TransUnion Acquires iovation

Just two months after announcing plans to acquire CallCredit for $1.4 billion, credit reporting agency and risk information provider TransUnion has finalized its purchase of device intelligence company iovation.

TransUnion announced its plans to acquire iovation in May and received authorization from the FTC last month. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Today’s acquisition will expand TransUnion’s global reach and customer base, and is expected to give the company a boost in the fraud and identity management space. TransUnion’s current fraud offerings include credit protection, identity management, identity verification and authentication, fraud detection and prevention, and data breach services. The company will leverage iovation’s device reputation database, which offers insight into almost 5 billion devices from more than 35,000 brands across 50+ countries, for its IDVision suite of fraud and identity solutions.

“The completion of this acquisition allows us to begin efforts to seamlessly integrate iovation’s device identity and consumer authentication capabilities into IDVision, TransUnion’s suite of innovative fraud and identity solutions,” said Jim Peck, TransUnion’s president and chief executive officer. “The combination of our solutions will create an unmatched network of offline and online identities that will benefit both our business customers, and ultimately, consumers who are transacting with them.”

TransUnion was founded in 1968 and has corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The company has office locations in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that help lenders gain market intelligence and act on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. Last month, TransUnion teamed with MIB to allow MIB’s 400 U.S. life insurance member companies to receive customer identity verification services through a new integration with TransUnion’s Identity Verification solution.

Ping Identity Acquires Elastic Beam

Identity security solutions provider Ping Identity announced today it has acquired API cybersecurity company Elastic Beam. This is the Colorado-based company’s second purchase since it bought UnboundID just months after it was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2016.

Elastic Beam boasts an AI-powered behavioral analytics solution that automatically detects and stops threats that use APIs to gain control of systems and data. This solution will offer Ping Identity insight into how users access and implement APIs and help the company identify and block cyberattacks that target APIs to compromise data and systems. Ultimately, Ping Identity will alert businesses to evolving API attacks without the need to set up predefined policies and security rules.

Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity said that the acquisition boosts Ping Identity’s expertise in the space by taking an intelligence-based approach to API security. “As an industry, it’s critical that we make decisions based on the ever changing nature of context and behavior versus pre-defined policies that attempt to capture when, where, and why a user is trying to access something,” he added.

The new capabilities will bolster PingIntelligence for APIs, a solution that offers businesses insights into how APIs are used. It offers quick reporting for audits and compliance. The tool is currently in beta and will be available later this year.

Founded in 2003, Ping Identity demoed at FinovateEurope 2012, where it showed how banks can increase conversion rates and reuse existing infrastructure by implementing social networking logins. Prior to being acquired in June 2016, Ping had raised a total of $128 million in funding and counts Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Catalyst Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank among its investors.

Stellar to Acquire Chain.com

Cryptographic ledger company Chain.com is in the process of being acquired by blockchain technology platform Stellar.

Stellar, which is also the creator of the cryptocurrency Lumens, plans to purchase Chain for $500 million paid in Lumens (XLM) according to Fortune. Created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb, Stellar Lumens is the seventh most valuable cryptocurrency.

Fortune broke the news last week, reporting that the move is an “acqui-hire”– in other words, Stellar is more interested in acquiring Chain’s team of talented developers rather than its technology. As Fortune explained, “it is likely in response to the heated battle for top developers between crypto companies.” There is no word on Stellar’s plans to maintain or incorporate Chain’s platform or the timeline of the acquisition.

Since it was founded in 2014, Chain has raised more than $43 million from notable investors including Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, Nasdaq, Visa, Citi Ventures, and Thrive Capital. Chain’s flagship offering is Sequence, a ledger-as-a-service that allows organizations to track and transfer tokenized money. Use cases include storing and moving users’ balances in a mobile wallet; issuing, servicing, and selling loans on a lending platform; and managing end client and driver balances on a ridesharing app.

Chain CEO and Co-founder Adam Ludwin showcased at FinDEVr San Francisco 2015, where he gave a presentation titled, The Blockchain Is Eating Financial Services. Earlier this year, Forbes listed Chain on its Fintech 50 roster that highlights the top private fintechs that have operations, customers, or impact in the U.S.

KeyBank Acquires Small Business Lending Platform Bolstr

Digital lending platform for small businesses Bolstr has been acquired by KeyBank. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Chicago-based fintech, which takes a crowdfunding approach to helping communities support their local businesses, will help KeyBank provide SMEs with better access to both Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as well as traditional financing. Bolstr’s technology, to be implemented this year, will enable KeyBank to digitally process loan applications faster, saving time and money while providing business borrowers with a better lending experience.

“We are excited to work with an organization that is dedicated to helping communities and small businesses prosper,” Bolstr co-founder Charlie Tribbett said. “By combining our digital expertise and KeyBank’s industry knowledge, business owners will receive exceptional service and the efficient lending experience they need to be successful.”

The move from KeyBank comes as the company continues to execute on its $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, which features a $2.5 billion commitment to small business lending over the next five years. One of the country’s leading lenders to small businesses, KeyBank issued 739 small business loans in 2017 totaling $318 million.

“KeyBank is deeply committed to helping small businesses thrive and to providing them with the funding they need to grow,” Head of KeyBank Business Banking, Jamie Warder said. “Bolstr’s technology transforms the small business lending process and allows us to more efficiently serve small businesses for their SBA and traditional lending needs,” Warder added.

Bolstr demonstrated its crowdfunding platform that enables individuals to invest in small businesses in their communities at FinovateFall 2012. Among the company’s innovations was a deal structure that allowed small business borrowers to repay funders with near-term payouts based on the sales success of the business. This allows small business owners to keep their equity and avoid going into significant debt.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Bolstr’s solution was the first crowdfunding platform designed to provide liquidity to local small businesses in the pre-JOBS Act era. Prior to this week’s announcement, the company had raised $2.3 million in funding from investors including Fusion Fund, DRW Venture Capital, and Montage Ventures.

Luxoft Acquires Smashing Ideas

Software development company Luxoft announced this week it acquired a Seattle-based innovation agency called Smashing Ideas. The Switzerland-based company acquired Smashing Ideas from book publisher Penguin Random House, which purchased the company in 2011, for an undisclosed amount. Today’s deal marks Luxoft’s 10th acquisition.

Luxoft made the purchase to bolster its digital research, strategy, and design capabilities and is expected to support Luxoft’s Digital Transformation arm, Luxoft Digital. It will also expand Smashing Ideas’ range of services and offer it the infrastructure needed to serve a more global client base. “This allows us to bring products to market faster,” added Smashing Ideas CEO Brian Burke. “Luxoft’s deep technical expertise in blockchain, IoT, and machine learning amplifies the enterprise scale we can provide. Together, we look forward to being a true innovation partner to our clients’ organizations.”

“Our commitment to helping revolutionize the technology offerings of our clients is more evident than ever with our acquisition of Smashing Ideas,” said Dmitry Loschinin, CEO and President of Luxoft. “Luxoft prides itself on being a value-added provider that is focused on technical strategy and implementation. This move further extends our capabilities into design and business strategy, allowing us to provide even more value to our strategic client partners.”

Luxoft is a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:LXFT) with a current market cap of $1.2 billion. At FinovateFall 2014, the company debuted Horizon, a data visualization framework for banking executives. Founded in 2000, Luxoft has more than 12,900 employees in 21 countries. Earlier this spring, the company partnered with Softbank Robotics America to build the software to enable individuals and companies to engage with Softbank’s robot, Pepper. Last fall, Luxoft acquired wealth management consultancy UNAFORTIS.

Hyperwallet Sells to PayPal for $400 Million

Eighteen years after its launch, merchant payout platform Hyperwallet is receiving a payout of its own, to the tune of $400 million. The California-based company sold to payments pioneer PayPal this week, marking PayPal’s fifth acquisition in the past two years and its 16th total.

Hyperwallet helps businesses with mass payouts for earnings, commissions, and royalties payments and is best known for supporting payments in the gig economy. Some of the company’s more notable clients include HomeAway, Tilr, and Scentsy. In a blog post, Hyperwallet CEO Brent Warrington said, “Combining forces with PayPal will not just enhance our payout solutions but enable us to provide an integrated suite of payment capabilities to ecommerce platforms and marketplaces almost anywhere in the world.”

PayPal already has a solid foothold in the mass payout market, serving players such as Uber, Airbnb, and eBay. However, the company notes the acquisition will help it provide PayPal and Braintree merchants with “a comprehensive payments solution, including Hyperwallet’s localized, multi-currency payment distribution capabilities in more than 200 markets with numerous disbursement options, including prepaid card, bank account, debit card, cash pickup, check, and PayPal.”

The deal is expected to close in Q4 of this year. After the acquisition is finalized, the Hyperwallet team will report to Braintree General Manager Juan Benitez.

Hyperwallet most recently presented at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, where Bill Crowley, Chief Product Officer, and Blair Olynyk, Software Architect, gave a presentation titled, Pay the Planet: Implementing Frictionless Global Payout Distribution. Earlier this spring, Hyperwallet teamed up with Lyric Financial to bring advance royalty payments to artists. Last December, the company opened its first Asia Pacific office in Australia and soon after began offering disbursements from Amazon’s Australia marketplace.

rplan Acquired for $20 Million

Client engagement technology provider rplan revealed a plan of its own this week. The U.K.-based company has been acquired by InvestCloud for $20 million.

rplan offers API-based technology to help investment firms, especially heavily regulated companies in international markets, support their clients. The company counts four of the top eight institutional asset managers in the U.K. as clients and will now be available to InvestCloud’s client base of more than 700 firms, including some of the largest financial institutions in North America.

John Wise, chairman and CEO of InvestCloud, said that institutional asset management is an “important and growing segment for InvestCloud.” Wise also noted he will leverage rplan to grow InvestCloud’s direct-to-consumer and digital product channels. “They truly complement the InvestCloud Digital Platform and will bolster our successes in this space,” Wise added. rplan Director Andy Creak said that combining InvestCloud’s financial resources with the rplan solution and industry knowledge will help the company “dominate” the direct-to-consumer market across the globe.

rplan was founded in 2011. At FinovateEurope 2013, Creak, along with CPO Nick Curry, demoed the rplan portfolio builder, which helps users create an investment portfolio based on key criteria such as goals and risk. Since then, the company has launched an online course providing education on the fundamentals of investing and introduced a simple, transparent pricing structure.

InComm Acquires Gift Card Impressions

Prepaid products company InComm is boosting its e-gifting capabilities today with the acquisition of its former competitor in the space, Gift Card Impressions (GCI).

The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed. Logistically, GCI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of InComm, and its operations and leadership team members will join InComm’s 2,300 employees across the globe and remain in the company’s Missouri location.

Brooks Smith, CEO of InComm, described GCI as being “on the cutting edge of the digital gift card evolution” and noted the company’s superior method to selling stored value products as being “a much warmer, personalized, and transformative approach.” Brooks added, “This transaction also brings us an experienced management team with a great deal of consumer packaged goods industry knowledge that can be leveraged to help drive the growth of physical and digital gift card sales.”

Brett Glass is founder and CEO of GCI, which has received 40 industry awards for innovation in the last seven years. Glass will continue to lead the company’s team from the Missouri location and said his team is “thrilled to have the opportunity to build on their outstanding track record of achievement.”

This is the company’s seventh acquisition since it was founded in 1992. InComm acquired GroupCard and Zeevex in 2010, Adility and On-Line Strategies in 2012, Giftgango in 2013, and most recently ValuAccess in 2016.

InComm offers more than 500,000 points of retail distribution with 1,000+ brand partners in more than 30 countries. The company debuted CorFire Mobile Commerce at FinovateFall 2011. More recently, InComm showed off the Cashtie API at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014. The company made headlines in April of this year with the announcement of a planned $20 million expansion at its Atlanta headquarters, adding 150 new jobs in the state of Georgia.

VASCO Rebrands as OneSpan to Focus on Secure Onboarding

Business solutions company VASCO is making a major pivot today, along with a fully-fledged rebrand, as well as an acquisition to support the company’s new objectives.

VASCO, now known as OneSpan, has narrowed its focus to become an anti-fraud platform. OneSpan will trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “OSPN.” It is expected to begin trading on Monday, June 4.

OneSpan offers a Trusted Identity platform (TID), an API-based solution that aims to reduce fraud associated with onboarding and transactions while offering an enhanced experience for the end user. TID’s new Intelligent Adaptive Authentication reviews and scores data pulled from user behavior, devices, and transactions to offer a real-time view of user security without interfering with the user experience.

“The launch of our Trusted Identity platform provides a single foundation that spans the needs of our customers today and into the future while our name change underscores a generational evolution in our strategy,” said OneSpan CEO Scott Clements. “We listened closely to the challenges our customers are facing and identified a significant gap between customer needs and solutions available in the market. OneSpan is addressing this gap by delivering a much needed and innovative approach to reducing the billions of dollars banks are losing annually to fraud.”

Bolstering today’s transition is OneSpan’s acquisition of Dealflo for $54.5 million (£41 million). Founded in 2009 and headquartered in the U.K., Dealflo offers configurable onboarding solutions to financial services clients. The company has partnerships with Equifax, TransUnion’s iovation, Mitek, and VASCO’s eSignLive (now OneSpan Sign).

“This acquisition will enable us to grow our subscription revenue and Dealflo’s technology will be a major differentiator for our eSignLive solution,” said Clements. “In addition, Dealflo’s identity verification capabilities will allow us to accelerate the launch of our TID platform based onboarding, identity and anti-fraud solutions.”

Dealflo has operations across North America and EMEA, and is headquartered in London. The Dealflo team will join OpenSpan, working to bring Dealflo’s solutions into new geographic markets.

OneSpan presented as VASCO at FinovateFall 2017 in New York. The company debuted the OneSpan Sign (then eSignLive) Digital Lending Solution. The solution leverages the blockchain and e-signature capabilities to offer a compliant, digital lending solution. Last month, the company teamed up with Finovate alum nCino to offer nCino clients access to an electronic signature solution.

Mitek Acquires A2iA for $49.7 Million

Digital identity verification company Mitek is bolstering its capabilities this week with the acquisition of A2iA, an artificial intelligence and image analysis company, for $49.7 million. This is Mitek’s second acquisition in under a year– last October the company acquired ICAR for $15 million.

A2iA leverages AI and machine learning to create algorithms that process millions of checks, IDs and documents daily for financial services companies, retailers, mobile operators, healthcare providers, and governments. The company, which pulled in revenues of more than $15 million last year, works in more than 42 countries and 11 languages. A2iA’s software is used by top U.S. banks as well as all banks in the U.K., 90% of French banks, and 90% of Brazilian banks. It is leveraged by more than 75,000 ATMs worldwide.

In the press release, James B. DeBello, CEO and Chairman of Mitek said that he anticipates the acquisition to help Mitek get ahead in the industry. He added, “Mitek’s Mobile Verify product will be able to read government-issued identity documents even more accurately and quickly than today, and authenticate them using A2iA’s advanced AI algorithms, thereby increasing companies’ trust that their customers are who they say they are.” The move will also double the size of Mitek’s Labs team, a group that has been behind each of Mitek’s 39 patents.

Mitek software is deployed in 6,100 U.S. banks, including all 10 of the largest U.S. financial institutions, and is used by more than 80 million end consumers. The company is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the ticker “MITK” with a market cap of $305 million. Mitek was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Diego, California. The company most recently demoed its MobileVerify solution at FinovateFall 2017. Earlier this month, Mitek made headlines when it agreed to deliver digital KYC for cryptocurrency broker BTCDirect.