Finovate - Conferences Showcasing the Future of Financial & Banking Technology
Check out FinDEVr


TopicsTopics   TopicsArchives  
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for TrueOfficeLogo.jpg

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. And apparently, the New York Stock Exchange thinks the same thing when it comes to gamification and compliance training.

This week we learned that the NYSE has acquired True Office for an undisclosed sum. True Office, which demoed its technology as part of FinovateEurope 2013, specializes in using gamification to help companies and institutions provide regulatory compliance training to their employees.

"I think we're all guilty of actually gaming the system, having the training on a second screen and flicking through it as fast as an iTunes agreement," True Office founder and CEO Adam Sodowich said from the stage at the 2013 conference. "And companies are spending vast amounts of time and treasure in this area with little or no return on their investment."

True Office puts a human face on regulatory and compliance issues, using simulations and scenarios to challenge understanding on issues ranging from money laundering and bribery to KYC and authentication. The interface is designed to make the experience interesting and engaging for workers, while giving administrators quantifiable ROI through real-time testing, assessment, and risk analytics.

Tellingly, True Office was accompanied in its FinovateEurope 2013 presentation by Thomson Reuters, a heavyweight in the financial services industry and fellow Finovate alum. Given True Office's relationship with Thomson Reuters - the technology demoed was the True Office | Thomson Reuters Anti Money Laundering desktop and mobile app - it becomes easier to see how and why the NYSE's interest in the company would have been piqued.

The goal is to add True Office to the mix of products and services currently offered by NYSE Governance Services. Scott Hill, CFO of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the NYSE, referred to the acquisition in an earnings call earlier this month as a way to "enhance our role as thought leaders in the Governance Risk Compliance setting."

True Office was founded in January 2010, and is headquartered in New York. 

Finovate Debuts: BlueVine

The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. Today's feature is BlueVine, which demonstrated its credit line for small businesses at FinovateFall 2014.


BlueVine provides small businesses (SMBs), who often have uneven cashflow, with financing to manage operations. By automatically connecting with the SMB's accounting software, BlueVine furnishes cash for business' unpaid invoices in as quickly as a day.


    • 17 employees
    • $5.5 million in funding
    • Founded July 2013

Top 3 benefits

1) Fast funding
To minimize manual input, BlueVine connects to the small business' accounting software to access unpaid invoices.

The screenshot below shows the user dashboard, which lists all invoices available for instant financing, indicated by the Get paid now button on the right.


The first time the SMB requests funds, they indicate where to send the money, which can arrive as quickly as 24 hours. Subsequent funding requests take only minutes.

2) Simple and transparent
BlueVine's payment calculator is an example of its simplicity. It requires only two inputs, the amount of the invoice and the due date.

It also shows the advance payment, which equals 85% of the invoice, and is the maximum amount they can receive upfront, alongside the rebate, the amount the SMB receives once the invoice is paid.


BlueVine has no set up or subscription dues, and is transparent about its fees. The Funded section of the dashboard details the cash advance, repayment history, and total fees.


3) 100% online; no paperwork
The BlueVine application process requires two forms, one for business details (see below) and another with personal information.

BlueVineBusinessform.jpgSMBs upload additional information, such as bank statements, online.

BlueVine demonstrated at FinovateFall 2014, check out the video here.


A few weeks ago we reported how international money transfer innovator, TransferWise was taking to the streets of London on the eve of Halloween to protest hidden fees in the money transfer industry.

Today, we're back to report that the fight is still on.

On Thursday, TransferWise launched the next stage in its offensive to bring greater transparency to bank and brokerage fees. The company hosted an event at Westminster, unveiled an online petition calling for the end of hidden fees, and earned a statement of support from Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Digital Government:

"After the Libor and forex scandals, public confidence in foreign exchange transactions is at an all time low. So I welcome TransferWise's campaign for greater transparency. I want UK holiday makers to get the best deal possible - and know what they are being charged."

TransferWise issued a three-point manifesto calling on banks and brokers to:
    • Provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with every transaction
    • Publish the difference between the exchange rate offered by the provider and the true, mid-market rate
    • Put an end to the use of misleading terms such as "free" and "0% commission" where hidden charges are applied.
Co-Founder of TransferWise Taavet Hinrikus said, "In fact, hidden fees are so pervasive in the industry, we sometimes struggle to convince potential customers that 'free' or '0% commission' services aren't free at all."

"Our polling shows that 58% of Brits would consider shopping around for their financial services if they could compare prices more easily," he added.

Based in London and founded in 2010, TransferWise was last on the Finovate stage for the London conference in 2013. See a video of the company's demonstration from FinovateEurope here.

Alumni News-- November 21, 2014

  • migrates client base of 1,000+ freelancers and contractors to the FreeAgent platform.
  • Uber helping drivers manage and pay back their student loans by partnering with
  • Actiance recognized in Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving.
  • Bloomberg: CAN Capital to weigh IPO with up to $2 billion value.
  • Intuit's Quickbooks and Xero coming to Square App Marketplace.
  • PayStand sets flat fees for e-check payment option.
  • Virtual Piggy, provider of Oink, launches the Oink Discover prepaid card for teens.
  • Fiserv links its Popmoney P2P payment solution to charitable giving.
  • Yodlee wins top honors at Citi Mobile Challenge Latam 2014.
  • Bazaarvoice announces plans to relocated to new corporate HQ in North Austin.
  • Kashoo announces enhancements to its web app, including more P&L options and increased security.
  • VoiceTrust launches strategic partnership with German biometric cloud security company, BioID AG.
  • The Washington Post features Bionym's Nymiband.
  • Accenture mentions Thinknum as an innovation that is helping to change the banking industry.
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.

Finovate Debuts: SelfScore


The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. SelfScore demonstrated its consumer analytics service designed to supplement FICO scores with its "scoring as a service" approach.

SelfScore is a consumer analytics service that uses a proprietary algorithm to combine online profiles, phone and sensor data, psychometric questions, and 360-degree feedback from one's network to provide insights. The resulting SelfScore can be used in a variety of consumer and business contexts, such as credit scoring, to yield a broader picture of a potential applicant, consumer, or business partner.

The Stats
    • Founded in January 2013
    • Headquartered in Palo Alto, California
    • Kalpesh Kapadia is CEO and Co-Founder
    • 10 employees
    • Partnerships include: AT&T, Fenway Summer, GradGuard, International Student Insurance
The Story
Consider the case of international students who come to the United States for graduate school. Many of these students were the smartest and hardest workers from their home countries and, further, have been vetted in many ways en route to being admitted to American universities and securing visas. International graduate students disproportionately pursue degrees in science, technology, and business fields that tend to yield high starting salaries.

But despite all these indicators of future success, international students who are new to the U.S. experience many difficulties and have a hard time finding fair deals on the services that are essential to life in modern America: things like credit cards, affordable health insurance, and smartphone contracts.
And while international graduate students are only a small portion of the underbanked in America, SelfScore's research suggests that college students from the US face many of the same challenges. They have many predictors of financial success, but they face the same chicken and egg problem - you need credit to get credit.

"We believe that with new advances in social web and smartphones, it is now possible to attain a complete, timely, and accurate picture of consumer behavior that benefits both consumers and businesses," said SelfScore CEO and Co-Founder Kalpesh Kapadia. In the long term, Kapadia thinks that tools such as SelfScore can be used to augment FICO and other traditional scoring methods. As more and more institutions begin to see what their current scoring strategies are missing, the demand for dynamic, comprehensive scores that incorporate social data could grow.

The Solution
To get a free SelfScore, users answer 24 questions at The questions range from the financial ("Does your credit card limit affect your spending habits?") to general attitudes about life ("Do you believe that most people are more or less trustworthy?") to the more personal ("What do you do when you are stressed?"). 

After you've answered the questions, SelfScore reveals your score and presents a set of offers you qualify for. My SelfScore of 457 merited an offer for a credit card and another to save $500 on a smartphone. 

Each offer is designed to be relevant to the needs of the current target demographic for foreign graduate students. SelfScore also provides a peer ranking as well, in which I learned that my financial score of 73 is above the average of 50, but my 250 Facebook friends is below the average of 340.

"In a sense, we are giving the user a comprehensive measure of their life and various dimensions of their life, and relative strengths," Kapadia said.  He notes that some attributes may be more valuable than others, and suggests this reflects the great flexibility of the platform. 

The Future
SelfScore is working to establish mutually beneficial partnerships.The company is especially interested in meeting with lenders, insurers, and companies in the post-paid billing space that might be interested in "supplementing" their current financial metrics. "We want to serve tomorrow's prime customers today," Kapadia said.

Another objective is to expand their portfolio of  offers. The company currently features an AT&T subsidized smartphone offer and a credit card program, and affordable health insurance will be added soon. 
"There are 75 million underbanked customers in the U.S. right now," Kapadia explained. "A third or 25 million of which would otherwise be categorized as 'good apples' who are generally being ignored because of a lack of credit history. At SelfScore, it is our mission to serve this deserving but underserved population."

Watch a video of SelfScore's live demo from FinovateFall 2014

Yesterday, as we began looking forward to FinovateEurope, we heard news from a 2014 alum, Advanced Merchant Payments (AMP).

AMP, a company that provides banks with alternative lending options for small-and-medium (SMB) businesses, pulled in a fresh $5 million this week. The funding, a first for the Hong Kong-based company, comes from SBT Venture Capital.

AMP operates in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines, and has recently expanded into the UK, participating in London's Level39 fintech accelerator. It plans to use the funding to further internationalize and scale the business.


Founded in 2009, AMP helps financial institutions offer financing to small business customers by managing some or all stages of the loan process, including:

    • Qualification
    • Verification
    • Credit scoring
    • Approval
    • Disbursement
    • Daily repayment
    • Risk monitoring

AMP debuted its small business lending solution for banks at FinovateEurope 2014.

Thumbnail image for fintechfunding_license.jpg
With no blockbuster fundings ($25 mil+), the weekly total of $75 million was the fourth-lowest since we began tracking August 1. However, the overall number of companies was 14, making it a busy week. 

And we were glad to see one Finovate alum, Advance Merchant Payments ($5 mil) on the list. In addition, there was a future Finovate alum, Buttercoin. The hot cryptocurrency startup will be demoing at FinovateEurope in February. 

Here are the deals in order of size from Nov. 15 to Nov 21

Value exchange technology
Latest round: $21 million
Total raised: $21 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain, payments, Montreal, Canada
Source: Crunchbase

Merchant advances in the digital media industry
Latest round: $15 million
Total raised: $50 million
Tags: Lending, merchant, credit, underwriting, Beverly Hills, California
Source: Crunchbase

Zibby, integrated lease-to-own financing for online purchases
Latest round: $10 million (includes some debt)
Total raised: $10 million (includes some debt)
Tags: Lending, ecommerce, shopping, credit, New York City
Source: FT Partners

Home search platform
Latest round: $6.0 million
Total raised: $7.1 million
Tags: Real estate, home buying, mortgage, Mountain View, California
Source: Crunchbase
Powers small unsecured SMB loans at banks
Latest round: $5.0 million
Total raised: $5.0 million
Tags: Lending, Alt-lending, SMB, underwriting, installment loans, Hong Kong, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Working capital financing through accounts payable financing
Latest round: $4.7 million
Total raised: $4.7 million
Tags: Financing, billing, credit, accounts payables, London, UK
Source: Crunchbase

Commercial loan and lease information provider
Latest round: $4.4 million
Total raised: $10 million
Tags: Commerial lending, underwriting, data, real estate, New York City
Source: Crunchbase

French online and mobile payments processor
Latest round: $4.1 million
Total raised: $6.8 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, digital, merchants, acquiring, SMB, Paris, France
Source: FT Partners

Automated hedge fund investing
Latest round: $2.0 million
Total raised: $2.0 million
Tags: Investing, hedge funds, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

White pages directory for Bitcoin
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.6 million
Tags: Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, identity, New York City
Source: Crunchbase

Automated investment research
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.5 million
Tags: Investing, information, Palo Alto, California
Source: Crunchbase

New Zealand equity crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $100,000
Total raised: $100,000
Tags: Crowdfunding, SMB, P2P, lending, credit, investing, Wellington, New Zealand
Source: Crunchbase

Open-source digital trading engine
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $1.3+ million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, payments, YC, Palo Alto, California, Finovate alum (see at FinovateEurope 2015)
Source: FT Partners

Spanish Bitcoin company focusing on P2P transfers
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Undisclosed
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, payments, remittances, Bankinter (investor), Spain
Source: FT Partners

Thumbnail image for KenshoLogo.jpg

Global analytics and intelligence systems specialist Kensho has entered into a strategic partnership with NBCUniversal News Group. As part of the arrangement, Kensho has formed a "multi-faceted content and product agreement" with financial news network, CNBC.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Touting the agreement as a first-ever in the business, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel suggested that while the company was committed to "innovation from within", the opportunity to work with Kensho would provide "unique analysis" to its viewers. SVP and General Manager for CBNC Digital, Kevin Krim, added "our transformative collaboration with Kensho enables us to empower our audience to make sense and money from any event, whether expected or unexpected."

Talking about the partnership, Kensho CEO Daniel Nadler put his company's technology in the broader historical context of efforts to provide financial information to investors. Citing CNBC's role in helping bring televised stock tickers to investors back in the 1990s, Nadler credited the company for "advancing the movement toward more transparent markets." What Kensho will add, he explained, was "the power of statistics to gain context and make better, faster, more-informed decisions." 

The specific components of the partnership include the debut of Kensho Stats Box, a technology that will be made available to CNBC's journalists and anchors. The Stats Box, launching November 20, will provide research and analytics insights geared toward actionable, market-moving events. In return, CNBC will give Kensho access to its breaking news and financial market coverage, which will be integrated into the Kensho Professional Platform for FIs.

Kensho combines "massively-parallel" statistical computing with innovations in unstructured data engineering to provide financial professionals with a unique analytics platform for guiding investments. By providing real-time solutions to complex, natural language, financial questions posed to it, Kensho aims to bring both greater transparency and deeper insight to the relationships between geopolitics, the natural and business worlds, and the markets.

Founded in 2013 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kensho demoed an implementation of the technology called Warren at FinovateEurope 2014 in London. In January, Kensho raised $10 million in seed funding.

Alumni News-- November 20, 2014

  • 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.jpgPrivatbank customers can now use MoneyGram to send and receive funds courtesy of new partnership.
  • Financial Times Technology section looks at UK fintech startups TransferWise and Azimo.
  • CurrencyTransfer recognized by Secret Tel Aviv as Olim Business of the Week.
  • USA Today column on millennials and saving featured Tom White, CEO of iQuantifi.
  • TransferWise helps lead fight for foreign exchange fee transparency.
  • iBillionaire's Index has increased 16.5% since launching in November of last year
  • Swipely now managing $4+ billion in annual sales, doubles sales under management in 6 months,  and provides businesses with insights on 20+ million customers.
  • Numerous Finovate and FinDEVr alums make AWI's list of top 50 fintech innovators.
  • Advanced Merchant Payments brings in $5 Million in First Funding Round.
  • Kony helps Farmatodo increase customer loyalty and deliver new services via mobile apps.
  • Coinbase teams with Rewardspay to create workaround to make purchases on Facebook and iTunes with Bitcoin.
  • TSYS offers merchants and partners an omni payments solution with more ways to accept payments.
  • $493 million in P2P loans originated on Prosper in Q3 2014.
  • Credit Sesame wins 2014 U.S. Mobile and App Design Awards in Financial and Information Tools category.
  • BancVue wins four MarCom Gold awards.
  • Kensho launches strategic partnership with NBCUniversal.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

In eleven weeks, more than 70 companies will step onto the FinovateEurope stage at Old Billingsgate Market Hall in London to demo the freshest solutions in fintech.

Come join us on February 10 and 11. Right now, you can save £200 on a ticket with Very Early Bird pricing.


This has been our most competitive show outside the U.S. so far. The tall stacks of quality demo applications made it difficult to decide who should showcase their newest technology at FinovateEurope.

Without further ado, here are the presenting companies for FinovateEurope 2015:

AdviceGames develops gamified tooling based on data models, specialized in motivational risk games.

Aire is an alternative credit score to help people without any past credit history.

Akamai provides cloud services for delivering, optimising and securing online content and business applications.

AlphaPoint powers the top global digital currency exchanges with its white-label technology platform.

Avoka delivers SaaS-based customer experience management, enhancing multi-channel digital transactions around financial products and services.

Backbase is launching Backbase Journey Manager, giving banks insight and power to optimize omni-channel customer journeys.

Barzahlen - Cash Payment Solutions replaces traditional banking branches through offering consumers to cash-in / cash-out at 3,400 POS or 15,000 cashiers nationwide.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia's most customer-connected bank.

BizEquity is the ultimate lead generator for banks and 
financial advisors serving small business owners.

C24 is a "smart" digital money platform for managing your bills, transfers and wishes.

CashSentinel enables secure, large payments with mobile phones, all in real time.

CPB Software's expertise, creativity and flexibility are the bases to solutions for its partner banks.

CREALOGIX offers digital banking with added value for the customer and the bank.

Delta Bank is a fast developing Ukrainian bank with a focus on universal payment services.

ebankIT is a software banking company, specialized in multichannel innovation - mobile banking, internet banking on wearable tech, among others.

Encap Security is the only internet scale, device-based, banking-grade authentication platform provider in the world.

eRipple redefines mentorship. We change the fabric of corporates by helping talent and experts connect.

EVRY's Spendific is the personal trainer for your finances. Know your money. Spend Freely.

Financial Media Solutions brings financial content and analysis to life, in a mobile world.

Fiserv continues to lead the way in digital banking and electronic payment innovations.

Five Degrees invigorates banks with Matrix; banking out-of-the-box and in the Cloud.

FOBISS develops Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies that drive smarter business decisions within the retail banking industry.

IDmission offers the modern enterprise an identity-initiated means of engaging with their customers and partners.

Intelligent Environments provides secure mobile and online solutions for financial service providers.

investUP is the future of crowdfunding, ensuring that investors never miss out on debt and equity deals.

InvoiceSharing enables improved invoice processing and cash flow by sharing free electronic invoices.

iSignthis keeps your identity secured, your payments made safe.

Ixaris Systems provides the components and tools needed to build complex payment solutions rapidly and cost-effectively.

Luminous solves problems for banks, its aim is to drive transformation and innovation in banking.

mBank & i3D mBank is the third Polish retail banking group with over 4.5M customers - consistently deemed as a financial sector innovator.

Meniga is the European market leader of white-label PFM and next-generation online banking solutions.

Mobino enables mobile payments for 5 billion people, from any phone, no credit card required.

MoneyHub empowers users to make better financial decisions and plan more effectively for their future.

mydesq provides solutions for wealth managers. It powers your success.

Nostrum Group's technology makes lending cheaper, faster and safer.

Novabase Business Solutions strives to make people's lives simpler and happier through technology and a co-creative design approach. enables users to securely and quickly transfer or share money with their friends on social networks, such as Facebook.

PhotoPay is the easiest way to pay bills and enter payment data on mobile devices.

Pirean is a leading software and services provider for people-focused Identity and Access Management solutions.

Quantitative Credit Research delivers next generation technology for smarter credit risk management.

Quisk enables banks to offer cash-less transactions for anyone with a mobile phone number.

Revolut is your personal money cloud.

SAS Games develops TiViTz College $avings Game-a-thon - a fully-automated, activity-based, fundraising tool for financial savings vehicles.

Sedicii delivers strong authentication for mobile and web enabled services without ever exposing your password.

SOFORT Banking is the leading non-bank Online Banking ePayment system in Europe and works instantly.

Strands is a global provider of personalization and recommendation solutions that empower banks to offer a superior customer experience. is a social-lending marketplace where retail and institutional investors compete to fund loans to U.S. small businesses.

Taulia transforms supply chains, enabling organisations to create a healthy relationship between suppliers and buyers.

Telenor Banka powered by Asseco will present an innovative financial product offering, driven by telco-bank synergy, powered by Asseco SEE digital banking technology.

Temenos is the market leading provider of banking software systems to financial institutions across the globe.

Topicus provides premier innovative, cloud-based banking software, under the guiding principle: we challenge, you win.

TradeRiver Finance is a secure, non-bank, online solution which finances and executes global trade transactions. 

TransferTo enables value remittance across borders.

Trunomi's innovative B2ME technology transforms the Know Your Customer market using secure online identity management.

VIPERA is a market leading enabler of mobile financial solutions and customer engagement.

Wipro is leading IT, Consulting and Business Process Services company that delivers solutions to enable its clients do business better.

WS Integration solves complex data processing issues in the post-trade execution.

Xignite provides real-time and reference financial market data to fuel FinTech innovation.

Xsolla is re-inventing e-commerce.

Yoyo is the first app that seamlessly blends payments, loyalty, and discovery - done right.

We'll announce several stealth companies as we get closer to the event. And be sure to stay tuned for our Sneak Peek series to get to know each company in advance of the show.

Join us in London! Get your ticket to FinovateEurope before November 21 for Very Early Bird savings.

FinovateEurope 2015 is sponsored by: Life.SREDA and more to be announced.

FinovateEurope 2015 is partners with: Bank Innovators Council, BankersHub, bobsguide, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Datamonitor Financial, The Trading Mesh (formerly HFT Review) and more to be announced. 

Thumbnail image for JemstepLogo2.jpgWhen the going gets good for online investment advisory innovators, the good online investment advisory innovators go pro.

Jemstep announced the launch of Jemstep Advisor Pro this week at the T3 Enterprise Conference. The technology is a plug-and-play platform that helps financial advisors better onboard, engage, and serve their clients.

Kevin Cimring, Jemstep CEO, cited his company's relationships with financial advisors as playing a key role in the development of Advisor Pro. "As a result of that process," he said, "I am excited to announce that our advisor platform has evolved into a comprehensive solution for advisors looking to efficiently scale their businesses."
The platform lets advisors offer prospective clients free analysis of their current investment portfolio and see how that portfolio compares to those recommended by Jemstep's algorithms. Again, the goal is to give advisors the tools for growth. "These features are designed to increase conversion of prospects into long-term clients," Cimring explained.

Jemstep also announced that the company had been approved as a partner on TD Ameritrade's account management and trading platform, Veo.

According to Jemstep vice president of product, Mark Richards, more than 10,000 investors have linked accounts on Jemstep, representing $3 billion in assets. "People will do this," he said.

Founded in 2008, Jemstep is headquartered in Los Altos, California. The company has raised $15 million in funding, with the most recent round in October 2013 bringing in $4.5 million. At the company's last Finovate appearance in the Spring of 2013, Jemstep demoed its Portfolio Manager solution. See video of the presentation here.

Alumni News-- November 19, 2014

  • 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.jpgeFLOW Crowdbridge from Top Image Systems voted one of the three best ECM Solutions for 2014.
  • Technocular interviews WePay founder and CEO, Bill Clerico.
  • Allied Payment Network launches its new small business payments solution, BizPay.
  • Kapitall and Motif Investing both referenced in Investment News column on data visualization.
  • Kahuna Payment Solutions chooses e-SignLive by Silanis, bringing e-signatures into its lending platform for retailers.
  • Syd Youth partners with CSI globalVcard to promote Spend Secure.
  • Banking 20/20 interviews EyeVerify EVP of Global Sales & Marketing, Chris Barnett.
  • Silicon Republic features Fenergo software developer, Marcio Duarte.
  • Business Insider reviews FutureAdvisor.
  • Credit Sesame wins IMA Outstanding Achievement Award in Financial Services.
  • FinovateEurope 2015 Presenting Companies Revealed. Get Your Ticket this Week for Very Early Bird Pricing!.
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.

Finovate Debuts: WorkFusion


The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. At FinovateFall 2014, WorkFusion launched its active learning automation solution.


WorkFusion combines machine learning with crowdsourcing to automate data handling. The company's technology is used by leading financial data vendors and financial services firms for a wide variety of applications including compliance, corporate actions, customer onboarding, loans, and private equity. WorkFusion is a product of CrowdComputing Systems.

The Stats
    • Founded in June 2010
    • Headquartered in New York, NY
    • Raised $23 million in total funding
    • Builds and refreshes data products for seven out of the top 10 financial data providers
    • Has 68 employees
    • Max Yankelevich is CEO and Co-Founder
    • Launched WorkFusion's Active-Learning Automation in September 2014
The Story
WorkFusion began as part of a research project at MIT. The original goal was to combine crowdsourcing and machine learning to detect fraud in online transactions. But as the research progressed, they realized that there was a much bigger opportunity in applying the same combination of automation, crowdsourcing, and "employee experts" to meet broader challenges of enterprise data work.

"We solve a problem around massive data collection and maintenance for financial institutions," explained WorkFusion CEO Max Yankelevich from the Finovate stage in September. "And we do it for 50% less cost and on a much larger scale."
The initial edition of WorkFusion launched in 2012 and put the company's thesis to work automating the process of procuring, training and quality-controlling online workers handling "core enterprise knowledge processes" such as reporting corporate actions and tax accounting information. The solution worked, being both more accurate and less costly compared to a traditional, in-house workforce.

"Giddy disbelief" is how WorkFusion characterized the initial response to their proof of concept, a reaction that encouraged them to scale the project.

The second stage in development was to build algorithms to replicate patterns that were identified as workers completed tasks. One example is pulling stock dividend payout information from a variety of data sources. The first iteration of the platform helped a company marshal human resources from Elance, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and oDesk. The second version uses an algorithm watching for patterns in a given data extraction task, learning which patterns could be automated, and then automating those patterns in the algorithm.

"Each worker is not just getting work done," Adam Devine, VP Product Marketing said in a Finovate briefing. "They are training our software on how to automate that work."

WorkFusion refers to this as the "virtual loop." Human workers perform data-intensive tasks. Algorithms learn how to do the tasks. Human workers are then are available to retrain the algorithms when there are significant changes to the data. This "loop" helps overcome one of the major challenges of automation: adapting to changes in data sets, formats, or flow. 

In another example shared with attendees at FinovateFall last September, a WorkForce customer was able to automate the work that had burdened six FTEs. The cost?  Just $54. More importantly, the automation reduced the turnaround time involved from 5 minutes per task to less than 5 seconds.

The technology is workforce-agnostic. That means that the human data analysts involved can be traditional, in-house employees, an outsourced workforce or a crowdsourced one. And the company's technology makes it the only platform that provides "learning automation" as a service (LAaaS anyone?). There are a platforms that help companies source and/or manage  "distributed workforces", but WorkFusion's "virtuous loop" keeps human intelligence as a key part of the process, helping set it apart. 

The Future
WorkFusion is robust enough to require IT teams to deploy and configure. But the technology is designed to be used by business people rather than technical staff. Typically, clients tend to be larger enterprises. But the solution is "totally scalable", they say. In one case, a customer is using the technology to start a data science group by himself.

The company's work has traction: seven out of the top 10 financial information providers currently use it. This spring, WorkFusion announced both a partnership with uSamp integrating 12 million mobile workers, and a successful, $15 million Series B round led by Mohr Davidow Ventures. 

And the company's work is being noticed. American Banker listed CrowdComputing Systems, provider of WorkFusion, among its top 10 fintech companies to watch. Barclays ranked WorkFusion in the top 5 of the 36 seven companies invited to participate in its Open Innovation Challenge, and in October, WorkFusion was featured in an article at Inside Market Data touting the platform's automation recommendation feature

Discussing his participation in the spring investment in WorkFusion, former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer said earlier this year that the company "very well could be a billion-dollar plus IPO company." Rather than just being the kind of company that develops a technology and then sells it only to become "a small cog" in some other company's engine, WorkFusion in Glocer's opinion is a peek into the future of work: "Ultimately, it will optimize the tasks being done by human beings all around the world," Glocer said.

WorkFusion concurs. Going forward, the company plans to expand the size of its business process template library to make it even easier for businesses to find the processes they need without having to create them. The goal is to allow large businesses to elevate the application of human intelligence to higher order work, and automate the work that human's shouldn't be doing. And to deliver all this via one-click custom automation.

WorkFusion is the kind of technology that does a great job of showing us what lies right at the edge of the horizon, an example of just how symbiotic the nexus of human intelligence and machine learning can be. And for all the fears of "robot overlords" and AIs run amok, building on that symbiosis seems like the better bet compared to betting against.

Alumni News-- November 18, 2014

  • 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.jpgCoinbase to introduce bitcoin tip button to enable micropayment acceptance online.
  • Venmo users can now log in using both bank ID and Touch ID.
  • TechWeek Europe takes a look at Arxan Technologies' State of Mobile App Security report.
  • Malaysian Digest features Azimo in a discussion on the revolution in the money transfer industry.
  • Dough Roller interviews iQuantifi CEO and Co-Founder, Tom White.
  • Business News Daily quotes Igor Gonta, CEO of Market Prophit on the importance of having a social media strategy.
  • PostFinance AG's Monexio selects Mobino platform to help develop its own digital payment solutions.
  • SK Planet wins first prize at KPRA Awards 2014 for its filter program, Flitter.
  • Hiscox launches new digital insurance platform powered by Backbase CXP.
  • PayPal challenges Apple Pay with an app for the Pebble smartwatch.
  • The European Commission approves Tradeshift data format for government purchasing.
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 on deck capital.jpg

Alternative small business lender OnDeck has announced plans to raise $150 million in an initial public offering.

According to analysis from The Wall Street Journal, the IPO could value OnDeck at $1.5 billion. The Journal also suggested that the $150 million number for the IPO was likely a "placeholder amount" that will probably change. 

While the company understandably has few words to share about its impending IPO, OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow has said a number of interesting things about the future of his company and the small business community it serves. Asked about the future of the alternative lending industry over the next 10-20 years in an interview with NPR this summer, Breslow replied: "I think it loses the designation of alternative."

"I think just like today I buy a plane ticket online with Maybe 20 years ago I would have talked to a travel agent. You know - we are going through that entire cycle. We're probably in year five of a 20-year journey in terms of lending."

OnDeck reported more than $107 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2014, and a net loss of $14.4 million. The revenue figure represents a year-over-year gain of 2.5x.

Here are a few key metrics to keep in mind:
  • OnDeck will trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol, ONDK
  • Lead underwriter is JP Morgan Stanley
  • Originated more than $1.7 billion in loans to 25,000 small businesses
  • Raised more than $170 million in venture capital funding, and more than $300 million in debt financing
  • Collected more than 4 million customer payments
  • Previous investors include:
    • RRE Ventures
    • Institutional Venture Partners
    • Village Ventures
    • SAP Ventures
    • First Round Capital
    • Google Ventures
    • Tiger Global
Also underwriting the IPO were Deutsche Bank Securities, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Pierce, Fenner & Smith.

OnDeck's IPO news comes just a few months after the IPO filing of peer-to-peer lender, Lending Club (another Finovate alum). This reflects both a continued strong investment pace in fintech innovators in general, as well as a particular passion for alternative lenders. OnDeck earned the investment dollars of a number of major fintech-savvy venture capitalist firms and individuals such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and former American Express CEO, James Robinson.

What are people saying about the IPO? At places hardcore investment websites like Seeking Alpha, the questions are all about the sustainability of growth and the potential for profitability in the near-term. Over at Inc., Jeremy Quittner sees challenges and advantages for OnDeck as opposite sides of the same coin, considering the company's "balance sheet lender" business model as a "risk" and its capacity for generating significant income from interest a "reward."

OnDeck recently presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014, introducing its frictionless, extensible, and powerful API. The company announced its plan to partner with Worldpay in August, and reported in June that it's small business lending platform had a $3.4 billion, 22,000 job impact on the economy. In March, OnDeck raised $77 million in a round led by Tiger Capital. The New York-based company was founded in 2007 and was last on the Finovate stage for the spring 2012 show in San Francisco.

Alumni News-- November 17, 2014

  • 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.jpgBoku announces a pair of C-level appointments: Ingo Lippert as CBO, Christian Hinrichs as CFO.
  • Zopa partners with AltFi Data; plans to open loan book to the public in Q1 in 2015.
  • The Sunday Times profiles TransferWise founders Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus.
  • Bolstr surpasses $200,000 in 2014 investor payouts
  • Expensify featured in Slate. Check out the video.
  • Billhighway's 523% Four-Year Growth earns it the #193 Spot on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 List.
  • ChicagoInno features Arroweye Solutions and Rippleshot for their listings on the FinTech Forward Rankings.
  • Check out Finovate Debuts: Minetta Brook's Knewsapp.
  • MetaIntelli and Arxan Technologies partner to help developers mitigate mobile security and privacy risks.
  • Venmo gets Touch ID security, tagging, and direct linking to bank accounts.
  • MyBankTracker examines how 1U is using Hoyos' facial recognition security technology.
  • InComm launches New eCommerce Site for B2B Bulk Gift Cards.
  • Bluefin joins the New York Bankers Association.
  • Google Compute Engine now features intelligent horizontal Autoscaling.
  • Wharton Fintech blog features Knox 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.

The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. Today's feature is Minetta Brook, which demonstrated Knewsapp at FinovateFall 2014.


Minetta Brook aims for Knewsapp to change the way investors stay informed of news relating to stocks in their portfolio. The web-based news discovery application surfaces topics before they become trending news, giving researchers a tool superior to Google.

The stats

    • $2.4 million in funding
    • 10 employees
    • 100+ firms in beta
    • 100,000+ news sources searched

Traditionally, when seeking information that may effect a stock in their portfolio, investors search Google, Yahoo or other investment info sources. But typical search engines measure the importance of an article based on popularity.This method elevates content that could be days old, and buries stories investors actually need to read.

For traders, risk management professionals, and research analysts that need real-time news, search engines are not the best tools for content discovery. Knewsapp's content-based model finds the information investors need to make important trading decisions.

Aside from simply serving up news, Knewsapp also helps investors know what news may effect their investments. It uses a proprietary scoring method to suggest content they should read to be informed, based on their portfolio.

Knewsapp launched on Bloomberg in May. Here's what the full integration looks like:


>>Top tickers

Knewsapp continuously scans Twitter and more than 100,000 sources of news and blogs for unusual activity. The result is a list of stocks with the most relevant and fastest developing news, based on their score and velocity.


Ticker and/or topic combination search
With this function, users search a ticker symbol by itself or in combination with key word(s). The result shows headlines of relevant news stories, sources, scores and similar topics.


Additionally, a filter capability enables users to see news in specific markets or sectors.

Portfolio monitoring
With hundreds of stocks in a portfolio, it can be difficult to know which terms to search. Knewsapp simplifies this by displaying the score, along with the rate the news is developing, for each stock in a portfolio.

When users filter by the score or velocity, they see which stocks are receiving above average coverage in the news or on Twitter. The right-hand panel displays news stories corresponding to stocks in their portfolio.


Story DNA
The Story DNA section word cloud displays a quick view of topics and themes within a selected news story.


Minetta Brook debuted the public web version of Knewsapp at FinovateFall 2014.


What do wonders of the world, deadly sins, the Harry Potter series, and Financeit's funding have in common? They all come in sets of seven (at least for now).

Financeit's seventh round of funding comes from BEST Funds, which is adding an undisclosed amount to the $21.4 million Financeit has raised since its 2007 launch.

Previous rounds include $13 million in November 2013, along with $8.4 million in angel funding received in five rounds from 2007 to 2012.


The new installment comes a few months after the Toronto-based company launched its point of sale financing solution in the United States. This is no small feat, given the hurdles of complying with U.S. regulations. Financeit plans to use the funds to expand growth in the new market.

Check out the live demo of Financeit's U.S. launch, along with its partnership with FIS, at FinovateFall 2014.


Host Card Emulation (HCE) solutions company, SimplyTapp, is making it easier for banks to place their own tap to pay functionality in customers' hands.

To further this mission, two investors, Blue Sky Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, recently contributed $6 million in Series B funding to the Austin-based startup.


Other funding rounds include a $1.4 million Series A round last November and a $200,000 seed round in February of 2013. Its total funding now tallies just over $7.5 million.

Check out SimplyTapp's video from FinDEVr San Francisco 2014, where it explains HCE.

Alumni News-- November 14, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgIntelliResponse acquired by [24]7 for its customer service suite.
  • Another +1 For Host Card Emulation: SimplyTapp Garners $6 Million.
  • Financeit Brings in Fresh Funding After U.S. Launch.
  • Payfone selected as "Best Revenue Creator/Enhancer" for Mobile Network Operators in the 2014 Fierce Innovation: Telecom Edition Awards.
  • InComm & PayPal collaborate to offer digital gift cards.
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.
For the most part, Fintech investors took a small breather this week. Other than the VCs sending a cool tenth-of-a-billion-dollars off to POS provider Revel Systems, the rest of the sector pulled in about $50 million. 

Two of the 10 newly funded are Finovate alums: 
  1. Austin, TX-based SimplyTapp attracted $6 million to expand its NFC mobile payment technology. 
  2. FinanceIT secured an undisclosed investment from Toronto neighbor BEST Funds. 

The deals from Nov 8 to Nov 13 in order of size:

Point-of-sale systems
Latest round: $100 million (of which $25 million is a credit line)
Total raised: $114 million 
Tags: POS, acquiring, SMB, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Gift card marketplace
Latest round: $18.1 million
Total raised: $21.7 million 
Tags: Giftcards, loyalty, payments, Chicago, Illinois
Source: Crunchbase

Payment services for merchants
Latest round: $8.2 million
Total raised: $8.2 million 
Tags: Credit/debit cards, acquiring, SMB, merchants, loyalty, Sunnyvale, California
Source: Crunchbase

French marketplace for short-term capital financing
Latest round: $7.5 million
Total raised: $7.6 millon 
Tags: Lending, receivables, working capital, SMB, Paris, France
Source: Crunchbase

Digital payment processor
Latest round: $6 million
Total raised: $7.6 million 
Tags: Credit/debit cards, acquiring, POS, SMB, NFC, Austin, Texas, Finovate alum
Source: FT Partners

Franchise financing marketplace
Latest round: $3.8 million
Total raised: $7.5 million 
Tags: Credit, lending, underwriting, SMB, loans, investing, P2P, crowdfunding, 
Source: Crunchbase

Digital payment processor
Latest round: $600,000
Total raised: $820,000 
Tags: Credit/debit cards, acquiring, SMB, Kuopio, Finland
Source: Crunchbase

Customer financing at the retailer's point of sale
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total funding: $21 million (not including latest round)
Tags: POS, lending, SMB, merchants, Toronto, Canada
Source: FT Partners

Payment solution for U.S. merchants to accept Chinese UnionPay cards
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Credit cards, debit cards, acquiring, payment processing, Palo Alto, California
Source: Crunchbase

Indian digital payments layer
Latest round: Undisclosed (Series A)
Total funding: $500,000 (prior to latest funding)
Tags: Payments, social media, merchants, acquiring, Mumbai, India
Source: Crunchbase

Alumni News-- November 13, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgKili acquires NFC microSD pioneer DeviceFidelity.
  • American Banker lists Currency Cloud, BioCatch, Linqto, VerifyValid, and Rippleshot as top 10 tech companies to watch.
  • Fintech in the fall: themes and company updates from CAN Capital, Encap Security, Fuze Network, Guardian Analytics, Larky, Ripple, and Xpenditure.
  • American Banker examines 2015 plans for FIS, Fiserv and Diebold.
  • Forbes looks at the success of RoboAdvisors: Betterment, Wealthfront, Personal Capital, and SigFig.
  • Forbes examines Kantox's P2P FX trading technology.
  • TSYS partners with FICO to deliver a marketing product for card issuers called TSYS Targeted Messaging.
  • Digital Insight enters reseller agreement with Guardian Analytics to deliver anomaly detection services to financial institutions.
  • Trulioo wins 2014 Canadian Technology Companies to watch award from Deloitte.
  • Huffington Post interviews Andrea Gellert, SVP Marketing at OnDeck.
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.

Fall is in full swing and there has been plenty of news to keep the fintech world busy.

I spent last week at Money20/20 where the themes centered around Apple Pay, Bitcoin, and Millennials. In between listening to industry experts on these and other topics, I sat down to chat with seven Finovate alums. Here are a few notable updates:


CAN Capital (fka Capital Access Network) has supplied just over $4 billion in funding to more than 55,000 small businesses. It continues to expand, reporting double-digit growth from last year.

CAN's financing works well for small businesses who cannot obtain funding through traditional bank loans. Its 60%+ approval rate is made possible by the robust tech and big data analytic capabilities that enhance market insight. This ultimately broadens CAN's access to prospective clients and enables it to provide customers with a lower priced loan.


In June, it launched the beta version of CAN Connect, a set of 4 APIs. One of these APIs is called CAN Instant Quote (IQ). It pulls data from software that a small business uses frequently, such as scheduling or accounting software, to pre-approve them for instant financing.

In November, CAN announced a partnership with Yodlee to extend funding through its small business offering. This will enable Yodlee's financial institution clients to offer customers access to funding via CAN's Instant Quote API. The service will be available by Q1 of 2015.

While fixed term loans are still CAN's core product, it is currently looking into offering flexible payment terms in 2015.

See CAN Capital's demo from FinovateFall 2013 where it debuted Mobile Funder.


Encap Security offers Smarter Authentication, a seamless way for banks to authenticate users across multiple channels, without disrupting the user experience.

Several weeks ago, Encap partnered with Feedzai to leverage its analytic engine that authenticates users. When the customer's identity is in question, they are sent challenges to authenticate themselves, rather than being shut out of the system entirely.

Other partnerships are in the works, but all are confidential at this point.

Additionally, Encap has recently integrated Apple's Touch ID to replace users' PINs. While Encap's Smarter Authentication will still be the underlying technology, Touch ID will help authenticate the user at each point of interaction.


The company plans to incorporate other biometrics in the future.

Watch Encap demo Smarter Authentication at FinovateSpring 2014.


As we tweeted last week, Fuze was recently acquired by Ingo Money, a company that specializes in mobile check cashing services for underbanked consumers. Ingo enables customers to instantly deposit checks onto a prepaid card, bank account, or mobile wallet.

The acquisition will combine Ingo's mobile check cashing with Fuze's swipe-to-pay and swipe-to-load features to give users more control over their money. Ingo will also leverage Fuze's existing network of more than one billion cards, which includes:

    • 50 million prepaid cards
    • 459 million debit cards
    • 576 million credit cards
    • 531 million private label cards
    • 137 million other types

Ingo is also working on solutions to help users avoid late fees by enabling them to send funds to a location of their choice, such as their landlord. Additionally, it plans to expand the number of retail locations where customers load cash and move money from card to card.


The terms of the acquisition, which is set to be finalized by the end of this year, were undisclosed.

Fuze Network last demonstrated at FinovateFall 2011 where it debuted Swipe2Pay.


With a swell in data breaches this year, security has become a hot topic with the half-billion personal identities stolen in the last 8 months.

The increasing number of new solutions and capabilities banks now offer has opened up fresh opportunities for fraudsters to compromise users' identities. To combat this, Guardian Analytics has added capabilities that gather user reputation data, such as their IP address.

Guardian Analytics is working with more than 300 financial institutions and has expanded its partnerships outside of banks. In the last year and a half, it has partnered with two non-bank institutions, Fiserv and Digital Insight.


In the future, the California-based company plans to expand its analytics-based security solutions, since rules-based security is failing under the ever-expanding number of requirements needed to protect institutions.

Guardian Analytics debuted FraudXCHANGE at FinovateFall 2012.


Larky, a company that provides card-linked discounts and offers on a mobile platform, signed six new financial institution clients across Alabama, Michigan, and New York in October.

Each new client is using a white-labeled version of Larky's platform coupled with a package of local offers and rewards. The offers not only save users money, but also drive traffic to local business, and increase card usage.


Check out Larky's demo from FinovateFall 2014.


Open source payments protocol, Ripple,announced a partnership with Yantra, which specializes in electronic payment systems. Specifically, Ripple will use Yantra's risk management capabilities.

The Ripple network increases the speed and velocity of transactions, which add to its risk. To mitigate the liability, it leverages Yantra's technology to create context and conditionality to its money movement processes.


Yantra will augment the data collected about transactions and is adding new tools, such as custom search fields, to better analyze the data, and all within seconds.

Ripple debuted at FinovateSpring 2013.


When we last spoke with Xpenditure at the beginning of this year, the company had $2.2 million in Angel funding and 15 employees. By the end of 2014, it will have raised $3.5 million in total funding and expects to have 25 employees.

It is also expanding its operations. It recently opened offices in São Paulo and New York City. In fact, the U.S. is its fastest growing market and accounts for 30% of its customers.


In late October, it launched a partnership with MasterCard and its expense management system will be available as a part of MasterCard's Business Owner ToolBox in Canada.

Check out Xpenditure's demo from FinovateEurope 2014.

Alumni News-- November 12, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgGuardian Analytics introduces FraudMAP ACH-RDFI to identify suspicious transactions.
  • Zumigo named finalist in Mobile Excellence Awards for Best Mobile Retail/Commerce Solution.
  • Pando Daily: BillGuard was the first to notify many affected consumers of the USPS security breach.
  • Yodlee Interactive introduces selected companies to participate in its incubator program.
  • AsiaOne Business features PlayMoolah co-founder, Lee Min Xuan.
  • ReadyForZero launches ReadyForZero Insights, a new dashboard to help users understand their debt.
  • MetaIntelli and Arxan Technologies partner to provide developers a way to mitigate security and privacy risks in mobile apps.
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.

Just days after its competitor, Cardlytics, announced a major funding round, Linkable Networks landed a fresh $8 million round.

The new installment is Linkable Networks' seventh funding round, bringing its total to $28.7 million.

    • October 2014: $8 million
    • August 2013: $3.6 million
    • December 2012: $4.1 million
    • September 2012: $3.2 million
    • October 2011: Undisclosed
    • March 2011: $8.3 million
    • October 2010: $1.5 million

The Boston-based company's investors include Kepha Partners, Common Angels Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, and Citi Ventures.

Linkable Networks focuses on enhancing customer loyalty for retailers while providing financial institutions with a reward program linked to bank cards.

The company was founded as Clovr Media in 2011 and has since changed its name. It debuted MyLinkables MasterCard solution at FinovateFall 2012.

Alumni News-- November 11, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgLinkable Networks Raises $8 Million for Card Linked Offers Platform.
  • Coinbase integrates with Openfolio to create transparency in who is investing in Bitcoin.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions Launches Enhanced Select Business 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.

Alumni News-- November 10, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgNHS Choices selects Narrative Science to Assist with Delivery of Healthcare Information.
  • Visa using Kofax TotalAgility to deploy enhanced data and invoice management in Asia Pacific.
  • PostFinance integrates Strands PFM in their new digital banking platform.
  • BNN interviews Bionym CEO on how its Nymi band could work for payments.
  • The Australian Business Review considers how SocietyOne is contributing to the P2P lending boom.
  • features's growth.
  • Hoyos Labs launches iOS & Android password manager that uses the user's face to log into websites.
  • BillGuard and Experian Data Breach Resolution partner to offer an advanced ID protection suite.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
The blistering $1 billion-per-month funding pace continued into early November, with more than $236 million raised globally across 19 fintech companies. Five Finovate alums recorded multi-million rounds including Trustly ($30 million), MX ($8.3 million), Kofax ($2.8 million), InvoiceASAP ($700,000) and Gremln ($500,000).

The deals by size recorded on Nov. 1 through Nov. 8, 2014:

Mobile payments & commerce
Latest round: $80 million
Total raised: $177 million
Tags: Payments, ecommerce, mobile, shopping, POS, point of sale, London, UK
Source: Crunchbase 

Global payments gateway
Latest round: $50 million
Total raised: $165 million
Tags: Payments, processor, Waltham, Mass 
Source: Crunchbase

Direct online/mobile bank payments
Latest round: $30 million
Total raised: $30 million
Tags: Payments, billpay, ecommerce, Stockholm, Sweden, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate 

Indian digital wallet
Latest round: $30 million
Total raised: $30.3 million
Tags: Mobile, payments, ecommerce, Gurgaon, India
Source: Crunchbase 

MX (formerly MoneyDesktop)
Online & mobile banking platform
Latest round: $8.3 million
Total raised: $20 million
Tags: Digital banking, PFM, Utah, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate 

Payroll & HR platform
Latest round: $8 million
Total raised: $21.8 million
Tags: Payroll, human resources management, tax reporting, New York City

Banking & rewards app for millennials
Latest round: $8 million
Total raised: $8 million
Tags: Cards, rewards, debit, prepaid, San Francisco, California
Source: FT Partners 

Small business credit reporting
Latest round: $6.5 million
Total raised: $6.5 million
Tags: SMB, credit, underwriting, South Jordan, Utah
Source: Crunchbase 

Card-linked rewards program
Latest round: $4.7 million
Total raised: $6 million
Tags: Rewards, debit cards, credit cards, offers, loyalty, San Francisco, California
Source: FT Partners

Document & image capture solutions
Latest round: $2.8 million
Total raised: $8.8 million
Tags: Docs, remote capture, mobile, mobile account opening, Irvine, California, Finovate alum
Source: Crunchbase

Tax & insurance tools for independent contractors
Latest round: $2.5 million
Total raised: $2.6 million
Tags: Invoicing, SMB, invoicing, tax
Source: Crunchbase

Cash-back & rewards platform for merchants
Latest round: $2.4 million
Total raised: $2.4 million
Tags: POS, point-of-sale, loyalty, rewards, ecommerce, London, UK
Source: FT Partners

ACH at the point-of-sale
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $2 million
Tags: Payments, merchants, mobile, SMB, acquiring, ACH, 
Source: Crunchbase

Cloud-based invoicing & payments
Latest round: $700,000
Total raised: $1+ million
Tags: Invoicing, SMB, accounting, receivables, San Francisco, California, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate 

Social media compliance and monitoring
Latest round: $500,000
Total raised: $2 million
Tags: Social media, compliance, marketing, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Alternative payment provider in Philippines
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unkown
Tags: Payments, Philippines
Source: Crunchbase

French online marketplace for business loans
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Lending, SMB, P2P, crowdfunding, investing, Paris, France
Source: FT Partners

Chinese P2P lending platform
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Undisclosed
Tags: Marketplace lending, person-to-person loans, crowdfunding, investing, credit, Whenzhou, China
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate transaction platform
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Home buying, real estate, mortgage, Austin, Texas
Source: Crunchbase

Alumni News-- November 7, 2014

  • 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.jpgP2Binvestor marks milestones in new credit lines, purchased invoices.
  • MasterCard announces acquisition of Payment Gateway Services business from TNS.
  • Andover Bank to deploy Precision core processing platform and other solutions from Fiserv.
  • Jack Henry Banking's Symitar division partners with Stickley on Security to bring SoS Advisor to its core credit unions.
  • Josh Alexander, CEO of Toopher, named "Top Techpreneur" by Austin Business Journal.
  • eWeek looks at Concur's ecosystem for app development.
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.
We have only been tracking fintech investments across all companies since Aug 1. But I'm pretty sure that even if we'd been doing it for 20 years, there would never have been a month as frenzied as October. 

In just one month, 76 fintech companies worldwide attracted a combined $1 billion in new equity investments. The largest ten deals alone were worth at least $30 million each: 

$185M Mozida
$150M Square
$75M   Yodlee (IPO) 
$70M   Cardlytics
$64M   Wealthfront
$57M   Financial Software Systems
$50M   Personal Capital
$42M   VivaReal
$40M   Credorax
$31M   Blockchain
$764M Top 10 deals

$276M 66 Other deals
$1.04B Total Investment

For more information, see our weekly postings.
Thumbnail image for P2BiLogo.jpg

P2Binvestor, the Denver-based crowdfunding platform, announced today that it reached two major milestones this week. The receivables-secured SME lender has originated more than $10.5 million in lines of credit to 19 clients, and purchased more than $24 million in invoices since May.

At this pace, P2Binvestor believes it will reach $35 million in credit lines extended by the middle of next year. "Crowdlending is perfect for younger, fast-growing companies that need a good chunk of working capital to get to the next growth stage," said P2Binvestor President Krista Morgan.

P2Binvestor offers SMEs four different financing produts: an asset-backed line of credit, a future contractual revenue-secured line of credit, a purchase order product and receivables-purchase financing. Borrowing amounts range from $25,000 to $5 million, and eligible companies are B2B, with at least one year of operating history and a minimum of $1 million in annual revenue. Rates range from 1-2%.

"We can provide larger credit lines and better rates and terms than typical online lenders," Bruce Morgan, CEO and co-founder said. He added that at the same time P2Binvestor has great relationships with banks because they help their clients become better clients. "We finance their clients when they cannot, then release those clients from our contract with no penalties when the bank is ready for them," he explained.

Founded in February 2012, P2Binvestor funds a wide range of businesses. A June funding announcement from the company, for example, featured an education software company, a field services provider for companies in the oil and gas industries, and a natural foods maker. "Even good companies may not qualify for bank financing," Morgan said. "We have products to help you grow to the point where you are bankable."

P2Binvestor was last on the Finovate stage in September as part of FinovateFall. The company demoed new borrowing and loan management features of its platform.

Alumni News-- November 6, 2014

  • 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.jpgSmartphone checkbook app MagicMony powered by VerifyValid. Read our CEO interview with VerifyValid CEO Paul Doyle here.
  • takes a look at how innovators like Mitek, Top Image Systems, and Kofax are dealing with mobile deposit fraud.
  • Sramana Mitra interviews Avoka CEO Phil Copeland for the One Million by One Million Blog.
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 GremlnLogo.jpg

Gremln, the company dedicated to making it easier for banks and other financial institutions to benefit from social media, has secured a new investment of half a million dollars from Cultivation Capital.

The new funding takes Gremln's total capital to nearly $2 million. 

Tim Stern, General Partner at Cultivation Capital, emphasized the "safety first" aspect of Gremln's technology, saying there is a "large need" for software that will help industries control what is shared via social media. Stern will be joining Gremln's board of directors as part of the investment.

Gremln specializes in social media management software that helps institutions use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn without having to worry about regulatory and compliance issues. The technology includes compliance and organizational tools, analytics, features like bulk post upload, scheduling, and message assigning, and is available as a white label solution. Gremln has won awards and recognition from PC World, CIO Magazine, and the Innovators Cup. This summer, Gremln raised $100,000 as a participant in the SixThirty Accelerator program.

Among the interesting notes in the coverage of the investment was the suggestion from Gremln CEO Ryan Bell that the company looking into other potential revenue sources, such as working with financial broker dealers. Bizjournals also reports that Gremln has grown approximately 500% since early 2013.

Gremln last demoed on the Finovate stage in September as part of FinovateFall 2014. See the company present its new mobile platform here.

We're in Vegas this week, catching up with several Finovate and FinDEVr alums. Before the week even started, however, we took a gamble and spent the weekend at the Money20/20 Hackathon.

Many Finovate and FinDEVr alums have powerful APIs to enable the creation of solutions to solve all types of problems. At the hackathon, the crowd of 450 developers, engineers, and entrepreneurs developed a myriad of solutions over the course of 25 hours.

Here are the winners for each company:

Bionym winners
  • OffBank, which uses Bionym's Nymi band to authenticate bank customers before initiating a wire transfer
  • I Heart Pay, which uses Bionym's Nymi band, combined with an app, to enable merchants to verify a customer's identity to charge them for a transaction
Check out Bionym's demo from FinDEVr San Francisco 2014

Blockchain winner:
Samaritus, which uses barcode scanners inside of recycling bins that read bar codes on recyclable materials to reward people for recycling. The app pays them in Bitcoin, while simultaneously collecting data on what and where users recycle.

Feedzai winner:
Bacon, which places a multi-layer authentication platform that layers more security data on top of Feedzai's algorithm to authenticate customers before a transaction. 

Intuit winner:
In Reach, which uses the QuickBooks Online API to determine the availability of a retailer's inventory, then enables customers to purchase goods via a native app, and pick up the item in the store.

MasterCard winner:
Enterchange, which uses MasterCard's API to enable customers to order food and pay at sit-down restaurants.

Modo Payments winners:
    • ShopperPal (for FIS), an app that incentivizes consumers to enter a physical retail store by giving them points for entering a 
      store, liking the company on Facebook, and making purchases in the store. The points are added to the consumer's Modo Payments app.
    • KidFit (for Alliance Data), an app that syncs with wearable devices, such as a smartwatch, to enable parents to reward their children for elevating their heart rate for a set amount of time. The rewards are given in the form of points in the Modo Payments app. 
    • Nike Modo, a system that uses the Nike Fuel band to track a consumer's geolocation and add reward points to their Modo Wallet when they enter a store and make a purchase.
Swift, a solution for retail stores that uses an RFID sensor to track each product that is placed into shopping carts. The data syncs to the consumer's PayPal app to enable a quick and mobile checkout experience.


CEO Paul Hoeper confirmed the report yesterday that InvoiceASAP had raised $696,000 in new funding.

The company's SEC Form D filing is available here. The investment takes InvoiceASAP's total capital to more than $1 million.

InvoiceASAP is a cloud-based mobile invoicing and payments platform. The technology is available as both a "freemium" offering as well as a premium service that allows for credit card acceptance and QuickBooks syncing. InvoiceASAP is compatible with PayPal and QuickBooks, and users can add and send a variety of media (from pictures to audio files) to their invoices, as well. A partnership with Zebra Technologies enables mobile printing, and all content is safely stored on InvoiceASAP's secure servers.

InvoiceASAP was founded in November 2010 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company demoed its Mobile Invoice Network as part of FinovateSpring 2013.

Alumni News-- November 5, 2014

  • 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.jpgBraintree announces new service that makes it easier for merchants to sign up for the platform.
  • MasterCard launches MasterPass in Czech Republic.
  • CAN Capital to offer loans via Yodlee's Small Business solution.
  • PayPal's Venmo to power payments for web and mobile chat app, Dasher.
  • Wall Street Sector Selector highlights Financial Guard and lists Betterment, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, Nutmeg, SigFig, and Wealthfront in a column on using roboadvisors with retirement accounts.
  • SumUp partners with BitPay to integrate bitcoin into its mPOS 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.
View Previous Entries

Watch Demos

Click above for video archives of all demos.



See all Finovate tweets