Fintonic to Use $28 Million Round to Move Beyond Loans and Insurance

Personal finance app Fintonic landed $28 million (€25 million) in Series B funding today. The venture round comes from ING Group, PSN, and others.

When combined with a Series A round the company received in 2012 and a round of an undisclosed amount in 2014, today’s funding brings the company’s total raised to $29.5 million. Fintonic will use the new cash to grow its presence in Spain and Latin America, as well as to further build out the product.

The company has 400,000 users and is available to users in Spain and Chile. The mobile app aims to offer users more visibility into their financial health. Fintonic leverages big data and uses its proprietary credit score (FinScore) and machine learning algorithms to match users with targeted loans and insurance products from more than 50 companies.

Fintonic CEO Sergio Chalbaud demos Fintonic’s alert system at FinovateSpring 2016

Founded in 2012, the Madrid-based company counts Ideon Financial Solutions, Inception Capital, Onza Capital, and Atresmedia as previous investors. At FinovateSpring 2016, the company debuted its alerts and inbox system to help users act in a timely manner on their financial needs and recommendations.

Yoyo Wallet Raises $15 Million in Series B

 

 

In a round led by Horeca, London-based Yoyo Wallet has raised more than $15 million (£12 million) in new funding. Alain Falys, company co-founder and CEO, said the new investment “will allow us to provide the benefits of customer identification and mobile engagement to a wider array of retailers, large and small, in the U.K. and across Europe.” Horeca is the venture capital arm of German retail conglomerate, Metro Group.

Also participating in the round, which takes Yoyo Wallet’s total capital to more than $30 million, were Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations. Hansjorg Sage, Metro Group digital unit GM, highlighted Yoyo’s partnership with Caffe Nero, the #3 coffee retail chain in the U.K., as evidence of the company’s “strong track record of deploying digital technology at the customer interface.” Sage said the the trend toward greater digitization in the food and beverage segment of the hospitality industry gave companies like Yoyo Wallet the chance to make a “meaningful positive impact on a wide spectrum of retail businesses.” As part of the investment, still subject to FCA approval, Metro Group partner James Hook will join the Yoyo Wallet board of directors.

Pictured: Yoyo co-founder and COO Michael Rolph demonstrating the Yoyo mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015.

With more than 400,000 registered users and an acceptance network of more than 1,700 outlets, Yoyo Wallet combines payments and loyalty into a seamless mobile experience. The company leverages QR code technology to enable PoS payments, providing SKU-level digital receipts for each transaction while also recording and applying any rewards or loyalty points the purchaser is due into the Yoyo app. Available on iOS and Android platforms, Yoyo wallet features the ability for users to send rewards (“yo-yo’ing”) to others via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. Merchants can then tie other rewards to their customers who “yo-yo” the most. “Yoyo is now delivering proven benefits to a rapidly growing number of merchants and their customers in universities, corporate campuses, and the High Street,” Falys said.

Yoyo allows retailers build their own branded app, establish a branded presence within the Yoyo app, or use Yoyo’s acceptance rails and SDK to power their own solution. This gives retailers great flexibility in designing the specific mobile experience that is relevant to their customers. In their funding announcement, for instance, the company used the example of a restaurant chain providing customer experience-enhancing options such as being able to order and pay from the table with a Yoyo-powered app. Yoyo Wallet also provides an analytics and campaign generation platform for retailers to enable them to operationalize their insights into customer behavior and better personalize rewards and marketing campaigns.

Founded in 2013, Yoyo demonstrated its mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015. This spring, the company hired former PayPal GM Simon Moran as its first VP of Commercial. In February, Yoyo marked its 10 millionth transaction,  having “helped retailers across the U.K. and Ireland award over 1.2 billion loyalty points and 1.8 million coffee stamps.” Yoyo began the year with the introduction of its AI-powered, marketing automation platform, Yoyo Engage at Davos in January.

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.

Scalable Capital Raises $33 Million in BlackRock-Led Series B

In a round led by BlackRock, robo advisor Scalable Capital has raised $33 million (€30 million) in new capital. Also participating in the Series B were existing investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures. The company, with offices in London, U.K., and Munich, Germany, now has total funding of more than $45 million (€41 million). The investment gives BlackRock a minority stake in Scalable Capital; BlackRock’s Chief Operating Officer of EMEA, Patrick Olson, will join Scalable Capital’s Supervisory Board.

Adam French, Scalable Capital co-founder and CEO U.K., said the investment served as a “fantastic validation of our work so far” and would “open up new growth avenues” for the company.  French added that bringing technology to bear in the wealth management business was “not just a competitive advantage, but a requirement for wealth management businesses to be successful in the future.” BlackRock’s Olson put the investment in the context of growing demand from European wealth managers and advisors for “high-quality technology-enabled investment solutions.” The firm’s investment in Scalable Capital, Olson said, “allows us to meet these evolving needs of our clients and their customers and to help shape their business models for the future.”

Pictured (left to right): Co-founders Erik Podzuweit (Co-CEO) and Adam French (U.K. CEO) demonstrating Scalable Capital at FinovateEurope 2016.

With more than €250 million in assets and more than 6,000 retail clients, Scalable Capital is a digital investment manager that invests client funds in globally diversified exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios. Calling itself “a service so cost-efficient, honest, and transparent that even a banker could use it, Scalable Capital differentiates itself from its rivals in the robo advisory space by its commitment to superior risk management. “We’ve developed a risk management technology which was previously reserved for institutional investors,” French announced at the beginning of his company’s FinovateEurope demo, adding “And we’re really excited to take this technology, and put it in the hands of retail investors.”

During their live demo, French and co-founder Erik Podzuweit showed how investors could determine their precise risk tolerance level and see how their willingness to take (or reduce) risk would likely affect future returns. Scalable Capital also avoids the vague marketing jargon that describes portfolios as “conservative” or “moderate” or “dynamic.” Podzuweit explained, “At the end of the day, that doesn’t tell you anything. What is a ‘moderate’ portfolio? Can I now lose half my portfolio more or less? And will this ‘moderate’ portfolio always stay moderate in all market conditions?” Instead, Scalable Capital quantifies the risk and gives it an institutional risk measure, value at risk. This measure gives investors a sense of maximum potential losses over a one-year horizon within a 95% likelihood.

“Why do we stress this risk point so much?” Podzuweit asked. Answering his own question, he continued: “Because risk, apart from costs, is the most important factor in investing. Risk is the currency you buy long-term performance with. And our clients should decide themselves how much of their currency they want to put on the table.”

Featured last month in Money Marketing, Scalable Capital was named to FinTechCity’s FinTech 50 this year, as well as being recognized for Financial Innovation of the Year from the Online Personal Wealth Awards. The company announced a doubling of assets in the first three months of the year to €200 million, the same month French earned a spot on the 2017 PAM Top 40 Under 40 roster. Founded in 2014, Scalable Capital demonstrated its risk management technology at FinovateEurope 2016.

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.

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.

CrowdFlower Raises $20 Million to Bloom AI Adoption

AI data enrichment platform, CrowdFlower, has pulled in $20 million in funding today. This is the California-based company’s sixth round of funding since it was founded in 2009 and brings its total raised to $58 million.

Leading today’s round is Industry Ventures. A new investor, Salesforce Ventures, is also participating along with existing investors Canvas Ventures, Microsoft Ventures and Trinity Ventures. CrowdFlower will use the funding to expand the functionality of its platform, integrate with other machine learning technologies, and hire new talent. The company’s CEO, Robin Bordoli, said, “With this funding, we can accelerate our reach and help data science and machine learning teams everywhere produce the training data they need within the scale, cost and quality parameters that matter to them.”

CrowdFlower creates human-in-the-loop technology that offers quality control for data scientists. The company leverages an on-demand workforce to collect, label, and clean data that requires human intelligence. According to Bordoli, we are just starting to scratch the surface of AI. He described AI apps for the enterprise as being “at the beginning of a Cambrian explosion” and said that the bottleneck for mass adoption of machine learning is “the availability of high quality training data and human-in-the-loop workflows to handle the failure states of the algorithm.” Bordoli went on to explain that an algorithm without human input is like “a rocket ship with a large engine but no fuel and no navigation system.”

CrowdFlower’s Tatiana Josephy (VP Product) and Seth Teicher (Head of Content & Business Development) at FinovateFall 2014

At FinovateFall 2014, CrowdFlower won Best of Show in a demo that showed how the on-demand workforce uses its platform to collect, clean, and label financial transaction data. Last month, the company launched a set of dedicated tools for computer vision to enhance its Pixel Labeling Tool.

Cardlytics Closes $12 Million Round

Card-linked offers company Cardlytics has raised $12 million, according to an SEC filing and a report from BizJournals, which reported the round was led by a new, strategic investor with contributions from existing investors. The name of the strategic investor was not disclosed. This round brings Cardlytics’ total funding to $200 million.

Atlanta-based Cardlytics was founded in 2008. The company’s first product was a card-linked offers solution, Cardlytics Direct. This flagship product allows financial institutions to provide merchant-funded rewards within its online or mobile banking application to boost customer loyalty. Almost 10 years later, big-name financial institutions such as Bank of America, PNC, MasterCard, and Fiserv use Cardlytics Direct.

The hype of card-linked offers peaked around 2012, and Cardlytics appears to have undergone a bit of restructuring since then. In April of 2016, the company laid off 15 percent of its workforce and while there is still demand for consumer rewards, the company’s attention has expanded to capitalizing on the data gathered from consumer interactions. In 2016, Cardlytics began leveraging the wealth of consumer spend data, launching Platform Solutions for retailers and marketers to gain insights on consumer spending behavior and optimize marketing strategies.

Cardlytics demoed its geolocation application at FinovateFall 2013. Scott Grimes is CEO and cofounder.

Financeit Receives New Funding Capacity of $85 Million

Point-of-sale consumer financing company Financeit announced $85 million in new funding capacity this week. The funds are made available to the Canada-based company through a $75 million renewable securitization facility and $10 million warehouse line of credit.

The warehouse line of credit comes from a major Canadian life insurance company. While Financeit declined to name the specific contributor, the company said it is a “major” player in the space. Financeit COO Casper Wong said, “We have a history of managing successful securitization programs, and we’re thrilled to be launching this new partnership.” He added, “We see this as the natural evolution of our growth and a major milestone. The company is a known leader in this space and we’re proud to be working with them.”

Financeit will use the new funds to “execute on its growth strategy.” Since acquiring TD Bank’s home improvement financing assets in September 2016, Financeit has experienced notable growth. The company’s founder Michael Garrity said last December that the deal had “transformed the business” and doubled its loan value and revenue. Because of this success, Garrity went on to state that he is open to considering more acquisitions.

In October 2016, Financeit closed on $17 million in venture funding from the Pritzker Organization and DNS Capital to fund the $339 million purchase of TD Bank’s home improvement financing assets and to fuel the company’s growth. Earlier in 2016, Financeit debuted its direct-to-consumer financing platform, Financeit Direct, which enables consumers to apply for funds via their mobile device. At FinovateFall 2014, Financeit made its U.S. debut in conjunction with FIS.

Stratumn Lands $7.8 Million, Forms Strategic Partnership with NASDAQ

Regtech blockchain startup Stratumn just landed $7.8 million in Series A financing. This sum brings the company’s total funding to just over $8 million when combined with the $670k seed money it received in March of 2016.

The round was led by CNP Ventures, with contributions from Otium Venture, Nasdaq and Digital Currency Group. Stratumn will use the funds to accelerate development by focusing on research, product design, and business development. The company will also address human resources, with a plan to double its 15-person workforce by the end of next year. While Stratumn has already developed 10 projects with NASDAQ, along with a handful of France-based corporations– including CNP Assurances, Allianz France, Thales, Bureau Veritas and Bouygues Immobilier.

Stratum also announced today that it is deepening its collaboration with the Nasdaq via a new, strategic partnership. The co-research and development partnership aims to leverage Proof of Process Technology “to enhance the software solutions and products for the capital markets, particularly in Nasdaq’s Market Technology business and its own enterprise technology unit.”

In a press release, Stratumn CEO Richard Caetano said:

“We are very confident about Stratumn’s development prospects in the upcoming months and years. The successful closing of this round, as well as our investor’s commitment as strategic partners, is rocket fuel which will power the development and launch of Proof of Process Technology.”

Above: Stratumn CEO Richard Caetano presenting at FinDEVr New York 2016

Founded in 2015, Paris-based Stratumn’s Proof of Process technology helps streamline and secure the exchange of data among partners, customers, and regulators by leveraging the blockchain. At FinDEVr New York 2016, Caetano, gave a presentation titled Building and Securing Smart Workflow Using Chainscript and the Stratumn Blockchain Development Platform.

Want to see more fintech aimed at developers? FinDEVr London is happening next week on 12 & 13 June. Register today to save your spot.