Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Coinbase Custody Helps Institutional Investors Securely Store Digital Assets
  • Kabbage Expands Small Business Funding with $200 Million Credit Facility.

Around the web

  • Overbond offers U.S. corporate issuers and institutional investors real-time access to its platform.
  • PayPal and Synchrony Financial expand strategic consumer credit relationship.
  • U.K.-based Featurespace to open office in Atlanta in November.
  • WealthForge Debuts Its First Regulation A Offering with New Investor Workflow
  • GoBankingRates features Blend, Unison, and Ellevest in its 10 Startups to Watch in 2018 list.

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

  • PayStand Scores in $6 Million Series A Funding
  • Actiance Acquired by K1 Capital Management

Around the web

  • American Express, Santander UK, and Ripple team up to support blockchain-enabled, cross-border, B2B payments.
  • Veridium announces partnership with Walla to pilot digital banking model in sub-Saharan Africa that uses biometrics for authentication.
  • Econiq wins Honorable Mention at annual BankNews Innovative Solutions Awards for its Conversation Hub.
  • Best of Show winner Unison unveils 2018 expansion plans.
  • CREALOGIX announces expansion into Asia-Pacific with new offices in Singapore.

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.

Unison Leverages Institutional Investors to Help Home Buyers Bridge Affordability Gap

Is the most innovative insight in mortgagetech doing away with the idea of the mortgage in the first place? After listening to Unison the answer might surprise you.

“Homeowners have traditionally financed their homes with various forms of debt,” Jim Riccitelli, Co-CEO of the mortgagetech innovator, Unison, explained. “With debt, the homeowner pays interest and makes monthly payments. A Home Ownership Investment is home financing based on partnership, and it completely changes the game. It is not debt.”

Unison has developed a new financial services category – home ownership investing – which, in addition to providing new opportunities for investors, helps potential homebuyers manage and overcome the traditional challenges to financing a home purchase. The company’s Home Ownership Investments provide cash financing to homeowners for up to 30 years. And instead of a monthly payments or interest charges, Unison’s investors earn returns based on the change in value when the homeowner sells the property. Hence the partnership. “If the home value rises, the homeowner and the investor both profit,” Riccitelli said. “If the home value falls, both lose.”

Pictured (left to right): Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli and Director of Engineering Neal Behrend demonstrating Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner at FinovateSpring 2017.

He adds that combining traditional financing with home ownership investing can be a powerful resource for homebuyers, especially those struggling to save enough for a downpayment in any one of America’s soaring housing markets. “A home ownership investment can double a buyer’s downpayment cash, which can eliminate the need for costly mortgage insurance, significantly lower the monthly mortgage payment, and enable the buyer to comfortably afford the home they really want,” Riccitelli said.

Home ownership investments can also help existing homeowners retire debt without incurring additional debt via consolidation loans and similar debt-incurring tactics. This product, the Unison HomeOwner Program, can also fund the launch of a new business, cover the costs of home remodeling, or pay for educational expenses for the kids. “All without adding to their monthly payment burden,” he explained.

For investors, Unison provides a long-term investment opportunity in residential real estate, the largest asset class in the U.S. Riccitelli points out that residential real estate is especially attractive to institutional investors who have long-term time horizons and a preference for inflation-hedging or inflation-beating investments. “For the first time ever, Unison’s HomeBuyer and HomeOwner programs have made residential real estate an investable asset class for institutional investors who represent the largest pool of investment capital in the world,” he said.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2004
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2017 for its Unison HomeBuyer, Unison HomeOwner programs

We met with Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli (pictured) and Director of Corporate Communications Michael Micheletti at FinovateSpring and followed up with a few questions by e-mail. Below are the responses.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Riccitelli: On the consumer side, we help first-time buyers, millennials, trade up and trade down buyers, across all price points, in most of the major metropolitan areas in the country. We help them in the following ways:

  • We make it much easier for the buyer to income-qualify for the mortgage loan needed to purchase the desired home.
  • We enable the buyer to purchase the desired home with a lower monthly payment (typically 15-20% lower).
  • We can increase the buyer’s purchasing power by up to 100%, allowing them to choose the home they really want versus settling.
  • We can enable the buyer to retain cash after closing for important life needs such as college tuition, home remodeling, starting a business, investing for retirement or just as a cash cushion for a rainy day.
  • We allow the buyer to show a stronger offer (with a larger down payment), making them much more competitive in tight housing markets.

We also help existing homeowners unlock a portion of their home equity without borrowing, and without monthly payments or interest. They can use the cash for any purpose, including paying off debt, college tuition, home remodeling, starting a business, investing for retirement, or paying medical bills.

On the investor side, our customers are institutional investors, such as pension funds and university endowments, who have a natural need for long-term price exposure to residential real estate, the largest asset class in the United States. This asset class is particularly attractive to these investors who have a long investment horizon and an investment objective of hedging or outperforming inflation. For the first time ever, Unison’s HomeBuyer and HomeOwner programs have made residential real estate, the world’s largest asset class, an investable asset class for institutional investors, who represent the largest pool of investment capital in the world.

Finovate: How does your solution solve the problem better?

Riccitelli: Due to the game-changing nature of our innovation, we don’t just solve a problem better, we solve it in the first place; it was not previously solvable without our innovation.

On the consumer side, we provide very-long-term lump-sum home financing that enables more families to purchase homes and helps existing homeowners finance life needs, all without added debt and without monthly payments.

On the investor side, we make the largest asset class in the world, residential real estate, an investable asset class for the largest investors in the world, pension funds and university endowments, who have an investment objective of hedging or outperforming inflation and have a natural need for the exposure.

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

Riccitelli: We have so many happy homeowner success stories that it’s difficult for us to name a favorite. But here’s a recent one as an example.

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

Riccitelli: Our team has a deep background in investment management, real estate, home finance, operations, and funding and building startup businesses, and that certainly gives us confidence. But we knew how difficult and lengthy the process would be to build something so revolutionary; that results in dramatic changes in a highly regulated industry where change is so hard to promote. So more than anything, our spirit of entrepreneurism and our sense of commitment and perseverance gives us the confidence we need.

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

Riccitelli: We have several new programs coming, including programs for rental properties and homeowners with lower credit. We also have some very exciting things in the works that we will introduce to the world in 2018, including another revolutionary home purchase finance program and a program designed for retiree homeowners. Stay tuned!

Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?

Riccitelli: We’ll continue to lead this large and exciting consumer finance category. We’ll have many thousands of happy customers and be well on our way to making Home Ownership Investment a mainstream financing tool. We’ll expand our geographic footprint. We’ll also be introducing a few more innovative alternatives to debt that give consumers additional flexibility and control.


Unison Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli and Director of Engineering Neal Behrend demonstrating Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner at FinovateSpring 2017.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Unison Leverages Institutional Investors to Help Home Buyers Bridge Affordability Gap.
  • Fiserv Wins Trio of New Credit Union Partners.

Around the web

  • Temenos unveils new online learning platform, Temenos Learning Community.
  • Service Credit Union (SCU) with $3 billion in assets to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • DefenseStorm to bolster cybersecurity operations for Genesee Regional Bank ($551 million in assets).

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

  • Behalf Teams Up with FinWise Bank to Boost Small Business Lending Options
  • Samsung to Power Biometric Authentication Pilot for Bank of America
  • ACH Alert’s Fraud Prevention HQ Empowers Account Holders to Stop Suspicious Transactions

Around the web

  • PayPal unveils two new innovation labs in India.
  • Albany, New York-based SEFCU chooses Fiserv as technology partner.
  • FICO selects Amazon Web Services as its cloud provider.
  • SF Chronicle profiles mortgagetech innovator, Unison, in feature on downpayment assistance for Bay Area homebuyers. Join them next month in New York for FinovateFall.
  • GoBankingRates highlights AutoGravity, M1 Finance, Venmo, Mint in list of best personal finance apps
  • ID.me hires Julie Filion as Chief Marketing Officer.
  • eMoney Advisor moving into Rhode Island offices, expects to hire 100 by 2020.
  • Flywire Offers Summertime Deal for International Tuition Payments with Mastercard.
  • StreetShares adds Heather Tuason as new Chief Product Officer.

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

  • Microblink’s Photopay Expands to New European Markets.

Around the web

  • Daon and Experian talk about fighting fraud with biometric technology on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews Yodlee’s Terry McKeown on managing credit risk.
  • Banking Exchange profiles alternative lender, PayActiv.
  • The Silicon Review features Vantiv Head of Product for Integrated Payments, Moin Moinuddin.
  • FintekNews sits down with Unison Co-CEOs Thomas Sponholtz and Jim Riccitelli to discuss shared real estate investing.
  • Tesobe organizes cross-industry payments hackathon in Australia – Aug 11 thru 13th.
  • CRN names Veridium on its list of 2017 Emerging Vendors.
  • Total and Worldline Partner with Africa-based InTouch to help deploy Guichet Unique, a digital solution for retail networks.

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

  • EquityZen Secures $3 Million in Round Led by Draper Associates.
  • Karmic Labs Lands $17.2 Million to Grow Enterprise Payment Solutions.
  • Innovation Acceleration: Incubators and Incubation Labs Drive Development in Fintech.

Around the web

  • MoneYou integrates Mitek’s identity solutions for real-time digital onboarding.
  • Xignite launches the Xignite Channel Partner Program to offer partners integrated cloud-based market data solutions.
  • Betterment launches new Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Portfolio.
  • Forbes profiles Unison in look at the challenges facing homebuying millennials.
  • CrowdFlower adds former Amazon AI product specialist Robert Munro as VP of Machine Learning.
  • NuCypher introduces its decentralized key management system, NuCypher KMS.
  • AltFi talks about the role of “platformification” in supporting innovation in fintech with Avoka CEO Phil Copeland.
  • IDG Connect interviews Xpenditure CEO Boris Bogaert on current trends in banking including blockchain R&D.
  • IBM opens new data centers in London, U.K.; Sydney, Australia; and San Jose, California.

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.

FinovateSpring 2017 Best of Show Winners Announced!

Do the Best of Show winners of FinovateSpring 2017 represent our most diverse array of fintech innovations to date?

You be the judge. This year’s winners include four companies that made their Finovate debuts this year, as well as a pair of companies – Hedgeable and SaleMove – that are not only Finovate veterans, but also are previous Best of Show award winners. And when we focus on the technologies involved: artificial intelligence, automated financial advisory, OCR, machine learning, biometrics, and more, it is clear that the innovations we see on the Finovate stage are indicative of broader trends not just in fintech, but in the technology industry as a whole.

So here’s to the innovators of FinovateSpring: from those who leverage technology to solve fundamental problems in finance to others who take advantage of the “sharing economy” to introduce entirely new ways to do everything from buying a home to investing for retirement.

Alpharank for its APIs that enable FIs to turn their transaction data into predictive social graph data.

Capitali.se for its fully-automated portfolio management and trade execution technology that turns natural language into executable investment strategies.

 

Hedgeable AI Lab for its artificial intelligence platform, Katana, that leverages voice commands and chatbot technology to provide financial planning advice.

 

 

Microblink for its real-time, retail receipt scanner for mobile apps, turning the mobile camera into an accurate data catcher and replacing manual inputs.

 

 

Neener Analytics for its compliant social media analytics solutions that provide frictionless credit decisioning and individual risk outcome predictions.

 

SaleMove for its Engagement Platform and OmniBrowse solution that helps FIs meet or exceed the in-person customer experience online.

SpeechPro for its VoiceKey.FRAUD technology that uses voice biometrics to enable call centers to detect fraudsters.

Unison for its HomeBuyer and HomeOwner solutions that helps make homes more affordable and home equity easier and less expensive to access.

What a time we had this year in San Jose! Thanks to all our presenting companies, our sponsors and partners, our volunteers, temps, and presenter-acclaimed AV team, and of course, thanks to you, our attendees. We are already looking forward to our return to Silicon Valley next year for FinovateSpring 2018. So if we don’t see you this summer in London for FinDEVr or this fall in New York for our new, expanded FinovateFall conference, we hope we’ll see you again this time next year right here.


Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The six companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 and 2016 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016
FinovateFall 2016
FinovateAsia 2016
FinovateEurope 2017

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Unison

Unison_homepage_April2017

FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Unison is the leading provider of home ownership investments: a new and revolutionary financial product category based on partnership, not debt.

Features

  • Financing for home owners and home buyers
  • Use the money for 30 years with no interest or payments
  • As a partner, Unison shares in the home’s change in value

Why it’s great
This is a game changer – it’s the biggest innovation to come along in residential real estate financing in recent memory.

Unison_JimRiccitelliPresenters

Jim Riccitelli, Co-CEO
Riccitelli leads the product design, business development, and operating platform teams responsible for the company’s flagship programs: Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner.
LinkedIn

 

 

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Robo Advisor Wealthfront Launches Line of Credit to Make Users More Liquid.
  • Our latest FinovateSpring Sneak Peeks are up! Meet Unison, Hedgeable AI Lab, AccountScore, SynapsePay, and HEDG.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Xero Sees $26.4 Million Investment

Around the web

  • Money management app, TD MySpend from TD Bank, closes in on one million users.
  • mBank launches mobile app with Android Pay.
  • ACI Worldwide broadens its relationship with Ant Financial Services mobile payment provider, Alipay.
  • PYMNTS reportsTransferWise To Move Headquarters Out Of UK Due To Brexit.
  • NICE Actimize Launches ActimizeWatch, a Fraud Analytics Optimization Solution.
  • Fiserv to power core processing for SouthEast bank.

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.