Onfido to Power Digital ID Verification for Bitstamp

Digital identity verification company Onfido has been selected by bitcoin exchange Bitstamp to power identity verification during onboarding to meet KYC and other regulations implemented by governments across the globe.

The partnership aims to help Bitstamp scale onboarding efforts and clear its backlog of customer signup requests spurred by a spike in digital currency interest. In fact, in December 2017, Bitstamp saw 100,000 customer signups on one day alone. And, with bitcoin topping above $10,000 again yesterday, Bitstamp will likely have even higher signup volume and trading requests to process going forward.

“Onfido’s powerful machine learning technology has allowed us to automate our new customer identity verification process, and still maintain our high standards when it comes to KYC,” said Bitstamp CEO, Nejc Kodrič. “We’re already seeing positive results when it comes to speeding up our verification process.”

In a press release, Onfido CEO and co-founder Husayn Kassai said the company is quickly becoming the “go-to” provider for KYC technology. “We now work with over 30 cryptocurrency companies, allowing them to scale customer onboarding smoothly, and be more vigilant as the digital currency industry faces more scrutiny and regulation,” he added.

London-based Onfido leverages machine learning to automate identity verification for more than 1,500 businesses worldwide. To confirm their identities during the onboarding process, clients simply upload a selfie and a photo of their identity document with their smartphone. To insure the validity of the documents, Onfido cross-references identities from 192 countries against international credit and watchlist databases.

In a similar deal earlier this month, Onfido agreed to power KYC for Arro Money. Among the company’s other clients are ZipCar, Couchsurfing, Revolut, and Square. Onfido has raised more than $60 million in funding from investors including Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Crunchfund. Come see Onfido’s live demo on stage at FinovateEurope next month. Register today to be a part of the audience.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Onfido to Power Digital ID Verification for Bitstamp.

Around the web

  • eToro adds XLM to cryptocurrency offering for users to buy & sell Stellar Lumens on its platform.
  • Bluefin Payments teams up with Datacap Systems and Monetary to provide encryption to POS merchants.

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.

Roostify Lands $25 Million to Disrupt the Mortgage Industry

Mortgagetech startup Roostify raised $25 million to further its quest to improve the mortgage industry today. The Series B round comes from new investors Cota Capital, Point72 Ventures, and Santander Innoventures, and existing investors JPMorgan Chase, Colchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAA.

The funding brings Roostify’s total raised to $33 million. The California-based company will use the funds to deepen its presence in the enterprise space, implement product enhancements, and expand into new markets.

Rajesh Bhat, co-founder and CEO of Roostify said that when the company launched four years ago, having a digital strategy was simply an ambition for lenders. Today, digitizing the mortgage process has evolved into a business imperative. “Lenders now realize the value of providing consumers with a transparent, mobile, and seamless experience to obtain a loan without needless stress-inducing delays and red tape. We have developed a solution that allows lenders of all sizes to give their teams a tool to digitally engage with clients and to bring the loan origination experience to the consumer,” Bhat added.

Originally launched as a way to create efficiencies by digitizing the traditionally paper-bound processes, Roostify has evolved into an enterprise scale platform aimed to help U.S. lenders accelerate, simplify, and reduce costs associated with the mortgage origination process. Leveraging its cloud-based API solution, lenders help clients with the entire mortgage process– from searching for the loan to close– via a fully-digital, branded experience. Bobby Yazdani, Cota Capital’s Managing Partner, said his team was “immensely impressed with what Roostify has accomplished in the last four years,” He added,“Roostify has evolved not only their own offering and product focus, but the market as a whole, helping the lending industry transform itself for the digital age.”

Roostify presented at FinovateSpring 2016 where the company demoed account aggregation capabilities for asset verification, as well as integrations with TurboTax and Equifax. Since then, the company has teamed up with Chase to power the bank’s self-service mortgage application process. Last month, Roostify launched an integration with LendingTree that blends LendingTree’s aggregation technology with Roostify’s mortgage digitization. For more on the mortgagetech sector, check out our industry overview.

Coinbase Launches Crypto eCommerce Acceptance

Digital currency wallet Coinbase is expanding its horizons– and its potential client base– this week with the launch of Coinbase Commerce.

The new offering aims to enable merchants across the globe to accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin payments and deposit the funds directly into their personal wallets. Coinbase Commerce gives merchants full control of their own digital currency, since it is not a hosted service.

To sign up, merchants just need an email address and a smartphone and can directly integrate Coinbase Commerce into their existing checkout flow or add it as a payment option on an e-commerce platform. Coinbase Commerce already integrates with Shopify, which serves 500,000 merchants. The company is actively adding new integrations to facilitate payment acceptance.

Coinbase also provides a merchant dashboard, where business owners can manage payments and monitor earnings from a single place.

The Coinbase Commerce merchant dashboard

Merchants that leverage Coinbase Commerce will join the list of other large businesses that currently accept cryptocurrencies, including Overstock.com, Newegg, Dish, Gyft, Expedia, and Microsoft. That said, the volatility of cryptocurrencies, combined with the fact that most people hold cryptocurrencies as a speculation tool and are hesitant to spend it, means that there might be slow adoption for cryptocurrency merchant acceptance.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase demoed Instant Exchange at FinovateSpring 2014. In August of 2017, the company became a fintech unicorn after it closed a $100 million round of Series D funding. At that point, Pitchbook estimated Coinbase’s value to be $1.6 billion. Last month, the company acquired talent from Memo.AI to bolster its engineering team during the bitcoin boom.

Placecast Acquired by Ericsson’s Emodo

In a deal announced today, location-based marketing and loyalty company Placecast has been acquired by Emodo for an undisclosed amount.

Emodo is a Swedish networking and telecom company that helps telcos monetize their subscriber data. The company, which debuted just months ago in November, is an Ericsson-owned entity.

As part of today’s deal, San Francisco-based Placecast’s CEO Alistair Goodman will transition to the role of Emodo Chief Commercial Officer. Placecast’s 38 employees will join Emodo’s workforce of 27 at its headquarters in the same city.

In a blog post, Goodman said that the deal builds on the strengths of both companies. “Placecast brings its leading carrier-verified, location-based data solutions to an experienced Emodo team, backed by Ericsson’s reputation as a neutral, trusted partner for mobile operators, advertisers, and publishers,” he said. The two firms plan to complete the integration by the second quarter of this year.

Founded in 2005, Placecast offers location-based marketing and loyalty programs for mobile operators, payments companies and brands. The company maintains and scrubs location data from more than 400 million mobile user profiles, tens of millions of merchant records, IDs and addresses from around the globe. Placecast’s other location-based solutions include Mobile Data Management PlatformMobile Demand-Side Platform, and Native Mobile Advertising, among others.

The company demoed Shop Alerts mobile wallet at FinovateSpring 2013, at the height of fintech’s mobile wallet boom. Last July, Placecast launched Location Verification, a solution that leverages data from U.S. carriers to confirm the location accuracy of mobile ads, audiences, and attribution to bring geolocation to the next level.

Payworks Completes $14.5 Million Series B Round

Point of sale (POS) technology company Payworks has reeled in its second round of funding. The Germany-based company closed a $14.5 million round from CommerzVentures and Visa, with contributions from existing investors Speedinvest and Finparx. Today’s financing brings Payworks’ total funding to $19 million.

Explaining the firm’s reasoning behind the funding, Stefan Tirtey, Managing Partner of CommerzVentures said that it “invests in founders with a passion for innovation and proven ability to execute.” He added, “We back businesses that can have a significant impact on the financial services industry. We believe that Payworks has both, a great team, and an offering that can have real impact in the fast-changing world of card payments.”

Payworks will use today’s financing to fulfill demand for its solutions and fuel global growth, scale operations, and focus on increasing R&D and product teams across its offices in Munich, New York, London, and Barcelona. In the press release, Christian Deger, Payworks founder and CEO said, “We are on a great mission to build a new operating system for the Point of Sale and are very excited to have CommerzVentures and Visa join us on that journey. With the additional funding we are fully equipped to further develop our technology and product and support the demand coming from leading payment players looking to modernize their solutions.”

Founded in 2012, Payworks focuses on POS technology. The company’s payment gateway technology, Pulse, is a set of SDKs and APIs that remotely update card readers and set up in a couple of minutes to make developers and their merchants EMV certified, PCI compliant and P2PE ready. The company’s partners include First Data, TSYS, Stripe, and American Express. Additional products include Accept, a white-label mPOS solution for merchants, and Engage, a customer data and CRM platform.

At FinovateEurope 2015, the company’s CEO Christian Deger demonstrated how Payworks builds payment solutions and checkout options. Late last year, the company extended its partnership with Verifone, integrating the Verifone e355 mPOS and the VX 820 onto the Payworks platform.

Payfone Receives $23 Million in Funding from Synchrony Financial

Digital identity authentication company, Payfone raised $23 million today. This Series F round brings the company’s total funding to $93.6 million.

Payfone will use the financing to expand its user experience by enhancing security services in retail, insurance, and healthcare. The round was led by an institutional investor with participation from Synchrony Financial, MassMutual Ventures, as well as individual investors Anil Aggarwal, Jonathan Weiner, and Andrew Prozes.

In a press release, Rodger Desai, founder and CEO of Payfone explained that consumers will increasingly expect that transactions are mobile-first, secure, and fast. He added, “The days of using quizzes, questions and one-time codes to verify identity are numbered. Payfone is ushering in a new world where authentication is instant, passive and continuous using the most advanced cybersecurity. Our mission is to help clients across the financial, retail, insurance, healthcare, and technology industries use authentication to not only thwart fraud but drive revenue.”

Payfone, which was founded in 2008 as a mobile payments company, demoed 1-Touch Checkout at FinovateFall 2012. The New York-based company has since pivoted to focus on authentication solutions.

Among Payfone’s product offerings are Instant Authentication for Mobile, a frictionless two-factor authentication solution, and Instant Authentication for Voice, an API that uses the caller’s phone number to authenticate them. The company also offers a Trust Score that provides a measurement of the reliability and risk of each mobile device.

Managing director at MassMutual Ventures, Eric Emmons, said, “Payfone enables service providers across the financial, retail, insurance, healthcare and technology sectors to offer a frictionless mobile and online experience to their customers, which substantially improves conversion rates and dramatically reduces the cost of call center operations.”

Payfone, whose technologies are currently used by six of the top 10 U.S. banks, processes millions of signals per day to authenticate and score transactions; the company currently authenticates 10 million transactions per day. Earlier this year, Payfone partnered with O2, a U.K.-based mobile network operator, in an effort to protect mobile users from digital fraud. Last spring, the company announced it would power mobile ID authentication for Zelle.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Payfone Receives $23 Million in Funding from Synchrony Financial.
  • Clinc Tops $4.5 Million in Annual Revenue; Hires Helen Yu as Chief Growth Officer.
  • Payworks Completes $14.5 Million Series B Round.
  • Bankjoy Brings New Online and Mobile Banking System to SafeAmerica Credit Union.
  • Placecast Acquired by Ericsson’s Emodo.

Around the web

  • GreenKey Technologies to release its voice API through OpenFin’s plugin architecture
  • TipRanks offers stock tracking tool to manage investments and maximize returns.
  • Worldline selects VMware to accelerate innovation and time to market.
  • Japanese personal care company selects Top Image Systems’ eFLOW Extract accounts payable solution.
  • Kestra Financial to offer eMoney Advisor’s financial planning platform to its advisors.
  • TIBCO ranked first in Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study.

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.

Forbes Names 17 Finovate Alums on the Forbes Fintech 50

Forbes has released the third* Fintech 50 list, which this year features 17 Finovate alums, many of which have made the list for the third time. The Fintech 50 list highlights the top private fintechs that have operations, customers or impact in the U.S. The list excludes public companies and divisions of public companies.

Here are the alums honored in this year’s compilation:

Ayasdi

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Betterment

The company’s third time making the list.

Blend

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Blockchain

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Chain

The company’s third time making the list.

Coinbase

The company’s second time making the list.

Credit Karma

The company’s third time making the list.

Feedzai

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

The company’s second time making the list.

Kabbage

The company’s second time making the list.

Kensho

The company’s third time making the list.

Plaid

The company’s third time making the list.

Qapital

The company’s second time making the list.

Ripple

The company’s third time making the list.

Symbiont

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Symphony

The company’s second time making the list.

TransferWise

The company’s third time making the list.

In 2016, the list contained 20 Finovate alums, including Betterment, Chain, Coinbase, Credit Karma, Gusto, Kabbage, Kensho, Klarna, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Qapital, Quantopian, Ripple, Signifyd, SoFi, Symphony, TransferWise, TrueAccord, and Xignite.

The list from three years back also contained 20 Finovate alums. Algomi, Betterment, Braintree, Chain, Credit Karma, HelloWallet, Kensho, LearnVest, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Prosper, Quantopian, Ripple, Simple, TransferWise, TrueAccord, Vouch, Wealthfront, and Xignite made the list.


*Forbes skipped this compilation for 2017.

Jack Henry Marks 100 Bank Clients Using Geezeo-Powered Service

Banking technology services provider Jack Henry has reached a milestone today, marking more than 100 bank clients using JHA Online Financial Management powered by digital banking company Geezeo.

This comes after the two formed a partnership last March in which Jack Henry’s JHA Online Financial Management began integrating the Geezeo platform. Leveraging transaction data from Jack Henry’s core systems, Geezeo presents a seamless user experience through the Missouri-based company’s NetTeller Online Banking, goDough mobile banking, and Banno digital banking solutions (Jack Henry acquired Banno for an undisclosed sum in 2014). Geezeo’s transaction categorization, budgeting, alerts, cash flow calendars, and data aggregation tools help consumers manage their finances.

In the press release, president of Jack Henry Banking Stacey Zengel said, “Creating a rich, rewarding digital experience is paramount for any financial institution’s growth. JHA Online Financial Management offers a modern, engaging experience for the end user while acting as a business driver for the financial institution. It’s that combination of added service and revenue drivers that create compelling industry trends.”

Founded in 2006, Geezeo offers white-label financial management solutions. The company processes and stores billions of transactions to deliver relevant insights that help banks enhance the user experience. The Connecticut-based company demonstrated its business financial management at FinovateFall 2014.

Jack Henry is a division of Jack Henry and Associates, a public company that was founded in 1976. It is one of 49 fintech companies that the NASDAQ tracks on its Fintech Index. Jack Henry and Associates serves more than 9,000 banking clients nationwide. At FinovateFall 2015, the company demonstrated the Banno platform.