Finovate Alumni News


  • Europe’s Got a Brand New Bank as Klarna Earns License.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee Unveils New Financial Wellness Solution.

Around the web

  • Avoka wins ATB Financial Customer Onboarding Global Innovation Challenge.
  • ACI Worldwide offers UP Immediate Payments solutions via hosted cloud.

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.


Friday Fun: AI is the Best thing Since Big Data

Note: I wanted to call this post, Frid-AI Fun, but visually, “Frid-AI” (sound it out) doesn’t really work as well as I thought it would. So we’ll just skip the “clever” headline and get right to it.

As a semi-active analyst, full-time fintech advisor, and dormant engineer, I could not be happier with the rise of the term artificial intelligence or AI as it is mostly written these days. And the term is not as new as you might think. Spielberg released a movie with the name 16 years ago (see inset). And the term is at least 62 years old, having been studied at Dartmouth in 1955/1956. But it went mainstream this century, especially the past few years (see search activity below).

It is a clever rebrand of a fairly mainstream process, the creation of computerized algorithms. It’s one of the hottest phrases in fintech history, second only to Big Data. For what it’s worth, the Internet still gives “big data” the nod ahead of “artificial intelligence,” 68 million Google results to 44 million, but I’m guessing AI pulls ahead soon. Banks are creating AI teams, fintech bloggers are using it headlines (Finovate, Financial Brand), and conference organizers are creating keynote sessions around it.

Google trends for the search term AI (16 June 2017)

Bottom line: I predict a long, long run for the phrase AI, so you might as well come to terms with it. Add it to your website, job description, or your team’s mission. You’ll be glad you did when the robot overlords come to evaluate your organizational value.

Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as
Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services user-experience consultancy. 

FinDEVr London: Crowd Favorites and Top Tweeters

FinDEVr London is a wrap! Big thanks to all those who attended our first developers conference in the U.K. We had a great time meeting developers and software engineers from around the world who had come to London to find out more about the technologies that are driving the latest innovations in fintech.

We would also like to thank our sponsors and partners, our AV team and volunteers, and everyone else who came out and made FinDEVr’s London debut a success. We are looking forward to coming back!

And last but not least, let’s give a tip of the hat to FinDEVr London’s Crowd Favorites. Chosen exclusively by our attending audience, four companies were selected: a Crowd Favorite and a Runner Up for both Day One and Day Two.

Day One Crowd Favorite: HackerOne 

Day One Crowd Favorite Runner Up: Trusted Key

Day Two Crowd Favorite: IdentityMind Global

Day Two Crowd Favorite Runner Up:

Thanks to our followers on Twitter, who were an active part of FinDEVr London. Whether you were able to join our live audience or followed the conference online or on your mobile phone, the #FinDEVr hashtag @FinDEVr was a great way to make your opinions heard and learn from the observations of the fintech professionals among our followers.

Again this year we awarded a pair of Twitter prizes. Taking top honors for Best Use of #FinDEVr was Jimmi Bram (@JimmiBram) of Copenhagen, Denmark, with his especially keen eye on cryptography and ID verification technologies.

Earning Runner Up was Simon Bussy (@SimonBussyAltus) of the U.K. Simon won not only for his best practices strategy of including photos with his tweets, but also for tweeting the equation all of us at FinDEVr live by: “fintech + great venue + good coffee = great morning.”

And speaking of Twitter photos and best practices, our winner for the Best #FinDEVr Photo went to Sofia Mashovets (@SofiaMashovets) of Harborx.

Sofia accompanied her Twitter photo (below) with the note: “My super power? Making the CEO and CTO take silly pics at 💪🏻they’re the best, really (these guys, not the pics).”


StockViews Closes Second Round Equity Funding, Earns FCA Authorization

London-based StockViews completed its second round of funding this week. The $640,000 in new capital (£500,000) will help fuel the launch of the company’s equity research platform this summer, putting the technology in the hands of clients before new regulations take effect in January 2018. Both new and existing investors participated in the funding, which takes the company’s total capital to more than $1 million.

“As a result of the upcoming regulatory changes under Mifid II,” StockViews CEO Tom Beevers said, “it is clear there is a growing demand for high quality, differentiated equity research.” He added, “The new capital, our expanding team of leading analysts, and the arrival of our new Executive Chairman will position us well for this opportunity.”

Pictured: StockViews CEO Thomas Beevers demonstrating StockViews Signal at FinovateSpring 2015.

One of the ways Mifid II will change the landscape for asset managers is by requiring them to separate payments for research to investment banks from commission payments. StockViews believes this will encourage asset managers to either pay for research directly or use “Research Payment Accounts” as a way to pass the cost of research to customers. The company sees this as generating opportunities for firms that can provide independent equity analysis at a lower cost.

In addition to the funding news, StockViews announced that the company had been granted FCA authorization and appointed former Fidelity International president, Thomas Balk, as the company’s Executive Chairman. Balk joined the StockViews board last spring, the same month StockViews pulled in $355,000 in seed funding.

Founded in 2014, StockViews demonstrated its StockViews Signal technology at FinovateSpring 2015. Signal aggregates the recommendations from the top-rated analysts on the StockViews network to provide buy and sell signals. Last fall, StockViews won top honors and a $50,000 investment at the G-Startup Worldwide competition at GMIC Bangalore. We featured StockViews in our roundup of top business-to-business wealth tech players. Read more about the company in our Finovate Debut feature.

Finovate Alumni News


  • StockViews Closes Second Round Equity Funding, Earns FCA Authorization.

Around the web

  • EverSafe picks up $250,000 in capital from JP Morgan as one of eight FinLab startup winners.
  • Affinity Plus FCU ($2 billion in assets) to deploy Fiserv’s Architect platform to power its online and mobile banking services.
  • Trusted Key CEO Prakash Sundaresan looks at changing customer expectations, security challenges, and the shifting regulatory landscape through the lens of FinDEVr London.
  • Payfone wins patent for technology that fights SIM swap fraud.
  • Ghana’s Premium Bank chooses NetGuardians’ anti-fraud solution, FraudGuardian.
  • LendingTree acquires DepositAccounts for undisclosed sum.
  • AutoGravity unveils partnership with Fletcher Jones Auto Group.

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.

FutureVault Partners with BlueRock Wealth Management

“Everybody’s gotta have a little place for their stuff,” the late great George Carlin reminded us years ago. “That’s all life is about. Trying to find a place for your stuff.”

Digital safety deposit box developer FutureVault appears to agree. The company announced this week that it is partnering with BlueRock Wealth Management, providing the firm’s high net worth (HNW) clients with access to its secure digital filing technology and information management platform. BlueRock President Neal Owen highlighted the data management functionality of the new solution, BlueRock Vault, referring to it as the type of technology that is important in both storing and managing digital documents. He said the partnership would help his firm to safeguard information as well as it safeguards assets.

Pictured: FutureVault CEO and Executive Chairman G. Scott Paterson demonstrating the company’s digital safety deposit box at FinovateFall 2016.

In his comments on the news, FutureVault CEO and Executive Chairman G. Scott Paterson emphasized the “unique needs” of high net worth clients and their families. In addition to providing bank-grade security, optical character recognition (OCR), pre-configured digital filing cabinets, and sophisticated tagging, BlueRock Vault clients will have access to FutureVault’s Trusted Advisor service. This feature enables clients to allow a trusted fiduciary such as a financial advisor or attorney to enter and manage their information on their behalf.

The ability to serve HNW clients was demonstrated by Paterson’s own use of the technology as an “alpha” customer when he formally launched the technology at FinovateFall a year ago. He showed how the platform was easily able to accommodate clients with a complex set of data storage requirements (for example, a HNW family with multiple business concerns, a small trust, a foundation, etc.), noting that the platform scales downward as well “(these categories) could also be family members, parents, business divisions.”

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, FutureVault demoed its technology at FinovateFall 2016. Last month, the company announced a partnership with C-Suite Network, which will offer the C-Suite Vault as a premier value-added service to executive clients. FutureVault began the year by bolstering its own C-suite, adding three former TD Bank executives, Kevin Whyte, Tom Duane, and Rudy Sankovic to its ranks as president and COO, CTO, and CFO, respectively.

Finovate Alumni News


  • FutureVault Partners with BlueRock Wealth Management.

Around the web

  • Fiserv to enhance digital banking strategy for Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.
  • American Banker profiles Ripple’s strategy to partner with– and compete with — banks.
  • U.S. News profiles PayNearMe as a tool to help consumers shop online without a credit card
  • Revolut launches business accounts in U.K. and Europe to complete with Transferwise
  • FICO launches new fraud solution to identify the source of compromised cards faster

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.

SwipeStox Parent Company Announces IPO

Germany-based SwipeStox announced today that its parent company, The NAGA Group (NAGA), is planning an IPO on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, BaFin, approved the listing, which is planned for July 10, 2017.

NAGA will offer up to one million new registered shares until June  29 2017 for private and institutional investors in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain. Shares are priced at $2.93 (€2.60). Discount shares of $2.79 (€2.47) are available on the SwipeStox app and NAGA website for subscribers who hold a Real Money Account at the broker Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Marktes Ltd (HBGM).

The purpose of the IPO, as the company describes in the press release is “aimed at improving the company’s profile and developing its equity – including as a currency for further expansion.” Gross revenues of up to $2.93 million (€2.6 million) will be used to further software and business development and to bolster marketing to attract more users to the SwipeStox app.

Founded in 2015, NAGA has raised a total of $14.5 million. The company has six offices across three European countries and plans to open locations in Shanghai and New York to support potential partners in the American and Asian markets. SwipeStox, the social network for stock trading, stands out as one of NAGA’s most successful projects. SwipeStox launched in 2016. Nine months after going live the startup’s global user base had already traded more than $21 billion over the platform.

Benjamin Bilski, along with Managing Director & Co-Founder, Wladimir Huber, showed off the SwipeStox platform at FinovateSpring 2016. At FinovateEurope 2016 in London, SwipeStox took home a Best of Show award for the debut of its platform. Earlier this year, the company closed a $13 million funding round led by Chinese investment group FOSUN, which is committed to helping NAGA expand SwipeStox in the Asia Pacific region. In 2016, the company launched a web trading platform and took home honors at Wolves Summit 2016  where it won $100,000 for business development.

SwipeStox is just the beginning for NAGA. The company is working on a new project, Switex, which focuses on trading virtual objects in online gaming (in-game items). Additionally, NAGA plans to launch two new fintech companies in early 2018.

Trusona Raises $10 Million to Fuel #NoPasswords Revolution

Identity authentication company Trusona landed $10 million in funding this week. Microsoft’s venture capital arm led the round. Existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated, bringing the Arizona-based company’s total funding to $18 million.

Founded in 2015, Trusona provides an insured cloud identity suite that offers everyday logins for SWIFT wires, DTC stock transfers, critical infrastructure logins, high net-worth individual accounts, and more. The company will use today’s funding to double its workforce and generate more demand for its identity application suite that comes in three different versions. The most basic of which, Essential, allows users to log into a website by scanning their fingerprint or entering a PIN on their mobile device. The Executive version is designed to replace OTP tokens, requiring 3-factors of authentication upon login. Businesses may also select the Elite level for identity verification to access sensitive assets or initiate high-dollar wire transfers. This version delivers four-factor authentication and includes insurance.

Trusona’s CEO and founder, Ori Eisen, demonstrated the company’s Cloud Identity Suite at FinovateFall 2016. The platform is so fast and frictionless that Eisen was able to show off the user experience seven times during the seven minute demo. To authenticate themselves, clients use the Trusona app on their smartphone to photograph a QR code on a website login page, then select accept on their mobile device.

The company also provides a free WordPress plugin and earlier this spring launched an offering for Salesforce users. In April, Trusona appointed Karen Dayan as Chief Marketing Officer and earlier this year won Info Security PG’s Global Excellence Award.

Fintech Luminaries, Lock in Presale Savings for FinovateAsia

This is the perfect time to lock in your spot for our second annual Hong Kong event before prices go up on Saturday. Not only do you save $600, there’s little risk since tickets are fully refundable through mid-September.

On November 7 & 8, FinovateAsia 2017 will showcase the latest products spanning the spectrum of fintech. The event features our signature demo-only format, followed by fast-paced discussions and deeper dives in the afternoon covering the most important topics of 2017 and beyond (a new piece this year!). If you’re looking to stay on top of the cutting edge in fintech, Finovate is the place to be.

But we know that’s not the only reason to attend an event—you also want to meet and learn from other interesting attendees. We’re expecting 500+ attendees in Hong Kong this year. The audience will consist of senior-level financial executives, venture capitalists, other entrepreneurs, and influential press, analysts, and bloggers. This mix ensures you’ll have good conversations with the right people about the latest in fintech and the trends that lie ahead.

Attendee Titles from FinovateAsia 2016

Get your ticket now before seats run out (space is limited). Presale tickets expire this Friday, June 16, so save $600 by registering soon.

And if you’d like to apply to demo your latest fintech product at the event, please email us at for more information.

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.