Roostify Lands $25 Million to Disrupt the Mortgage Industry

Mortgagetech startup Roostify raised $25 million to further its quest to improve the mortgage industry today. The Series B round comes from new investors Cota Capital, Point72 Ventures, and Santander Innoventures, and existing investors JPMorgan Chase, Colchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAA.

The funding brings Roostify’s total raised to $33 million. The California-based company will use the funds to deepen its presence in the enterprise space, implement product enhancements, and expand into new markets.

Rajesh Bhat, co-founder and CEO of Roostify said that when the company launched four years ago, having a digital strategy was simply an ambition for lenders. Today, digitizing the mortgage process has evolved into a business imperative. “Lenders now realize the value of providing consumers with a transparent, mobile, and seamless experience to obtain a loan without needless stress-inducing delays and red tape. We have developed a solution that allows lenders of all sizes to give their teams a tool to digitally engage with clients and to bring the loan origination experience to the consumer,” Bhat added.

Originally launched as a way to create efficiencies by digitizing the traditionally paper-bound processes, Roostify has evolved into an enterprise scale platform aimed to help U.S. lenders accelerate, simplify, and reduce costs associated with the mortgage origination process. Leveraging its cloud-based API solution, lenders help clients with the entire mortgage process– from searching for the loan to close– via a fully-digital, branded experience. Bobby Yazdani, Cota Capital’s Managing Partner, said his team was “immensely impressed with what Roostify has accomplished in the last four years,” He added,“Roostify has evolved not only their own offering and product focus, but the market as a whole, helping the lending industry transform itself for the digital age.”

Roostify presented at FinovateSpring 2016 where the company demoed account aggregation capabilities for asset verification, as well as integrations with TurboTax and Equifax. Since then, the company has teamed up with Chase to power the bank’s self-service mortgage application process. Last month, Roostify launched an integration with LendingTree that blends LendingTree’s aggregation technology with Roostify’s mortgage digitization. For more on the mortgagetech sector, check out our industry overview.

Payworks Completes $14.5 Million Series B Round

Point of sale (POS) technology company Payworks has reeled in its second round of funding. The Germany-based company closed a $14.5 million round from CommerzVentures and Visa, with contributions from existing investors Speedinvest and Finparx. Today’s financing brings Payworks’ total funding to $19 million.

Explaining the firm’s reasoning behind the funding, Stefan Tirtey, Managing Partner of CommerzVentures said that it “invests in founders with a passion for innovation and proven ability to execute.” He added, “We back businesses that can have a significant impact on the financial services industry. We believe that Payworks has both, a great team, and an offering that can have real impact in the fast-changing world of card payments.”

Payworks will use today’s financing to fulfill demand for its solutions and fuel global growth, scale operations, and focus on increasing R&D and product teams across its offices in Munich, New York, London, and Barcelona. In the press release, Christian Deger, Payworks founder and CEO said, “We are on a great mission to build a new operating system for the Point of Sale and are very excited to have CommerzVentures and Visa join us on that journey. With the additional funding we are fully equipped to further develop our technology and product and support the demand coming from leading payment players looking to modernize their solutions.”

Founded in 2012, Payworks focuses on POS technology. The company’s payment gateway technology, Pulse, is a set of SDKs and APIs that remotely update card readers and set up in a couple of minutes to make developers and their merchants EMV certified, PCI compliant and P2PE ready. The company’s partners include First Data, TSYS, Stripe, and American Express. Additional products include Accept, a white-label mPOS solution for merchants, and Engage, a customer data and CRM platform.

At FinovateEurope 2015, the company’s CEO Christian Deger demonstrated how Payworks builds payment solutions and checkout options. Late last year, the company extended its partnership with Verifone, integrating the Verifone e355 mPOS and the VX 820 onto the Payworks platform.

Payfone Receives $23 Million in Funding from Synchrony Financial

Digital identity authentication company, Payfone raised $23 million today. This Series F round brings the company’s total funding to $93.6 million.

Payfone will use the financing to expand its user experience by enhancing security services in retail, insurance, and healthcare. The round was led by an institutional investor with participation from Synchrony Financial, MassMutual Ventures, as well as individual investors Anil Aggarwal, Jonathan Weiner, and Andrew Prozes.

In a press release, Rodger Desai, founder and CEO of Payfone explained that consumers will increasingly expect that transactions are mobile-first, secure, and fast. He added, “The days of using quizzes, questions and one-time codes to verify identity are numbered. Payfone is ushering in a new world where authentication is instant, passive and continuous using the most advanced cybersecurity. Our mission is to help clients across the financial, retail, insurance, healthcare, and technology industries use authentication to not only thwart fraud but drive revenue.”

Payfone, which was founded in 2008 as a mobile payments company, demoed 1-Touch Checkout at FinovateFall 2012. The New York-based company has since pivoted to focus on authentication solutions.

Among Payfone’s product offerings are Instant Authentication for Mobile, a frictionless two-factor authentication solution, and Instant Authentication for Voice, an API that uses the caller’s phone number to authenticate them. The company also offers a Trust Score that provides a measurement of the reliability and risk of each mobile device.

Managing director at MassMutual Ventures, Eric Emmons, said, “Payfone enables service providers across the financial, retail, insurance, healthcare and technology sectors to offer a frictionless mobile and online experience to their customers, which substantially improves conversion rates and dramatically reduces the cost of call center operations.”

Payfone, whose technologies are currently used by six of the top 10 U.S. banks, processes millions of signals per day to authenticate and score transactions; the company currently authenticates 10 million transactions per day. Earlier this year, Payfone partnered with O2, a U.K.-based mobile network operator, in an effort to protect mobile users from digital fraud. Last spring, the company announced it would power mobile ID authentication for Zelle.

Stash Raises $37.5 Million, Launches Custodial Accounts

Mobile-first financial platform Stash  closed $37.5 million in funding today to help Americans rethink how they invest and save. Union Square Ventures led the Series D round, with contributions also coming from existing investors Breyer Capital, Coatue Management, Entree Capital, Goodwater Capital, and Valar Ventures.

“Through customer focus and a data-driven mindset, Stash has been able to create a powerful consumer brand, with unprecedented growth, on its journey to fix the inequities plaguing financial opportunity across the U.S. We’re excited to join them on this mission to shake up the status quo,” said Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures.

Stash’s Smart-Save

Today’s round brings Stash’s total funding received in its three-year history to $116.3 million. After last October’s $40 million round, Business Insider estimated the company’s value at $240 million. The New York-based company will use the funds to support the launch of its newest batch of products, including Custodial Accounts, which will be rolling out this week. Custodial Accounts will allow Stash clients to open new accounts for minors to give them a head start on their finances.

Additional new features include Smart-Save (pictured right) and Stash Coach. Smart-Save studies a user’s spending habits and uses an algorithm to determine where they have spare cash, then moves a portion of that amount into a savings account, from which clients can withdraw at any time for free. Stash Coach provides financial recommendations and challenges, while providing guidance and support for accomplishments.

“Stash’s goal since day one has been to help the masses of underserved Americans jump start their journey towards building a healthy and prosperous future,” said Brandon Krieg, co-founder and CEO of Stash. “Through intelligent products and an emphasis on education, we’ve been able to meaningfully improve the financial lives of nearly two million clients. We’re proud of what our customers have accomplished, but we’re even more excited for what’s ahead.”

Stash currently serves over 1.7 million clients on its investing platform, which allows users to choose from a selection of over 40 curated ETFs, and is showing strong growth– approximately 40,000 new clients join its investing platform weekly. The company counts 5 million subscribers to Stash Learn, a financial education content newsletter.

The company’s mobile investing platform doesn’t collect add-on commissions or trading fees, and charges $1 per month for accounts under $5,000. Users with portfolios over that threshold pay 0.25% per year. For all accounts, Stash has lowered the overdraft fee to $0.50 for returned deposits. This is significantly lower than the $35 average overdraft fee that traditional banks charge.

Krieg debuted Stash Retire at FinovateFall 2017. In November of last year, KPMG and H2 Ventures named the company on its 2017 Fintech 100 list. The month prior, Stash announced plans to expand its platform from investing to a more robust banking service. This is part of the rebundling of fintech trend that many analysts predicted would dominate 2018.

Trunomi Closes $3.5 Million Round from CloudScale Capital

Consumer consent and data rights company Trunomi closed a $3.5 million round of funding today. This investment brings the Bermuda-based company’s total funding to $10.5 million.

Trunomi will use the funds to manage demand for its technologies and to continue its global expansion. And with the E.U. GDPR deadline coming up, the company will likely see a boost in banks and companies vying for its services, which helps businesses request, receive, and capture customer consent to the use of their personal data.

“Customer data rights and privacy are quickly becoming major issues of concern for companies, especially financial institutions, due to new regulations such as EU GDPR, U.K. Open Banking and marketing opportunities,” said Kim Perdikou, CloudScale Partner. “Trunomi enables businesses to comply with these new regulations by demonstrating compliance and accountability in customer data use and immutably proving the legal basis of processing. With Trunomi, businesses can empower their customers with control and transparency in how their data is used and turn regulation from a burden into a competitive advantage.”

“We are thrilled that CloudScale Capital Partners are part of this financing,” said Trunomi CEO Stuart Lacey. “CloudScale brings significant strength to our investor base, and its partners bring with them a wealth of industry connections with the largest players in the global customer and data markets.”

Founded in 2013, Trunomi has offices in Bermuda, Dublin, the U.K., and Silicon Valley. At FinovateEurope 2015 in London, Lacey launched TruMobile, a customer-focused “consent engine” that creates privacy policies to allow the sharing of consumer PII data across platforms. Last March, Trunomi was named to the RegTech top 100 power list. In December of 2016, the company began collaborating with FIS on the E.U. data protection rules.

Ohpen Raises $31 Million to Support Global Expansion

Cloud-based core banking technology innovator Ohpen has just sealed a Series C round led by private equity firm Amerborgh that will bring an additional $31 million (€25 million) in funding to the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based fintech. The company said that the investment will help it prepare for expansion into new markets, including the addition of a third headquarters in Germany, France, Canada, Australia, or the United States. The financing takes Ohpen’s total capital raised to $50 million (€40 million), and adds to a $17 million Series B investment the company secured from Amerborgh in July of last year.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” Ohpen founder and CEO Chris Zadeh said. “Ohpen is changing the core banking software industry, advocating a totally digital solution that is based on one version of the platform for all clients and countries.” He added, “This has never been done before; it requires creativity, commitment and also the necessary capital to implement our vision.”

Calling Ohpen’s core banking technology “the future of the core banking industry,” Amerborgh Nederland MD Michel Vrolijk emphasized the company’s ability to turn ideas into action. Vrolijk said the fintech’s ability to execute was “unparalleled” and added that expansion will be a key next step for the company. “Launching the third country is crucial for Ohpen’s strategy and Amerborgh is thrilled to support them at this decisive point in their growth story.”

Founded in 2009, Ohpen demonstrated its core banking platform at FinovateFall 2012. The company sees itself as part of the solution for financial services companies riddled with outdated legacy banking technology. Its core banking engine provides both BPO services and SaaS solutions to banks, insurance companies, and asset managers.  With more than 150 employees, the company has offices in the Netherlands, the U.K., and Spain.

Last November, Ohpen announced that De Volksbank, a retail and small business bank in the Netherlands had migrated more than 120,000 investment accounts to Ohpen’s platform. This followed a July partnership with multinational financial giant, Aegon through which the two firms will develop a new platform to support “the full scope of Aegon’s services in the Netherlands.”

Behalf Lands Equity Funding and Secures $150 Million in Debt Financing

Alternative lending startup Behalf just received more fuel to help power small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The New York-based company received $150 million in debt financing and an undisclosed amount of equity funding this week.

The debt round was led by a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management, with previous investor Viola Credit also participating. Both investors also contributed to Behalf’s equity round; the company’s equity funds now total more than $156 million.

Benjy Feinberg, founder and CEO of Behalf said that the funding is a significant step forward that will allow Behalf  to “expand our fast-growing e-commerce B2B financing platform and enhance our ability to provide the best business terms to customers, in a fraction of the time of a traditional business lender.”

Behalf extends short-term purchase financing to underserved SMBs by using technology and big data to assess the creditworthiness of the business and its owner. Unlike other alternative SMB lenders such as Kabbage or OnDeck, Behalf does not issue funds directly to the SMB. Instead, the startup pays the small business’ vendors on the SMB’s behalf (hence the name Behalf). Having flexibility in repaying their suppliers helps merchants increase their production and ultimately grow their business.

Uri Galai, partner at Viola Credit said Behalf’s technology “will change the landscape of business lending.” He added, “Behalf understands that the buyer-seller relationship has changed, and is providing an unparalleled solution to the increased demands from vendors and their customers seeking financing.”

Feinberg showcased Behalf’s vendor payment platform at FinovateFall 2014. Since it was founded in 2012, the company tripled its revenue and now counts Lenovo, Best Buy and PCM in its network of accepting partners. Last year, the company partnered with Utah-based FinWise Bank to offer SMBs a broader range of financing solutions.

Finect Raises Capital as BME Takes Minority Stake

Spanish fintech Finect announced today that Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has acquired a 9.7% stake in the company in a transaction valued at “lower than one million euros.”

Finect provides a social trading community for investors to communicate with and learn from financial professionals. Nearly two million users take advantage of Finect’s solutions, including its financial aggregator for portfolio tracking, interactive “pildoras” to respond to specific user questions, and a knowledgeable community of both private and professional investors.

“The transaction is a milestone in our mission to assist investors in their financial decisions,” Finect CEO Antonio Botas said. “BME will bring us experience and leadership, both financial and technological, which are of great help towards our goal of improving the finances of investors.”

BME CEO Javier Hernani added, “This investment and the alliance with Finect is another step forward in the company’s diversification policy and growth of the business’ technological area. The objective of BME is to offer its clients and investors a wide range of services and products so that they can compete in the complex financial and digital environment in which they operate.”

BME’s investment comes amid a major digitalization initiative for the Spanish stock market operator, which is moving to increase the role of technological consultancy services among its offerings. BME integrated its IT, consulting, regulation, and innovation value-added services into BME Inntech last year, as part of this process.

With origins as a social network for financial advisors, asset managers, and their clients, Finect was launched by founder Nicolas Oriol in Spain in 2008 and in the U.S. in 2012. The company demonstrated its Global Library and Pros on Products solutions at FinovateFall 2013. Global Library facilitates content sharing between financial advisors and their customers. Pros on Products makes it easy for financial professionals to track investment products on the Finect platform, along with peer opinions, real time news, and social media. We highlighted the company in our RegTech Reality Check back in October 2016.

nCino Reels in Investment from Salesforce Ventures

The amount of the funding was undisclosed. But cloud-based banking innovator nCino has just picked up a fresh infusion of capital courtesy of a round led by Salesforce Ventures. The investment adds to the company’s known total capital of more than $81 million, which includes a $17 million private equity round back in August.

“From day one, our vision has been to be the worldwide leader in cloud banking,” nCino CEO Pierre Naude said. “We are successfully executing on that vision and empowering financial institutions around the globe to grow their business and better serve their customers. Our strong alignment with Salesforce has been a key factor in our growth and success.”

nCino will use the funds to help drive its global expansion, as well as speed innovation on its Bank Operating System technology. The solution is built on the Salesforce platform and is integrated with Salesforce Financial Services Cloud. nCino has been a Salesforce partner since it was founded in 2012.

SVP and GM of Financial Services for Salesforce, Rohit Mahna highlighted the long-term relationship between the two companies. “nCino extends the power of the Salesforce platform, enabling banks to get closer to their customers than ever before,” Mahna said. “The investment from Salesforce Ventures is the latest evolution in our strong partnership, and we’re thrilled to help fuel nCino’s global growth and innovation.”

The company’s Bank Operating System integrates with core banking and transactional systems. The technology combines CRM, deposit account opening, loan origination, workflow, enterprise content management, digital engagement, and real-time reporting to enable financial institutions to provide the kind of personalized, streamlined experience customers and bank employees alike have come to expect. nCino notes that on average its client institutions have experienced:

  • 17% reduction in operating costs
  • 19% increase in loan volume
  • 22% increase in staff efficiency
  • 34% decrease in loan closing time
  • 54% reduction in policy exceptions

nCino demonstrated its Bank Operating System at FinovateEurope 2017. Headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, the company began the year with a major new partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in the world with more than $87 billion in assets, more than seven million members, and 300 branches. 2017 was a big year for nCino, with deployments of its Bank Operating System announced with CFCU Community Credit Union in DecemberIberiabank in November, and Pacific Western Bank in August – to name just a few recent wins. The cumulative result was that nCino ended the year with 10 of the 30 largest U.S. banks by asset size as customers and 180 financial clients around the world.

London-based Lender EZBOB Raises $21 Million in New Funding

Small business online lender EZBOB has raised $21 million in new funding (£15 million) courtesy of an investment from Moscow-based PE firm Da Vinci Capital Management. The funding puts the company’s total capital at more than $146 million (£103 million).

Founded in 2011, EZBOB demonstrated its lending platform at FinovateEurope 2014. The company provides small and medium-sized businesses with up to £120,000 in financing in minutes. There are no pre-payment penalties, and borrowers are offered a flexible repayment schedule of up to 24 months and an APR as low as 18%.

What will EZBOB do with the additional financing? Some clues hinted at in a Forbes interview with EZBOB co-founder and CEO Tomer Guriel from last summer suggest that new products (“such as a consumer lending platform and a mortgage platform”) may be in the offering. The idea is to model any new lending product after the company’s current SME lending platform.

So it was no surprise that when asked by interviewer Omri Barzilay what EZBOB’s advantage is in the SME lending space, Guriel answered “technology” and discussed the company’s commitment to improving the customer experience. But he segued quickly to the “fin” part of “fintech,” adding that:

“Our advantage is that we are solely focused on digital lending solutions. We live and breathe the lending space. Lending is at the heart of the bank’s business and our experience in lending has given us phenomenal insight into what works for a customer and from a lender perspective.”

So far, so good. EZBOB ended 2017 winning “Best Technology Initiative” from the Financial Innovation Awards. In November, Yorkshire Bank said that it would deploy technology from EZBOB to speed the loan application process from two weeks to less than 24 hours. Back in August, the company announced that it would extend its contract with AU10TIX for ID authentication and automating customer onboarding. The Royal Bank of Scotland has also used EZBOB’s technology to launch its automated lending platform, Esme.