More than $1 Billion Raised by Alums in Q3 2015

sackofmoneyFinovate alums raised about $1.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015.

The fundraising in Q3 of this year is more than 5x last year’s third quarter tally of $194 million, and 6x the 2013 total of $171 million. The number of deals was up as well with 40 last quarter compared to 17 in the quarter a year ago, and 23 two years back.

There were also four acquisitions:

Top 1o Fundings in Q3:

  • Twilio: $130 million
  • Kabbage: $120 million
  • Behalf: $119 million
  • Kreditech: $92 million
  • Fenergo: $75 million
  • ShopKeep: $60 million
  • BankBazaar: $60 million
  • Radius: $50 million
  • Payoneer: $50 million
  • RealtyMogul: $35 million

Total: $1.07 billion raised by 40 alums

July: $748 million raised by 16 alums

August: $153 million raised 12 alums

September: $173 million raised by 12 alums

If you are an alum that raised money in the third quarter of 2015, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

FinDEVr APIntelligence


Building a new financial technology? Check out our coverage from our developer conference in San Francisco this fall, and mark your calendars for our spring developer event in New York, March 29 and 30, FinDEVr 2016.

Developer news:

  • BankNXT interviews Stefan Weiss, head of APIs at Fidor Bank, on the APIs, regulation, and expansion.
  • American Banker quotes Simon Redfern, founder of the Open Bank Project, in a look at the drive for open bank APIs in the U.K.

The latest from FinDEVr San Francisco 2015 presenters:

  • Kashoo launches period locking feature to lock data within prescribed timeframes.
  • CenturyLink and Cogent enter into interconnection agreement.
  • Deluxe Corporation celebrates its 100th birthday by ringing the opening bell at the NYSE.
  • Entrust Datacard’s Kurt Ishaug named 2015 CFO of the Year by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.
  • The TRADE names Markit to its Hall of Fame.
  • Personal Capital lowers investment minimum from $100,000 to $25,000.

Alumni updates:

  • PRUDENA launches online marketplace for stock market research.
  • StockTwits offers brokerage functionality powered by Robinhood.
  • CardFlight announces EMV approval and certifications via TSYS for mPOS solution.

Stay current on daily news from the fintech developer community! Follow FinDEVr on Twitter today!

Finovate Alumni News


  • Check out this week’s edition of FinDEVr APIntelligence, featuring news from Fidor Bank, the Open Bank Project and more.
  • Finovate Alums Raise More Than $1 Billion in Q3 2015.

Around the web:

  • TickSmith wins FIA Innovator Award for its TickVault Platform.
  • Inc. talks with Narrative Science CEO and co-founder, Stuart Frankel.
  • Colorado Biz lists OnDeck as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in 2015.”
  • Zacks features six Finovate alums in its round up of “7 FinTech Startups You Need to Know About.”

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.

Nous Closes In On £350,000 Fundraising Goal


Nous, a startup that builds products for global financial market enthusiasts, announced last week it has raised 88% of its £350,000 ($527,000) goal in its second external round of funding . The London-based company is currently raising funds on SyndicateRoom, a professional angel crowdfunding site.

The campaign has two weeks left and Nous anticipates it will achieve and possibly exceed its goal amount to reach its overfunding limit.

Nous plans to use the funds to launch an ultra-low-risk trading app to seve a demographic overlooked by current financial products.

The founders of Nous boostrapped the company with $500,000, and raised $605,000 in funding last year.

At FinovateEurope 2014, Nous launched SparkProfit, a financial data service and gamified market prediction platform that combines human predictions and quantitative finance to better anticipate future market outcomes.


Above, Justin Short (CEO & Founder) and Mick Horgan (Co-Founder) presenting at FinovateFall 2014.

Finovate Debuts: Bleu Unveils its Beacon-Powered Point-of-Sale Solution


The Bleu Network leverages Bluetooth low energy beacons to facilitate mobile transactions.

Bleu founder and CEO Sesie Bonsi built his solution around Bluetooth technology because of the way it can move payment data over long distances and ranges. “You can create different experiences and use cases,” he said, “From a nearby transaction at a fast casual restaurant terminal to reaching a terminal in a fancier restaurant that may be several meters away.”


Pictured: Bleu CEO and co-founder Sesie Bonsi demonstrating his Point of Sale Network at FinovateFall 2015.

The Bleu Network is organized around Bonsi’s idea of the “payment experience.” He points to four features that embody this idea:

  • the ability to use any payment form available (“pure payment-type agnostic,” Bonsi said),
  • the ability to make both prepaid and in-store payments
  • the ability to process payments from any processor in the U.S. and in 32 other countries (“pure payment-processor agnostic, as well”)
  • the ability to deliver in-store analytics and intelligent payment data to the merchant

In his demoat FinovateFall 2015, Bonsi and VP for Business Development Brett Howell showed a pair of uses cases: a “prepaid” transaction combining an online payment with a beacon payment; and an “in-store” transaction using the Bluetooth beacon technology alone.


  • Founded in October 2014
  • Headquartered in Los Angeles, California
  • Sesie Bonsi is CEO

How it Works 

Bonsi demonstrated Bleu using the PowaPOS T25 platform, providing an “out of the box, plug-and-play POS solution” for merchants. The platform is EMV ready and features a handheld scanner, integrated thermal printer, and Bluetooth Smart Beacon. The beacon is a small wireless device that sends a low energy Bluetooth signal to the user’s Bleu app when they enter the store.


For the consumer, both iOS and Android Bleu apps are available for smartphones and tablets. The app can also be accessed via NFC over the Payment Beacon itself. Consumers can download the app, choose their preferred payment type, and begin searching for nearby businesses in the Bleu Network. For security, payment data is tokenized so that no personally identifiable information is stored on the app or device.


Consumers browsing through merchants on the Bleu network see a complete mobile storefront with photos, background on the business, and can access reviews from friends and colleagues in their contact or friends lists.


The network supports both prepaid orders (orders placed outside of Beacon range), as well as in-store transactions. A customer can order coffee and a pastry from their favorite cafe, be alerted that the order was received and, thanks the the beacon, have their order moved to the top of the queue when they come near the cafe.


In-store payments are just as easy. When it comes time to pay, the person operating the point-of-sale terminal uses the Bleu’s payment beacon to identify and match the transaction with the customer. Bleu sends the customer a payment request through the beacon to their mobile device.


The customer can add a tip, and pay the bill after authenticating with a fingerprint. Then the customer can send the payment back through the beacon to the merchant’s point of sale.

The Bleu Network also provides merchants with in-store analytics and purchase data transacted over the network. “We can unlock intelligent payment data about average wait times, menu items, customer demographics and whole host of other valuable information instead of just swiping a card,” Bonsi explained.

The Future

Bleu is actively raising capital (“funding the revolution” as Bonsi calls it), looking for investors that see the payment/processor/location-agnostic, technology the same way he does: a”fundamental shift in the entire payment process from start to finish.”

Right now, Bonsi says the technology is an ideal point-of-sale solution for high volume franchise merchants and enterprises because of its ability to increase transaction speed. He added that non-financial institutions like colleges have also expressed interest in the technology as a way to process students faster and more efficiently at the beginning of the semester.

Bonsai sees a role for the Bleu Network in everything from mobile payments to the Internet of Things. “The Bleu Network is going to be a core asset in the future of a connected body, home, city, business and industry,” he said. “We envision the Bleu Network changing the entire payment experience and creating a new platform for mobile transactions.”

Check out the live demonstration video from bleu.

Finovate Alumni News


  • StockTwits Offers Brokerage Functionality Powered by Robinhood.
  • Finovate Debuts: Bleu Unveils its Beacon-Powered, Point-of-Sale Solution.

Around the web:

  • TechCrunch names Stockpile gift card on list of Awesome Gifts For Your Favorite 20-Something.
  • Prosper recognized as 24th-fastest growing company on Deloitte’s Fast 500, San Francisco Business Times places Prosper as number 3 of the Fastest Growing Companies of 2015.
  • Kashoo launches period locking feature to lock data within prescribed timeframes.
  • Built in Colorado names Google, OnDeck, Ping Identity, Personal Capital, Xero, and PaySimple on list of top 100 tech companies in Colorado.
  • TickSmith’s TickVault platform earns the fast-growing firm in the inaugural Innovators Award from FIA.
  • CenturyLink and Cogent enter into interconnection agreement.
  • RAGE Frameworks partners with Genpact, leveraging AI to automate financial processes.
  • Los Alamos National Bank chooses FIS as its new core banking provider.
  • National Bonds to deploy AML Risk Manager from Fiserv.
  • Geezeo launches its Life Infused Financial Experiences custom apps.
  • Let’s Talk Payments looks at edo Interactive and its partnership with Visa Europe.
  • Azimo extends its money transfer service to Nigeria.
  • Fidelity Clearing and Custody teams up with EverSafe to help prevent elder financial abuse.
  • TransferTo joins forces with Continental Money to bring remittance services to Africa.

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.

Fintech Fundings: 26 Companies Raise $1 Billion Week Ending Nov 20

money_tree_newLarge swaths of cash flowed into the global fintech sector last week. All told, 26 companies brought in $1.05 billion. A quarter of the total was Square’s IPO ($243 million), another $330 million was debt, with the remaining $479 million being VC/angel funding.

In addition to Square, two companies topped $100 million: student & personal loan startup Earnest ($75 mil equity & $200 million debt) and Australia’s ZipMoney ($1 mil equity, $100 mil debt).

Two Finovate alums landed new rounds: $5 million to which enables employers to help pay down employee student loan debt and Nous, a crowdsourced investment information platform, which raised $290,000.

Year-to-date, the total raised is $17.7 billion, or about $23 billion counting the payments IPOs (Worldpay, First Data, Square).

Here are the fundings by size from Nov 14 to Nov 20: 

Alt-personal & student lender
Latest round: $275 million ($75 million equity, $200 million debt)
Total raised: $299.1 million ($99.1 million equity, $200 million debt)
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: Consumer, credit, lending, underwriting, loans, student loan refinancing
Source: Crunchbase

Payment processor & small-business lender
Latest round: $243 million (IPO)
Total raised: $833 million
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: Consumer, SMB, payments, point-of-sale, mPOS, acquiring, merchant, credit/debit cards
Source: LA Times, Crunchbase

Financing online consumer purchases
Latest round: $101 million ($1 million equity, $100 million debt)
Total raised: $101 million (includes $100 million debt)
HQ: Sydney, Australia
Tags: Consumer, SMB, B2B2C, financing, lending, underwriting, ecommerce, payments
Source: Crunchbase

Global funds transfer service for businesses
Latest round: $83 million
Total raised: $119 million
HQ: London, England, UK
Tags: Enterprise, SMB, accounts payables, payments, FX, trade finance
Source: Crunchbase

LQD Business Finance
Online small business financing
Latest round: $30 million Debt
Total raised: $30 million Debt
HQ: Chicago, Illinois
Tags: SMB, commercial lending, credit, loans
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate discovery app
Latest round: $13.5 million
Total raised: $19.5 million
HQ: Santa Monica, California
Tags: Consumer, real estate, home buying, mortgage
Source: Crunchbase

Align Commerce
Payment service provider for global commerce
Latest round: $12.5 million
Total raised: $12.5 million
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: Enterprise, SMB, payments, bitcoin, FX, trade finance
Source: Crunchbase

Sensible Lender
P2P property lender
Latest round: $10.6 million
Total raised: $10.6 million
HQ: Kent, England, UK
Tags: P2P lending, investing, mortgage, underwriting, crowdfunding
Source: FT Partners

Hanweck Associates
Real-time risk analytics for financial institutions
Latest round: $10 million
Total raised: $10 million
HQ: New York City
Tags: Security, risk management
Source: FT Partners
Prepaid card platform
Latest round: $9 million
Total raised: $12 million
HQ: Santa Monica, California
Tags: Consumer, debit card, giftcard, payments, card management
Source: Crunchbase

Payroll-based lender
Latest round: $6.1 million
Total raised: $6.1 million
HQ: London, England, UK
Tags: Enterprise, SMB, B2B2C, consumer credit, lending, underwriting, employee benefits
Source: Crunchbase
Student loan repayment service for employers
Latest round: $5 million
Total raised: $8.15 million
HQ: Santa Monica, California
Tags: Student lending, employee benefit, SMB, enterprise, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Prepaid Financial Services
Prepaid card services
Latest round: $3.8 million (at $75 million valuation)
Total raised: Unknown
HQ: London, England, UK
Tags: Consumer, SMB, prepaid cards, debit cards
Source: FT Partners

Wealth management system for advisors
Latest round: $3.35 million
Total raised: $3.35 million
HQ: New York City
Tags: Advisors, investing, asset management, robo-advisor
Source: Crunchbase

Peppermint Innovation
Mobile banking & payments platform
Latest round: $2.7 million
Total raised: $2.7 million
HQ: Australia
Tags: Payments, mobile, remittances, banking, Indonesia (market)
Source: FT Partners

Mobile ecommerce & payments platform
Latest round: $2.5 million
Total raised: $2.7 million
HQ: Bangalaru, India
Tags: SMB, payments,
Source: FT Partners

Home discovery platform
Latest round: $1.6 million
Total raised: $4.0 million
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Tags: Consumer, real estate, home buying, mortgage
Source: Crunchbase

Mobile point-of-sale solution
Latest round: $1.3 million Seed
Total raised: $4.8 million
HQ: Hong Kong, China
Tags: SMB, payments, mPOS, merchants, acquiring, hardware, credit/debit cards
Source: Crunchbase

Health Solutions One
Online health insurance broker
Latest round: $1 million Seed
Total raised: $2 million
HQ: Roswell, Georgia
Tags: Consumer, insurance, price comparison, lead gen
Source: Crunchbase

Bitcoin-based international payroll 
Latest round: $750,000
Total raised: $750,000
HQ: Sunnyvale, California
Tags: SMB, enterprise, payments, human resources, crypto-currency, payroll
Source: Crunchbase

Proof of ownership via the blockchain
Latest round: $600,000
Total raised: $600,000
HQ: San Francisco, California
Tags: SMB, consumer, blockchain, security, contracts, security
Source: Crunchbase

Fintec Labs
Banking & insurance incubator
Latest round: $350,000 ($2.3 million valuation)
Total raised: $745,000
HQ: South Africa
Tags: Insurance, SMB, startups
Source: Crunchbase

Nous Global Markets
Crowdsourcing financial market predictions
Latest round: $290,000
Total raised: $890,000
HQ: London, England, UK
Tags: Consumer, trading, investing, gamification Finovate alum
Source: FT Partners

Secure invoice payment
Latest round: $200,000
Total raised: $200,000
HQ: Viaams-Brabant, Belgium
Tags: SMB, payments, accounting, accounts receivables
Source: FT Partners

Claim Di
Insurance claims platform
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
HQ: Bangkok, Thailand
Tags: Insurance, enterprise
Source: Crunchbase

Ultra-secure consumer payments device
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
HQ: Hong Kong, China
Tags: Consumer, B2B2C, credit/debit card, payments, security, token, hardware
Source: Crunchbase

StockTwits Offers Brokerage Functionality Powered by Robinhood


StockTwits, a social network for investors and traders, announced last week that it has partnered with stock trading app Robinhood to incorporate brokerage functionality into its iOS app.

The partnership allows users to connect their two accounts, giving Robinhood users access to StockTwits’ stock tracking tools, and offering Robinhood’s free brokerage service to StockTwits users. Highlights of the integration include:

  • See stocks on their StockTwits watchlist that they own in their Robinhood account


  • Swipe to trade for free with Robinhood without leaving the StockTwits watchlist and trending list


  • Share Robinhood trades with the StockTwits community


While the new trading functionality is not currently available on Android, StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon notes that a solution is in work and will be available soon.

StockTwits’ Lindzon presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014:


PRUDENA Launches Online Marketplace for Stock Market Research


PRUDENA launched its online stock market research marketplace last week, helping retail investors and independent financial advisors access the same kind of quantified stock market research that institutional money managers have used for years.

For PRUDENA co-founder and CEO Charlie Strout, the new online marketplace is the latest example of the “sharing economy” applied to financial technology. “Investors love our product because they can essentially hire a talented analyst that previously only sold their research to large institutions,” Strout explained. “Analysts love us because we give them loads of tools to save them time when producing their research and provide a platform where they can better monetize their work.”


Pictured: Prudena founder and CEO Charlie Strout presenting at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014.

PRUDENA emphasizes quantitative research because this kind of research is typically too expensive for individual investors and independent financial advisors. Using data aggregation, financial modeling, and report-generation wizards, the PRUDENA focuses on behavioral economics and finance, value investing, and quantitative financial analysis to give investors and advisors insights that differ from the qualitative research many investors rely on. And with more than 500 registered users on its platform, Strout believes PRUDENA’s crowdfunding approach is making this kind of quantitative research easier to get and more affordable.

PRUDENA is available for free and by subscription. Free features include portfolio monitoring tools and alerts, and modeling for the stocks in the S&P 500 and Dow industrials. Subscription services provide modeling for all stocks, brokerage account aggregation, and more support options, including email, phone, and a one-on-one, “Get Started” session. All subscribers get a copy of “The Morning Monte”” market analysis newsletter, as well.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in New York City, PRUDENA demonstrated how its platform automates the analysis of financial statements at the inaugural FinDEVr conference in 2014 in San Francisco.

Finovate Debuts: RedCloud Technology Helps Financial Institutions Build Regulatory Compliant Products


The RedCloud 1 Platform from RedCloud Technology is a transaction engine and processing platform. By leveraging RedCloud 1, financial service providers can offer regulated digital financial services such as domestic payments, remittances, lending, savings, and insurance.


  • Founded February 2014
  • Headquartered in London
  • The platform has been in development for 5 years
  • Created by developers who launched M-PESA

The RedCloud 1 solution, which can be co-branded or white-labeled, can act as an end-to-end transaction platform or simply form a new front-end interface to existing backend processes. It is designed to help effectively deal with regulatory constraints.

Front-facing platform

The RedCloud 1 platform offers a simple, omni-channel user experience. For example, when using its remittances capabilities to send money internationally, consumers log in with a unique identifier (for example, email address, phone number, or Twitter account), then enter the amount and their PIN. RedCloud processes all transactions, including cross-border payments and remittances, in real time with no settlement delay.



Behind the scenes

The RedCloud administration view offers multiple tools, such as a transaction search capability and a CRM module, that enables service providers to manage the platform.


The analytics suite offers a real-time bank reconciliation view that shows both sides of all transactions. Preconfigured insights are not only useful to service providers, but also to their merchant clients, who can use transaction data to drive business strategy.


The company’s configuration tool has a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG interface which enables non-technical employees to quickly bring new products to market with no need for IT involvement.


What’s next

RedCloud is contracting with several organizations across Africa and Asia.

RedCloud founder, Justin Floyd and product manager, Matthew Smith, debuting RedCloud 1 at FinovateFall 2015: