Enigmatic Smile acquires Fidel API’S loyalty business in landmark industry deal

Fidel API Holdings Limited (“Fidel Limited”), the holding company of Fidel API, a fintech transaction infrastructure platform, has completed an asset sale of its loyalty business to Enigmatic Smile (“ES”), a global reward technology facilitator. The sale encompasses all assets related to Fidel’s loyalty business including its market-leading technology platform, customers, partners and personnel, as well as the Fidel brand.

Fidel Limited was founded by Dev Subrata and Andre Elias and is backed by leading investors such as Bain Capital Ventures, QED, NYCA Partners and more. The business, which recently rebranded as Astrada, appointed fintech and payments veteran Salman Syed as CEO in 2023 to lead its evolution, building data and payments infrastructure to support spend management and additional use cases.

The company made the strategic decision to sell its loyalty business to ES, who currently operates in the global rewards and loyalty market, seeing strong synergies and greater opportunities for Fidel’s card linking platform under ES. ES’s future vision will allow Fidel’s loyalty business to enhance its core value proposition with a greater level of focus, while leveraging the unique assets that ES has built for several years. ES will incorporate Fidel’s loyalty reach and clients into its growing ecosystem of partners.

ES is a PCI Level 1 Service Provider offering critical reward programme infrastructure to loyalty programme managers, and their clients, around the world. The company is already integrated with over 20 financial institutions around the world, including global giants such as Visa and Fiserv, as well as local market leaders such as Innoviti and Pinelabs.

Bish Smeir, founder and CEO of ES said, “At ES we understand that the payment linked rewards space faces many challenges. The solutions to these problems can only be applied at scale. For this reason, Fidel’s loyalty business is a perfect acquisition for us, at a perfect time in our growth cycle. A large percentage of offers linked to credit cards and debit cards in the UK, Northern Europe and India originate within our organisation of partners. Availing independent access to 100% of matched card transaction data across multiple markets, just makes sense.”

Salman Syed, CEO of Astrada, commented that “As we thought about the future of our loyalty business, ES’s bold vision and focus presented a clear home for our loyalty platform, customers, and many of our employees. I’m excited to see this outcome as it truly presents an opportunity for continued growth of the loyalty business long into the future.”

Bish Smeir continued, “With the acquisition of Fidel’s loyalty business, our group now serves 86 major reward programmes across the planet by surfacing transaction matches, merchant content, or both. This unprecedented scale will allow Single.id, our-cross-reward-programme-identifier, to solve the fundamental challenge of the payment linked offer industry; double dipping, once and for all. By consolidating card schemes, open banking, UPI, issuer and acquirer reward transaction matches and more into a single, reliable, data stream, retailers can be confident of their ROI for the first time. In addition, our blockchain based voucher currency ledger facilitates re-spend of rewards, saving retailers up to 80% when compared to traditional cashback mechanics. I’m also excited to welcome Carolina Paradas and Kevin Akerman to the Enigmatic Smile leadership team. They will lead Fidel’s loyalty business, within ES, going forward, bringing with them a team of Product and Operations Managers, Engineers and Customer Success Managers as well as a wealth of industry experience and contacts.

Dev Subrata, Founder and Executive Chairman, said, “Fidel has grown from an idea to a world leading financial infrastructure platform for building event-driven experiences based on real time card data. As we continue to build on our vision, it made sense to spin-out the part of the platform that powers loyalty programs and focus on the opportunity we see in spend management and additional financial use cases.”

Solano Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Fidel Limited on the transaction, with Fox Williams as legal counsel. Enigmatic Smile engaged Lewis Silkin LLP as legal counsel.