Finovate Alums Join MassChallenge’s 2019 FinTech Inaugural Program

Digital Onboarding, SizeUp, and ForwardLane are among 21 startups that will take part in the 2019 MassChallenge FinTech inaugural program. The program runs from January to June, and will support startups as they work with the accelerator’s partners to develop solutions in asset management, insurance, retail and commercial banking, e-commerce, and transportation. Specific challenge areas include developing AI-powered research assistance, big data for SMEs, and student financing.

“Our inaugural cohort represents trailblazing technologies that advance financial services, from AI-powered on boarding platforms to modern giving solutions,” Program Director of MassChallenge FinTech Devon Sherman explained. “We look forward to structuring and driving meaningful, outcome-driven partnerships between startups and enterprises that tackle some of the industry’s biggest pain points and opportunities.”

Participating startups will also have access to MassChallenge FinTech and FinTech Sandbox’s enterprise readiness program, as well as the FinTech Sandbox’s data and resources. MassChallenge FinTech will award a total of $250,000 in cash prizes at the conclusion of the six-month program, at zero cost and for zero equity.

Also participating in the 2019 cohort are:

  • AlphaSense
  • Cake
  • Catapult HQ
  • Datavore
  • Diffeo
  • Edmit
  • eGiftify
  • Elsen
  • Fincura
  • GainLife
  • LifeSite
  • Pinkaloo Technologies
  • Posh
  • Surround Insurance
  • TellusLabs
  • WalletFi
  • Zylotech

MassChallenge FinTech is supported by a public-private partnership that features Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, Citizens Bank, John Hancock, and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) among its founding partners. The program’s challenge partners include Eastern Bank, AARP, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Walmart, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). FinTech Sandbox, Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, and Brandeis International Business School are community partners of the program.

Explaining his company’s decision to partner with MassChallenge FinTech, Head of Innovation and Advice for John Hancock Steve Dorval said, “To us, innovation means looking for new tools, new technologies and new ways of working that can enhance the businesses we’re already in or give us insights into creating new opportunities.” He added that MassChallenge FinTech enabled John Hancock to “engage with intelligent passionate people that are solving important problems.”

Digital Onboarding demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Digital Onboarding announced earlier this month that it was partnering with Hudson River Financial FCU. The company will help the $57 million member-owned financial cooperative improve access to account-related benefits.

Making its most recent appearance on the Finovate stage at FinovateEurope 2016, SizeUp helps banks empower their SME clients with business insights that can drive increased customer acquisition, retention, and engagement. Founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, California, SizeUp was featured by Bplans earlier this year in its look at 85 of the Best Business Tools for Startups.

ForwardLane announced an expansion of its menu of AI tools this fall, a move the company believes will help bring the benefits of artificial intelligence to small and mid-sized financial advisors. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, ForwardLane demonstrated its cognitive productivity solution for wealth management at FinovateSpring 2016, leveraging machine learning to deliver personalized investment advice to mass affluent investors.

CB Alerts Portal from Ethoca Helps Cartes Bancaires Merchants Fight Fraud

Ethoca has partnered with French payment system Cartes Bancaires to develop the CB Alerts portal that helps online merchants collaborate with card-issuing banks to lower chargebacks and reduce fraud. The solution, which works in near-real-time, gives merchants an early warning of cardholder-confirmed fraudulent transactions, enabling merchants to block an illegitimate sale, and/or prevent the shipment of goods, as well as the provision of services.

“Ethoca is honored to have been chosen to work with CB to help e-merchants and French banks reduce fraud and eliminate the need to raise chargebacks,” Ethoca EVP of Business Development Trevor Clarke said. “Merchants are now able to take immediate action in cases of confirmed fraud and are free [to grow] their businesses and [offer] their customers exceptional experiences.”

Merchant subscribers to CB Alerts get notification of fraudulent transaction activity as soon as piracy, loss, or theft of a payment card is reported to the bank by the cardholder. The solution can automate the notification process for larger merchants with higher volumes.

“We launched CB Alerts as part of our desire to enrich the services provided to merchants and banks,” Philippe Laulanie, CEO at Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB, said. “Security is in the DNA of CB, along with the implementation of the PSD2, RTS, and strong authentication, this portal will help to fight e-commerce fraud.”

Cartes Bancaires is the leading payment system in France. Last year, the firm boasted 68+ million cards in circulation and nearly 12 billion transactions totaling more than $640 billion (€564 billion). Cartes Bancaires was founded in 1984 to provide the country with interoperable universal card payment and cash withdrawal systems. As of 2017, CB has more than 100 banks and payment institution members globally.

Ethoca demonstrated its Ethoca Alerts solution at FinovateEurope 2016. This fall, the company announced a partnership with American Express, leveraging its Ethoca Eliminator solution to help AMEX card holders access the detailed transaction information they need to resolve customer service calls faster. This spring, the company launched its integrated solution suite, which features Ethoca Eliminator, Ethoca Alerts, as well as Enhanced Representments. This latter feature helps merchants better understand chargeback processing and evidence rules to make it easier for them to determine how and when to challenge transaction disputes.

With $45 million in funding courtesy of investors such as Spectrum Equity, Pivot Investment Partners, and Difference Capital, Ethoca is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was founded in 2005. More than 5,400 merchants in 40+ countries benefit from Ethoca’s services and solutions. The company’s customers include eight of the top 10 North American e-commerce brands, 14 of the top 20 North American card issuers, and six of the top ten U.K. card issuers.

Best of Show Winner Voleo to Help Drive Social Trading in Europe

OP Financial Group has chosen Finovate Best of Show winner Voleo as its partner to build and launch a new social trading platform for the European market. The company will join the Helsinki, Finland-based firm’s Wealthtech Partnership Program, having bested nine other fintechs that competed for the opportunity during OP Financial’s four-day Co-alignment Week.

Voleo offers a white-label, social trading app that enables investors to leverage their collective knowledge to invest together and pursue higher market returns. Users can build and manage investment clubs with the app, democratically managing portfolios by discussing and debating trades which are executed automatically by majority vote.

To help guide decision-making, Voleo provides a Definitive Return On Investment Decisions (DROID) score that helps users spot and follow along with the best performing investment clubs and individual investors on the platform. Designed to both lower the costs of and barriers to entry for less experienced investors, the app is available on both iOS and Android, as well as via the web.

The OP Wealthtech Partnership Program consists of a four-month intensive collaboration period, with three “co-creation phases” featuring workshops, advisor meetings, and networking. OP Financial Group is the largest financial services group in Finland, and its partnership program is one way to help companies access the Nordic market.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with OP and its program partners, Accenture, CGI, and Siili, to deliver our seamless and secure solution that empowers people to invest together in a way that’s never been possible,” Voleo CEO Thomas Beattie said. “There is a robust future demand for mobile investing technology and Voleo is already capitalizing on the massive generational wealth transfer in North America.”

Voleo demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show honors. Featured last month in Retail Banker, Voleo began the year with a business combination with Logan Resources, and reports that it has experienced consistent user growth of 20% per month since the company’s “soft launch” in 2017. That year, Voleo partnered with Nasdaq to launch an equity trading competition which offered $10,000 in real cash portfolios to winning investors and teams. The company was founded in 2015, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s Nubank announces debit options for its digital savings account.
  • Infocorp spinoff Bankingly raises $5.25 million in Series A funding in round led by Elevar Equity.
  • Vocalink to modernize Peru’s electronic payments infrastructure courtesy of new deal with the company’s automated clearinghouse, Cámara de Compensación Electrónica (CCE).


  • UNPay expands QR code payments.
  • Indonesian lending and payments firm, Pohon Dana, picks up investment from Mayapada Group.
  • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
  • Fenergo wins Fintech Exporter of the Year award from Asia Matters.
  • Juvo expands across Asia with regional headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Experian purchases South African credit information and analytics firm Compuscan for $263 million.
  • Ecobank partners with MFS Africa to offer cross-platform digital payments to customers.
  • Emergent Technology acquires Ghana-based Interpay Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
  • Finastra opens new offices in Romania.
  • Backbase powers omni-channel digital services for Poland’s BGŻ BNP Paribas bank.
  • International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) to deploy technology from FICO to fight money laundering.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE and Saudi Arabia launch blockchain-powered, cross-border payments proof of concept.
  • Temenos announces partnership with Tunisia’s Banque de l’Habitat.
  • Token brings open banking to MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
  • Currencies Direct taps Ripple’s xCurrent for real-time remittances to India.
  • Fintech News Singapore features BankBazaar in its round up of 10 Hot Fintech Startups from India to Watch Closely.

Top image designed by Freepik

Brazil’s Nubank Announces Debit Options for its Digital Savings Account

A jigsaw is being filled as Brazil-based challenger Nubank has unveiled debit and withdrawal options for its digital savings account, NuConta, reports Antony Peyton of FinTech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

According to the bank, these functions were most requested by its customers. This news may not be a big deal to some, but it’s another sign that Nubank is moving along fairly well and trying to shake up the old order.

In October, Tencent invested $180 million in the bank – taking the challenger’s valuation to a healthy $4 billion. While in June, Nubank said it got 1.5 million customers signed up for NuConta.

NuConta is the challenger bank’s bid to reach the nation’s sizable underbanked population, estimated at around 60 million Brazilians.

In this debit/withdrawal matter, it explains that it has started testing Nubank Debit. With it, it has also launched a new withdrawal option so customers can use the debit function to withdraw money directly from their NuConta at ATMs.

At first, it will test this only with some customers who already own the Nubank and NuConta card and, from 2019, it will be expanded for all.

David Vélez, CEO of Nubank, said: “The release of the debit function is another piece of the jigsaw that was missing to help people find a way out of the current banking system and its revolving doors of complexity and bureaucracy.”

The “revolving doors” bit was his word play on the official launch at the Pinacoteca Museum in São Paulo.

The bank turned a revolving door into a museum piece to cleverly show how it was the “first barrier that Brazilians had to face in order to gain access to a banking service”.

Founded in 2013, Nubank also has funding support from DST Global Investment Partners, Founders Fund, QED, and Goldman Sachs. The company is an alum of our developers conference, FinDEVr, having presented Our Money, Our Rulebook at FinDEVr New York 2016.

Accenture Acquires Zafin

Digital banking platform provider Zafin and global professional services company Accenture have forged a new relationship that is both a strategic alliance and an acquisition. The companies have announced a “joint go-to-market strategy” that will make Accenture the preferred integrator of Zafin’s financial platform. And by bringing on “select employees” from Zafin’s professional services business, Accenture also gains the technical integration and development capabilities it needs to enhance its own financial services offerings.

For Zafin, the alliance and acquisition gives the company the opportunity to “focus squarely on product innovation and technology” said CEO and founder Al Karim Somji. He added that the partnership also provides the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based firm with “rapid scalability.”

“We are particularly proud of the work we’ve done with our clients globally,” Somji said, “and expect our expanded relationship with Accenture to enable us to accelerate our momentum in the market.”

Zafin offers financial institutions around the world technology that drives relationship pricing, bundling, and rates management strategies. The company’s platform enables financial institutions to boost revenue and efficiency by upgrading legacy infrastructure which, among other benefits, helps them improve client engagement via solutions and services that deliver greater customization for consumers and greater profitability for banks.

Head of Accenture’s global banking practice Alan McIntyre blamed legacy IT systems for the inability of many FIs to modernize the customer experience, and pointed to Zafin’s technology as a solution. “Zafin’s software enables financial institutions to improve their pricing, personalization and product configuration without having to replace their legacy systems,” the senior managing director said.

Zafin demonstrated its miRevenue enterprise banking platform at FinovateFall 2017. In May of this year, the company announced a partnership with Celero, an IT solution provider for credit unions. In April, Zafin inked a strategic partnership with the Empire Startups, a  global community of fintech entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators.

Named one of Canada’s 50 fastest growing companies in 2016 by Deloitte, Zafin has more than 40 global banking customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and India. The company was founded in 2002, and raised $30 million in funding previous to the alliance and acquisition by Accenture.

With clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture offers a wide variety of strategy, consulting, technology, and operations services and solutions. The company partnered with mBank at FinovateFall 2013 to demonstrate the Polish bank’s next generation online banking platform. Accenture was founded in 1989, and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. With a market capitalization of $106 billion, Accenture trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ACN.”

The Faves of FinovateEurope: A Brief History of Best of Show Winners

With FinovateEurope right around the corner, we wanted to take a look at the companies that have won Best of Show trophies from FinovateEurope conferences since we first took the show across the pond back in the winter of 2011.

Specifically, we focused those FinovateEurope alums that have won multiple Best of Show awards to see how they reflect the development – and anticipate the future – of fintech in Europe.

eToro (FinovateEurope Best of Show 20172015, 2012, 2011) – Innovator in social trading and investing

  • Headquarters: London, U.K.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Total funding raised: $72.9 million
  • CEO: Yoni Assia (founder)
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2017

Winner of a Best of Show trophy at the inaugural FinovateEurope in 2011 and picking up another three awards since, eToro is a pioneer in social investing. The company has more than 4.5 million traders and investors in currencies, commodities, indicies, and CFD stocks operating in more than 170 countries. Last month eToro launched GoodDollar, a new non-profit, open source initiative to use cryptocurrency to reduce income inequality.

Meniga (FinovateEurope Best of Show 20182015, 2013, 2011) – Digital banking solutions specialist

  • Headquarters: London, U.K.
  • Founded: 2009
  • Total funding raised: $23.4 million
  • CEO: Georg Ludviksson (co-founder)
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2017

Meniga is a digital banking solutions provider with offices in London, Reykjavik, Stockholm, and Warsaw, Poland. With more than 50 million digital banking users in 20 countries, Meniga most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2017, presenting its new UX and API, Personal Finance Challenges. November was a big month for the company, picking up an investment of $3.4 million from long-time client Islandsbanki, and inking a deal with Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.

Backbase (FinovateEurope Best of Show 20182017, 2014) – Digital banking platform provider

  • Headquarters: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Founded: 2003
  • CEO: Jouk Pleiter (co-founder)
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2017

A leader in banking digitization and modernization and a long-time Finovate veteran, Backbase provides FIs with the tools and platform they need to turn traditional core banking systems into platforms that offer modern, seamless, digital customer experiences. The company has more than 80 major financial entities around the globe using its technology – including Barclays, Credit Suisse, Fidelity, and Al Rajhi Bank. Backbase most recently announced that it would power omnichannel digital services for BGZ BNP Paribas Bank.

Dynamics (FinovateEurope Best of Show 2014, 2012) – Manufacturer of battery-powered, next-generation payment cards

  • Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Founded: 2007
  • Total funding raised: $110.7 million
  • CEO: Jeffrey Mullen (founder)
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateFall 2017

One day plastic cards may become a thing of the past. Until then, with card usage for debit and credit remaining a strong preference for many consumers, companies like Dynamics will continue to innovate on that platform. The company builds next generation, battery-powered payment cards that give issuers the ability to offer customers single cards that are able to perform a wide variety of payment functions. Dynamics’ technology enables secure transactions across multiple networks, with global acceptance at most points of sale. Expanding to the Japanese market earlier this year, Dynamics announced a partnership with Mumbai-based IndusInd Bank last month.

Tink (FinovateEurope Best of Show 2017, 2014) – Builder of PFM solutions

  • Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Founded: 2012
  • Total funding raised: $30.7 million
  • CEO: Daniel Kjellen (founder)
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2017

Two Finovate appearances. Two Best of Show awards. Not a bad showing for the Swedish PFM designer Tink. The company’s solution marries account aggregation and information with payment initiation services to provide consumers with a virtual bank experience that is fully PSD2-compatible. Of late, Tink has teamed up with banks, expanding its offerings beyond B2C to bring its technology to FIs like Nordea, Klarna, and Nordnet (see the Tink Technology homepage pictured). The company also launched its developer platform, enabling developers to leverage the company’s Account Aggregation and Categorization solutions via API.

mBank (FinovateEurope Best of Show 2015, 2013) – Universal bank

  • Headquarters: Lodz, Poland
  • Founded: 1986
  • CEO: Cezary Stypulkowski
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2015

mBank’s FinovateEurope appearances have been occasions to celebrate the power of partnerships. The fourth largest retail bank in Poland, mBank has shown through live technology demonstrations with firms like virtual reality specialist i3D, global management consultancy Accenture, and fellow Finovate alum Efigence how an openness to collaboration can enable banks to provide a better experience for customers while building their brand. Earlier this month, a corporate customer survey sponsored by Euromoney named mBank to be the Best Service Bank in Poland. In November, mBank unveiled a new, free, multi-currency service for its Visa cardholding customers.

Etronika (FinovateEurope Best of Show 2014, 2013) – Digital banking platform provider

  • Headquarters: Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Founded: 2000
  • CEO: Arnoldas Jankunas
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2016

Out of our eight multiple-time Best of Show winners from FinovateEurope, four are digital banking platform providers. Lithuania-based Etronika, a member of the European FinTech 50, specializes in providing not just a state-of-the-art digital platform, but also solutions like a visualized API engine that makes it easier for FIs to connect, bundle, and offer a variety of financial services through an omnichannel user interface. The company forged a partnership with Comarch last spring and, last fall, Etronika’s mobile banking solution was featured in IDC MarketScape 2017’s vendor assessment.

CREALOGIX (FinovateEurope Best of Show 2018, 2017) – Digital banking solution provider

  • Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Founded in 1996
  • CEO: Thomas Avedik
  • Most recent Finovate appearance: FinovateEurope 2018

If recent Best of Show wins are any indication, digital banking solution provider CREALOGIX is one of our hottest Best of Show winning alums. The Swiss firm picked up its second trophy in February, impressing our audience with a live demo of its customer banking app. Since then the company has helped private bank Hauck & Aufhauser launch its digital asset management solution, gained a few spots in the IDC ranking of the global top 100 fintech companies, and reported record sales for a third consecutive year. With more than 450 bank customers around the world, CREALOGIX has more than 1,200 installations of its technology.

And here’s the full list of FinovateEurope Best of Show winners since 2011.

FinovateEurope 2018

  • Backbase
  • Be-IQ
  • iProov
  • Meniga
  • Microblink
  • W.UP

FinovateEurope 2017

  • Backbase
  • Dorsum
  • eToro
  • Memento
  • SaleMove
  • Tink

FinovateEurope 2016

  • DriveWealth
  • EyeVerify
  • IDscan Biometrics
  • SwipeStox
  • Valuto

FinovateEurope 2015

  • Avoka
  • Coinjar
  • ebankIT
  • eToro
  • Jumio
  • mBank & i3D
  • Meniga

FinovateEurope 2014

  • Backbase
  • BehavioSec
  • Dynamics
  • Etronika
  • Misys
  • Luxoft
  • Tink
  • Toshl
  • Momentum (FKA YourWealth)

FinovateEurope 2013

  • Credit Agricole
  • Etronika
  • mBank & Efigence
  • Meniga
  • Moven
  • Pockets United
  • SumUp
  • Virtual Pigy (Oink)

FinovateEurope 2012

  • Cardlytics
  • Dynamics
  • eToro
  • Nutmeg

FinovateEurope 2011

  • eToro
  • Finantix
  • Liqpay
  • Meniga

FinovateEurope 2019 is only a few months away. Join us February 12 through 14 for three days of live fintech demonstrations and insightful keynotes and presentations on some of the most innovative technologies and trends in fintech. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to visit our registration page and save your spot today.

Top image designed by Freepik

Licensed to Bank: Revolut is Ready for Europe

Following on from the recent licenses in Singapore and Japan, challenger Revolut has secured its European banking license, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The “specialized” bank license was facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania. This type of license was introduced by the Bank of Lithuania in 2017. It has a minimum capital requirement of €1 million (a traditional bank is €5 million), and excludes some investment services and also complex financial services.

Revolut will begin implementing the license next year, and plans full current accounts, consumer lending and commission-free stock trading. Customers will also be able to deposit their salaries into their Revolut account, which will be protected for up to €100,000 by the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

“With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of banking’,” said Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut.

The firm will initially focus on smaller European countries, before eventually passporting the licence to “key markets” including the U.K., France, Germany and Poland.

It says one of the “key focus areas” for the company is to break into lending. Revolut plans to offer standard overdraft facilities as well as personal and business loans at competitive rates.

Invest Lithuania explained: “The move of getting a license in mainland Europe has been considered by many a hedge against Brexit. Having received both the specialized bank license and electronic money institution facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania, Revolut is now effectively safe from any decision regarding Britain leaving the EU.”

At the end of 2016, FinTech Futures was invited to a fintech tour of Lithuania. During that trip, the Bank of Lithuania discussed its memorandum of understanding with Revolut. The firm said it intended to set up a financial institution in the country and obtain a banking license.

Over the last 12 months, Revolut says it has opened between 8,000 and 10,000 current accounts daily and transacted over $4 billion per month in volumes.

As reported last month, it was planning a $500 million Series D investment round, potentially enlisting tech giants like SoftBank to its roster of investors.

This is with a view to launch in the U.S. after the investment round. Revolut has seen major regulatory shortcoming preventing it from starting operations there.

And not forgetting April, when Revolut raised an additional $250 million in Series C funding. The plan was to expand, starting with the U.S. (as above), Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia in 2018.

The company has raised a total of $336 million from investors including DST Global, Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Ribbit Capital.

Founded in 2013, Revolut demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2015.

More Than $400 Million Raised by 19 Alums in Q3 2018

After racking up more than $1 billion in funding last summer, Finovate alums secured more than $400 million in funding over July, August, and September of 2018. This year marked the second time in the past four years that a billion-dollar third quarter was followed the next year by a significantly less bountiful Q3 in terms of equity financing.

Interestingly, eight of our 19 fundraising alums in the third quarter did not disclose the amounts of their investments. And while this does not provide any specific clues to the exact amounts of equity financing involved, it is noteworthy that undisclosed investments in AdviceRobo and Personetics both represented minority stakes taken by KPMG and United Overseas Bank, respectively.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q3 2017: More than $1 billion raised by 31 alums
  • Q3 2016: More than $500 million raised by 30 alums
  • Q3 2015: More than $1 billion raised by 40 alums
  • Q3 2014: More than $194 million raised by 17 alums

If Q3 represented a small step in the funding growth for our alums overall, it was a giant leap for the quarter’s top fundraiser, Gusto. The $140 million in funding picked up by the payroll, benefits, and HR platform in July nearly doubled the firm’s total funding, and boosted the company’s valuation to almost $2 billion.

And you’ve got to hand it to Bambu. The three million raised by the Singapore-based robo advisor pales in comparison to the capital raised by its fellow top ten alums in Q3. But Bambu is the only company in the quarter’s top ten to have won not one, but two Best of Show awards, once at FinovateAsia 2017 and again last month at FinovateAfrica 2018.

Top Ten Equity Investments for Q3 2018

  • Gusto: $140 million
  • Flywire: $100 million
  • Zopa: $57 million
  • ThetaRay: $30 million
  • Deserve: $17 million
  • SynapseFI: $17 million
  • Wonga: $13 million
  • BlueVine: $12 million
  • Cortera: $10 million
  • Bambu: $3 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q3 2018.

July 2018: More than $285 million raised by nine alums

August 2018: More than $87 million raised by six alums

September 2018: More than $28 million raised by four alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the third quarter of 2018, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

Motive Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Finantix

Private equity firm Motive Partners will become a majority shareholder in Finantix, a provider of digital services for the private banking, insurance and wealthtech sectors, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Financial details were not disclosed. Both firms are a bit vague but Motive will support the company and the founders (Ralf Emmerich and Alessandro Tonchia) in “extending the functional footprint of the product and in accelerating geographic expansion”. The latter means Europe, Asia and to enter the U.S. market.

Scott Kauffman, partner at Motive Partners, said Finantix has demonstrated its ability to create a “compelling product, bringing a leading technology platform to an ever-increasing set of blue chip clients”.

Finantix’s founders and the management team will continue to lead the company.

The company has over 250 staff in seven cities and a customer base in more than 45 countries. Some of its clients include Rothschild Bank, Crossbridge Capital, and DBS.

Motive Labs, the operational and technology team of Motive, will also work with Finantix.

Back in March, Finantix acquired Singapore-based Smartfolios, a creator of quant-enabled investment tools. No financial details in that deal as well.

As reported last year, Motive powered up and revealed its plans to invest in fintech firms in the U.K. and U.S.

According to its Form D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S, Motive was looking to raise $150 million.

“Our mission is to back and build the next generation of financial technology businesses to transform markets, models and society,” the company said on its website.

Based in Venice, Italy, and founded in 1994, Finantix demonstrated its Banking Assistant solution at FinovateEurope 2013.