Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Coinbase Names Asiff Hirji as President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • ID.me Teams Up with General Motors to Support Military Discount Program.

Around the web

  • Forrester Research names TIBCO a leader in Enterprise Data Virtualization.
  • Entrust Datacard acquires cloud cryptographic service provider, Trustis Limited.
  • Finastra finishes testing to provide connectivity to the European instant payments infrastructure.
  • The Silicon Review features IDology in its list of the 50 fastest growing tech companies in 2017.
  • Credit Strategy reviews how Intelligent Environments won the Best Collections Technology Award.
  • savedroid initiates the first German ICO to drive broader blockchain inclusion.
  • Voleo enables cryptocurrency trading on its SimuTrader App.

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.

New Funding for Savedroid Boosts Total Capital to More than $22 Million

savedroid_homepage_April2017

What would it take to get you to save a little more of your hard-earned money? How about automatically setting aside a dollar every time Donald Trump tweeted? Or five bucks each time your favorite sports team loses a match? If unique and atypical motivations are your idea of a savings solution, then savedroid has the app for you.

And this week we learned that the German startup had picked up funding from investment bank Rhineland-Palatinate and a group of angel investors including Debjit Chaudhuri, founder of Traxpay and former Infosys manager. The amount of the funding was not disclosed (Crunchbase reports €20 million) but savedroid says that the company’s total capital, which includes a million euro seed round, now stands at more than $22 million. Company founder Dr. Yassin Hankir says the funds will help “accelerate user growth.”

Founded in 2015, savedroid is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In its demonstration at FinovateSpring 2016, the company introduced the term “smooves” into the PFM lexicon, showing how the savedroid app makes it easy to “turn everyday activities into automated savings.” By using technology to set aside small amounts of money every time a certain event takes place – a combination of positive, negative, and even random incentives – users can improve their personal finances in ways that can improve their overall lifestyle, as well.

The company launched its savings solution in the summer of 2016 and, in February, added an AI-based, savings algorithm to the app. Profiled last fall in Frankfurter Allgemeine, we interviewed savedroid’s Hankir for our recent feature on savings technology.

Finovate Alumni News

On FinDEVr.com

  • Check out today’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Moneytree Sees Green with $9 Million Funding Round.
  • New Funding for Savedroid Boosts Total Capital to More than $22 Million.

Around the web

  • Rebar to market Cachet Financial Solutions’ Select Mobile Money Prepaid Mastercard and companion app.
  • ThreatMetrix’s new release delivers end-to-end identity, fraud and authentication through an advanced decisioning platform.
  • iSignthis subsidiary granted an eMoney Institution license by the Central Bank of Cyprus.
  • Kabbage extends $3 billion in funding to more than 100,000 small business customers.
  • Kony’s AppVantage enables orgs to create apps from packaged components.
  • PayPal extends partnership with Visa into Asia-Pacific region.
  • FICO launches cloud-based origination solution to help mid-market lenders automate small business lending decisions.
  • HyperPay to leverage ACI Worldwide’s Mobile Commerce SDK to offer merchants a mobile checkout solution.
  • Misys onboards Natalie Gammon as its Chief Information Officer.
  • Ignite Sales launches Sales Compliance Monitor for banks to monitor and ensure compliant sales.

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.

A Finovate Guide to the Future of SavingsTech

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Don’t panic! I’m not necessarily saying that “savingstech” is yet another “thingtech” that you’ll be required to know before the next Fintech Cocktail Club social. Think of savings tech simply as shorthand for companies that are developing and deploying technologies that enable us save more of what we earn. Sure, the average fintech fan probably feels they know all there is to know when it comes to PFM. But the technologies that help ferry our hard-earned money into a safer place than the nearest cash register are more diverse than you might imagine.

Just check out our multi-part series on savings tech. From crowdfunding and Generation Z targeting to passive investing and goals-based PFM, fintech has left few technologies untested in the pursuit of better, more efficient and effective savings strategies for all of us.

And so the only question that remains is: Where is savings tech going and what will it look like when it gets there? We reached out to our Finovate alumni community and put the question to them. This is what they told us.

Om Kundu, CEO and Chairman InSpirAVE (FF16)

InSpirAVE’s Internet of Savings® platform leverages the power of social networks to encourage smart financial decision-making and amplify savings.

Finovate: What is the most challenging aspect about building a savings solution?

Om Kundu: A part of it is structural forces. Think about the arc in the evolution of the internet over the past decade and a half. It has been strikingly asymmetrical in how it has put our spending muscle on steroids while our longer-term savings muscle has atrophied on a relative basis … especially when it comes to goals that really matter.

If there is a singular obsession in ‘reducing friction’ that stands out in the juggernaut of e-commerce – as much as in-store technologies – it is the preoccupation of an ever-accelerating tech-stack to fuel “Push-Button-Get-Stuff” as the defining essence of commerce in much of our lives.

What is missing in that future? Technology that is equally ingenuous and accountable in furthering human agency to make decisions that are thoughtful, rather than impulsive. We think of them as purchase decisions, but they really are financial decisions that can only be made properly to the extent you and your loved ones have the tools to discern whether buying that shiny object really matters … and whether you have the savings to pay for it.

InSpirAVE_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: InSpirAve CEO and Chairman Om Kundu demonstrating The Internet of Savings® at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate: Let’s look to the future. What kind of savings technology will we see over the next three to five years, for example?

Kundu: It’s really about goals and creating sustainable, achievable pathways to getting you there in ways that are not only affordable, but are equally memorable in terms of the shared experiences that are created for you and your loved ones in that path-to-purchase. As the definition of liquidity – historically confined to monetary equity socked away in your bank account and credit line – becomes more inclusive of social equity across increasingly networked social platforms and distributed ledgers, your overall well-wishing community will play an equally important role as the historical stores of savings (banks) and spending (merchants) have.

And that’s a big part of the fabric woven into InSpirAVE’s design as well, empowering our users with the digital tools to cultivate their own well-wishing community which, in turn, eggs the user on … in articulation, accelerated progress, and ultimately fulfillment of whatever goal they set their mind to.

Bill Dwight, CEO and Founder, FamZoo (FS13)

FamZoo is an online and mobile platform that helps parents teach their children responsible personal financial habits through a private, secure”Virtual Family Bank.”

Finovate: Do you see a bright future of savings-enabled technologies?

Bill Dwight: I think savings enabling tech will explode in popularity. As a consumer, having to diligently exercise willpower to amass savings is a pretty horrible experience. If, on the other hand, a piece of smart automation can amass savings for me painlessly “behind my back”, the experience is nothing short of delightful. One day, you sign in and say, “whoa, I have $1000 in my emergency fund or $500 in my travel fund – awesome!” That’s what companies like Digit (digit.co/) are doing for individuals, and that’s what we (famzoo.com) do for kids earning an allowance or working odd jobs for their parents. It’s such a delightful and positive financial experience from the norm that its expansion and evolution is inevitable.

FamZoo_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: FamZoo CEO and Founder Bill Dwight demonstrating FamZoo’s Prepaid Card Family Pack at FinovateSpring 2013.

Finovate: Which direction do you think savings tech will – or should – go in the years to come?

Dwight: Automation algorithms will naturally grow more sophisticated and effective as they leverage more and more knowledge about the saver’s unique situation and financial habits. They’ll also be able to allocate funds across a broader array of target accounts in an integrated, optimal way. For example, if the algorithms know you have young kids, more automated savings might be redirected toward 529 accounts to help pay for future college expenses. Or, your teen with that first summer job might have more automated savings funneled toward an early Roth IRA where it can grow tax free for decades. Or, perhaps the everyday “behind your back” savings will automatically redirect to knock out your most expensive consumer debt first before adjusting back to satisfying your longer term savings goals.

Greg Midtbo, Chief Revenue Officer, Moven Enterprise (FE17)

Moven Enterprise is an engagement platform that transforms customer financial data into digital experiences and actionable insights.

Finovate: What is most challenging when it comes to building savings solutions?

Greg Midtbo: The challenge is to take a different approach. Industries primarily approach this from a product perspective, as savings-as-a-product, and how to find tools to enable that product. The hunch is to take it from a customer’s perspective, to help the customer understand the trade-offs between the little decisions they make day to day, and how that impacts their medium- and long-term financial well-being.

In other words, how to help people make better decisions that may give them simple ways to give transparency to that trade-off and to take action. This may mean how to (1) control their spending or manage their spending and then (2) how to manage what they do with the amount of money they make that they don’t spend – which is savings or investing or other durations of storing assets. I think that’s the challenge: to break out of the product and cross-sell-into-a-product metaphor and approach it from a holistic customer perspective.

Banks tend to communicate to people around savings around rate and term. And since we’re in a very low interest rate environment, there’s not a lot of motivation there. So the motivation we think is around their overall financial health and helping them understand that trade-off.

Moven_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: Moven Chief Revenue Officer Greg Midtbo demonstrating Moven Enterprise at FinovateEurope 2017.

Finovate: And in terms of future, looking out over the next three to five years?

Midtbo: I think we’ll move beyond just insight into the current state and start to make smart recommendations. How do you get to those goals that you set – whether its that carbon fiber bike or savings for education and retirement? What actions can you take to get there? We think artificial intelligence algorithms that know everything about you and can start to bring financial advice are next … I’m thinking back to the e*Trade commercials – not just some guy your Dad introduced you to or a twice-a-year sit down with a financial advisor – but a solution that is everyday giving you a little bit of financial coaching based on you. Not based on people like you or a segment (of the population), but based on you, what your next smart financial move is.

So that and (removing) the friction from taking those actions are key. Put the product/channel construct in the background and, in the foreground, a more seamless and advice-driven customer experience.

Dr. Yassin Hankir, CEO and Founder, savedroid (FS16)

With its lifestyle savings rules called “smooves,” savedroid is an algorithm-based mobile app that transforms everyday activities into automated savings.

Savedroid_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: Savedroid CEO and Founder Dr. Yassin Hankir demonstrating his company’s savings solution at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate: What is the future of SavingsTech? What can we expect from this space over the next three to five years?

Yassin Hankir: I strongly believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key driver of innovation in savings technology going forward. Smart and autonomous savings tools enabling users to achieve their personal saving goals through automatically optimizing their individual savings and spending are on the rise.

This will create the next level of personal financial everyday assistance suitable for typical mass market users. (This will) contribute to fintech overcoming its niche market status and expanding to a significantly broader target audience.  

Ryan Clark, CEO and Founder, ProActive Budget (FF16)

One of the most popular savings strategies ever devised, cash envelope budgeting, is re-invented and digitized in the new savings solution from ProActive Budget.

Finovate: What are some of the most challenging issues in savings tech right now?

Ryan Clark: 57% of the U.S. is financially “unhealthy,” living paycheck-to-paycheck. For these people saving money isn’t even on their radar. They’re just trying to pay the bills each month. The key is to help them control their discretionary spend. Fix this and suddenly there’s some money to save.

ProActiveBudget_savingstech

Pictured: CEO and founder Ryan Clark demonstrating ProActive at FinovateFall 2016.

Do you see a bright future for savings-enabled technologies?

Clark: People like automation, but too much causes people to check out of their finances causing even worse problems. The ideal system will help them analyze their finances and then determine where they can cut back to be able to save. This must be involved and customized since money is very emotional. But these tools are coming and it will help people save and grow their wealth like never before.

Which direction do you think savings technology will – or should – go in the years to come?

Clark: It has to be holistic while keeping things simple. Spending controls will dominate the space since savings is a byproduct of spending decisions. The convergence of budgeting and banking will continue and accelerate making both controlling spending inside a planned budget and automated savings easier.


For more on our savings technology, check out our six-part series on key players and the enabling technologies.

Designed by Freepik

Spring Forward: FinovateSpring 2016 Alums Top $200 Million in Funding

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With FinovateSpring 2017 coming next month, we thought we’d take a look back at how the alums from our last spring conference a year ago have fared on the fundraising front.

And after a quick review, it seems that investors continue to be interested in the innovations of Finovate alumni. In fact, even without the $1.8 billion Golden Gate Capital spent on its acquisition of Neustar late last year ($2.9 million with debt included), the alums from FinovateSpring 2016 have had an impressive year of fundraising. While the specific funding amounts for a number of alums were not officially disclosed, our review shows more than $200 million raised by 20 FinovateSpring 2016 alums over the past year alone.

Among the bigger deals of the past year, the $72 million raised by OurCrowd stands out. OurCrowd, a crowd investing platform for venture capital, was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel. With a growing network of more than 17,000 investors, OurCrowd has raised $400 million on its platform, providing funding for 110 companies. Also noteworthy was the $29 million raised by FinDEVr/Finovate alum NYMBUS in two separate fundings in August and February. NYMBUS is an innovator in developing advanced, cloud-based core banking systems. Known as a “bank in a box” NYMBUS technology gives smaller banks and credit unions the ability to compete with larger FIs when it comes to providing customers with the latest digital banking services.

So to help get you ready for FinovateSpring 2017, here’s a list of the investments scored by alums from last year’s conference. And remember you can see live demos from all 20 of our fundraising FinovateSpring 2016 alums in our Video Archives.

February 2017

  • FinDEVr New York Alum NYMBUS Announces $16 Million in New Funding
  • Qumram’s Regtech Offering Lands $1.49 Million
  • Empyr Raises $3 Million in Funding

January 2017

  • ForwardLane Raises $1.1 Million in New Funding
  • Earnix Receives $13.5 Million in Growth Capital from New and Existing Investors

December 2016

  • Cyberfend Acquired by Akamai Technologies for Undisclosed Amount

November 2016

  • Sezzle Raises Seed Funding Ahead of Shopify Debut ($1.85 million)
  • Neustar Acquired by Golden Gate Capital for $1.8 Billion (including debt $2.9B)

October 2016

  • ThreatMetrix Picks Up $30 Million in Growth Capital from Silicon Valley Bank (debt financing)

September 2016

  • OurCrowd Pulls In $72 Million
  • WealthForge to Raise $2.5 Million in New Convertible Note Offering
  • OneVisage Earns Seed Funding in Round Led by Polytech Ecosystem Ventures (amount undisclosed)

August 2016

  • CUneXus Closes $5 Million Series A
  • Automobile Title Lending Platform Finova Financial Raises $52.5 Million
  • NYMBUS Raises $12 Million in Round Led by Vensure Enterprises

July 2016

  • Linqto Announces New Venture Funding from Keiretsu Capital (amount undisclosed)

June 2016

  • NICE Funding! CallVU Raises $3 Million
  • Civic Announces New Debt Financing from Blockchain Capital (amount undisclosed)
  • savedroid AG Completes €1 ($1.1 USD) Million Seed Round; Announces Beta Launch
  • Cyberfend Earns Undisclosed Non-Equity Assistance from MasterCard Start Path Global Program.
  • BanQu Secures $100,000 in Financing (convertible note)

Are you a FinovateSpring 2016 alums whose funding we missed? Send us an email research@finovate.com and we’ll be happy to make the update.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Alexa, Tell Me About D3 Banking’s New Voice Banking Skill.
  • Finie Gets Funding: AI Innovator Clinc Closes $6 Million Series A.

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • Zopa named Best Personal Loan Provider and Best Alternative Finance Provider at British Bank Awards
  • 7-Eleven names InComm Vendor of the Year.
  • ProfitStars introduces Gladiator Incident Alert for complex risk monitoring and management.
  • D3 Banking unveils Amazon Alexa-based intelligent banking service.
  • FinDEVr veteran Hyperwallet adds former SecureNet Payments EVP, Mark Engels, as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Fiserv recognized among “world’s most admired companies” for fourth year in a row.
  • Best of Show winner AutoGravity forges new partnership with Westlake Financial Services to expand financing options for car shoppers.
  • Feedzai and Merchant Risk Council (MRC) team up to leverage AI and machine learning to fight fraud.
  • Klarna adds to payment options for omni-channel commerce technology innovator, Radial.
  • The Paypers interviews Nicole Mantow, General Manager of EVO Payments, parent company of FinDEVr veteran, EVO Snap.
  • Savedroid adds money-saving, AI-based algorithm to its personal finance app.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Revolut Unveils Billsplitting Feature.
  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • ThreatMetrix Shows Off its Strongest Year Yet.
  • Société Générale to Launch Personetics-Powered Chatbot.

Around the web

  • Five Degrees provides CRM and BPM technology for new UK robo advisor, Munnypot.
  • Coinbase wins New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) virtual currency and money transmitter license.
  • FICO and Ethoca partner to improve card acceptance rates, fight CNP fraud, and reduce disputes.
  • PwC and Oracle team up to help FIs meet new accounting standards.
  • Handpoint expands line of commerce solutions with semi-integrated mobile EMV for cloud POS.
  • Guardian Analytics appoints Varouzhan Ebrahimian as the company’s new Chief Technology Officer.
  • Finextra: Blockchain launches Digital Asset Research Lab.
  • Savedroid celebrates reaching 50,000 download milestone within three months.

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

On Finovate.com

  • “Fintech Favorites: Blockchain, the Banks, and the Underbanked”
  • Lleida.net Brings Connectaclick to Ecuador’s Banco Pichincha.

Around the web

  • Swiss fintech innovator Net Guardians to deploy its security solution, FraudGuardian, with National Bank of Malawi.
  • iSignthis partners with Leverate Financial Services, providing the online FX and CFD broker with its full Paydentity solution.
  • YourStory profiles Finovate newcomer MarketsMojo and its plan to make equity investing mainstream.
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine features Savedroid and Fintura in a look at the fintech scene in Frankfurt.
  • True Potential wins approval as workplace pension adviser from The Pensions Regulator.
  • PayPal reports mobile shopping represented a third of sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Lighter Capital named the fastest growing private tech company in Washington state.
  • LTP lists BankBazaar, CoverHound, InforcePRO, and Sureify on its list of revolutionary insuretech startups.

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

Savedroid Launches Intelligent Savings App

savedroid_homepage_July2016

Straight outta beta, savedroid’s intelligent savings app is now available for free at Google Play.

“Saving has been a super boring and complicated subject,” savedroid founder and CEO Dr Yassin Hankir said. “Many prefer to go to the dentist than to speak with a financial adviser. We change that. With savedroid, saving is finally integrated into the daily lives of users and is fully automated.”

savedroid_app_1Savedroid enables users to set behavior-based rules called “smooves” that help steer a small amount of money toward savings for various goals. For example, set aside $1 for every cup of coffee you buy at your favorite cafe, or $5 every time you spend more than an hour on social media. The savings strategy works as well for short-term goals like a vacation a few months from now or longer-term goals like saving for college. Hankir added: “We make saving exciting, convenient and rewarding, and thus particularly suitable for the target group of millennials.”

The savedroid app comes with a virtual MasterCard courtesy of a partnership with Wirecard, which also processes payments for users by way of an e-money account. “In Wirecard, we have found a reliable and experienced partner for this process, [one that] fulfills all the relevant technical and banking standards,” Hankir said.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, savedroid made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2016. The company raised $1 million in seed funding last month in a round led by the investment and development bank Rheinland-Pfalaz (ISB) and featuring the participation of several angel investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kantox Marks $100 Million Processed Since Launching API in Beta
  • Savedroid Launches Intelligent Savings App
  • France’s Groupe BPCE Acquires Munich-based Fidor Bank

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • Check Point Launches Australia and New Zealand Technical Assistance Centre and Incident Response Services.
  • Kyte Consultants partners with Featurespace.
  • USE Federal Credit Union selects Kasasa.
  • Blackhawk Network Launches eCommerce Website for Gift Cards in Canada.
  • Venmo named a Breakthrough Brand on Interbrand’s 2016 report.
  • Betterment for Business Surpasses 200 Plan Sponsors.
  • Payment Data Systems launches iOS payment processing SDK.

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.