Webinar On-Demand: How Start-Ups Can Make it in the Fintech Industry

On May 17th, Finovate hosted its first-ever webinar: “How to Make it in the Fintech Industry: 3 Startup Success Stories.” On the panel was Moven CTO Kumar Ampani, Clinc founder and CEO Jason Mars, and Jeff Cain, Director of the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator as they share insights on what fintech entrepreneurs what they need to know in order to turn their innovations into the solutions, apps, and services of tomorrow.

What does it take turn your fintech startup into one of the industry’s great success stories?

The growth of fintech worldwide is creating more opportunities than ever for entrepreneurs and startups. The same industry that is making it easier for the underbanked to build a financial future is also making cross-border payments cheaper, safer, and more transparent for the world’s largest financial institutions.

And from crowdfunding platforms to chatbots, fintech is the place where the social and the “artificially-intelligent” are partners in helping us save, spend, and invest.

How can startups harness this global opportunity in fintech and turn it into demand for their own innovations and solutions? What does it take to separate your fintech startup from the rest of the pack?

Watch on-demand >>

How to Make it in the Fintech Industry: Startup Success Stories Speak Out

Join us on Wednesday at 11am Eastern as we sit down with representatives from three of fintech’s most innovative companies for our first webinar, How to Make It In the Fintech Industry: 3 Startup Success Stories. We’ll investigate what it takes for fintech startups to get their technologies seen, talked about, and ultimately bought and deployed by financial institutions, e-commerce merchants, and everyday consumers looking for technology-based solutions to their financial challenges.

Check out our How to Make It In the Fintech Industry panel:

Kumar Ampani, Chief Technology Officer, Moven

Before taking the CTO helm at Moven, Ampani was the company’s Chief Software Architect. Ampani is a technology leader with 25 years of experience in architecture, design, implementation, security, and successful delivery of high quality complex business and technology solutions. He is a graduate of Villanova University and Sri Venkateswara University.

 

Dr. Jason Mars, Founder and CEO, Clinc

A professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, Mars co-founded Clinc, the cutting-edge A.I. startup that created Finie, a financial personal assistant that emulates human intelligence and makes it possible to interact with your bank account in a natural, conversational way. His work building the world’s first open-source platform for constructing large-scale personal assistants has been recognized globally.

 

Jeff Cain, Director, Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator

Cain runs the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator which helps developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs launch disruptive, data-driven companies and accelerate their growth. He is a corporate and business development professional, experienced in sourcing, structuring, negotiating, and closing a range of successful transactions. Cain was educated at Harvard University and Stanford Universities.

How to Make it In the Fintech Industry begins at 11am Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 17th. In addition to insights from our panelists, we’ll also have a brief Q&A session at the end of the webinar so you can ask the specific questions that matter most to you and your strategy for fintech success.

Remember spaces are limited. So visit our registration page today and save your spot.

Webinar: How to Make it in the Fintech Industry – 3 Start-Up Success Stories

What does it take to turn your fintech startup into one of the industry’s great success stories?

The growth of fintech worldwide is creating more opportunities than ever for entrepreneurs and startups. The same industry that is making it easier for the underbanked to build a financial future is also making cross-border payments cheaper, safer, and more transparent for the world’s largest financial institutions.

And from crowdfunding platforms to chatbots, fintech is the place where the social and the “artificially-intelligent” are partners in helping us save, spend, and invest.

How can startups harness this global opportunity in fintech and turn it into demand for their own innovations and solutions? What does it take to separate your fintech startup from the rest of the pack?

On May 17th at 11am Eastern, Finovate will host its first-ever webinar: How to Make it in the Fintech Industry: 3 Startup Success Stories.” Join Moven CTO Kumar Ampani, Clinc founder and CEO Jason Mars, and Jeff Cain, Director of the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator as they share insights on what fintech entrepreneurs need to know in order to turn their innovations into the solutions, apps, and services of tomorrow.

Register now for your place on the webinar >>

Meet your speakers

Panelist: Kumar Ampani

Chief Technology Officer

Moven

 

 

Panelist: Jeff Cain

Senior Director

Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator

 

 

Panelist: Dr. Jason Mars

Co-founder and CEO

Clinc

 

 

 

Moderator: David Penn

Research Analyst

Finovate

 

Finie Gets Funding: AI Innovator Clinc Closes $6 Million Series A

Clinc_homepage_February2017

Clinc, developers of the voice-based intelligent assistant app, Finie, closed a $6.3 million Series A round this week. The round was led by Drive Capital and featured participation from Cahoots Holdings, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and individual investor Stuart Porter. Clinc’s total capital now stands at $7.75 million.

Calling the opportunities for his company’s technology “truly endless,” and pointing to “overwhelming interest in Finie from financial institutions,” Clinc CEO Jason Mars sees a major role for artificial intelligence in a number of financial use cases. “We’re going to eliminate the complexity and barriers that consumers typically face when understanding their finances,” Mars said. “And we’re going to help more consumers connect with their financial data in personalized, impactful ways with minimal effort.”

Clinc_stage_FF2016

Pictured: Clinc CEO and President Jason Mars demonstrating the intelligent virtual assistant banking app, Finie, at FinovateFall 2016.

The additional capital will fuel further product innovation and help expand the Clinc team, currently at 21 “and growing,” the company said in a statement. Drive Capital co-founder and partner Mark Kvamme will join Clinc’s board of directors.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc demonstrated its voice-based intelligence assistant app, Finie, at FinovateFall 2016, earning a Best of Show award. Finie uses advanced natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to unstructured, conversational speech. The technology is nuanced enough to “interpret not only semantics and intent, but the underlying meaning of user queries,” as well. Designed for financial services, Finie provides personalized advice as part of its ability to handle a variety of banking tasks, giving customized answers to user questions about balances, spending patterns, and more. Clinc includes Notion AI and fellow Finovate alum, Bankjoy among its customers.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Alexa, Tell Me About D3 Banking’s New Voice Banking Skill.
  • Finie Gets Funding: AI Innovator Clinc Closes $6 Million Series A.

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • Zopa named Best Personal Loan Provider and Best Alternative Finance Provider at British Bank Awards
  • 7-Eleven names InComm Vendor of the Year.
  • ProfitStars introduces Gladiator Incident Alert for complex risk monitoring and management.
  • D3 Banking unveils Amazon Alexa-based intelligent banking service.
  • FinDEVr veteran Hyperwallet adds former SecureNet Payments EVP, Mark Engels, as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Fiserv recognized among “world’s most admired companies” for fourth year in a row.
  • Best of Show winner AutoGravity forges new partnership with Westlake Financial Services to expand financing options for car shoppers.
  • Feedzai and Merchant Risk Council (MRC) team up to leverage AI and machine learning to fight fraud.
  • Klarna adds to payment options for omni-channel commerce technology innovator, Radial.
  • The Paypers interviews Nicole Mantow, General Manager of EVO Payments, parent company of FinDEVr veteran, EVO Snap.
  • Savedroid adds money-saving, AI-based algorithm to its personal finance app.

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 Trending: Bots Break Out, AI Gets Personal, and Blockchain Buys the Farm

finovatefall2016_stage_crowdshot

Is it fair to judge a fintech conference based on the way it reflects, anticipates, and even uncovers what’s most important in the field? We think so, and were once again impressed by the way FinovateFall this month helped spread the story of fintech in the second half of 2016.

After all, we read about new technologies every day. But once the wow factor subsides, the question remains: Does it really work? Is anybody, any bank, any business in the real world actually putting this great looking, great sounding technology—these bots, this blockchain—to the test?

The good news is that the good news is true: new technologies like chatbots not only work, but were demonstrated live on stage by companies like Personetics (F16); Fiserv (F16); Kore (F16); and FinovateFall 2o16 Best of Show winner, Backbase (F16). We can even include companies like Clinc (F16) in this category of innovations that make it easier for people to communicate with technology. Clinc, which also won Best of Show honors at FinovateFall, developed and demonstrated an artificial intelligence-based natural language, using an intelligent assistant that earned rave reviews from both attendees and the media.

  • “Backbase promises 60-second customer on-boarding with new solution”—Banking Technology
  • “Bots Are Everywhere, But Are They Ready for Banking?”—Bank Innovation

What about the blockchain, you ask? Earlier this year at FinovateSpring, our attendees awarded a Best of Show trophy to BanQu (F16), a company that uses blockchain technology to help refugee and displaced persons re-establish community ties through identification and financial inclusion. This month at FinovateFall, we met Full Profile (F16), an Australian company leveraging the blockchain to support real-time settlement, financing, and provenance-tracking of agricultural commodities.

  • “Blockchain technology extends to agricultural contracts”—The Australian

But FinovateFall was about more than the most headline-grabbing technologies. As our Best of Show voting revealed, the appeal of technology to solve more everyday problems—be it buying a car or a gift card—remains strong as well.

“You’ve Got A Car!” and a Digital Revolution in Regifting

This certainly seems to be what Finovate attendees had in mind when it came to Finovate newcomer and Best of Show winner AutoGravity (F16). Founded last fall, the Irvine, California-based startup leverages the smartphone to make every aspect of the car-buying experience easier, from initial selection of a vehicle all the way through the financing process. As with a growing number of fintech solutions, AutoGravity combines several innovations we’ve seen individually in fintech demonstrations over the years—document scanning; the integration of social media with credit application; geolocation—to produce a solution that seeks to disrupt traditional auto financing as we know it.

Swych (F16), the mobile gifting platform that also won Best of Show, is another example of technology making magic out of the otherwise mundane. The company facilitates the purchase, sending, redemption, and exchange of gift cards using digital technology that puts the smartphone at the center of the process. Based out of Plano, Texas, Swych’s technology brings the gift card industry into the 21st century, potentially helping breathe new life into what is typically thought of as the “gift of last resort.”

  • “Mobile tech for automobile lending, gift card redeeming snag top prize at Finovate”—Bizjournals
  • Brief: FinovateFall 2016 Best of Show—CrowdfundInsider

Security: short and sweet

It is no exaggeration to say that Trusona (F16), a two-year-old security specialist out of Scottsdale, Arizona, provided one of the most well-received demos of the year. And a large part of what made it so successful (and such a must-watch) was the way the demo itself embodied the dream of a simple security solution that works the same way every single time.

By quickly and effortlessly authenticating and logging in repeatedly in the course of six minutes, Trusona CEO and founder Ori Eisen did what every person who has ever wracked their brain for their most recent password, or struggled to enter a captcha code on a mobile phone, wants out of a security solution: Make it fast, make it easy, make it work the same way every single time. With plenty of competition in the security space from innovators on stage and off, it is no surprise that Trusona, with its #nopassword campaign and did-I-mention-it’s-free offering, stood out from the pack.

  • “Trusona Wins ‘Best of Show’ at FinovateFall 2016—MarketWired

Everybody loves a (six-time) winner

No discussion of FinovateFall would be complete without a tip o’ the hat to MX (F16). The company took home its sixth Best of Show trophy, impressing audiences with its PowerSwitch technology that allows an FI to quickly establish a new card of reference for consumers across a variety of platforms such as Netflix, Uber, Hulu, and Amazon.com. This gives financial institutions a powerful tool in attracting new customers and in providing new options to existing customers. It also gives FIs potential access to what MX CEO Ryan Caldwell called “a mountain of interchange”—more than $200 billion in 2015 according to MX—that banks and credit unions can’t afford to miss.

  • “MX Achieves Innovation Milestone, Becomes First Company to Win Finovate Best of Show Six Times”—MX Blog

For more coverage on FinovateFall, check out our press roundup and our FinovateFall on Twitter post.

In other news

A hybrid debit/credit card

San Francisco-based startup Zero raised $2.5 million this week. While the investment sum is not particularly notable, what the company is doing certainly is.

Zero offers a Visa credit card that works in conjunction with a mobile app, but it’s not just another alt/neo/challenger bank. The differentiating factor is that Zero deducts money from the user’s account in real time just like a debit card, so there is no monthly bill. Unlike a debit card, however, transactions process on credit card rails so cardholders receive from 1% to 3% cash-back on purchases. It also touts no fees and pays higher interest on deposits (though they don’t yet specify how much) than traditional savings accounts.

The credit card is made out of solid metal and the app offers great looking PFM tools that forecast users’ balances into the future. Clearly, the startup has millennial users in its sights and claims to have the potential to increase a credit score, since there’s no way to default on payments.

The company makes money on merchant processing instead of charging fees to users. It also saves money on advertising by using a pyramid-scheme referral approach (which worked on me as I shamelessly promoted them on Facebook yesterday).

With recent talk of credit cards falling out of favor with millennials because of their hesitancy toward debt, Zero offers an option that provides the best of both worlds—the cash-back and credit-building opportunities that come with credit cards, and the real-time transactional capability of debit cards.

Another just-launched startup doing something similar is New York-based Debitize. However, Debitize does not issue a new credit card but instead aggregates customers’ existing credit-card transactions and initiates a real-time transfer from their checking account to cover the charges. Keep an eye on this space; we think we’ll see FIs picking up on this idea in the next couple of years (presuming regulators allow the practice).

New ACH regulation

The first phase of same-day ACH-transfer regulation lands today. And while the final phase will not hit until March 2018, all bank and credit union accounts must now accept same-day transfers.

To help banks move forward with the new rule, Dwolla (F11) launched a white-label API for same-day ACH. The API, which is in a pilot program, currently supports credits only. Dwolla will roll it out with more partners in Q4 of this year.

The Clearing House, the organization behind the ACH modernization, has partnered with IBM’s (F16) Power8 to serve as the hosting program for same-day ACH. U.K.-based Vocalink (purchased by Mastercard in July 2016) is set to deliver the platform, which will roll out to banks in the U.S. within the next year.

See What You Missed at FinovateFall: Demo Videos Now Available

29175062613_79b8fac89a_kAbove: MX jumps for joy to celebrate the company’s Best of Show win.

I should start this post by admitting that I missed FinovateFall this year. My wedding was the weekend after the show and there was no way to swing both. While I think I chose wisely, I certainly felt FinovateFall FOMO after reading Twitter highlights and press coverage.

If you, like me, missed out, we have the next best thing to being there. All of the 70 demos from FinovateFall are now available for free in our video archives and event photos are posted on Flickr. Also, there’s still time to catch more fintech this fall at our developer’s conference, FinDEVr (October 18 & 19) and our first event in Hong Kong, FinovateAsia (November 8).

The best place to start is by watching the six demos that won Best of Show:

AutoGravity

Backbase

Clinc

MX

Swych

Trusona

Thanks again to all the presenting companies who braved the Finovate stage and to all who attended. We’ll see you next year!

FinovateFall 2016 Best of Show Winners Announced

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Innovations in automobile financing that leverage mobile technology to empower buyers. Omnichannel solutions that enable customer onboarding in less than a minute. Intelligent personal assistants that hear and respond in natural, conversational language.

The Best of Show winners of FinovateFall 2016 are a compelling tribute to the diversity of our industry. From new strategies that help financial institutions leverage their data to provide better services, to platforms that transform the gift card from a present-of-last-resort to the perfect gift, to a multifaceted identity-solution capable of securing everything from your email account to SWIFT wires, it is an exciting time to be a part of this dynamic fusion of finance and technology.

And while we give due credit to those demos that drew the most enthusiastic praise from our record-breaking FinovateFall audience, know that our Best of Show winners represent the tip of the spear, the vanguard of a movement whose innovations will shape the way we save, spend, invest, and engage the financial world for years to come.

Here are our Best of Show award winners for FinovateFall 2016 (in alphabetic order):

AutoGravity Logo copyAutoGravity for its app that harnesses the power of the smartphone to enable users to take control of the automobile buying and financing experience.

Backbase---Hi-ResBackbase for its omnichannel banking platform that leverages optical character recognition and facial recognition to deliver 60-second onboarding.

clinc-logo-finovate-new copyClinc for its personal assistant for mobile banking, “Finie,” that uses advanced artificial intelligence and deep learning to communicate with users in natural, conversational language.

 

MX Logo copyMX for its innovative technology that enables FIs to acquire new data, as well as better and more effortlessly understand and analyze the data they already have.

 

Swych Logo copySwych for its mobile gifting platform that makes it easy for users to buy, send, upload, redeem, and exchange gift cards instantly and conveniently from their mobile devices.

Trusona Logo copyTrusona for its insured cloud identity suite with offerings that run the gamut from securing everyday logins to protecting the world’s most sensitive assets.

We had a great time at FinovateFall 2016 and hope you enjoyed our two-day conference, as well. A thousand thanks to our sponsors, our partners, our presenters, and, last but not least, the 1,600+ attendees who made this year’s FinovateFall our biggest event yet. We’ll see you again next year!


Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The six companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 and 2016 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Clinc

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 10.57.45 AM

FF2016-Logo-wdate-largeA look at the companies demoing live to 1,500+ fintech professionals on 8/9 September 2016. Register today.

Clinc will demo the first intelligent financial assistant that allows users to talk to their bank accounts, and get instant, accurate, and personalized answers to common and complex questions.

Features:

  • Ask Clinc anything about your financial status and it understands
  • Clinc integrates seamlessly with existing mobile apps
  • Clinc boosts loyalty and wallet share, and reduces customer call

Why it’s great
Clinc is not based on a set of user commands or hard-coded Q&A. Users can ask whatever they want and Clinc understands. It can scale up to answer an unbounded number of questions about personal finance.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.27.48 PMPresenters

Dr. Jason Mars, CEO of Clinc and Professor at University of Michigan
Mars has devoted his career to solving difficult real-world problems with AI at scale both in academia as a professor of computer science at University of Michigan, and in industry as CEO of Clinc.
LinkedInScreen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.29.54 PM

Johann Hauswald, VP of Engineering
Hauswald is a co-founder of Clinc. He is highly experienced in system design and AI, and lead both the development of Lucida and in building the most sophisticated AI platform at Clinc.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Envestnet | Yodlee Forges Strategic Partnership with United Capital
  • Finovate Debuts: Cyberfend’s BotFender Detects Attacks in Real-Time

Around the web

  • TransferWise partners with Raphaels Bank as part of Faster Payments Service integration.
  • Token opens new London office.
  • Trulioo earns top honors for ID verification in 2016 Global RegTech report.
  • Check Point Introduces First Real-Time Zero-Day Protection for Web Browsers
  • P2Binvestor Delivers Biggest Line of Credit Yet at $10 Million
  • CR2 teams up with Diamond Bank to bring next-generation ATM technology to Nigeria.

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.