More Than $113 Million Raised by Nine Alums in Q1 2024

More Than $113 Million Raised by Nine Alums in Q1 2024

Nine Finovate alums raised more than $113 million in Q1 of 2024. The relatively low fundraising results for the first three months of the year do reflect larger trends in fintech funding. But the fact that nearly half of the alums that raised funds in Q1 did not disclose the amounts raised tells us that the quarterly funding haul for Finovate alums was higher than the $113 million we have been able to confirm.

Previous quarterly comparisons

  • Q1 2023: $453 million raised by 13 alums
  • Q1 2022: $365 million raised by 11 alums
  • Q1 2021: $3.3 billion raised by 26 alums
  • Q1 2020: $1.3 billion raised by 14 alums

The biggest fundraising month of Q1 was likely January, which featured the $58 million investment secured by Digital Onboarding. Again, the high number of “amount undisclosed” investments makes comparison difficult.

Top Equity Investments from Q1 2024

  • Digital Onboarding: $58 million
  • Argyle: $30 million
  • Amplify Life Insurance: $16.3 million
  • Altro: $4 million

As noted above, Digital Onboarding pulled in the biggest investment of any Finovate alum in the first three months of the year. Also noteworthy was the $30 million raised by Argyle, a real-time income data platform that made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring in 2022.


Here is our detail alum funding report for Q1 2024.

January: More than $58 million raised by three alums

February: More than $21 million raised by three alums

March: More than $34 million raised by three alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the first quarter of 2024 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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Satago Teams Up with Embedded Finance Innovator mmob

Satago Teams Up with Embedded Finance Innovator mmob
  • Embedded finance innovator mmob announced a partnership with U.K.-based fintech Satago.
  • The partnership will make it easier for lenders and corporations to integrate Satago’s cash flow and invoice financing solutions for SMEs.
  • mmob won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2022.

Embedded finance specialist mmob has forged a partnership with U.K.-based fintech Satago. The partnership will help lenders and corporates more easily integrate and embed Satago’s Invoice Finance and Cash Flow solution – including its 3-in-1 Working Capital solution. This is courtesy of mmob’s hyper-efficient, “single snippet of code” integration that reduces the time required to embed Satago’s technology to “mere hours.”

After it has been embedded, the solution then enables SMEs to access Satago’s Invoice Financing, Risk Insights, and Credit Control offerings via their digital channels. Automatic, periodic updates ensure that the technology scales and optimizes as the business grows and expands.

“Satago’s invoice financing and cash flow management solution is a vital tool, and we are delighted to be able to help them integrate into SME-facing platforms at speed,” mmob Founder and CEO Irfan Khan said. “Mmob’s universal API adaptor removes the barriers of time and cost for companies who want to add a new solution for their customers, so now it’s easier than ever to work with Satago.”

Satago leverages real-time data, Open Banking, and API technology to help lenders and other businesses streamline operations, increase revenues, and improve the customer experience. Its 3-in-1 Working Capital solution combines invoicing financing, risk insights, and credit control to enable lenders to offer faster financing, control credit risk, and get repaid sooner. In February, the company announced that it was joining NayaOne’s Tech Marketplace. Founded in 2012, Satago was acquired by Oxygen Finance in 2017.

Headquartered in London and founded in 2020, mmob won Best of show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2022. At the conference, the company showed its Intelligent Partnerships Infrastructure, which enables third-party providers to leverage no-code tools to build and deploy digital customer experiences. The solution includes an Analytics Module that allows companies to analyze both user behavior and revenue to further innovate and enhance the user experience.

mmob has raised $6.2 million (€5.8 million) in funding, according to Crunchbase. The company’s financial backers include high net worth individuals, banking executives, as well as angel investors.


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Brian Solis and the Case for Innovation in Financial Services

Brian Solis and the Case for Innovation in Financial Services

Innovative technologies are proliferating. From the renewed excitement around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to the challenges and opportunities of AI, individuals and organizations alike are discovering novel ways to live, learn, and earn.

Banks, financial services companies, and fintechs are no exception – which makes us all the more excited to feature futurist, digital anthropologist, and author Brian Solis as our FinovateSpring Out of the Box Keynote speaker at our upcoming fintech conference in May.

Titled The Cycle for Emerging Technologies: Which Will Really Matter to Financial Services Providers and Why?, Solis’ keynote address will encourage financial institutions to be proactive when it comes to engaging emerging technologies. Indeed, the extended title of his presentation warns: “If You’re Waiting for Someone to Tell You What to Do, You’re On the Wrong Side of Change.”

Referred to as “one of the more creative and brilliant business minds of our time” by Forbes, Brian Solis specializes in the impact of technological innovation on business and society. In his most recent book, Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life, Solis discusses the challenges of – and solutions to – living in a world of ever-present digital distractions. His upcoming book, Mindshift: Ignite Change, Inspire Action, and Innovate for a Better Tomorrow, is designed to help people navigate, or even lead, in a digital-first, post-industrial era.

Formerly VP of Global Innovation for Salesforce, Solis is currently Head of Global Innovation for ServiceNow. As such, he leads vision, strategy, and programming for the company’s international innovation and Executive Briefing Centers. In addition to his keynote address on Day One of FinovateSpring, Solis will also join attendees for a book signing during the networking session immediately following his presentation.

FinovateSpring is coming to San Francisco, California, May 21-23, at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco. Visit our registration page today to save your spot and take advantage of big early-bird savings!


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DataVisor and Mitek Team Up to Help Financial Institutions Fight Check Fraud

DataVisor and Mitek Team Up to Help Financial Institutions Fight Check Fraud
  • Fraud and risk platform DataVisor announced a partnership with identity verification company Mitek this week.
  • DataVisor will integrate Mitek’s Check Fraud Defender solution into its platform to offer FIs real-time check fraud decision orchestration.
  • DataVisor made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall in New York. Mitek has been a Finovate alum since winning Best of Show at its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring in 2011.

AI-powered fraud and risk platform DataVisor has teamed up with identity verification innovator Mitek. Courtesy of the partnership, DataVisor will integrate Mitek’s Check Fraud Defender with its own advanced machine learning and real-time data analysis to give financial institutions comprehensive check fraud protection in a single platform. The partnership will enable financial institutions to execute real-time orchestration of check fraud decisions, minimize fraud losses, and boost operational efficiencies.

“Our vision has always been to create an end-to-end, comprehensive platform that effectively combats all types of financial fraud,” DataVisor CEO and Co-Founder Yinglian Xie said. “By joining forces with Mitek, we’re elevating our check fraud protection capabilities. It also streamlines the experience for our customers, eliminating the need to engage with multiple solutions in silo and therefore can address different fraud challenges more effectively with a centralized, holistic view.”

Mitek’s Check Fraud Defender puts AI and computer vision technology to work to visually evaluate distinct check attributes in real-time. The solution leverages a consortium model, which enables DataVisor customers to proactively flag future check deposits connected to stolen or fraudulent checks across participating institutions. Additionally, the combination of Mitek’s check image analysis and DataVisor’s analysis of check and customer lifecycle data will enable users to detect a wide variety of check fraud tactics including check kiting, remote deposit capture fraud, check washing, counterfeit checks, and identity theft.

“Together, we leverage our collective advanced technologies to safeguard financial transactions,” Mitek VP of Digital Banking Strategy Kerry Cantley said. “By combining DataVisor’s comprehensive platform with Mitek’s robust Check Fraud Defender consortium, we’ve created a top-tier solution, setting new standards in proactive fraud prevention.”

A Finovate alum since its Best of Show winning debut at FinovateSpring in 2011, Mitek has grown into a leader in digital access solutions. The company’s technology helps increase approval rates while keeping fraudsters at bay, and enables companies to meet compliance demands from AML and KYC to GDPR and PSD2. In addition to its solution for check fraud, Mitek also offers a low code identity verification solution, an biometric authentication solution MiPass, and Mobile Deposit, the company’s mobile remote deposit capture offering. Today, 99% of U.S. banks and 7,900 of the world’s largest organizations use Mitek’s technology for mobile check deposits.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Mitek was founded in 1986. The company trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker “MITK,” and has a market capitalization of $673 million. Max Carnecchia is Chief Executive Officer.

Among Finovate’s newest alums, DataVisor made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall 2023. At the conference, the company demoed its Fraud & Risk Platform that enhances fraud detection and minimizes fraud losses via a combination of device intelligence, rules and decision engines, case management, and the ability to seamlessly integrate any data source, including third-party data.

DataVisor’s partnership with Mitek comes less than a month after the Mountain View, California-based firm launched its end-to-end anti-money laundering (AML) solution. The new offering integrates with the company’s fraud platform natively to provide additional support against emerging cybersecurity threats.

Founded in 2013, DataVisor has raised more than $94 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. The company includes TruStage Ventures and NewView Capital among its investors.


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European Neobank Bunq Raises $31 Million in New Funding

European Neobank Bunq Raises $31 Million in New Funding
  • Dutch-based digital bank bunq has secured $31 million (€29 million) in new funding.
  • The funding announcement came after the company reported a profit of $57 million (€53 million) for 2023.
  • bunq added that it will re-submit its application for a banking license in the U.S. as part of its expansion plans.

European digital bank bunq has raised $31 million (€29 million) in new funding. The capital infusion from the company’s shareholders came in the wake of bunq’s announcement that it has achieved a net profit of $57 million (€53 million) in 2023. The funds will accelerate bunq’s development strategy, as well as ensure that the company satisfies Dutch Central Bank capital requirements.

The digital bank has credited interest income for its profitability, not just in 2023, but in 2022, as well. The company reported that interest income tripled in 2023, growing from more than €41 million to more than €127 million. In addition to its profit milestone in 2023, bunq also announced that customer assets climbed from $1.9 billion (€1.8 billion) to $7.4 billion (€6.9 billion).

Bunq plans to leverage the new capital to expand more in the U.K., as well as move into the U.S. market. To this end, the institution noted that it plans to resubmit its application for a banking license with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Bunq withdrew its application earlier this year citing issues between Dutch regulators, the OCC, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In a statement, bunq noted that it was “fully committed to resolving all the differences between De Nederlandsche Bank’s, and the FDIC’s, and OCC’s supervisory expectations.”

That said, it has not been easy for financial institutions outside the U.S. to secure approval to operate within the U.S. For example, Monzo, a U.K.-based challenger bank, tried and walked away from the process in 2021 when approval seemed unlikely. Unfortunately, new U.S.-based firms looking for bank charters have only fared a little better. For every Savi Financial, there is a New Canaan Bank.

Bunq raised $111 million last July, boosting the firm’s valuation to $1.8 billion. The company ended 2023 with the launch of its generative AI financial copilot Finn. Fundamentally, Finn will help replace the search function on the bunq app. But the technology will also assist users as they plan their finances, build budgets, review transactions, and more.

“Finn will wow you,” bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam said when the product was launched. “Years of AI innovation, coupled with a laser focus on our users, allowed us to completely transform banking as you know it. Seeing Generative AI make life so much easier for our users is incredibly exciting.”


Photo by Chait Goli

Onboarding Automation Specialist Setuply Partners with CheckmateHCM

Onboarding Automation Specialist Setuply Partners with CheckmateHCM
  • Setuply and CheckmateHCM have announced a new collaboration.
  • Checkmate will deploy Setuply’s platform to help companies onboard new employees and enhance skill acquisition.
  • Setuply made its Finovate debut last May at FinovateSpring in San Francisco.

A strategic relationship between client onboarding automation specialist Setuply and human capital management solution provider CheckmateHCM will help new employees “adapt and excel in their roles swiftly,” Setuply CEO Rachel Lyubovitzky said in a statement.

“Observing our technology facilitate streamlined onboarding and creating opportunities for emerging knowledge workers is gratifying,”Lyubovitzky said. “This showcases the potential of our technology but also serves as a beacon of innovation and inspiration for the entire industry.”

Checkmate’s decision to deploy Setuply’s advanced onboarding technology comes amidst an economic backdrop of increased competition and low unemployment. This makes it a challenge for firms to hire and retain workers of all kinds, including B2B knowledge workers. Setuply’s platform not only helps bring new talent into organizations efficiently and quickly. The company’s technology also gives businesses the tools they need to close expertise gaps, provide advanced training, and accelerate skill acquisition. Using a project and template-based approach, with detailed instructions in multiple formats, the platform helps establish processes to accelerate job training that are both repeatable and testable.

“Leveraging Setuply for our client onboarding and support has transformed our approach to client onboarding and service delivery,” Checkmate CEO Josh Robinson said. “It has amplified our processes, enabling us to surpass our goals and expand our capabilities. Going beyond operational efficiency has sparked a new era of expansion for us.”

Setuply’s partnership news with Checkmate comes just weeks after the company announced the release of a suite of new features and enhancements to its platform. The updates include:

  • Questions functionality to centralize and streamline project communication between workflows.
  • User-friendly customizable data forms built natively into the product.
  • A secure data repository to simplify complex data management tasks.
  • Automated project creation to leverage comprehensive data integration to intelligently initiate new projects.
  • A customer engagement portal to enhance client interaction and project visibility.

“As companies navigate the complexities of digital transformation, the demand for intuitive and yet comprehensive solutions has never been higher,” Setuply Head of Product Kelly Blackledge said. “Setuply’s latest update responds to this need, providing innovative tools that streamline onboarding processes, enhance data management, and improve client interactions.”

Headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Setuply was founded in 2022. The company made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateSpring 2023 and returned later that year to demo its technology at FinovateFall in New York.

Interested in demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco in May? We are happy to read applications from innovative companies with new solutions that are ready to show. Visit our FinovateSpring hub today to learn more.


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Lucinity’s AI-Powered Platform Delivers Innovations in Workflow Automation

Lucinity’s AI-Powered Platform Delivers Innovations in Workflow Automation

Regtech innovator Lucinity is starting to draw attention.

The company, headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateSpring in San Francisco. At the conference, Lucinity demonstrated its AI-enabled copilot, Luci, which enhances financial crime compliance via insight generation, report writing, and automation. The solution uses GenAI to streamline tasks for compliance professionals, enabling them to make informed, data-driven decisions and to address higher order challenges directly. The technology performs internet searches, background checks, fraud detection, sanctions screening, and more.

As the team explained at FinovateSpring last year, financial crime fighters spend a significant amount of their time reviewing fraud alerts to determine whether or not they are significant. A major challenge lies in the fact that accurately evaluating the risk of a given alert requires understanding a great deal about the context in which the alert occurred. Compounding this challenge is the reality that much of the information required to do this can be scattered across multiple systems, making the process both more complicated and more time-consuming. Lucinity’s technology helps financial crime professionals simplify and understand the data quickly; a tier 1 bank estimated that Luci could save them $100 million a year by slashing alert review times from an average of 2.5 hours to 25 minutes.

“What we are doing with Lucinity is taking different transactions, KYC information, etc. and creating a picture or story of what the possible financial crime could look like,” Lucinity Co-founder and CEO Gudmundur Kristjansson explained during the company’s demo. “And with that story, we’re enabling the financial crime investigators to take the investigation time from hours to minutes.”

The company’s innovations have been noticed. Just last month, Lucinity secured the Chartis Research Award for Workflow Automation. The honor recognizes the way the company’s technology leverages AI and automation to enhance compliance processes and remove inefficiencies. Lucinity was also named to Chartis Research’s top 50 Financial Crime and Compliance Companies (FCC50) for 2024.

“Through our focus on workflow automation, Lucinty is able to save thousands of hours from the investigation process, drastically reducing the cost of compliance for financial institutions,” Kristjansson said. “This means that banks can then shift resources to revenue-generating areas of the business, rather than pouring more resources into compliance.”

Lucinity enters 2024 with a host of new partnerships. Icelandic neobank indó, financial crime fighting platform Neterium, and fellow Finovate alum Trustly were among the firms Lucinity joined forces with in 2023. This year, in addition to the accolades mentioned above, the company announced the appointment of Theresa Bercich as Chief Product Officer and recognition of her as a Co-Founder. In a statement, Kristjansson credited Bercich for her work on Luci and for her contributions to the company as a whole. “Her journey from a data scientist to VP of Product, and now to CPO and Co-founder, mirrors the growth and dynamic evolution of Lucinity itself,” Kristjansson said.

Lucinity has raised more than $25 million in funding. The company’s total includes an investment of $17 million it raised in 2022. Keen Venture Partners led that Series B round.

Interested in demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco in May? We are happy to read applications from innovative companies with new solutions that are ready to show. Visit our FinovateSpring hub today to learn more.


Photo by Marc-Antoine

Wise Platform Powers New Global Account and Card Program for Brazilian Fintech Nubank

Wise Platform Powers New Global Account and Card Program for Brazilian Fintech Nubank
  • Brazilian fintech and financial services giant Nubank has teamed up with Wise Platform.
  • Courtesy of the partnership, Wise Platform will power a new global account and international debit card for Nubank.
  • Wise Platform offers banks, financial institutions, and businesses the ability to leverage its infrastructure to make cheaper, easier payments.

Brazilian fintech Nubank has partnered with Wise Platform to power its global account and international debit card. Wise Platform, Wise’s infrastructure solution for banks, financial institutions, and businesses, now counts more than 85 partners around the world, including Bank Mandiri, Monzo, and Google Pay.

The partnership will power Nubank’s new global account and international debit cards for the fintech’s premium tier, “Ultravioleta,” customers. The collaboration will also enable Nubank customers to hold both U.S. dollars and euros, as well as use their card to spend in local currencies in 200 countries and territories.

“Through this partnership, we’re helping Nubank customers access fast, transparent payments and the ability to easily manage money across currencies,” Wise Platform Global Managing Director Steve Naudé said. “Across the sector, we are seeing a real push from banks and financial institutions to provide their customers with best-in-class international payments services. By working with Wise Platform, banks are able to achieve this in a matter of months or even weeks.”

Wise’s partnership with Nubank represents continued growth for the company in Brazil; Wise reports that it has issued more than one million Wise cards within 15 months of its going live in the country. For its part, Nubank has more than 90 million customers in South America, with more than 85 million in Brazil.

Nubank introduced itself to Finovate audiences in 2016 with its presentation at FinDEVr NewYork. In the years since, the company has grown from a financial services startup to the largest digital bank in Brazil and the second largest financial institution in the country. Late last month, Nubank announced that it has reached the four million customer milestone for its Nubank PJ offering, launched in 2019, which provides solutions for entrepreneurs. This week, the firm’s subsidiary, Nu Colombia, secured a $150 million loan from DFC, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, to help expand its services in the country.

Making its Finovate debut as TransferWise in 2013, the company rebranded as Wise in 2021 to reflect its evolution beyond its origins as an innovator in the international money transfer space. Today, the company supports three main lines of business: its global money transfer service and international account; Wise Business, a global business account with features such as mass payouts and multi-user access; and Wise Platform, which enables companies to give their customers easier, cheaper payments by leveraging Wise’s infrastructure. Co-founder Kristo Käärmann is CEO.


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Finovate Global Nigeria: Payments, Supply Chain Financing, and a Look at our African Alums

Finovate Global Nigeria: Payments, Supply Chain Financing, and a Look at our African Alums

This week Finovate Global looks at recent fintech news from Africa’s most populous nation: Nigeria.


Nigerian blockchain network Zone secures investment

Last week in Finovate Global we noted the news that Nigerian blockchain network Zone had raised $8.5 million in seed funding. This week we’re filling in some of the details of the investment – and of the company.

Flourish Ventures and TLcom Capital led the oversubscribed seed funding round for Zone. Also participating in the funding were VC firms Digital Currency Group, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, and Alter Global.

Zone split from its parent firm Appzone to become a standalone business – as well as the first regulated blockchain network for payments on the continent – in 2022. Zone’s network facilitates direct transactions between financial service providers without the participation of an intermediary, and automates settlement, reconciliation, and dispute management. Zone’s technology digitizes fiat payments and enables the transition to digital currencies.

Zone co-founder and CEO Obi Emetarom highlighted the fact the Zone was able to secure funding during the current investment drought, calling it a “sign of trust in the Zone brand and investor excitement about the opportunity to redefine payment infrastructure in Africa.”

The company will leverage the new capital to expand its network’s coverage. Zone currently has more than 15 of Africa’s largest banks and fintechs using its network to process payments.


Afreximbank and Sterling Bank Promote Innovation in Supply Chain Financing

A newly announced partnership between African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Sterling Bank will enable the African financial institution to offer an increasingly popular supply chain financing solution, Payables Finance, in Nigeria. The solution will be branded, Afreximbank Tradelink, and will be made available as part of the Africa Trade Gateway (ATG). ATG provides digital solutions to help businesses access market data, network with buyers and sellers, promote trade payments between African markets in local currencies, and more.

One of the fastest growing trade finance solutions worldwide, Payables Finance helps suppliers access funding by securing early payment on those invoices that have already been approved for payment by corporate buyers. Buyers receive trade credit from suppliers. Suppliers finance their working capital via the early payment they received. The cost of financing is based on the credit rating of the buyers, which can be a significant benefit for smaller suppliers that struggle to secure financing at affordable prices.

“Afreximbank identified supply chain finance as a solution for improving access to trade finance in Africa and embarked on a journey to increase penetration through financial intervention and capacity building,” Afreximbank Global Trade Bank EVP Haytham ElMaayergi said.


Nigeria-based Payments Solution Thepeer Closes Down

Some unfortunate news in the world of Nigerian fintech: Nigeria-based startup Theeper has shut down and is returning all remaining capital to investors. Theeper leverages APIs to give fintechs and other businesses an alternative network where they can promote easy money movement for customers via different solutions they can embed into their apps and websites. The company had hoped to connect digital wallets across 400 fintechs across Africa to facilitate payments.

Thepeeer had secured $2.1 million in seed funding in June 2022. But as the company’s founders acknowledged in a statement earlier this week, Thepeer was struggling to scale and, despite its “unique service” and technology, “the overall acceptance of wallets as a viable payment option didn’t grow as rapidly as we had hoped.”

“A big thank you to our customers, employees past and present, our investors, the tech community and everyone who believed in us and contributed to our journey,” Thepeer co-founders Michael “Trojan” Okoh and Chike Ononye wrote on the company blog. “In our bid to chase the stars, we must realign and focus on what matters.”


Finovate’s African alums: From innovations in lending to authentication

Most of our alums based in Africa made their Finovate debuts at our conference in Capetown, South Africa in 2018. Here’s a look at some of the companies headquartered or founded in Africa that have demoed their technologies on the Finovate stage.

Craft Silicon – Founded in 2010. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Provides fintech services and consulting to facilitate digital transformation, mobile application development, software engineering, and more.

Drive Revenue – Founded in 2013. Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Provides an enterprise grade cloud accounting solution for the legal profession.

Entersekt – Founded in 2008 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Provides transaction authentication services to help financial institutions defend themselves against fraudsters.

Lidya – Founded in 2016 in Lagos, Nigeria. Offers digital banking services including a receivables-based loan product.

OUTvest – Founded in 2017. Headquartered in Centurion, South Africa. Offers an evidence-based, hybrid robo advisor that helps individuals build and manage their own investment strategy. Won Best of Show.

truID – Founded in 2017. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Offers a data sharing ecosystem to securely share personal financial data between consumers and credit providers.

Yoco Technologies – Founded in 2014. Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Builds tools and offers services to help small businesses get paid, operate more efficiently, and grow.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Central Bank of India (CBI) partnered with Veefin Solutions to support its supply chain finance operations.
  • Saudi Arabian fintech EdfaPay teammed up with Pakistan-based bookkeeping and accounting app Digikhata.
  • Sachin Bansal, who co-founded Flipkart, is reportedly looking to raise between $200 million and $400 million for his new startup Navi.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • FinTech Magazine looked at the rise of Brazil’s Pix payments system and the challenge it brings to the credit card industry.
  • Colombian fintech Addi raised $86 million in a round led by Goldman Sachs and Singapore’s GIC.
  • Fintech Nexus featured Brazilian fintech Nubank and its quest for partners in Mexico.

Asia-Pacific

  • In-app and in-store financial solutions provider UnaFinancial unveiled a new lending app for customers in the Philippines.
  • Industry advocacy group Fintech Australian introduced its new CEO Rehan D’Almeida.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched a new digital platform, Cosmic, to enable FIs to share customer data to help combat money laundering.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ghanaian fintech Zeepay completed an equity investment round featuring pan-African investors Africa50, Oikocredit, Injaro, Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund, and I&P.
  • South Africa’s Absa Group encouraged African fintechs to list IPOs on local exchanges.
  • SC Ventures forged a strategic partnership with NEXT176, the investment arm of Pan-African financial services group, Old Mutual.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Digital banking platform N26 launched its Stocks and ETFs trading product in Germany.
  • New licensing rules in Lithuania will likely reduce the number of cryptocurrency firms operating in the country.
  • Commerzbank announced updates to its payment platform in Germany to enhance its cross-border payments operations.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Network International and Souhoola teamed up to provide Buy Now Pay Later capability to Networkpay point of sale terminals in Egypt.
  • UAE-based digital bank Zand Bank partnered with Infosys Finacle Solutions to power its corporate banking operations.
  • Oman Housing Bank selected Temenos to modernize its core banking platform.

Photo by Shelagh Murphy

Quantum Metric Launches AI-Powered Session Summarization Solution Felix AI

Quantum Metric Launches AI-Powered Session Summarization Solution Felix AI
  • Digital analytics platform Quantum Metric released its new Gen AI-powered session summarization solution, powered by Google Cloud’s Gemini Pro.
  • The new offering will help users manage customer session replays faster and more efficiently.
  • Quantum Metric won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at our all-digital FinovateEurope conference in 2021.

Digital analytics platform Quantum Metric announced the release of a suite of new solutions to help organizations better listen and respond to the needs of their customers. Chief among these new offerings is Felix AI, the company’s new Gen AI-powered session summarization solution, powered by Google Cloud’s Gemini Pro.

Session summarization helps enhance the session replay process. Session replays are a critical tool in reviewing and refining the customer experience. But they tend to be both complex and time consuming. Leveraging Gemini Pro, Felix AI summarizes sessions in seconds to capture the exact experience of the customer. The technology simplifies digital customer listening by instantly quantifying session information. Felix AI is then able to ascertain the significance of each issue, as well as its potential impact on key business metrics. The solution also enables users to examine the details of individual customer experiences by asking clarifying questions, for example, about specific campaigns the customer has participated in.

Via API, Felix AI can be directly integrated into VoC feedback received from text, email, as well as social platforms like Slack. The solution can also provide role-based summaries to help call center agents quickly understand the customer’s concern before they’ve expressed it.

“In the past, our focus was transactional. How do we help the customer to make a purchase, book a flight, or open an account,” Quantum Metric founder and CEO Mario Ciabarra said. “The relationships we build with customers today are much more complex and span an entire lifecycle. To succeed, digital organizations need tools like Felix AI to simplify how they listen to their customers, and tools like Interactions and User Analytics to listen at scale and across their entire customer lifecycle. This is the beginning of a new generation of digital analytics tools and we can’t wait to see what our digital organizations can do to further the standards for a great digital customer experience.”

In addition to Felix AI, Quantum Metric also announced three other components of its spring release. These solutions are Interactions, which provides tools to help marketers and UX professional optimize page layout and content, and a pair of analytics solutions: User Analytics and Lightning Analytics. User Analytics provides new data visualizations such as retention and churn to interpret user behavior over time. Lightning Analytics lets users monitor, diagnose, and optimize workflows and apps built on Salesforce Lightning.

Founded in 2015, Quantum Metric is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The company won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at our all-digital European fintech conference in 2021. Quantum Metric returned later that year to demo its technology at our all-digital FinovateSpring event. The company has raised $251 million in funding according to Crunchbase. Uncorrelated Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst are among the firm’s investors.


Photo by Markus Winkler

Visa Unveils New Subscription Management Solution

Visa Unveils New Subscription Management Solution
  • Payments leader Visa launched its Subscription Manager service this week.
  • The new offering enables financial institutions to give Visa cardholders an easy way to track and manage their subscriptions.
  • Visa made its first Finovate appearance at FinovateSpring in 2010.

Expected to reach $406 billion by 2025, the international subscription economy has been an increasingly attractive opportunity for fintechs and financial services companies alike. The growth of the subscription economy has meant a surge in demand for solutions to help consumers deal with their ever-growing reliance on subscription services. Among Finovate alums alone, firms from Minna Technologies to Subaio have demonstrated leadership in this “subscription management” space.

As such, it is little surprise to learn that global payments leader Visa is getting into the game. The company announced the launch of its Subscription Manager service this week. The new offering will enable financial institutions to provide Visa cardholders with an easy way to track and manage their subscriptions.

“Managing subscriptions can often feel like a maze, with consumers sometimes feeling trapped in a cycle of confusing charges,” Visa Global Head of Issuing Solutions Kathleen Pierce-Gilmore said. “Our goal is to make this process simpler and ensure cardholders know exactly where their money is going, and when.”

Visa’s Subscription Manager streamlines information on recurring payments, locating that data in one place to make it easy for cardholders to see where their card details are stored, view the recurring payments that are on each card, and to stop recurring payments where services are no longer wanted. Whether the subscription type is a streaming service, a gym membership, or a utilities payment, Visa’s Subscription Manager gives its cardholders a new level of convenience and control when it comes to ensuring that they are only subscribed to the actual services they want and use.

Currently available as a pilot project in select regions, Subscription Manager is the latest addition to Visa’s Digital Enablement product suite. The suite includes a set of tools and solutions designed to enable issuers to offer better digital experiences for their cardholders.

Visa has been a Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateSpring in 2010. A leader in digital payments, Visa facilitates transactions across more than 200 countries and territories. The company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker “V” and has a market capitalization of $556 billion. Ryan McInerney was appointed CEO in February 2023.

Interested in demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco in May? We are happy to read applications from innovative companies with new solutions that are ready to show. Visit our FinovateSpring hub today to learn more.


Photo by Pixabay

Tales from the Crypto: SBF, the Bitcoin Bottom and Boom, and the Crypto Crime Crash

Tales from the Crypto: SBF, the Bitcoin Bottom and Boom, and the Crypto Crime Crash

On December 13, 2022, Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of international cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Last week, Bankman-Fried, referred to colloquially as “SBF,” was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to repay more than $11 billion.

A lot has happened in the world of cryptocurrencies between that December indictment and SBF’s sentencing. Here are five things that took place in the world of crypto between that day and this one.


Bitcoin Boomed

By the time Bankman-Fried was charged in December of 2022, the price of bitcoin had been in a dizzying plunge for nearly a year. Topping out at just over $59,700 in November 2021, bitcoin was trading at $16,700 by mid-December of the following year.

Since then, cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in specific, have been on a tear. Bitcoin is up nearly 3x from those mid-December lows, trading north of $66,000. Ethereum is up 2.8x from its December lows.

Observers believe that the current boom in cryptocurrencies is different from the previous boom which in many ways put crypto on the cultural map. Part of this has to do with the “cleaning out” of bad actors such as SBF (and others), as well as growing regulatory consideration of the legitimate goals of the good ones. And while this sometimes has contributed to its share of headaches, it has also led to one of the most promising developments in crypto: the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs.


The Spot ETFs are Here!

One of the most anticipated developments in the cryptocurrency space was the launch of U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs. And within a month of Bankman-Fried’s charging, those spot bitcoin ETFs arrived.

As we reported in Tales from the Crypto in January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved of eleven spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds. The ETFs were an immediate hit; digital asset manager CoinShares noted that more than $870 million poured into the new funds in the first three days. And like the underlying asset they track (and track better than previous bitcoin ETFs that were based on bitcoin derivative holdings), these funds have soared in the weeks and months since inception.


Crypto Crime Collapses

“Collapse” may be a bit strong, but “2023 saw a significant drop in value received by illicit cryptocurrency addresses,” according to a report issued earlier this year by Chainalysis. The report – 2024 Crypto Crime Trends – noted that from a high of $39.6 billion in 2022, the total cryptocurrency value received by illicit cryptocurrency addresses dropped to $24.2 billion in 2024, just a little over 2021’s $23.2 billion mark. The report also showed a decline in the illicit share of all cryptocurrency transaction volume from 0.42% in 2022 to 0.34% in 2023. A decline in both crypto scamming and hacking revenue in 2023 was also reported.

It’s still a dangerous world out there. The Chainalysis report also showed a rise in ransomware and darknet market activity and expressed particular concern about the former. “The growth of ransomware revenue is disappointing following the sharp declines we covered last year,” the report reads, “and suggests that perhaps ransomware attackers have adjusted to organizations’ cybersecurity improvements.” The report links to its previous reporting on this trend.


More Crypto Indictments

SBF was not the only crypto entrepreneur to run afoul of the law over the past year and half since his arrest in late 2022. Alex Mashinsky, co-founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency lending platform, Celsius Network, was indicted and arrested in July of 2023 on charges of fraud and market manipulation. Mashinsky’s arrest followed a civil lawsuit filed against him by the Attorney General of New York accusing him of securities fraud while serving as Celsius CEO. The SEC has also charged Mashinsky with violating Federal security laws. Mashinsky has pled not guilty to the criminal charges.

Changpeng Zhao, co-founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance, was another high-profile player in the crypto space who ran into major legal issues in 2023. Zhao launched Binance in 2017 and, within eight months, grew the company into the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume. Because of this, however, regulators began to pay closer attention to Zhao and Binance and, by 2023, the scrutiny had yielded consequences. In June, the SEC sued him and his exchange for violations of U.S. securities rules. By November, Zhao had agreed to resign from Binance and pay a fine of $50 million as part of his guilty plea. The exchange also pled guilty and paid $4.3 billion in fines.


Ripple Wins and Loses Against SEC on XRP

While the time between December 2022 and March 2024 represented in many instances the correcting hand of authority putting some restraint on the industry, there were some instances in which it was authority that found itself restrained. In July of last year, for example, a Federal judge sided with Ripple in its argument against the Securities and Exchange Commission with regard to the status of its token XRP. The SEC had argued that XRP was a security and thus subject to its jurisdiction. Ripple, on the other hand, contended that XRP was not a security when sold on the open market via crypto exchanges.

Unfortunately for Ripple, the judge also ruled that Ripple’s institutional sales of XRP did represent unregistered securities offerings. And this week we learned the extent of the punishment the SEC wants to mete out for this offense: $1.95 billion. In a statement on X, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was unequivocal in his opinion on what the SEC is asking for:

“The SEC plans to ask the judge for $2B in a case that involved no allegations (let alone findings) of fraud or recklessness,” Garlinghouse wrote. “There is absolutely no precedent for this. We will continue to expose the SEC for what they are when we respond to this.”


Photo by KATRIN BOLOVTSOVA