Virtual Card Platform Extend Raises $11 Million

Virtual credit card issuance platform Extend has secured $11 million in Series A funding ahead of the company’s Finovate debut next month in San Francisco. The round, led by Point72 Ventures and FinTech Collective, featured participation from Reciprocal Ventures and strategic partner City National Bank.

The funding takes Extend’s total capital to $14 million. The company said in a statement that the financing will enable it to launch new features for both its app and API, pursue partnerships, and add talent to its engineering, marketing, and operations teams.

“Extend allows banks to keep up with the fast pace of the evolving payment landscape,” company CEO Andrew Jamison said. “Our cutting-edge capabilities sit seamlessly on top of existing bank card platforms, eliminating traditional technical hurdles to deployment.”

Extend offers two primary solutions: an app for businesses that enable them to provide their workers with a secure payment option in the form of a virtual card, and a set of APIs that incumbents and startups can use to better leverage virtual credit cards. The company’s virtual card payment option is a boon for businesses engaged in microservices or the gig economy. And Extend’s partnerships with card issuers – the company has integrated with both Mastercard and Visa – empowers those firms to provide a variety of advanced virtual card capabilities to their customers.

“We lead the way for future financial innovation by serving as the layer between fintech startups and financial institutions,” Jamison said. “(This enables) them to better integrate their services for the mutual benefit of their customers.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in New York City, Extend will demonstrate its platform next month in San Francisco at FinovateSpring. To see the company demo its technology live, visit our FinovateSpring registration page and pick up your ticket today.

African Unicorn Jumia Opens on NYSE; UAE’s Finablr Eyes $200M IPO

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE-based payments company Finablr prepares for a $200 million IPO.
  • Emirates NBD launches its WhatsApp Business Solution.
  • Awok.com, a mass market ecommerce platform based in the UAE, raised $30 million in Series A funding.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian fintech BharatPe secures $15.5 million in Series A round to help provide UPI QR codes to merchants.
  • TechCrunch: PayU’s $70 million acquisition of Wibmo signals the company’s interest in the Indian market.
  • Entrepreneur India takes a look at what investors like about Indian fintech.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian SME lender Weel raises $30 million courtesy of investment from Franklin Templeton.
  • Mexico’s Banco BASE partners with Volante Technologies for end-to-end payment processing solutions.
  • PaymentsJournal reviews the surge in the number of new unicorns among Latin American fintech startups.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender receives accreditation from the Singapore government’s IMDA, a certification that enables companies to expand into international markets easier.
  • WeLab, a Hong Kong based mobile lender, earns virtual banking license.
  • Fintech Singapore features its list of the top 10 fintech firms in Thailand for 2019.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The ecommerce marketplace known as the “African Amazon,” Jumia, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Top African finance app Branch lands $170 million in financing led by Foundation Capital and Visa.
  • Nigeria-based bank agent network Kudi raises $5 million in Series A.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Microblink introduces new document scanning app, BlinkCard.
  • Estonia to bid for developing national ID system, PhilSys, in the Philippines.
  • Fiserv helps Hellenic Bank streamline payments.

Top image designed by Freepik

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: SheerID

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

SheerID helps financial institutions acquire high-value customer segments like students, the military, and teachers, with gated, exclusive offers.

Features

  • Sub-second verification for 10 eligibility segments
  • Unparalleled coverage with 8900+ authoritative data sources
  • Privacy-friendly customer experience

Why it’s great

SheerID works with leading brands like Amazon, Discover, Spotify, Target and T-mobile. The solution is proven to deliver a 20:1 return.

Presenter

Sai Koppala, CMO and Head of Product

Koppala is the CMO at SheerID. Prior to this role, he led marketing and product teams at companies like Google, SAP, Proximity (acquired by Apple), and Apigee (acquired by Google).
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Illuma Labs

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

Illuma Access from Illuma Labs enables real-time voice authentication to secure inbound phone calls for call centers. It reduces call duration, improves security, and eliminates friction from customer interactions.

Features

  • Reduce average handle time and operating costs
  • Enhance security against fraudsters and social engineers
  • Elevate user experience with a passive and non-intrusive authentication process

Why it’s great
Illuma Access offers passive voice authentication for call centers. This reduces operating costs, enhances security against fraudsters, and elevates the user experience.

Presenters

Milind Borkar, Founder and CEO

Borkar has 10+ years of experience in R&D in digital signal processing and machine learning, 5+ years in marketing and business development, 50+ product launches, 18 patents, and 14 technical publications.
LinkedIn

Jeremy Whittington, Co-founder and CTO

Whittington has 20+ years of experience in architecting SaaS applications for Fortune 100 companies. He designed and deployed multiple enterprise systems used worldwide and founded two technology startup ventures.
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: U.S. Bank

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S., provides mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when, and where they prefer.

Features

  • U.S. Bank is changing the game for corporate travel and expense management
  • First-to-market technology
  • Customer-centric approach delivers a better experience for travelers and travel managers

Why it’s great

U.S. Bank is radically changing the way organizations manage business travel and expense management through this ground-breaking technology.

Presenters

Bradley Matthews, SVP & Head of Middle Market Product, Partners and Marketing

Matthews is a seasoned financial services executive with a stellar record in strategy and new product development, and a distinct background in robotics and artificial intelligence.
LinkedIn

Tory Passons, VP & Group Product Manager

Passons is an experienced business executive with a diverse background and proven track record in developing new partnerships and product technologies.
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Voca AI

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

Voca.ai has created a smart, human and empathetic virtual call-center agent for financial institutions that helps banks, lenders and insurers increase revenue while reducing operational costs.

Features

  • Human-like speech
  • AI and Machine Learning-based optimization
  • Emotional and intent detection that is instantly scalable

Why it’s great

Voca is the call-center agent you’ve always dreamed of. Voca can handle over 80% of all call and contact center interactions so your agents can focus on what’s really important to your business.

Presenters

Einav Itamar, Co-founder and CEO
Itamar is a serial tech entrepreneur with vast experience in AI and Big Data. He is founder of Corrigon, which was acquired by eBay.
LinkedIn

Danny Ruchman, VP of R&D
Ruchman has 20 years of experience in R&D. He is a former director at eXelate, which was acquired by Nielsen.
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Responsive AI

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

RESPONSIVE helps wealth managers work faster and smarter with advisor Next Best Actions. Private managers and banks use our human-centric AI to grow client wealth and loyalty.

Features

  • Aggregate client data to provide holistic wealth view
  • Detect client financial events based on behavioral analytics
  • Give advisors Next Best Actions to capture revenue and mitigate risk

Why it’s great

Responsive evolves enterprise wealth team performance with proven innovation roadmaps and human-centric AI.

Presenters

Davyde Wachell, CEO and Co-founder

Wachell earned a Symbolic Systems Bsc in AI from Stanford University. He has 15+ years in fintech.
LinkedIn

Logan Grosenick, VP of Research

Grosenick has a MSc in Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University. With 40+ scientific publications with 5000+ citations, he has 12+ years in machine learning and animal behavior prediction.
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: MSTS

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

MSTS is a B2B payments and credit leader. Banks can use MSTS’ Credit as a Service to offer direct billing (terms) to their merchants’ buyers.

Features

  • Provides a solution for banks to offer direct billing options for its merchants
  • Enables banks to capture nearly all B2B spend
  • Creates new lending activity

Why it’s great

Credit as a Service is a valuable tool for FIs to offer additional merchant services and alternative lending options to strengthen relationships with SMB clients.

Presenters

Brandon Spear, President

With experience leading entrepreneurial startup companies in the SaaS and Internet space, Spear helps companies navigate through the early years to become scalable businesses.
LinkedIn

Dan Zimmerman, Chief Product and Information Officer

Zimmerman has over 20 years of experience leading technology, product, and software engineering teams concentrated in the card and payment processing industry.
LinkedIn

Michelle Faul, Senior Director of Global Marketing

Faul leads marketing strategies and initiatives to increase global thought leadership eminence and brand awareness to drive business results.
LinkedIn

Sezzle Raises $5.6 Million in New Funding

Alternative payments specialist Sezzle has raised $5.6 million in funding in advance of its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) later this year. The financing was led by Continental Investors of Chicago, and featured participation from a total of 10 investors. Sezzle plans to raise $6 million in the current round, which was described as a “pre-IPO” round by the Australian Financial Review.

Sezzle hopes to raise between $20 million and $30 million via initial public offering on the ASX. The company admits that it has no plans to begin operations in Australia, and that the listing on the ASX was to take advantage of the investment interest that Afterpay, a Sezzle rival based in Melbourne, has enjoyed since its own arrival on the ASX. Sezzle CEO Charlie Youakim noted that investors in Australia have been quicker than investors in the U.S. to embrace what he called “the potential of the payment method.”

Sezzle empowers consumers by enabling them to make purchases and pay for them in four, interest-free installments, payable every two weeks. The company’s merchant partners have recorded higher average order value and higher conversion rates since adding Sezzle to their checkout systems. More than 3,500 stores currently offer Sezzle as an option.

Sezzle’s funding comes just a few months after the company announced that its Shop Now Pay Later option would be available on the 3dcart ecommerce platform. Founded in 1997, the Florida-based, Inc. 5,000 company has more than 22,000 merchants using its technology to build and manage online stores and shopping carts, and engage in content marketing.

“By providing our merchants with an easy way to allow customers to finance their purchases, we open up possibilities for both retailers and customers,” 3dcart founder and CEO Gonzalo Gil said.

Sezzle demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company was named to American Inno’s Top Minnesota Startup Fundings of 2018 in December, the same month the company announced the hiring of new Chief Risk Officer Jamie Kirkpatrick.

Also late last year, Sezzle picked up a $100 million line of credit from Connecticut-based investment firm, Bastion. The financing helped Sezzle promote its pay-in-2019 initiative with online retailer Tobi during last year’s holiday season. Sezzle also partnered with Priority Payment Systems last fall, which began offering Sezzle’s alternative payment option to the 174,000+ merchants on its network.

Fintech’s Innovation Opportunity: From AI to UX

After two days of live fintech demonstrations, FinovateSpring turns to the experts. Our Content Day on Friday, May 10, will give attendees the opportunity to hear industry professionals share their insights into how the technologies of today are building the fintech of tomorrow.

To whet your appetite, here’s a quick survey of the presentations we’ll feature on the main stage on the final day of the show. Be sure to check out the afternoon sessions in our Digital Banking, Digital Payments, Community Banking, and Digital Lending content streams, as well.

For tickets, visit our FinovateSpring registration page.

  • The Rise of the Machines – The Artificial Intelligence Revolution and the Road to Superintelligence. What Will AI Mean for the Future of Financial Services – And the Future of Work? – read more
  • Which Artificial Intelligence Technologies Will Really Change Financial Services? – read more
  • Turning the Tide on Credit Visibility through Data and Innovation – read more
  • How Can Financial Institutions Capture the Fintech Opportunity and Collaborate with New Players to Transform Customer Experience –read more
  • Simplifying and Securing Digital Commerce through Tokenization – read more
  • How Are Regulators Approaching Cryptocurrencies – read more
  • The Evolving Role of Cybersecurity – Are Banking Treating Technology Risk as Extensions of their Businesses? – read more
  • Investors Debate: Where is the Smart VC Money Investing in Fintech? – read more
  • Finovate Finale! The Accelerators Showcase – read more

Here’s a look at our four content streams – Digital Banking, Digital Payments, Community Banking, and Digital Lending – which will run concurrently from 1:25pm through 2:40pm on Friday afternoon.

Digital Banking

  • Next Generation Banking – What Is the Next Phase of the Digital Banking Revolution – read more
  • Open Banking is Coming! How Will it Change Banking Forever? – read more
  • How New Players, New Platforms, and New Technologies Will Transform Digital Banking. Is There a Role for the Branch in the Digital World? – read more

Digital Payments

  • What Are the Digital Giants Going to do to Payments? Who Will Disrupt the Disruptors? – read more
  • Payments Innovation – Why Experience is the New Reward – read more
  • How New Technologies and New Competitors Will Solve Payments Pain Points Both Online and at Point of Sale – read more

Community Banking

  • How Can Community Banks Collaborate to Find a Path to Change to Compete in a Digital World? – read more
  • Community Bank + Core Vendor + Fintech – What It Takes to Make the Partnership Work – read more
  • How Community Banks Can Take a Strategic Approach to Fintech. What Bumps in the Road Did We Encounter? – read more

Digital Lending

  • How Digital Players Can Transform Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Lending – read more
  • Alt Credit Scores – Enhancing Underwriting Using Big Data & AI – read more
  • How New Players are Harnessing New Technologies to Disrupt the Retail, Small Business, & Commercial Digital Lending Landscape – read more