Socure Raises $14 Million in New Funding

In a Series B round led by Commerce Ventures, digital identity verification specialist Socure raised $13.9 million in new funding. The investment, which also featured the participation of Flint Capital, Santander InnoVentures, Synchrony Financial, Two Sigma Ventures, and Workbench, takes Socure’s total funding to $27.5 million.

“The funding will help us meet the increasing demand by accelerating market penetration in current and new markets, while maintaining our leadership position in the digital identity verification market,” Socure co-founder and CEO Sunil Madhu said. The capital will also go toward growing the company’s sales and support operations, as well as building out its infrastructure.

Pictured: Socure CEO and co-founder Sunil Madhu demonstrating Perceive at FinovateFall 2015.

Socure’s Predictive Analytics Platform helps companies in a number of verticals improve onboarding of new customers and reduce identity fraud. The company’s technology leverages online and offline data, including data from social networks to discern whether or not a given person has been accurately identified. Socure says its technology has improved customer acceptance rates by more than 35% in new account openings. The company’s solutions have also reduced manual review by 90%, producing low historical false positives and eliminating the reliance on knowledge-based authentication. Socure also supports KYC and AML compliance requirements, providing increased fraud capture of 50%.

Calling identity verification “critical to the success of the next-generation financial services and commerce eco-systems,” Commerce Ventures partner Dan Rosen highlighted Socure’s ability to leverage data to determine identity. “Socure has become a leader in digital identity verification by applying state of the art machine learning technologies to 300-plus identity-relevant data sources,” Rosen said. Mariano Belinky, Santander InnoVentures managing partner, added that Socure’s technology was especially useful for providing financing to thin credit file individuals and those from underbanked communities. “There is enormous potential for tackling the issue of financial inclusion, with the help of Socure,” Belinky said.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, Socure unveiled its remote facial biometrics solution, Perceive, at FinovateFall 2015. Named to CB Insights’ Fintech 250 list in June and Planet Compliance’s RegTech Top 100 Power roster in March, the company offered the first SOC2 2 compliant digital identity verification solution late last year. Socure includes a top five U.S. bank, a top five global money transfer provider and a top ten U.S. card issuer among its customers. The company will demonstrate its latest technology – as well as announce a new partnership – at FinovateFall in September. To see Socure, and the rest of our FinovateFall lineup, register today and save your spot.

$748 Million Raised by 26 Alums in Q2 2017

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Finovate alums raised more than $748 million in the second quarter of 2017. The funding total, which does not include a pair of undisclosed investments for Bitbond and Symbiont, represents one of the highest Q2 fundings for Finovate alums to date (Q2 2015 produced more than $840 million). The second quarter total is more than triple the total funding for alums in the previous quarter, reinforcing the notion that pause in fintech investment over the first few months 2017 has likely passed.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q2 2016: More than $510 million raised by 23 alums
  • Q2 2015: More than $840 million raised by eight alums
  • Q2 2014: More than $458 million raised by eight alums

The biggest equity deal of the second quarter by far was the $225 million equity investment Klarna received from new strategic investor, Brightfolk in June. The capital infusion made Brightfolk a qualified owner of the company (i.e., owned more than 10%) and gave Klarna an estimated valuation of more than $2.25 billion.

Also impressive was the $120 million raised by Kreditech, which represents the largest equity investment in a German fintech so far. The top 10 investments in the second quarter of 2017 totaled $610 million or more than 80% of the quarter’s total alum funding.

Top 10 Equity Investments (equity only)

  1. Klarna: $225 million
  2. Kreditech: $120 million
  3. Signifyd: $56 million
  4. Zopa: $41 million
  5. Blockchain: $40 million
  6. Scalable Capital: $33 million
  7. Fintonic: $28 million
  8. Additiv: $25.5 million
  9. savedroid: $22 million
  10. Crowdflower: $20 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q2 2017.

April 2017: More than $63 million raised by five alums

  • Meniga: $8 million – post
  • Moneytree: $9 million – post
  • Narrative Science: $11 million – post
  • Savedroid: $22 million – post
  • SwipeStox: $13 million – post

May 2017: More than $253 million raised by nine alums

  • Additiv: $25.5 million – post
  • Bitbond: undisclosed – post
  • Kreditech: $120 million – post
  • NetGuardians: $8 million – post
  • Quovo: $10 million – post
  • Signifyd: $56 million – post
  • Symbiont: undisclosed – post
  • Token: $18.5 million – post
  • Vera: $15 million – post

June 2017: More than $432 million raised by 11 alums

  • Blockchain: $40 million – post
  • Cardlytics: $12 million – post
  • Crowdflower: $20 million – post
  • Fintonic: $28 million – post
  • Klarna: $225 million – post
  • Scalable Capital: $33 million – post
  • StockViews: $640,000 – post
  • Stratumn: $7.8 million – post
  • Trusona: $10 million – post
  • Yoyo Wallet: $15 million – post
  • Zopa: $41 million – post

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second quarter of 2017, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at research@finovate.com. We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

StreetShares Raises $10.3 Million for “Shark Tank Meets eBay” Approach to P2P Lending

Alternative lending platform StreetShares raised $10.3 million in a venture round this week. The funds come from an undisclosed investor and bring the Virginia-based company’s total funding to almost $20 million since it was founded in 2013.

StreetShares describes itself as “Shark Tank meets eBay” because it serves as a platform where small business owners pitch their loan requests to the community of StreetShares investor members. Founded by military veterans, StreetShares is focused on offering financing for small businesses run by military veterans and their families, but serves non-veteran- run small businesses, as well. The company offers loans with terms ranging from three to 36 months and lines of credit ranging from $2,000 to $100,000. Investors can lend from $25 to $100,000 in Veteran Business Bonds and earn 5% interest.

Mark Rockefeller (CEO & Co-Founder), Mickey Konson (COO & Co-Founder) demo at FinovateEurope 2015

At FinovateEurope 2015, the company’s CEO and co-founder Mark Rockefeller and COO and co-founder Mickey Konson showcased the StreetShares platform. Last year, the company began leveraging Title IV (Regulation A+) of the JOBS act to allow unaccredited investors to lend to small businesses. It is now one of only a handful of P2P lending platforms open to unaccredited investors.

Kantox Pulls in $6 Million from Existing Investors

Currency and risk management solutions company Kantox recently reeled in $6 million in funding. Business Insider reported on Friday that the U.K.-based company’s CEO and founder Philippe Gelis confirmed the round, which closed at the end of July. This brings Kantox’s total funding to just over $27 million since it was founded in 2011.

Contributing to the round are existing investors Partech Ventures, IDinvest Partners, and Mundi Ventures. In a statement, Gelis told Business Insider, “We have great traction so we did not want to look for new investors (something which is always very time consuming) but wanted to stay focused on the business and product development. We are getting close to becoming profitable.” He added, “We are progressing well and focusing on building sophisticated software solutions for our clients.”

“We built Kantox because we consider that foreign exchange is one of the few financial services for which you do not know how much you pay,” Gelis began the company’s FinovateEurope 2013 demo. The company serves as a marketplace where businesses can buy and sell foreign currencies; offering a low-cost foreign exchange solution that aims to undercut the interbank exchange rate. Since launching in 2011, Kantox has exchanged $4.5 billion for 2,000+ clients in 124 countries working in 35 currencies.. The company, which has offices in London and Barcelona, was recently highlighted in FinTechCity’s FinTech50 list of top European fintechs. Last year, Kantox launched Dynamic Hedging to help companies monitor currency risk in real time and expanded its API out of beta.

Kabbage Collects $250 Million Investment from SoftBank

Online small business lender Kabbage has raised $250 million in funding from Japan’s SoftBank Group. The capital, which takes Kabbage’s total funding to more than $488 million, will be used to support new lending products for small businesses, as well as “explor(ing) non-lending products and services” for its customers. The partnership with SoftBank will also likely help as Kabbage looks to expand beyond North America and Europe to markets in Asia.

Kabbage co-founder and CEO Rob Frohwein praised SoftBank’s “scale, global reach, relationships, and unparalleled expertise in building transformative industry leaders.” He emphasized Kabbage’s goal of using “real-time and persistent access to data” to give small businesses a range of financial services and said the partnership with SoftBank would “accelerate” the process. SoftBank Managing Director David Thevenon added, “We invested in Kabbage because their unique automated lending platform leverages open data networks and best positions them to empower small businesses around the world.”

Kabbage uses data generated from a wide range of business activity to help provide small businesses with the funding they need to grow. The company offers a line of credit of up to $150,000, with six and 12-month terms, and provides funding decisions within minutes. Kabbage loans have no origination fees or prepayment penalties, and funds can be accessed online, using Kabbage’s mobile app, or with the Kabbage Card.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Kabbage demonstrated its Kabbage Card small business line of credit at FinovateSpring 2015. The company was named to CB Insights’ Fintech 250 list in June, and voted one of the best places to work in the U.S. last year, Kabbage surpassed a major milestone in April, topping $3 billion in funding to more than 100,000 small business customers. The company drives automated lending for three of the biggest 50 global banks by asset size: ING, Santander, and Scotiabank, and maintains 1.5 million live connections to customer data.

 

Personal Capital Extends Series E Round by $40 Million

Wealth management company Personal Capital just scored $40 million in additional funding today. The money comes from existing investors as an add-on to the $75 million Series E the company received from IGM Financial in May of 2016.

This brings Personal Capital’s total funding to $215 million since it was founded in 2009 by Bill Harris, former CEO of both Intuit and PayPal. The company, which aims to build a better money management experience for consumers, offers financial tools such as a retirement planner, a portfolio fee analyzer, and a net worth assessment. To differentiate the platform from other wealth management tools, Personal Capital prides itself on offering a high level of personal touch by combining digital advisory technology and human advisors. The company will use the funds to boost product development and marketing, grow its human advisor workforce, bolster offerings for specific customer segments, and expand its offices in San Francisco and Denver.

In the press release, the company disclosed it now has $4.9 billion in AUM, $1.4 billion of which was added in the past 7 months. Over the course of the same time frame, the company’s average client size has grown from $340,000 to $380,000. Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital, said that the funding will help the company “capitalize even further on [its] rapid growth trajectory.”

The San Francisco-based company also announced this week that it has integrated with real estate investment platform PeerStreet. The partnership aims to offer Personal Capital clients a more comprehensive view of their overall net worth. With PeerStreet data loaded into a Personal Capital account, users can track the performance of their crowdfunded real estate portfolios within the same view of the rest of their net worth. Brett Crosby, co-founder and COO of PeerStreet, said that the integration will improve the customer experience and “provide greater control and transparency.”

Personal Capital debuted its One-Click Investment Proposals at FinovateSpring 2014. At FinDEVr Silicon Silicon Valley 2016, the company’s Ehsan Lavassani, Founding Engineer & Chief Engineering Officer, and Ravi Gundlapalli, Director of Frontend Engineering, gave a presentation titled, Data-Driven Account Opening. Personal Capital was recently named in CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List. Earlier this spring, the company appointed Jay Shah as CEO.

Juvo Raises $40 Million in Round Led by NEA, Wing Venture Capital

In a round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Wing Venture Capital, mobile identity scoring specialist Juvo raised $40 million in new funding. The Series B, which featured participation from SignalFire and other existing investors, takes the company’s total funding to $54 million. Juvo will use the funds to drive global expansion, especially in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The additional financing will also help Juvo grow its product offerings for the financially underserved.

“It has been an exciting ride to date, surrounded by passionate people who believe deeply in Juvo’s mission,” company CEO Steve Polsky said. “This new funding will allow Juvo to expand and deepen our product offerings as well as continue to build the best in class teams in data science, financial services, and consumer mobile services.” Managing general partner at NEA  Scott Sandell called Juvo a company that was “helping to shape the innovation economy” and credited the San Francisco-based firm for “addressing a vital global need while providing distinct value to its partners.” Founding partner of Wing Venture Capital Peter Wagner, who will join Juvo’s board of directors as part of the investment and whose firm has been involved with Juvo “since their earliest days”, praised the company’s “potent combination of data, the mobile platform and the cloud to bring the power of identity to massive untapped markets.”

Pictured: CEO and founder Steve Polski demonstrating Juvo Identity Scoring at FinovateFall 2016.

Juvo works by teaming up with mobile phone operators and financial institutions to enable members of underserved communities to build financial identities. The company’s technology uses credit algorithms based on advanced data science to find creditworthy individuals among what Polsky says are the “two billion underbanked people in the world – most of whom have a mobile phone” and to ensure their access to financial services. Juvo has been a beneficial partner, as well, helping its operators lower churn by 50% or more, increase average revenue per user (ARPU) by up to 15%, and realize an average increase in subscriber lifetime value of 65%.

Juvo demonstrated its identity scoring technology at FinovateFall 2016. Headquartered in San Francisco and founded in 2014, Juvo is currently operating in 25 countries on four continents. Named to CB Insight’s Fintech 250 list in June, Juvo added Prosper president Ron Suber as strategic advisor in May and, last fall, the company partnered with Cable & Wireless to bring mobile credit services to customers in the Caribbean.

Symbiont Announces Strategic Investment from Medici Ventures

Two months ago, Symbiont announced an undisclosed strategic investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies. At the time, Symbiont CEO Mark Smith called the investment “a clear vote of confidence” from a “strong partner in Asia.”

Last week we learned that the votes of confidence are still coming in. Blockchain technology investor Medici Ventures has teamed up with Symbiont, providing strategic investment to the company and announcing a collaboration involving both Medici and its parent company Overstock.com. The partnership will enable Medici Ventures to become the first company to register corporate ownership shares using the blockchain.

Pledging to deliver “best-in-class investor transparency,” Jonathan Johnson, President of Medici Ventures and Overstock.com Director, said, “We also anticipate using blockchain to administer Medici Ventures’ fund interests from inception, thereby providing our investors with end-to-end recordkeeping on a blockchain and administration of investor interests using smart contracts.”

Pictured: Adam Krellenstein, Symbiont CTO and co-founder, discussing “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts,” during his presentation at FinDEVr New York 2016.

Symbiont’s Smith highlighted investor interests as a major use case for his company’s technology. “Management of fund interests is a logical extension of Symbiont’s Smart Securities capabilities,” he said, “and we welcome a partner that is equally committed to the principle of ensuring accuracy of shareholder records at all times during a company’s life cycle.”

The issue was explained in more detail by Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne. He called the process of signing over personal ownership of shares received in the IPO process “a Faustian bargain” for entrepreneurs. He praised Delaware for pioneering registration of ownership shares using blockchain technology. “Delaware is giving entrepreneurs a path to retaining direct ownership of their shares after their IPOs, Byrne said. “Thanks to Delaware, accuracy in securities ownership records can be achieved.”

Symbiont’s blockchain-based technology enables easy-to-understand modeling of complex financial instruments and fully digitizing those instruments into a distributed ledger. The company’s Smart Security technology avoids error-prone manual processes and tampering while increasing transparency, reducing risks, and enabling participants to share ledger statuses and updates. The technology also helps companies save on back and middle office costs.

Founded in 2015, Symbiont is based in New York City. The company is an alum of our developer’s conference, having presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.

TickSmith Lands $2 Million Investment from Illuminate Financial

In the Quebec-based company’s first round of funding, data management platform TickSmith announced today it has raised $1.6 million ($2 million CAD) from Illuminate Financial.

TickSmith will use the funds to further commercialize TickVault, its flagship product that works like a financial data lake for capital markets. Based on Hadoop technology, TickVault records, stores, and transforms structured and unstructured financial data by breaking down trade history, exchange and tick data, back office data, news, events, research, and more. In addition to analysis, the TickVault’s data scrubbing is also useful for compliance and risk management teams.

TickSmith’s TickVault data flow diagram

Francis Wenzel, CEO and co-founder of TickSmith, said, “Market participants recognize the competitive advantage that can be gained from a next generation capital markets data lake, not just in Europe and North America, but increasingly on a global basis.” Wenzel added, “As venture capital specialists within the capital markets technology space, Illuminate Financial are well positioned to help us further develop our flagship product, TickVault, as we continue to build an international client base.”

Founded in 2012, TickSmith presented TickVault and FIXVault at FinovateFall 2014. The company recently introduced a new performance-tracking module, Marketplace Advanced Insights, that gives market participants a better idea of how they are performing and how their peers are behaving. TickSmith partnered with CME Group in October of last year to provide the derivatives marketplace with access to historical data. The company also counts National Bank of Canada as a client.

DoubleNet Pay Garners $4 Million Investment

Financial wellness company DoubleNet Pay closed $4 million in Seed funding today. The investment, which marks the Atlanta-based company’s first round of funding since it was founded in 2013, comes from TTV Capital and Fuqua Investments.

The 12-person company will use the funds to boost product development and bolster sales. To help fuel this growth, the company hopes to add up to 40 employees in the next year.

DoubleNet Pay aims to help the half of U.S. workers who do not have $500 saved for an emergency. With DoubleNet Pay, users build their savings by automatically deducting funds from their paycheck and depositing them into a savings account from which the funds can be withdrawn at any time. The platform is helping users save an average of $37 per pay period. DoubleNet Pay CEO Brian Cosgray said, “We automate emergency savings contributions on payday, similar to how 401(k) accounts are funded, or payroll taxes and health insurance premiums are paid.”

The company takes a B2B approach by selling its software to businesses to offer to their employees as a workplace benefit. “We found that employers are the best way to reach the people that need our help the most,” Cosgray said. “Most people’s only investment account is through the employer through their retirement plan.”

At FinovateSpring 2015, the company showcased its savings empowerment platform. In 2016, the company earned a spot in Plug&Play’s accelerator program. Earlier that year, DoubleNet Pay’s CEO Brian Cosgray was selected as an EBN Top 50 Benefit Technology Innovator.