Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • eToro Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange, Expands to U.S.
  • Tradeshift’s Tradeshift Pay to Free Up $9 Trillion in Cash Trapped in Accounts Receivable.
  • International Invoicing Platform from Flywire Emerges from Beta.

Around the web

  • Compass Plus adds interchange functionality to its open development payments platform, TranzAxis.
  • Finastra names Jim Fiesel Managing Director of Capital Markets and Lending Sales for the Americas.
  • eToro to incorporate in Gibraltar to take advantage of new DLT regulatory framework.
  • Neener Analytics completes proof of concept with one of Mexico’s largest credit card issuers.
  • Multiple-time Best of Show winner Ondot Systems announces more than  3,000 financial institutions are offering mobile card controls powered by its technology.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

 

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Entrust Datacard appoints Beth Klehr Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • Emida announces it is actively seeking partnerships with early-stage tech companies whose products and services support the Telecommunications sector.
  • Advice Robo and Neener Analytics selected for BNP Paribas and Plug and Play accelerator program.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Neener Analytics completes a Proof-of-Concept with one of the largest credit card issuers in Mexico
  • NetGuardians partners with valantic to take on the German market
  • Study Loans leverages Cloud Lending Solutions for Student Lending Offering.
  • Celent recognizes Fidor for its customer experience as a pioneer in the use of open APIs in banking.
  • Jack Henry & Associates partners with Autobooks to deliver enhanced small business banking functionality.
  • OnDeck delivers 8% sequential loan growth, announces Q1 gross revenue of $90 million.
  • TSYS provides risk management services to 118 118 Money.
  • PaySimple announces real-time data integration with QuickBooks Online.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Asia

  • Singapore Business Review names Turnkey Lender and Bambu among Singapore’s hottest startups.
  • Citi introduces Facebook Messenger bot in Singapore as initial stage of wider worldwide rollout. (link)
  • Revolut founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky discusses plans for APAC expansion with TechWireAsia.

Africa

  • Flywire and Flutterwave partner on cross-border payments & receivables in Nigeria.
  • Africa-based fintechs picked up almost one third of all Venture funding in Africa in 2017, according to a report from Disrupt Africa.
  • Village Capital Fintech Africa Cohort 2018 lists its incoming class of 12 startups.

MENA

  • Fintech Circle and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to launch fintech education courses.
  • Gulf News Banking takes a look at the digitization of the fintech sector in the Middle East.
  • Bahrain-based security startup, Eazy Financial Services, launches first biometric payment network in MENA.

LATAM

  • Neener Analytics Completes Proof-of-Concept with Jamaican Payday Lender.
  • Alipay partners with Openpay to connect Chinese consumers with merchants in Mexico. (link)
  • Amazon.com unveils first debit card in Mexico as part of e-commerce initiative.

CEE

  • Personetics Brings Cognitive Banking to Romania’s Banca Transilvania.
  • Sberbank to host the first International Cybersecurity Conference in July.
  • CEE Fintech Survey for 2017 cites Poland’s fintech industry as the region’s most vibrant.

Top image designed by Freepik

Neener Analytics Completes Proof-of-Concept with Jamaican Payday Lender

FinovateSpring Best of Show winner Neener Analytics is showing a leading payday lender headquartered in Jamaica how its social media analytics can help boost a number of KPIs.

In a recent email, Neener Analytics said that a just-completed pilot resulted in lowering the lender’s default rates by 33%, and showed ways to grow revenue by more than 20% and  increase loan volume by than 33% without increasing current risk thresholds.

“We’re not cherry-picking here. This is just another example of results we achieve regularly for our customers,” the company stated.

Neener Analyics has developed social media analytics solutions for lenders, insurance companies and other businesses to help assess risk outcomes for thin file and no file credit customers. The company’s regulatory, compliant solutions work with a simple, single login from Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and enable institutions to predict which borrowers represent a high default risk, which borrowers are likely to payoff debts early, and even which debtors are likely to pursue full amortization (the likelihood that their debt will be revolved). Neener Analytics also provides a risk-correlated, projected FICO score with an accuracy of nearly 80%.

At FinovateSpring last year, the company demoed key features of its compliant social media analytics platform: Default Prediction, Transactor-Revolver Prediction, and Risk Alignment. Based in San Jose, California, Neener Analytics was co-founded by Jeff LoCastro (CEO) and Marc Tomlinson (CTO & Co-founder). The company is an alum of the Plug and Play accelerator, entering the program in the fall of 2017, and was a finalist in the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge. Read our profile of Neener Analytics from last summer.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Neener Analytics Completes Proof-of-Concept with Jamaican Payday Lender.
  • Personetics Brings Cognitive Banking to Romania’s Banca Transilvania.
  • Hyperwallet’s Partnership with Lyric Brings Advance Royalty Payments to Artists
  • SumUp Facilitates Cashless Donations for the Church of England.

Around the web

  • AutoGravity announces new partnership with Infiniti.
  • New alliance with Mainsys helps bolster Temenos presence in Belgium.
  • Currencycloud unveils Global Collections to enable customers to receive cross border payments with less cost and less friction.
  • Flywire and Flutterwave partner on cross-border payments & receivables in Nigeria.
  • Cardlytics announces Q4 and full year 2017 financial results.
  • Somerset Trust Company selects Digital Onboarding for fully automated new account activation.
  • Finicity announces integration agreement with Ellie Mae to provide its digital asset verification solution through Ellie Mae’s Encompass platform.
  • XM.com expands use of Paydentity from iSignthis for China eKYC.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Eight Finovate Alums Join Plug and Play Accelerator’s 2017 Fintech Class

Accelerator and global innovation platform Plug and Play revealed its incoming Fall 2017 class this week. And within Plug and Play’s Fintech cohort of 24 startups, eight companies are Finovate alums, including three Best of Show winners.

  • Capitali.se
    • Founded in 2014
    • Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Shahar Rabin is CEO and co-founder
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demoBest of Show
  • Eltropy
    • Founded in 2013
    • Headquartered in Milpitas, California
    • Ashish Garg is CEO and founder
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demo
  • HEDG
    • Founded in 2016
    • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
    • Bob Rutherford is CEO and founder
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demo
  • Hedgeable
    • Founded in 2016
    • Headquartered in New York, New York
    • Matthew Kane is Chief Ninja and co-founder
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demoBest of Show
  • Neener Analytics
    • Founded in 2014
    • Headquartered in San Jose, California
    • Jeff LoCastro is CEO and founder
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demoBest of Show
  • Qumram
    • Founded in 2011
    • Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland
    • Patrick Barnert is CEO
    • FinovateFall 2016 demo
  • True Link Financial
    • Founded in 2013
    • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
    • Kai Stinchcombe is CEO
    • FinovateSpring 2014 demo
  • Voleo
    • Founded in 2015
    • Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Thomas Beattie is CEO
    • FinovateSpring 2017 demo

Fintech is one of six programs run by Plug and Play (the others are Brand & Retail, Energy & Sustainability, Food & Beverage, New Materials & Packaging, and Supply Chain & Logistics). A total of 101 startups across all six programs were selected from an applicant pool of 2,800. The fall program lasts 12 weeks, ending at the Plug and Play Fall Summit in late October, and will provide startups with access to “world-class mentors, tier one VCs, and C-level executives to propel their businesses to success,” said Principal of Plug and Play Ventures, George Damouny. Opportunities for investment are also a feature of the program. “As an investment group,” Damouny added, “we will have a lot of fantastic investment opportunities, and I’m super excited to be working closely with these startups.”

Joining our eight alums in the fall 2017 Fintech cohort are:

  • Blockdaemon
  • Bouxtie
  • CreditStacks
  • HEXANIKA
  • Income&
  • Keyo
  • Koyfin
  • Synswap
  • LifeSite
  • MIRACL
  • Squirro
  • Novo
  • Qanta
  • Responsive AI
  • Scanovate
  • Tomorrow Ideas, Inc.

“Together, with our team members and community, Plug and Play’s goal is to showcase the startups to at least 30 corporate partners and 30 investors per vertical in the next 100 days,” Plug and Play CEO and founder Saeed Amidi said. More than half the companies in the Fall 2017 class are in the seed stage (57%), with 25% early stage, and 18% growth stage. Additionally, more than a fourth of the Fall 2017 startups are from outside of the United States, including companies from Hong Kong, Ghana, and Switzerland.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play has made more than 500 investments in more than 400 companies since inception. The accelerator provides mentorship, co-working space, and opportunities for investment for both seed and more developed companies. Plug and Play’s sizable list of partners includes financial institutions and financial services firms such as USAA, Credit Suisse, Cathay Financial and US Bank. In addition to FinDEVr alums Google Cloud Platform (FD16) and Plaid (FD14), Plug and Play’s data partners include IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Medici, Dun & Bradstreet, Morningstar, and AWS Activate. Graduates of the Plug and Play accelerator include Finovate alums Dwolla (FS15), Lending Club (FS09), PayPal (FE12), and Trulioo (FF16).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Aire Pulls in $5 Million, Lands Partnerships with Zopa and Toyota Financial Services.
  • New Investment Boosts Betterment Valuation to $800 Million.
  • Klarna Announces Strategic Investment from Permira.

Around the web

  • PayPal extends partnership with JP Morgan Chase, providing greater payment options for consumers.
  • Taulia joins European E-invoicing Service Providers Association.
  • Persistent Systems agrees to acquires Swiss firm Parx Werk in deal valued at $16 million.
  • ID Analytics partners with Acxiom to strengthen risk assessment and combat fraud.
  • Dwolla adds Multi-User Feature to the Access API Dashboard.
  • Neener Analytics joins Plug&Play fintech accelerator.
  • Tavant selected by Fairway Independent Mortgage To Transform Its Digital Lending Experience.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Neener Analytics is Biometrics for Personality

As social media analytics company Neener Analytics says on its website, “we may not be superheroes… but we’re pretty darn close.” As proof, the company is backed by an advisory board, whose members have Ph.Ds in fields such as game theory, behavioral economics, and decision science.

Furthermore, the company itself has received its share of accolades. CIO Review Magazine named Neener Analytics among Top 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies 2017, CIO.com honored the company in Top 20 Fintechs to Watch in 2017, MergerMarket U.K. listed it as a Top 4 U.S. Fintech To Follow in 2017, and Neener Analytics won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2017 last month in San Jose.

In the company’s award-winning demo, Neener Analytics CEO Jeff LoCastro showed off what the company is doing to earn such accolades. “We’re here to unveil today at Finovate social media decisioning analytics that actually works,” LoCastro said. He went on to explain that Neener Analytics goes further than just “measuring likes and friends,” what he described as the “you-are-who-your-friends-are” approach that is unfounded because “we’re not who our friends are.”

Instead, Neener Analytics looks at each user’s individual social media presence and leverages social biometrics to determine their risk. LoCastro pointed out during his demo that the question is not can the user pay the bank back, but rather will they pay them back. It is this perspective that distinguishes Neener Analytics from others that use social media data for underwriting.

Company facts

  • Headquartered in San Jose, CA
  • Typically reduces lender defaults by 25% to 33%
  • Can accurately predict or project a consumer’s FICO score range almost 80% of the time

Above: Neener Analytics’ Jeff LoCastro (CEO & Founder) and Marc Tomlinson (CTO & Co-Founder) demo at FinovateSpring 2017

We spoke with Jeff LoCastro after his demo at FinovateSpring this year. The following is the written interview.

Finovate: What problem does Neener Analytics solve?

Jeff LoCastro: Well, current credit and financial risk assessment systems using historical, transactional, and relational data simply don’t provide individually actionable projective insight.

Think of us as the Biometrics of Personality. We’ve developed a regulatory compliant social media analytics technology for lenders, insurance companies, and other risk-centric businesses. This technology enables them to better decision and understand specific individual risk outcomes of thin-file, no-file and credit challenged consumers using our patent-pending personality and behavior analytics technology. We decision individual human characteristics, not transactions, history, or relationships.

We’ve also redefined the idea of the social login. No longer is it simply a way to prepopulate applications or registrations. That’s old stuff. We’ve turned it into a portable financial persona.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

LoCastro: Lenders, insurance companies, or any consumer-facing business trying to understand the risk of the engagement. Our sweet spot right now are those really trying to understand the thin-file, no-file, and credit challenged consumers out there… about 56% of American consumers. And internationally, it can be as high as 90%.

Finovate: How does Neener Analytics solve the problem better?

LoCastro: Again, think of us as the biometrics of personality. What if you could sit each customer down with a psychologist and ask them, “are you REALLY going to pay us back?” or “Why should we trust you?” And have everything that customer says predict, with almost 80% accuracy, whether they will default on their loan, transact or revolve, predict/project a risk-correlated FICO score, or tell you if they are likely telling the truth. With one click and a 20-minute implementation, we’ve automated that psychologist.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

LoCastro: Sure. We recently completed a comprehensive, nine-month long validation for a U.S.-based high-volume consumer products lender doing about 30,000+ applications per month. Their market leans generally toward thin-file and no file individuals, but does also include those we would classify as simply “credit challenged.” They wanted to see 1) if we could improve on their current underwriting models to better predict default, 2) How many turn-downs we would predict default or succeed compared to their current approaches. We also used this validation as an opportunity (although not a use case for them) to predict collection reinstatement and charge-off.

We reduced their defaults by 33% and demonstrated a revenue increase of 22%. In our collections validation, we demonstrated that we could predict (post default) who would likely be reinstatable with a 79% accuracy.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

LoCastro: I was a part of the initial executive team of the inventor of the online social network, Classmates.com, and was extracting insights from social media long before it became a thing. I can’t for certain say that I invented it, but I sure did pioneer the cost-per-action model. It worked for us (and our customers) because I could prove insight, and that insight created clicks. While the rest of the market was bragging about “investor” revenue, we were out there actually making money and being, at the time, one of the fastest growing web properties in the world.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Neener Analytics that we can look forward to over the next few months?

LoCastro: There’s a couple that we are not quite ready to announce, but we are grinding out 16-hour days developing new ways to deliver insight. We are, in particular, honing our ability to predict ‘veracity,’ that is, whether they are likely telling the truth or not. Our initial testing has been out-of-this-world promising.

Finovate: Where do you see Neener Analytics a year or two from now?

LoCastro: Let me answer this way: I see the future of social media itself being almost “avatars of self.” Now this is me saying this, not Facebook or whatever. People are pouring themselves into their media and it seems to me to be the next logical step. And with the coming of functional AI, I can see social media being defined as a “conversation” with that user, their AI avatar of sorts, instead of being defined as a page or “profile”. We are definitely poised for that. But that’s perhaps longer than two years.

So the next couple years, I see us with double-digit in-roads into the four major lending verticals and having cracked the insurance markets. Ambitious, yes. Do-able, absolutely. With the right partners and strategic relationships… very doable. I’ve made sure we think big and that’s never going to change.

Check out the live demo from Neener Analytics at FinovateSpring 2017 with Jeff LoCastro (CEO & Founder) and Marc Tomlinson (CTO & Co-Founder):

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

On FinDEVr.com

  • Check out our latest FinDEVr Previews featuring ISARA and eSignLive by VASCO.

Around the web

  • TransferWise introduces multi-currency bank accounts for businesses.
  • Langley FCU to deploy Episys core system from Jack Henry & Associates’ Symitar division.
  • Great Southern Bank selects cloud banking technology from nCino.
  • getAbstract and CREALOGIX enter into a digital learning partnership.
  • InComm partners with Sony to deliver gift cards in Hong Kong.
  • NIIT Technologies partners with AI company Arago.
  • AutoGravity receives the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.
  • Fiserv launches SecureNow to integrate cybersecurity protection for digital banking.
  • Finextra: ABN Amro selects Fenergo to support KYC.
  • Yandex.Money brings Android Pay to Russia.
  • Misys FusionBanking Essence to power online and mobile banking offering for Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB).
  • Trustly to power online bank payments at leading online fashion retailer Boozt.com

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.