Symbiont Brings the Blockchain to Mortgagetech in New Partnership with Ranieri Solutions

Could blockchain technology revitalize mortgagetech?

Blockchain and smart contract technology innovator Symbiont has teamed up with Ranieri Solutions to explore ways to use its smart contract platform to “systematically improve all aspects of the mortgage industry,” according to an announcement today. Ranieri Solutions is a financial services technology investment firm founded by securitized mortgage market pioneer Lewis Ranieri. The firm sees an opportunity to combine its own knowledge and experience in the mortgage market with Symbiont’s innovations in enterprise blockchain networks.

“When Symbiont was founded, it was my dream and vision to develop decentralized technology solutions that could solve the root problems that were at the heart of the financial crisis,” Symbiont CEO Mark Smith said. “Blockchain and smart contract technology is proving to be that solution.” Smith acknowledged Ranieri’s deep history in and beyond mortgage financing, referring to him as “the genius behind modern securitized markets.” He called the partnership a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for himself and a “seminal moment” for Symbiont.

Ranieri said blockchain technology was an opportunity to modernize a region of the financial world that has not kept up with the rest of the industry. “The mortgage market, despite significant efforts, continues to lag behind from a technological standpoint creating inefficiencies that impact mortgage loans throughout their life cycle,” he said. “By partnering with Symbiont, a proven blockchain pioneer, Ranieri Solutions believes that together we can implement this transformative technology to bring necessary efficiencies, transparency, and security to mortgage markets.”

In addition to putting its blockchain-based smart contract technology to work to the improve mortgage market, Symbiont has demonstrated its effectiveness in a variety of use cases. In December, Symbiont partnered with Vanguard and the Center for Research in Security Prices to use blockchain technology to simplify index data sharing between index providers and market participants. Last summer, the company publicly demonstrated how its Symbiont Assembly platform could be used for private equity issuance, and teamed up with PrivateMarket.io to use its SmartSecurities technology to build an alternative investment marketplace for closed-end funds.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in New York City, Symbiont participated in our developers conference in New York, FinDEVr 2016. The company’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Adam Krellenstein discussed the architecture of Symbiont’s Smart Securities technology in a presentation titled “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts.” Symbiont has raised more than $15 million in funding and includes Celeridem Capital Management and SenaHill Partners among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • DriveWealth Closes $21 Million in Funding.
  • Symbiont Brings the Blockchain to Mortgagetech in New Partnership with Raneiri Partners.
  • Micronotes to Scale AI-Enabled Marketing Platform with $3 Million in Funding.

Around the  web

  • nCino appoints James Peverell as General Manager, EMEA, and Hali Kahn as Regional Vice President.
  • Finastra named a Category Leader in the Chartis Hedge Fund Risk Management Quadrant in the Hedge Fund Risk Management Technology 2018 report.
  • Comarch wins award from the Italy Protection Forum for innovation in digital transformation of insurance companies.
  • Insuritas to power digitally powered insurance agency for Priority Bank.
  • Kofax reports that 50% of top U.S. life insurers leveraging TotalAgility.
  • Temenos tables takeover of Fidessa.
  • FierceCEO features DefenseStorm CEO Sean Feeney.

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.

Forbes Names 17 Finovate Alums on the Forbes Fintech 50

Forbes has released the third* Fintech 50 list, which this year features 17 Finovate alums, many of which have made the list for the third time. The Fintech 50 list highlights the top private fintechs that have operations, customers or impact in the U.S. The list excludes public companies and divisions of public companies.

Here are the alums honored in this year’s compilation:

Ayasdi

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Betterment

The company’s third time making the list.

Blend

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Blockchain

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Chain

The company’s third time making the list.

Coinbase

The company’s second time making the list.

Credit Karma

The company’s third time making the list.

Feedzai

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

The company’s second time making the list.

Kabbage

The company’s second time making the list.

Kensho

The company’s third time making the list.

Plaid

The company’s third time making the list.

Qapital

The company’s second time making the list.

Ripple

The company’s third time making the list.

Symbiont

Among 22 newcomers to this year’s list.

Symphony

The company’s second time making the list.

TransferWise

The company’s third time making the list.

In 2016, the list contained 20 Finovate alums, including Betterment, Chain, Coinbase, Credit Karma, Gusto, Kabbage, Kensho, Klarna, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Qapital, Quantopian, Ripple, Signifyd, SoFi, Symphony, TransferWise, TrueAccord, and Xignite.

The list from three years back also contained 20 Finovate alums. Algomi, Betterment, Braintree, Chain, Credit Karma, HelloWallet, Kensho, LearnVest, Motif, Personal Capital, Plaid, Prosper, Quantopian, Ripple, Simple, TransferWise, TrueAccord, Vouch, Wealthfront, and Xignite made the list.


*Forbes skipped this compilation for 2017.

Symbiont Smart Contracts to Simplify Index Data Sharing for Vanguard

Smart contracts platform Symbiont announced this week it has teamed up with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) to help Vanguard improve the distribution of index data.

This partnership will allow index data to move between index providers and market participants in real time over a single, decentralized database. The project, which has been in a testing phase for the last several months, delivers the data over a blockchain and automates the workflows using smart contracts. The result is three-fold: it expedites data delivery, eliminates the need for manual updates, and reduces risks. The groups expect that CRSP index data delivery and intra-day updates over the blockchain will be available in early 2018.

Generally, transmitting index data relies on multiple parties and channels. Explaining the benefits of the improved distribution method, Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Management Group said, “Using this platform, investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive, and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings that potentially results in better returns for our clients.”

Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont, said he is “pleased” that CRSP and Vanguard were willing to collaborate on the new method. “Through this collaboration we were able to show how Symbiont’s blockchain technology and smart contracts can enhance market data distribution among disparate parties,” Smith said.

Symbiont was founded in 2015 and offers three products, each of which leverages the blockchain. Symbiont Assembly offers a single, global accounting ledger, Symbiont Secure Channels is a mechanism for sharing confidential data, and Symbiont Smart Securities is a platform that models the complex states and interactions for financial instruments. At FinDEVr New York 2016, the company’s CTO and cofounder Adam Krellenstein gave a presentation titled Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts.

Last month, Symbiont won the Buy-Side Technology Award for Best Distributed Ledger Technology Project by Waters Technology for the second consecutive year. Earlier this summer, the company closed an undisclosed strategic investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies. Headquartered in New York, Symbiont has a total of $7 million in funding.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Net Neutrality: Pay Up for Fast Fintech or Let the Invisible Hand be Your Guide?
  • Financeit Recapitalization Gives Goldman Sachs Majority Stake
  • Symbiont Smart Contracts to Simplify Index Data Sharing for Vanguard

Around the web

  • Pindrop and Lloyds Banking Group win Gold Award for ‘best risk and fraud management programme’ at the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards.
  • Socure named one of the Top AI Companies in the world by CB Insights.
  • GreenKey joins Symphony Software Foundation.
  • Argentine digital consumer lender Wenance chooses Mambu’s SaaS engine.
  • Finicity integrates its asset verification tool into Black Knight’s LoanSphere Exchange Digital platform.
  • HousingWire features Roostify and its focus on the consumer 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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • NuCypher Raises $4.3 Million from Token Sale and VC Funds
  • Simility Adds PayPal as Strategic Investor in Latest $17.5 Million Fundraising

Around the web:

  • INETCO adds centralized switch application performance monitoring capabilities within the INETCO Insight software platform.
  • CFCU Community Credit Union Selects nCino to Boost Operational Efficiencies.
  • Blackhawk’s CashStar powers the launch of enhanced consumer gift card ecommerce program for Chico’s FAS
  • Tuition.io to power Student Loan Debt Reduction benefit to their Educational Assistance Program for MidWestOne Financial Group.
  • VentureBurn lists Entersekt as 1 of 8 12 South African startups to watch in 2018.
  • Vanguard turns to Symbiont smart contracts to simplify index data sharing process.

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.

Symbiont Wins Distributed Ledger Technology Award for Second Year in a Row

When it comes to award-winning, buy-side, distributed ledger technologies, the smart contract solutions from Symbiont are apparently pretty hard to beat.

For the second consecutive year, the New York-based company has won the Buy-Side Technology Award for Best Distributed Ledger Technology Project by Waters Technology. In accepting the award, Symbiont CEO and co-founder Mark Smith emphasized the technology’s applicability to the buy-side, calling it a “founding principle” to help “upgrade settlement processes in capital markets via blockchain and smart contracts.” Smith highlighted the decentralized nature of Symbiont’s platform, with each network node being equal, as another advantage. “Because there are no gatekeepers in Symbiont networks,” Smith said, “the balance of power is fair to everyone and we appreciate the buy-side recognizing the value of this.”

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

Symbiont Chairman and President Caitlin Long was even more specific, adding that the “long-only buy-side” is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of blockchain technology. This is because many of the costs increasingly borne by the buy-side – latency, capital requirements, counterparty risk – can be reduced with blockchain-based solutions, Long explained.

Founded in 2015, Symbiont has supported a number of major blockchain projects including its joint venture with Ipreo – a 19-party pilot for syndicated loans – and its work with the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. Last month, the company joined the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance as a corporate member, and this summer, Symbiont announced a strategic investment from Medici Ventures. A partnership with Privatemarket.io to build an alternative investment marketplace for closed-end funds announced in June and an investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies in May further characterize a busy year for Symbiont.

Company CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016 where he explained the differences between Symbiont’s Smart Securities system and traditional distributed databases.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Symbiont Wins Distributed Ledger Technology Award for a Second Year in a Row.

Around the web

  • FinTech Insider News interviews Revolut founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky.
  • Diebold Nixdorf SVP of Software Alan Kerr talks omnichannel ecommerce with PYMNTS.com.
  • Betterment’s Nick Holeman discusses spotting bull markets on CNBC.
  • CardFlight to power mobile POS offering from Beyond.
  • Quotatis Pro highlights Xero in its list of top apps to help you run your business.
  • Neustar joins Visa ID Intelligence as a digital identity partner.
  • PayNearMe teams up with New York City Department of Finance to enable parking ticket fines at more than 100 area 7-Elevens.

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

  • AutoGravity Partners with Global Lending Services.
  • SelfScore Rebrands as Deserve, Closes on $12 Million in Funding.
  • Credit Sesame Raises More than $42 Million, Unveils Robo Advisor for Credit.

Around the web

  • Avoka extends strategic partnership with Mitek for digital identity verification solutions.
  • Commercial loan origination, CRM are among the new features in Baker Hill NextGen solution.
  • OnDeck partners with Ingo Money and Visa to provide loans to SMEs via debit card.
  • Westpac NZ to transition to real-time banking platform from ACI Worldwide.
  • Regions Bank to add P2P payment and account-to-account transfer solutions from Fiserv.
  • iSignthis announces new agreement with Omnislots.com operator, Dialinvest.
  • Payment Ninja to launch in the U.S. in November.
  • ThreatMetrix and ID.me partner to deliver ID verification for government and commercial digital services
  • Russian bank Lipetskcombank implements new mobile banking app built on Tranzware Mobile Banking from Compass Plus.
  • Accenture and nCino expand alliance to accelerate digital transformation within top U.S. banks
  • Symbiont joins Wall Street Blockchain Alliance as corporate member.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee to integrate risk insight solutions with Fannie Mae’s Ddsktop underwriter validation Service.

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.

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.