FinDEVr New York Alum NYMBUS Announces $16 Million in New Funding

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In a round led by Home Credit Group, core banking technology innovator NYMBUS raised $16 million in new capital. The funds build on the $12 million the FinDEVr/Finovate alum raised in the second half of last year, bringing its total capital to $28 million.

NYMBUS executive chairman Scott Killoh pointed to reliance on outmoded legacy core technology as holding back many institutions in the financial services industry. Because of this, he said “tens of thousands of banks and credit unions are not capitalizing on strategic growth opportunities.” The investment from Home Credit Group will help NYMBUS provide FIs with the modular, third-party friendly core banking technology that will enable them to keep pace with the demands of their customers. NYMBUS President David Mitchell called it “helping … implement digital-first strategies in order to drive customer growth and competitive differentiation.”

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Pictured: NYMBUS President David Mitchell during his presentation “NYMBUS: The Next Evolution in Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, NYMBUS presented “The Next Evolution of Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York last year, during which Mitchell explained why the company decided to focus on core processing technology. “If I asked who in this audience has a pager or a Walkman,” Mitchell told the attendees at last year’s event, “not too many people are going to raise their hands. “But community banks right now are on 30-year old, 20-year old technology,” he said. “(It’s) the oldest technology in the world. It’s been lipstick on a pig, mainframes, green screens for 20 or 30 years.”

NYMBUS, in contrast provides an advanced, core processing platform, SmartCore, with a wide variety of APIs, customizable UI, a conversion layer, and an ecosystem of banking apps. The platform keeps all critical banking functions in a single system with a single sign-on and data set. Home Credit International Group Head of Special Projects Miroslav Boublik called NYMBUS “best positioned to stand at the core” of the disruption of the traditional banking model today. “NYMBUS’ technology is both many years ahead of traditional banking system vendors and most viable among emerging (fintech) providers,” Boublik said.

Earlier this month we shared news of the company’s partnership with California’s Kaiperm Diablo FCU to deploy its core banking technology, SmartCore. Kaiperm Diablo’s announcement comes just a few months after Pennsylvania-based CHROME Federal Credit Union reported that it would use SmartCore as part of its goal of transitioning to a digital-first credit union. NYMBUS has also been an active acquirer, buying Sharp BancSystems, KMR, and R.C. Olmstead in the summer of 2016. Also a veteran of Finovate, the company demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2016.

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

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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.”

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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.

PayPal Acquires TIO Networks in $230 Million Deal

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In a cash deal valued at $233 million ($304 million CAD), PayPal Holdings has agreed to acquire Canada’s TIO Networks. PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman praised the way the company’s combination of digital platform and physical, in person locations made billpay “simpler, faster, and more affordable” – particularly for the underbanked. TIONetworks_HamedShahbaziChairman and CEO of TIO Networks, Hamed Shahbazi (pictured), emphasized this point as well. “We founded TIO to make speed and access part of the bill payment experience for the underserved, and we believe that we have created affordable products to serve the needs of all customers,” Shahbazi said.

TIO Networks will continue to operate as a service within PayPal after the acquisition, which is still pending shareholder approval. The purchase price of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company, which made its Finovate debut in 2012, represented a premium of more than 25% of its recent share price. PayPal anticipates completing the acquisition in the second half of 2017.

Among the strategic benefits of the acquisition, according to PayPal, is the addition of 14 million consumer bill pay accounts with an estimated 60 million transactions processed as of TIO’s fiscal 2016. In addition, TIO Networks:

  • Processes more than $9 billion in bill payments a year
  • Accepts payments at more than 70,000 locations nationally
  • Provides access to more than 10,000 billers in network
  • Serves a wide variety of verticals including:
    • financial services companies
    • wireless carriers
    • insurance companies
    • app developers
    • national and local retail chains
    • general loan providers

TIO Networks was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company demonstrated TIO MobilePay at FinovateSpring 2012. Five-year revenue growth of 125% helped TIO Networks make Canada’s 2016 PROFIT 500 list last fall, and in May, the company rebranded its consumer-facing acquisition, Chargestmart from 2014, as TIO.com. One of the top two tech companies in the 2016 TSX Venture 50, TIO was named by the Canadian Innovation Exchange as one of Canada’s 20 “hottest most innovative” public tech companies.

AutoGravity Earns Multi-Million Euro Investment from Daimler

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AutoGravity, one of FinovateFall’s Best of Show winners, picked up a major, “double-digit million euro investment” from Daimler Financial Services. The funding adds to the $50 million AutoGravity has raised since its founding in the fall of 2015, and comes as the company’s nationwide rollout reaches 46 states in the U.S.

Bodo Uebber, member of Daimler AG’s board of management, said the investment in AutoGravity was a “strategic step” in opening digital sales channels in leasing and financing. “We believe AutoGravity and its technology have the potential to revolutionize the sector for online financing while, at the same time, offering a digital platform for other financial services providers and automotive manufacturers,” Uebber said. Daimler Financial Services board chairman Klaus Entenmann called AutoGravity “a new star rising in the digital world.”

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Pictured: AutoGravity CMO Serge Vartanov demonstrating the company’s auto financing solution at FinovateFall 2016.

Quoted in AutoFinanceNews, AutoGravity Chief Marketing Officer Serge Vartanov added that the investment from Daimler was a major show of confidence in the company’s platform and potential for growth. “That Daimler has recognized the technology and sees the potential in transforming that shopping and financing experience for the consumer,” Vartanov said, “I think is a really good validation of what we’ve been building.” He added that because AutoGravity is lender-agnostic, Daimler’s investment in the technology will benefit not just its loan originations at its own Mercedez-Benz Financial Services, but will help auto lending more broadly, as well.

AutoGravity’s mobile app gives prospective new and used car buyers and leasers the ability to search for vehicles, complete credit applications, and get up to four personalized financing offers. With more than 150,000 downloads, the free app is available in iOS and Android. Read more about AutoGravity in our profile from earlier this year.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Irvine, California, AutoGravity won Best of Show at its Finovate debut last September at FinovateFall 2016. In November, the company announced that its technology would power the digital auto sales and finance app from Fletcher Jones Motorcars. AutoGravity’s app was listed by Forbes in September as one of the “best new personal finance apps and sites.” Andy Hinrichs is CEO.

Rippleshot Racks Up $2.6 Million in Second Seed Round

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Chicago-based anti-fraud, transaction monitoring specialist Rippleshot has raised an additional $2.6 million in seed funding. The investment, led by the venture capital arm of CUNA Mutual Group, CMFG Ventures, takes the company’s total funding to $4.6 million. Rippleshot will use the additional capital to add technical talent, specifically developers and data scientists, and will leverage its relationship with CMFG to market its solutions to 9,000 of CMFG’s affiliated credit unions.

Rippleshot co-founder and CEO Canh Tran said that the funding comes as his company finds itself “in a unique place to help bridge the fraud detection gap between issuers and merchants.” Rippleshot’s technology enables card issuers to catch card data breaches early, track trends in compromised card activity to identify future vulnerabilities, reissue new cards to customers whose cards have been compromised, and issue real-time declines to limit losses. Rippleshot’s cloud-based technology monitors millions of credit card transactions a day and the company says it can prevent “more than half of the fraudulent spend from compromised cards.”

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Pictured: Rippleshot Chief Scientist and Co-Founder Randal Cox demonstrating Rippleshot’s platform at FinovateFall 2014.

In addition to the funding from CMFG, Rippleshot announced that emerging payments specialist – and former PYMNTS.com president – Gloria Colgan will join the company’s advisory board. Tran said that Colgan’s presence on Rippleshot’s board “will be invaluable as we take the next step in growing our footprint.” Colgan was managing director for Market Platform Dynamics and an SVP at both Discover Financial Services and JP Morgan Chase.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Rippleshot demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2014. Last fall, the company was recognized by H2 Ventures and KPMG as one of its “50 Emerging Stars.” And last June, Rippleshot’s card-compromise detection solution, Sonar, was endorsed by the American Bankers Association. A graduate of the SixThirty accelerator program, Rippleshot was a finalist in BBVA’s Open Talent Competition.

$700 Million Raised by 26 Alums in Q4 2016

Finovate/FinDEVr alums raised more than $700 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Total fourth quarter investment in Q4 2016 was more than double last year’s Q4 total, and represented a gain of more than 40% over the previous quarter’s total.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q4 2016: More than $700 million raised by 26 alums
  • Q4 2015: More than $302 million raised by 28 alums
  • Q4 2014: More than $1.4 billion raised by 26 alums
  • Q4 2013: More than $294 million raised by 17 alums

The biggest equity deal of the final quarter of 2016 was $180 million raised by Payoneer in October. Also worthy of note was the $115 million raised by PaySimple, and the $80 million raised by NuBank. For the fourth quarter of 2016, the top 10 overall investments totaled $593 million or more than 84% of the total alum funding for the quarter.

Top 10 Overall Investments (equity only)

  1. Payoneer: $180 million
  2. PaySimple: $115 million
  3. NuBank: $80 million
  4. BlueVine: $49 million
  5. Finicity: $42 million
  6. Nutmeg: $37 million
  7. Quantopian: $25 million
  8. Personal Capital: $25 million
  9. Lendio: $20 million
  10. SecureKey: $20 million

These Q4 numbers for Finovate/FinDEVr alums suggests that the pace of investment in fintech innovation remains robust. With a $700 million Q4, the total investment in our alums for 2016 is more than $2.3 billion. This compares to a $3 billion 2015, a $2.2 billion 2014, and a $825 million 2013.

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q4 2016.

October 2016: More than $371 million raised by eight alums

  • Aire: $2 million – post
  • DeMystData: $7 million – post
  • FinanceIt: $17 million – post
  • Lendio: $20 million – post
  • Nanopay: $10 million – post
  • Payoneer: $180 million – post
  • PaySimple: $115 million – post
  • SecureKey: $20 million – post

November 2016: More than $97 million raised by eight alums

  • Finagraph: $5 million – post
  • figo: $7 million – post
  • Five Degrees: $10 million – post
  • Nutmeg: $37 million – post
  • P2Binvestor: $7. 7 million – post
  • Sezzle: $1.85 million – post
  • TrueLink Financial: $3.6 million – post
  • Quantopian: $25 million – post

December 2016: More than $235 million raised by eleven alums

  • BlueVine: $49 million – post
  • Finicity: $42 million – post
  • Hip Pocket: $150,000 – post
  • Kreditech: $10.4 million – post
  • NuBank: $80 million – post
  • Nutmeg: $14.6 million – post
  • Personal Capital: $25 million – post
  • Socure: $13 million – post
  • Tradeshift: undisclosed – post
  • Walletron: undisclosed – post
  • Zighra: $1 million – post

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second quarter of 2016, 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.

Dwolla Raises Capital, Relaunches Access API

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Writing at the Dwolla blog, company founder and CEO Ben Milne expressed how important the goal of “building the ideal API to move money” was to him and his company. Calling this “part of our DNA,” Milne wrote that the new opportunities Dwolla’s technology has created have “come with growth and the need to finance it.”

And finance it Dwolla has. The company picked up $6.85 million in new funding in a round led by Union Square Ventures and Foundry Group. Milne wrote that the investment will be used to expand Dwolla’s sales and account management operations in Des Moines, Iowa. The round featured participation from Detroit Venture Partners, Firebrand Ventures, High Alpha, Ludlow Ventures, and Next Level Ventures, and brings Dwolla’s total capital to just over $39 million. Firebrand Ventures founder John Fein was quoted in the Kansas City Star crediting Dwolla for rekindling his interest in supporting fledgling technology companies.

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Pictured: Dwolla Director of Communications and Policy Affairs Jordan Lampe demonstrating FiSync at FinovateSpring 2015.

Milne also announced his company’s API Suite, Access API, will now contain all of Dwolla’s white label solutions. “Nothing changes for current customers,” he noted, “but additional features will be rolled into the Access API to make building software that connects to the banking infrastructure easier.” These features, according to TechCrunch, include same-day transfer and a new dashboard for managing transactions. Fortune.com notes that Access API “has attracted more than 100 customers in its first year.”

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Dwolla demonstrated its FiSync technology at FinovateSpring 2015. The company partnered with open source subscription billing and payments platform, Kill Bill, last October and, in August, introduced a new dashboard and administrative interface for its white-label partners. Dwolla added more FIs to its instant account-verification flow back in May.

Investment from Rakuten Boosts Kreditech’s Total Capital By More than $10 Million

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Germany consumer finance innovator Kreditech has just picked up a $10.4 million (€10 million) investment from Japan’s Rakuten. The new funds, which will be used to develop Kreditech’s partnership business, take the company’s total capital to more than $160 million. According to TechCrunch, the investment gives Kreditech a valuation of $313 million (€300 million).

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Kreditech founder and CEO Alexander Grabner-Müller emphasized how the capital will help drive the company’s partnership business. He also praised Rakuten’s investment in his company’s “mission to improve financial freedom for the underbanked through technology.” Kreditech CFO Rene Griemens added that Rakuten’s “strong market position in Asia” could be a “door opener” for the company which already has a presence in Russia, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Mexico, as well as its home country of Germany.

Kreditech is not the only fintech, nor the only Finovate alum, that Rakuten has invested in. The firm invested $15 million in Azimo this spring, and contributed to Currency Cloud’s $18 million Series C round last summer. Speaking of Kreditech, Rakuten Fintech Fund managing partner Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel highlighted the company’s “distinctive big-data-driven credit model and tech expertise” and complimented Kreditech’s “unique model of individual empowerment through access to credit.”

Founded in 2012, Kreditech demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2014. The company’s solutions leverage non-traditional data and machine learning to provide financing options such as loans, PFM, and digital wallets to underbanked communities. In October, Kreditech was named to the 2016 Fintech 100 sponsored by H2 Ventures and KPMG—the same month the company announced that former mBank veteran Michal Panowicz was joining it as chief product and information officer. Kreditech launched its online POS financing solution, Monedo Now, in June, providing online consumers with instant financing of as much as $5,500.

Socure Raises $13 Million In New Capital

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In a round led by Flint Capital, digital identity verification technology specialist Socure has raised $13 million in funding. Featuring participation from ff Venture Capital, Santander InnoVentures, and Two Sigma Ventures, this week’s investment takes Socure’s total financing to more than $17 million.

“Security, compliance, and fraud prevention are key issues for investors, consumers, regulators, and employees in the financial services industry,” Socure CEO and co-founder Sunil Madhu said. “As a year when major breaches made headline news now draws to a close, we are thrilled to be able to provide them with a technologically advanced and proven solution.” The company says it will use the funding to fuel innovation on its platform and scale operations—including Socure’s 300% growth in 2016.

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Sunil Madhu, Socure CEO and co-founder, demonstrated Perceive at FinovateFall 2015 in New York.

Socure specializes in providing identity verification for unbanked/underbanked, thin-file customers, making the solution ideal for younger populations as well as for those in developing regions. Sergey Gribov, a partner at Flint Capital, in his praise of Socure, says the firm “supplements market deficiencies in which current identity verification solutions fall short—including millennials, who largely avoid the use of credit, or [for those] abroad, where credit systems don’t exist at all.” Socure provides a suite of RESTful APIs delivering over a secure, scalable cloud-based system that operates in real-time. Stash CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg called the technology “a key element in our identity verification stack.” He added, “Socure … has enabled us to substantially increase acceptance of new customers.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, Socure develops online identity-verification solutions. The company’s Social Biometrics Platform is designed to provide ID verification and increased acceptance rates by leveraging both social behavior data from major social networks as well as online and offline GLB and DLPA data. Socure demonstrated Perceive, its remote facial biometrics solution at FinovateFall 2015. Last month, Socure unveiled a “momentous redesign” of its digital ID verification solution, and in May, the company announced expanded coverage for KYC, CDD, CIP, and AML compliance.

Finicity Scores $42 Million Series B in Round Led by Experian

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Real-time financial data-aggregation provider Finicity will use $42 million in new capital to drive new product development, especially financial management and payment solutions for the credit decisioning market. The Series B round was led by Experian (F12), included a venture debt facility from Bridge Bank, and featured participation from Finicity’s existing investors.

Finicity CEO and co-founder Steve Smith said the funding represented a belief in his company’s vision of transforming the financial data services market. “The emergence of the open financial web, and our ability to access and analyze account data, is enabling new thinking in financial services,” Smith said. “This will improve existing processes and lead to better financial decisions for individuals and the institutions that serve them.”
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From left:
Finicity Data Services President Nick Thomas and CTO Chip Whitmer demonstrated TxPUSH API at FinovateSpring 2015.

Finicity’s recent certification as a credit-reporting agency was a hint that the financial data-aggregation services veteran might add credit decisioning to its set of solutions. To start, Finicity will focus on making the loan origination process more efficient, in part by “digitiz(ing) the legacy pen-and-paper process of asset and income verification.”

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Finicity demonstrated its TxPUSH API for fintech apps at FinovateSpring 2015, and presented “The Launch of Real-time Transaction Push” at FinDEVr New York 2016. In September, the company unveiled its ACH Account Verification API and, in August, Finicity won the Finance API of the Year award from API World.