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Alumni News-- August 1, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgStartup Daily: Startups leverage Xero's API as part of their growth hacking strategy. Check out Xero's API up close at FinDEVr in San Francisco September 30 - October 1.
  • Expensify grows from 24 employees in January to 45 employees in July.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions receives allowance for patent that covers aspects of its RDC platform to deposit bank checks using their Apple desktop, laptop or mobile device.
  • PlayMoolah's WhyMoolah launches Act 2 to enable gamers who completed Act 1 to play out their lives from age 35 to 55.
  • ZipZap raises $1.1 million in new funding.
  • Your Mark on the World interviews AdaPia d'Errico, Chief Marketing Officer for Patch of Land. See Patch of Land demo at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • defi Solutions CEO Stephanie Alsbrooks talks loan origination in Non-Prime Times.
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 a round led by AngelList Syndicate and 500 Startups, and featuring participation from Blumberg Capital, ZipZap has raised $1.1 million in new capital.

ZipZap now has $2.7 million in total funding. In a statement, the company says the funds will "further its vision to be the primary payment network for digital currencies."

ZipZap_homepage
This helps explain, among other things, ZipZap's recent talent acquisition: Jim Griffin. Formerly of UBS Investment Bank, where he was Executive Director, Jim is newly the Senior Vice President of Currency and Foreign Exchange for ZipZap. 

ZipZap founder and CEO Alan Safahi pointed to Jim's expertise in these areas as key to helping ZipZap "not only manage our risks but also develop solid relationships with banks and currency traders." Before working at UBS, Jim was Senior Vice President of Foreign Exchange at Wells Fargo.

ZipZap is a global network that makes it easy for people to buy digital currencies with cash ACH, or wire transfer. The service is active in the U.S. , the U.K. and 15 other countries throughout Europe and Latin America. Bitcoin is currently offered, with LiteCoin and Dogecoin available "in the near future."

ZipZap had paused its cash-to-Bitcoin service in the U.K. in March, due to concerns over the government's attitude toward the digital currency. That service has been restored as of June. As reported in CoinDesk, ZipZap has "more than 20,000 partner retail locations in the U.K."

Founded in 2010 and based in San Francisco, ZipZap demoed its CashCade and CashPayment solutions at FinovateSpring 2012. See the company in action here.

Alumni News-- July 31, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgA discussion of "next gen PFM" at The Financial Brand features insights from Melanie Flanigan of Yodlee.
  • Xendpay announces mobile wallet service in Indonesia.
  • Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 brings personal finance to the smart watch.
  • Grass Roots America deploys InComm's Physical Fulfillment Solution to streamline physical and digital prepaid card delivery.
  • Payments provider MangoPay and Currency Cloud partner to offer better rates for international payments.
  • Herald Media explores how MoneyDesktop is contributing to the Utah business boom.
  • Infocomm Development Authority evaluating Tagit for accreditation to help it build capabilities and allow it to compete with big companies in bidding for government projects.
  • QuantConnect overhauls core backtesting technology to increase speed by 10x.
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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With news of its Samsung Gear 2 deployment, has Wallaby become the Fitbit of personal finance?

This connection between physical health and financial health may not be as far-fetched as it seems. In my conversation with Wallaby CEO Matthew Goldman last week, he pointed to the way that wearable technology had dovetailed with, if not helped enabled, a growing interest in personal health. 

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It is true that, in many ways, financial health has been left behind in this "quantified self" movement. But as more people begin to see their financial health (for example, reducing debt) as integral to their physical health (for example, reducing stress), there is a great opportunity for companies to tailor solutions to these newly (financially) conscious consumers.

In part, this is the wager Wallaby Financial has made when it comes to the still-nascent wearable technology market. With Samsung Gear 2, Wallaby is making its third foray into this industry, having deployed versions of its free PFM app and credit card aggregation cloud wallet in both Pebble (a wristband device) and Google Glass.

What does Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 do? Samsung Gear 2 is a 4GB, Bluetooth-enabled, 512MB RAM smartwatch with a 1.6-inch screen. The smart watch features a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, music player, and heart rate monitor and, like most wearables, requires an accompanying smart device (a Samsung device in this case) in order to work.

Available in Wild Orange, Gold Brown, and Charcoal Black, Samsung Gear 2 retails for $299.99.
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Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 will enable users to optimize credit card rewards, review their card balances, and check other personal finance information on the fly and in real-time. Matthew highlights the notion of "personal finance information" as opposed to "personal finance management" to underscore the challenges of bringing the Wallaby solution to the smart watch.

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"What is used the most? What is the critical thing you need to know?" were the questions that have guided Matthew and his team's efforts to bring a robust PFM app to wearables with divergent form factors (wristwatch versus glass, for example). This is why he refers to the wearable app as delivering "personal financial information" such as checking balances and credit  availability, as well as optimizing rewards and offers, rather than remaking the entire PFM experience - functionality and all - on a screen that is little more than 1.5 inches.

But interestingly, this choice is nothing new for Wallaby, which decided early on that rather than be a Mint clone, there was room for a personal finance solution that focused on those personal finance issues that are most immediate and most critical for the average consumer. "If you're shopping at a store," Matthew said. "You don't need access to six-months of budget data. You need to know if you've got the available credit to make the purchase."

Making the purchasing experience that much easier has always been a part of Wallaby's project. Asserting both that "people hate to budget" and that "people hate to pay," Matthew explained how Wallaby's solution responded to both pain points. "Budgeting is like dieting" he said. "Maybe you can't stop a person from making a purchase. But you can drive consumers toward better financial choices, such as taking greater advantage of credit card rewards and offers."

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And the move toward wearables could help deal with the aversion to the payment process. "U.S. culture doesn't talk about payment details. People want to conduct the commerce, but not the payment," Matthew said. But he then pointed to innovations like the Apple Store. "They are bringing the payment experience out from behind the counter," he said, and merging payment more seamlessly into the shopping/commerce experience. 

To the extent that a wearable device like the Samsung Gear 2 could become a major component of payment authentication, the Wallaby app is in just the right place - even if it has arrived a bit early for the masses. "Wearables are going to be the thing," Matthew said confidently, pointing to Google's recent decision to open up Google Glass to developers and the likelihood of Apple launching a wearable device (an iWatch, potentially) sooner than later. 

Matthew conceded that the technology is "still extremely niche," which makes it challenging to understand the potential market. 

Going forward, Wallaby is looking to leverage the enormous amount of consumer data the company is analyzing. The goal is to help consumers make ever more exacting financial choices when it comes to pay. "The trick," Matthew said, "is to enable that experience in everything: mobile, card, wearable, and online."

Wallaby Metrics
See Wallaby's FinovateSpring 2013 demo video here. Developers and others looking to partner with Wallaby can learn more about the company's APIs and Partner Plus program here.

Alumni News-- July 30, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgThreatMetrix granted patent for its ability to differentiate between trusted customers and cybercriminals 
  • Australia-based Vermilian acquired by banking technology firm Ultradata.
  • Boku brings its direct carrier billing-based mobile payments technology to India.
  • Mangopay teams up with Currency Cloud to provide international money transfer services to its customers.
  • Shivalik Mercantile Cooperative Bank to deploy "bank in a box" from FIS.
  • Blackhawk Network teams with Amazon to enable customers to manage and spend their gift cards in the new Amazon Wallet app.
  • Financial Guard to provide clients with both passive and active investing options.
  • Insuritas wins 2014 NAFCU Services Corporation (NSC) Innovation Award that highlights groundbreaking solutions for credit unions.
  • TechCrunch: Credit Karma offering free, weekly credit reports - no strings attached.
  • Franklin University chooses ACI Worldwide for online payment processing.
  • Wikipedia Foundation partners with Coinbase to allow bitcoin donations.
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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Mobile payments-loving Dutch citizens have something to celebrate today. PayPal announced last week that it is now accepted at 1500 brick and mortar stores in the Netherlands.

Patrons of those stores will be able to pay with PayPal at parking meters, cafes, restaurants, and more.

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Thanks to a partnership with Rabobank-owned MyOrder, PayPal users have a more convenient way to pay. Using PayPal's mobile app linked to a payment account, users can:

    • Pay for a parking meter without searching for the pay station
    • Order drinks ahead of time at a coffee shop
    • Pay for a meal without waiting for the server to bring the check

For PayPal, this expansion into mobile payments is no surprise. Last year, the dollar value of transactions made from a smartphone or tablet was $27 billion, which is an increase of 99% from one year prior.

Check out a live demo of MyOrder's technology from FinovateEurope 2014. PayPal last demonstrated at FinovateEurope 2012 where it showcased Instant Account Creation.

Alumni News-- July 29, 2014

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  • Concur partners with Uber to allow Concur users to link their accounts and automatically send Uber receipts to their expense reports.
  • The Financial Brand looks at opportunity for banks and credit unions in the Loop Visa partnership. 
  • Open Bank Project making its API available during hackathon in September.
  • TechCrunch explores Pellucid Analytics' take on PowerPoint pitch books.
  • Seed Me! Thinknum raises $1 million in seed funding round.
  • Feature on robo-advisors highlights seven alums: Betterment, Financial Guard, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, Personal Capital, SigFig, and Wealthfront.
  • Macwelt reviews banking app Numbrs.
  • Bank Systems & Technology points to Moven as a nontraditional financial service provider "gunning" for banks.
  • Xero partners with MarketInvoice to bring faster funding to UK businesses.
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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Thinknum, a web-based platform that makes it easy for junior bankers to read and analyze corporate financial data, announced today that it had raised $1 million in seed funding. The investment was led by Pejman Mar Ventures, and included participation from 500 Startups, 645 Angels, Green Visor Capital, HKB Capital, and Signature Capital.

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Quoted in The New York Times Dealbook, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi talked about his technology as "building a platform using the web to become one living, intelligent platform." Indeed, one of the virtues of Thinknum's solution is the technology's ability to pull data directly from the Internet, saving analysts a significant amount of data collection and entry time. In fact, Dealbook's coverage of the announcement included a report on the "grueling" working conditions of the average junior banker to help make the point.

Thinknum says that the funding will go toward hiring additional software engineering talent. 
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Thinknum was referred to as the GitHub for finance in a TechCrunch profile this spring. The company seeks to crowdsource financial analysis, making it possible for financial professionals to benefit from their combined efforts in much the same way that programmers are able to do with code. The technology is optimized for collaboration, enabling efficient change-tracking and audit trails.

Founded in 2013, and based in New York, Thinknum will make its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014 in September. To join us and see Thinknum in action, click here. Early-bird savings are still available.

Alumni News-- July 28, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgPayPal announces partnership with MyOrder to enable PayPal payments at 1,500 locations in the Netherlands.
  • SecureKey launches new single-stack API integrations for card-present, card-not-present, and ACH transactions.
  • Concur adds gamification features to TripLink, the company's spend management solution.
  • Expensify changes report submission and approval process for those using Expensify outside of an expense policy.
  • Concur partners with Airbnb to make it easier for business travelers to file expenses when booking on Airbnb.
  • RazorSocial takes a look at simplifying Google Analytics using Quill Engage from Narrative Science.
  • Financial Guard featured in Investment News' review of "robo-advisors" and online investment managers.
  • Huffington Post: Pellucid Analytics turns data into content to make lives easier for investment bankers.
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.

Alumni News-- July 25, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFox Business News features Kabbage's small business lending process.
  • Huffington Post describes how DemystData's big data analytics help evaluate creditworthiness.
  • Cartera Commerce's CFO Karen Cambray named a finalist in Boston Business Journal's 2014 CFO of the Year Awards.
  • Bloomberg: BillGuard programmers code in bomb shelters.
  • Coinbase launches Coinbase Vault to Better Secure Your Bitcoins.
  • MoneyDesktop appoints Brandon Dewitt as its first ever CTO.
  • SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert stepping down in order to refocus his attention solely on bitcoin.
  • InvestmentNews features roboadvisors Jemstep, FutureAdvisor, Wealthfront, and Personal Capital.
  • The Irish Times looks at Holvi's move into Ireland.
  • CMS Wire: Actiance wants to help companies curb social media mistakes.
  • Karen Webster of Market Platform Dynamics interviews Zooz CEO Oren Levy.
  • eToro announces new version of OpenBook for iOS.
  • Mobile Entertainment talks with Adam Levene, SVP of Strategy at Monitise Create.
  • LendingTree launches personalization platform.
  • Pymnts takes a look at the partnership between Malauzai Software and Trusteer. See Malauzai at FinovateFall in September.
  • Fortune.com interviews Bill Siegel, interim CEO of SecondMarket.
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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Calling it "the next step forward to help(ing) consumers take control of their financial lives," Doug Lebda, CEO and founder of LendingTree, announced the launch of the new LendingTree personalization platform.

The platform incorporates LendingTree's VantageScore 3.0, credit scoring technology designed for the post-financial crisis era. VantageScore is a tri-bureau credit scoring model that can generate credit ratings for more than 30 million more consumers than with traditional methods.

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Peer comparisons and credit education are also components of the platform, giving users a level of transparency to the credit-scoring process. And by integrating users' financial accounts, LendingTree's personalization platform gives consumers the ability to see an analyze their overall credit profile, as well as spot opportunities to save money.

The key is LendingTree's ability to leverage its network of banks, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and other credit and financial institutions to provide users with insights into how their behavior affects their credit profile. It also is easier to provide consumers with cost-saving offers that are more relevant and more likely to be used.
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A leading online lender, LendingTree has facilitated more than 30 million loan requests and more than $200 billion in closed-loan transactions. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was founded in 1996. LendingTree demoed its mobile app at our spring conference in San Jose this year. See a video of the company at FinovateSpring 2014 here.
Coinbase_lo_res_logo

If you follow digital currency news, it's likely you remember the crumbling of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in February. The site went bankrupt when 850,000 Bitcoins (then worth around $450 million) were stolen from users' accounts.

Coinbase today launched a new product, Coinbase Vault, that aims to keep it from sharing Mt Gox's fate by keeping a portion of users' bitcoin safe from hackers and unauthorized withdrawals.

CoinbaseVault

The free new account has three features that contribute to increased security:

    • Time-delayed withdrawals
      There is a 48-hour waiting period before withdrawals are transferred from the Vault account. During the waiting period, the transaction can be cancelled at any time.
    • Multiple approvers
      For joint accounts, approval from multiple parties is required in order to begin the withdrawal.
    • Offline storage
      97% of bitcoin is held offline in safe deposit boxes.


Coinbase showcased Instant Exchange at FinovateSpring 2014. You can check out the demo video here.

LoopPay Earns Investment from Visa

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You know you're a Finovate fan when you skip over the report that Visa and Apple are talking just to get to the news that Visa has made an investment in mobile wallet innovator, LoopPay.

In a statement, LoopPay CEO, Will Graylin said he was "thrilled to have Visa as a partner and investor." Visa SVP of innovation and strategic partnerships Jim McCarthy praised the company's technology, particularly the fact that merchants can accept payment via LoopPay using their existing point-of-sale infrastructure.

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The investment from Visa is part of the larger funding round LoopPay announced a few weeks ago. Amounts have not been disclosed.

LoopPay's innovation is its expertise in Magnetic Secure Transmission™ (MST) technology. The technology uses an app, a secure chip, and an embedded magnetic loop to collect, store, and transmit mag stripe data from our added cards to the POS terminal when making a payment.  The loop is built into accessories such as the fob and, most recently, the LoopPay ChargeCase.

LoopPay made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose, winning Best of Show honors. The company was founded in 2013, and is based in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Alumni News-- July 24, 2014

  • C. Hoare & Co. choose TSYS's Prime 4 card management solution.
  • Pymnts interviews Vib Prasad, Group Head of MasterCard's MasterPass about digital wallets.
  • CSI globalVCard launches B2B payment system called globalVCard travel, designed to alleviate many of the corporate travel industry's biggest pain points
  • FreeAgent integrates with PayPal Here to make it easier for UK small businesses to get paid faster.
  • Xero confirms it's planning on filing for a U.S. initial public offering in 2015.
  • Actiance expands on its support of Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online, to help manage risks of Office 365 Lync Online.
  • LoopPay earns investment from 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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Featuring former New York State attorney general, governor, and so-called "Sheriff of Wall Street" Eliot Spitzer as one of its investors, TipRanks has just closed an initial round of funding, raising $3 million.

Also participating in the Series A round were Roni Michaely, a professor of finance from Cornell University, and John Nakamura, an angel investor. The completed round takes the company's total funding to $3.7 million.

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TipRanks leverages machine learning and natural language processing technology to analyze and rank more than 6,500 financial analysts and bloggers online. This enables the company to provide accurate performance measurements on anyone giving investment or stock trading advice online.

Uri Gruenbaum, TipRanks CEO and co-founder, explained, "Let's face it, not all analysts are created equal."

"By scanning leading (financial) websites for analyst recommendations, TipRanks is able to provide its users (with) relevant information regarding the analyst's performance history."

TipRanks was founded in 2012 by Uri Gruenbaum (CEO) and Gilad Gat (CTO). The company includes Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi among its financial institution customers. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, TipRanks demoed its technology at FinovateFall 2013, taking home Best of Show honors. See TipRanks in action here.
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Finovate joins the fintech community in expressing our sadness at the passing of Priya Haji, CEO and founder of SaveUp. We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

SaveUp co-founder and CFO Sammy Shreibati praised Priya as a "wonderful leader, innovator, and friend" in a statement confirming the news.

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A socially-conscious entrepreneur from an early age, Priya founded a free health clinic while she was still in high school. In addition to earning degrees from Stanford University (BA) and University of California Berkeley (MBA) - and before founding SaveUp - Priya launched a company called World of Good. 

World of Good, acquired by eBay in 2010, is a fair trade and sustainable products marketplace for women artisans in the developing world.

A crowdfunding campaign at Fundly has been established to help provide support to her 11-month old daughter and two-year old son. Finovate has contributed to this fund.

Alumni News-- July 23, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTaulia raises $27 million in series D funding.
  • CU Service Network partners with Insuritas to generate fee income for credit unions.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions partners with top five commercial bank in the U.S. to implement a prepaid mobile platform for supermarket chain.
  • BioCatch raises $10 million in Series A round. See them demo at FinovateFall 2014.
  • Malauzai Software partners with Trusteer to bring mobile security solutions to Customers Bancorp. Join Malauzai in New York in September for FinovateFall.
  • Place2Give launches MyPlace2Give.com to enable individuals to set up their own charitable giving fund.
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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Israel-based biometric security specialist BioCatch announced today that it had raised $10 million in an initial Series A funding round.

The Series A was led by Blumberg Capital and equity crowd funding firm, OurCrowd, and included participation from unnamed existing investors. The company says that the new funding will go toward research and development, as well as expanding the service in North America, Europe, and Latin America.
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BioCatch CEO Benny Rosebaum said in a statement, "This funding will allow us to continue strengthening our offering and expand our globe reach in strategic markets, while keeping the world's largest and most influential institutions safe and secure."

BioCatch is an innovator in the biometric authentication space. The company's technology examines more than 400 behavioral, cognitive, and physiological markers to help determine when unusual activity is taking place. These markers range from how a person's finger tends to move across a trackpad or interface, or even the angle at which a mobile device is typically held while being used.

And while stopping fraud is the important, headline goal, the more fundamental objective of the technology is eliminating friction. This translates into both a more secure experience for online and mobile banking customers and e-commerce consumers, as well as a more efficient and seamless transacting process.

BioCatch cyber strategy chief Uri Rivner suggested as much in an interview with Gigaom. "The problem today is not necessarily fraud, but (that) they want to make sure it's really you, so they add a lot of security, which is friction."

"We've demonstrated that we can reduce that friction and operational costs."

Founded in 2011, BioCatch will make its Finovate debut this September. To take advantage of early-bird pricing to the New York City event, register here.
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Taulia, a company that aims to ease cash flow issues faced by small and medium sized businesses, announced today it raised $27 million in Series D funding.

This newest installment, which brings Taulia's total funding to $67.2 million, comes from QuestMark Partners, which led the round, and existing investors Trinity Ventures, Matrix Partners, Lakestar and DAG Ventures.

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When Taulia launched in 2009, its primary service was Dynamic Discounting, a product that helps suppliers receive faster cash flow, and gives buyers more flexibility and discounts if they pay early. Now Taulia offers seven products, including einvoicing and supplier management tools that help small businesses interact with their suppliers.

Of the 225,000 suppliers on Taulia's platform, 55 rank among the largest corporate companies. The San Francisco-based company plans to use the funding to sign more large corporate clients and expand into Asia.

Taulia is now valued at $200 million.

To learn more about Taulia, check out its FinovateSpring 2012 demo where it debuted its Early Payment Network.

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We recently caught up with Jim Collas, founder, president, and CEO of OnBudget. The San Diego-based company made its Finovate debut at our Spring show, demoing its Budgeting Solution.

OnBudget takes the tried-and-true Envelope Budgeting System used by our parents and grandparents and updates it for the 21st century. The technology consists of a prepaid card for daily purchases and a mobile app that automatically sets up a budget.

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Finovate: You demoed OnBudget at FinovateSpring in April. What was the question you heard most frequently from attendees?

Collas: The most frequently asked question from people who saw us at Finovate was, "How is this different from other PFM tools, like Mint." 

It's a good question, and rather than focus on a person's total financial life, OnBudget is completely focused on daily living expenses. Since the OnBudget platform is connected directly to the prepaid card processing systems, we get real-time transaction information, which allows us to present real-time notices and trends, including a "Left to Spend" amount for each budget category that's always up-to-the-second accurate.

Beyond that, it's effortless to set up. Unlike most PFM tools, a user doesn't have to input any account information or spending data. Perhaps most importantly, it uses the prepaid card as digital envelopes, which is a huge consumer trend for segmenting, tracking and controlling spending.
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Finovate: Any news to report since April's FinovateSpring 2014?

Collas: At OnBudget, we have shifted our focus exclusively to private labeling the solution for bank partners and distributing through the banking channel. We're primarily focused on banks with assets of $10 billion and above, whose debit profits have been severely affected by the Durbin Amendment. We have significant traction with our Business Development activities and we are currently in discussions with 15 of the top 50 U.S. banks.

Finovate: What is the best way for people new to OnBudget to understand how your technology helps people better manage their finances?

Collas: People seem to get the concept and how it can hep them when we describe the service as the digital version of the Envelope Budgeting System: where a prepaid card replaces physical envelopes and the mobile app tracks various spending categories (i.e. envelopes) in real-time.
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Finovate: OnBudget is different from other prepaid cards because it's free. What's the catch - how does OnBudget make money.

Collas: Like all prepaid cards, OnBudget Card makes money on interchange fees. What sets us apart is that our mobile app motivates and compels users to use the card for all their daily living expenses, which generates significant revenues.

The average U.S. household spends $1,800 per month on the categories we track for them, which is 38% of total household spend. That generates monthly recurring interchange revenue of $22 per month per account.

Finovate: How does OnBudget remove the pain from the traditional budgeting process?

Collas: It's effortless to set up and manage a budget. The cardholder just uses the card for 30 days and the app automatically categorizes transactions, tracks the user's spending, and then suggests a budget for each of their budget categories. To adjust their budget, users can use our simple budget balancer, a slider tool that easily adjusts budgets. Meanwhile the card continues to auto-categorize spending and offer insights with no additional effort required.
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Finovate: You've mentioned that the number one reason consumers use prepaid cards is to help them budget. Why do you think this is the case?

Collas: Prepaid cards have a high propensity to help consumers budget because they are a physical metaphor for and follow the same dynamic that makes the Envelope Budgeting System so popular. Segmenting by spending buckets (envelopes) that are easily trackable makes it easy to understand and simple to use.

Finovate: Do you view OnBudget as a competitor of banks or as a more complementary solution?

Collas: Since we've shifted our focus to partnering with banks, it is totally complementary. In fact, we believe it's really compelling way for banks to regain their competitive advantage in prepaid and debit, as well as recover lost Durbin revenue. 

It also increases debit spend per household from $843 to $1,596. Banks can quadruple debit revenue on an average of roughly 90% increase in spending.

Finovate: What can we look forward to seeing from OnBudget in the second half of 2014 and into 2015?

Collas: We will be launching a version of a student and teen card, and we will be launching our private-label service with our first bank partners later this year.

Learn more about OnBudget. Watch their live demo from FinovateSpring 2014 here.

Alumni News-- July 22, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMasterCard announces strategic partnership with Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank to support card payments.
  • Finovate alums win honors at inaugural Mobile Innovations Awards event.
  • IDology teams up with CARD.com to boost activation and combat prepaid card fraud.
  • Micronotes releases Micronotes Social to retarget bank customers in their Facebook News Feed with relevant content.
  • SureSwipe Move using Handpoint to power acceptance of all major card payments.
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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Congratulations to four Finovate alums that took home top honors at the Mobile Innovations Awards.

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The Mobile Innovations Awards "pay tribute to those pushing the boundaries of what is possible using a mobile device." Focused on innovation in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, the awards are designed to help companies raise their profile in the area, as well as network with peers and potential partners.

A total of 21 awards were given: 18 mobile categories and three "special recognition awards". More about the award categories here.

The Mobile Innovations Awards is organized by the founders of The Card & Payment Awards and The Loyalty Awards. Finovate alum TSYS was a prime sponsor, and Monitise Create, another alum, was a category sponsor.

The Mobile Innovations Awards of 2015 will make its Call for Entries on November 1, with an entry deadline of February 28, 2015. EMEA-area businesses with live products or services in 2013 are eligible to apply.

See the most recent demo videos from our award-winning alums below:

Arxan Technologies (FinovateEurope 2014)
Top Image Systems (FinovateEurope 2014)

Alumni News-- July 21, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgACI Worldwide announces plans to acquire fraud prevention specialist, Retail Decisions (ReD).
  • Monitise and IBM formalize multi-year partnership to enable broader mobile banking and e-commerce technology adoption.
  • Standard Bank to be first southern African FI to offer MasterPass from MasterCard.
  • American Banker covers how Dwolla payment network enables Google Glass payment technology.
  • PBS Newshour considers how HelloWallet helps users meet their financial goals.
  • InfoWorld: Ping Identity wants to replace sign-ons with smartphones.
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.


FinovateFall2014_logo

It's summer here in Seattle. But here at Finovate, we're already looking forward to the fall.

FinovateFall 2014 will return to New York City on September 23 and 24 to showcase an interesting blend of bold startups and industry veterans.

Without any further ado, here's an introduction of the FinovateFall 2014 presenting companies:

  • Algomi is a markets social network for voice trading in professional finance.
  • AnchorID replaces all your different usernames and passwords with a single Universal Username from Anchor ID.
  • Ayasdi uses Topological Data Analysis to transform how the world uses data to solve problems.
  • Backbase provides Backbase Engage for Retail Banking, out-of-the-box widgets and industry best practices to modernize your digital retail banking experience.
  • BCSG offers unrivaled experience and expertise in helping large organizations deliver cloud-based services to their SMBs.
  • BioCatch is a leading provider of behavioral authentication and threat detection solutions for mobile and Web applications.
  • BizEquity is the ultimate lead generator for banks and financial advisors serving small business owners.
  • blooom is a whole new way to 401(k).
  • BlueVine Capital lets small business get an immediate advance on their invoices, freeing up cash for paying expenses and growing their business.
  • CR2 provides innovative self-service banking solutions including ATM, Kiosk, Internet banking and Mobile banking solutions.
  • CrowdFlower is a people-powered data enrichment platform to collect, label, and clean financial data at scale.
  • eMoney Advisor is changing the way financial advisors serve their clients.
  • eXscan is a proactive defense technology that guards against financial abuse of older Americans.
  • EyeLock is a global leader in iris-based identity authentication solutions focused on changing the way identities and information are protected.
  • FamDoo has automated the traditional allowance process and helps teach kids financial literacy.
  • Financeit is a platform that makes it easy for businesses of any size to offer consumer financing to their customers.
  • Finovera provides an online bill management and financial document storage product that complements the online banking experience.
  • Fiserv is a leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry.
  • FlexScore, the industry's first personal finance score, engages customers by recommending products via "gamification" strategies.
  • Geezeo provides a Business Financial Management platform, offering business customers predictive insight and capability beyond the expected.
  • Global Debt Registry is the independent, digital, Chain of Title tracking system for the consumer debt industry.
  • Gremln is the complete social media management tool for marketing success while maintaining regulatory compliance.
  • HedgeCoVest brings hedge funds to the investing public through its revolutionary Replicazor technology.
  • Hoyos Labs is a digital infrastructure security company with security, computer vision, biometrics, and big data experts.
  • iQuantifi is a virtual financial advisor helping young families and millennials achieve their financial goals.
  • Kabbage funds small businesses in fewer than 7 minutes.
  • Kapitall, the fusion of investing and gaming, is the next-generation financial platform for Millennials.
  • Knox Payments allows people to make ACH payments via their online banking credentials.
  • Larky helps consumers save $1,000+ per year while boosting loyalty and transaction revenue for financial institutions.
  • LendKey provides cloud-based lending solutions for 285+ banks, credit unions, and peer-to-peer lenders.
  • Linqto connects you to a live teller or loan officer from your phone or website.
  • Luxoft is a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions to a global client base consisting of multinationals.
  • Malauzai Software provides Cool SmartApps for community banks and credit unions that are easily managed and measured.
  • MasterCard is a technology company in the global payments industry.
  • Matchi is a global innovation matchmaking platform that brings the best minds in banking and the world's brilliant innovators together.
  • MaxMyInterest is an intelligent cash management solution that helps you earn more on FDIC-insured bank deposits, automatically.
  • mCASH lets you pay to anyone. Anytime.
  • Minetta Brook is augmented intelligence for surfacing trading ideas from real-time developing news.
  • Misys Digital Channels is the leading innovators of digital banking technology for financial institutions.
  • MoneyStream is a next-generation PFM service that lets consumers see and manage their day-to-day spending in one place.
  • NICE Systems gets you closer to your customers, analyzing every interaction and transaction to build a detailed picture of the customer journey.
  • NopSec is a vulnerability risk management software-as-a-service that helps businesses to reduce IT cyber-risk by remediating the vulnerabilities that matter most.
  • Patch of Land is crowdfunding's leading peer-to-peer real estate lending marketplace.
  • PayItSimple enables merchants to offer their customers the option of paying for purchases in installments via the customer's existing credit card, interest free.
  • Powerlytics is a market intelligence platform that powers better decisions by using the most accurate comprehensive business and consumer finance data available.
  • Progresso Financiero is the leader in responsible and affordable small dollar credit for underserved Hispanics.
  • Rippleshot reduces 25+% of fraud losses by uncovering merchant data breaches and stopping card fraud.
  • SelfScore is a better way of qualifying credible young people. We are like FICO for millennials.
  • Sonavation is a pioneer in advanced biometric authentication solutions leveraging patented deep scan imaging and data encryption technologies.
  • Sr. Pago is a mobile payments platform for the unbanked in Mexico.
  • Thinknum is a web platform to value companies.
  • TickSmith makes financial big data usable with its big data platform.
  • Toopher is the most usable and most secure multifactor solution for logins and critical action authentication.
  • Top Image Systems is an innovator of enterprise solutions for managing and validating content entering organizations from various sources.
  • True Potential is one of the UK's fastest-growing and most innovative financial services technology groups.
  • Vantiv is a leading integrated payment processor focused on helping its clients be more successful.
  • VerifyValid is an innovator in providing electronic check payments for businesses, consumers, banks and their customers.
  • WingCash is a unique payment and promotion platform allowing individuals and businesses to pay one another with cash from mobile devices.
  • Yodlee is a Financial Cloud, powering digital financial innovation globally.
  • Zenmonics & Diebold combine to pioneer technology that innovates customer engagement within the branch.
In addition to the companies listed above, we'll have a few more stealth companies to announce as we get closer to the event.

Be sure to stay tuned for our Sneak Peek series, which will help you get to know each company in advance of the show.

Join us in New York! Get your ticket to FinovateFall 2014 before August 16 to qualify for Early Bird savings.


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Less than a month after being acquired by Intuit, Check has announced that it is expanding the beta program for its latest innovation: photo bill pay.

Starting this week, tens of thousands of Android users will have the opportunity to take Check's photo bill pay technology for a trial run. The company hopes to have its photo bill pay solution available on all platforms by the end of the year.

check_photobillpay_screenshot
How does Check's photo bill pay work? Start with an Android smartphone, an installed Check app, and an unpaid bill. Users open the camera icon on the app, and then take a photo of the bill with their smartphone. The next screen provides the user with some basic information, as well as a scanned copy of the bill.

Consumers can pay with whatever payment method they prefer, such as a bank account or credit card. The bill can be paid immediately or scheduled for payment at a later date.

As Check sees it, not only is photo bill pay a great convenience for the consumer, but also the technology supports the company's mission to promote a paper-free world when it comes to managing personal finances.

Note that the photo bill pay technology is free to use and works with any payment method.

Launched in 2008 under the name Pageonce and demoing under that name at FinovateFall 2010, the company rebranded as Check in the summer of 2013. It was acquired by Intuit in May 2014. The company has more than 11 million users. Guy Goldstein is CEO.

Alumni News-- July 18, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgInnotribe finalists include early stage companies CurrencyTransfer and LendingRobot.
  • Innotribe finalists include growth stage companies Advanced Merchant Payments, Fastacash, Mambu, and Wallaby.
  • Pymnts talks with PaySimple CEO and founder Eric Remer to discuss how PaySimple looks at B2B payments.
  • Check announces major expansion of photo bill pay beta.
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.
DashlaneLogo.jpg

Password management platform Dashlane recently released an update that will give organizations more control over accounts that need to be shared across team members.

The New York-based company's latest release will include three major upgrades:

1) Sharing Center, a dashboard that displays all of a user's accounts synched with Dashlane. It enables them to share the passwords with others, automatically informing all users when a shared password changes.

From the Sharing Center, users can also manage access levels, giving others full rights or limited rights to the password.

2) Emergency Contacts gives users the ability to provide a trusted emergency contact with access to select accounts in case of emergency.

3) View Password History gives users a comprehensive view of all of the passwords they have previously held in Dashlane.
 

In addition to the new sharing functionality, it is also releasing an upgrade to its user interface.

Dashlane was founded in 2009. At FinovateEurope 2013 it demoed how its online and mobile interfaces make online transactions easier and faster.

Alumni News-- July 17, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgPaySimple to enable SMBs to accept payments and automate billing under Zen Planner's software solution.
  • Dashlane launches password management for teams.
  • Top Image Systems acquires eGistics for $18 million.
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.

zooz_logo_new

Almost a year ago to the day, we featured Zooz CEO Oren Levy as part of our CEO interview series.

Today, we learn that the e-commerce payments innovator has announced a new $12 million investment, courtesy of a funding round led by Blumberg Capital. Zooz's total capital now stands at more than $30 million.

Existing investors participating in the round were lool ventures, Rhodium, and XSeed Capital. New investors included Access Industries and Camp One Ventures. Zooz plans to use the new capital to further develop its technology, as well as to support the company's growth as it looks to add new offices and scale up operations.
Zooz_homepage_new
Speaking of the funding, Zooz CEO Oren Levy pointed to the challenges of "globalization, omni-channel retail, and coordination between multiple financial institutions" to help explain his company's mission - and its attractiveness to investors. By providing retailers with greater payment flexibility, Zooz helps businesses grow revenues, gain new customers, and participate in new markets. 

Blumberg Capital's Alon Lifshitz added:

"There is clearly a need for an advanced payment technology that can help businesses stay ahead of their competition through optimization and technology differentiation, and that is where Zooz excels."

Zooz enables enterprise-class retailers to optimize their payment process through a broad network of acquirers and payment methods. Zooz helps companies access these acquirers and methods, as well as making it easy for new acquirers and methods to be added and integrated into the network. The company's Smart Routing solution allows retailers to achieve and provide a consistent, cross-channel payment experience for both sides of the transaction.

Zooz was founded in 2010. The company made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2013, showing its Global Payments Platform.

Alumni News-- July 16, 2016

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgpeerTransfer and Nelnet expand partnership, enhancing international payment options for educational institutions.
  • Xero MD Chris Ridd featured on Qantas radio. Check out Xero at FinDEVr, the first event for fintech developers.
  • Micronotes releases Mobile-SMS to automate the referral process through the mobile SMS channel to drive more sales.
  • Lendio launches program for brokers that helps more SMBs find financing by giving brokers and ISOs access to Lendio's lending options.
  • New app from The Members Group alerts Google Glass wearers if a Dwolla-accepting merchant is nearby.
  • mBank deploys authentication technology from HID Global.
  • Jack Henry launches jhaEnterprise Workflow solution.
  • Coinbase integration brings bitcoin payments to Shopify merchants.
  • Zooz raises $12 million in round led by Blumberg Capital.
  • MasterCard's MasterPass to enable in-app payments by August.
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.
Coinbase_lo_res_logo

If you're a merchant on the Shopify e-commerce platform with a hankering to join the cryptocurrency revolution, then Coinbase has some very good news for you.

Thanks to a new integration of Coinbase's technology, the more than 100,000 merchants that rely on Shopify to do business online will be able to start accepting payment in bitcoin as early as Tuesday.

The process involves setting up a Coinbase account, initiating the integration on Shopify, providing account credentials, and that's it. Already on board are merchants such as Leap Motion, Soylent, and iOgrapher.
coinbase_homepage
Coinbase is a bitcoin payment processing and digital wallet platform that makes bitcoin transactions easier and safer. The company holds more than one million consumer wallets, and enables more than 28,000 merchants to accept payment in bitcoin. There are no fees charged for the first $1,000,000 in transactions, with merchants paying a 1% exchange fee beyond that amount. Coinbase's most recent innovation, demoed at FinovateSpring in San Jose this year, is called Instant Exchange and helps remove exchange rate risk from bitcoin transactions.

Coinbase has had a busy first half of 2014. The company's technology was integrated with Intuit's PayByCoin in June. And Coinbase earned a spot on CNBC's Disruptor 50 list shortly after announcing its acquisition of Kippt in May.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase was co-founded by Brian Armstrong (CEO) and Fred Ehrsam (President).



Developers! Curious how Coinbase makes it easy for merchants to add bitcoin payment functionality to their businesses and apps? Learn more about Coinbase's Bitcoin API here. And be sure to check out our FinDEVr page for updates on the first event for fintech developers.

Alumni News-- July 15, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgHow Big is the Braintree SDK? PayPal's Acquisition Launches Toolkit Reboot.
  • Fiserv partners with ChannelNet to provide self-service options for LoanLink borrowers.
  • MasterCard introduces its MasterPass e-commerce technology in South Africa.
  • Upstart Business Journal features Taulia.
  • TSYS' ProPay partners with ThreatMetrix to provide fraud prevention solutions to its customers.
  • Top Image Systems announces appointment of Lyron Bentovim to CFO.
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.
Thumbnail image for BraintreeLogo2.jpg

For all the anticipation of draft day, there's nothing like the excitement on the day when fans get to see the new addition finally take the field.

That team is PayPal and their newest addition, Braintree has just made its first big play: v.zero.

V.zero is a major overhaul of Braintree's Software Development Kit (SDK) that puts PayPal integration front and center for app developers eager to add in-app payment functionality to their solutions.

Thumbnail image for PayPalLogo.jpg
Writing at the Braintree v.zero blog, Ben Mills and Tony Pitluga point to the new SDK as a major, post-acquisition goal. "From the moment we joined forces with PayPal in December 2013, we have been working hard to make accepting PayPal as simple as we made accepting credit cards."

Braintree also provides a Sandbox to let developers test v.zero without needing a PayPal account. The SDK offers both online/web integration via Javascript, and mobile by way of Android and iOS. A complete PayPal integration guide is available here.
BraintreeSDK1
Here's a look at some of the issues raised in the coverage of the announcement late last week.

Forbes focused on the "D" in Braintree's SDK, making the point that the new tools will make it that much easier for mobile app developers to get paid for their work. This is no accident. Forbes notes how Braintree is pursuing the "long tail" of startups whose services tend to require "payments on the spot" and are "built exclusively for smarphones."

Forbes also highlights on beta tester, retailer Jane.com. The company says that it now gets 11% of its sales through PayPal since integrating Braintree's new tools.
BraintreeSDK2
TechCrunch makes sure to put the new SDK in the context of the recent acquisition that brought Braintree into the PayPal tent. In addition to noting that the SDK is the "first significant product announcement" since the acquisition, TechCrunch underscores how the technology has been "rebuilt from the ground up."

The goal of the rebuilding is to make it easier and faster for merchants to integrate the tools into their own systems. Speed (10-15 minutes) is one factor, but TechCrunch also noted features like the "drop-in" user interface that makes it easier for smaller startups to further minimize the time spent in integration.

TechCrunch's reporting also provides a handful of interesting quotes from PayPal CEO, Bill Ready. In particular, Ready's idea of being able to change payment methods in app as simply as "flipping a switch" is part of what he considers "future proofing" the technology.
Braintree3
And with a bit of prompting, it is clear that the future Ready is proofing for includes everything from international commerce, non-card payments, and even crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

We also get the names of some additional beta testers, with Chargify, GitHub, and ParkWhiz also reportedly taking v.zero out for a spin. Twilio is also said to be planning to integrate the SDK.

Other interesting observations included a note in VentureBeat that PayPal's current mobile API will continue to exist. But that it is clear that the v.zero will be treated as the "preferred way to integrate PayPal" going forward.

Founded in 2007, Braintree demoed its recently-acquired Venmo Touch technology at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. See the company on stage here.



And if you like coverage of developer issues, then you'll love FinDEVr. Brought to you by a team from Finovate, FinDEVr is the first event for fintech developers and will take place September 30 and October 1 in San Francisco. Take a look at some of the innovators who are already on board:
Join us! Early bird discounts are in place until July 25. Visit our registration page here to save your spot.

Alumni News-- July 14, 2014

  • Webster Bank to deploy online banking platform from ACI Worldwide.
  • MasterCard's e-commerce enabler MasterPass launches in Poland.
  • Wall Street Journal features Klarna and its plans for expansion.
  • WSJ features BehavioSec. Get a closer look at BehavioSec at the very first FinDEVr.
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.
FinDEVr Logo

In late May, we were very excited announce the launch of our new event series called FinDEVr which is focused on the latest tools, APIs, and platforms for fintech builders -- i.e. developers, VPs of engineering, software architects and CTOs -- because we were sure it was a missing piece of the innovation ecosystem.

After two months and a ton of conversations, it is clear that the event has struck a nerve with the market as the response has been tremendous and momentum has been building with every week.

We already have commitments from top-notch presenting sponsors like TD Ameritrade, Yodlee, PayPal, Xero, Avoka, FinancialApps, Cardflight, Behaviosec, Mifos Initiative, Modo Payments, and Cloud Lending -- with many more to come.

In addition, tickets have been selling strongly and we're pleased to be projecting an audience of 400-500 for the debut event in San Francisco on September 30 - October 1st. The room is going to be packed with developers and technical execs from startups as well as financial institutions like CIBC, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, USAA, Capital One, and Western Union.

If you and/or your technical colleagues are interested in attending to learn about the latest innovations for fintech builders, tickets are on sale at the super early-bird price of $300 off through Friday July 25th. And if you're a company with an innovative API, platform or tool for building the next generation of fintech, we're still accepting applications to present through July 31st -- please email sanfran@findevr.com for more details.

We'll see you there!

FinDEVr San Francisco 2014's industry sponsor is: Life.SREDA

FinDEVr San Francisco 2014 is partners with: BankersHub, BayPay Forum, California Bankers Association, fin-tech.org, Hotwire, Mercator, PaymentWeek & The Paypers

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Thanks to Personal Capital, when it comes to finance and investing, you can take it with you.

Personal Capital announced yesterday that its finance management app is now available on Android's smart watch, Android Wear.

Personal Capital Chief Product Officer Jim Del Favero called wearable devices "the next evolution of mobile."  When users have Personal Capital on their Android Wear device, they can access a full suite of PFM functionality with them wherever they go.

The free app is available for download in the Google Play Store. Features include:

    • YouIndex: end of the day notification feature that compares your portfolio (your "YouIndex") to the S&P 500 and other stock market indices
    • Advice and Alerts: personalized notifications for goal-tracking
    • Actionable Information: an omni-channel experience that allows users to access the app on more than one device
Personal_Capital_homepage
Part of a growing ecosystem of alternative investment management services, Personal Capital differs from so-called "robo-advisors" by not just relying on algorithms to make investment decisions. Technology plays a role, of course. Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris said in a June interview with CNBC that automated tools helped "discipline" the investment process, and refers to his company as "technology-assisted." But in combining technology with what he calls "sophisticated and customized management" Personal Capital brings a wealth management model that has worked for high net worth individuals to a broader, "mass affluent" market.

Personal Capital is headquartered in Redwood City, California, and was founded in 2009. The company last demoed at the FinovateSpring conference in San Jose earlier this year. See a video of the company on stage here.
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