Figo Joins Partnership to Build Fintech Acceleration Platform

Deutsche Börse and its post-trade services provider Clearstream will partner with Germany’s figo and Luxembourg-based regtech start-up Finologee to create a fintech acceleration platform, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

The new platform will enable established players and new digital firms to distribute and use each other’s services to ideally make more money.

It will allow access to Deutsche Börse’s market and reference data as well as functional services via APIs.

Marc Robert-Nicoud, CEO of Clearstream, said it brings together the “know-how and innovation capacity of an established market infrastructure with the innovative models and flexibility of strong fintech start-ups” and “can contribute immensely to developing new interaction, collaboration and monetization models”.

The first services offered by third parties will be an access to account gateway for banks for the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

Deutsche Börse has been cooperating with banking services provider figo since 2016.

The new partnership with Finologee is targeted to serve particularly the Luxembourg market with the “first end-to-end PSD2-compliant payment solution”. In addition, Finologee will contribute to the architecture and development of the platform software layers as well as further partnerships.

Clearstream contributes its IT infrastructure design and regulatory compliant operations, as well as several software components to run the API marketplace for Deutsche Börse.

First deployments on the platform are currently being evaluated. Among them are a number of offerings, including Budget Insight, IDnow, AriadNEXT, Governance.com, Jemmic, and KYCTech.

The platform is in the pilot phase and will be first offered as a development environment to allow testing and coding.

Further applications at this piloting stage will be Finologee’s identification and consent automation product.

Figo expands the portfolio with its PSD2-related RegShield for non-banks and PSD2 enabler for banks as well as several Clearstream and Deutsche Börse services.

The launch is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Munich, Germany, figo demonstrated its banking and payments API at FinovateEurope 2013. figo has raised more than $11 million (€10.1 million) in funding. Andre Bajorat is co-founder and CEO.

figo Announces “License as a Service” PSD2 Solution, RegShield

German banking service provider figo has joined the fight to ensure that fintechs and other third parties are able to make the most from the arrival of PSD2. The company announced its new “license as a service” solution – RegShield – which will enable figo to serve as a regulated partner for firms looking to offer or use payment initiation account information services (PSIP/AISP). This will allow figo’s partners to operate without having to apply for their own authorization.

Before the PSD2 deadline earlier this month, Cornelia Schwertner, Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance at figo warned, “Implementation of PSD2 is imminent and the license application period for companies is tight. So it is particularly alarming that many companies do not even know that they will soon be subject to authorization, let alone when. Importantly, Schwertner added, PSD2 implementation is a challenge for both fintech startups and more established players. For newer companies, the process of securing a BaFin permit can challenge the financial resources of smaller firms. Larger companies, on the other hand, typically find it difficult to integrate their own processes with a changing regulatory environment.

With RegShield, figo takes responsibility for “all relevant processes and licensing requirements,” giving third parties the ability to focus on developing their solutions rather than negotiating regulations. RegShield will provide for many of the authorization requirements including:

  • PSD2-compliant customer processes
  • Execution of internal audits to prepare for external examinations
  • Setup of governance and security policies
  • Management of security incidents
  • Regulatory and compliance expertise
  • Outsourcing controlling
  • Business continuity management

According to figo, more companies may be affected by the need to meet these requirements than they may think. In Germany, for example, companies looking to offer services this year are required to apply for authorization as PISP or AISP under the Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG). And this is precisely where figo’s RegShield can play a role.

“Being touched by authorization requirements is a certainty for any company that can answer the following questions with a yes,” figo CEO André M. Bajorat said. “‘Do I offer an online service that includes display or processing of account information?’ ‘Does my service enable transactions on my customers’ bank accounts?’ or ‘Do I need online banking login information for my product or service?'” Find out more about figo’s RegShield offering.

At FinovateEurope 2013, figo demonstrated its consumer-facing, cloud-based service that aggregates bank and payment accounts, enriches transaction data and gives customers real-time notification. The company’s technology complements the rise of open banking by making it easier for third parties to access a wider range of financial resources, and enabling banks to develop value-added products and services for their customers.

“The tried and true technical solutions which we already offer, which preeminently match up to the basic idea of PSD2, show how forward-looking our approach is,” the company observes in an introductory note on its website.

Last August, the company announced that Consorsbank would leverage technology from figo to power its multibanking service. In June, figo was named to FinTechCity’s FinTech50 for 2017. Founded in 2012, the company has raised more than $12.5 million in funding and includes Berliner Volksbank Ventures and Deutsche Borse among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • ThreatMetrix Acquired by RELX, Becomes Part of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
  • figo Announces ‘License As A Service’ PSD2 Solution, RegShield.
  • BehavioSec Closes $17.5 Million Series B.
  • Payoneer Partners with Waze to Power Local Payments.

Around the web

  • Ellie Mae partners with COCC to offer its members access to Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution.
  • Meniga wins best App and best Web Solution at the Icelandic Web Awards 2017.

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 Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Alpharank Among Startups Graduating from VC Fintech Accelerator Empowered by FIS.
  • Juvo Raises $40 Million in Round Led by NEA, Wing Venture Capital.
  • Klarna Unveils Free P2P Payments Service, Wavy.

Around the web

  • Fiserv acquires mortgage tech solutions provider, PCLender.
  • Consorsbank picks technology from Germany’s figo to power its multibanking service.
  • PayU Colombia to deploy SaaS-based core banking technology from Mambu.
  • Trulioo’s GlobalGateway platform coverage extended to six Latin American countries.

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.

European Alums Shine in FinTechCity’s FinTech50 2017

Less than a week before FinDEVr London 2017, we’ve learned that fifteen of the companies selected by FinTechCity for this year’s FinTech50, a list of top European fintechs, are alums of Finovate and FinDEVr conferences. This is up from last year, when 13 alums who made the list. last year’s list. Six of the companies on the 2017 roster are making repeat appearances: BehavioSec, Fenergo, Kantox, Mambu, Meniga, and Revolut.

Eight of the alums in the FinTech50 are headquartered in the U.K., three hail from Germany, two from Switzerland and one each from Ireland and Sweden. The judges for the FinTech50 are a panel consisting of 60 financial services professionals from banking, payments, venture capital, and public policy-making, among other relevant fields.

2017 marks the fifth year that FinTechCity has produced its roster of the most innovative fintech companies headquartered in the U.K. and Europe. The list is designed to focus on the technology innovations each company has developed rather than the amount of money the companies have made from their technologies.  In a statement at the FinTechCity website, the organization explains the sole criteria for inclusion in the FinTech50 as “the potential to become a game-changer or the competitive staying power to continue being one.”

Here are our winning alums for 2017.

Check out the full 2017 roster. FinTechCity also honored ten fintech startups in an honorable mention category, Hot Ten 2017. Ten companies have also been recognized as the founding members of the FinTech50 Hall of Fame, including Finovate/FinDEVr alums Currencycloud, eToro, Klarna, Nutmeg, TransferWise, and Zopa. Founded by Julie Lake (CEO) and Nicky Cotter, FinTechCity will also unveil the inaugural FinTech50 Asia later this year.

Germany’s figo Picks Up $7 Million in Series B Funding

figo_homepage_november2016

Banking service provider figo has picked up an investment from strategic partner DB1 Ventures, the VC wing of Deutsche Börse Group. The “seven digit” investment gives Deutsche Börse a sizable minority stake in figo, and is designed to help fuel the company’s international expansion. Also participating in the round were “reputable business angels from Germany.” With the completed series B, figo raised more than $7 million (€ 6.8 million), and now has total capital of more than $12 million.

“In a changing financial landscape, figo has established itself as a reliable partner and has built up a fantastic fintech ecosystem around itself,” Deutsche Börse Managing Director Ankur Kamalia said. “We look forward to supporting their growth and also learning from the innovation they are driving.” Calling Deutsche Börse a “perfect partner” for his company, figo CEO André M. Bajorat (pictured) said the investment and strategic partnership will enable figo to “gain new enhanced visibility in the industry.”

figo_andrebajoratFounded in 2012 and headquartered in Germany, figo demonstrated its cloud banking API at FinovateEurope 2013. Europe’s first banking service provider, figo provides a banking API that enables third parties to connect apps and services to more than 3,000 FIs and financial service organizations. Operating in Germany and Austria, figo specializes in solutions to help companies with their Payments Services Directive strategies (PSD2). This, according to some, has been key to renewed investment interest in the company and was highlighted by Deutsche Börse’s Kamalia. “The figo team led by André Bajorat has made clear the opportunities that exist for virtually every player in the financial sector and the enormous potential that PSD2 implementation offers to European industry,” Kamalia said.

Last month, figo organized Hamburg FinTech Week, bringing together 85 programmers and product developers to focus on the latest innovations and trends in the German fintech scene. The event also featured a hackathon called Bankathon 2016 designed to promote development and create solutions based on PSD2 and XS2A (“access to account”). Access to account is a key component of PSD2, which encourages third parties to participate more directly in financial services, specifically in the areas of enabling financial data to be read and deployed in third-party services and solutions, as well as bank transfers using third-party apps. Writing about figo—the company’s recent funding and PSD2—Finance Magnates noted that figo’s embrace of PSD2 has “strategically placed itself at a key point in the payments realm, helping build a new banking infrastructure in a world hamstrung by open APIs.”

Finovate’s European Alums Raised More Than $350 Million in 2015

Euros_purple

Nineteen Finovate alums headquartered in Europe raised $350 million in 2015.

From the $16,000 in seed money raised by U.K. startup, StockViews, to the €82 million investment received by Germany’s Kreditech, we’ve counted every euro, pound, and dollar that investors poured into our European alums. And whether the funding represented an initial infusion of capital or was part of a multi-stage Series E round, it is clear that investors are very interested in the fintech innovations of Europe.

Take a look for yourself at the “European Portfolio” from 2015 below, featuring Finovate alums from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

GermanFlagGermany

 

Ireland_FlagIreland

 

Netherlands_FlagThe Netherlands

 

 

Switzerland_Flag

 

Switzerland

 

 

UK_FlagUnited Kingdom


There’s still time to join us in London for FinovateEurope! Our two-day conference returns to Old Billingsgate Market Hall, February 9 and 10. Get your tickets today and save your spot.

 

 

Figo Announces New “Seven Figure” Financing Round

Figo_homepage_November2015

While the amount of the investment remains undisclosed, German banking-as-a-service specialist Figo this week announced it had completed a “seven-figure” funding round.

Participating in the investment were High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), 360T founder Carlo Koelzer, and Joerg Heilig, VP of Engineering at Google.

Figo GmbH CEO Andre M. Bajorat said the investment would help the company gain European market share and support further product development. CFO Heiko Rahlfs emphasized that the investment would bring both technical talent and industry connections to the company. “In addition to Joerg Heilig’s expertise,” Rahlfs said, “we can benefit from Carlo Koelzer’s network and his reputation in the fintech sector.”

figo_stage_FEU2013

Figo founder Markus Ludemann demonstrated the figo-API at FinovateEurope 2013 in London.

Koelzer praised the way Figo leveraged regulatory changes to provide “not only an established banking API, but also an entire banking services platform, supporting a vast number of innovative banking solutions.”

“I believe in the significance and the positive impact of the change in this sector,” Koelzer said. “Hence my decision to invest.”

Calling itself the first banking service provider in Europe, Figo provides an API that integrates readily with third-party systems, enabling businesses to connect their goods and services to more than 3,000 banks and financial service providers. The banking-as-a-service platform connects services to more than 50 million online banking accounts.

Figo demonstrated its API at FinovateEurope 2013 (as Lean Banking), before pivoting to focus on B2B solutions. Founded in August 2012, Figo is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Finovate, FinDEVr Alum News at Money20/20″
  • “Figo Announces New “Seven-Figure” Financing Round”

Around the web

  • Payoneer Selected by Amazon to Expand Cross-Border Payment Options in Select Countries.
  • Business Insider names Holvi, BehavioSec, Trustly, Meniga, and Klarna among the 12 hottest Nordic fintech startups.
  • Xero reaches 600,000 subscribers in 180 countries.
  • Tradeshift launches Tradeshift Risk, a solution to monitor and mitigate supplier risk.
  • ayondo launches first product in Singapore.
  • Crowdfund Insider interviews Krista Morgan, CEO and co-founder of P2Binvestor.
  • ACI Worldwide acquires payment gateway, PAY.ON.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews Tom Villante, CEO and co-founder of YapStone.
  • MainStreet features “simplified 401(k) robo-adviser” Blooom.
  • SavingAdvice.com reviews Motif Investing.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.