Forbes Names 17 Finovate Alums on the Forbes Fintech 50

Forbes has released the third* Fintech 50 list, which this year features 17 Finovate alums, many of which have made the list for the third time. The Fintech 50 list highlights the top private fintechs that have operations, customers or impact in the U.S. The list excludes public companies and divisions of public companies.

Here are the alums honored in this year’s compilation:

Ayasdi

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Betterment

The company’s third time making the list.

Blend

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Blockchain

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Chain

The company’s third time making the list.

Coinbase

The company’s second time making the list.

Credit Karma

The company’s third time making the list.

Feedzai

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

The company’s second time making the list.

Kabbage

The company’s second time making the list.

Kensho

The company’s third time making the list.

Plaid

The company’s third time making the list.

Qapital

The company’s second time making the list.

Ripple

The company’s third time making the list.

Symbiont

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Symphony

The company’s second time making the list.

TransferWise

The company’s third time making the list.

In 2016, the list contained 20 Finovate alums, including Betterment, Chain, Coinbase, Credit Karma, Gusto, Kabbage, Kensho, Klarna, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Qapital, Quantopian, Ripple, Signifyd, SoFi, Symphony, TransferWise, TrueAccord, and Xignite.

The list from three years back also contained 20 Finovate alums. Algomi, Betterment, Braintree, Chain, Credit Karma, HelloWallet, Kensho, LearnVest, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Prosper, Quantopian, Ripple, Simple, TransferWise, TrueAccord, Vouch, Wealthfront, and Xignite made the list.


*Forbes skipped this compilation for 2017.

Blockchain Appoints New President and Chief Legal Officer

Digital currency wallet Blockchain has appointed Marco Santori as its new president and chief legal officer. The role of President was formerly held by Blockchain co-founder Nicolas Cary, who has assumed the role of vice chairman.

Santori comes to the U.K.-based company from Cooley LLP, where he worked as a partner, leading the law firm’s global financial technology practice. During his tenure at Cooley, Santori built a digital assets-focused legal practice.

In his new role, Santori will build Blockchain’s compliance, legal, and corporate development teams and is charged with leading the team in bringing new products to market. “I’m honored and thrilled to join Blockchain, the leading provider for digital asset software,” said Santori. “It’s a compelling opportunity to contribute to a company that is not only achieving unparalleled business success, but also delivering on a powerful mission to create an inclusive financial system from which everyone can benefit.”

Santori’s new position at Blockchain seems to be a good fit for him– he currently serves as an advisor to the International Monetary Fund and is the Blockchain Ambassador for the State of Delaware. Additionally, he penned the “Simple Agreement for Future Tokens” (SAFT) Project Whitepaper, which set the standard for mitigating risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Blockchain CEO and co-founder Peter Smith said, “Marco has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unmatched and I couldn’t think of a better person to focus entirely on our expansion efforts and strategy as we continue to serve our millions of users globally.”

Founded in 2011, Blockchain has more than 22 million wallets and has worked with its exchange partners to process 100+ million transactions in more than 140 countries in 20+ currencies. The company considers its wallet more secure than competitors Coinbase and Kraken because it does not offer an exchange. Instead, Blockchain’s wallet simply stores funds and has no visibility into users’ wallets.

Blockchain presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company has offices in London, New York, and Brazil and has raised a total of $70 million, thanks in part to a $40 million Series B round raised last June. In August of last year, the company added ether to the list of currencies it supports.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • TransferWise to Power Payroll for Crowdfunding Platform Seedrs.
  • Behalf Lands Equity Funding and Secures $150 Million in Debt Financing.
  • Blockchain Appoints New President and Chief Legal Officer.

Around the web

  • Challenger bank Tandem to leverage Personetics Cognitive Banking Brain to provide personalized financial guidance for customers.
  • Equifax introduces commercial credit data sharing solution for SME lenders.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems partners with EDC Corporation to improve security for credit card transactions.

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.

Finovate Alums Earn Spots in European Fintech 100

Powered by collaborative Belgian innovation platform, B-Hive, and Dutch financial consulting firm, Alex van Groningen BV, the European Fintech Awards & Conference recognize fintech innovators working in a variety of areas ranging from the Blockchain/Bitcoin and Financial Inclusion to InsurTech and Payments.

The awards consist of a European Fintech 100 and a Top Three which will be selected from among the top three startups in each of the conference’s nine categories during a pitch contest at the end of September. Here are the Finovate alum finalists who will compete for top honors in their respective categories this fall.

Dorsum (FinovateEurope 2017)

  • Category: Innovative Banking Software
  • Founded in 1996
  • Headquartered in Budapest, Hungary
  • Róbert Kő is CEO and Founder

Meniga (FinovateEurope 2017)

  • Category: PFM / Robo Advisory
  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquartered in London, U.K.
  • Won Finovate Best of Show three times
  • Georg Ludviksson is CEO

Revolut (FinovateEurope 2015)

  • Category: Challenger Banks
  • Founded in 2013
  • Headquartered in London, U.K.
  • Nikolay Storonsky is CEO and founder

TWINO (FinovateEurope 2016)

  • Category: Alternative Finance
  • Founded in 2015
  • Headquartered in Riga, Latvia
  • Jevgenijs Kazanins is CEO

Below are the Finovate alums that have been named to the European Fintech 100.

 

 

 

 

See the full European Fintech 100 list.

Interested in fintech in Europe and the U.K.? Finovate brings its new, expanded format to London in February. With live demos on Days One and Two, and a diverse range of keynotes, panel discussions, and round tables with fintech professionals on Days Three and Four, FinovateEurope 2017 is an event you won’t want to miss. Visit our FinovateEurope page today to learn more and to take advantage of huge early-registration savings.

Blockchain Launches Ethereum Wallet

Digital currency wallet Blockchain has added ether to the list of currencies it supports. The London-based company, whose motto is Be Your Own Bank, announced this week that users will be able to create Ethereum wallets– meaning they can store, send, and receive ether.

The user interface of the wallet will remain the same, and the ether wallet mirrors the bitcoin interface. As a part of the new launch, Blockchain has partnered with ShapeShift to power a bitcoin-to-ethereum and ethereum-to-bitcoin exchange to help users diversify their digital currency holdings.

Founded in 2011, Blockchain has 15+ million wallets and has worked with its exchange partners to process 100+ million transactions in 140+ countries in 20+ currencies. The company considers its wallet more secure than competitors Coinbase and Kraken. That’s because, unlike the latter platforms which act as digital currency exchanges, Blockchain offers a wallet to simply store the funds and has no visibility into users’ wallets.

Blockchain presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company has offices in London, New York, and Brazil and has $70 million, thanks in part to a $40 million Series B round raised in June. Peter Smith is CEO and co-founder.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • HotDocs Integrates with Data Management Solutions Provider, Advologix.

Around the web

  • iSignthis to gain from proposed bill to strengthen Australia’s AML laws.
  • Alkami Adds Adrianne Court as New Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • TransferWise brings its Borderless Accounts to Canada.
  • Quid unveils new platform redesign.
  • Cloud Lending Solutions launches upgrades to existing lending solutions; launches CL Portal.

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.

Blockchain Lands $40 Million Series B

Web-based bitcoin wallet Blockchain seems to have benefitted from all of the bitcoin buzz in the past month. The Luxembourg-based company pulled in a Series B round of $40 million today, bringing its total raised to $70 million.

The funding, which the company describes as “rocket fuel” in its blog, comes from new investors Lakestar, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Nokota Management, and Digital Currency Group. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Ventures, Prudence Holdings, Virgin, and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group) also participated.

Since it was founded in 2011, Blockchain has amassed millions of active users from across the globe, formed partnerships in 34 countries, and has built an API platform used by large fintech companies. The company anticipates the new funds will help it deliver its mission to “create an open, accessible, and fair financial future for billions across the globe, one piece of software at a time”

Blockchain presented at FinDEVr 2014, when the company was hosting 2 million wallets on its platform. Today, the company boasts 14 million wallets. Blockchain differentiates itself from competitor wallet Coinbase because, unlike Coinbase, it does not host cryptocurrency exchanges on its site. Instead, Blockchain has set up partnerships with exchanges so that it cannot see users’ transactions or balance amount.

Earlier this year, Blockchain partnered with Imperial College London to launch the Digital Asset Research Lab, an environment that supports research and activities related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Late last year, the company announced plans to add a buying option to its wallet.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Blockchain Lands $40 Million Series B.
  • With AI and Automation, Personetics Act Turns Banking Apps into Financial Wellness Apps.
  • Student Loan Genius Joins Inaugural U.S. Class of BBVA Program for Social Entrepreneurs.

Around the web

  • Greater Wyoming FCU ($23 million in assets) transitions to integrated banking solutions from Fiserv.
  • Mitek adds Jeff Davison as new Chief Financial Officer.
  • Trustly readies first The State of Online Banking report for release next week.
  • ZipZap chosen to participate in U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulatory Sandbox.

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.

 

Blockchain – a Revolution for the Patient

Written by Lisa Moyle, Director of Strategy, Finovate

The excitement surrounding blockchain or the somewhat less jazzy sounding Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT – in all its forms and incarnations) has been much discussed and taken up many column inches over the past few years. The conversations around the potential of the technology to upend entrenched processes has extended well beyond financial services and use cases have been explored across a broad range of industries – from music and entertainment copyrights to the provenance of organic coffee beans. And what has followed, more recently, is the almost inevitable questioning of whether it’s all been overly hyped. A recent estimate from Gartner indicates that 90% of enterprise blockchain projects launched in 2016 and the first half of 2017 will fail within two years.

“Most revolutions occur over time rather than in a high profile moment and whilst commentators may be impatient for results, there is a lot of activity going on,” Lisa Moyle, Director of Strategy, Finovate

Operating from the assumption that the broad range of stakeholders involved haven’t collectively lost the plot or the ability to apply an economic calculus to an assessment of technology, interest is clearly being propelled by some powerful drivers. The potential to make significant cost savings, streamline processes and create more secure and, indeed, tamper proof systems, are powerful incentives to explore and invest in use cases and proof of concepts. High levels of failure are not therefore a signal that the technology has a weak use case but rather that interest remains high and the potential rewards considerable.

Given JP Morgan’s recent exit from R3, following other large players like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley last year, it is easy to yearn for the tangible and believe that the ‘trial’ stage will continue for the foreseeable future. Yet, we need to follow the practical implementations that are happening and there are a good many examples across financial services.

“Identity is an area where DLT is being explored by many financial institutions in partnership with start-ups,” Lisa Moyle, Director of Strategy, Finovate

Ripple [FS13] has recently added 11 new banking members to its network and now has 75 bank customers using its Interledger protocol. Whilst still far off from overtaking Swift’s 11,000 member banks, it is creating the standards for financial institutions to follow and use DLT. Creating a new process in a new institution is likely to be far easier than attempting to get agreement on changing incumbent processes from 11,000 members. Enabling financial institutions to connect to payment networks and distributed ledger technology to send and settle international payments among one another in almost real time presents a powerful alternative to the current model.

Identity is also an area where DLT is being explored by many financial institutions in partnership with start-ups. SecureKey [FF12], for example, is creating an identity and authentication network underpinned by DLT. It has signed up a number of financial services institutions to its network and received grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security in the US. There are many start-ups operating in the Identity space and beyond (think KYC/AML), harnessing blockchain technology to provide RegTech solutions to the financial services industry where the opportunity to cut costs and provide more robust regulatory compliance is enormous. Regulators at the national, supranational and international levels have taken notice and are compounding interest rapidly.

“Central to the potentially transformative potential of DLT technology is not simply to replace old tech with new but to fundamentally change processes in ways that have not yet even been formulated,” Lisa Moyle, Director of Strategy, Finovate

Looking at a newcomer, blockchain based start-up banki Humaniq, which is targeting the unbanked across emerging markets though a mobile app, recently received investment from Deloitte. It also raised funding through an Initial Coin Offering. Included in its ambitious objectives to harness the blockchain for good to meet the needs of unserved communities are to leverage biometric, voice and location technologies to overcome the hurdles of a customer base who often lack conventional identity proofs.

Big tech is also forging ahead with the creation of blockchain products and services and with both IBM and Microsoft creating blockchain-as-a-service applications for businesses, one can assume that DLT technologies are no flash in the pan. It takes time to work through both the use cases and practical implementation of new technologies; legacy technology cannot be simply replaced in short order. Central to the potentially transformative potential of DLT technology is not simply to replace old tech with new but to fundamentally change processes in ways that have not yet even been formulated. Most revolutions occur over time rather than in a high profile moment and whilst commentators may be impatient for results, there is a lot of activity going on.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

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