Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Avoka Unveils Springboard Deposit Account Opening Solution.
  • German Banking Software Provider NDGIT Raises $4.7 Million in Series A Round.

Around the web

  • Experian unveils MarketingConnect platform.
  • Tango Card partners with Alvin Healthcare.
  • PayNearMe allows LimeBike riders to pay in cash.
  • Finastra integrates Optimal Blue into its Fusion MortgagebotPOS solution.
  • bpm’online wins Company of the Year award from American Business Awards for third year in a row.
  • Horizn takes top honors at Digital Banking 2018 American Banker conference.
  • Latest version of Quest Diagnostics’ content management solution features Smart Capture technology from Ephesoft.

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.

DarcMatter Partners with Crypto Fund #Hashed

Alternative investment platform DarcMatter has teamed up with South Korean crypto investment fund and accelerator, #Hashed. The partnership will enable DarcMatter, which specializes in providing direct access to pre-vetted hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital funds, to extend its reach into the Asian market and gain insight into the crypto investment industry.

And as a blockchain-based investment fund and an incubator with an emphasis on community-building and impact investing, #Hashed will benefit from DarcMatter’s connections with both the traditional and alternative investment worlds.

Discussing the news in an interview with Tech Bullion, DarcMatter CEO Sang Lee pointed out that both companies share experiences and a vision that are “very aligned and rooted in the core premise of increasing transparency and efficiency throughout financial markets globally.”

Simon Kim, CEO of #Hashed, called DarcMatter a “great partner and a leader in the fintech industry that can utilize blockchain and cryptocurrency to accelerate the industry towards the next level.”

With offices in Seoul, South Korea, and San Francisco, #Hashed was founded in 2017 and has become the largest blockchain fund in Korea. The company has accelerated the largest wallet provider in South Korea, CoinManager, as well as a number of startups applying distributed ledger and blockchain technology to cybersecurity, social networking, and payments – among other areas.

This week’s news adds to the blockchain and crypto-based headlines DarcMatter has been making of late. Last month, the company’s blockchain project, DarcMatter Coin, revealed in April, announced its first strategic investment and partnership with trade.io. The firm’s seed and venture arm will invest $2 million into the coin’s public presale. Aside from blockchain news, the company won the Retail Investment Innovation Award at the 2018 FinTech Breakthrough Awards in May.

New York City-based DarcMatter was founded in 2014 and made its Finovate debut one year later at FinovateSpring 2015 where it demonstrated its decentralized alternative investment platform.

LendStreet Raises Additional $117 Million to Help Borrowers Restructure Debt

Debt restructuring platform LendStreet added $117 million in combined debt and equity to its funding total this week. Of that amount, $7 million is equity and $110 million is debt. Today’s influx brings the California-based company’s total combined financing to $149 million, comprised of $39 million in equity and $110 million in debt.

The $7 million Series A equity investment was led by Prudential Financial and Radicle Impact, with participation from existing investors Accion, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), Serious Change, Crunchfund, Kapor Capital, and Cross Culture Ventures. The debt portion comes from Prudential and Community Investment Management.

Jerry Nemorin, founder and CEO of LendStreet discussed the company’s plans for the financing in a blog post, saying, “These investments will enable us to scale our platform and reach more consumers who are struggling with too much debt.” Nemorin added, “Prudential, CIM, Radicle Impact, and our other investors share our vision of finally giving mainstream Americans access to an equitable and transparent alternative for their mounting credit card debt.”

Founded in 2010, LendStreet helps consumers and small businesses consolidate, restructure, and refinance debt. The company helps borrowers in distress and negotiates their old debt with their previous creditor for a lower monthly payment amount and lower interest rate. These debts are restructured as a loan, funded by accredited investors on the LendStreet platform, who buy a share of each loan. After the borrower’s new monthly payment plan is organized, LendStreet sets them up with educational tools and resources to help them rebuild their credit and take control of their finances.

“The LendStreet platform provides a solutions-based user experience for consumers under financial stress,” said Tom Coombs, Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Development at LendStreet. “Understanding your options to pay down debt and rebuild your credit is not easy. LendStreet is giving overbanked consumers a more manageable, transparent and sustained path to restructuring debt and improving their financial health.”

Miljana Vujosevic, Vice President of Impact Investments, as well as Catha Groot, Principal at Radicle, will join R. Jerry Nemorin, Michael Snyder, and KG Charles-Harris on LendStreet’s Board of Advisors.

Since launching in 2013, LendStreet has helped customers reduce their debt by almost 40% and improve their credit score by an average of 100 points. At FinovateSpring 2011, Nemorin debuted the LendStreet platform on stage with Jason Mars, who has since transitioned to become the founder and CEO of Clinc, which first appeared on the Finovate stage in 2016. Earlier this year, LendStreet earned its its place on the Tech Tribune’s list of the 10 best startups in Oakland.

iSignthis Unveils B2B Transactional Banking Service; Partnership with Gobbill

Australian payments and identity solutions provider iSignthis is adding to its offerings by launching a Euro-based, B2B transactional banking service. The company said the service was being provided to serve clients in the small to mid-scale CFD, FX, and gaming industries who are often underserved by traditional retail banks.

The service features:

  • Inbound processing for Visa and Mastercard cards
  • Inbound processing of BPAY and EFT (direct debit) payments
  • Availability of alternative payment options including Trustly and Sofort
  • Support for outbound OCT payments across the Visa network for MCC6211 (Brokers) and Visa and Mastercard for MCC7995 (Gaming/Wagering/Gambling)
  • EMA deposit facilities with SWIFT, SEPA and OCT outbound facilities

iSignthis noted in a press release that the new e-money account (EMA) service is independent from its payment processing business, “but may supplement payment services by Clients.” This includes allowing merchants to keep funds on deposit with iSignthis, and to use those funds to make payments to suppliers and service providers.

Today’s news follows on the heels of the company announcement last week that it was partnering with Gobbill, an AI-based fintech bill payment automation startup. This agreement will enable Gobbill to process card transactions through iSignthis’ iSXPay solution and to use the company’s Paydentity technology to provide global digital identity verification and payment processing.

“Gobbill represents an opportunity for iSignthis to support a prospective leader in bill payment automation, as well as for us to provide a means for them to expand outside of Australia, by providing facilities to them in Europe as they expand,” John Karantzis, CEO of iSignthis, said. “Having witnessed Gobbill emerge over the last three years, we are delighted to be part of their future growth.”

Founded in 2013 and based in Melbourne, Australia, iSignthis demonstrated its cloud-based identity and transaction authentication solution at FinovateEurope 2015. This spring, the company’s subsidiary, iSignthis eMoney, announced a payment aggregation agreement with American Express Australia. Also this year, iSignthis announced that it would expand the scope of its Paydentity service to XM.com to serve as an option for Chinese eKYC. iSignthis finalized its partnership with Worldline to start the year, finishing an integration that will bring ecommerce merchants in Europe access to iSignthis’ ISXPay and Paydentity solutions.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • iProov Wins Contract with U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • iSignthis Unveils B2B Transactional Banking Service, Partnership with Gobbill.
  • LendStreet Raises Additional $117 Million for Debt Restructuring.
  • DarcMatter Partners with Crypto Fund #Hashed.

Around the web

  • Trulioo’s AML/KYC identity verification now covers Romania.
  • MicroStrategy wins 2018 NetworkWorld Asia Information Management Award.
  • Token completes PISP open banking transaction.
  • Actiance and Smarsh update executive leadership team in wake of merger.
  • Investor Junkie takes 401(k) roboadvisor Blooom for a test drive.

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.

iProov Wins Contract with U.S. Department of Homeland Security

iProov received accolades for its identity authentication tools after being voted an audience favorite and winning Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2018. Now, the U.K.-based company is boasting social proof from another audience– the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

iProov recently won a bid with the government agency to support border security for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This makes iProov the first overseas company to win a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

The government will leverage the company’s Flashmark technology, which allows users to take a photo of themselves using their smartphone to verify their identity at border crossings. CBP will cross-check the live photo against travelers’ pre-registered information complete the authentication without human intervention. The process is not only more secure, it is also much faster for the traveler to self-authenticate than to wait in line for a border patrol agent.

In the press release, iProov stated that the reason it was selected by CBP is because of its ability to detect spoofs, recognizing when users attempt to trick the technology using a fake photo, screenshot, or doctored video. Andrew Bud, chief executive of iProov, said that this capability is due to advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. In a press release, Bud said, “We’re now seeing more and more cases of governments and banks turning to self-service, spoof-resilient face verification as the biometric of choice to both increase security and ensure ease of use.”

Founded in 2011, iProov demoed at FinovateEurope earlier this year, showcasing its ID-Matcher, a technology that uses selfie face verification to authenticate users against their photo ID. In addition to winning Best of Show for their demo, the company has received multiple other accolades, including winning the 2017 National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Dragon’s Den competition at CYBERUK 2017, receiving numerous grants from Innovate U.K., and being named member of the SINET16.

Xero Launches Connected Accounting

At its Xerocon Atlanta event this week, online accounting software specialist Xero announced the first wave of new features designed to automate many basic daily business tasks. Calling the new solutions, Connected Accounting, VP of Products and Partnerships for Xero Americas Herman Man added that in addition to automatically categorizing accounting data, Connected Accounting gives businesses insights that can help them better understand their finances.

“With the features introduced at Xerocon Atlanta today, we’re delivering connected accounting so accountants and bookkeepers can help their clients ask the big questions, on cash flow, profit, and revenue,” Man said. “It is these kinds of capabilities working seamlessly together that enables small businesses to pursue their passion, be successful and do beautiful business.”

Initially, Connected Accounting will enable Xero’s platform to capture and automatically populate data from PDF bills to make bank reconciliation simpler. Xero Projects, a job tracking solution for small business now available to Xero’s U.S. customers, is now connected to the platform in a way that allows businesses to combine contact, invoicing, billing, and reporting information with the rich data existing on the platform. The Projects app has also been improved, making it easier for workers to track project work on the go and giving business owners more control over access permissions.

Xero also announced coming enhancements to its query solution Ask and a to-be released solution for Xero HQ, Relationships, that will make it easier for businesses to maintain contacts and sync data across the Xero platform.

In addition to product announcements, Xero also shared news of a new partnership with Citibank. Via the agreement, joint Citibank-Xero customers will get access to direct bank feeds from within the Xero platform. This will give businesses real-time visibility of their finances, including cash flow and overall business performance. The deal with Citibank builds on the relationships with FIs that Xero has forged in 2018 alone, including deals with the National Bank of Australia in February, and the Development Bank of Singapore in January.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, Xero demonstrated the Business Identification feature of its online accounting platform at FinovateSpring 2011. Earlier this month, the company announced its Canadian launch, partnering with Deloitte Private’s financial collaboration platform ctrl by Deloitte. In February, Xero teamed up with IT management solutions provider Kaseya, providing direct integration between the company’s business management solution, BMS by Kaseya, and Xero’s platform.

Xero is publicly-traded on the Australian stock exchange under the ticker “XRO” and has a market capitalization of $5 billion. Rod Drury is CEO.

Ignite Sales and FIS Team Up on Digital Engagement

Data analytics company Ignite Sales and financial services giant FIS joined forces this week. Through the partnership, Ignite Sales will make its customer engagement technology available to FIS community banking clients.

The cloud-based customer engagement and application conversion technology, Ignite Dialogue, is made available in affordable, easy-to-implement packages. Ignite adapted this technology last March to make the service– previously only accessible to larger banks– now affordable and approachable for smaller financial institutions.

“We are excited and honored to partner with the FIS team,” said George Noga, CEO of Ignite Sales. “We share a common goal of empowering banks and credit unions with technology and service that delivers a competitive differentiator in the market place.”

Ignite Dialogue helps smaller banks enhance the customer experience for their consumer and small business customers by guiding banks to discover each client’s needs and match them with products and services tailored to meet their specific financial requirements. The service comes with an IQ Analytics reporting portal that guides the bank to develop their sales capabilities across all channels. The press release reports strong success metrics, citing that banks using the technology “often see customer satisfaction scores go up by as much as 40% and an increase in customer product adoption by as much as 200%.”

Headquartered in Texas, Ignite Sales offers customer engagement solutions for a range of bank sizes. The company also offers LeadLync, which automatically reports customer engagement results and recommendations directly into Salesforce; and IQAnalytics, an on-demand cloud-based analytics solution for customer and front office insights.

At FinovateFall 2013 the company launched the Branch Profitability Dashboard that offers a visual overview of profitability and sales across branches. The dashboard also presents a gap analysis for each sale to uncover where the branch falls short. Last month, Ignite Sales won a 2018 Stevie Award for AI / Machine Learning New Product of the Year.

FIS most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2016. The company debuted its Cardless Cash solution that provides a fast, secure options for sending and picking up cash at any ATM. Headquartered in Florida, FIS serves more than 20,000 clients in more than 130 countries.

Envestnet | Yodlee’s AI FinCheck Takes Financial Wellness to a New Level

Data aggregation and analytics firm Envestnet | Yodlee bolstered its PFM capabilities this week with the launch of AI FinCheck.

The AI-powered financial wellness solution leverages consumers’ transaction data, AI, and machine learning to monitor users’ financial health and offer actionable financial guidance tailored to their circumstances. AI FinCheck, along with the company’s OK to Spend feature that offers forward-looking cash flow balance information, are offered as part of Envestnet | Yodlee’s financial wellness suite.

Vice President of Product Applications at Envestnet | Yodlee Katy Gibson said, “By expanding our Financial Wellness Solution to include the new AI FinCheck application, financial service providers can provide their consumers with a personalized virtual financial wellness assistant which delivers actionable insights to help improve their financial health.” She added that because the tool uses real-time data, it can help consumers make informed financial decisions.

For each user AI FinCheck offers automated, personalized financial health insights across users’ spending, saving, borrowing and planning habits. To keep users continuously engaged, the tool offers interactive insights on their preferred channel. This not only helps them improve their financial situation but also improves their relationship with the brand. Some of the features of AI FinCheck include:

  • Provides personalized guidance alongside education
  • Leverages actionable data to deepen customer relationships
  • Enhances Next Best Offer (NBO) strategies
  • Provides contextual recommendations and actionable next steps
  • Makes it easy to deliver a virtual financial wellness assistant quickly and cost-effectively

Other tools in Envestnet | Yodlee’s financial wellness suite include FastLink, which allows users to link external financial accounts and see all of their financial information in one place; Save for a Goal, which helps users set, achieve, and fund their financial goals; and Cash Flow Analysis, which allows users to view historic cashflow data and see forecasted flows for each month.

Envestnet | Yodlee recently demoed its Financial Health Check at FinovateFall last year in New York. At the start of this year, the company finalized its acquisition of wealthtech solutions company FolioDynamix. Last month, Envestnet | Yodlee teamed with Quovo and Morningstar to support open data access for consumers. Envestnet was founded in 1999 and acquired Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. Envestnet | Yodlee is a public company listed on NYSE under the ticker ENV. It has a market cap of $2.52 billion.

Blockbid Partners with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ThreatMetrix

Every gold rush needs someone to sell picks and shovels. And in the gold rush that is the cryptocurrency boom, some of the most valuable picks and shovels are tools to help cryptocurrency exchanges remain compliant with regulations regarding anti-money laundering (AML).

So it is no surprise to learn that Australian digital asset exchange Blockbid is shoring up its AML safeguards by partnering with LexisNexus Risk Solutions’ ThreatMetrix. The deal will give Blockbid the ability to leverage identity verification, authentication, and KYC/AML solutions, as well as physical and digital identity data, geolocation, and threat analysis to provide its users with the most secure trading experience possible.

“Cryptocurrency exchanges, like Blockbid, that are prioritizing security on their marketplace, face a complex set of challenges and cyberthreats,” ThreatMetrix Chief Product Officer Alisdair Faulkner said. Among these challenges is the increasingly global nature of cybercrime, Faulkner noted, which meant organizations needed “the power of a global shared network” in order to identify threats before they are able to do harm. By leveraging data from millions of daily consumer interactions, Faulkner said, “suspicious behavior can be detected and flagged for review and step-up authentication or rejection before a transaction is processed. (This creates)  a low-friction experience for trusted users.”

A market leader in the field of cloud-based digital identity and transaction authentication, ThreatMetrix was acquired by RELX at the beginning of the year in a deal worth $830 million, and was incorporated into the RELX’s Risk and Business Analytics’ LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The company, founded in 2005 and based in San Jose, California, analyzes 100 million transactions a day across 35,000 websites from 5,000 customers. This gives ThreatMetrix’s Digital Identity Network a repository of 1.4 billion unique online identities from 4.5 billion devices in 185 countries.

ThreatMetrix demonstrated its Digital Identity Graph at FinovateAsia 2016. Last month, the company won the 2018 Best Identity Verification and Authentication Solution category at the CNP Awards, and picked up top honors at both the LendIt Awards 2018 – where it won Top Enterprise Technology Company – and the Fintech Breakthrough Awards 2018 – where ThreatMetrix earned the Top Fraud Prevention Platform award.

The company released the Spring 2018 version of its ThreatMetrix ID technology in April which represented the first product integration between ThreatMetrix and LexisNexis Risk Solution since the RELX acquisition. The same month, ThreatMetrix CEO Reed Taussig was named CEO of the Year by independent strategy and research firm, One World Identity.