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Alumni News-- March 6, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAmerican Banker: Qapital the first nonbank in the U.S. to go live with Social Money's CorePro API.
  • Finovate Debuts: Quantitative Credit Research Helps Lenders Understand Economic Risks.
  • PayPal buys Israeli cyber security co CyActive.
  • Community & Southern Bank to deploy digital banking solutions from Digital Insight.
  • BioCatch launches its New Account Fraud Detection solution.
  • Bill.com appoints Sheela Zemlin to SVP of Sales and Customer Success.
  • MasterCard and Microsoft partner to encourage financial inclusion in Mexico.
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.
QuantitativeCreditResearchLogo.jpg

UK-based Quantitative Credit Research (QCR) focuses on risk management and advisory services. At FinovateEurope 2015 it launched Risk Aware, a tool to analyze, measure, and predict corporate credit default.

QCR created Risk Aware in response to the financial crisis when banks extended credit to businesses with good cashflow potential. When the economic situation changed, losses were heavier than expected.

Risk Aware helps banks make better credit decisions by weighing micro and macro economic factors.

QCRHomepage.jpg

Stats

    • 4 partners
    • 5 employees
    • Headquartered in London with operations in central Europe
    • Founded June 2010

How it works

1) Upload a company's financial statements

Risk Aware uses the data to automatically calculate a cash flow statement, saving analyst time.

It takes into account the macroeconomic environment and the credit risk for all borrowers, as well as future microeconomic scenarios. 

Risk Aware generates scores for 32 economic scenarios to offer a better understanding of what would happen in a downturn. The chart below shows how GDP growth volatility in three geographical regions are projected to change a company's CAGR for 32 different scenarios.

QCRMacroSimulationLarge.jpg

2) View cash flow forecast
Risk Aware creates a 5-year cash flow forecast based on the company's industry and historical cash flow statements. It contextualizes the information by taking macroeconomic factors into account.

QCRCashFlowTable.jpg

3) Analyze Risks
Risk Aware generates charts that depict risks involved with extending credit. It compares a company's projected future cash-flow to its actual leverage. A company with lower leverage and less sensitivity to market changes can better weather a recession.

In the screenshot below, the chart on the left details the borrower's debt in red, with the value of their future cash-flow in blue. The chart on the right displays the probability of default.

QCRDistancetoDefault2.jpg

4) Understand effects of economic changes
The stress test capability of the software works similar to a car crash test. It evaluates credit by running it through different economic scenarios to determine what factors may break it, or cause default.

When Risk Aware "crashes" the credit under different scenarios, the results depict the probability of default. By adjusting factors, such as GDP growth, inflation, industry components, and utility sectors, lenders see exposure and risk levels in a possible economic downturn. The system captures all changes in the macroeconomic environment and includes possible outcomes in its analysis.

QCRDistancetoDefaultinStressTest2.jpg

In addition to the single company analysis, QCR offers a view of the institution's entire portfolio.

QCR debuted Risk Aware at FinovateEurope 2015 in London.

pig_in_sunglasses.jpg
It had to happen, fintech finally had a relatively quiet week. While nine companies received new money, just one deal reached eight figures, Finovate alum Linkable Networks ($11.7 million). In total, $39 million was invested into the sector this week. 

Here are the deals by size from Feb 28 through Mar 5: 

Card-linked rewards & rewards platform
HQ: Boston, Massachusetts
Latest round: $11.7 million
Total raised: $40.4 million
Tags: Advertising, rewards, merchant-funded, offers, value adds, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Simple solution for easily purchasing product insurance
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Latest round: $8 million
Total raised: $8 million
Tags: Insurance, payments
Source: Crunchbase

High tech and high touch SMB bookkeeping 
HQ: Virginia
Latest round: $5.8 million
Total raised: $5.8 million
Tags: SMB, accounting, financial management, invoicing, billpay
Source: Crunchbase

Digital wallet
HQ: Virginia
Latest round: $5.2 million
Total raised: $14.4 million
Tags: Payments, mobile
Source: Crunchbase

Peer-to-peer lending marketplace
HQ: Tallinn, Estonia
Latest round: $5 million
Total raised: $5 million
Tags: Lending, credit, investing, crowdfunding, P2P
Source: FT Partners

Japanese debt crowdfunding marketplace
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Latest round: $1.7 million
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Lending, credit, investings, P2P lending
Source: FT Partners

Mobile payments
HQ: Bengaluru, India
Latest round: $1.2 million
Total raised: $1.2 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, merchants, acquiring, point-of-sale
Source: Crunchbase

High tech & high touch SMB bookkeeping 
HQ: Sydney, Australia
Latest round: $200,000
Total raised: $200,000
Tags: SMB, accounting, financial management, invoicing, billpay
Source: Crunchbase

Southeast Asian financial services comparison sites: cekaja.com & eCompareMo.com
HQ: Philippines
Latest round: Undisclosed (series A)
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Personal finance advice, lead generation, comparison
Source: Crunchbase


BI2015_mini_logo_jpg.jpg

"That's a word you use with your enemies,"

-- Ripple Labs CEO and founder, Chris Larsen, on the term "disruptor" 

After two days at Bank Innovation 2015, I'm starting to believe that the fintech industry might be settling into, if not maturity, then at least a pretty responsible young adulthood. And it all has to do with the concept of disruption.

A few years ago, for example, a panel discussion among startups on the future of banking might have sounded very different from what I heard at Bank Innovation's event in Seattle this week. My takeaways?

  • Startups are as interested or more in working with financial institutions as they are in trying to replace them.
  • Startups recognize their limitations as emerging businesses in an industry with many incumbents.
  • Startups are aware that their innovations are the first step in a loop of experimentation and collaboration that involves technologists, financial professionals and consumers.
Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of Lending Tree seemed to speak for many presenters when he insisted "we're all in this together" during his fireside chat Monday morning. For all the talk of disruption and creating beautiful customer experiences in the tech world in general, today's fintech startups begin their focus on the future with challenges as practical as reducing friction. 

As Lebda put it when asked about the next innovation in the space by a member of the audience: "Ease of transaction. Period. Full stop."

Fintech Disruption, What's Your Function?

That's not to say that Bank Innovation 2015 lacked in the old-fashioned, concept-from-another-planet, disruption department. Ripple Labs CEO and founder Chris Larsen's off-hand remark about micropayments between self-driving cars sent a palpable buzz through the room - and through Twitter at #BankInnovation15. But it was his lucidity on the role cryptocurrencies are likely to play in the real world that was worth the price of admission.

BI2015_LarsenRipple.JPG
Larsen's vision is of an "Internet of value" similar to the "Internet of information" or "Internet of data" that we have today. Cryptocurrencies will be key to this ability to exchange value, Larsen believes. But in the same way that the Internet of information was built by institutions - from government to academia - the Internet of value will be built not by consumers, but by what he called "custodians of value." 


"You don't have to change the bank's role or Visa's role," Larsen said. He sees Ripple as a "giant pathfinding algorithm for value exchange" that can improve on the current system of correspondent banking by providing financial institutions with real-time settlement, and "atomic," "go/no go" transactions that are end-to-end traceable. 

Startups Help Banks Get Better 

Technology will always seek to deliver innovation faster than finance can integrate it, as nCino CEO Pierre Naude suggested in the conversation on the future of banking. Bitreserve CEO Halsey Minor added that there was a time when he "didn't think banks would have to deal with innovation."

BI2015_Day1_Panel1.JPG
But to the extent that technology helps banks and other FIs become better at "core competencies" and reduce friction the more likely the relationships and collaborations are to be valuable for all involved.  

In this way, financial institutions can serve as what iQuantifi CEO Tom White called "advice drivers" just as well as startups can prod FIs toward greater efficiency and serve as testing grounds for new approaches to everything from credit decisioning to customer engagement.

So if banks are getting back to basics of lending, payments and savings, as CBW Bank chairman and CTO Suresh Ramamurthi suggested, there are fintech startups helping make that happen. Alternative lenders are white-labeling products for FIs to sell to their customers, as Lending Club's Andrew Deringer, VP, Head of Financial Institutions Group, pointed out, opening up new cross-selling opportunities. Funding Circle co-founder and U.S. managing director, Sam Hodges highlighted the "massive need for small business financing" and the role played by startups able to look at risk differently. 

BI2015_Day1_Panel2.JPG
This argument was echoed by Emmanuel Marot, CEO of LendingRobot who talked about the development of niche marketplace lending alongside new niche markets. All it helping move small businesses up the chain toward the kind of loans banks are interested in and able to profitably make.

It also is about providing better service, something that in the lending business goes all the way to the individual loan officer, as Lebda explained during his Fireside Chat session. "My best loan was when people came up and really talked to me," he said in response to a question about emotional banking, a theme that would heard more than once at Bank Innovation. 

"This is the future.," added LendKey CEO and founder Vince Passione. "No more waiting. Not just shopping but getting it completed. Not just the coupon for the car. But the coupon for the financing."

Finovate Alum Wins DEMOvation Challenge

Thumbnail image for iQuantifi_BankInnovation2015.jpg
Congratulations to Tom White and the team from iQuantifi. iQuantifi took home Best in Show honors as part of Bank Innovation 2015's DEMOvation event Tuesday morning. Also participating was authentication specialist and fellow alum, AuthenticID.

DEMOvation featured six companies each providing a brief, eight-minute demonstration of its technology. Attendees voted for their favorites via Bank Innovation 2015's mobile app. Read more about the DEMOvation challenge here.



More observations from Bank Innovation 2015 coming Friday.

Alumni News-- March 5, 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.jpgCachet Financial Solutions' mobile money platform to support Check Into Cash's U.S. Money Prepaid MasterCard.
  • P2P lender Landbay deploys Netverify from Jumio.
  • Blackhawk Network adds exchange functionality to its digital services platform.
  • Azimo celebrates World Money Transfer Day with zero fees promotion.
  • Fenergo enhances its Regulatory Rules Engine technology.
  • FinovateSpring Very Early Bird ticket deadline is tomorrow, March 6. Get your ticket today and save.
  • StockTwits adds support to actively point out evidence of potential stock manipulation.
  • Built in Chicago features Bolstr's growth and future plans.
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.


btn3_ov.pngHot on the heels on our largest FinovateEurope to date, we've begun to focus on our FinovateSpring event scheduled for May 12 & 13 in Silicon Valley.

Our team is hard at work sorting through the huge stack of applications from innovative fintech companies looking to showcase their latest and greatest in front of more than 1,300 attendees. Based on the initial analysis, I think it is safe to say that this event is going to be one of our best! 

The audience is also shaping up to be one of our best ever including executives from leading organizations like the following:

  • American Express
  • BancVue
  • Bank of the West
  • Barclays PLC
  • BBVA Compass
  • BlueRun Ventures
  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • C1 Bank
  • Capital One
  • Celent
  • Charles Schwab
  • Chase Paymentech
  • City National Bank
  • D.E. Shaw
  • Deluxe
  • Diebold
  • E*TRADE
  • Experian
  • Federal Reserve System
  • Fidelity Institutional
  • First Republic Bank
  • FIS
  • Fiserv
  • FNB
  • Forbes
  • H&R Block
  • Harland Clarke
  • Intellectual Ventures
  • Intuit
  • Jack Henry
  • Javelin Strategy
  • JP Morgan
  • Justice FCU
  • Lending Club
  • LendingTree
  • Mastercard
  • Maybank
  • MACU
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Life
  • Pando Daily
  • PNC Bank
  • Primerica
  • PSCU
  • Quicken Loans
  • Route 66 Ventures
  • S&P Capital IQ
  • Silvergate Bank
  • Stanford FCU
  • State Farm
  • TCV
  • TD Ameritrade
  • TSYS
  • Umpqua Bank
  • USAA
  • UW Credit Union
  • Visa
  • Wells Fargo
  • WePay
  • Western Union
  • WSECU
  • Yodlee
  • And many more!

So, while it will be a few more days until we announce the presenter lineup, NOW is the time to lock in the affordable Very Early-Bird Ticket price. Buy your ticket before this Friday March 6th and you'll save $200 on your chance to watch the future of fintech unfold live on stage!

We'll see you in Silicon Valley in May (or New York this fall)!

FinovateSpring 2015 is sponsored by: The Bancorp, CapitalSource, Envestnet, Financial Technology Partners, Hudson Cook LLP, Kyriba and Life.SREDA.

FinovateSpring 2015 is partners with: Aite, Bank Innovators Council, BankersHub, BayPay, Bobsguide, BreakingBanks, California Bankers Association, Canada, Celent, eBankingNews, Fin-tech.org, Filene Research Institute, Hotwire PR, Javelin Strategy, Mercator Advisory GroupWestern Independent Bankers and SME Finance Forum

CRIFLogo.jpg

All lenders have a process to determine the creditworthiness of borrowers, but not all have an efficient and effective way to do so.CRIF's technology helps lenders maintain growth and agility while managing risk.

CRIF is a global company focused on credit management, credit reporting, scoring, loan decisioning, and loan processing. Its modular solutions integrate with banks' existing infrastructure. 

CRIFHomepage.jpg


Stats

    • 1700 employees
    • Based in Bologna, Italy
    • FY 2013 revenue: $405M
    • Customers in 50 countries
    • Credit bureau solutions in 17 countries 
    • Works with 3100 FIs worldwide
    • CRIF has acquired a number of international providers. Its 2014 acquisitions include:
      • Recom (Debt Collection Services) in Turkey
      • OFWI Teledata (credit and business data provider) in Switzerland
      • Majority stake in High Mark Credit Information Services in India
      • Dun & Bradstreet UAE in Dubai


OpenSky story
OpenSky is a business line of Capital Bank, N.A., a Washington, D.C.-based private bank with more than $600 million under management. It approached CRIF for help updating a system received as part of an acquisition. The system is for online card application and management of the OpenSky Secured VISA Credit Card. The existing system had a complicated, manual process for verifying applicants' identity and gathering security deposits.

OpenSky's goals for updating the process included:

  • Multichannel solution that automated workflow and risk management
  • Improved applicant approval rates
  • Improved integration with internal and external systems
  • Increased booking rates
  • Decreased funding time 

In September of 2014, OpenSky implemented two of CRIF's product solutions:

1) CreditFlow
CreditFlow is a consumer-facing credit application process management system. Once the consumer triggers an activity, the system directs the task to specific employees and processes. The consistency ensures regulatory compliance. 

The built-in loan processing technology creates electronic documents with e-signature capability that improves the customer experience. 


CRIFCreditFlowApplication.jpg

2) StrategyOne
StrategyOne is a loan decision solution that automates decision-making. It integrates with the lender's systems such as product catalogue and CRM to identify the optimal balance of approval, referral, and rejection rates for borrowers of different risk categories.

The result is easier KPI decisioning, as well as a visual decision tree to help risk managers view and adjust loan acceptance rates.

The result
The solution integrates with OpenSky's website as well as its third-party applications. OpenSky automates communication with cardholders about overpayment, withdrawals and security deposit returns.

The system furnishes its management team with data from the application process to facilitate compliance checks. Additionally, it generates real-time reports to monitor daily staff activities and pipelines.  

It has increased credit card application volume, with 80% booked the same day.

"The OpenSky secured credit card site went live February 12 and we are already seeing tremendous success in the flow of applications," said Nick Bryan, president of OpenSky. "CRIF was a great partner to work with and helped us put in place the right solutions from both a business and a customer experience perspective."

International use
CRIF was introduced in Europe where it helped lenders adapt to multiple countries' lending regulations. It now serves more than 3,100 financial institutions across the globe with flexible solutions that help lenders stay compliant with changing regulations.

2015 outlook
In the United States, CRIF sees automotive lending at a record high. And they expect an increase in risker loans, not always backed by the necessary capital reserves.

Outside the U.S., CRIF sees opportunity in optimizing lending and compliance readiness. It expects banks will begin searching for more efficient processes in their credit and lending operations.

CRIF demonstrated its Credit Framework at FinovateEurope 2014.

Alumni News-- March 4, 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.jpgSecureIDNews takes a look at the partnership between FinSphere and Visa.
  • Fiserv launches four new modules for its Financial Crime Risk Management platform.
  • iQuantifi wins "Best in Show" at Bank Innovation 2015 DEMOvation Challenge.
  • Silanis earns spot on KMWorld's "100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management" list for 2015.
  • IT Business Edge interviews Flint Mobile CEO Greg Goldfarb.
  • American Banker considers the benefits of banks using Ripple.
  • Innovation in Finance interviews CoinJar at FinovateEurope in London.
  • Capital Bank's OpenSky Puts CRIF's CreditFlow & StrategyOne to the Test.
  • Inc: How OnDeck Plans to Make Alternative Lending a Blue Chip Business.
  • Inc. lists Bionym as one of 8 Canadian startups to watch our for in 2015.
  • Yodlee now provides data APIs to nearly 50 fintech applications and services in the personal wealth management space.
  • Braintree expanding its Asia-Pac operations into Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
  • PandoDaily: PayNearMe partners with Grameen America to help lift women out of poverty.
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.

FE2015Banner.jpg

If you're in need of a little distraction, we have good news. The demo videos from FinovateEurope 2015 have been released. All 72 videos from last month's conference, along with the full history of Finovate demos, are publicly available on the Finovate video archives page

To get started, here are the seven Best of Show winners, in alphabetical order:




 



  



eToro





Jumio





mBank & i3D





Meniga



Feel free to download, embed, and tweet the videos to share your favorites from the conference, whether you were in attendance or not.
LinkableNetworksLogo.jpg

Card-linked offers company, Linkable Networks, welcomed some extra cash today. The Boston-based company pulled in $11.7 million in Series E funding from existing investors BlueChip Ventures, CommonAngels, and Kepha Partners.

Since its first seed round of $1.5 million in 2010, Linkable Networks has brought in a total of $40.4 million to date.

LinkablesScreenshot2015.jpg

The company is also welcoming three new executives to its leadership team:

    • Mike DiFranza joins Linkable as its president. DiFranza is the founder and former president and CEO of Captivate Networks.
    • John Caron joins as CMO
    • Jeff Jensen joins as executive vice president and general manager of Linkable's new affiliate network for retailers, Omnyverse.

Tom Burgess founded Linkable Networks in 2010 under the name Clovr Media. The startup changed its name to Linkable Networks in 2011.

Linkable Networks demonstrated its MasterCard solution at FinovateFall 2012.

Alumni News-- March 3, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgYour Daily Distraction: FinovateEurope 2015 Demo Videos Now Available.
  • Linkable Networks Rakes in $11.7 Million.
  • Pymnts discusses how Xero will use its recent funding.
  • ThreatMetrix now protects more than 1 billion mobile and web transactions each month.
  • TechCrunch: Wealthfront Now Manages More Than $2 Billion In Client Assets.
  • CrowdFlower launches Data for Everyone initiative, releasing data sets to the public.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems and Small Business Workbench partner for integrated payments.
  • HelloWallet, now owned by Morningstar, to deliver financial wellness software to Seagate employees.
  • BBC News feature on robo-advisors highlights Wealthfront and Betterment.
  • Malauzai Software and Payveris bring next-day P2P payments to First United Bank.
  • ZTE partners with EyeVerify to add Eyeprint ID to its Grand S3 handset.
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.
MalauzaiLogo_FF2014.jpg

Malauzai Software and Payveris are partnering to bring next-day, person-to-person (P2P) payments to customers of First United Bank in Texas.

Kevin Carson, Chief Technology Officer for the bank said that the partnership will help his bank deal with the threat of alternative payment providers "cutting the bank out of the transaction." "By working with Malauzai and Payveris," Carson said, "our bank will be the trusted destination for customers seeking quick P2P payments."

Thumbnail image for Malauzai_homepage_2015.jpg
The partnership will integrate SmartApps from Malauzai and the billpay, account-to-account transfer and P2P payments functionality of Payveris' PayItNow network. The resulting technology will bring P2P functionality to SmartApps, enabling secure P2P payments using email or text message.

Added Carson, "our local market is home to several colleges and universities and it's very important for us to serve the needs of the millennial demographic. To remain competitive, we must offer digital services that are fast, convenient and easy to use."

Payveris president Jeff Weikert said the partnership was an opportunity to offer an "integrated, seamless banking and payment solution" that provides banks and FIs with a competitive advantage while providing a superior experience for the customer "whether it's paying a bill, transferring money between financial accounts, or paying a friend."

RGaynor_Malauzai_FF2014_stage.jpg
Above: Rob Gaynor, Chief Product Officer, Malauzai Software, presenting at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

The partnership between Malauzai and Payveris, according to both parties, will help the industry overcome major pain points that are block the way to wider adoption of person-to-person payments. Malauzai chief product officer Robb Gaynor said, " the reason P2P solutions have not taken off in a bigger way is because the current model is slow and inconvenient." Gaynor pointed to Payveris' "highly secure, digital payments platform" as key to accelerating the process as well as "keeping banks and credit unions at the center of the transactions."

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Malauzai Software specializes in mobile and online apps for small-to-medium sized banks and credit unions. Malauzai provided the technology behind BankMobile's "millennially-focused" banking app launched in January, and unveiled its own SmartMarketing program to help promote mobile banking in December. Southern Bank adopted Malauzai Software's PicturePay technology back in October. Tom Shen is Malauzai Software's CEO and co-founder.

Malauzai demoed its technology as part of FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

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.
  • Medium.com column on the money transfer industry features CurrencyFair and TransferWise.
  • Financeit receives $75 million renewal from Pacific & Western Bank of Canada to help expand consumer financing program.
  • PYMNTS interviews Fiserv on how banks can capitalize on emerging trends.
  • Google launches a status dashboard for several of it cloud infrastructure services in the Google Cloud Platform.
  • PayPal acquires Paydiant for an estimated $280 million.
  • PayPal debuts chip & PIN and NFC payments acceptance device.
  • Authentify Ranked 46 out of 500 Hottest Security Firms; its xFA Solution a finalist for Authentication Solution of the Year.
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.
pig_in_sunglasses.jpg
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

Squirrel
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.

SecureKey_homepage.jpg
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.

CGardner_SecureKey_FF2010_stage.jpg
Above: SecureKey Vice President for Partner Engagement Chris Gardner demoing at FinovateFall 2010 in New York

SecureKey's primary product line includes briidge.net Exchange and briidge.net 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.
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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 ali@fintech.finance or on Twitter at @AliPaterson.

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Small business owners searching for office supplies at Staples.com 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:

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

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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.
 
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"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
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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".

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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.

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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.
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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.

Stats

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

Awards

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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:

InvestUpScreenshot2.jpg

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:

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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.
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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.

Stats

    • $2 million in funding 
    • Started earning revenue in 2014
    • 7 employees
    • Founded in 2013
    • Headquartered in Bermuda, Dublin & Silicon Valley
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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Carter:
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?
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Finovate: What can you tell us in the way of metrics?

Carter:
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?

Carter:
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.

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

Carter:
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?

Carter:

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."

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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.

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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.
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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."

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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.
  • TheStreet.com 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.
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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

--------

Acquisition

LoopPay
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



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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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