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Alumni News-- March 2, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgKnox News features SigFig and Motif Investing in its look at investment-tracking apps.
  • Bank Innovation takes a look at how Xignite "democratizes" financial trading.
  • ACI Worldwide teams up with STS PayOne to build fraud prevention technology for e-commerce merchants in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Payoneer appoints Neil Platt to Chief Revenue Officer.
  • column on the money transfer industry features CurrencyFair and TransferWise.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
Eleven companies raised $232 million this week, with the all but one (disclosed) round coming in at $2 million or more. Finovate alums accounted for more than half the total with Xero taking in $111 million and SecureKey $29 million. 

The deals from Feb 20 to 27 by size:

Cloud accounting
HQ: Wellington, New Zealand (public)
Latest round: $111 million 
Total raised: $355 million
Tags: SMB, accounts receivable, payable, bookkeeping, financial management, invoicing, Finovate & FinDEVR alums
Source: Finovate

Marketplace lender for automobile financing
HQ: Dallas, Texas
Latest round: $50 million
Total raised: $50 million
Tags: Auto lending, underwriting, P2P, investing, installment credit, secured credit, title lending, Sierra Auto Finance (parent)
Source: Crunchbase

Cloud-based banking solutions
HQ: Wilmington, North Carolina
Latest round: $29 million
Total raised: $49 million
Tags: Banking, operating system, regulatory compliance
Source: Crunchbase

Payment security & authentication
HQ: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Latest round: $19 million
Total raised: $70.5 million
Tags: Security, payments, identity, digital, mobile, hardware, Finovate alum
Source: Crunchbase

Online residential real estate loans for investors
HQ: Austin, Texas
Latest round: $6.7 million
Total raised: $13.2 million (includes $4.7 million debt)
Tags: Mortgage, investing, real estate
Source: Crunchbase

Values household goods for insurance purposes
HQ: Danville, California
Latest round: $6.5 million
Total raised: $13.3 million
Source: Pando

SMB cloud-based accounting
HQ: Zurich, Switzerland
Latest round: $4.8 million
Total raised: $4.8 million
Tags: SMB, accounting, invoicing, financial management
Source: Crunchbase

Person-to-person lending to SMBs
HQ: Dublin, Ireland
Latest round: $2.8 million
Total raised: $2.8 million
Tags: SMB, debt crowdfunding, lending, underwriting, P2P, peer-to-peer, loans
Source: Crunchbase

Online lending platform for Canadian SMBs
HQ: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Latest round: $2.2 million
Total raised: $2.2 million
Tags: SMB, lending, underwriting, credit, loans, credit lines
Source: FT Partners

Collateral and risk management platform
HQ: London, UK
Latest round: Not disclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Investing, enterprise, analytics
Source: FT Partners

Financial wellness as an employee benefit
HQ: London, UK
Latest round: $565,000
Total raised: $1.3 million
Tags: Investing, enterprise, analytics, money management, PFM
Source: Crunchbase

SecureKey Raises $19 Million in Series C

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In a round led by Blue Sky Capital and Rogers Venture Partners, Toronto-based authentication specialist SecureKey has raised $19 million in new funding. The Series C investment brings SecureKey's total capital to more than $70 million.

SecureKey also announced the appointment of Didier Serra to Executive Vice President. Serra will lead the company's consolidated sales and marketing team.

Charles Walton, SecureKey CEO said that the funding will play a key role in helping the company grow "as people, governments, and organizations worldwide embrace a future that removes the burden of passwords" while preserving both convenience and choice for consumers.

Blue Sky Capital's Greg Wolfond echoed the importance of balance between convenience and privacy. Wolfond suggested that the path to new data-enabling and critical online services is paved with the ability of companies like SecureKey to provide secure authentication.

"Today's consumers need and expect convenient access to the online services they use most, without sacrificing the critical security of their personal information," Wolfond said.

Above: SecureKey Vice President for Partner Engagement Chris Gardner demoing at FinovateFall 2010 in New York

SecureKey's primary product line includes Exchange and Connect. The Exchange can be used to establish "identity ecosystems" that make online enrollment easier without compromising user privacy. Account opening, age verification, and health information exchange are a few of the ways the exchange serves its users. With Connect, SecureKey provides cloud-based, multi-factor authentication protection using device-based digital IDs.

Founded in 2008, SecureKey is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  The company recently made headlines by earning a spot in KPMG's "50 Best Fintech Innovators Report" and announcing a partnership with Oberhur Technologies to provide security for a wide range of cloud-based transactions including online banking, online payments, and eCommerce.

SecureKey demoed its technology at FinovateFall 2010 in New York, winning Best of Show honors.

Alumni News-- February 27, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgWired column looks at LoopPay and the evolution of digital wallets.
  • Silanis Technology partners with Box to help the cloud storage and file sharing specialist provide financial services.
  • Bank of the West to offer photo billpay courtesy of technology from Fiserv and Top Image Systems.
  • Finovate Debuts: Novabase Puts Watson-Powered Wizzio to Work Boosting Sales and Productivity.
  • Mainstreet reviews top roboadvisors including Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, Motif Investing, and LearnVest.
  • Prosper partners with Western Independent Bankers to offer consumer loans to unattractive borrowers.
  • Tech City News features video highlights from FinovateEurope 2015.
  • That Was Easy: Staples to Use Lendio to Power Small Business Lending.
  • Daily Fintech looks at programmable bank trends via APIs from Fidor, Open Bank Project, Yodlee, and Xignite.
  • AlleyWatch interviews MaxMyInterest CEO and founder Gary Zimmerman.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Fintech Finance, a company that creates video episodes each month focusing on what's hot in fintech, produced a two video summary of FinovateEurope earlier this month.

The compilation features attendees and presenters as they relay their thoughts about their favorite aspects of each day.

FinovateEurope 2015 day one

FinovateEurope 2015 day two

Thanks to Ali Paterson for creating and sharing the videos. You can contact Ali at or on Twitter at @AliPaterson.


Small business owners searching for office supplies at can now apply for a loan while filling their virtual shopping carts.

Yesterday Staples announced a partnership with Lendio, a startup that specializes in matching small business borrowers with lenders, to power the new loan offering.

Borrowers in search of funding will begin the process on Staples' website:


Next, they are taken to a Staples-branded section of Lendio's site to finish the application:


From there, borrowers choose from:

  • Line of credit
  • Small Business Association loan
  • Term loan
  • Cash advance
  • Equipment loan
  • Commercial real estate loan

Lendio offers loans from $2,500 to $1 million and handles the entire transaction.

Lendio is based in Salt Lake City, UT. It debuted at FinovateSpring 2011 in San Francisco.

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Is it a contradiction that technology can make it easier for bank relationship managers and other financial professionals to do a better job of providing more "human" engagement?

That's the goal of Novabase, a new Finovate alum based in Portugal that is leveraging the cognitive computing of Watson to give financial professionals sophisticated resources to better serve their clients and customers.

You may remember Watson as the supercomputer that surprised viewers of the game show Jeopardy! with its ability to outwit its human opponents. Now that same technology that was used to answer questions ranging from cable TV personalities to New Testament geography is being used in industries ranging from transportation and telecommunications to energy and financial services.
"Our vision is to make life simpler and happier for people and businesses, through technology," the company said in response to questions about its experience at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. "Wizzio is a Novabase solution for a next generation sales tool for bank relationship managers and financial advisors that provides a unique approach to sales and engagement."

The Stats
    • Founded in 1989
    • Headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Angola, UAE, Spain, Mozambique, and the United Kingdom
    • Has more than 2,000 employees
    • Invested more than €22 million in research and development for specialized products over the past three years
The Story
Novabase believe that the greater connectivity and greater independence ushered in by the mobile world has made a major impact on consumers' attitudes. Consumers now expect the institutions they rely on to be both more responsive and better able to meet us on our own, increasingly on-the-go terms.

Consumers also increasingly expect personalization and customized service. Not only do consumers and clients expect you to be where they are. They also expect you to know, understand, and treat them as unique individuals, with unique, specific challenges.

Technology like Novabase's Wizzio Powered by Watson can help banks and other financial institutions respond to these demands with a proactive, multichannel approach. To the extent that getting to know customers is essentially data work, technology like Wizzio handles the heavy lifting, giving the sales professional the time and energy to focus on the "personal touch".

The Technology
Wizzio powered by Watson can be thought of as an "intelligent ecosystem of apps and widgets" designed to help financial professionals keep track of everything they need to do their jobs more efficiently. Information on client accounts, finances, and investments are as readily available as agenda, email, and real-time stock market information.

With Watson, the Wizzio is capable of responding to questions in natural language, and combines predictive analysis and cognitive computing to put critical and insightful information into the hands of financial professionals sooner. These time-savings equate into both more personal one-on-one time with customers as well as greater opportunity to add new clients.

Platform features include the ability to interrupt processes and return to them later without losing place, and a "meeting mode" that allows professionals to share their device with clients and keep sensitive information hidden. Wizzio powered by Watson integrates with banks' existing systems, and can be added to by third party and in-house development teams.

The Future
Novabase comes away from its first Finovate with high marks, calling the live demo format and networking environment, "refreshing" and "intimate". Datamonitor Financial gave Novabase a "5/5" rating based on originality, potential to have a long-lasting effect, game-changer potential, novelty or newness to consumer, and ability to change the market. Wrote analyst Daoud Fakhri, "it's a perfect score for Novabase's multi-channel banking platform, Wizzio."

The company sees its growth very much tied to the spread and proliferation of smart machines - from phones, to tablets, to wearables and beyond. And as computers and artificial intelligence change our ability to process and integrate data, we should anticipate more ways tools like cognitive computing can and will be applied to our daily lives.

"Wizzio will extend the degree that cognitive computing reshapes the way we work," Novabase said in a statement after the conference. "With more connected devices in the world, the role of smart machines will set a new standard for collaboration."

Novabase's video demo from FinovateEurope 2015 will be available soon in the Finovate Video Archives section.

Alumni News-- February 26, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFeedzai releases API updates to its fraud detection technology.
  • Bank of the West adds Snap-to-Pay functionality from Fiserv to its mobile banking app.
  • authenticID partners with Sionic Mobile to bring catfishAir to ION Rewards and ShopGive consumer apps.
  • Azimo expands its online money transfer service to Romania.
  • Fastacash teams up with Visa Europe, enabling P2P payments via social network for users of Visa Direct.
  • Finovate Debuts: InvestUp Launches UK Crowdfunding Supermarket.
  • PYMNTS looks inside MasterCard's Masters of Code Hackathon.
  • ProfitStars launches EPS SmartPay Express to enable FIs to provide online payment and donation services for business customers.
  • PayPal and eBay prepare for breakup later this year.
  • Boku launches phone-on-file technology to remove friction from online transactions.
  • TransferWise marks US launch with #nothing2hide semi-naked march through New York financial district.
  • Fintech Finance's video production showcases FinovateEurope 2015 action.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

InvestUp (known simply as Up) launched at FinovateEurope earlier this month. The UK-based startup offers investors a single place to search for, invest in, and track multiple investments across numerous crowdfunding sites.


    • 1,500 pre-registered users
    • Aggregates 13 crowdfunding sites
    • $525,000 seed capital raised
    • 8 employees



Up's clean user interface offers many benefits to investors:

1) Provides a single place to access crowdfunding deals hosted on multiple sites

2) Saves time by minimizing paperwork. Investors have just one account and a single portfolio that aggregates all crowdfunding investments

3) Completely free

The screenshot below shows how the filtering capability (located at top) narrows results of available campaigns that fit the user's specifications:


When the user selects a campaign they're interested in, they see more details, and can add it to their Wishlist. To invest, they select Get Access:


The 13 crowdfunding sites aggregated on the Up platform benefit by free access to more investors. The startup generates revenue from financial services advertising.

What's next?

Up currently offers business loans and will soon launch equity and personal lending options. Eventually, it plans to build an auto-invest feature, offering a "set it and forget it" approach that automatically invests users' cash, according to their preferences.

Up debuted its crowdfunding supermarket at FinovateEurope. The live demo video will be available in the Finovate video archives later this week.

Alumni News-- February 25, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFinovate Debuts: How Trunomi Shares Customers' Personal Info while Maintaining Their Privacy.
  • LendingRobot adds Automated Secondary Market Trading.
  • Digital River wins the 2015 Merchant Payment Ecosystem Award.
  • PYMNTS looks at Credit Karma's funding history and future plans.
  • Lincoln Savings Bank to Deploy CorePro from Social Money.
  • Verde International and Lending Club featured in PYMNTS column on banks and non-traditional loan decision-making.
  • Xero Raises $110 Million from Accel Partners, Matrix Capital.
  • CAN Capital and Worldpay partner to improve access to capital for SMEs.
  • Crain's Chicago Business looks at Rippleshot and its plans for winning bigger clients.
  • ValidSoft launches its Device Trust solution with a second major UK bank.
  • Yelp Senior Vice President of Revenue Jed Nachman joins PaySimple Board of Directors.
  • Bluefin Payments partners with Infinite Peripherals, an mPOS device provider.
  • ProfitStars launches its Commercial Lending Center, a small business lending portal.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

There are special requirements banks must abide by when handling customers' personal identifiable information (PII) data. Trunomi helps banks safely use PII so that they can tailor services to customers and provide a better overall experience.


    • $2 million in funding 
    • Started earning revenue in 2014
    • 7 employees
    • Founded in 2013
    • Headquartered in Bermuda, Dublin & Silicon Valley
Trunomi's TruLink serves as the background architecture that powers TruMobile, a system that verifies the customer's identity on their mobile device and enables them to share PII securely.

When a bank wants to use customer PII, regulations specify that customer consent:

    1. Occurs prior to sharing 
    2. Is able to be audited
    3. Has context for each individual experience

TruLink generates certifications that prove all of the above. Additionally, it authenticates user identity and validates questionable transactions.


Trunomi benefits both the financial institution and the end customer:

Bank benefits

    • Eliminates the cost of call centers
    • Accesses customer PII
    • Offers audit-level certification of customer consent
    • Creates new revenue centers by expanding customer data
    • Offers a configurable app that's tailored to bank preferences

 Customer benefits
    • Ability to trade PII while maintaining privacy
    • Access to a clean user interface 
    • Can respond to bank requirements in a way they're comfortable with

Trunomi's live demo video from FinovateEurope 2015 will be available on the Finovate video archives page this week.

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How many Xero's are there in $110 million dollars?

The cloud accounting specialist reported Tuesday that Accel Partners will invest NZ$132.9 million by way of a share purchase valued at NZ$20 per share. Along with Matrix Capital Management, which will invest NZ$14.3 million, the investment will bring Xero's total cash to NZ$285 million, or $213 million USD.

Xero CEO Rod Drury said that the investment was "a testament to our success and our potential to become the small business SaaS platform of choice for entrepreneurs around the globe."

Accel partner Andrew Braccia pointed to Xero's plans for expansion in the United States as one of the reasons his company was enthusiastic about Xero. "Accel always looks for enduring technologies with global reach and we see the need and opportunity for millions of small businesses to grow on Xero's platform."

The New Zealand-based company plans to use the funds to support growth in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Xero also announced a major personnel change on Tuesday, appointing Russell Fujioka to U.S. President.

Above: David Pollock, Head of U.S. Partnerships, presenting at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014

The investments for both Accel Partners and Matrix Capital are expected to close in mid-March. With its investment, Accel will join Matrix in being able to participate in future share placements.

Xero has enjoyed a great deal of positive press in recent months. The company was highlighted as "our best purchase of 2014" by Business Betties, named to KPMG's 50 Best Fintech Innovators, and reached a milestone of 400,000 paying customers last December.

Xero participated in the inaugural FinDEVr 2014 event in San Francisco.
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Social Money, the company that launched - and was formerly known as - the consumer personal finance management solution, SmartyPig, will bring its core processing platform CorePro to Lincoln Savings Bank, an Iowa-based community bank with 17 branches.

For Lincoln Savings CEO Erik Skovgard, advanced technology, mobility, and affordability were among the main reasons why he sought a partnership with Social Money. "CorePro helps us provide a next generation web and mobile bank-in-a-box type of experience," he said. Skovgard hopes the platform will help his bank attract younger customers "at a price we can afford." 

Social Money CEO Scott McCormack added, "We are making it possible for banks to compete again. It shouldn't cost so much for innovation, and it certainly shouldn't cost so much to offer basic services."

The cost-savings come from being able to run the platform on a stand-alone basis, without having to integrate with legacy systems to get started. CorePro can be used for saving, checking or certificate of deposit accounts, and provides real-time transfers with card platforms, including prepaid. Read more about CorePro here.

Above: Social Money CEO Scott McCormack presenting at FinovateSpring 2012.

As we reported last month, Social Money is also launching its CorePro technology in India, courtesy of a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced last fall a partnership with H&R Block to promote goal-based savings for the tax-preparer's ard customers, and another deal with TMG to bring prepaid payment options to millennials and the underbanked.

Founded in 2008 in Des Moines, Social Money demoed its GoalSaver technology as part of FinovateSpring 2012.

Alumni News-- February 24, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgXignite to provide MSCI Global Equity Index data through its cloud API platform.
  • Kapitall highlighted in feature on the best apps for mobile financial trading.
  • Check out our interview with Nostrum Group CEO, Richard Carter.
  • Jwaala's success: The online banking solutions provider adds 14 CU clients in 2014.
  • Bluefin Payments receives PCI validation for its PayConex P2PE (point-to-point encryption) solution.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.


Between the risk involved with lending and the number of resources needed, it can be costly for banks. Nostrum Group is helping banks on both fronts with a set of tools that reduce friction in the lending process.

At FinovateEurope 2014, Nostrum Group showed off Virtual Collector, a system that automates loan delinquency management. This year it applied for FinovateEurope and was selected to debut a new iteration of its core system that aims to make lending cheaper, faster, and safer.


Richard Carter, CEO, has an extensive background in the credit and lending space. We interviewed him recently about Nostrum's loan platform:

Finovate: In addition to its Virtual Collector, Nostrum offers loan application technology. What role does big data have here? What role do you see big data taking on in the lending industry in the future?

That's right, in fact at FinovateEurope 2015 we launched our new Virtual Finance platform, which is our fully digital loan management platform. This platform enables lenders to completely automate the loan application and servicing process, including delinquency management, which is where Virtual Collector fits in. 

The focus of our efforts when developing the Virtual Finance platform was on automating a truly personal and bespoke customer experience. Big data plays a vital role in the way lenders can optimize their lending decisions, as it offers such a rich source of insight to inform their scorecards.

The driver of all of this of course is that smartphone adoption is nearing saturation. A person's Facebook activity can probably tell you much more about their loan affordability than bank statements from six months ago for example and therefore lenders can expect to make better lending decisions and improve the performance of their loan book.

On a more simplistic level, the interaction of the applicant with the site can be used to supplement the lending decision. If a customer applies for the largest loan amount available with the shortest term in milliseconds and skims through the T&C's are they entering into a loan agreement with strong intent to pay?
Finovate: What can you tell us in the way of metrics?

Perhaps the most telling metric is the fact that Nostrum's lending platform processes a loan application every 10 seconds on behalf of our clients. When you consider that we only employ around 80 staff, the efficiencies of automation are clear.

Historically (and even now), some paper based lenders would take several weeks to confirm their decision on a loan application. Using our systems this can be done within seconds, but not only that, we can have the funds in the applicant's bank account within minutes. We've not quantified the financial or operational benefits to lenders because, quite frankly, the case in favour of automation is an overwhelmingly compelling one. However, you'd call out the ability to process applications and service queries without the requirement for agents as a major overhead reduction. The flip side is that we know customers want to engage in this manner, so that will drive acquisition. 

The strong demand for our product shows how the lending industry is transforming. Over the last two financial years our turnover has increased by 137% and based on our current line of sight of our order book, this digital trend is set to continue for some time to come. You only have to see how many banks have created senior digital leaders to understand that this isn't a short-term play.

Finovate: Do you view alternative lending sites, such as Lending Club, as competition or complementary to traditional bank lending?

We see alternative lenders as complimentary because in most instances they are fulfilling demand for loans in areas of the market where banks don't want to lend. The alternative lending sector has grown quickly though and combines the latest technology with highly efficient operating models, so the threat to the banks is an increasingly real one. On a slightly controversial note, we would highlight payday lenders as having driven technology adoption. They pushed high levels of automation through their lending operations - they had limited appetite to staff up contact centers, so the whole application process was automated including electronic signatures on agreements and immediate disbursements. That legacy is now continuing through mainstream lending as customers demand immediacy of service with mainstream banks and other product providers.

The challenge the alternative lenders face is whether they can scale up their operations to compete not just on rate, but in terms of the volumes of business they can write. The question that needs to be asked is whether these alternative lenders are trying to supply a product that customers want, or do they just represent a great idea looking for a home? Looking back at previous examples, prepaid cards were in a similar stage of maturity, and a great product, but lack of demand stifled growth.

Digital banks now face a similar journey, and our view is that the most successful alternative lenders and digital banks will find themselves being acquired by the major banks, who will inevitably retain the vast majority of the customers. At the end of the day, the banks or lenders who have the customers are the ones who will be the winners. That's generally the case in most industries. 

In the UK, for example, we are already seeing collaboration between major banks and peer-to-peer lenders, to pool resources and drive progress to critical mass.


Finovate: Tell us an original fact about Nostrum Group that you've never before shared.

The fact I would really like to tell you is the list of high street retailers and well-known global consumer brands who use our systems to provide finance facilities to their customers. We've never shared this before because we're not allowed to name most of our clients. 

So, although I'd like to tell you, I'm not allowed! However, what I can say is that if you search for a list of the top 20 UK retail brands you'll find at least six of our current clients, and nearly the same number again who we are actively in talks with. 

Finovate: As CEO, what past experiences do you have that help you provide lenders with a better way to serve borrowers?


My entire career has been spent working in technology in financial services, specifically in the lending industry. So I'm a subject matter expert and I've got experience and relationships that span three decades. I've been at the heart of the industry through boom and bust periods, and some of the most pivotal innovations the market has experienced including telephone banking, internet banking, and most recently the dawn of the cloud, social media, smartphones and tablets. 

I think what really helps me to add value to our clients though is the simple fact that I'm a consumer myself, and one who is fascinated by technology and gadgets, and obsessive about customer service. I follow innovations and success stories across consumer industries with great interest and these have been the source of many sparks of inspiration for our own technology. 

I can sit down with our clients and talk to them from combined perspectives of a technology provider, a lending industry expert, and an active and passionate consumer. I think it's a combination they value.

Nostrum Group is self-funded and is based in the UK. Check out the debut of Virtual Collector at FinovateEurope 2014. Its FinovateEurope 2015 video will be available on the demo video archive pages later this week.

Nutmeg Launches Personal Pension Service

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After previewing the news weeks ago, Nutmeg is making good on its plan to provide a personal pension service for investors in the U.K.

"We have listened to our customers and delivered what they truly want," Nutmeg CEO Nick Hungerford said. "In an industry embroiled in hidden charges, fees and complexity, our transparency promise will be a welcome reassurance to customers."

The service is a partnership between Nutmeg, which will invest and manage the pensions, and Hornbuckle Mitchell, which will provide technology to serve and administer the pensions.

Nutmeg is an "online discretionary investment manager" in the words of CEO Hungerford. The technology leverages investors' unique attitudes toward money to help align their goals, investment risk tolerance for the specific goal, and ability to save for that goal into personalized portfolios. Nutmeg actively manages the portfolios, including regular rebalancing, and provides a rewards program that can help lower fees further.

Nutmeg's personal pension plans will be tailored to the needs of individual investors, as well, and will also use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to ensure low-costs and broad diversification. The minimum investment is £5,000. There is an annual management fee between 0.3% and 1% depending on assets under management. The fee includes the VAT.

Above: left to right: Jono Hey, Head of User Experience, and Nick Hungerford, CEO, at FinovateEurope 2012

"The notion of receiving bi-annual pension statements in the post is incredibly archaic," said Hungerford in Money Marketing's coverage of the news. "You should be able to see where your pension pot is invested and how it's performing whenever you want."

Founded in London in 2011, Nutmeg was recently named to the FinTech 50 and the KPMG Fintech Innovators for 2014. The company, whose name we saw on buses in London during our recent visit, raised $32 million from new investors a year ago in June, bringing its total capital to more than $50 million. Nutmeg was a Best of Show winner at FinovateEurope 2012.

Alumni News-- February 23, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgNutmeg launches its first personal pension plan.
  • Misys wins award for "Best OMS Provider" at MENA Fund Manager Services Awards with its FusionInvest technology.
  • USA Today Technology interviews Loop CEO Will Graylin about his company's acquisition by Samsung.
  • ACI Worldwide to deploy Self Service Business Banking, Mobile, and Billpay solutions at Apple Bank.
  • Mad Money's Jim Cramer interviews SeedInvest CEO Ryan Feit.
  • LA Times features Green Dot and its efforts to engage the "unhappily banked" with its prepaid cards.
  • Bank of Ozarks implements Premier banking solution from Fiserv.
  • Taulia expands management team with 4 new members.
  • Recent partnership enables Synergy Resources clients to integrate Expensify with their Infor VISUAL back-end.
  • City of North Las Vegas partners with PayNearMe to enable residents to pay bills in cash at 17,000 retail stores.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

In what amounts to almost double its previous funding round, Betterment has pulled in $60 million in VC investment. The series D round was led by Francisco Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and Northwestern Mutual also contributed.

The new installment boosts Betterment's total funds to $105 million and will be used to speed transactions and rollovers for its 65,000 customers, as well as enhance branding for advisor apps and services.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Betterment is now valued at $400 to $500 million. In comparison, competitors Personal Capital and Wealthfront are valued at $250 million and $700 million, respectively.

In a conversation with Investment News, Betterment CEO, Jon Stein, stated, "We didn't need to raise the money today," He says it still has $20 million in the bank from its last funding round. However, he goes on, "We're getting a lot of interest from investors."


Betterment, which manages about $1.4 billion in assets, fits in the "robo-advisor" category; it seeks to disrupt the wealth management space with specialized algorithms and tools that use automation to lower the cost of a personal advisor service. CB Insights reports that robo-advisors raised a cumulative $290 million in funding last year, double the amount raised in 2013.

Betterment demonstrated its Multiple Goals Feature at FinovateFall 2011.

Alumni News-- February 20, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgInComm to offer Hip Digital access to selection of gift cards and delivery options.
  • Betterment Raises a Fresh $60 Million in Round Led by Francisco Partners.
  • FPS GOLD Partners With MX for Personal Financial Management.
  • US News features MaxMyInterest, Moven, and Level Money in a feature on money-saving and simplifying tools.
  • Alkami Technology Brings its Digital Banking Platform to Patelco Credit Union.
  • Samsung Acquisition of LoopPay Puts Apple Pay on Notice.
  • FIS earns new ISO certification.
  • column on new security technologies for banks features EyeVerify and Digital Insight.
  • EVO offers processing to underserved direct response merchants.
  • Moneyweb mentions Entersekt's role in South African-based fintech.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
The number of deals this week (12) didn't set any records. But there were some doozies including three greater than $30 million, two of which are Finovate alums: Betterment ($60 mil) and Pindrop Security ($35 mil). 

The total amount raised was $236 million. 

There was one major exit this week: Finovate alum LoopPay was purchased by Samsung, presumably to beef up its handset in competition with Apple Pay. 

Following are deals by size announced between Feb 14 thru 20: 
Global remittances
Latest round: $100 million
Total raised: $147.7 million
Tags: Funds transfer, money transfer, mobile, fx, London, UK
Source: Crunchbase

Simplified investing platform for consumers
Latest round: $60 million
Total raised: $105 million
Tags: Consumer, investing, investment management, ETF, robo-advisor, Personal finance, Brooklyn, New York, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Call center anti-fraud technology
Latest round: $35 million
Total raised: $42 million
Tags: Security, authentication, anti-fraud, call center, telephone, Atlanta, Georgia, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Prepaid card in India
Latest round: $16 million
Total raised: $51 million
Tags: Prepaid, debit card, India
Source: FT Partners

Online accounting for small businesses
Latest round: $7 million
Total raised: $8.2 million
Tags: SMB, accounting, payroll, tax, receivables, invoicing, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Mobile point-of-sale technology
Latest round: $6.5 million
Total raised: $6.5 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, POS, merchants, acquiring, EMV, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Source: Crunchbase

Personal loans
Latest round: $3 million
Total raised: $5.1 million
Tags: Consumer, credit, lending, underwriting, loans, Chicago, Illinois
Source: Crunchbase

Refinancing student loans
Latest round: $2.7 million
Total raised: $3.9 million
Tags: Consumer direct, student loans, credit, underwriting, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Mobile bill payment
Latest round: $2.0 million
Total raised: $3.5 million
Tags: Consumer, billpay, payments, bills, SMB, Seattle, Washington
Source: GeekWireCrunchbase

Hardware bitcoin wallet
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.5 million
Tags: Cryptocurrency, security, bitcoin, USB drive, France
Source: Coinbase

Mortgage advisor for consumers
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $6.5 million
Tags: Consumer, personal finance, mortgage, refi, advice, lead gen, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Equity crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $500,000
Total raised: $500,000
Tags: Crowdfunding, investing, SMB, lending, New York City
Source: Crunchbase



Contactless mobile payments
Acquirer: Samsung
Purchase price: Unknown
Total raised: $13 million
Tags: Consumer, credit/debit cards, mobile payments, mPay, Visa (investor), Woburn, Massachusetts, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate


Finsphere, a company that uses mobile phone location data to authenticate a consumer's identity, announced $1.8 million in new funding last week. The new round is internal, with an additional contribution from an unnamed investor. Its funding now totals $33 million.

More notably, the Bellevue-based company partnered with Visa to offer what the credit card company is calling Mobile Location Confirmation. Visa will use Finsphere to ensure the GPS location of the customer's smartphone matches the location their credit card is swiped. This helps eliminate unnecessary purchase declines, while ensuring the purchase isn't fraudulent.


In a dovetail announcement this week, Finsphere also reported that it will bring retail banking executive Deanna Oppenheimer on board as a strategic advisor.

Finsphere demonstrated its identity security service at FinovateEurope 2012.

Thumbnail image for Loop_logo.jpg

Forgive me for being a Finovate fanboy. But when Apple unveiled its Apple Pay technology last fall, one of my first thoughts was about Finovate alum and digital mobile wallet innovator, LoopPay.

Apparently, Samsung was thinking the same thing.

Arguably the biggest mobile payments news since the Apple Pay announcement, Samsung has purchased LoopPay, for an undisclosed amount. LoopPay, which took home Best of Show honors in its debut demonstration at FinovateSpring 2014, has leveraged its expertise in magnetic stripe technology (MST) to produce a secure, non-NFC-based, mobile payment solution. With Samsung's acquisition, the technology will likely become one of the major competitors to Apple Pay.
Writing at the LoopPay blog, said the company would become a "wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America" and will continue to "innovate and operate" out of its Boston, Massachusetts headquarters.

For its part, Samsung talked about LoopPay as helping Apple's biggest hardware rival build "the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience." An alliance between Samsung and LoopPay had been rumored since December, according to this reporting from Gigaom. And a major investment last summer also helped raise LoopPay's profile - and hint at the technology's potential for wider acceptance.

Above: Loop CEO Will Graylin at FinovateSpring 2014

Margaret Keane, President and CEO of Synchrony Financial, whose firm participated in last year's funding, added: "This is great news for our customers who can access their cards and make payments using LoopPay's contactless MST technology."

"We look forward to working with LoopPay and others to deliver secure mobile payment solutions for all our 60 million active accounts."
Alkami_logo.jpgThe last many of us had heard about Alkami Technology was its appearance as part of Gonzobanker's five-part, all-star dream banking app:

So which vendor's functionality would make it into my product? I would take the marketing functionality from Alkami's ORB (Online Relationship Builder)..."

Flash forward several months later and the Alkami is making headlines with news that it is bringing its digital banking platform to Patelco Credit Union. Patella is described in Bank Innovation's coverage of the news as a "top 30 credit union" with more than $4 billion in assets and more than 280,000 members.

Alkami Technology develops online banking solutions for companies and institutions in the financial services industry. The company's Online Relationship Builder will provide what Patelco CU president and CEO Erin Mendez called "a modern, sophisticated digital banking platform to achieve a unified banking experience." The credit union will also be upgrading its mobile app and working to encourage its processors to support Apple Pay as part of the overall enhancement to its digital banking options.

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Alkami Technology has raised more than $50 million, with its most recent fundraising bringing in more than $23 million of that amount in December. The company is an alum of Finovate Startup 2009, where Alkami Technology demoed as "iThryv."

Alumni News-- February 19, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAmerican Banker: Retail Banking Vet Deanna Oppenheimer Joins Tech Vendor Finsphere.
  • American Banker: Federal Payments Website Partners with PayPal, Dwolla.
  • Kantox Surpasses $1 Billion in Foreign Exchange Transfers.
  • Pindrop Security Raises $30 Million.
  • eToro launches its Popular Investment Programme to recognize and reward the network's top traders.
  • MaxMyInterest brings consolidated tax reporting functionality to its cash optimization platform.
  • Encap Security CEO Thomas Boström Jörgensen and Ping Identity Managing Director EMEA Jason Goode weigh-in on Touch ID banking.
  • Digital Retail Apps featured in Toronto Star's coverage of Canada's first financial technology cluster.
  • Azimo launches its money transfer service in China.
  • Finsphere Lands $1.8 Million, Partners with Visa.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

With our first conference of the year wrapped up in London, we're gearing up to bring the show stateside in May for FinovateSpring 2015.

Last year, we had an all-star cast on stage. Just look at what they have been up to in the last nine months.

  • Raised more than $350 million 
  • Partnered with more than a dozen major financial services and technology companies including:
    • MoneyGram
    • Visa
    • Digital Insight
    • Ellie Mae
    • AT&T
    • Google
    • Blackstone Technology
    • Meniga
    • Feedzai
Accelerator/incubator programs:

    • Wells Fargo Accelerator 
    • SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge
Awards, honors, and recognitions:

    • KPMB's Fintech Innovators for 2014
    • CNBC's Disruptor 50
    • FSTech Awards
    • Forbes 30 Under 30 (up and coming CEOs)
    • Confirmit Ace Award
    • Future of Money Summit Startup Showcase Award
    • Bob's Guide Fintech Startups to Watch in 2015
    • Star Performer Award from Speech Technology
    • Fast Company Top 10 Most Innovative in Finance
    • Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40 (up and coming CEOs)
    • Mobile Innovations Awards
    • Mobile Excellence Award
    • Fintech 50
    • Paybefore Awards

    • IntelliResponse acquired by [24]7
    • LoopPay acquired by Samsung
Here's a closer look at the highlights:

    • Won Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2015
    • Won Award at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014
    • Raised $2 million
    • Raised $75 million
    • Earned spot on KPMG's 50 Best Fintech Innovators report
    • Named to CNBC's Disruptor 50
    • Partnered with
    • Partnered with Meniga
    • Named "One to Watch" in KPMB's Fintech Innovators for 2014
    • Won at Future of Money & Technology Summit Startup Showcase
    • Partnered with ProfitStars, Blackstone Technology, and SHAZAM Network
    • Raised $7 million
    • Named to Dallas Business Journal's 40 Under 40 (CEO)
    • Won 2014 Confirmit ACE Award
    • Raised $5.4 million
    • Partnered with Feedzai
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2014
    • Raised $6 million 
    • Participated in Wells Fargo Accelerator
    • Partnered with
    • Partnered with several small and medium sized community banks and credit unions
    • Acquired by [24]7
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2014
    • Closed strategic deal to acquire AT&T Watson speech recognition and natural language platform
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2015
    • Partnered with IDology, The Rock Trading Ltd
    • Won Most Innovative App for Payments at Mobile Innovations Awards
    • Named to FinTech 50
    • Raised $200 million in debt financing
    • Named Germany's leading digital innovator of the year by Focus Magazine
    • Earned spot in KPMG's 50 Best Fintech Innovators Report
    • Raised $40 million
    • Raised $3 million 
    • Earned finalist spot at SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge
    • Partnered with MoneyGram
    • Raised $50 million credit debt facility
    • Raised undisclosed sum from Visa 
    • Raised undisclosed sum from Synchrony Financial
    • Acquired by Samsung
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2014
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2014
    • Raised $75 million
    • Named to KPMB's Fintech Innovators for 2014 
    • Named to CNBC's Disruptor 50
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2014
    • Earned 2014 Star Performer award from Speech Technology magazine
    • Earned #1 spot in Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative in Finance
    • Raised $18 million
    • Raised $50 million
    • Named to KPMG's Fintech Innovators for 2014
    • Named to CNBC's Disruptor 50
    • Partnered with MoneyGram
    • Raised $1.3 million
    • Raised $54.7 million
    • Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology (CEO)
    • Named Most Disruptive Financial Sector Technology Finalist in FSTech Awards
    • Partnered with Ellie Mae
    • Raised $900,000
    • Won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2014
    • Named "One to Watch" in KPMG's Fintech Innovators for 2014
    • Raised $3.4 million
    • Partnered with Google Wallet
    • Named to Bob's Guide "Fintech Startups to Watch in 2015"
    • Named winner in Ninth Annual Paybefore Awards
    • Raised $6 million
    • Named finalist in Mobile Excellence Awards for Best Mobile Retail/Commerce Solution
    • Earned spot in Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator
Thumbnail image for pindropLogo.jpg

A major infusion of capital has put the total funding for Pindrop Security at more than $42 million.

The leader of the $35 million Series B round was described in the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a "new West Coast investor." The Chronicle adds that the new investor has valued Pindrop at more than $200 million.

The new capital will help Pindrop expand its operations. The Atlanta-based company says it will add 100 jobs in engineering, software development, and sales and marketing - as well as look for a new, larger workspace.

Pindrop Security specializes in combating phone fraud for enterprise call centers. Using acoustic fingerprinting, Pindrop's technology able to tell the difference between fraudulent and authentic callers. The company's services include a database more than 300,000 phone numbers associated with 40,000 phone fraud "fingerprints", a fraud detection system to prevent call spoofing, and real-time call forwarding protection.

And because of the growing use of phones as part of a multi-factor authentication process that requires an out-of-band component, Pindrop also sees its technology as a way to make sure that the phone is the strongest link.

Above: Pindrop Security CEO Vijay Balasubramaniyan at FinovateFall 2012

Pindrop Security partnered in AGNOTiO in May to help call centers adapt to safety concerns from mobile customers. And in December, the company teamed up with Contact Solutions and IDology to develop technology to defend against IVR (interactive voice response) fraud.  Pindrop Security launched its combined voice biometric/phoneprinting fraud detection system last year, as well as its NCE mobile NFC payments solution.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and founded in 2011, Pindrop Security demoed at FinovateFall 2012 in New York. Vijay Balasubramaniyan is CEO.

Foreign exchange management solution, Kantox, announced last week that it has exceeded $1 billion in currency transfers since its 2011 launch.

The UK- and Barcelona-based company reports that $200 million was traded in November and December alone. At this rate, it expects to reach another $1 billion by the end of 2015.

Kantox counts more than 1,000 businesses as clients, which is double the number of businesses that were using the platform a year ago.


Kantox drives down FX costs by disintermediating banks and brokers with its platform where companies can trade directly with one another.

It demonstrated Peer FX at FinovateEurope 2013. Check out the video here.

Alumni News-- February 18, 2015

  • Mitek launches Commercial Mobile Deposit Capture, bringing MDC technology to the enterprise.
  • Malauzai reports doubling revenues, growth of customer base to more than 300 community banks and credit unions.
  • D3Banking adds to leadership team with four new appointments.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems to provide Decryptx point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solution to Heartland Payment Systems' clients.
  • Temenos purchases Akcelerant to accelerate growth in North America.
  • Lending Club partners with BancAlliance, a national consortium of 200 community banks.
  • Fast Company lists BehavioSec, Ripple, Braintree, Expensify, NICE and BlueVine as top innovative companies in the Money category
  • PYMNTS discusses retail's adoption of mPOS with Bluefin Payment systems.
  • ayondo clients now receive free access to real time analysis tools from StockPulse.
  • Kantox using Apply Financial's API to enhance customer service and enable more integrated international payments.
  • TechFlash interviews Payfone CEO and co-founder Rodger Desai.
  • Stockhouse: TIO Networks poises to capture major portion of mobile payment market.
  • USA Today highlights for student debt management.
  • Code CU to use Insuritas for insurance agency solution.
  • Coinbase Android and iOS apps now available in 11 new languages.
  • Global Financial Private Capital selects HiddenLevers to help advisors grow their practice.
  • Tradier's API takes 15 million production calls in Jan, a 33% increase in a single month.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateEurope 2015 in the Press


FinovateEurope 2015 concluded last week and was a huge success. Not only did we host a record-breaking audience, we also saw the most press coverage.

Thanks to all of the contributors who worked hard to document the great technology demonstrated on stage. A special thanks to the analysts at Datamonitor for their extensive coverage.

Here's the coverage in alphabetical order:

American Banker
U.K. Banks Pilot Loan Sales to Crowdfund Site investUP
Bailey Reutzel 

Bank Innovation
Xignite APIs Now Powering +50 FinTech Ventures
by Philip Ryan

Banking Technology
Delegates skeptical at Finovate London
by Elliott Holley

Bob's Guide
Show report: The best innovators at FinovateEurope 2015
by Nicole Miskelly

CC Group
Finovate Europe 2015 - a microcosm of FinTech?
by Daniel Lowther

C'est Pas Mon Ideé blog
Redy, paiement mobile et monnaie virtuelle
by Patrice Bernard
Link (Translated to English)

City A.M.
Finovate Europe: Global FinTech stars meet up at London's Old Billingsgate
by Oliver Smith

Cloud Lending blog
Cloud Lending at Finovate Europe 2015
by Vidur Jain

The valuation industry is now big business
by Jenny Cosgrave

Finovate: Understanding what the media wants
by Paul Bowhay 

Telenor banka și Asseco SEE prezente la prestigioasa Conferință Finovate de la Londra
by Adaugat de Dali Dinu

Crowdfund Insider
investUP launches New Platform at Finovate Europe
by Samantha Hurst

Finovate FinTrack: Advice Games
by Sean Harrison

Finovate FinTrack: BankClip by Crealogix
by Helen Allingham

Finovate FinTrack: Fiserv
by Theresa Jameson

Finovate FinTrack: mydesq
by Katri Tuomainen

Finovate FinTrack: PROFOS by CPB Software
by Helen Allingham

Finovate FinTrack: Quisk
by Samuel Murrant

Finovate FinTrack: Yoyo
by Theresa Jameson

Finovate FinTrack: Novabase wizzio
by Daoud Fakhri

Finovate: Our Best in Show

FinTrack FinovateEurope 2015 Special: Day One (Report)

FinTrack FinovateEurope 2015 Special: Day Two (Report)

Finance Zweinull
Die Letzte Finovate
by Boris Janek

The Financial Brand
Radical Bank Branch Design Fuses Digital With Physical
by Jim Marous

Finovate Europe 2015 - Day 1 roundup

Finovate Europe 2015 - Day 2 Roundup
Fintech: Fünf heisse für Trends 2015

FinovateEurope 2015 Best of Show Winners Announced
by David Penn

Forrester's Benjamin Ensor's Blog
Finovate Europe 2015: Execution Is Harder Than Idea Generation
by Benjamin Ensor

FS Tech
Finovate reveals 'best of show' winners
by Michelle Stevens

Lets Talk Payments
The Best of FinTech Europe from Finovate 2015
by Kate

LinkedIn Pulse
Fintech isn't just for 'Fins'
by Matthew Stammers

Time for a Finovate Fringe Festival?
by David Jones

Mapa Research
Finovate Europe 2015: Our top picks from day one
by Katie Nachshon

Mollie: een pionier in de Fintech
by Remco Boer

My Private Banking
Wealth Management Solutions at FinovateEurope 2015
by Francis Groves

Nostrum Group
Finovate Day 1 - reflections from FinTech's showpiece

Finovate Day 2 - FinTech's focus is on user experience

Ormsby Street
Key Performance Metrics
by Martin Campbell

Payment Eye
3 ways payment technology is boosting financial inclusion
by Lindsey Kennedy 

Payments Journal
Recapping Finovate London 2015
by Tristan Hugo-Webb
Finovate 2015, the Part Mobile is Playing in Fintech
by Chris Ward
Banka u džepu - tehnologija budućnosti

SME Finance Forum
Finovate Europe 2015 - bigger and even more interesting than last year!

SME Insider
3 of the best new technologies to supercharge SME growth
by Lindsey Kennedy

How to get the funding you need to grow your business
by Lindsey Kennedy

Tech City News
Fintech monthly: Judopay raised $6m, banking apps tested, Finovate Europe and much more...
by Ben Goldsmith

Tech Cocktail
LifePay Acquires iboxPro, Expands into Asian Markets
by Will Schmidt 

The Telegraph
Banks get out their chequebooks to chase the next banking revolution
by Marion Dakers

Le Temps
Du gadget à l'innovant, tour d'horizon  des nouveautés de la finance
by Mathilde Farine

Treasury Insider
The 5 hottest new trends in fintech
by Lindsey Kennedy

Waters Technology
KPAX Brings Data Reconciliation Product to the Cloud

World Finance
Heilmann: 'Germany needs to take a hardline on Greek debt'

As more coverage is published, we'll be adding it to this post in the coming weeks. If you have a piece you'd like us to include, please contact

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bill.comlogo.jpg

In a round led by Silicon Valley Bank and featuring participation from current investors, has added $50 million in new capital.

The investment takes the company's total funding to more than $120 million.

Thumbnail image for Billcom_home0215.jpg
Because most businesses still rely on manual processes for accounts payable and accounts receivable, CEO and founder René Lacerte believes there is a "significant market opportunity" for and its banking partners. Senior market manager for Silicon Valley Bank, Jacob Moseley praised's growth and put the company "at the center of the digital payments space."

" tackles a problem that plagues small business," Moseley said, "and distills it down to a simple solution for paying bills and getting paid."

Existing investors also participating in the round were:
  • American Express Ventures
  • August Capital
  • Commerce Ventures
  • DCM Ventures
  • Napier Park Global Capital
  • Scale Venture Partners
Lacerte said the funding will help the company grow its core technology and offer its services across the U.S.

Above: CEO and founder, René Lacerte at FinovateSpring 2012 contributor, Ben Kepes writes "that's a lot of cash for something as unsexy as Bills." But the investment strongly suggests that sexy is as sexy does. According to the company, is used by three of the top 10 banks in the U.S. and 35 of the top 100 accounting firms, and is seated "at the intersection point between banks, the accounting software providers, and businesses." More than 600,000 network members use the technology to process more than $19 billion in payments a year.

CNBC's coverage of the funding includes a breakdown of's previous funding rounds, as well as a peek into the company's growth plans (190 employees by the end of 2015, up from the current 140), and potential IPO ("still two to three years" away). The CNBC column quotes Mozilla CFO Jim Cook, whose company spends "thousands of dollars a month" on the technology, citing both cost-savings and a superior audit trail as reasons why he finds the technology "easier and more robust."

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, demoed its technology as part of FinovateSpring 2012.

FinovateEurope 2015: Tweets by the Thames

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Twitter Bird.jpg

Our biggest FinovateEurope to date is in the books. Thanks to all our presenters, sponsors, partners, and, of course, our record-setting attendees.

A special thanks to our scribes in social media. Our Twitter feed (#Finovate) continues to be a great way to hear and be heard - from the first demo on Tuesday through the naming of the Best of Show winners Wednesday afternoon.

With that in mind, here's a sampler of some of the more colorful commentary and insightful observations from FinovateEurope 2015. 

Thanks to everyone who participated and we'll see you in San Jose for FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose!



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Alumni News-- February 17, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTop Image Systems partners with Hanse Orga to offer capture-enabled Accounts Receivable payment processing for SAP & ERP.
  • QuantConnect LEAN Engine now 100% open source.
  • JetPay to support WePay's launch in Canada.
  • LifePay acquires iboxPro, expands into Asian markets.
  • Fast Company names Motif, Likefolio, Fidor Bank, LendUp, Blooom, and LearnVest in the top innovative companies of 2015 in Personal Finance.
  • PluraVida selects Dwolla to process transactions between media suppliers and buyers.
  • CNBC interviews BizEquity CEO, Michael Carter, on its business valuation service.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
It was another blockbuster week with 13 companies raising a total of $695 million. However, $500 million of that was not a pure fintech play, as China's Ant Financial (which runs Alipay) took at 25% stake in Indian mobile payments & ecommerce hub, One97 which runs Paytm. Even without that gargantuan deal, there was still $200 million invested into the sector, with $125 million of that (63%) put into the lending sector and $61million (31%) earmarked for billing & payments. 

The total included one Finovate alum, AdviceGames ($570,000), which demoed at last week's FinovateEurope (demo videos will be available at by the end of the month). 

Here are deals by size announced between 7 Feb and 13 Feb 2015 (in order of magnitude):

Indian mobile payments & commerce hub
Latest round: $500 million
Total raised: $534 million
Tags: Paytm (brand), mobile payments, bill payment, ecommerce, Ant Financial/Alipay (investor), Noida, India
Source: FT Partners

Oportun (formerly Progreso Financiero)
Online lender
Latest round: $90 million
Total raised: $213 million ($30 million is debt)
Tags: Credit, lending, unsecured, underbanked, Menlo Park, California
Source: Crunchbase

SMB invoicing & payments platform
Latest round: $50 million
Total raised: $122.6 million
Tags: Billing, invoicing, accounts payables, bill payment, SMB, Palo Alto, California, Finovate alum
Source: Crunchbase

Online loans secured by luxury assets
Latest round: $19 million
Total raised: $171.6 million
Tags: Secured lending, underwriting, credit, pawn, London, UK
Source: Crunchbase

Online lender to SMBs in India
Latest round: $13 million
Total raised: $16 million
Tags: Lending, credit, underwriting, SMB, India
Source: Crunchbase

SMB billpay & invoicing tools
Latest round: $11.1 million
Total raised: $18.9 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, SMB, accounts receivables, bill payment, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Source: Crunchbase

Financial price comparison site
Latest round: $4 million
Total raised: $4 million
Tags: Lead generation, personal finance, price comparison, Mexico City
Source: FT Partners

Small banking business platform
Latest round: $2.5 million
Total raised: $2.5 million
Tags: Crowdfunding, SMB, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

InvestiQuant (formerly Master the Gap)
Specialized investing platform
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.5 million
Tags: Investing, fx, ETF, indices, arbitrage, quants, Morrisville, North Carolina
Source: Crunchbase

Nigerian digital currency exchange
Latest round: $1.1 million
Total raised: $1.7 million
Tags: Cryptocurrency, payments, bitcoin, remittances, Nairobi, Nigeria
Source: Crunchbase

Online marketplace for commercial real estate loans
Latest round: $1 million (debt)
Total raised: $3 million ($1 million is debt)
Tags: Crowdfunding, real estate, commercial lending, P2P, investing, Ladera Ranch, California
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $800,000
Total raised: $800,000
Tags: Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, credit, P2P, SMB, Singapore
Source: Crunchbase

Financial gamification software
Latest round: $570,000
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Gamification, personal finance, youth banking, Hilversum, Netherlands, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Alumni News, February 13, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgDigital Insight to offer its customers EyePrint ID, courtesy of new agreement with EyeVerify.
  • Global Debt Registry unveils new asset classes, new resources, and new UI in brand refresh.
  • Azimo extends its money transfer service to Thailand.
  • FinovateEurope 2015 Best of Show Winners announced.
  • Fast Company features Ayasdi in its list of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Big Data.
  • 22 Finovate alums nominated for 2015 Pymnts innovator awards. Cast your vote here.
  • Lincoln Savings Bank hires Insuritas to launch insurance agency for its customers.
  • FreeAgent partners with Appointedd to simplify small business bookings.
  • Bank Innovation takes a look at the widespread use of Xignite APIs among fintech startups.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

If there is anything more exciting than the first Finovate conference of the year, it's seeing who will be the year's first Best of Show award winning companies.

After two days of fintech presentations and demonstrations, our audience of more than 1,100 has shared its opinion on which technologies at FinovateEurope 2015 stood out from the rest of a truly impressive pack.

Here are this year's winners, in alphabetical order:

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Avoka for its three-minute loan application that promises to deliver the fastest onboarding experience in the world.

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CoinJar for its technology that enables consumers to buy, sell, and use digital and traditional forms of currency any way they choose - from dollars to bitcoins.

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ebankIT for its omnichannel and social banking solution that maximizes interaction between FIs and their clients.

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eToro for its innovations in social trading and investing for Generation Y.

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Jumio for its credentials-management technology, Netverify, that turns mobile devices into ID document-scanning terminals.

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mBanki3D for their interactive, digital retail-branch concept.

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Meniga for Market Match, its transaction-data analytics and enrichment engine.

As always, thanks to everyone who attended and participated in FinovateEurope 2015. We'll see you next year!

Notes on methodology:  

1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.    
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: "Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed."  
4. The seven companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named Best of Show.  
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners. 
LifePay_logo_high-res2.jpgThis post is part of our live coverage of FinovateEurope 2015.

LifePay is the largest mPOS EMV chip & pin company in Russia specializing in payments technology for SMEs.

We created LifePay to merge all of our products into one ecosystem that will support B2B and B2C financial services through the entire customer journey for both merchants and individuals.

LifePay is rolling out business solutions to new markets in Asia and Europe, including:
  • mPOS
  • Cash Register with LifePad and MDM system
  • Merchant portal with CRM and sales analytics
  • Online acquiring
  • Credits for merchants
  • POS credits for individuals
Presenters Anna Yanchevskaya, CMO, Vlad Pyatak, Manager of Special Events, and Anna Filatova, Marketing Specialist

Product Launch: January 2015
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Consumer (B2C), Direct to Business (B2B) through financial institutions

HQ: Moscow, Russia
Metrics: 15,000 merchants; 1,500+ active merchants; 500,000+ end users, $2 million + monthly payment volume
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