Fintech’s First Quantum Computing Startup Secures Seed Funding

Fintech’s First Quantum Computing Startup Secures Seed Funding

In a world in which a new enabling technology seems to capture the fintech imagination at least every other year, quantum computing remains relatively elusive. The promise of being able to leverage quantum computations to accomplish tasks that challenge if not overwhelm current, classical computing technologies is one that, in the area of fintech, has yet to be realized.

Is this about to change? Multiverse Computing, which bills itself as the first quantum computing startup focused on finance, announced this week that it has secured $11.55 million (€10 million) in seed funding. The round was led by JME Ventures and featured participation from a sizable number of investors including Quantonation, EASO Ventures, Inveready, CLAVE Capital, Ikerlan, LKS, Penja Strategy, Seed Gipuzkoa, and Ezten Venture Capital Fund.

“We are a unique company in the quantum computing field,” Multiverse Computing co-founder and CEO Enrique Lizaso said. “While other firms are focused on improving the fundamental hardware and software components of quantum computers, we are keenly focused on leveraging the most advanced quantum devices available now to deliver near-term value for the financial sector.”

Multiverse Computing enables financial professionals to manage complex financial problems such as portfolio optimization and fraud detection. Using the company’s solution, Singularity, users can leverage a simple spreadsheet to run quantum algorithms on any quantum computer without requiring any expertise or experience in programming or working with quantum computers.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Basque Country’s San Sebastián, Multiverse Computing enjoys the support of not only its native government, local startup accelerators, and technology centers; but also of institutions like Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). MultiVerse Computing also has forged partnerships with a wide range of technology companies, including IBM, Microsoft, Amazon AWS, Fujitsu, and Quantum Technologies, and said it is collaborating with a number of financial institutions, as well.

“We believe Multiverse Computing will be a global leader in the quantum computing industry,” Lizaso said. “We expect to have annual revenue close to €100 million by 2027 with a staff of 100 people.”

The company plans to use the funding to support its expansion into markets like energy, mobility, and smart manufacturing. The capital will also help fuel Multiverse Computing’s international growth including an office in Toronto and new offices in Paris, France, and Munich, Germany.


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Facebook Launches Novi Digital Payment App Pilot with Pax Dollar Rather Than Diem

Facebook Launches Novi Digital Payment App Pilot with Pax Dollar Rather Than Diem

Facebook has launched a pilot project for its digital payments app Novi and, courtesy of partnerships with Paxos and Coinbase, will use USDP (Pax Dollar) rather than its Diem stablecoin. The pilot will involve users in Guatemala and the U.S., enabling them to send money to their contacts internationally via the Novi app. The fund transfers are instant, secure, and fee-free.

The decision to use USDP, according to Novi head David Marcus, was not intended as a negative change-of-heart toward Diem. “Our support for Diem has not changed,” Marcus said. “We intend to migrate Novi to the Diem payment network once it (receives) regulatory approval.” He added that using USDP for the pilot project would enable the team to test the technology with a stablecoin that had both a track record of successful operation, as well as “important regulatory and consumer protection attributes.”

First introduced two years ago (as Libra), Diem was initially planned for a 2020 release. However, regulatory concerns emerged almost immediately. For some, the issue was Facebook’s role itself and the potential problems of a for-profit corporation issuing currencies. Others worried about how to classify the technology, as well as how to effectively regulate the Libra platform – especially if the technology was used to help Facebook expand into banking and lending services. These concerns, and Facebook’s apparent inability to respond to them thoroughly, led to a number of high-profile withdrawals from the project, as Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, and Visa all elected to exit the Libra Association, an organization established to oversee the development of the technology. In November 2020, the project was revised so that Libra would be backed by a single currency, the U.S. dollar, on a one-to-one basis rather than backed by a basket of multiple currencies as previously planned. The project was also rebranded “Diem.”

In the current project, Novi will use the USDP for transactions, and Coinbase will serve as the custody partner. But as far as Facebook is concerned, the selection of the Pax Dollar over Diem at this point is more of a tactical retreat than a strategic withdrawal. “We believe a purpose-built blockchain for payments, like Diem, is critical to deliver solutions to the problems that people experience with the current payment system,” Marcus explained.

That said, even the new project continues to face criticism, with a handful of senators – including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – urging Facebook to suspend the project immediately. “Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a payment system or digital currency when its existing ability to manage risk and keep consumers safe has proven wholly insufficient,” the senators said in a statement.


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More Than $1.1 Billion Raised by 14 Alums Q3 2021

More Than $1.1 Billion Raised by 14 Alums Q3 2021

For the third Q3 in a row, Finovate alums have raised at least $1 billion in equity funding. This year’s third quarter is consistent with both the amounts raised ($1.1 billion) and the number of alums securing investment (14) from the same quarter last year.

Interestingly, August continues to be a strong month for alum funding during the third quarter; for a third consecutive year, August investment has exceeded that of both July and September for our Finovate alums.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q3 2020: More than $1.2 billion raised by 14 alums
  • Q3 2019: More than $1 billion raised by 21 alums
  • Q3 2018: More than $400 million raised by 19 alums
  • Q3 2017: More than $1 billion raised by 31 alums
  • Q3 2016: More than $500 million raised by 30 alums

The third quarter of 2021 also saw one company, DriveWealth, become far and away the biggest recipient of investment dollars, topping the second biggest fundraiser by 3x. Three companies, M1 Finance, Alloy, and AuthenticID, secured triple-digit investments of at least $100 million.

The top ten equity investments, in a quarter with fourteen total alum fundraisings, represented the lion’s share of Q3’s investment total. Approximately 90% of the quarter’s total funding was represented by Q3’s top ten investments.

Top Ten Equity Investments for Q3 2021

  • DriveWealth: $450 million
  • M1 Finance: $150 million
  • Alloy: $100 million
  • AuthenticID: $100 million
  • Ocrolus: $80 million
  • Paystand: $50 million
  • Sezzle: $30 million
  • Dwolla: $21 million
  • Moneyhub: $18 million
  • Capitalise.com: $13.8 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q3 2021.

July 2021: More than $469 million raised by seven alums

August 2021: More than $476 million raised by five alums

September 2021: More than $180 million raised by two alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the third quarter of 2021, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at research@finovate.com. We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.


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Pagaya and SoFi Team Up to Broaden Access to Financial Services for Borrowers

Pagaya and SoFi Team Up to Broaden Access to Financial Services for Borrowers

A newly announced collaboration between AI-powered credit and analysis technology company Pagaya and personal financial services innovator SoFi will help more eligible consumers find and secure financing. The partnership will enable SoFi members to leverage Pagaya’s AI network to access a wider range of financial solutions in what Pagaya said is the largest deployment of its technology in the fintech space to date.

“We are excited to leverage SoFi’s sophisticated tech platform, strong brand, and consumer appeal to originate loans through Pagaya’s AI network,” SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said, “extending its business to a broader audience, so more people can access credit and achieve their financial goals.”

Pagaya’s technology and infrastructure enables financial institutions, including lenders and fintechs, to offer their customers access to financial products beyond those available via traditional credit models. Using both AI and machine learning, Pagaya lowers risk for lenders and helps them make better credit decisions. The goal is to provide a better, more positive experience for borrowers, and higher conversion rates for loan providers, as well as improving the overall credit ecosystem.

“As Pagaya grows, it is imperative that we partner with companies that share our vision of providing increased efficiency through our AI network for lenders and access for its customers,” Pagaya CEO and co-founder Gal Krubiner said. “Working with a company such as SoFi, we are able to apply our artificial intelligence in a way to not only help SoFi extend capital to more people, but do so in a way to create less risk for our partner. This creates a symbiotic, win-win-win ecosystem across all parties.”

Founded in 2016 and maintaining offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and Los Angeles, Pagaya became a public company earlier this fall in a $9 billion SPAC merger with EJF Acquisition Corporation. Earlier this month, Pagaya appointed former JP Morgan CMO Leslie Gillin to the post of Chief Growth Officer. Gillin arrives at a time when the company is looking to expand into new markets including personal and auto loans, credit cards, point-of-sale financing, single-family residencies, and more.

SoFi is an alum of our developers conference FinDEVrNewYork in 2017, which the company participated in with financial data platform Quovo. In the years since, SoFi has grown into a digital financial services giant with more than $50 billion in funded loans, and more than two million members who have paid off a total of more than $22 billion in debt. Additionally, the company recently has launched solutions such as SoFi Money and SoFi Invest which offer cash management (including early payday) and brokerage services, in a major expansion beyond its roots as online loan financing and refinancing innovator.

SoFi is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker SOFI and has a market capitalization of more than $16 billion. SoFi is headquartered in San Francisco, California.


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Emerging Markets Lender Tala Scores $145 Million in Series E Funding

Emerging Markets Lender Tala Scores $145 Million in Series E Funding

In a round led by Upstart, and featuring participation from DeFi network Stellar Enterprise Foundation and new investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group, emerging markets digital lender Tala has raised $145 million in funding. The Series E round takes the company’s total capital raised to more than $350 million. The investment also gives the company a valuation estimated at more than $800 million.

The new capital will help the company continue to offer lending services to both consumers and small businesses. The additional funding will also enable Tala to “accelerate the rollout” of a new offering: a financial account designed to make it easier for its customers to “grow, save, and manage” their money. Tala currently provides loans between $10 and $500 and noted in a blog post that more than six million people have used its app since inception. The company has customers in Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and India who have borrowed a total of $2.7 billion. Tala added that more than 12,000 new users are signing up for the service every day.

Tala is also looking to expand into the digital asset business, as well. “We’ll also work to develop one of the first mass-market crypto products for emerging markets to help make crypto solutions more affordable and equitable for those who need them most,” the company added. Tala will use its new relationship with the Stellar Network to pursue this project.

Tala evolved from InVenture, a company launched by Tala founder and CEO Shivani Siroya to help micro-entrepreneurs in Africa and India build credit histories. The rebrand was an effort to move “beyond building just credit scores to become a company that will also take the first risk on our customers and lend to them directly.” Tala leverages applicant phone data and activity (such as the timeliness of bill payments) to establish creditworthiness and to determine appropriate lending amounts. Via the Tala app, borrowers can apply for funding in minutes and, once approved, can have funds deposited in their accounts or sent to a preferred cash out location in seconds.

This week’s investment also featured participation from existing investors including IVP, Revolution Group, PayPal Ventures, and Lowercase Capital. Launched in Nairobi, Kenya, Tala is currently headquartered in Santa Monica, California.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia


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J’rrive! Arival Bank Launches As a Fully Licensed and Regulated Bank

J’rrive! Arival Bank Launches As a Fully Licensed and Regulated Bank

Arival Bank, which won Best of Show in its FinovateAsia debut in 2018, is now a fully licensed and regulated bank. The company was granted its U.S.-based banking license in Puerto Rico and will leverage its “U.S.-based but internationally friendly” license to work with customers around the world. The license generally allows banks to offer full stack fiat banking services, upon receiving the necessary authorization from the local regulator.

Arival Bank’s primary customers are international technology firms. The bank offers these companies USD-based bank accounts, and supports both domestic and international payments for global technology companies. Arival so far has onboarded more than 100 business customers from more than 25 countries, with the biggest demand coming from firms in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., European Union, and Singapore. Arival has experienced 1.7x month-over-month growth and boasts $13 million in assets under management.

“We’re focused on providing bank accounts to customers who have been labeled as ‘abnormal’ or ‘too risky’ by traditional banks,” Arival Bank COO Jeremy Berger explained in a statement. These firms include everything from international tech startups, digital SMEs, and money service businesses, to crypto exchanges and blockchain startups. “We’ve proudly turned this market of misfits into our niche, and we strongly believe the market demand of the ‘abnormal’ will soon outgrow the demand of the traditional banking clientele,” he said.

Arival’s management team (Director of IT Security Raul Rosado, Head of Finance Vivien Fernandez, CCO Sonia Camacho, Head of Global Compliance Ana Cavallini, Co-Founders Igor Pesin and Jeremy Berger) at the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

In terms of traction, Arival Bank recently was invited to FinCEN’s innovation program to showcase its compliance technology to more than 20 top U.S. regulators. FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that focuses on defending the financial system against criminal and illicit activity, including money laundering. “We’ve built a compliance-first culture and like to think of ourselves as a cutting-edge compliance firm with a banking license,” Berger said. “That’s really our X factor at the end of the day.”

Additionally, Arival Bank has inked a partnership with Railsbank to launch SGD accounts and local payments as part of its borderless account opening offering. The company noted that it may leverage its relationship with Railsbank to expand its services in regions like Europe and Latin America.

“We’ve achieved significant traction since our launch – in large part thanks to our supportive group of visionary investors from our Seed and Pre-A rounds,” Arival Bank co-founder and CFO Igor Pesin said. “They’ve enabled us to invest heavily into key facets of building a digital bank fit for the 21st century: licensing, technology, infrastructure, compliance, and user experience.”

“We’re starting to gear up for our Series A round as we enter a new phase of growth driven by scaling our footprint internationally,” Pesin added. “Being live operationally is somewhat atypical for a licensed digital bank at their Series A round. In other words, our commitment to infrastructure meets our readiness to scale. And we have the license, product, and team to become the go-to digital bank for a new generation of businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Founded in 2018, Arival has 50 employees and hopes to double its workforce by 2022. The company’s investors to date include SeedInvest, Crowdcube, and Polyvalent Capital. Earlier his year, Arival Bank was nominated by Daily Finance as one of the top Fintech Companies in Singapore.


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Cryptocurrencies, Financial Inclusion, and a Look at El Salvador’s Big Bitcoin Bet

Cryptocurrencies, Financial Inclusion, and a Look at El Salvador’s Big Bitcoin Bet

One of the biggest experiments in bringing cryptocurrencies to the mainstream is taking place in the small Central American nation of El Salvador. Earlier this summer, the country’s legislative assembly authorized granting Bitcoin status as legal tender inside El Salvador beginning September 7th. One month after Bitcoin joined the U.S. dollar as the second official currency in the country, what can be said of the project so far?

This morning, Reuters took up the question of Bitcoin adoption in the country and discovered that the initiative has boosted use of the cryptocurrency, but that increase in use has come with more than a few “headaches” for many Salvadorans who have attempted to withdraw cash from Bitcoin wallets or make other transactions with the digital asset.

On the adoption front, Forbes reported late this week that the Bitcoin project has resulted in more Salvadorans having digital, Bitcoin wallets than traditional bank accounts. According to the article, approximately three million Salvadorans have downloaded Chivo, the new, government-sponsored digital wallet to facilitate Bitcoin transactions. This adds up to 46% of the country’s 6.8 million population. “By contrast,” Forbes noted, “as of 2017, only 29% of Salvadorans had bank accounts.” The Forbes account also observed that Chivo is not the only option available to those seeking to transact in the cryptocurrency; the availability of other digital wallets suggests that the estimates on early Bitcoin adoption by El Salvador’s citizens could be significantly higher.

El Salvador president and long-time Bitcoin backer Nayib Bukele boasted recently of negotiations with the country’s largest gas stations to offer reduced prices for those paying for gasoline using the Chivo app. But widespread adoption by the country’s retailers will still be one of the initiative’s biggest hurdles. Part of this issue is likely timing- a Reuters story reported that, according to the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development, 12% of consumers have used Bitcoin in the month since the Bitcoin Law was implemented, and that 93% of the 233 companies it surveyed were reporting no payments in Bitcoin over the same time period. But another part of the issue may be easily explained by Chivo itself, which provides instant conversion from Bitcoin to dollars – meaning Salvadorans who own Bitcoin can still readily pay for transactions in dollars if they choose to.

Nevertheless, early indications are that the project may accomplish its most important role of promoting financial inclusion – especially among the country’s poorer, rural-based citizenry. While some in the business community remain skeptical – and more aggressive opponents of the measure have resorted to vandalizing and defacing Chivo ATMs – others point to the possible use of Chivo as a way for expat Salvadorans living in places like the U.S. to send money to family still in El Salvador as a use case that could help drive Bitcoin adoption in the country. Potential cost savings of using Chivo instead of traditional money transfer services – as well as the Salvadoran government’s willingness to incentivize Chivo use with Bitcoin bonuses of up to $30 – could help Bukele’s Bitcoin brainchild sustain the momentum it already has achieved in its first 30 days.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa


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Digital Insurance Platform Sureify Secures $15 Million in Series C Funding

Digital Insurance Platform Sureify Secures $15 Million in Series C Funding

In a round led by Aspen Capital Group, digital insurance platform Sureify has raised $15 million in Series C financing. The investment takes the company’s total equity capital to more than $26 million, and will enable Sureify to add to its platform and boost its research and development efforts.

“Ultimately, this funding lets us expand our insurers’ capabilities across digital sales, digital service, and digital engagement,” Sureify CEO Dustin Yoder said. “There is a massive opportunity to continue modernizing the legacy aspects of this industry and this investment in Sureify reinforces that we will help the traditional insurer compete against the emerging digital brands.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Sureify made its Finovate debut two years later at FinovateSpring 2014. In the time since, the company gained industry-leading life insurance companies as clients – including Allstate, Principal, State Farm, and Penn Mutual-owned Vantis Life. While a growing number of companies have pursued a direct-to-consumer approach to bringing innovation to the insurance industry, Sureify is among those insurtechs that is dedicated to helping legacy insurers successfully incorporate digital technology to better serve their customers. This includes leveraging personalized sales and service to enable insurers to deepen agent/policyholder relationships and boost ROI.

“Sureify has been on a mission to modernize the life insurance industry for nearly 10 years,” Yoder said. “We’ve now proven both large and small life insurers can digitally transform to compete against the direct-to-consumer entrants and meet the ever-changing consumer expectations year over year.” Yoder noted that Sureify’s technology enables insurance providers to pursue modernization without having to abandon their existing systems, and to do so quickly and without undue expense. “There are no longer questions about if traditional insurers can digitally transform sales, service, or engagement,” Yoder said. “The only real question is when?”

Sureify’s solutions include LifetimeACQUIRE, an omnichannel sales enabling solution that leverages quoting, e-application, and automated underwriting to drive placement rates; LifetimeSERVICE, which offers self-service portals and native apps for in-force customers; and LifetimeENGAGE, which features multi-faceted engagement programs and analytics to foster greater lifetime value of individual policyholders.

This year, Sureify has made a number of key executive changes and additions. The company began 2021 with the appointment of a new president Dan Gordon, who had served as Sureify’s Head of Strategy since 2018. The company brought on Ben Brantley as Chief Technology Officer in June and, last month, announced new Vice President of Product Rob Anagnoson.

BioCatch Unveils Age Analysis Capability to Defend Seniors Against Fraud

BioCatch Unveils Age Analysis Capability to Defend Seniors Against Fraud

Behavioral biometrics innovator BioCatch launched its latest fraud-fighting solution this week. Age Analysis is a new account opening protection capability especially designed to help protect older consumers from fraud and other forms of cybercrime.

“We developed Age Analysis with enhancing customer protection and user experience as our guiding principles,” BioCatch Chief Operating Officer Gadi Mazor explained. “At BioCatch, we work closely with our clients to develop the most forward-thinking behavioral solutions to solve the ever-evolving challenges in combating fraud. Age Analysis empowers financial institutions with the behavioral verification protections most needed to address the growing threat of application fraud.”

The new offering, currently deployed by a number of international organizations as well as a “major credit card issuer,” was developed after noting that 40% of confirmed fraudulent credit card applications involved an applicant above the age of 60. BioCatch also discovered that a significant number of these applications ended up in manual review, increasing both the time spent processing the application as well as diminishing the user experience for older applicants.

Age Analysis works by extracting physical, cognitive, and other behavioral characteristics as the user engages in the account opening process. The technology monitors the activity continuously, predicting what BioCatch refers to as the user’s “approximate behavioral age” and compares it to the applicant’s declared age. If there are significant differences between the two, BioCatch adjusts the user’s risk score to reflect the anomaly.

The technology is based on the finding that certain behavioral characteristics involved in data input tend to change as individuals age. These include factors such as mouse click duration, mobile device orientation preferences, and even actions as specific as the time it takes for a user to shift from the CTRL key to a letter key when inputing data. Learn more about how Age Analysis works, and how it has helped increase company’s ability to detect account opening fraud and boost ROI, in BioCatch’s case study, Top Card Issuers Partner with BioCatch to Protect Senior Citizens from Fraud and Saving Millions.

A Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateFall 2014, BioCatch was founded in 2011 by Avi Turgemen, Benny Rosenbaum, and Uri Rivner to leverage insights derived from Turgemen’s experience in military intelligence to fight online fraud and other cybercrime. Most recently, the company announced joining Alkami Technology’s Gold Partner Program to bring its behavioral biometric technology to Alkami’s bank and credit union customers. In August, BioCatch teamed up with digital financial solution provider MoData to help the company’s clients in Africa better defend themselves against online fraud.

BioCatch has raised more than $213 million in funding from investors including Barclays and HSBC. The company has offices in both New York City and Tel Aviv, Israel.


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SumUp Enhances Online Store; Adds New European CEO

SumUp Enhances Online Store; Adds New European CEO

London-based digital payments innovator SumUp announced the relaunch of its online store and the appointment of a new CEO for Europe: Michael Schrezenmaier.

The decision to enhance the SumUp Online Store is part of a strategic pivot toward online retail, an industry that grew significantly during the pandemic. “E-commerce has completely changed since we first launched the Online Store,” SumUp Vice President of Growth, Mark Wang said. “This shift has meant that an exponentially growing number of people now prefer to shop online.” The SumUp Online Store was initially launched in May 2020.

Among the new features offered are tools to enable business owners to set up a store in minutes due to a simplified signup process, a theme editor to customize storefronts, and a learning hub to support both new and veteran business owners. The upgraded platform also will no longer charge subscription fees, making it that much accessible to more small businesses.

“At SumUp our mission with the new Online Store is to provide a better platform for small businesses to reach customers anywhere in the world,” Wang added. “We are constantly working to build innovations that empower anyone to become an entrepreneur.”

Moving from platforms to people, SumUp also announced today that it has appointed Michael Schrezenmaier as its new CEO of Europe. Schrezenmaier comes to SumUp after serving as Chief Operating Officer and interim co-CEO for CRM platform Pipedrive and nearly seven years as COO at international dating company Spark Networks.

“SumUp is a company known for its entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to embrace change which, combined with its growth journey and continued upward trajectory, makes this an exciting time to join,” Schrezenmaier said, adding praise for the company’s innovation, “dedication to merchants,” and its leadership in the payment space overall.

Marc-Alexander Christ, co-founder of SumUp underscored the “quirks” and regional differences in Europe – and the unique aspects of the average European’s relationship with money – in explaining why Schrezenmaier was the right pick for the CEO spot. Christ called Schrezenmaier “a prime example of the type of person who will drive the company forward as we look to uphold our strong position in Europe – and deliver for our merchants.”

Founded in 2012 and making its Finovate debut a year later at FinovateEurope, SumUp has grown into a global digital commerce enabler and payments company. SumUp supports more than three million merchants around the world and boasts a workforce of 2,600+. The company has raised $1.4 billion in funding, most recently securing $893 million in debt financing in March of this year.


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Digital Insurance Innovator Ladder Raises $100 Million

Digital Insurance Innovator Ladder Raises $100 Million

California-based insurtech Ladder has secured $100 million in Series D funding in a round led by Thomvest Ventures and OMERs Growth Equity. The company, which brands itself as the first, fully digital life insurance company in operation, will use the new capital to fuel further innovation in accessible, affordable life insurance solutions. The investment will also enable Ladder to expand its team, with a goal of more than doubling its workforce in 2022.

“I know first hand how life insurance can change a life,” Ladder co-founder and CEO Jamie Hale explained. “With our carrier in operation and this new round of funding, we are in the position to greatly accelerate innovation in service of families and communities. I am so excited to see our original vision continue to materialize.”

Ladder offers insurance customers flexible term coverage that can be set up in minutes and save policyholders up to 40%. With coverage of up to $8 million available in all 50 states, Ladder leverages an all-digital infrastructure and real-time underwriting to innovate at every step of the life insurance experience – from acquisition and product design to UX, instant issue, and policy administration. In its funding announcement, Ladder highlighted the fact that this week’s investment comes on the heels of 4x revenue growth in 2020 and in advance of its goal of issuing $30 billion in LadderLife coverage by the end of this year.

“Jamie Hale and his visionary management team are building Ladder into an innovative, market-leading digital life insurance company,” Saar Pikar, Managing Director and fintech lead at OMERS Growth Equity, said. “We are very pleased to count Ladder as OMERS Growth Equity’s first direct fintech investment – as well as our entry in the insurtech space, expanding on the insurtech presence established by our OMERS Ventures colleagues. We believe that the company offers a truly transformative approach, including through its efficient adjudication of risk and enhanced user experience.”

Founded in 2015, Ladder has raised a total of $194 million in funding. The company was named to Fortune’s Best Workplaces for a second year in a row this year and, this summer, appointed eight-year LinkedIn veteran Sanjeev Kapur to the newly created role of President.


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The Conversation Continues: Entrepreneurs, Investors, and the Latest from the Finovate Podcast

The Conversation Continues: Entrepreneurs, Investors, and the Latest from the Finovate Podcast

Hot on the heels of its 100th Episode, the Finovate Podcast has churned out a quintet of fascinating conversations with fintech’s most innovative and insightful entrepreneurs and investors.

If you’ve not yet caught up with the latest from Finovate VP and program host Greg Palmer, then here’s a sample of what’s waiting for you over at the Finovate Podcast.

Find the Finovate podcast at Soundcloud and follow Greg Palmer on Twitter for the latest in programming news and updates.


Patrick Chun, Founder and Managing Partner, Juxtapose. Host Greg Palmer and Patrick Chun explore an “upside down” VC model and the early-stage startup space.

“Rather than doing a lot of things, rather than investing in pre-existing businesses of first-time entrepreneurs, and then having a high tolerance for companies going under, we actually do very few things: we start them in partnership with experienced executives and we have a business model that’s actually geared toward making sure everything works.”


Sunaiana Sinha Haldea, Managing Partner, Cebile Capital. Host Greg Palmer and Sunaiana Sinha Haldea discuss macroeconomic trends and the fintech VC landscape.

“We’ve been in business for over ten years and have advised on countless transactions across the market in the U.S. and Europe. We are essentially the advisor of choice to growth and venture funds that are looking to catalyze their own fundraises or secondary transactions on their funds or assets.”


Jesse Wedler, Partner, Capital G. Host Greg Palmer and Jesse Wedler talk about the B2B fintech space from the perspective of a seasoned investor – and offer advice for fintechs on finding big opportunities.

“Our approach to the world is investing in a small number of transformative businesses each year, and making large concentrated bets on those companies. And what we mean by transformative is companies that can transform the industries they are operating in: finding the next generation of Googles out there, companies like Stripe, like UiPath, like Crowdstrike …”


David Cheng, Principal, DCM Ventures. Host Greg Palmer and David Cheng talk about fighting bias and discuss fintech’s moral and social obligations.

“A lot of this inherent bias in financial services and traditional financial institutions doesn’t come from a bad place or any bad intention. If you think about financial institutions like banks and credit unions and a lot of these traditional places … it comes the fact that they need to minimize risk and make sure that their checking accounts, their loans aren’t subject to fraud or default. As a result of that, they have to use a lot of older heuristics like FICO.”


Derik Sutton, Vice President of Marketing, Autobooks. Host Greg Palmer and Derik Sutton explore massive new SMB fintech opportunities.

“We help small businesses get paid directly through their financial institution and, when we do that, we help financial institutions stay ahead of the competition – competition both being traditional banks that they are competing with, and then also the emerging rise of digital-first entities like Square, PayPal, QuickBooks and others that are aggressively targeting the small business space.”


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