SecureKey Wins Funding to Build Blockchain Digital Identity Network


With the assistance of an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Canadian authentication innovator, SecureKey will develop a digital identity network using blockchain technology. SecureKey will work with the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) to build the network.

Calling the funding “essential” in making a national digital identity ecosystem a reality, SecureKey Chief Identity Officer Andre Boysen emphasized “putting customers first” in a system that “increases both their digital security and privacy.” DIACC president Joni Brennan said investment in digital ID and authentication technology was “critical to enabling Canadian citizens, businesses and governments to capture the full potential of the global economy.”

The digital identity network will enable individuals, organizations, and institutions to connect using trusted log-in credentials. Blockchain technology minimizes the amount of data transferred between parties, providing a “secure blinding infrastructure” Boysen says was key to attracting DHS’s attention. “When paired with the appropriate resources,” he wrote in December at the SecureKey blog, “blockchain has the power to improve the state of digital identity altogether – an opportunity we have recognized and invested in.”

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, SecureKey demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2012. The company announced this week that Affinity Credit Union had become a “trusted sign-in” partner for its SecureKey Concierge program. A member of H2 Ventures and KPMG’s Fintech 100 for 2016, SecureKey has raised $89 million in funding and includes BlueSky Capital, Intel Capital, and Rogers Venture Partners among its many investors.

Pindrop Receives Investment from Cisco’s John Chambers

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Phone-based fraud prevention company Pindrop Security received a major endorsement yesterday. The Atlanta-based company announced this week that it has received an investment from John Chambers, Executive Chairman at Cisco. The exact amount is undisclosed, but Chambers stated, “for me it’s sizable.” This marks the company’s fifth round of funding and brings its total raised to more than $123 million.

Also of note, Chambers, along with Andreessen Horowitz General Partner, Martin Casado, have joined Pindrop’s board of directors. Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has also joined as a board observer. Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder of Pindrop, described how he plans to leverage the expertise of each new board member:

“John is going to help scale Pindrop to new heights, Marc is helping with our audacious vision, and Martin knows how to create and dominate a market. These three entrepreneurs have all created global ecosystems and will help accelerate our growth and expansion in the voice security and authentication market.”

Pindrop reported these 2016 milestones:

  • Customer base doubled, revenues increased more than 100% year-over-year
  • Clients include eight of the top 10 U.S. banks and two of the top five insurance carriers.
  • Calls protected by Pindrop increased 500% year-over-year.
  • More than 100 employees were added, bringing Pindrop’s total workforce to 255 employees

Founded in 2011, Pindrop debuted its Phoneprinting technology at FinovateFall 2012 in New York. The technology detects 80% of fraudulent calls into call centers and protects “hundreds of millions” of calls annually. In October of 2016, Pindrop announced a partnership with Lloyds Bank, the company’s first customer in Europe.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Pindrop Receives Investment from Cisco’s John Chambers.
  • SecureKey Wins Funding to Build Blockchain Digital Identity Network.

Around the web

  • Wealthify publishes first-year performance data, reporting benchmark-beating returns for customer plans.
  • opens its MogulREIT I fund to IRA investments.
  • Best of Show winner CREALOGIX named one of the “10 Swiss growth champions” by Swiss economic newspapers. [in Swiss]

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.

FinDEVr Feature — Barclaycard

See Barclaycard and the rest of the FinDEVr New York speaker lineup on March 21 & 22. Register and save 10% with the promo code FinDEVrBlog.

Interview with Premanand Chandrasekaran, Barclaycard‘s Vice President:

Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?

I started my career in India in 1997, working as a software engineer with CMC – (a Tata Enterprise). From there, I moved to Citibank for a year. In 2002, I started at ThoughtWorks and served in a variety of deep technology-facing roles — developer, technical lead, architect, consultant, and technical principal. The global nature of ThoughtWorks’ business meant interacting with a varied set of clients in multiple geographies in diverse domains. Being in the midst of some of the luminaries of the agile world, like Martin Fowler and Jim Highsmith, promoted a strong culture of software excellence and rapid iteration.

BarclaycardI began work at Barclaycard close to three years ago, first as a consultant and then as a full-time colleague, helping with the conception, architecture and implementation of our next generation platform, aimed to accelerate our ambitious growth plans. My experience working in deep technical roles while adopting iterative delivery methods coupled with working on large distributed programs allowed me to gain valuable insights on how to succeed with challenging software programs.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

In today’s fintech environment, the ability to very rapidly iterate over business ideas in production while continuing to serve existing customers reliably is paramount. Enablers such as the cloud and a plethora of high quality online remote collaboration tools have meant that rapid innovation at scale is no longer just for large corporations. At Barclaycard, our singular focus is on automation of every aspect of software delivery — including configuration changes, new features, bug fixes and experiments alike. This enables software teams to move at the speed of light, in a sustainable way.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

I’m currently creating the backbone for our next generation set of services and applications. Employing techniques such as domain-driven design (DDD) and architectural patterns such as event-driven architecture (EDA) and command query responsibility segregation (CQRS) allows us to build a highly cohesive, yet loosely coupled set of services. We went live with the second phase of the platform late last year. Now we’re working on applying the same solution at a global level. These are indeed very exciting times.

FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum,, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers,, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.

Why PropTech and MortgageTech Are the Future of Fintech

If this is the first time you’ve heard the term proptech, it won’t be the last. Proptech (also known as real estate tech or REtech) and its subset mortgagetech have been around since 2014. Here’s why 2017 is poised to place proptech among the ranks of wealthtech, insurtech, regtech.

This year has already been favorable to mortgagetech and proptech companies. SoFi, for example, is about to close a massive, $500 million round, its competitor LendingHome topped $1 billion in mortgage loan originations last year, and RealtyShares has seen over $300 million raised on its platform. According to CB Insights, since 2012 the real estate technology sector has closed 817 deals worth $6.4 billion. Of that amount, $2.6 billion closed in 2016 alone, which represents a 40% increase from that sector’s funding in 2015.

In the U.S., there are a handful of reasons 2017 will be favorable to real estate. Interest rates are projected to rise for the second time, millennials are starting to buy their first homes, and investors are looking to diversify out of the volatile stock market. On top of all of this, regulations are slated to loosen under the Trump administration, and changing in regulation brings opportunities for innovation.


The broader category of proptech can be broken down into four basic segments.

1- Mortgagetech
These are mostly B2B companies specifically focused on facilitating part of all of the mortgage application process. They do not lend or service the loan.

2- Digital mortgage lending companies
These online lenders facilitate the mortgage application process and service the loan.

3- Real estate investment tech
Companies in this category are focused on the investment aspect of commercial and residential real estate.

4- Pure property plays
These don’t have a fintech angle but play a role in the broader proptech industry. Since this category is out of scope for this blog, this list only encompasses a fraction of companies in this category. Check out CB Insights’ coverage of commercial real estate technology for more.

What’s ahead in 2017

  • Expect to see more mortgagetech-bank partnerships along the lines of Roostify’s recent deal with JP Morgan Chase. As banks try to gain a competitive edge for market share, more established banks will need to leverage mortgagetech offerings.
  • We’ll see more niche alt-lending solutions such as SoFi that facilitate the application process and save borrowers on closing costs.
  • Expect to see more players offering real estate investment technology, coupled with some consolidation in real estate crowdfunding companies.
  • Outside of fintech, we’ll see more platforms aimed at cutting out the middle person, the realtor; and more business models such as Knock and GoldenKey that make the selling process easier.

You don’t have to take my word for it

We posed the question, How do you see proptech/ mortgagetech growing in 2017? to these Finovate alums working in the space. Here’s how they responded:

BhatRajesh Bhat, CEO and cofounder of Roostify:

“We expect to see further widescale adoption of digital mortgage solutions – to the point where one should expect it to be table stakes in 2018. We should also expect to see more players emerge in the space as investors see larger market adoption and validation.”


Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 9.52.53 AMLinda Schicktanz, Chief Advisor of CK Mack*:

“If there is one area ripe for fintech innovation, it’s real estate investing. Why put 30% down just to gain massive management headaches when you can now invest in rental cashflow online with very similar returns? Fintech and Real Estate are like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together!”

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.30.31 AMNima Ghamsari, cofounder and CEO at Blend:

“There is going to be an explosion in the use of data driving the mortgage process in 2017. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced their data initiatives toward the end of 2016, and lenders are starting to push consumer financial data aggregation into the core components of their customer experiences. This ties in nicely to the industry-wide push forward to a more digital, end-to-end process that started in 2016.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 4.07.54 PMJilliene Helman, CEO at RealtyMogul

“The impact of digital technology on the real estate industry and mortgage technology is still in its infancy, but I see both less experienced and more sophisticated investors, alike, moving toward a process that takes place entirely online. With over $250 million of capital invested and 100,000 registered investors on the platform, is a testament to this change. The more that technology can offer real estate borrowers and lenders transparency, as well as the efficiency of process and convenience, the faster both sides will adapt.”

*Full disclosure: I’m related to Linda Schicktanz. Yup– she’s my mom.

Switch Announces Early Access to Online Card Account Management Platform


Seattle-area startup Switch announced today that it is providing “early access” to its free payment management service. By enabling cardholders to manage all of their accounts from one dashboard, the company says its technology is making e-commerce “faster, safer, and easier.”

Switch enables shoppers to easily match payment options with specific online merchants, subscriptions, and payments, as well as automating both the checkout and card updating processes. CEO Chris Hopen called the technology “the first ever consumer payment solution that automates both the challenge of secure account access and the ‘card on file’ problems users face every day.” In a statement, the company cited the average 3.7 credit cards carried by the average American (according to a study by and the growing number of payment options from ApplePay and Visa Checkout as reasons why technologies like Switch are a valuable for consumers.

Another value comes when cards have to be replaced due to loss, data breach, or other issue. “How many people have ever had to replace a credit card?” Hopen asked from the Finovate stage during his company’s live demo last spring. “Was it fun?” He added, “(Switch) is about reducing the negative impact of card replacement on end users, and getting cards into circulation as quickly as possible to end users.” For card issuers, the platform includes a set of analytic reports that leverages data on card usage from throughout the entire Switch user base.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Switch demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2016. The company has raised more than $1 million in funding and has more than 10 employees. Find out more about the app, including how to be among the first to try Switch.

FinDEVr New York Alum NYMBUS Announces $16 Million in New Funding


In a round led by Home Credit Group, core banking technology innovator NYMBUS raised $16 million in new capital. The funds build on the $12 million the FinDEVr/Finovate alum raised in the second half of last year, bringing its total capital to $28 million.

NYMBUS executive chairman Scott Killoh pointed to reliance on outmoded legacy core technology as holding back many institutions in the financial services industry. Because of this, he said “tens of thousands of banks and credit unions are not capitalizing on strategic growth opportunities.” The investment from Home Credit Group will help NYMBUS provide FIs with the modular, third-party friendly core banking technology that will enable them to keep pace with the demands of their customers. NYMBUS President David Mitchell called it “helping … implement digital-first strategies in order to drive customer growth and competitive differentiation.”


Pictured: NYMBUS President David Mitchell during his presentation “NYMBUS: The Next Evolution in Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, NYMBUS presented “The Next Evolution of Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York last year, during which Mitchell explained why the company decided to focus on core processing technology. “If I asked who in this audience has a pager or a Walkman,” Mitchell told the attendees at last year’s event, “not too many people are going to raise their hands. “But community banks right now are on 30-year old, 20-year old technology,” he said. “(It’s) the oldest technology in the world. It’s been lipstick on a pig, mainframes, green screens for 20 or 30 years.”

NYMBUS, in contrast provides an advanced, core processing platform, SmartCore, with a wide variety of APIs, customizable UI, a conversion layer, and an ecosystem of banking apps. The platform keeps all critical banking functions in a single system with a single sign-on and data set. Home Credit International Group Head of Special Projects Miroslav Boublik called NYMBUS “best positioned to stand at the core” of the disruption of the traditional banking model today. “NYMBUS’ technology is both many years ahead of traditional banking system vendors and most viable among emerging (fintech) providers,” Boublik said.

Earlier this month we shared news of the company’s partnership with California’s Kaiperm Diablo FCU to deploy its core banking technology, SmartCore. Kaiperm Diablo’s announcement comes just a few months after Pennsylvania-based CHROME Federal Credit Union reported that it would use SmartCore as part of its goal of transitioning to a digital-first credit union. NYMBUS has also been an active acquirer, buying Sharp BancSystems, KMR, and R.C. Olmstead in the summer of 2016. Also a veteran of Finovate, the company demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Switch Announces Early Access to Online Card Account Management Platform.


  • Excited to see Softjourn at FinDEVr New York on March 21 & 22. Check out our interview with Project Manager Yuriy Kropelnytsky.
  • NYMBUS Scores with $16 Million Investment Led by Home Credit Group.

Around the web

  • wins 20-year European patent for its registered email technology.
  • Savedroid adds money-saving, AI-based algorithm to its personal finance app.
  • Payworks provides SIX Payment Services with mPOS solution, mCashier.
  • Thomson Reuters enhances data analytics platform with ultra high-speed processing of real-time and historical data functionality.
  • France’s PayPlug to deploy ACI PAY.ON Payments Gateway from ACI Worldwide.
  • Entersekt announces original equipment manufacturing agreement with transaction processing specialist, Global Kinetic.
  • Affinity CU becomes “trusted sign-in” partner in SecureKey Concierge.
  • BBVA to leverage mobile accounting opening technology from Oracle Communications.
  • GMC Software awarded the Xplor Application of the Year Award.
  • Striata named a Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communication Software.
  • Signifyd joins Salesforce Partner Program.

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.

Lose the Layers with FinDEVr New York — Final Days to Save

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Slip off your coat. Unwind your scarf. Drop your gloves. And flip your cap.

Winter is winding down and New York is warming up. With temperatures rising above 60 degrees, what better way to celebrate spring than with FinDEVr New York this March?Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 7.11.37 AM

If you’re working on the tech side of financial services, you’ll find both friends and influential connections in the room next month. While there are too many technologists and media attending FinDEVr New York to list them all, here’s an idea of who has already registered.

This Friday is the final early-bird ticket deadline before the event, so get your ticket here.

  • VP Information Technology — Alliant Credit Union
  • Software Solutions Architect — Alliant Credit Union
  • Ops Manager — AlphaPoint
  • SVP Product & Strategy — AlphaPoint
  • IP App Developer Engineer — Amazon
  • Software Developer Manager — Amazon
  • Global Head of Architecture & Technical Solutions — Arvato Financial Solutions/Bertelsmann
  • VP Software Development — Billtrust
  • Sr. Director, Software Engineering — Capital One
  • VP Product Development — Deluxe
  • Director, UX Design Engineering — Deluxe
  • Executive Director, Engineering — Deluxe
  • VP Development — DHI Computing Service
  • Sr. Programmer — Edward Jones
  • Solutions Engineer — Envestnet Yodlee
  • CTO — Fintech Solutions
  • Head of Architecture — Kanetix
  • Head of Emerging Technology — Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services
  • Developer — Mantigma
  • CTO — Matrix Applications
  • Sr. Technology Manager — Mizuho Bank
  • Managing IT Director — Mizuho Securities
  • Director of Software Engineering — Paragon Technology Solutions
  • Software Developer — Pied Piper
  • VP Product Innovation — PNC Bank
  • CTO — Prodigy Finance
  • Development Lead — Prudential
  • IT Director — Prudential
  • IT Consultant — PwC
  • Head of Product Development — QIWI Bank
  • Product Development — Regalii
  • Director of Application Development — Swift Capital
  • Technology Team Lead — Swift Capital
  • Management Board, IT — TeamBank
  • Sr. Technology Advisor — Tendor Armor
  • CTO — Thinking Capital
  • CTO — Third Party Trade Group
  • Sr. Software Engineer — Thomson Reuters
  • CTO — Trade IT
  • Product Manager — USAA
  • Director of Emerging Tech — Zions Bancorporation

Join us this spring and save 10% with the promo code “FinDEVrBlog” at And save an additional $100 when you register before this Friday, February 24.

FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum,, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, CooperPress, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups,Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers,, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.

FinDEVr Feature — Softjourn

See Softjourn and the rest of the FinDEVr New York speaker lineup on March 21 & 22. Register and save 10% with the promo code FinDEVrBlog.

Interview with Yuriy Kropelnytsky, Softjourn‘s Project Manager:

Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?
I started my career in telecoms, setting up and adjusting billing systems: first as a developer, then as a manager. Ten years ago, I switched to IT. Now I’m a project manager at Softjourn, working in financial services, card-processing and blockchain cryptocurrency. I learned how to run the tech side of Softjourn by developing different complex software systems and focusing on the cutting edge of fintech. That’s why we decided to test Blockchain to see how DLT and smart contracts work. As a result, we set up an in-house employee loyalty system based on cryptocurrency using smart contracts.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

Softjourn’s combination of hardware, blockchain cryptocurrency and smart contracts as an approach to crowdfunding local social projects.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

My favorite implementation of this technology was going from a simple in-house loyalty program for employees to funding local community projects. The same SJ coins employees can use to get coffee from a vending machine can be used to support orphanages and animal shelters or to raise funds for families of sick children or those who have lost a breadwinner at the front. Through our blockchain-based voting system, employees can vote on which projects they want the company to support through the Softjourn Foundation, which was set up to support community causes. We have also developed different currencies and different colors to identify different projects.

FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum,, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers,, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.