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FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 6

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February is only a few days away, which means that the first Finovate conference of the year - FinovateEurope 2015 - is almost here. We are well on our way to surpassing last year's record crowd of 1,000. So don't delay, get your tickets to join us in London on February 10 and 11. 

We've just revealed the official list of presenters to help whet your appetite for what some of fintech's most innovative companies will demonstrate live on stage.

Today's installment of our FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek series features Bitbond, Revolut, Smart e-Money, TiViTz, TransferTo, and Wipro.

Previous installments of our Sneak Peek series are below:

Bitbond is a global peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform. Get access to affordable loans and profitable savings from all around the world.

With Bitbond AutoInvest:
  • Build a loan portfolio automatically
  • Define regions and risk categories to invest in
  • Re-invest received loan repayments
Why it's great
Bitbond AutoInvest creates a portfolio of profitable loans for you at 0% fees according to your preferences.

Radoslav Albrecht, Co-founder and CEO
Background in economics. Prior to founding Bitbond, Albrecht was Senior Consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Previously with Deutsche Bank London in structured equity.

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Robert Nasiadek, Co-founder and CTO
Programmer since childhood. Before joining Bitbond, Nasiadek started the Ruby on Rails development company, El Passion. Board advisor at

Revolut is a personal money cloud allowing you to avoid all hidden banking costs.

You can exchange currencies at interbank rates, send them through social networks and spend with a multicurrency card acceptable anywhere.

Why it's great
Revolut - Personal Money Cloud

Nikolay Storonsky, CEO
Storonsky has eight years experience in financial services (trading). Most recently he worked for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers.

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO
Yatsenko has 12 years experience in developing IT projects in major financial institutions including Credit Suisse, UBS, and Deustche Bank.

Smart e-Money's LockByMobile is an anti-fraud security solution which allows you to lock and unlock your cards in real-time using your mobile phone.

  • Provides an extra layer of security for your added peace of mind
  • Easy-to-use interface to lock/unlock your cards with a simple swipe of the finger
  • Customizable lock settings and built-in alerts
Why it's great
Feel secure when using your card locally or even abroad. With LockByMobile, you have the power to prevent fraud from happening.

Angelito Villanueva, VP & Head of Innovation
With over 20 years experience, Villanueva is the lead in unlocking the huge potential of e-money by introducing digital payments innovations for financial inclusion including building a dynamic ecosystem.

Guillaume Danielou, Senior Product Manager
With 12 years experience in IT Development/Consulting/Product Development, Danielou has experience working throughout the entire product development life cycle process in international environments.

TiViTz College $avings Game-a-thon is a fully automated, easy-to-use, market-disrupting, patent-pending, activity-based fundraising tool for children's college savings.

  • Complements existing financial savings vehicles
  • Creates new college savings accounts and relationships
  • Provides a marketing tool for consumer and business banking
Why it's great
The Game-a-thon provides families with a solution to afford higher education by significantly increasing children's savings, while improving their math skills and financial literacy.

Siobhan Mullen, CEO
Former aerospace executive, Special Advisor to the NASA Administrator, and experienced high-tech entrepreneur in launch services, satellite communications and data distribution.

Stephen Scully, President

TransferTo's Value Remittance service is an innovative and unique remittance solution that enables migrants to determine how the funds they send are allocated.

Value Remittance provides direct payment of services such as electricity, mobile airtime, and education, while providing a new revenue stream for financial institutions and MTOs.

Why it's great
Value remittance allows senders to know exactly how their money is being spent and provides the receiver with instant access to the selected service.

Eric Barbier, CEO
As founder and Chief Executive Officer, Barbier oversees the strategic direction of the company as well as manages the relationships with many of TransferTo's customers and partners.

Charles Damen, EVP Global Business Development
Damen is responsible for the development of new services, strategic partnerships, and the growth of global accounts with over 18 years of experience in telecommunications, Internet, and payments.

Wipro ngGenie Smart Banking Assistant provides the "next generation banking experience" for customers. It helps by providing you with right information at the right place.

A personalized, contextual, next generation user experience for banking customers that can result in reduced costs of serving customers and an increased cross sell / up sell opportunities.

Why it's great
Wipro myAdvisor helps in day-to-day transactions and acts as your personal financial advisor.

Mukund Kalmanker, General Manager
Kalmanker is a general manager at CTO office and has a rich background in the banking domain. He had earlier handled the banking business for Wipro under the Analytics and Information Management domain.

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Sudhakar Babu Tamminedi, Practice Head
Tamminedi has over 15 years of experience in Consumer and Enterprise Mobility applications across industries. He has provided end-to-end mobility solutions form conceptualization to deployment.

Pick up your tickets for FinovateEurope 2015 today! Want more info? Visit our FAQ page.

Alumni News-- January 29, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTinkoff Bank to deploy fraud prevention solution from Iris Analytics.
  • EagleBank implements EnAct client management and sales software from Fiserv.
  • KDnuggets interviews Anthony Bak, principal data scientist for Ayasdi.
  • Red Zebra Analytics brings its card-linked offers service to Germany.
  • Ripple Labs raises $30 million in Series A round.
  • CNBC Tech Check interviews Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng.
  • Computer Business Review features Venmo and Flint Mobile in its list of "5 mobile apps to turn your wallet digital.
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 Wall Street Journal, Crunchbase, and other sources are reporting that open payments protocol specialist, Ripple Labs, has raised $30 million in new funding. Although the company has not confirmed some of the details of the deal, participating investors are believed to be IDG Capital Partners, Google Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz.


This latest infusion of capital follows successful angel and seed funding rounds which raised $9 million in 2013, and takes the company's total capital to nearly $40 million. WSJ further reported that the investment puts Ripple Labs' valuation at $100 million.

(Crypto Coins News helpfully compares this valuation to Ripple's "primary value in XRP" to arrive at a very different figure.)

Ripple Labs developed the Ripple protocol, a distributed open source payment network that enables the real-time transfer of funds in any currency. The technology was deployed by Fidor Bank AG last May, and in September Cross River Bank and CBW Bank became the first U.S. banks to incorporate the Ripple protocol into its settlement operations. In January, Ripple Labs named Gene Sperling, former Chief White House Advisor, to its board of directors.

The investment comes at a time of resurgent optimism for digital and cryptocurrencies like Ripple. Recent investment in bitcoin exchange Coinbase, which opened its first U.S. exchange this week, has helped restore interest in the technology after the price of bitcoin dripped below $300 and fell to as low as $178.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, Ripple demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. Chris Larsen is CEO.

Alumni News-- January 28, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgEasier Finance features Azimo in its list of the top money saving apps for 2015.
  • The Blog writes about how Global Debt Registry can help consumers track down old debts.
  • Sonavation hires Karl Weintz as president and CEO.
  • Jim Siegienski of iQuantifi wins "CTO of the Year" award from 2014 Nashville Technology Council.
  • Fenergo earns top 100 ranking among risk technology providers according to Chartis.
  • CheBanca! to deploy digital banking platform from Backbase.
  • Insuritas to provide Tulsa FCU with insurance agency solution inside Tulsa's existing insurance agency platform.
  • My Bank Tracker lists Expensify as 1 of 6 best apps for preparing your tax return.
  • Intuit and Uber partner to enable Uber drivers to import their earnings into the QuickBooks software.
  • ThreatMetrix enhances multi-factor authentication solutions for financial services institutions.
  • Credit Sesame and Identity Theft Council bring identity theft awareness to 100 cities.
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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Courtesy of a five-year extension of its partnership with Red Zebra Analytics, cash-back offers are coming to customers of Germany's Wüstenrot Bank.

"We bring together consumers, banks, and retailers, with highly targeted rewards based on spending patterns," explained Red Zebra Analytics CEO Attul Sehgal. 

"With our innovative card-link loyalty programme, banks build a closer relationship with their customers by personalizing the services and cash-back offers according to individual preferences."
Red Zebra notes that its card-link offers service is the "first of its kind in Germany and second in Europe." Without relying on vouchers or coupons, the service automatically presents customers with offers when they log into their online bank or credit card accounts. Customers choose the offers they want, and those offers are activated when the customer purchases the item or service using their bank debit or credit card. Discount are granted as cash payments on a monthly basis.

Red Zebra's technology takes advantage of real-time data to enable the kind of targeted campaigns that will better engage and retain customers. Consumers benefit from increased savings on the debit and credit cards they are already using.

(Above, left to right: Ina Meixner, Marketing Manager, Europe; Attul Sehgal, CEO at FinovateEurope 2014)

The Wüstenrot Bank launch is the product of a collaboration that began in June 2013, and was piloted in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in London, Red Zebra Analytics demoed its 3D OFFERS loyalty program at FinovateEurope 2014. It was around that time that the company earned a "seven-figure investment" from SBT Venture Capital, widely believed to be in the area of $8 million. 

We talked with Red Zebra Analytics CEO Attul Sehgal last week about the company's 2014 as well as the year ahead.

The 70+ presenters that will showcase their new tech on stage at FinovateEurope in two weeks are now unveiled. To take a closer look at the presenting companies, we're continuing our Sneak Peek series. Today, we're featuring Financial Media Solutions, Fiserv, Intelligent Environments, mBank & i3D, Pirean, and Telenor banka & Asseco SEE.

FEUAuditorumCropped.jpgDon't miss our other Sneak Peeks, available here:


Financial Media Solutions' MAPPS simplifies Videographics, making it possible to create financial content in digestible bite size video formats for broadcast to any device, including smartphones.


    • Makes Videographics easy
    • Empowers institutional users to convey financial concepts in concise video formats
    • Rapidly broadcasts dynamic content to any client device, including smartphones

Why it's great
Communicating client content by video is the future. MAPPS resolves the challenge of how institutions better engage clients in financial concepts, even via their smartphone.


Ian Park, Owner Director & CEO

Christopher Thomas, Marketing Director


Fiserv is one of FORTUNE magazine's World's Most Admired Companies and will demonstrate next generation digital banking interactions.


    • Focuses on a truly integrated payments user experience
    • Allows customers to manage their spending habits and banking products
    • Visually stimulates consumers using augmented reality technology

Why it's great
This innovation is geared towards the consumer and will allow greater control and transparency over their spending and banking habits.


Jonathan Atkinson, Market Development, Digital Channels and Payments
Atkinson is a Sales Executive in Digital Channels and Payments team at Fiserv, Inc., focused on new clients across EMEA, with previous experience in core banking and CRM.

David Abbott, Payments Lead, EMEA
Abbot has 25 years' sales, business development experience in payments & eCommerce joined Fiserv's payments business to support development activities in the EMEA region.


Intelligent Environments is an innovative provider of mobile and online solutions for financial service organisations.

Hopes to fight against cybercrime

Why it's great
IntellEnvironmentPresenter.jpgNo firm is an island - we all have a shared interest in responding to the growing threat against cybercrime.


Clayton Locke, CTO
Clayton Locke is a keen sailor. He is hoping for calm waters come Finovate!


mBank, financial sector innovator & i3D, world-class provider of high-tech virtual reality solutions, developed an ultra-modern interactive digital bank branch.


    • Digital wall with unlimited touch points and innovative UI/UX
    • Proximity-motion-sensing and face recognition technologies for dynamic content adjustment
    • Integration with sales support systems

Why it's great
mBankpresenter1.jpgmBank & i3D dare to challenge the traditional notion of physical bank branches with ultra-modern multi-touch screens, motion-sensing and face recognition technologies.


Jacek Iljin, Managing Director Sales & Processes, mBank 


Marcin Wiśniewski, Sales & Marketing Director, i3D


Pirean enables organisations to provide secure, people-focused access for employees, customers, and partners across on-premise and cloud-based applications.


    • Reduces lead-time to value for application access
    • Provides secure self-service capabilities for users
    • Introduces a single point of control and audit for all access management

Why it's great
Pirean's Access: One is an Identity and Access Management solution designed to provide a first class user experience anytime, anywhere.


Rob Macgregor, Pirean's Principal Consultant and Access: One's Product Manager

Rob Blowers, Pirean's Development Team Lead


With Telenor banka & Asseco South Eastern Europe, banking goes mobile - changing customer experience and reshaping banking products & services to fit mobile, brought by Telenor banka in synergy with Telco, powered by Asseco SEE multichannel solutions.


    • Big data processing enabling relevant offer at relevant moment and place
    • Superb customer journey supported by straight-through processing and full automation
    • Utilization of synergy

Why it's great
IT is a fully automated and personalized online handset loan enabled by Telenor banka and Telenor, powered by Asseco SEE.



Martin Navratil, Chairman of the Executive Committee at Telenor banka
Managing Director of Telenor banka responsible for the design and implementation of the bank's strategy, having great experience in Telco and Finance sector.


Piotr Jeleński, Group President of the Management Board of Asseco SEE
Executive manager with experience in running and establishing new business in Poland, SEE region and Turkey. Managing international structure with over 1,400 people in 12 countries.


Marko Carevic, Marketing Director at Telenor Banka
Started his career in Telenor, initiated Telenor M&A initiative in financial services, currently responsible for entire customer value chain and go-to-market process.

We'll feature six more companies later this week. To see them all demo live, get your ticket to FinovateEurope 2015.

Alumni News-- January 27, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgHarland Clarke to use CUneXus' cplXpress to enable automated, pre-approved lending to its customers.
  • With grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Social Money to pilot CorePro in India to help underbanked.
  • Spreedly crossed the $50 million credit card transactions per month milestone in December.
  • TechCrunch: Prosper purchases American Healthcare Lending for $21 million.
  • Cachet Financial's Mobile Money Platform integrates with ApplePay.
  • Check out FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 5. We'll see you there in two weeks.
  • Hara Partners lists PayStand as one of five ecommerce solutions for SMBs.
  • Tradeshift partners with Recruit Holdings, Japan's largest staffing company, to solidify presence in Japan.
  • Navy FCU's Visa Buxx App, powered by Cachet Financial Solutions, named winner in Paybefore Awards.
  • Authentify's xFA available on Samsung's Solutions Exchange, enabling two/multi-factor authentication on Samsung devices.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

With January coming to a close this week, European fintech followers have something to look forward to: an onslaught of new financial technology solutions at FinovateEurope.

The event will take place at Old Billingsgate Market Hall in London on February 10 & 11. Get your ticket to be a part of the action.

The themes we'll see on stage at FinovateEurope next month align with the trends predicted by analysts for this year. Significant topics include mobile, lending, small business tools, and advisor solutions. Additionally, payments and personal finance maintain footholds and there's a resurgence of interest in rewards and digital currencies.

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FinovateEurope allows you to meet the companies behind each theme during numerous networking sessions. Here is the full list of companies that will take the stage:

For more information on these companies, check out our company info page or view our Sneak Peek series below.

We anticipate a full crowd so be sure to guarantee your seat at the show. Once you get a ticket, we'll see you in London!

Questions? Check out our FAQ page to get some answers.

FinovateEurope 2015 is sponsored by: The BancorpBe GroupFinancial Technology PartnersKPMG LLP and Life.SREDA.

FinovateEurope 2015 is partners with: Bank Innovators Council, BankersHub, bobsguide, Breaking Banks, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, Datamonitor Financial, The Financial Services Club, Future Finance, Harrington Starr, Hotwire, Mapa Research, Mercator Advisory Group, and The Trading Mesh (formerly HFT Review).

Thumbnail image for TransferwiseNewLogo.jpgTransferWise is starting off the year with a funding bang: the company has raised $58 million in a Series C round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

The investment takes TransferWise's total capital to more than $90 million. Existing investors Richard Branson, IA Ventures, Index Ventures, Valar Ventures, and Seedcamp also participated in the round.

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise said: "Andreessen Horowitz's investment in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption." 

"For too long, legacy providers' dominance of the market has allowed consumers to be hoodwinked into paying huge hidden charges for services as basic as currency exchange."


Ben Horowitz, founder of Andreessen Horowitz, referred to this insight the discovery of "an important secret" and called TransferWise "uniquely prepared to pursue it." 

He added: "Not only is (TransferWise's) solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, but it could not have come at a better time." Both Hinrikus and Horowitz pointed to the lack of innovation as a "massive opportunity" for companies like TransferWise.

The company plans to use the capital to drive global expansion. TransferWise is opening an office in the United States in February according to reporting by TechCrunch, and are looking to open offices in Germany and Austria in the first half of 2015, as well. The goal for the year is to open an additional 300 "currency routes."

(Above, left to right: Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus, co-founders of TransferWise at FinovateEurope 2013)

TransferWise enables money transfers between the U.S. and Canadian dollars as well as the euro, British pound, Swiss franc, and another 10 European currencies. Customers using the platform can also transfer these currencies into a number of Asian currencies including the Australian, Hong Kong and Singaporean dollars, and the Indian rupee. See the full list here.

A few metrics for TransferWise:
  • Launched in 2011
  • Headquartered in London
  • Staffs 250
  • Maintains more than 290 currency routes
  • Enabled customer transfers of £3 billion for a savings of £135 million
The company has been making headlines, as well, appearing in Motley Fool's list of fintech startups that can help consumer handle their money in 2015, and with its peers Azimo and CurrencyFair in a recent look at disruption in traditional money exchange from In December, TransferWise was named one of  KPMG's Fintech Innovators of 2014

TransferWise demoed its technology as part of FinovateEurope 2013.

Alumni News-- January 26, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMIT Technology Review features Feedzai and Zumigo in a discussion on mobile authentication technologies.
  • Loan origination platform LoanLaunch (formerly Common Origination Platform) now available from Fiserv.
  • Experian partners with BillGuard to boost effectiveness of its anti-fraud solution, ProtectMyID.
  • Misys unveils FusionBanking Lending.
  • American Banker takes a look at the relationship between Google and Lending Club.
  • Kabbage named one of America's top 100 Most Promising Companies 
  • Coinbase to open the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the U.S. 
  • Actiance announces support for IBM Verse and IBM Connections Social Cloud.
  • Credit Sesame launches iOS app with Siri integration in its credit monitoring feature.
  • Google Wallet partners with WePay to put its Instant Buy API in 200,000 e-commerce shops.
  • TransferWise Raises $58 Million in Round Led by Andreessen Horowitz.
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 new year finally blasted off this week with nearly $400 million in new money headed to the hot sector ($194 million equity, $200 million debt). The majority of the cash ($322 million or 82%) went to Finovate alums including KreditTech ($200 million), Coinbase ($75 million including money from two retail banks, USAA and BBVA), Motif Investing ($40 million from China), True Link ($3.4 million), and Kofax ($1.9 million). In addition, one Finovate alum, prepaid card white-label specialist Akimbo was acquired by Payment Data Systems.

This brings total funding for the month to more than $630 million ($430 million equity, $200 million debt), a healthy $10 billion annual run rate (see recaps from 1st week2nd week of January). 

The deals from Jan 17-23 in order of size: 
Alternative banking & lending products 
Latest round: $200 million (debt)
Total raised: $263 million (includes $215 mil debt)
Tags: Mobile, lending, underwriting, online banking, Hamburg, Germany, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange
Latest round: $75 million
Total raised: $106.7 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, Investors: USAA, BBVA, NYSE, San Francisco, California, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Giftcard marketplace for buying and selling
Latest round: $56 million
Total raised: $82.2 million
Tags: Prepaid, gift card, merchant, POS, fee income, Chicago, Illinois
Source: Crunchbase

Automated investment advice for consumers
Latest round: $40 million
Total raised: $126 million
Tags: Consumer, investing, robo-advisor, wealth management, ETFs, Renren (investor), San Mateo, California, Finovate Best of Show alum
Source: Finovate

Mobile-first payments platform
Latest round: $9.1 million
Total raised: $14.1 million
Tags: Payments, apps, mobile, SMB, London, UK
Source: FT Partners

Italian payment network
Latest round: $6.4 million
Total raised: $6.4 million
Tags: Mobile payments, micropayments, P2P, peer-to-peer, Milan, Italy
Source: Crunchbase

Prepaid card with advanced controls for seniors
Latest round: $3.4 million
Total raised: $3.4 million
Tags: Prepaid card, credit, debit, controls, security, seniors, YC, California
Source: Finovate

Document and image capture technology
Latest round: $1.9 million
Total raised: $11.5 million (public KOFX)
Tags: Remote capture, enterprise, mobile, Irvine, California
Source: Crunchbase

Social trading network
Latest round: $1.0 million
Total raised: $1.0 million
Tags: Investing, consumer, social networks, Mountain View, California
Source: Crunchbase

Securities market technology
Latest round: $800,000
Total raised: $800,000
Tags: Trading, investment management, enterprise, Bangkok, Thailand
Source: Crunchbase

Secure mobile payments with your signature
Latest round: $700,000
Total raised: $700,000
Tags: Security, mobile payments, Antwerp, Belgium
Source: Crunchbase

Online and mobile payments
Latest round: $500,000
Total funding: $9.0 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, Palo Alto, California
Source: FT Partners

Canadian provider of blockchain-powered smart contracts
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, legal, identity, security, Vancouver, Canada
Source: FT Partners


White-label prepaid card solutions
Price: $3 million
Buyer: Payment Data Systems
Tags: Prepaid card, gift card, debit, San Antonio, Texas, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate


Now that the dust has settled on fintech's biggest startup IPO ever, FT Partners has put together an extensive profile of Lending Club. Lending Club's IPO last year was one of the major events that helped put fintech in the headlines of not just technology news, but business news, as well. And FT Partners' report so far serves as the definitive document on just how the alternative lender did it and gives clues to what comes next.

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The data-rich, 60-page document focuses mostly on Lending Club, though small business lender, OnDeck, is also covered. The review of Lending Club before, during, and after its public offering includes industry reaction as well as summaries of analyst coverage.
Key milestones in the rise of Lending Club are shown graphically, from its launch in 2007, through the company's first $25 million institutional investment five years later. An industry timeline shows Lending Club's place in the evolution of the alternative lending market (interestingly contrasted with a graph of the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield).

The report discusses Lending Club's competitive strengths, opportunities for growth, and includes seven pages of loan statistics and another nine pages of financial analysis focusing on revenue and revenue comparisons.
Perhaps my favorite part is the 16-page section "Selected Alternative Lending Transactions." Looking at the variety of financing, M&A, and other transactions in both the consumer and small business markets provides a robust sense of the history and diversity of the alternative lending space.

The full report is available here.

Financial Technology Partners is an investment banking firm dedicated to the financial technology sector. The company was founded by Steve McLaughlin and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
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At a purchase price of $3 million dollars, Akimbo Financial has agreed to be acquired by payments solutions provider, Payment Data Systems.

"We believe joining the Payment Data Systems family will help further our goal of reinventing the prepaid card," Akimbo co-founder and CEO Houston Frost said. "We look forward to growing our program at FiCentive and making the Akimbo card product an industry leader and trendsetter."

Payment Data Systems plans to integrate Akimbo's prepaid card technology with the backend prepaid card processing platform of its subsidiary, FiCentive. The resulting technology, per Frost, will provide consumers with "new features and functionality", better customer service, and lower costs.

Added Louis Hoch, FiCentive president and CEO, "Not only will FiCentive have access to new and significant prepaid card front-end technology including mobile applications, but will also be acquiring significant human capital with deep prepaid card industry knowledge.

(above: Akimbo Financial co-founder and CEO Houston Frost at FinovateFall 2013)

Akimbo Financial specializes in white-label, prepaid card programs for banks and credit unions. The company's technology supports social payments and prepaid card management, making it easy for consumer to share money by email or over social networks, and to automate the management of their cards and accounts. The Akimbo Visa Prepaid Card, the company's signature solution, can be used with a mobile app (both iOS and Android) to take advantage of the budgeting, money sharing, and card management features on the go.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Akimbo Financial demonstrated its prepaid P2P payments solution at FinovateFall 2013.

Germany-based Kreditech said, "hallo" to a $200 million line of credit yesterday. Victory Park Capital supplied the debt.

The company has served 2 million customers in 9 countries since launching in 2012. It will use this debt to "address the growing demand for loans of longer durations at fair prices."


Kreditech CFO, Rene Griemens says, "Setting the stage for our upcoming Series C financing round, the credit facility will reaccelerate our growth well beyond the 500 percent per year mark." According to TechCrunch, the impending Series C round will bring Kreditech to a $750 million pre-money valuation before its anticipated IPO in two to three years.

Kreditech uses its big data credit-scoring technology to better serve the world's un and underbanked population, which accounts for four billion people. Earlier this month it acquired Kontomierz for its KYC technology and ability to get unique data in real-time.

Check out its live demo from FinovateSpring 2014.

Alumni News-- January 23, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgInternet Retailer looks at the relationship between product reviews and revenue courtesy of a new report from Baazarvoice.
  • Xero highlighted as "our best purchase of 2014" by Business Betties.
  • MakeMoneyYourWay profiles EZBOB and its new business loan promotion, the New Year's Revolution.
  • Zee News' Money Guru interviews Abhishek Dwivedi, vice president operations at
  • Liverpool Echo features Toshl Finance in its list of must-have apps for busy moms.
  • Investopedia's guide to choosing roboadvisors spotlights nine Finovate alums: Betterment, FutureAdvisor, JemstepLearnVest, Motif Investing, Personal Capital, SigFig, TradeKing, and Wealthfront.
  • Benzinga Fintech Awards publishes its video interview with Gary Zimmerman, CEO of MaxMyInterest.
  • American Banker covers OnDeck's small business loan marketplace for institutional investors.
  • Pymnts interviews René Lacerte, CEO and Founder of about how to simplify B2B payments.
  • Mifos welcomes new partners: SkooliLabs and iSystems
  • Google Cloud Platform releases beta of Google Container Registry for secure hosting, sharing, and management of private container repositories.
  • BlueVine Grabs $18.5 Million to Increase Small-Business Lending.
  • Encap Security CEO Thomas Bostrom Jorgensen asks if biometrics provide a "false sense of security" in a column for Bob's Guide.
  • Akimbo Financial acquired by Payment Data Systems.
  • Kreditech Secures $200 Million Line of Credit.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 4

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Will you be joining us live for FinovateEurope 2015? Following the action via the Finovate Live Blog and Twitter feed (@Finovate)? 

However you plan on participating in the first Finovate conference of the year, our Sneak Peek series helps you get to know the presenting companies before they hit the stage next month.

We've already highlighted 18 out of the more than 70 companies demonstrating their latest technologies. If you missed them, you can get up to speed with Parts 1, 2 and 3 of our Sneak Peek series below.

Today we bring you another set of six presenters: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, CPB SOFTWARE, Ixaris, JSC Delta Bank, QCR, and Topicus.Finance.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have a long, 156-year history of innovation. Our latest innovation is redy, a mobile commerce platform.

  • A mobile commerce platform that connects shoppers, businesses, and the community for a common cause
  • Fast and secure mobile payments
  • Easy, fast, and secure donations
Why it's great
redy is a fast and secure mobile commerce platform that improves the shopping experience and connects shoppers, businesses, and communities for a common cause.

Robert Musgrove, Executive Community Engagement
Musgrove played a pivotal role in the expansion of Community Bank. He is always on the lookout for ways to give back to his community.

Rick vanEmmerik, Mobility Manager
vanEmmerik has been with Bendigo and Adelaide Group for 7 years. He has been part of the redy team since its inception.

CPB SOFTWARE offers profound expertise, creativity, flexibility, and high quality financial software solutions including premium ASP and BPO services.

  • PROFOS is the app for bankers
  • Manage your clients anytime and anywhere
  • The best way to support your advisors and clients
Why it's great
PROFOS - The Bank is where Clients are!

Peter Thomayer, CEO
Thomayer is founding member and since 2000 CEO of CPB Software. Areas of responsibility: strategy, human resources, marketing, and sales. Held different leading positions in some banks before.

Barbara Aigner, Consultant
Aigner is founder and CEO of emotion banking, a consultant company for banks and founder of victor, the main analysis and championship for banks in the German-speaking area.

Markus Nekham, Consultant

Ixaris is a fintech company specializing in the delivery of next generation card programs.

  • Extend your card programs offering with apps from our App Store
  • Reduce burden on your IT through an on-the-cloud platform
  • Reduce card program management overheads with self-service tools
Why it's great
Card programs tailored to your customer needs by your own customers

Patrick Abela, Product Director
Abela has 15 years experience specializing in leveraging technology to deliver innovative and competitive payment products and solutions.

Reno Scerri, Pre-sales and Solutioning Manager
Scerri has over 10 years' experience in technology products, with special focus on design and delivery of solutions for the payments industry.

JSC Data Bank is a Ukranian innovative universal bank that provides a wide range of products and services for all types of clients.

  • Transfer money via Facebook
  • Transfer money using only the recipient's mobile phone number
  • Service is available without registration for everyone
Why it's great
Pay2You is a service that makes your communication channels available for transferring money.

Stanislav Ostrovsky, Head of R&D Department

QCR has developed RiskAware, an innovative credit risk assessment technology which can add major value to existing risk management practices at financial institutions.

  • Drastically improved corporate default predicting power
  • Deeper credit risk analysis and more accurate quantification of credit risk
  • Faster credit risk management, quicker SLA times
Why it's great
Through faster and more accurate credit risk management, RiskAware can save millions of USD a year in credit losses for financial institutions.

Tamas Varkonyi, Founder and CEO
Varkonyi's professional career in credit risk management spans 12 years. Before founding QCR, he managed a credit portfolio at CIT Group and underwrote loans at Barclays.

Thumbnail image for SKocso_QCR_FEU15.jpg
Sandor Kocso, CTO
Kocso is a seasoned technologist with 10 years of experience developing financial software applications at Morgan Stanley and Leonteq Securities, Switzerland.

Topicus.Finance is a flexible, process-oriented business lending platform with self-service capabilities.

With FORCE Business Lending:
  • Enable automatic loan origination
  • Achieve seamless fulfillment for all parties
  • Facilitate everything from orientation to a fully-repaid debt
Why it's great
"Customer centric" is no longer a hollow phrase. FORCE Business Lending enables your employees to fully focus on (the business of) your customer.

Michiel Schipper, Managing Director

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Jamie Burink, Head of Business Lending

FinovateEurope 2015 will be held February 10 and 11 in London. Pick up your tickets today and join us for the first Finovate conference of the year.

Being a small business short on funds is never a good thing. However, with more startups tackling short-term funding headaches for small businesses, there are now more options available.

For example, BlueVine Capital raised $18.5 million in a series B round today, bringing its total funding to $24 million. The announcement comes a day after its competitor, Taulia, pulled in $15 million.

The funding was co-led by 83North (formerly Greylock Partners) and Lightspeed Ventures. Silicon Valley Bank, Correlation Ventures and private investors also contributed.

The Palo Alto-based company will use the funding to expand into new verticals and add software integration. It also plans to double its employee base this year.


In March of 2014, BlueVine beta-launched its cloud-based platform that helps small businesses smooth out their cash flow by freeing up funds stuck in unpaid invoices. Businesses can receive credit lines from $5,000 to $50,000.

Since launch, BlueVine has processed thousands of invoices and provided several million dollars to small businesses in the U.S.

Check out BlueVine's debut at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.


Invoice management company, Taulia, raised $40 million over the last six months, and brought in even more cash yesterday. The new, $15 million installment, which has been added to its previously-closed Series D round, comes from Zouk Capital.

Since launching in 2009, the San Francisco-based company acquired BillFLO in 2011 and has raised a total of $91 million. It operates primarily in North America and Europe and the new funds will be used to fuel international expansion.


The growing funding mirrors the company's rising success. Over the past year, Taulia has doubled the number of employees to 200. Additionally, its network of suppliers has grown by 186%.

At the start of 2015, Tauila brought Rik Thorbecke on board as CFO. In the remainder of the year, the company plans to bolster R&D efforts and expand its enhanced financing options for buyers.

Taulia demonstrated its Early Invoicing Platform at FinovateSpring 2012.

Alumni News-- January 22, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgKreditech secures $200 million credit line from Victory Park Capital.
  • GMC Software and Silanis Technology partner to integrate eSignLive with Inspire.
  • Internet Retailer features Trustev CEO Pat Phelan in discussion on consumer fraud.
  • TradeKing unveils Risk Assist to protect clients against steep market declines.
  • Braintree completes initial integration with Coinbase; opens up private beta access.
  • Financial Post business section features Digital Retail Apps in its look at digital payments in 2015.
  • Realty Mogul adds new Senior VP of Mortgage Operations, Kendra King.
  • Temenos forges strategic alliance with EFT processor, Elan Financial Services.
  • Check out our latest FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek, Part 4 featuring Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, CPB Software AG, Ixaris, JSC Delta Bank, QCR, and Topicus Financial.
  • Planwise launches Connect, leveraging affordability tools to help real estate agents engage potential buyers.
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.

Recently highlighted by The Wall Street Journal as a top online tool for retirees, True Link has raised $3.4 million dollars in a round led by an atypical fintech investor: Cambia Health Solutions.

Also participating in the round were Collaborative Fund, Generator Ventures, and Kapor Capital.


The investment is the first significant infusion of capital for the True Link. Founded in February 2013 and based in San Francisco, the company debuted its True Link Prepaid cards at FinovateSpring 2014. CEO Kai Stinchcombe introduced the technology as a way to help prevent elder Americans from financial exploitation, fraud, and abuse, while still ensuring seniors can have an active financial life.

As reported in Techcrunch, Stinchcombe finds Cambia's relative lack of Silicon Valley cred to be a feature rather than a bug. He credits Cambia's "strong thesis around aging" as a major synergy compared to other potential investors whose focus may be more youth-culture oriented.

(Above: True Link CEO Kai Stinchcombe at FinovateSpring 2014)

The company plans to use the capital to look into protecting other consumer assets such as credit scores.

True Link's technology consists of a prepaid debit card with a variety of safeguards. The cards can be set up to block transactions at certain stores or certain categories of items or even certain types of transactions (i.e., no online transactions). It can also be used to establish spending limits, and to send alerts whenever a transaction threatens to breach them.

The service is $10 a month. Cards can be funded from a bank account or direct deposit, and True Link says the process takes less than five minutes to set up.

Yesterday, LendingRobot received $3 million in funding for its platform that helps individuals invest like pros on P2P lending sites, Prosper and Lending Club. Europe-based Runa Capital led the Series A round.

The new funding, plus the undisclosed amount received in a Seed round last April, brings LendingRobot's total raised to somewhere north of $3 million.

The Washington state-based company plans to use the funds to add new features, enhance its prediction models, and accelerate growth.


LendingRobot uses an algorithm to invest users' available balance in their Prosper and Lending Club accounts to get them the best return.

How is this different from Prosper's QuickInvest or Lending Club's Automated Investing?

Think of it as Bid Sniper software for eBay-meets P2P Lending. Popular loans are funded seconds after they are posted on Prosper or Lending Club, usually by institutional investors or hedge funds with automated loan investing technology. By the time the average individual makes their investments, often times the best loans have already been snatched up.

Additionally, it offers its 1,000+ users more than 40 filtering criteria to insure their cash is being invested how they want.


LendingRobot has no up-front fees, and manages users' first $10,000 for free, after which it takes 0.45% per year.

LendingRobot was recently named a finalist in SWIFT Innotribe's Startup Challenge.

We featured LendingRobot in our Behind the Scenes feature in May of 2014. Check out LendingRobot's live debut at FinovateSpring 2014.

Alumni News-- January 21, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgYour Personal Financial Mentor profiles EZBOB.
  • BrightScope releases AdviceMatch, a free online service to help consumer choose financial advisors.
  • OnDeck Marketplace emerges from pilot program. Platform helps institutional investors buy small business loans.
  • Venture Burn takes a look at Azimo and the West African remittance market.
  • Kreditech named Germany's leading digital innovator of the year by Focus Magazine.
  • Arroweye Solutions CEO Render Dahiya urges issuers on EMV adoption.
  • Check out FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 3.
  • Coinbase Raises $75 Million from BBVA, USAA, NYSE, & Others.
  • Millennial-focused BankMobile app is powered by Malauzai Software and uses Mitek to power mobile customer on-boarding.
  • Roostify describes its experience with Yodlee's FinDat Disruptor program.
  • PayPal to use InComm to support PayPal's digital gifts services in Canada.
  • Yale Undergraduate selects Wall Street Survivor to help students understand investing and personal finance. 
  • Baltimore looks at how TIO Networks powers Baltimore's online bill pay system.
  • Tradeshift wins Circular Economy Digital Disruptor Award held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
  • CustomerXPs and EY, a tax advisory firm, partner to help companies deal with fraud.
  • iBillionaire updates mobile app & releases new High Dividend Index.
  • Payment Data Systems to acquire Akimbo for $3 million.
  • Be sure to check out FinovateEurope Sneak Peek #2 featuring AlphaPoint, Avoka, Encap Security, investUP, Nostrum Group, and StreetShares.
  • True Link Raises $3 Million in Round Led by Cambia Health Solutions.
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'll be in London three weeks from today, where drinks will be served, networking will be in full force, and we'll be wrapping up the first day of FinovateEurope 2015 (get your ticket here).


To help you prepare for the onslaught of 70+ live demos full of new technology, some of the presenters provided us a summary of what to expect from them on stage. This week, we're featuring CoinJarEVRYFOBISSStrandsTrunomi, and VATBox:

Don't miss previous posts:


CoinJar is a digital finance platform that gives customers a way to manage and spend both traditional and digital currencies when and how they want.


    • Store bitcoin without volatility 
    • End-to-end solutions to make bitcoin adoption easy 
    • Buy bitcoin reliably with a simple interface

Why it's greatCoinJarPresenters.jpg
CoinJar provides end-to-end solutions to unlock Bitcoin's potential.


Asher Tan, CEO and Co-Founder
Economic Analyst. Researcher. Bitcoiner.

Ryan Zhou, COO and Co-Founder
Rubyist. Student at University of Melbourne. Bitcoiner.


EVRY is the Nordics' leading financial service provider and is presenting Spendific, a concept designed to make personal finance simple.


    • Automatically generates personalized budget based on previous spending
    • Gives users feedback on their finances in real-time
    • Motivates users to reach their goals

Why it's great
In Spendific there are no complicated graphs or charts to tell you whether you're on track with your finances. Just one number. No worries.



Anne Moa, Product developer
Moa has previously worked as a youth economist in a large Norwegian bank, with responsibility for the bank's main channel of communication towards young people.


Magne Meldal, Business developer
Combining two decades of technology and marketing experience with an open mind, Meldal is passionate about bringing better financial services to consumers.


FOBISS is a first modern tool enabling retail banks to manage their entire cash supply chains with one button click.


    • Automates optimization and decision-making
    • Based on Artificial Intelligence technologies
    • Can be flexibly adapted to existing processes

Why it's great
The industry's first and only cash management system empowered by Artificial Intelligence and driving best decisions on time.



Mindaugas Leonavicius, Managing Director
Leonavicius has more than 10 years of experience in management consulting. Led multiple businesses through start-up phases from establishment to breakeven.


Andrius Ojeras, Global Sales Director
Ojeras is an IT Sales professional with more than 10 years of experience within multinational IT organizations.


Strands designs and creates next-generation digital banking experiences to help individuals and SMEs manage their finances.


    • Help SMEs analyze and forecast future financial needs
    • Empower SMEs to deliver targeted marketing campaigns on mobile devices
    • Help banks address the digital banking needs of business owners

Why it's great
With Strands Loop, financial institutions can create a more seamless and personal banking experience and build better relationships with their SME clients



Dario Lombardi, General Manager, Strands Finance
Lombardi leads the Finance BU. He joined Strands in 2011 as Business Development Director and has been responsible for managing sales in EMEA. Prior to Strands, he worked for Bloomberg LP


Cesar Jimenez Richardson, Director, Business Development
Richardson joined Strands in 2014 and is managing Strands Finance in the Americas. Previously he founded and managed tech startup companies in travel and education tech arena and worked for Bloomberg LP


Trunomi offers an innovative technology platform that streamlines Know Your Customer and mobile verification using a revolutionary consent-based data sharing platform.


    • TruMobile securely connects customers with banks.
    • Monetises and personalises your customer's data experience.
    • Streamlines verification KYC using a revolutionary consent-based data sharing platform.

Why it's great
A customer-focused mobile solution that eliminates their most significant pain-points; making their account opening and data management experience simple, secure and easy.



Stuart Lacey, Founder & CEO
Lacey is an innovator, team-builder and thought leader. Sometimes mistaken for the Energizer Bunny - he is relentless in his drive to find better ways to learn, build, nurture and share great ideas.


Chia Brewin, Customer Development Executive
Brewin is a multi-tasking, Trunomian super-star. She attended University in the UK, helped run campaigns for major political parties then earned a black belt in the "Art of Customer Development".


VATBox is the first, cloud-based automated solution for Foreign/Domestic VAT recovery, providing data-driven visibility and insights while maximizing VAT returns.


    • Eliminate human-error and resources with automated VAT technology
    • Gain complete visibility, compliance and control of VAT spend
    • Benefit from VAT recovery optimization, maximizing refunds

Why its great
VATBox's Automated VAT recovery solution enables customers to have one global process that tracks and manages VAT spend with ease, and to maximize VAT refunds.



Isaac Saft, Co-Founder & CEO

    • 2012 - 2013 - President and Global Business Development, KCS Ltd
    • 2004 - 2012 - Founder and Chief Executive Officer, KCS Ltd
    • 1994 - 2003 - Commanding Officer, Israel Defense Forces

Stephen Coleclough, Advisory Board Member
Coleclough is a Tax Consultant in Mishcon de Reya's Tax Group with over 30 years' experience in tax and law. He was formerly a Partner and Global Leader of Indirect Taxes at pwc.

FinovateEurope will be held February 10 & 11 in London. Pick up your ticket today to save your seat at the hottest fintech event of the year.

Questions? Check out our FAQ for some answers.


Amid recent murmurs of cryptocurrency's projected outlook for 2015, bitcoin wallet Coinbase just received some credibility from some major financial institutions.

The San Francisco-based company pulled in $75 million in a round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). BBVA VenturesUSAA Bank, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Crypto Currency Partners also contributed, along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital.

From a fintech standpoint, the most notable investors are BBVA and USAA. Both have historically been known for being on the cutting edge of fintech. In an interview yesterday with CoinDesk, BBVA Ventures executive director Jay Reinemann stated:

"This is unfortunately not an announcement that we're opening up the bank to do that, it's moreso a precursor. We need to better understand the industry and understand how merchants and consumers are interacting with bitcoin."

According to TechCrunch, this is the largest round yet a bitcoin-related company has raised. The new installment adds up to more than double its last three rounds combined, and brings its total funding to almost $107 million.


What's a bitcoin-focused company to do with all of those dollars? The Coinbase team will use the money to work on its mobile channel, increase its international availability from the current 19 countries to 30 countries, and build out its API.

To see the Coinbase wallet in action, check out its live demo from FinovateSpring 2014 where it demoed Instant Exchange.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for motiflogo.jpgIn one of the more interesting investments in recent months, Chinese social network, Renren has led a $40 million funding round for investment platform, Motif Investing.

The funding takes Motif's total capital to more than $120 million.

Renren founder and CEO Joseph Chen said that Motif was the kind of "disruptive technology" that can "transform markets." He sees the platform as serving both retail and institutional investors in the United States and around the world.

But perhaps it was Carl Stern who put it best. The former Vice Chairman of the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs and former Chairman and CEO at The Boston Consulting Group, said "Motif Investing is experiencing success because it provides a differentiated model to advisors and retail investors that make smart investing simple at minimal cost."

The investment from Renren is part of the company's campaign to invest approximately $500 million in fintech startups. According to the Wall Street Journal blog's reporting, Renren is looking to diversify its revenue away from an emphasis on advertising. The blog quotes Chen saying, "making money purely through mobile advertising in China is too difficult." 

(Above: Motif Investing co-founder and CEO, Hardeep Walia at FinovateSpring 2014)

Motif says that Renren's support could help the company eventually expand into China. For now, the company is looking to move into both the U.K. and Hong Kong in 2015.

Motif's technology lets investors and traders build their own exchange-traded funds. The platform leverages the creativity of its investment community to develop investment products that are often more unique and topical than those traditionally available. 

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Mateo, California, Motif Investing is a multiple Best of Show award winning alum, earning honors for demonstrations of its technology at both FinovateFall 2013 and FinovateSpring 2014.

Alumni News-- January 20, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgACI Worldwide partners with ATM provider LD Systems.
  • Nutmeg hires former Google financial search ad specialist, Scott Eblen, as Chief Product Officer.
  • Azimo customers can now send money to another eight West African countries.
  • The American Bankers Association endorses PFM and BFM platforms from Geezeo.
  • New app from no-fee, no-branch BankMobile is powered by Malauzai Software.
  • Wall Street Journal's top tools for retirement planning features BillGuard, blooom, HelloWallet, MaxMyInterest, Mint, True Link Financial, and Yodlee.
  • Check out our latest CEO interview: Global Debt Registry CEO Mark Parsells Brings Transparency to Debt Ownership. 
  • Top Image Systems and SQN Banking Systems deploy signature verification project at Singapore bank.
  • TechVibes highlights Trulioo founder, Stephen Ufford.
  • Integrity now offers CardFlight mPOS to its merchant customers.
  • Credit Karma now has more than 35 million members, accounting for 16% of US population with an open credit profile at a major bureau.
  • Continuity named one of Connecticut's 2015 Best Places to Work.
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 GlobalDebtRegistryLogo_FF2014.jpg

FinovateFall 2014 alumGlobal Debt Registry operates in what may be the final frontier of finance: charged-off consumer debt. When consumers get into financial trouble, they find themselves not just battling debt, but struggling to deal with often aggressive - and sometimes unscrupulous - debt collectors.

GlobalDebtRegistry_homepage1.jpgFounded in 2009 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Global Debt Registry has developed technology and processes that help both individuals and financial institutions track the chain of title for charged-off consumer debts. This is key in making sure that debts are accurately connected with both debtors and debt owners, bringing transparency and efficiency to an arguably under-regulated space.

"Global Debt Registry believes there is a better way to manage charged off accounts," said Global Debt Registry CEO Mark Parsells in response to emailed questions. "We enable large enterprises to securely store and grant access to data and documents on charged off accounts to facilitate better collection outcomes, whether place with collection agencies or sold."

Read the rest of our conversation with Mark Parsells below.

Finovate: Global Debt Registry's primary market is charged off debt. How big is this market and what are its growth prospects going forward?

Mark Parsells: There is over 100 billion dollars of charged off debt created every year. That number isn't tapering, but steadily growing.

Historically, the market was dominated by credit card debt, which remains a major issue. But now medical debt and student loans are presenting new issues for the industry and consumers. As highlighted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in late December, there are over 43 million Americans that have delinquent medical debt on their credit reports. This lack of understanding and transparency will continue to create issues when attempting to manage debt for the debt owner, collectors, and for consumers. 

The market is ripe for digital transformation and we have a tried and tested solution to address these issues.

Finovate: The New York Times published a fascinating expose on what they called "the dark, lucrative world of consumer debt collection."  What do you think is the key takeaway from that story?

Parsells: Jake Halpern, the author of Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld, highlighted many of the issues that result from the lack of digital governance. The open sharing offline of consumer data has inevitably led to abuses. One major highlight for us was the fact the author suggested a central repository of debt information, or a global debt registry, is necessary to bring the debt collection space out of the shadows.

Finovate: What do financial institutions do right now to establish debt ownership? How difficult is the process.

Parsells: Currently there is a fragile, inefficient model known as the "daisy chain" process. Debt information is passed around to debt buyers, agencies and legal collectors, which is insecure, inefficient and frequently without real hard information in support of the claim.

As debt information is passed around, the integrity of the information is lost. Debt collectors and agencies don't have access to the right information, as original contracts and account statements rarely flow during this change in debt ownership.

When contacted by a debt collector, consumers will typically first attempt to contact the original creditor. But those lines of service are usually cut off, as now the debt owner is a separate entity, with no records to offer clarity to individuals. As a very underinvested area for banks, there is no centrally common digital infrastructure across the industry to support the management of charged off accounts and tracking of debt ownership and placement, leading to an inefficient and high-risk process for financial institutions.

Finovate: Who in the financial services industry is most in need of the kind of services Global Debt Registry provides? Who do you target?

Parsells: Global Debt Registry addresses the needs of large creditors, debt buyers, and collection agencies that support and service the $3.4 trillion consumer debt market in the United States, including credit cards, auto loans, home equity, student loans, and consumer finance/retail loans.

We provide data integrity services for the nation's top banks and debt owners to track and communicate information about debt. Our solution helps large and small creditors looking for a better way to manage debt and ensure fair treatment of consumers.

Global Debt Registry also provides transparency and resources to risk and compliance officers, as they seek to manage the overall risk factors of the mounting debt space. Compliance officers like the solution, but so do those business leaders responsible for the P&L and customer experience.

Finovate: How difficult to navigate are regulatory and compliance issues in this industry? Do regulations make it harder to get the transparency people want?

Parsells: Debt collection rules were mainly drafted 30 years ago, prior to much technology and the invention of the debt market. Historically, this industry has been very under-regulated, and only during the last year or two has there been an increase in attention around these issues. 

The formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a clear focus on creating more transparency for consumers, ensuring strong data integrity and regulations that more clearly set guidelines for fraud and inefficient debt tracking. The FTC and OCC have also added direction, along with State Attorneys General such as New York, taking actions against debt buyers for consumer abuses. Our digital solution addresses these regulatory concerns.

Finovate: What is the technological challenge of making all this data and information accessible? What was the most difficult component?

Parsells: The main challenges are human rather than technical. Secure cloud based technology enables large volumes of data to be stored, analyzed, shared, and managed more efficiently than ever. The challenges fall across the whole industry, requiring collaboration and leadership across banks, the debt buying and collection industry. Some parties support the absence of transparency and governance that manual processes facilitate. Convincing a siloed, paper based ecosystem to adopt technology requires patience.

(Global Debt Registry on stage at FinovateFall 2014, left to right: Todd Veale, Chief Marketing and Product Officer; Charles Moore, Chief Commercial Officer)

Finovate: What is the range of services that Global Debt Registry provides to FIs?

Parsells: Global Debt Registry believes there is a better way to manage charged off accounts. Consumer debt is one of the last remaining financial asset classes not to systematically electronically record transactions, leading to inefficiencies, risk, consumer confusion, and increasingly regulatory attention. 

We enable large enterprises to securely store and grant access to data and documents on charged off accounts to facilitate better collection outcomes, whether placed with collection agencies or sold.  Extending the customer lifecycle to embrace charged off customers will become an increasingly important area for FIs over the next few years as a result of both regulation and brand impact. We solve this problem for them with Debt Lookup, our free debt validation application.

Finovate: What's next for Global Debt Registry? What new initiatives are in the pipeline?

Parsells: We are planning to launch new Global Debt Registry services this year to continue enhancing how the organizations we work with track and manage debt. We are also planning on adding new asset classes, support and services that will anticipate increasingly complex regulatory standards. The OCC now requires banks to coordinate debt sales and placements across asset classes, representing integration and coordination complexities we are helping with. The line between debt sales and placement with collection agencies will continue to blur, hence the need to support both. We are very excited about the stage of evolution in the market and the growing appetite for digital evolution and governance.

Watch Global Debt Registry's FinovateFall 2014 demonstration here.

Alumni News-- January 19, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgWordline extends partnership with Kalixa.
  • Misys signs deal with fixed income data and cash flow model specialist, Intex.
  • defiSolutions unveils ESSENTIAL LOS automated application processing solution.
  • Benzinga looks at how LikeFolio helps investors spot trends in stocks.
  • Engineering and Technology Magazine features biometric authenticators EyeVerify, Bionym, and BioCatch.
  • Wipit Named Winner in Ninth Annual Paybefore Awards.
  • Banking Tech features how RBS subsidiary, Ulster Bank, is holding a hackathon with Open Bank Project.
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.
As expected, capital flow heated up as the new year truly got underway this week. Globally, 15 fintech companies attracted $157 million in new capital (see note below). More than half the total ($84 million) went to Finovate alums App Annie ($55 million), PeerTransfer ($22 million) and Global Debt Registry ($7 million). 

There was also an important exit in the space, with Capital One buying up yet another promising personal finance startup, Level, the creator of mobile PFM LevelMoney

Note: App Annie would not be considered "fintech" by most definitions. But the fact that it targets financial services, among other verticals, and has appeared at Finovate, qualifies it for our tracking. Excluding App Annie, the fintech sector pulled in $102 million this week. 

Fundings (Jan 9 to 16, 2015 in order of size)

Business intelligence for mobile applications 
Latest round: $55 million
Total raised: $94 million
Tags: Mobile, apps, San Francisco, California, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Microfinance for Chinese college students to buy goods
Latest round: $40 million
Total raised: $40 million
Tags: Ecommerce, lending, loans, student segment, Rayleigh, China
Source: TechInAsia

Remittance processing for international student tuition
Latest round: $22 million
Total raised: $42.3 million
Tags: Payments, funds transfer, student market, remittance processing, Boston, Massachusetts, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Revenue optimization systems for financial institutions
Latest round: $15 million
Total raised: $18.9 million
Tags: Business intelligence, metrics, Tel Aviv, Israel
Source: Crunchbase

Personal lending marketplace
Latest round: $7.7 million
Total raised: $7.7 million
Tags: Person-to-person loans, P2P, credit, investing, marketplace, Trade Me (investor), Aukland, New Zealand
Source: FT Partners

Clearinghouse for charged-off consumer debt obligations 
Latest round: $7 million
Total raised: $7 million
Tags: Debt, collections, lending, Wilmington, Delaware, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Amazon web services for the blockchain
Latest round: $3.1 million
Total raised: $3.1 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cloud services, cryptocurrency, blockchain, San Mateo, California
Source: Crunchbase

Indonesian giftcard startup
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $2 million
Tags: prepaid cards, debit, gift card, Indonesia
Source: Crunchbase

Payment and marketing services
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $2 million
Tags: Payments, marketing, SMB, Bucharest, Romania
Source: FT Partners

Unbiased financial advise as an employee benefit
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.5 million
Tags: Personal finance management, PFM, advise, employee benefits, Charleston, South Carolina
Source: Crunchbase

Investor services platform
Latest round: $1.1 million
Total raised: $1.1 million
Tags: Hedge fund, mutual fund, compliance, back-office, enterprise, New York City
Source: Crunchbase

mSignia bitcoin wallet
Latest round: $500,000
Total raised: $500,000
Tags: Cyrptocurrency, bitcoin, wallet, security, San Diego, California
Source: FT Partners

Parallel computing for financial calculations
Latest round: $400,000
Total raised: $400,000
Tags: Investing, trading, infrastructure, Boston, Massachusetts
Source: Crunchbase

Payment processor for the clinical trials industry
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $1.5+ million
Tags: Health care, payments, acquirer, merchant, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Source: FT Partners

Payment security technology
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Security, payments, Allen, Texas
Source: FT Partners



LevelMoney mobile personal financial management 
Acquirer: Capital One
Terms: Undisclosed
Funds raised: $5 million
Tags: PFM, money management, mobile app, personal finance
Source: The Verge

Health record and financial solutions for smaller health care provider
Acquirer: Athenahealth
Terms: Undisclosed 
Funds raised: Unknown
Tags: Healthcare, payments, 
Source: Fortune


When you combine Lending Club's entry into small business lending last March with its investment from Google in May of 2013, add in a successful IPO last December, what do you get?

A partnership with Google Partners.

Lending Club announced yesterday it is piloting a program that will enable Google to invest its own capital in its network of 10,000 partners by purchasing their loans. This differs from Google's other investment arms, Google Capital and Google Ventures, as the partner investment program will offer capital without taking equity.


The partner network consists of resellers, consultants, and system integrators that help Google distribute its applications and services. To be eligible for funding, Google partners must be based in the U.S. and meet certain requirements. Qualifying partners can get loans of up to $600,000 for a two-year term.

This six figure amount is double the $300,000 cap that Lending Club typically places on qualified small business borrowers. Also, while the interest rate for SMBs borrowing through Lending Club starts at a fixed 5.9%, those who take out loans through Google Partners will pay only interest the first year, and pay back the loan on an amortized schedule in year two.


This isn't Lending Club's first time working with third parties. For a little over a year now, Lending Club has extended two-fold partnerships to banks and credit unions to 1) purchase loans from Lending Club to diversify their asset portfolios and 2) offer personal loans to their banking customers. It is also working with private equity companies.

Lending Club demonstrated at the first Finovate in 2007.

Gremln Hires Paul Rauner as New COO

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The new year continues to bring C-level changes to the leadership of Finovate alums large and small. Today we learn that Gremln has hired former SirenGPS founder, Paul Rauner to be its new Chief Operating Officer.


Rauner said in a statement: "I am excited to leverage my experience to accelerate Gremln's effforts to provide secure, compliant social media to our clients."

Previous to founding SirenGPS, Rauner was Insurance Agency General Counsel for The NASDAQ Stock Market and Assistant Legal Director for Aon Risk Services. His responsibilities for Gremln will include forging strategic partnerships to help the company enter new markets. 

Founded in 2009 and based in St. Louis, Missouri, Gremln raised $500,000 back in November. The company's total funding is $2 million. Last year, Gremln was endorsed by the New York Bankers Association, and also participated in the SixThirty Accelerator Program.

Gremln was last on the Finovate stage as part of FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

Alumni News-- January 16, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgLinedata Capitalstream to offer e-SignLive by Silanis.
  • 13 Finovate alums win 2015 Paybefore Awards.
  • Payment Services Provider Anderson Zaks teams up with card-linked offers specialist, Birdback.
  • MarketWatch's Your Digital Self column looks at Jingit.
  • Baseline magazine features a recent study by Arxan Technologies on the state of mobile app security.
  • The Mifos Initiative joins Microcredit Summit Campaign to integrate social performance management and poverty measurement tools into its free and open source cloud-based core banking system.
  • The Super early bird deadline for FinovateSpring 2015 ends tonight! Pick up your tickets now to save big time.
  • Monetise partners with MoneyPass to offer mobile money services to MoneyPass customers.
  • Lending Club Pilots Program to Provide Low Interest Financing to Google Partners.
  • In 2014, secondary transactions surged to a record $1.4 billion on SecondMarket.
  • Spend Matters debunks myths about Taulia. Check out Taulia at FinovateEurope next month.
  • Infosys announces $250 Million USD 'Innovate in India Fund' to support Indian start-ups.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateEurope 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 2

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It's hard to believe, but it's true: we're less than one month away from the first Finovate show of the year.

FinovateEurope 2015 is returning to Old Billingsgate Market Hall in London for what promises to be our biggest event in Europe yet. We hope you will be able to join us as 70 companies from across Europe and around the world demonstrate some of the latest in financial technology.  

To that end, here's the second part of our Sneak Peek series to give you a taste of what some of this year's innovators will be showing on stage in February. (Part One available here.)

AlphaPoint_hires_logo_box.jpgAlphaPoint's Digital Currency Exchange Platform allows institutions to establish their own internal digital currency exchanges.

    • 24-hour run-time capabilities
    • Military-grade security practices
    • New order types, improved scalability, and an even faster processing speed
Why it's great
AlphaPoint's secure, scalable, and customizable exchange platform is easing the adoption of digital currencies across the globe.

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Joe Ventura, CTO
Ventura has over 15 years of software architecture experience specializing in secure, scalable, and high performance financial systems for companies such as Deutsche Bank, UBS, and Merrill Lynch.

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Scott Bambacigno, VP of Sales
Bambacigno joined AlphaPoint at the start of 2014 and has led the acquisition of over a dozen global clients.

Avoka enables your omni-channel digital banking business with frictionless account openings.

    • Fast time to market - deploy digital applications in weeks
    • True Omni-Channel solutions - responsive design on any device
    • Improve conversion with reporting and analytics - make changes and publish
Why it's great
Create an engaging digital loan application from any device in 3 minutes or less.

Derek Corcoran, Chief Experience Officer
Corcoran has over 20 years experience in financial services globally, delivering frictionless customer experiences for digital sales and service transactions.

Kevin Mortimer, Technical Director

Encap Security will demonstrate how financial institutions can use Touch ID and Encap's authentication platform to provide access to and authenticate high-value financial services transactions.

    • Easily integrate Apple Touch ID into financial services applications
    • Utilise smart device capabilities to improve authentication
    • Enable proportional security to drive adoption and use
Why it's great
Authentication works best when a number of factors are used - and the factors used are contextually appropriate to the risk of the activity taking place.

Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen, CEO 
Jorgensen has over 10 years experience in the mobile financial services, identity management, and mobile application security sectors.

John Burman, Sales Director, Europe

investUP is the crowdfunding supermarket, allowing you to lend & invest across all your favorite P2P, debt, and equity sites.

    • Discover more deals - use more sites and find more great deals
    • Saving you time - invest on all your favorite sites through UP
    • Keep track - have just one account and one portfolio with UP
Why it's great
Only with UP can you enjoy one account and one portfolio, yet still lend and invest across all your favorite crowdfunding sites.

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James Tuckett, CEO and Founder
Tuckett is a full-time crowdfunding evangelical from an aerospace engineering and accountancy background. Founded UP in 2012.

Nostrum Group is pioneering digital lending - providing customers with the ability to service their own accounts where and when they want.

    • Digital
    • Automated
    • Mobile
Why it's great
Loan technology that re-imagines what a customer wants from banks and how they can interact with financial products.

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Richard Carter, CEO
Carter leads the organization and is responsible for setting the company. He is passionate about customer experience, innovation, and technology - inside and outside financial services.

StreetShares connects businesses with retail and institutional investors who compete to lend to businesses. Business lending meets social affinities.

    • Blends social and affinity group loyalty with traditional bank underwriting
    • Small businesses pitch their loan request at no cost or obligation
    • Investors compete through online auction technology
Why it's great
StreetShares borrowers get funded at competitive rates while investors get the returns they're looking for. Everyone wins.

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Mark Rockefeller, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Rockefeller's goal is to breathe new life into the American dream for a new generation of small business owners.

Tickets for FinovateEurope 2015 are on sale now. Visit our registration page today and save your seat at the show.

Global Debt Registry has secured $7 million in Series A financing. The company plans to use the new capital to help drive sales growth and expand operations. The latter includes both increased marketing as well as a move into new asset classes in the consumer debt market.

The individual investors were not immediately disclosed.

Global Debt Registry serves as a clearinghouse for the debt market, providing definitive and independent information on debt ownership. The company's technology provides an account level "chain of title," bringing standardization, transparency, and digitization to the market. 

The company also provides a consumer solution, Debt Lookup. Consumers can use this resource to see who actually owns their debt, useful to make sure that collection agents looking for debt repayments, for example, are legitimate. Consumer Reports, in its look at the technology called Debt Lookup "promising" as a way to deal particularly with "zombie debt" that consumers often believe has already been paid off.

Recently profiled in American Banker, Global Debt Registry is - in part - fintech's response to the world described by Jake Halpern in his book, Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld. Bad Paper describes just how perilous the unregulated consumer debt market is, and how unscrupulous characters can take advantage of unsuspecting debtors. This has led Halpern to say that a debt registry is a "very common sense idea" and that "it's kind of mind-boggling in some ways that it hasn't been implemented already."

The team from Global Debt Registry agrees. Quoted in American Banker, Global Debt Registry CEO Mark Parsells expects the dollar volume of charge-offs and the number of people contacted by third-party bill collectors both to grow significantly over the next decade. "Particularly with the growing balance after insurance in medical debt," he said.

Founded in 2009 and based in Wilmington, Delaware, Global Debt Registry made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014 in New York. Stay tuned for our CEO interview with Global Debt Registry's Mark Parsells coming next week.

Alumni News-- January 15, 2015

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFiserv launches its mobile card management app, CardValet.
  • Monitise teams up with the MoneyPass Network to offer Mobile Money services and card control functionality.
  • Misys adds DTCC connectivity to its Regulatory Reporting Service.
  • Partnership between MasterCard and Movistar brings mobile money service to Peru.
  • Benzinga columnist profiles Market Prophit in his look at Apple, Facebook, and JP Morgan.
  • Yodlee now powering 80 financial solutions for smbs.
  • PlanetBiometrics profiles Neil Costigan, BehavioSec CEO.
  • D3 Banking reveals 2015 plans to release digital offering for bank's SMB customers & launch SaaS-based offering.
  • Kony receives the highest scores in 3 out of 4 use cases in New Gartner Report: Critical Capabilities for Mobile Application Development Platforms.
  • TIO Networks partners with City of Baltimore to launch mobile phone bill payments for residents.
  • James Dotter, Utah Business' 2013 CFO of the Year, joins MX as CFO.
  • FreeAgent offers £5k tax bill prize to ease Self Assessment woes.
  • Algomi reports strong growth, plans to triple U.S. staff.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

btn3_ov.pngWith the presenter roster set for FinovateEurope, we've begun our global search for the financial technology innovations that will be showcased at FinovateSpring in Silicon Valley on May 12 & 13.  

Last year, FinovateSpring welcomed a record crowd of 1,300 executives who witnessed 70+ new fintech innovations debut via our signature demo-only format.

This year, based on the early interest, we expect the event to grow significantly and to showcase even more great innovations than last year.

If your company is interested in debuting your latest and greatest at the premier event for fintech innovation, please email us at for more details.

If you're interested in attending FinovateSpring to watch the future of fintech unfold live on stage, tickets are on sale for the event at the affordable super early-bird price through this Friday only.

We'll see you in Silicon Valley in May (or London in a few weeks)!

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

FinovateSpring 2015 is partners with: Aite, Bank Innovators Council, BankersHub, Bobsguide, BreakingBanks, California Bankers Association, Canada, Celent,, Filene Research Institute, Hotwire PR, Javelin Strategy, Mercator Advisory Group and Western Independent Bankers.

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