Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Pindrop launches new risk-based authentication solution for call centers, Pindrop Express.
  • NCR and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announce strategic alliance.
  • PayPal acquires Hyperwallet for $400 million in cash.
  • Hancock Whitney Bank picks Envestnet platform to support its broker-deal and trust businesses.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.



SigFig Raises $50 Million in Series E

Automated wealth management advisory specialist SigFig has raised $50 million in new funding in a round led by General Atlantic. The Series E round also featured the participation of existing investors UBS, Eaton Vance Corporation, DCM Ventures, New York Life, Nyca Partners, and Bain Capital Ventures.

“For over a decade, SigFig has provided access to premium, tech-enabled financial services for customers, banks, and wealth advisors,” CEO and co-founder of SigFig, Mike Sha said. “We are now aggressively expanding our services and reach to improve how banks utilize technology with their clients and increase the number of everyday people using technology to manage their finances.”

The company said it will use the additional capital to invest in new technology and to expand its service to larger FIs like current partners UBS and Wells Fargo. This week’s investment takes SigFig’s total capital to $117 million.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, SigFig demonstrated its portfolio management service at FinovateFall 2011. The company enables financial service providers to offer their customers a way to build tax efficient, diversified investment portfolios that are personalized, mobile-accessible, and less expensive than using traditional financial advisors. SigFig’s platform provides tax reduction strategies, reinvests dividends, and monitors the portfolio, rebalancing when allocations get out of balance.

SigFig clients get their first $10,000 managed free and accounts can be opened with as little as $2,000. Accounts above $10,000 are charged a 0.25% annual fee. All clients get free portfolio monitoring and analysis, unlimited access to professional investment advisors, and minimized brokerage commissions.  SigFig supports individual and joint accounts, as well as all IRA types.

General Atlantic Managing Partner Paul Stamas, who will join SigFig’s board of directors as part of the investment, praised the company’s B2B2C business model, which he said could help SigFig take advantage of the growing market for “digitally-native investment advisors.” Stamas added that the company “leverages its industry-leading technology alongside its partners’ existing physical infrastructure and human capital to create a best-in-class advice solution.”

The funding for SigFig comes in the wake of a pair of major deployments of its platform. Earlier this year, UBS Wealth Management USA went live with SigFig-powered, robo advisory solution, UBS Advice Advantage. The UBS solution is geared toward clients with $10,000 to $250,000 in investable assets, and follows just a few months after Wells Fargo unveiled its own SigFig-developed robo advisor.

ThetaRay Partners with ABN AMRO to Boost AML Capabilities

ABN AMRO, the third largest bank in the Netherlands and one of the leading banks in northwest Europe, has partnered with ThetaRay in a five-year, bank-wide project to improve the Dutch bank’s AML and CTF (counter-terrorist financing) capabilities. ThetaRay is a specialist in leveraging machine learning and sophisticated mathematical algorithms to detect financial crime in its earliest stages. The company will help the bank focus on making its post-transaction monitoring more effective and efficient.

“We are very happy to have ABN AMRO join the distinguished group of leading banks already using ThetaRay’s solution,” SVP of Sales for ThetaRay Shay Dovev said. “Today banks are dealing with complex challenges when facing terrorism and financial crime. They have no option but to use the best technologies based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to protect themselves and meet increasing regulatory requirements.”

ThetaRay’s platform enables financial institutions to build customized solutions to identify anomalies in large, complex data sets in real time regardless of source. The product of more than 15 years of academic research, ThetaRay’s approach to fraud detection is data agnostic and rules-free, leveraging “the wisdom of the algorithm crowd” to deliver a faster, more accurate cybersecurity solution and a new paradigm in anomaly detection.

Founded in 2013, ThetaRay demonstrated its fraud & credit risk analytics platform at FinovateFall 2015.  The company has been especially busy in the first half of this year, partnering with Singapore bank OCBC in March,  and winning the Regulatory Technology Implementation of the Year category at the 2018 Asian Banker Risk Management Awards in May. Earlier this month, ThetaRay won the 2018 ATMIA Global Award for Next Generation ATM Security.

ThetaRay is headquartered in Israel and maintains offices in New York, London, and Singapore. The company has raised more than $30 million in funding, and includes Poalim Capital Markets (PCM), Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and General Electric among its investors. Mark Gazit is CEO.

Finovate Alumni News


  • ThetaRay Partners with ABN AMRO to Boost AML Capabilities.
  • SigFig Raises $50 Million in Series E.

Around the web

  • Signicat integrates Belgian digital identity scheme, itsme, into its platform.
  • Australia’s Bendigo and Adelaide Bank selects OneSumX from Wolters Kluwer for regulatory reporting.
  • Fiserv inks deals with Sioux Valley Community CU and Coulee Dam FCU based in Iowa and Washington state, respectively.
  • Payfone collaborates with Canadian telecom EnStream to develop mobile federated authentication service.
  • Indiana-based Elements Financial Credit Union ($1.5 billion in assets) to deploy digital sales platform from Gro 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.

Finastra Acquires Malauzai

Global financial software provider Finastra, the combination of D+H and Misys that was forged a year ago this month, has added a new major element to its mix. The company announced today that it would acquire fellow Finovate alum Malauzai, a firm that specializes in retail and business banking solutions for community banks and credit unions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Calling these smaller financial institutions “the fabric of American financial services,” Finastra CEO Simon Paris said bringing Malauzai into the Finastra fold will be a major boon for large and small FIs. “Together, our two companies deliver a fully integrated open core platform for payments, lending, and digital, across Finastra’s 4,500-strong U.S.-based community market customers and Malauzai’s non-core U.S.-based customers.” Paris added that Malauzai’s “leadership” and “open approach” are in “perfect alignment with our open platform vision.”

Malauzai co-founder and Chief Product Officer Robb Gaynor during a live demo of the company’s Conversational Banking for Business solution at FinovateFall 2017.

It’s also worth noting that the acquisition was the consumption of a relationship between the two companies that began years ago. Finastra and Malauzai have been collaboration partners with more than 130 shared customers since 2015. As such it was no surprise to hear Malauzai CEO Tom Shen echo Paris’ praise for the synergies between the two companies. “By combining a best-in-class core experience, backed by leading innovative mobile and Internet banking capabilities and our mobile-only design approach, community financial institutions win,” Shen said.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Malauzai has distinguished itself as a major provider of digitally-innovative products and solutions for local and community-based financial institutions. For the company’s FinovateSpring 2015 demo, co-founders Robb Gaynor and Danny Piangerelli were joined on stage by representatives from six different community banks that were offering Malauzai-powered features including P2P payments, picture bill pay, and debit card on/off to their customers and members.

Solutions like MOX Pay and Conversational Banking for Business, both demoed at recent Finovate events, further distinguished Malauzai has a partner for financial institutions looking to provide their retail and business customers with the same level of digital innovation as the larger banks.

“The acquisition creates a compelling proposition for our existing customer base and enables Finastra’s customers to deliver a seamless banking experience with a robust breadth of services, via a single provider,” Shen said. Malauzai serves more than 350 community financial institutions in the U.S. and has more than one million active users of its solutions.

Malauzai has raised more than $24 million in funding from investors including Wellington Management and Live Oak Banking Company. In May, the company teamed up with its future acquirer to help Horicon Bank launch its digital banking platform . InApril, Malauzai partnered with fellow Finovate alum Geezeo to develop a new mobile app for Axiom Bank, the second-largest community bank in Florida.

Baker Hill Brings its Cloud-Based Loan Origination Solution to First Bank

North Carolina-based First Bank, with 102 branches and assets of $5.6 billion, has partnered with loan origination platform provider Baker Hill, and will leverage the fintech’s consumer lending and online loan application solution to support its continued growth.

“Our goal at Baker Hill is to help community financial institutions, like First Bank, generate efficient and profitable growth,” President and CEO of Baker Hill, John M. Deignan said. “With the support and expertise of our team, combined with the intuitive design of our solutions, First Bank is positioned to maximize its growth potential and more importantly, best serve its customers by providing a positive lending experience.”

Baker Hill VP of Marketing Mike Horrocks and Sr Product Manager Eric LaPlante demonstrating NextGen Small Business Online Loan Application & Auto Decisioning Solutions at FinovateSpring 2018.

Baker Hill leverages 30 years of industry experience to provide banks and credit unions with cloud-based loan origination and portfolio management solutions for business and consumer lending. The company’s NextGen loan origination, risk management, and analytics solution makes it easier and faster for businesses to apply for loans, and conforms to the specific credit policies of each individual institution to provide sound creditworthiness determinations based on application data, credit scores, and other calculated information.

More than 20% of the top 150 banks in the U.S. and 20% of the top 25 credit unions use Baker Hill’s technology. The company’s commercial lending clients manage more than $1.3 trillion in commercial loan opportunities, while Baker Hill’s small business lenders have submitted  almost $153 billion in SME loan applications via its platform.

George Lewis, SVP for Credit Administration for First Bank, praised both the support Baker Hill provided during the onboarding process as well as the company’s “longstanding reputation within the industry.” Calling it a “valuable partnership,” Lewis aded “We look forward to the benefits these implementations bring to both our customers and our employees.”

Baker Hill demonstrated its NextGen Small Business Online Loan Application and Auto Decisioning Solutions at FinovateSpring 2018. Last month, the company announced an agreement with Virginia’s Old Point National Bank, which will deploy Baker Hill’s loan origination technology to support both commercial and consumer lending. In addition to the company’s return to the Finovate stage this spring, Baker Hill upgraded its omni-channel marketing suite in April, and teamed up with Built Technologies in March to recommend each company’s solutions to the other company’s clients.

With offices in both Carmel, Indiana, and Beaverton, Oregon, Baker Hill was founded in 1983. The company was acquired by the Riverside Company, a $4.6 billion global private equity firm, in a 2015 leveraged buyout.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Baker Hill Brings its Cloud-Based Loan Origination Solution to First Bank.

Around the web

  • Online banking innovator Dollar Bank to upgrade its digital offerings with technology from Fiserv.
  • Brazil’s Nubank reaches milestone of 1.5 million digital account openings in six months.
  • Aire, Onfido, Trunomi, TransferWise, YoYo Wallet and Revolut earn finalist spots in TechCrunch Europas Awards.
  • Emailage announces expansion across APAC and plans to double the size of its Phoenix, Arizona office.

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.

AlphaPoint Raises $15 Million in Series A Led by Galaxy Digital Ventures

AlphaPoint, a New York-based fintech that leverages distributed ledger technology to enable financial institutions to digitize, trade, and manage any asset, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with news that it has raised $15 million in new funding. The Series A round was led by Galaxy Digital Ventures, and brings the company’s total capital to $16.6 million. AlphaPoint says it will use the funds to double the size of its team by year’s end.

“We are delighted to have Galaxy Digital Ventures as a strategic investor who shares our vision to unlock the value of illiquid assets for a wider audience of investors and traders,” AlphaPoint CEO Salil Donde said. “This investment allows us to continue our focus on our customers’ success.”

Galaxy Digital Ventures managing director Greg Wasserman credited AlphaPoint for having the combination of talent and technology in order to take advantage what he called a “tremendous” demand for the digitization of illiquid assets. AlphaPoint estimates the total value of the illiquid asset market – including gold and real estate – at more than $11 trillion and sees its technology as a way to provide badly needly liquidity. “Consumers are demanding increased access, transparency, and trust,” said Wasserman, who will join AlphaPoint’s board of directors as part of the strategic investment. “Businesses are seeking increased liquidity with reduced fraud, risk, and cost.”

Founded in 2013, AlphaPoint demonstrated its AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP) at FinovateFall 2017. The general-purpose blockchain platform streamlines the deployment of distributed financial applications, and enables financial institutions to participate in digital asset issuance, confidential smart contracts, and automated workflows. Running in live production since 2013, the solution has facilitated  transactions totaling more than $100 billion to date for platform customers. The company’s partners include Intel – with whom AlphaPoint teamed up last fall – Microsoft, and RedHat. The CME Group, London Block Exchange, and BTCC are a few of AlphaPoint’s more than 30 global clients.

Earlier this year, AlphaPoint announced completion of a blockchain trial with Scotiabank that explored a variety of use cases for the company’s ADLP. In April, AlphaPoint teamed up with CME Group and The Royal Mint to support the Royal Mint Gold initiative, a trading platform for digital gold. And last month, AlphaPoint introduced its Regulated Asset Backed Token (RABT), a new framework designed to support the launch of blockchain tokens supported by regulated assets. The goal is to leverage blockchain technology to add liquidity to the real estate market.

Donde took over the CEO spot at the company last fall – at the same time AlphaPoint unveiled plans for a new public blockchain network. He arrived at AlphaPoint after serving as EVP of Global Information Services at Nasdaq.

Nextmarkets Picks Up $6.9 Million in New Funding

Courtesy of a just-completed Series A round, Cologne-based nextmarkets has raised $6.96 million (€6 million) in capital. The round featured participation from existing investors FinLab, Peter Thiel and Falk Strascheg, as well as new investors Axel Springer Media for Equity GmbH, Cryptology Asset Group PLC, and British hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

The Series A takes the company’s total equity to nearly $14 million. Howard commended the firm for its “impressive technology” which he said will add to the company’s future innovations to make a “lasting impact on the retail investment space.”

The funding news is only one headline nextmarkets has made this week. The company also launched its real-money offer, which enables customers to open real money accounts and participate in equity markets on the nextmarkets platform. The company plans to add crypto market options soon. Nextmarkets also announced that its subsidiary, nextmarkets Trading Limited, has obtained a Category 3 Investment Service License in Malta.

“With obtaining the license and going live we have taken a major milestone in our success story,” nextmarkets co-founder and CEO Manuel Heyden said. “From now on we will focus on dynamic growth in Europe and soon globally with our highly scalable, transactional business model.”

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cologne, Germany, nextmarkets demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2015. A specialist in the field of curated investing, nextmarkets enables individual investors and traders to benefit from the expertise of 14 investment professionals who provide real-time trading insights via the web or smartphone on more than 1,000 markets, including equities, indices, foreign exchange, and commodities.

And with both ETF and crypto currency markets to be added soon, nextmarkets will make it even easier for traders and investors to remain vigilant for market opportunities – especially in sectors with which they are less familiar. “As an active investor, I always wonder who has the time to analyze the wide range of stocks and cryptos,” nextmarkets co-founder and CTO Dominic Heyden said. “Now I have my own investment professionals in my pocket and will be backed by them on the markets. If one of my coaches makes a profit in his bitcoin analysis, I do it on my account.”

The Heyden brothers have a history in social investing, having co-founded ayondo in 2008. Ayondo participated in FinovateEurope 2013, where the brothers – along with CMO Alexander Surminski – demonstrated the third edition of its social trading platform.

Best of Show Winner Finn AI Partners with Visa Canada to Boost Chatbot Capabilities

Visa Canada and Finn AI have teamed up to offer new capabilities in conversational banking chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), powered by the Visa Developer Platform, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The Vancouver-based fintech firm will use Visa Developer Platform APIs to enhance its conversational AI technology to “provide a more personalised experience” for banks to interact with their customers.

Jake Tyler, CEO at Finn AI, said: “This will help banks meet consumers’ needs on their terms, allowing them to set travel notifications, flag fraudulent transactions, manage subscriptions and more – as easily as chatting to their friends – 24/7 in the channels of their choice.”

For example, users could ask “Where is the closest ATM?” or “Please cancel my card” using Finn AI technology and the APIs.

A customer could chat with a virtual assistant and follow a process to ensure their cards are optimised while they are travelling.

Or they could turn on travel notifications before departing, retrieving foreign exchange rates while at the airport, and locating the nearest ATM at their destination.

A customer can also disable a misplaced card to ensure protection against fraudulent transactions through a “simple, natural conversation”.

Other Finn AI partnerships include ATB Financial, Bank of Montreal (BMO), Banpro Grupo Promerica in Nicaragua, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Finn AI made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia 2016, winning Best of Show. The company returned to the Finovate stage the following fall for FinovateFall 2017, once again taking home top honors for a demonstration of its virtual banking assistant.

Finn AI has raised $3 million in funding and includes Yaletown Partners, Flying Fish Partners and angel investor John Livingston among its investors.