A Look at the First Week of Nasdaq’s Fintech Index

While many of you were busy catching Pikachu last week, you may have missed that Nasdaq, in collaboration with KBW, launched an index to track financial technology. Officially named KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index (KFTX), the fund tracks 49 fintech companies, including 17 Finovate and FinDEVr alums.

On Monday, July 18, the index opened at 1,000 points and closed at almost 1,014 points on Friday, July 22.

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Finovate and FinDEVr alums listed in the index include:

According to Nasdaq’s press release, the companies in the index “represent roughly one-fifth (18%) of the investable domestic financial universe and nearly 4% of the investable domestic equity universe to account for approximately $785 billion in total market cap.”

It’s worth noting that the index, which will be rebalanced quarterly, does not consider activity from private companies, startups, or banks. Large, public companies may not be as sprightly as two guys in a garage, but they create their fair share of cutting edge products and services. When creating the index, KBW and Nasdaq adhered to three guidelines:

  1. The companies mainly sell financial services
  2. Not primarily brick-and-mortar operated
  3. They generate income from fees, rather than interest

Other companies in the index include (Each company in the index is weighted equally):

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (ADS), Bankrate, Inc. (RATE), Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. (BKFS), BofI Holding, Inc. (BOFI), Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR), Cardtronics, Inc. (CATM), CBOE Holdings, Inc. (CBOE), CME Group, Inc. (CME), CoreLogic, Inc. (CLGX), Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB), Euronet Worldwide, Inc. (EEFT), EverBank Financial Corp. (EVER), EVERTEC, Inc. (EVTC), FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS), First Data Corp. (FDC), FleetCor Technologies, Inc. (FLT), Global Payments, Inc. (GPN), Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE), MarketAxess Holdings, Inc. (MKTX), Moody’s Corp. (MCO), MSCI, Inc. (MSCI), Nasdaq, Inc. (NDAQ), S&P Global, Inc. (SPGI), SEI Investments Co. (SEIC), Square, Inc. (SQ), SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (SSNC), Total System Services (TSS), The Western Union Co. (WU), VeriFone Systems, Inc. (PAY), Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK), Virtu Financial, Inc. (VIRT), and WEX, Inc. (WEX).

Peter Thiel Takes $3.5 Million Stake in Curated Investing Platform, nextmarkets


You may or may not agree with his politics. But his taste in investments is hard to beat.

At least that’s our take on Peter Thiel’s latest $3.5 million investment in Cologne, Germany’s nextmarkets GmbHThe stake reportedly is part of a larger “seven-figure sum” the company is raising in its current investment round, which features participation from FinLab and EXTOREL.

Already looking forward to seeing nextmarkets put the capital to use growing the business, Stefan Schutze, CEO of FinLab praised both the company’s platform and its ability to get “such strong and well-known partners” to invest in nextmarkets’ vision of democratizing the financial markets. Dominic Heyden, co-founder and CTO of the company said “after nearly two years in development, we can now offer the world’s most innovative platform that intelligently combines e-learning with trading.”

Manuel and Dominic Heyden who co-founded another Finovate alum, the social trading app ayondo, back in 2008 (and sold it for a significant profit in 2014), have leveraged their experience combining trading and technology to create nextmarkets. The platform gives average traders and investors everyday, real-time access to the strategies used by professionals. The trading coaches on the platform also provide risk management advice for investors who follow their trades and investments. nextmarkets calls its approach “curated investing and it applies to equity trading, FX trading, as well as other markets.

Speaking of the investment, Heyden was effusive in his praise of both his company’s new investors as well as the funding’s potential to drive nextmarkets’ growth. “We see it as a clear endorsement of both our concept and business model as well as our long-term vision,” Manuel Heyden said. “(We are) very proud that we were able to win over experienced investors.”

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cologne, Germany, nextmarkets demonstrated its web and iOS app at FinovateEurope 2015.

With Dashlane’s Spaces for Mobile, Passwords Connect the Professional and the Personal


Spaces for mobile is Dashlane’s latest solution to help employees in the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) era. Based on the desktop version launched in June, the technology gives employees using Android, iPhone, and iPad devices safe and easy access to both their professional and personal Spaces within the platform.

“Password management blurs the line between home and work,” Dashlane CEO Emmanuel Schalit said, “If an employee practices safe password habits at home, that same mindset will carry over into his or her workplace.” Spaces for mobile will allow users to toggle between personal and professional spaces from the same mobile device, as well as transfer items back and forth between spaces.

New personalization, help, and onboarding guides have been added, and the solution features an enterprise control which allows an employer to quickly restrict access to professional spaces without interfering with personal space on the platform. Writing at the Dashlane blog, community manager Malaika Nicholas underscored this feature, noting that the controls enabled “business owners, company executives,and IT administrators … to oversee the password health and security of their entire organization and every employee through the centralized Admin console, while still maintaining employees’ privacy.”

Dashlane’s identity and access management solutions are used by both consumers and businesses to securely manage passwords, credit card data and other sensitive information. The company uses advanced encryption and local storage to serve more than 5 million users, with more than 6,000 companies subscribing to its enterprise service, Dashlane Business.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New York City, Dashlane demonstrated its core technology at FinovateEurope 2013. In June, the company unveiled its redesigned iPhone and iPad solutions, the same month Mashable featured the technology in its list of “7 can’t miss apps.” Dashlane picked a $22.5 million investment in May in a round led by new strategic partner TransUnion that took its total funding to more than $53 million. Former Fab.com executive David Lapter joined the company as CFO this spring.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • With Dashlane’s Spaces for Mobile, Passwords Connect the Professional and the Personal.
  • Peter Thiel Takes $3.5 Million Stake in Curated Investor Platform, nextmarkets GmbH.
  • A Look at the First Week of Nasdaq’s Fintech Index.

Around the web

  • Bill.com co-founder and CEO Andrew Housser weighs in on the relationship between new and traditional credit scoring.
  • Dakota Plains Credit Union to deploy integrated technology suite from Fiserv.
  • American Banker column on new core banking vendors features Corezoid.
  • Deposit Accounts blog features Kasasa.
  • Finextra: Q2 ready to support same-day ACH payments.

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.

Quick & Dirty Details of the PayPal – Visa Partnership

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Launched in 1998, PayPal is no stranger to fintech. However, most consider the company a competitor rather than an ally to banks and traditional financial services companies such as Visa. This week’s news may change that perspective, though not all PayPal shareholders were enamored with the deal, as the stock fell 7% today.

The two payments companies entered into a strategic partnership in which PayPal aligned itself with Visa, conceding some of its turf in the fintech arena. The details below:

Benefits to Visa

  • During customer enrollment, PayPal will present Visa cards as a “clear and equal payment option,” making it easy for consumers to set visa as their preferred payment method
  • The image of Visa digital cards will be incorporated into payment flows
  • PayPal will not encourage Visa cardholders to link to a bank account via ACH (PayPal used to do this to avoid paying fees to the card networks)
  • PayPal will work with issuers to identify consumers who choose to migrate existing ACH payment flows to their Visa cards
  • Consumers can use their Visa debit cards to move money from their PayPal and Venmo accounts to their bank account

Benefits to PayPal

  • PayPal joined the Visa Digital Enablement Program (VDEP), meaning that consumers can pay using their PayPal wallet at all physical retail locations where Visa contactless transactions are accepted
  • Visa is paying PayPal for increasing the number of transactions on its rails
  • Visa has promised “greater long-term Visa fee certainty,” meaning the company will not raise or impose new fees charged to PayPal when a customer uses a Visa card to make a purchase on PayPal


For more in-depth analysis, check out the Wall Street Journal’s coverage.

PayPal, which spun-off from eBay in 2015, released financial and growth figures in tandem with this announcement. The company’s earnings are up 11% YTD. From PayPal’s Braintree division, Venmo transactions increased by 141% in Q2 of 2016 to $3.9 billion. PayPal’s quarterly earnings rose from $305 million to $323 million and its quarterly revenue was up 15% to $2.65 billion.

PayPal’s last Finovate demo was in 2012 where it debuted Instant Account Creation. The company’s Braintree Developer Evangelist, Justin Woo, presented at FinDEVr New York 2016. Visa has also presented at FinDEVr. The company’s VP of Product Development M. Tad Tilahun and Senior Director of Digital Developed Markets
Alan Johnson presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company’s last Finovate presentation was at FinovateSpring 2010, where it demoed a tool to help consumers collect and organize products.

California Bankers Association Selects Vantiv as EFT Processing Partner

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Ohio-based Vantiv announced this week it will serve as the payment processing partner of the California Bankers Association (CBA).

More than 100 banks in the state belong to CBA, which is considered one of the largest state banking trade associations and is a long-standing partner of Finovate. CBA member banks have access to Vantiv’s payment processing solutions for credit and debit card payments, as well as ATMs. The banks can also take advantage of Vantiv’s MobiMoney mobile app that promotes safe spending habits among cardholders by allowing them to turn cards on and off, sending them alerts, and enabling them to set parameters around geographic location, merchant type, and transaction amount.

Julianna Graham, SVP of strategic partners at the CBA said that CBA selected Vantiv because of the “scale and scope” of its services, as well as its “proven track record of innovation.”

At FinovateFall 2014 Vantiv launched TriPOS, a payment integration platform solution that is compatible with multiple hardware devices and connects to all authorization providers. In May, Vantiv won the awards for Best Processor, Judge’s Choice, and Consumer Choice in the 2016 CNP Awards. Vantiv, which went public in 2012, will announce its second quarter 2016 financial results on July 28.

Sberbank Earns Multiple Honors in Global Finance Awards


One contest. Four awards. Not a bad day at the office for Sberbank.

The Russia-based bank picked up top honors in four categories of the Global Finance awards for Central and Eastern Europe. Sberbank won Best in Mobile Banking, Best Bill Payment & Presentment, and Best SMS/Text Banking. “By participating in the Global Finance awards we are able to see and evaluate the position of our digital products on the international market,” Svyatoslav Ostrovsky, Head of Bank XXI Department at Sberbank, said. “Sberbank has represented Russia as a leader in mobile banking, information security, and online payments.”


Pictured: Svyatoslav Ostrovsky demonstrating Sberbank Messenger at FinovateSpring 2016 in San Jose, California.

The Global Finance International Consumer Digital bank Awards are an annual event for banks in the CEE region, with selection categories changing annually. In addition to a focus on mobile technologies this year, judging criteria for the awards was particularly customer-oriented, with strategies for customer acquisition and services, as well as the potential of the technology to grow the client base being key. In this, Sberbank’s recent performance has been noteworthy, tripling the number of active users of its mobile apps over the last year, and adding anti-virus technology to the Android version of its app. Sberbank also announced this week that it was offering free accident insurance to Pokemon Go players.

Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and founded in 1841, Sberbank is one of the largest banks in its home country, serving more than 110 million clients (approximately 70% of the Russian population) via 17,000 branches. The bank also has more than one million corporate clients in 22 countries, and international operations in countries including the U.K., the U.S., Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey. The company demonstrated its Sberbank Messenger solution at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Sberbank Earns Multiple Honors in Global Finance Awards.
  • California Bankers Association Selects Vantiv as EFT Processing Partner.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Prevoty Wins 2016 Stratus Award for Best Small Company Cloud Security Service.

Around the web

  • ITProPortal interviews Temenos Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Ben Robinson.
  • Fiserv launches Grapevine6 to help deliver content over its wealth management network.
  • Quantopian adds new Head of Trading, Dragan Skoko.
  • VISA and PayPal enter strategic partnership to improve payment experience for consumers.
  • Mobile Payments Today quotes Prairie Cloudware co-founder and CMO Michael Carter on banks and mobile wallets.
  • Wealthfront unveils updated iPhone app.
  • ProfitStars earns 2016 Top Workplace commendation from The Tennessean.
  • Espresso Capital features Outside IQ’s creativity in raising capital.
  • Yoyo Wallet expands to Singapore.
  • ThetaRay opens office in Singapore.

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.

SBDA Group Wins Gold, Sedicii Takes Silver at UniCredit Hackathon


Two Finovate alums took home top honors at the UniCredit Appathon event this week. SBDA Group won first place for its Smartbanking app that uses transaction data to help users budget and manage their finances. Coming in second was Irish authentication specialist Sedicii, whose technology enables customers to authenticate themselves to a network or service without having to share a password or other personal information.

The goal of the Appathon is to stimulate innovation “both within and beyond the bank” said Paolo Fiorentino, UniCredit Deputy General Manager. Indeed, the first place prize of the hackathon is the chance to work with a team from UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions (an opportunity valued at €50,000). The second place prize was a pair of tickets to FinovateLondon 2017 (an awesome award, in our humble opinion), and the third place winner, Rome’s All Industries, won a virtual reality headset for its digital financial assistant, TalkForce.

UniCredit_SediciiNow in its third year and conducted 100% online for the first time, UniCredit’s fintech hackathon featured more than 190 teams across Europe. The event was judged by senior managers from both UniCredit and its subsidiary, UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions. Teams were asked to demonstrate a solution in one of three categories: digital payments, digital wallets, and” instantaneous delivery of complex information using big-data analytics.” 70 cities from 26 European countries were represented, with most of the team (32) coming from Italy. Also participating were 10 “international” teams. The judges evaluated each solution on the basis of technology, completeness, innovation, feasibility, subject matter, and API relevance.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in London, SBDA Group demonstrated its SBDA Customer Insight solution at FinovateEurope 2016. The company’s solutions include Sberbank Messenger, demonstrated at FinovateSpring 2016 by Russia’s Sberbank and mobile banking app, Sense, demonstrated at FinovateFall 2015 by Alfa Banking Group. Check out our Finovate debut profile of SBDA Group from earlier this year.

A finalist in the Innotribe Startup Challenge and one of five Finovate alums to be included among the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Technology Pioneers, Sedicii’s authentication service can be used instead of one-time passwords, as well as deployed in a tele-service environment, and is effective against man-in-the-browser, man-in-the-middle, and server-side attacks. The company demonstrated its authentication platform at FinovateEurope 2015.

Fintech Fundings: 26 Companies Raise $280 Million in 4th Week of June

german fintechIt was a huge week in German fintech funding, coinciding with, but too soon to be caused by, Brexit. Eight of the 26 global deals were German with five out of Berlin, two from Frankfurt (both Finovate alum savedroid and ayondo), and one in Koln. The total raised by the eight was at least $60 million (though two raised undisclosed amounts). Digital startup bank Number26 pulled in the bulk of that landing a massive $40 million round.

All told, 26 fintech companies worldwide raised $281 million during the third week of June including five Finovate alums:

The total number of deals YTD stands at 688, nearly double last year’s 353. Total dollars raised YTD is now $17.1 billion, $9 billion more than the $8 billion raised during the same period a year ago.


Fintech deals by size from 18 June to 24 June, 2016:

Global money-movement & storage platform
Latest round: $60 million Series D
Total raised: $136 million
HQ: Dublin, Ireland
Tags: Consumer, payments, funds transers, remittances, bitcoin, crypto-currency
Source: Crunchbase

Account aggregation APIs
Latest round: $44 million Series B
Total raised: $59.3 million
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: Consumer, institutuions, SMBs, developers, API, payments, account aggregation, FinDEVr alum
Source: FinDEVr

Digital bank startup
Latest round: $40 million Series B
Total raised: $52.7 million
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Tags: Consumer, payments, debit card, deposits, mobile banking
Source: Crunchbase

Invoice lender to small businsesses
Latest round: $30 million Debt
Total raised: $30+ million
HQ: Surry Hills, Australia
Tags: SMB, lending, underwriting, alt-lending, factoring, trade finance, receivables
Source: Crunchbase

Pearl Capital
Alt-lender to small businesses
Latest round: $20 million
Total raised: $20 million
HQ: New York City
Tags: ISOs, SMB, lending, merchants, commercial loans, underwriting
Source: Crunchbase, PE Hub

Bitcoin exchange
Latest round: $20 million Series A
Total raised: $20 million
HQ: Singapore
Tags: Consumer, bitcoin, crypto-currency, virtual currency, investing
Source: FT Partners

Check replacement for bills
Latest round: $11 million
Total raised: $29.35 million
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: Consumer, payments, credit cards, billpay, credit, merchants, billers
Source: Crunchbase

Creating local currencies using blockchain technology
Latest round: $9.6 million Series A
Total raised: $12.1 million
HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel
Tags: Consumer, payments, bitcoin, blockchain, P2P, person-to-person
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate platform
Latest round: $9.36 million Series A
Total raised: $9.36 million
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Tags: Consumer, home buying, property search, mortgage, discovery
Source: FT Partners

Gift card payment network
Latest round: $7.92 million Seed
Total raised: $7.92 million
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Tags: Consumer, P2P payments, person-to-person, rewards, gift cards, prepaid cards, funds transfer
Source: Crunchbase

Digital Asset Holdings
Distributed ledger systems for financial institutions
Latest round: $7.16 million from ASX ($200 million valuation)
Total raised: $67.2 million
HQ: New York City
Tags: Institutions, blockchain, crypto-currency, database
Source: FT Partners

Alt-lending marketplace for consumers
Latest round: $4.5 million Series A
Total raised: $8.9 million
HQ: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Tags: Consumer, lending, underwriting, alt-lending, loans, secured lending, lead gen
Source: Crunchbase

B2B ecommerece credit management
Latest round: $3.1 million Series A
Total raised: $3.1 million
HQ: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tags: SMB, lending, underwriting, trade finance, B2B ecommerce
Source: FT Partners

Expense compliance system
Latest round: $2.9 million Seed
Total raised: $2.9 million
HQ: Sunnyvale, California
Tags: SMB, expense management, employees, accounting, bookkeeping, fraud detection, risk management
Source: Crunchbase

Online identity & payment services
Latest round: $2.66 million
Total raised: $48.7 million
HQ: New York City
Tags: Consumer, SMB, merchants, security, authentication, Finovate alum
Source: FT Partners

Banking & money management for students
Latest round: $2.17 million
Total raised: $2.17 million
HQ: London, England, UK
Tags: Consumer, banking, youth, millenials, payments, personal financial management, PFM, financial education
Source: Crunchbase

Retail investment product marketplace
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $7.6 million
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Tags: Consumer, lending, underwriting, alt-lending, loans, personal financial management, P2P, person-to-person
Source: Crunchbase

Checking-account based savings app
Latest round: $1.13 million Seed
Total raised: $1.13 million
HQ: Frankfurt, Germany
Tags: Consumer, deposits, checking accounts, payments, mobile, rewards, personal financial management, PFM, mobile, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Equity crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $1.3 million Equity Crowdfunding
Total raised: $3.45 million
HQ: Helsinki, Finland
Tags: Consumer, SMB, investing, P2P, peer-to-peer, equity
Source: Crunchbase

Consumer credit education
Latest round: $922,000 Debt
Total raised: $6.62 million ($5.7 million Equity)
HQ: Irvine, California
Tags: Consumer, personal finance, financial education, credit, lead gen
Source: Crunchbase

Sentiment analysis for capital markets
Latest round: $810,000
Total raised: $810,000
HQ: Miami, Florida
Tags: Institutions, traders, investing, analytics, information, social media
Source: FT Partners

Social stock trading platform
Latest round: Unknown amount of new capital in Reverse IPO ($117 million value)
Total raised: Unknown
HQ: Frankfurt, Germany
Tags: Consumer, advisors, wealth management, trading, investing
Source: Finovate

Digital identity verification
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $4.7+ million
HQ: New York City
Tags: Institutions, B2B2C, social media, security, compliance, Santander (investor), Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Investment & insurance marketplace
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $1.73+ million
HQ: Koln, Germany
Tags: Consumer, investing, insurance, lead gen, discovery
Source: Crunchbase

Payments solutions provider
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
HQ: Watford, UK
Tags: SMB, ISOs, merchants, acquiring, payments, debit/credit cards
Source: FT Partners

Insurance products for ecommerce partners
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $8+ million
HQ: Berlin, Germany
Tags: Consumer, B2B2C, insurance, upsell, ecommerce
Source: Crunchbase