Personal Capital Launches Socially Responsible Investing

Wealth tech company Personal Capital is making it easier for investors to put their money in causes that are important to them with the launch of its Socially Responsible Personal Strategy today.

The New York-based company is offering clients the ability to select a personalized socially responsible investment strategy with the same pricing structure as the rest of its offerings– a single, flat fee. “There has been a surge of investor interest in aligning their money with their values,” said Craig Birk, Executive Vice President of Portfolio Management at Personal Capital.

Personal Capital has teamed with Sustainalytics to screen equity holdings in the U.S. for three factors– environmental, social, and governance (ESG)– to find the best companies in each group. Just like Personal Capital’s core portfolio offerings, the new Socially Responsible Personal Strategy offers exposure to all six major liquid asset classes and individual stocks and uses Personal Capital’s Smart Weighting methodology to balance exposure to size, style, and sectors within the U.S. equity asset class.

In addition to the ESG factors, clients can use advanced customizations to exclude any stock or sector that they do not want to hold. In fact, 30% of Personal Capital portfolios do so. In total, the company manages more than $6.5 billion in assets and tracks over $500 billion for 1.6 million registered users. In the past 12 months, Personal Capital has nearly doubled its assets under management. At the end of last month, the company surpassed $6.5 billion in assets under management with an average client balance of more than $430,000.

Founded in 2009, Personal Capital debuted its One-Click Investment Proposals at FinovateSpring 2014. At FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, the company’s Ehsan Lavassani, Founding Engineer and Chief Engineering Officer, and Ravi Gundlapalli, Director of Frontend Engineering, gave a presentation titled, Data-Driven Account Opening. Last October, Personal Capital launched an education planning tool to help investors set aside money for the cost of college. Later that month, the company was named a Top 100 digital tech company in Colorado.

Veridium to Power Biometrics for Nordea

Biometric authentication software company Veridium (formerly Hoyos Labs) has partnered with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region, which will deploy the VeridiumID platform.

With around 11 million customers, 31,500 employees and 600 branch office locations, Nordea will use VeridiumID to replace tokens with biometric authentication for access to confidential and secure data. VeridiumID leverages biometric authentication that works in conjunction with a front-end mobile SDK that allows companies to embed biometrics into their mobile app. The bank considers this a critical first step in embracing multi-factor biometric authentication. VeridiumID’s software-only approach gives Nordea increased customization and scalability and offers increased security and ease-of-use at a lower cost.

And with the upcoming GDPR deadline, this comes at a good time for Nordea. The implementation of VeridiumID is part of Nordea’s strategy to improve how employees access data and accounts while meeting the new GDPR compliance demands. James Stickland, CEO of Veridium said, “With Veridium, Nordea will be able to take its first steps in advancing security for high privilege access and GDPR compliance.”

In addition to VeridiumID, Veridium offers VeridiumAD, which adds biometric authentication to Microsoft Active Directory environments, and 4 Fingers TouchlessID, which authenticates the user by capturing all four fingerprints at once using a rear-facing camera and LED flash.

Stickland most recently demoed VeridiumID with 4 Fingers TouchlessID at FinovateEurope 2017. The company first presented as Hoyos at FinovateSpring 2011, where it showcased its EyeLock solution. Last month, Veridium partnered with Walla to bring biometric authentication to sub-saharan Africa. Founded in 2015, the company has offices in the U.S., U.K., and Romania.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Electronic IDentification

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 6 through 9 of March 2018 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Electronic IDentification’s VideoID is the first and only technology that combines video streaming with the most advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm to identify people in just seconds from any device. The results are amazing: time-to-market goes from three weeks to only three minutes, customer conversion rate increases 60% and businesses have no more territory barriers to perform businesses.

Why it’s great
Its solution is fully compliant with most stringent regulations, such as European AML or eIDAS.

Presenter

Iván Nabalón, CEO
Nabalón is founder and CEO of eID, the company with the greatest growth in Europe in the identification industry. It has created a new category of identification services that combines video and AI.
LinkedIn

Trunomi Closes $3.5 Million Round from CloudScale Capital

Consumer consent and data rights company Trunomi closed a $3.5 million round of funding today. This investment brings the Bermuda-based company’s total funding to $10.5 million.

Trunomi will use the funds to manage demand for its technologies and to continue its global expansion. And with the E.U. GDPR deadline coming up, the company will likely see a boost in banks and companies vying for its services, which helps businesses request, receive, and capture customer consent to the use of their personal data.

“Customer data rights and privacy are quickly becoming major issues of concern for companies, especially financial institutions, due to new regulations such as EU GDPR, U.K. Open Banking and marketing opportunities,” said Kim Perdikou, CloudScale Partner. “Trunomi enables businesses to comply with these new regulations by demonstrating compliance and accountability in customer data use and immutably proving the legal basis of processing. With Trunomi, businesses can empower their customers with control and transparency in how their data is used and turn regulation from a burden into a competitive advantage.”

“We are thrilled that CloudScale Capital Partners are part of this financing,” said Trunomi CEO Stuart Lacey. “CloudScale brings significant strength to our investor base, and its partners bring with them a wealth of industry connections with the largest players in the global customer and data markets.”

Founded in 2013, Trunomi has offices in Bermuda, Dublin, the U.K., and Silicon Valley. At FinovateEurope 2015 in London, Lacey launched TruMobile, a customer-focused “consent engine” that creates privacy policies to allow the sharing of consumer PII data across platforms. Last March, Trunomi was named to the RegTech top 100 power list. In December of 2016, the company began collaborating with FIS on the E.U. data protection rules.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Trunomi Closes $3.5 Million Round from CloudScale Capital.
  • Veridium to Power Biometrics for Nordea.
  • Personal Capital Launches Socially Responsible Investing.
  • Coupa Software Teams Up with Tuition.io.
  • Banco Santander to Leverage Ripple Tech to Offer Same Day Mobile International Payments.

Around the web

  • Lend Academy: StreetShares’ Unique Focus Gives Them an Edge in the Small Business Lending Market.
  • Jumio’s Q4 Revenues Up 96% Year-Over-Year.
  • Capital One UK’s use of TSYS Foresight Score with Featurespace wins TCP Award.
  • Xero announces ACH integration with Stripe.
  • Finance Monthly names ACI Worldwide Fraud Innovation Firm of the Year for its UP Payments Risk Management solution.

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

Blockchain Appoints New President and Chief Legal Officer

Digital currency wallet Blockchain has appointed Marco Santori as its new president and chief legal officer. The role of President was formerly held by Blockchain co-founder Nicolas Cary, who has assumed the role of vice chairman.

Santori comes to the U.K.-based company from Cooley LLP, where he worked as a partner, leading the law firm’s global financial technology practice. During his tenure at Cooley, Santori built a digital assets-focused legal practice.

In his new role, Santori will build Blockchain’s compliance, legal, and corporate development teams and is charged with leading the team in bringing new products to market. “I’m honored and thrilled to join Blockchain, the leading provider for digital asset software,” said Santori. “It’s a compelling opportunity to contribute to a company that is not only achieving unparalleled business success, but also delivering on a powerful mission to create an inclusive financial system from which everyone can benefit.”

Santori’s new position at Blockchain seems to be a good fit for him– he currently serves as an advisor to the International Monetary Fund and is the Blockchain Ambassador for the State of Delaware. Additionally, he penned the “Simple Agreement for Future Tokens” (SAFT) Project Whitepaper, which set the standard for mitigating risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Blockchain CEO and co-founder Peter Smith said, “Marco has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unmatched and I couldn’t think of a better person to focus entirely on our expansion efforts and strategy as we continue to serve our millions of users globally.”

Founded in 2011, Blockchain has more than 22 million wallets and has worked with its exchange partners to process 100+ million transactions in more than 140 countries in 20+ currencies. The company considers its wallet more secure than competitors Coinbase and Kraken because it does not offer an exchange. Instead, Blockchain’s wallet simply stores funds and has no visibility into users’ wallets.

Blockchain presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company has offices in London, New York, and Brazil and has raised a total of $70 million, thanks in part to a $40 million Series B round raised last June. In August of last year, the company added ether to the list of currencies it supports.

Behalf Lands Equity Funding and Secures $150 Million in Debt Financing

Alternative lending startup Behalf just received more fuel to help power small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The New York-based company received $150 million in debt financing and an undisclosed amount of equity funding this week.

The debt round was led by a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management, with previous investor Viola Credit also participating. Both investors also contributed to Behalf’s equity round; the company’s equity funds now total more than $156 million.

Benjy Feinberg, founder and CEO of Behalf said that the funding is a significant step forward that will allow Behalf  to “expand our fast-growing e-commerce B2B financing platform and enhance our ability to provide the best business terms to customers, in a fraction of the time of a traditional business lender.”

Behalf extends short-term purchase financing to underserved SMBs by using technology and big data to assess the creditworthiness of the business and its owner. Unlike other alternative SMB lenders such as Kabbage or OnDeck, Behalf does not issue funds directly to the SMB. Instead, the startup pays the small business’ vendors on the SMB’s behalf (hence the name Behalf). Having flexibility in repaying their suppliers helps merchants increase their production and ultimately grow their business.

Uri Galai, partner at Viola Credit said Behalf’s technology “will change the landscape of business lending.” He added, “Behalf understands that the buyer-seller relationship has changed, and is providing an unparalleled solution to the increased demands from vendors and their customers seeking financing.”

Feinberg showcased Behalf’s vendor payment platform at FinovateFall 2014. Since it was founded in 2012, the company tripled its revenue and now counts Lenovo, Best Buy and PCM in its network of accepting partners. Last year, the company partnered with Utah-based FinWise Bank to offer SMBs a broader range of financing solutions.

Digiliti Money Merges Under Urban FT

The second time’s the charm for digital banking platform Urban FT. The New York-based company has successfully agreed to a deal with Digiliti Money, a subsidiary of Digiliti Money Group (formerly Cachet Financial Solutions) under which Digiliti will merge into Urban FT’s affiliate, FinTech Imaging Solutions.

Prior to the closing of the deal, Digitili Money Group will transfer all of its core technology assets to Digital Money Technologies, a newly formed Minnesota corporation and subsidiary of Digitili Money Group that is not subject to the merger. Digital Money Technologies will license this software technology to Urban FT for two years for a license royalty fee of $360,000 per year. The deal also gives Urban FT the option to purchase Digital Money Technologies’ software for $3 million.

For its part of the deal, Digiliti Money Group will receive a payment of $250,000, a secured promissory note from Urban FT’s parent company for $2.4 million, and a percentage of revenues relating to Digiliti Money’s prepaid card business that Urban FT is acquiring.

This comes six months after Urban FT’s original attempt to acquire the company in a bid that valued Digiliti Money at $10.5 million on a net equity basis. Digiliti rejected the original bid and proposed alternate terms to the contract, which Urban FT and its lawyers considered “unreasonable and unacceptable under the circumstances.” Urban FT left the bid on the table until the end of the month.

In August of 2017 Digiliti’s CEO resigned. Later that month, interim CEO Bryan Meier disclosed financial difficulties, saying that the company is “reducing [its] cash burn to improve [its] bottom line performance, which [it is] demonstrating with the implementation of [its] recent cost-cutting initiatives intended to reduce [its] annual operating expenses by nearly $3 million.” In a statement on August 14, Digiliti made it clear that it was “actively reviewing strategic options to restructure the company, including the potential sale of the company or potentially filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”

Urban FT president Kasey Kaplan, who was aware of the financial and leadership difficulty Digiliti Money was going through at the time, said, “Placing Digiliti into bankruptcy, if that’s what the Board is considering, would be a great loss to all of those stakeholders and would truly disrupt so many organizations that rely on Digiliti’s services every day.”

In order to avoid bankruptcy, over the course of the past six months Urban FT provided Digiliti with significant financial support “to ensure uninterrupted service to Digiliti clients and continued employment to Digiliti employees.”

Richard Steggall, CEO of Urban FT, said that the deal “is a fantastic outcome for both companies, their employees, and most importantly, for the clients we respectively serve.” Steggall added, “From the beginning of this process, we recognized that the Digiliti business was fundamentally a good one—with exceptional client and strategic relationships—and together we could create synergies, resulting in significantly reduced combined operating costs and additional services for our pooled client bases.”

The deal is expected to close February 24. Urban FT will continue to be headquartered in New York City with development and operations located in Digiliti Money’s headquarters location, Minneapolis.

At FinovateFall 2016, Urban FT debuted the Workshop, a real-time, mobile app management platform that enables banks to quickly configure, brand, and launch mobile banking apps without coding. The company was founded in 2013 and has raised $3 million. Urban FT has made two acquisitions in the past, including iParse in 2017 and Wipit in 2015.

Digiliti Money demoed its Select Mobile Money prepaid suite at FinovateFall 2014 in New York. The company was founded in 2010 and went public July 18, 2014.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fenergo Forges Strategic Partnership with Arachnys.
  • Personetics Powers New Intelligent Financial Assistant Didi from Israel Discount Bank.

Around the web

  • Thomson Reuters introduces investment research marketplace on Eikon to further MiFID II compliance
  • Xero opens new Wellington headquarters.
  • Trustly to expand its Pay N Play gaming payment product.
  • Zopa’s investor community lends 3 billionth pound to U.K. consumers.
  • Pendo Systems targets the insurance sector with Pendo Machine Learning Platform.
  • InComm expands gift card assortment in grocery partners with new brand offerings.

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.

CollectAI Launches in the U.K.

Accounts receivable and debt collection management company collectAI made inroads into the U.K. this week.

The expansion is made possible via a partnership with Pay360 by Capita, which will build a branded receivables management solution for its business and government clients around collectAI’s technology.

Stephen Ferry, managing director at Pay360, said, “By working with strategic partners such as collectAI, we’re able to deliver a smarter, more efficient receivables process, that’s in line with today’s smartphone generation. Coupled with our ability to settle outstanding payments via the U.K.’s most popular payment methods, we’re edging towards an era of smart payments based on the needs and behaviour of the end consumer.”

Operating as a subsidiary of Germany’s largest ecommerce retailer Otto Group, collectAI launched in 2016 and now has $50 million (€40 million) in receivables under management. This is $6 million higher than the company’s October 2017 milestone of $31 million (€25 million). Pay360 is the third company collectAI has partnered with to offer its white label debt collection technology. collectAI has also partnered with an additional 20 medium and large businesses to pursue the collection of debt on their behalf.

As its name suggests, the Germany-based company leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the debt collection process. The technology engages consumers via their preferred digital channel and allows them to settle debt using their favorite payment method. The implementation of these enabling technologies not only makes for a better end user experience, it also relies less heavily on human labor, offering a cost reduction.

Describing the technology, Steve Emecz, CCO of collectAI, said that the company brings receivables into the digital age. “Our technology provides access to all digital communication channels and ensures frictionless payments. As a result, faster execution and higher repayment rates improve the consumer experience and boost customer retention. AI isn’t the future, it’s the now.”

Mirko Krauel, collect.AI CEO, demoed the company’s claims management technology at FinovateEurope 2017. To date, the company has improved the collection rate to 33% on average with a 41% reduction of processing costs.