KPMG, H2 Ventures Unveil Fintech 100 for 2017

It’s that time of the year once again: KPMG and H2 Ventures have teamed up to introduce their Leading Global Fintech Innovators roster, the Fintech 100 for 2017. The judges for this year’s Fintech 100 included more than 20 professionals from KPMG and other organizations with expertise in IT, data analytics, capital markets, financial services, and more.

This year 11 Finovate/FinDEVr alums made the Leading 50, with another 12 alums making the Emerging 50. New entrants to the KPMG/H2 Ventures roster include SoFi and Revolut among the Leading 50. All 12 the alums on the Emerging 50 are making their first appearance. See the full list.

Some of the highlights from the 2017 Fintech 100 include the observation that five of the roster’s top 10 companies are from China, as are the top three companies on the list: Ant Financial, ZhongAn, and Qudian (Qufenqi). The U.S. has a pair of companies in the top five: Oscar and Avant, and Europe and the U.K. each have one company in the top ten: Kreditech and Atom Bank, respectively.

Speaking of Asia, the Asia-Pacific region has 30 fintech companies in the top 100. The United States has 19 companies – the most from any single country – and the U.K. and EMEA areas have 41 companies in the list. The U.K. and EMEA region are also responsible for the highest number of companies on KPMG/H2 Ventures’ Emerging 50 list with 26.

With regard to sectors within fintech, the Fintech 100 breaks down as follows:

  • 32 lending companies
  • 21 payments companies
  • 14 transaction and capital markets companies
  • 12 insurance/insurtech companies
  • 7 wealth management/wealthtech companies
  • 6 cybersecurity/regtech companies
  • 4 blockchain/digital currency companies
  • 3 data and analytics companies

Alums from the Leading 50

Alums from the Emerging Stars

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

This week, CB Insights unveiled its Fintech 250 list. The research outfit selected 250 emerging, private companies in 17 sub-sectors of fintech that are changing the face of financial services. The roster includes 44 Finovate and FinDEVr alums that were selected using CB Insights’ data-driven process that analyzes company momentum, market participation, funds raised, and investor quality.

The list is in alphabetical order.

Algomi

AutoGravity

Avalara

Behalf

Betterment

Blend

Chain

Coinbase

Credit Karma

Currencycloud

CurrencyFair

Fenergo

Financeit

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

Juvo

Kabbage

Kensho

Kreditech

Klarna

LendUp

Moneytree

PayNearMe

Payoneer

Personal Capital

Plaid

Quantopian

Quovo

Revolut

Ripple Labs

Roostify

Signifyd

SocietyOne

Socure

Tink

Token

Tradeshift

Transferwise

TrueAccord

Trulioo

VATBox

Wealthfront

Xignite

Zooz

Zopa

VATBox Brings in $20 Million

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 11.31.53 AM

Automated VAT recovery solution VATBox landed $20 million in funding today. The round was led by Target Global Fund. Existing investor Viola Private Capital, as well as other private investors, also participated.

Combined with the company’s first round, this brings VATBox’s total funding to $50 million since it was founded in 2012. Today’s round will accelerate the company’s international expansion and facilitate product development. VATBox’s SaaS offering is an automated, global VAT recovery service for businesses. Shmuel Chafets, Target Global partner, highlighted VATBox’s potential when he said, “We believe that within a few years VATBox’s services will become an integral part of the financial infrastructure for every international company.”

At FinovateEurope 2015, the company launched VATBox2, an automated version that leverages qualified and validated data to deliver full visibility and compliance. The company’s clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Eli Lilly, Dell, and 3M. In May of last year, VATBox was listed among the top promising startups in Israel and one month earlier was selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe award.

February seems to be making up for the recent slump in fintech funding. This is the seventh alum funding we’ve seen this month— the 5th this week alone (and it’s only Wednesday!). Including today’s rounds, ten alums have closed on more than $100 million in funding so far this year.

Fintech Trending: RegTech Reality Check, Blockchain Bandwagon, and IBM’s New Wallet

makecompliancegreatagain_redhat

Hat, courtesy of Alloy, a customer-onboarding specialist that debuted at FinDEVr in October.

The dream of RegTech is alive at Finovate

Deloitte recently asked what we should make of regtech in a new report titled, “RegTech is the new FinTech: How agile regulatory technology is helping firms better understand and manage their risks.” To the extent that regtech represents technologies, strategies, and solutions designed to help firms better meet regulatory obligations, remain compliant, and/or secure their processes, there may be less new here than meets the eye. Compared to insurtech, regtech firms have been prominent players in the fintech firmament for years.

To its credit, Deloitte is aware of the “old-is-new-again” aspect of regtech. The report notes that “while the name is new, the marriage of technology and regulation to address regulatory challenges has existed for some time with varying degrees of success.”

Indeed. Consider companies like Gremln (F14), which demonstrated a social media platform specifically for regulated industries, and Finect (F13), which unveiled a compliant communication platform for financial professionals. Qumram (F16) provides software that helps ensure complaint communication by recording digital interactions from web, social, and mobile channels.

My Virtual Strongbox (F14) introduced the kind of secure document-storage technology that can help FIs better manage customer documentation. Global Debt Registry, another F14 presenter, provides compliance and risk-management solutions to the account-management industry. OutsideIQ (F16) enables FIs to uncover regulatory risk using a combination of machine learning and human analysis. FundAmerica (F15), arguably one of the most explicitly regtech companies to demo at Finovate, provides crowdfunding platforms with APIs for a wide variety of “mission-critical, back-end regulatory requirements.”

Additionally, there are a sizeable number of credit risk analysis innovators such as QCR (F15), CreditHQ (F16), and FICO (FD16); companies like Avalara (FD15) that help merchants recognize and satisfy sales-tax requirements (or by that token, even a VATBox (F15) that helps recover VAT fees for international travelers); and cloud-based auditing technologies like those available from Auvenir (F16), whose identity as a fintech company was a topic of our deliberations.

And all of this is to say nothing of the even larger number of security and authentication specialists whose technologies—at least by Deloitte’s definition—can be considered regtech. Note that Deloitte’s Ireland-based rundown of regtech companies includes Finovate alum Trustev (F14), whose online ID-verification technology is very much in the same category as dozens of other security, authentication, verification, anti-fraud innovators.

The question as to whether regtech as a “thing” (as the millennials say) can be separated from the broader fintech discussion is likely more of a marketing decision than anything else. Clearly regtech has the ranks; the issue is to what degree does distinguishing them as a type of innovator apart from the larger fintech world make it easier for these companies to attract top talent, develop necessary solutions, and raise the capital to drive and grow their businesses. From the perspective of fintech in general—and Finovate/FinDEVr in specific—we’re happier having regtech innovating from “inside the tent,” as opposed to being outside the tent trying to find a way in.

See also:

Blockchain bandwagon

Two more major players jumped on the blockchain bandwagon. IBM (FD16) showed its Hyperledger at FinDEVr last week and Visa (FD14) announced its cross-border payment system built on blockchain-like distributed ledgers, an apparent challenge to Swift. The technology is powered by Chain (FD15) which counts Visa, Capital One (FD15) and Citibank as investors. According to Javelin Strategy, banks will invest $1 billion this year in blockchain initiatives.

Mobile payments gets another huge player

Speaking of IBM, one of the more surprising announcements at Money2020 was the launch of IBM Pay, a private-label mobile payments and POS system. Details are sketchy, but in the IBM video below, it appears to be a Starbucks-like QR code system. It’s part of IBM’s Watson Commerce initiative.

Finovate Alums Help Represent Fintech Innovation in Israel

Israel_FlagPYMNTS.com published an interesting, metric-based post on the tech scene in Israel. The post emphasized that while the country has a well deserved reputation as a “cybersecurity hotspot,” it is also true that “Israel’s tech ambitions and prowess extend much further.”

The salient statistic for me: 430—the number of fintech startups headquartered in Israel—is highly impressive, considering only 90 fintech startups existed in 2009.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some recent Israel-based Finovate alums who are helping make the country one of the world’s key locations for fintech innovation.

Our 14 Israel-based Finovate alums have raised more than $164 million in funding. Two alums—NICE Systems and Top Image Systems—are publicly traded on the Nasdaq, and two more—Capitali.se and TipRanks—have won Best of Show awards.

TheFloor_Israelfintechhub

There’s no doubt the fintech in Israel is on the move. The country’s first fintech hub, The Floor, was launched in 2015, and as of March 2016 is now located at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Writing about why fintech innovation is thriving in Israel, VentureBeat’s Avi Zeevi of Carmel Ventures highlighted a few key features:

  • Mastery of relevant technologies such as real-time analytics, cybersecurity, and risk management
  • Legacy of success creating a “startup ecosystem (with) massive amounts of knowledge”
  • The country has learned from other key global financial centers
  • Global financial institutions have a presence and have been investing in Israel
  • Israeli FIs “have always been open to innovation”

“All of this had led to a dramatic rise in investments in Israel fintech companies,” Zeevi wrote. “By addressing the needs of both developed and emerging markets, Israeli fintech will only continue to grow.”

Are you an Israel-based Finovate or FinDEVr alum that we overlooked? Send us an email at research@finovate.com and we’ll update our roster.

 

 

VATBox Wins Spot in Inaugural Global MasterCard Start Path Class

VATBox_homepage_Nov2015

VATBox will join three other startups in the inaugural global class of the MasterCard Start Path program.

The six-month class includes “immersion weeks” hosted in Berlin and Singapore, as well as ongoing support from the MasterCard network. The companies will also be invited to attend the Start Path Global Partner Summit to meet and network with representatives from more than 20 banking, retail, and technology companies such as Samsung Card, TSYS, and Bank of Montreal.

The four startups will have access to the nearly 40 companies that have been previously mentored by, or partnered with, Start Path, including Finovate alums, Big Data Scoring, CardFlight, nymi, and Rippleshot.

VATBox_stage_FEU2015b

VATBox CEO and co-founder Isaac Saft demonstrated the VATBox Automated VAT Recovery and Visibility solution at FinovateEurope 2015.

Stephane Wyper, global lead for MasterCard Start Path, said that the program was designed to be “more globally inclusive” and “provide startups access to new markets without uprooting them.” To qualify for the program, startups must have a live product in the market and have received initial funding. Joining VATBox will be payment analytics startup, Control; Japanese PFM innovator Moneytree; and artificial intelligence specialist, Rainbird.

Launched in 2014, MasterCard Start Path supports early stage startups working on the next generation of e-commerce solutions, including building big data, mobile, and cloud-based applications. The program seeks diversity among participating startups, encouraging companies with different levels of funding, team sizes, revenues earned and place of origin to apply. There were more than 200 applicants to this incoming inaugural global class.

MasterCard_Start_Path_homepage

In addition to making its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2015 in London in February, VATBox raised $24 million in growth equity investment in August. The company provides an automated VAT (value-added tax) recovery solution that helps maximize VAT returns in a transparent and compliant way.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Herzilliya, Israel, VATBox demonstrated its Automated VAT Recovery and Visibility platform at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. Isaac Saft is CEO and co-founder.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “VATBox Wins Spot in Inaugural Global MasterCard Start Path Class”
  • “Finovate Debuts: Persistent Systems Introduces Social Payments Solution, BuddyPay

Around the web

  • Billhighway ranked number 398 fastest growing company in North America on Deloittes 2015 Technology Fast 500.
  • Inspirus Credit Union replaces its existing digital banking system with Alkami Technology’s ORB platform.
  • Corezoidpowered mobile Privat24 for Android lets users scan and digitize discount cards.
  • Let’s Talk Payments features Coinbase, Chain, Ripple, and ItBit in its roundup of top fundraising blockchain and bitcoin companies for 2015.
  • PYMNTS.com interviews Ripple CEO Chris Larsen on payment trends for 2016.
  • BBVA’s new release of BBVA Wallet enables users to redeem credit card rewards on the spot.
  • TokBox’s new developer toolkit brings voice and video chat to Apple TV apps.
  • Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer joins Wealthfront’s board of directors.

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.

VATBox Locks Up $24 Million Growth Equity Investment

VATBox_homepage_Aug2015

In a round led by Viola Private Equity, VATBox raised $24 million in growth equity funding. The company says the new capital will be instrumental in driving growth and taking advantage of a market plagued by “inefficient, risky, non-visible, and limited” manual service providers.

“As the first and only tech player in this market,” VATBox CEO Isaac Saft said in a statement, “we provide fully secure and easy-to-use solutions that maximize VAT recovery, while adding an essential compliance and governance layer that has not been available before.”

The investment is the first major funding for VATBox, which was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Herzilliya, Israel. VATBox provides cloud-based VAT (value-added tax) recovery solutions for multinational companies. Importantly, VATBox also provides a compliance and governance layer that provides full accountability and transparency for both CFO and controller.

VATBox_stage_FEU2015

VATBox CEO Issac Saft demonstrated the VATBox Automated VAT Recovery and Visibility platform at FinovateEurope 2015.

VATBox tells users how much international VAT has been spent across the entire business, as well as the likely amount of VAT that can be reclaimed—by country, date, and expense type. The optimization features of VATBox show, for example, the difference between potential and actual VAT returns, and information on lost VAT refunds.

As Saft explained from the FinovateEurope statge: “As a business, if I know how much of what I spend is the VAT part, if I have the evidence [to] prove that business expense [and] if I am familiar with a practical way of getting my money back, I can go and take my money.”

“There is nothing about ‘taxes’ here,” Saft said. “It is all about getting your money back.”

In June, VATBox announced a partnership with Concur, bringing VATBox’s VAT-recovery functionality to clients of Concur’s expense-reporting platform. The technology is available in 40 different countries—from Australia and Canada to Taiwan and the United States—and the company plans to use its new capital to help fuel “aggressive” growth in both new and existing markets. VATBox made its debut at FinovateEurope 2015 in London when it demonstrated its Automated VAT Recovery and Visibility platform.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Mogl Earns $8 Million Investment Ahead of FinovateFall Debut”
  • “VATBox Locks Up $24 Million Growth Equity Investment”

Around the web

  • edo Interactive launches Blended Activation to give advertisers flexibility in how offers are redeemed.
  • nymi teams up with TD Bank and MasterCard to develop heartbeat-based, biometric authentication for contactless payments.
  • Generations Federal Credit Union hires Insuritas to upgrade its insurance agency offerings.
  • Intrade Magazine interviews Daniel Abrahams, CurrencyTransfer CEO.
  • Top Image Systems reports Q2 revenue growth of 21%.
  • Flint Mobile enhances its iOS app that leverages Apple’s digital wallet ecosystem.
  • Check Point Software Technologies and Wavecrest Computing partner to integrate Wavecrest’s Cyfin reporting tool with Check Point’s Next Generation Threat Prevention solution.
  • Austin Business Journal ranks BancVue’s Kasasa as number 6 in its 2015 Best Places to Work contest.
  • Tradeshift acquires Merchantry, a cloud-based, product-information-management provider for $30 million in cash and stock.

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.

VATBox Takes the Headache Out of Tracking VAT

VATBoxLogo.jpgThis post is part of our live coverage of FinovateEurope 2015.

VATBox demonstrated its system that tracks and manages VAT spend:

VATBox is demoing a first-of-its-kind, cloud-based, truly automated solution. The automated VAT recovery solution and dashboard enable customers to build one global process that tracks and manages VAT spend with ease. Automation guarantees reduce risk, simplicity, and ease of use by eliminating human error and reducing the inefficiencies of manual processes. But, automation and transparency isn’t only about the money, it’s about data integrity. Qualified and validated data delivers visibility, control, and compliance.

VATBox empowers companies like Teva, PPG, and Broadcom by maximizing returns while enabling transparency. Deployment is simple; all it takes is a few simple steps.

Presenters: CEO, Co-founder Isaac Saft; Stephen Coleclough, advisory board member, VATBox
 
VATBox_7907.JPG
First product launch: November 2013; VATBox 2, January 2015
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B) and through other Fintech companies and platforms
HQ: Herzilliya, Israel
Founded: 2012
Website: vatbox.com
Twitter: @VATBox