (SMB) lender based in the U.K., announced a £40 million ($48.3 million) fund for businesses that need a lifeline or want to invest and grow.
U.K. SMBs have been hit hard by inflation, and many have struggled to get financing from traditional lending sources. Funding of up to £500,000 will be open to SMBs, with the offer triggered by growing concerns about access to finance, rising prices across the supply chain and some SMBs’ aims to boost sales and increase hiring despite these conditions.
AstroPay Launches Affiliate Program
London-based online payments company AstroPay has launched a new affiliate program,with the FinTech partnering with other brands and content creators to help promote its global services.
Affiliate partners will be able to access to special deals where they can generate income on an ongoing basis for every new user that joins the payment platform through their channel, the company said in a press release. The program offers a commission of up to 20% of the revenue generated by referrals.
How Loyalty Programs Can Help UK Shoppers Fully Embrace Mobile-Assisted Retail Experiences
British consumers are 16% less likely than those in other countries to use their smartphones while shopping, according to a recent PYMNTS report examining digital shopping habits in the U.K.
However, U.K. consumers buck the trend in one category of smartphone-assisted in-store shopping: When asked whether they use mobile devices to build up loyalty rewards, 9.2% of British respondents answered yes. This could present opportunities for retailers to reach consumers in new ways and encourage shoppers to pick up their phones.
Sesami Acquires Planfocus to Expand Cash Optimization Offering
Global cash ecosystem integrator Sesami Cash Management Technologies has acquired Planfocus, a German artificial intelligence (AI)-based cash optimization software provider.
Sesami said the acquisition will grow its portfolio of clients and expand its cash optimization offering for its existing clients. Planfocus’ cash optimization software solutions help reduce logistics spending and cash holding costs and drive up process optimization, the companies said in a press release.
Shopic Bags $35M for Smart Cart Grocery Tech
Shopic, a Tel Aviv-based grocery tech startup, raised $35 million in a Series B funding round to expand its global reach and continue building out its technology.
The company has built an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered clip-on device that transforms shopping carts into smart carts. Its technology has already been deployed in grocers and supermarket chains in Europe, the Americas and Israel, offering shoppers a more streamlined experience.
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.
New PYMNTS Study: How Consumers Use Digital Banks

A PYMNTS survey of 2,124 US consumers shows that while two-thirds of consumers have used FinTechs for some aspect of banking services, just 9.3% call them their primary bank.
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