Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • TransferWise introduces multi-currency bank accounts for businesses.
  • Langley FCU to deploy Episys core system from Jack Henry & Associates’ Symitar division.
  • Great Southern Bank selects cloud banking technology from nCino.
  • getAbstract and CREALOGIX enter into a digital learning partnership.
  • InComm partners with Sony to deliver gift cards in Hong Kong.
  • NIIT Technologies partners with AI company Arago.
  • AutoGravity receives the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.
  • Fiserv launches SecureNow to integrate cybersecurity protection for digital banking.
  • Finextra: ABN Amro selects Fenergo to support KYC.
  • Yandex.Money brings Android Pay to Russia.
  • Misys FusionBanking Essence to power online and mobile banking offering for Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB).
  • Trustly to power online bank payments at leading online fashion retailer Boozt.com

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

Finovate Alums Prepare for Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge Finals

For the the next month or so, we’re calling a bunch of Finovate alums the “Awesome Eight”. Citi revealed the finalists for its Tech for Integrity Challenge (T41) Demo Days competition last week. And out of the more than 1,000 entries, eight of the 103 finalists are alumni of Finovate and/or FinDEVr conferences.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech for Integrity Challenge earlier this year, Citi global head of the public sector group in charge of corporate and investment banking, Julie Mocaco said, “By supporting open innovation and providing innovators with the tools they need to develop ideas, we hope to help solve some of the biggest challenges that the public sector faces.”

The Challenge encourages technology companies to develop solutions that “promote integrity, accountability, and transparency in the public sector.” Competition organizers crowd-sourced a set of “pain points” ranging from financial transactions and information security to analytics and financial crime to provide contest participants with potential “solution areas” in which to innovate. The 103 finalists are presenting their pilot-ready technologies at live demonstration events in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dublin, Ireland; Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Singapore; and Hyderabad, India from mid-May through mid-June.

Here’s a look at the eight alums. Click on the company logo to visit their website.

 

 

DigiByte Holdings

  • Headquartered in Santa Monica, California
  • Founded in 2015
  • Raised $250,000 in funding
  • Jared Tate is President
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2016; Presented at FinDEVr 2016 New York

 

identitii

  • Headquartered in Sydney, Australia
  • Founded in 2014
  • Nick Armstrong is CEO and co-founder
  • Demoed at FinovateFall 2016

 

 

 

 

iProov

  • Headquartered in London, UK
  • Founded in 2011
  • Andrew Bud is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateEurope 2017

 

 

Moxtra

  • Headquartered in Cupertino, California
  • Founded in 2012
  • Raised $20 million in funding
  • Subrah Iyar is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2017

 

 

 

Neener Analytics

  • Headquartered in San Jose, California
  • Founded in 2014
  • Jeff LoCastro is CEO and co-founder
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2017; Won Best of Show

 

 

NICE

  • Headquartered in Ranana, Israel
  • Founded in 1986
  • Publicly traded with market capitalization of $4.4 billion
  • Barak Eilam is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateEurope 2015

 

NuCypher

  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Founded in 2016
  • Investors include Base Ventures, Mission and Market, NewGen Capital, Y Combinator
  • MacLane Wilkison is CEO
  • Presented at FinDEVr 2017 New York
  • Selected to present at FinDEVr 2017 London

 

 

 

Trulioo

  • Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Founded in 2011
  • Raised $23.3 million in funding
  • Stephen Ufford is CEO and founder
  • Demoed at FinovateFall 2016; Presented at FinDEVr 2014 Silicon Valley

See the full list.

Winners of the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge will be announced in June. One or more finalist will receive a cash award as the Global T4I award recipient(s). The Demo Days events will also feature Audience, Peer’s Choice, Citi and Ally awards, as well. Partnering with Citi as strategic allies are companies including IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Let’s Talk Payments, pwc, Clifford Chance, and Mastercard.

AlphaPoint Launches Solution for Initial Coin Offerings

With the price of Bitcoin rising past $2,000 this morning and India in the midst of a currency unrest, people are starting to pay attention to digital currencies. All of this makes for perfect timing for digital currency exchange platform AlphaPoint to lintroduce a solution enabling clients to launch, manage, trade, and maintain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Founded in 2013, AlphaPoint powers digital asset networks and maintains the AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP), the platform on which the asset issuance and custody solution is based. The ADLP, which interoperates with more than 20 ledger technologies, enables users to host crowdfunding events, such as ICOs. The ICOs issue newly created digital assets on the exchange, which is hosted on AlphaPoint’s infrastructure.

“This is an exciting time for technology to drastically change the way companies gain access to capital,” said Joe Ventura, Founder and CEO of AlphaPoint. “ICOs create a new source of funding to accelerate innovation, and we are proud to be building the technology platform to support those initiatives.”

Along with today’s announcement, AlphaPoint reported that it joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which tripled in size today with a slough of 85 others joining the initial batch of 30 members that piloted the alliance. The company also joined the Hyperledger consortium, an open source collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

At FinovateEurope 2015 Ventura, along with AlphaPoint’s VP of Sales, Scott Bambacigno, debuted version two of its digital currency exchange platform. Earlier this year, the company completed a successful blockchain trial with Scotiabank, which tested its internal system with a range of use cases for AlphaPoint’s Distributed Ledger Platform.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • AlphaPoint Launches Solution for Initial Coin Offerings
  • Finovate Alums Prepare for Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge Finals

Around the web

  • Bellingham, Washington-based Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) to deploy core processing technology from Fiserv.
  • Digital Wealth Insights reviews Moven Enterprise.
  • Ledger announces XRP support on Nano S and Blue.
  • IDology named one of 2017’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Atlanta.
  • Bankless Times: Lighter Capital an alternative for tech startups.
  • Barefoot Innovation Group features Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital.
  • Check Point’s SandBlast Mobile receives Miercom’s Certified Secure Award.

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.

Announcing FinovateAsia 2017 — November 7 & 8 in Hong Kong!

As the summer will soon be upon us, we’re excited to announce the dates for FinovateAsia 2017. The Hong Kong event will take place on November 7 & 8 at the world-class JW Marriott Hong Kong.

After the success of last year’s inaugural event, we’ll be coming back this fall with a new and expanded format! Each day will begin with our signature demo format which will then be followed by discussions and fast-paced exchanges about key topics in the industry.

If you’d like to apply to demo your company’s newest fintech innovation at the event or would like to learn more about speaking opportunities, please email us at asia@finovate.com.

And, if you’d like to attend and watch the newest, cutting-edge technology in fintech showcased via our fast-paced, demo-only format, tickets are now available for $995 ($600 off the list price). Space is limited and this is the lowest tickets will be, so register today to guarantee your spot and these savings!

We’ll see you in Hong Kong in November (or New York in September)!


FinovateAsia 2017 is sponsored by: CeleritiFintechInvest Hong Kong, and more to be announced.

FinovateAsia 2017 is partners with: Aite Group, BankersHub, Banking Technology, Breaking Banks, Celent, FemTech, Financial IT, Fintech FinanceHolland FintechIBS IntelligenceMercator Advisory Group, Ovum, The Paypers, Plug and Play, and SME Finance Forum.

NuCypher and Sureify Earn Finalist Spots at Startup Battlefield, MetLife’s Collab

A quote from famous Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rickson Gracie reminds us: “Sometimes you don’t have to win. You cannot win. But that has nothing to do with losing.”

Those words are worth keeping in mind as we give a tip of the hat to a pair of Finovate/FinDEVr alums that competed in the finals in a pair of startup competitions this week.

The first salute goes to NuCypher. Based out of San Francisco, California, and founded in 2015, NuCypher earned a finalist spot in TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017’s Startup Battlefield. One of five finalists from a field of 19, NuCypher competed against Collider, Domuso, Sunrise Health, and eventual winner RecordGram for a prize of $50,000 and the “coveted Disrupt Cup.” The judging panel consisted of representatives from RRE Ventures, Oak HC/FT, BBG Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Girls Who Code, and TechCrunch.

With a platform that provides security and encryption for big data, NuCypher made its FinDEVr debut at FinDEVr 2017 New York. At the event, NuCypher CTO Michael Egorov led a presentation called “Truly Secure Big Data and Cloud Environments,” which investigated the challenge of transferring big data storage and computation to the cloud while keeping encryption keys on premise. The company was named to the top 20 most promising Hadoop solution providers in 2017 by CIO Review in February, and will present its latest technology at FinDEVr 2017 London in June. Learn more about the company via our exclusive interviews with NuCypher CEO MacLane Wilkison and CTO Egorov.

Our second salute goes to Sureify. The insurtech pioneer was one of eight finalists competing in the new startup engagement program, collab, developed by MetLife’s Singapore-based LumenLab. The startups – Capability, Democrance, Digital Fineprint, Flamingo, Good Parents, Shift Technology, and winning company, Uniphore – were selected out of an applicant pool of more than 135 from more than 34 countries. The finalists gave 30-minute pitches in front of senior MetLife executives for the chance to win a $100,000 contract and have their solution implemented in MetLife.

With origins as a provider of unbiased, third-party educational material on insurance for consumers, Sureify grew its offerings by developing its own consumer life insurance product that linked premiums to a healthy lifestyle. The company now provides a variety of customer engagement solutions for insurers that leverage mobile apps, health devices, and wellness programs. Called the “Salesforce.com of Insurance Engagement” by The Digital Insurer and listed by Let’s Talk Payments in its roundup of revolutionary insurtech startups, Sureify demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2014. Dustin Yoder is CEO.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • NuCypher and Sureify Earn Finalist Spots at Startup Battlefield, MetLife’s Collab.

Around the web

  • Mobile identity scoring innovator Juvo appoints Prosper president Ron Suber as strategic advisor.
  • BBVA unveils new chatbot providing basic financial information over Facebook and Telegram.
  • IBM opens the doors on its Blockchain Founder Accelerator program for blockchain startups.
  • Spanish tax agency, AEAT, certifies Comarch’s Accounts Payable solution.
  • Puget Sound Business Journal Features Lighter Capital.
  • NuCypher wins finalist spot at Disrupt NY 2017’s Startup Battlefield.

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.

Algomi Acquires AllianceBernstein’s ALFA’s Fixed Income Liquidity and Analytics Tool


In a deal announced this week, Algomi, a company that offers tools for buy-side and sell-side trading in fixed income securities, has acquired ALFA (Automated Liquidity Filtering & Analytics) from AllianceBernstein. The acquisition includes the IP and technology behind ALFA as well as the brand name. As a part of the acquisition, AllianceBernstein is taking an undisclosed, minority stake in Algomi, as well as a seat on the company’s Board.

Originally developed as an in-house liquidity tool, ALFA is now called Algomi ALFA. The solution provides cross-market information on liquidity and trading to give the buy-side a real-time view of the entire bond market. Algomi, which AllianceBernstein selected via a competitive process to take over ALFA, will become the sole marketer of Algomi ALFA, which will be sold to buy-side fund managers.

At FinovateFall 2014, Algomi debuted Honeycomb, a buy-side GUI that helps investors see which dealer is best to facilitate illiquid block trades without disturbing the market. Founded in 2012, Algomi has 140 employees with offices in London, New York, and Hong Kong. Earlier this year, the company received a $10 million investment from Euronext, boosting its funding to more than $10 million after Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer invested an undisclosed amount of capital in a 2016 round.

Additiv Lands $25.5 Million Investment

Digital financial solutions company additiv has scored $25.5 million (CHF21 million) this week. The investment, which comes from BZ Bank and Patinex, marks the company’s first round of funding.

The investment will help additiv meet demand for its products across Europe and Asia. In the press release, the company’s founder and CEO, Michael Stemmle said, “This funding will finance our international expansion and help strengthen our management team. It will also fuel our production of cutting-edge SaaS/cloud-based products that ensure our clients are ahead of the curve. It really is crunch time for the sector and this funding allows us to be at our best when our clients need us most.”

Founded in 1998, additiv offers a digital financial suite, robo advisor and advisor services, as well as digital mortgage tools. At FinovateEurope 2016, the company’s CEO and founder, Michael Stemmle, along with Adriano Lucatelli and Marc Sauter from Descartes Finance, demoed how Descartes Finance built a digital private banking platform on top of additiv’s digital finance suite. The technology enables self-directed investors to implement portfolios based on allocation and optimization methods.

additiv’s Digital Finance Suite (DFS) recently began powering Natwest’s new robo-advice offering, which launched for the U.K. savings and investment market. This comes after the company piloted similar projects with Coutts, a private bank, and RBS Group. We featured the company earlier this year in our roundup of top business-to-business wealth tech players.

Market Earlybird Helps Market Professionals Identify Trading Opportunities First

 

With a lighthearted observation about the current President of the United States, Market Earlybird founder and CEO Danny Watkins acknowledged the power of social media like Twitter to broadcast ideas and gauge the sentiment of the crowd. But for many financial professionals, taking full advantage of Twitter presents a wealth of challenges in terms of regulations and compliance.

And that’s where Market Earlybird comes in. Market Earlybird is a cloud-based, Twitter platform designed specifically to handle the compliance issues faced by financial professionals like traders, researchers, and brokers. While recreating the Twitter experience on the platform, Market Earlybird is read-only, has no direct messaging functionality, and is fully recorded to meet compliance requirements. The platform is easy to integrate, requiring neither installation or firewall changes.

Pictured: Market Earlybird CEO Danny Watkins demonstrating the company’s technology at FinovateEurope 2017.

This leaves financial professionals free to take advantage of the analytics on the Market Earlybird platform to get faster and deeper insight into potentially market-moving events. This includes SmartTracks, which enable users to scan a set of preferred stocks, currencies, or news for financial relevance. The platform focuses on the qualitative, considering the Tweeter’s reputation and degree of engagement across the platform (retweets, likes, etc.) to determine which tweets are most likely to “go viral” and potentially have the most impact. The result is a Twitter experience that is designed to provide the most relevant tweets to the financial professional.

“We stop everybody (from) shouting at once. We really make sure you are able to get to the value of  Twitter,” Watkins said.” “We enable you to organize your follows, organize your priority feeds, get notifications. And we start to do that really clever stuff of not only seeing tweets as a flat structure,” he said, “but seeing tweets for the actual value they provide.”

Company facts

  • Headquartered in London, England
  • Founded in February 2012
  • Raised £250,000 in funding
  • Serves a dozen banks including two Top 10 global banks

We sat down with Market Earlybird CEO Danny Watkins during FinovateEurope and followed up with the company’s Chief Evangelist, Stuart Hunt (pictured) with a few questions by email. His responses are below.

Finovate: What problem does your EarlyBird solve?

Stuart Hunt: EarlyBird solves the problem of Twitter access in regulated financial environments. Twitter is now part of the very fabric of how political and financial news moves today, which makes it an essential tool for traders and analysts who need to see that news as it breaks. However, the challenges and risks of Twitter being used for market abuse, through its secret person-to-person channels, can be huge, and therefore it is often blocked from trading and research desks. EarlyBird solves this problem by providing a read-only Twitter service that is safe and optimized for financial professionals.

Finovate: How does your technology solve the problem better?

Hunt: EarlyBird blocks all outbound tweeting and messaging, and all tweets received by its users are recorded for compliance to review. All activity, such as who you follow and what you’re tracking, is also invisible to anyone outside your organization. But EarlyBird does much more than that. It’s a layered product, with increasingly rich capabilities to sift, filter, sort and analyze tweets. EarlyBird’s AI curated company searches, SmartTracks, cast a wider net than regular Twitter searches and return Tweets with real market relevance. It’s Twitter, but optimized for financial professionals.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of EarlyBird.

Hunt: We’re always delighted when we hear from traders, analysts and compliance teams about how EarlyBird is solving the problems it was designed for. Most recently, we had a lot of positive feedback about our $TRUMP SmartTrack, which we created ahead of his inauguration to enable users to easily track financially relevant tweets and news on Twitter regarding Trump. Trump has thrown a curve ball into financial markets with his fired-from-the-hip tweets, so it was pleasing to know we were helping our customers manage the uncertainty.

Finovate: What is your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Hunt: EarlyBird was created by our CEO, Danny Watkins, a chartered IT professional and former senior technologist at a multi-national investment bank. Danny’s extensive experience in the industry led to him recognizing the need for an FCA-compliant, read-only Twitter feed. The software was built independently of the bank, supplied under license and piloted on multiple trade floors for several years before its full commercial launch in 2015. Because EarlyBird was tested so rigorously before launch, we knew there was a strong need for the service.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Hunt: Our primary customers are investment banks and hedge funds. They are highly protective of their use of the service and we aren’t able to give names or specific details of how they use it. What we can say is that they are getting information using a combination of direct follows and our artificial intelligence curated feeds, which are giving them market insights that others are missing.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from your company that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Hunt: At the moment we’re putting the finishing touches to a new tweet translation feature for the platform. We’ve been working on this for the upcoming Europe elections so readers not only see the most relevant tweets, but can instantly see the content in their own language. We’re also going to be launching a brand new EarlyBird mobile app very soon as well.

Finovate: Where do you see Market EarlyBird a year or two from now?

Hunt: FinovateEurope was our first major conference after receiving funding from an Angel Investor at the end of last year. Since the event we’ve had many people approach us interested in EarlyBird, and off the back of those discussions have issued a number of new pilots which is really encouraging. In the coming two years, we hope to grow our user base, find new ways to enhance the software, and make EarlyBird the go-to platform for those looking to manage the risks and opportunities of Twitter in regulated finance firms.


CEO Danny Watkins demonstrating EarlyBird at FinovateEurope 2017.