peerTransfer Receives $7.5 Million in Series A Financing


International education payment startup, peerTransfer, announced a round of $7.5 million in Series A funding from Spark Capital, Accel Partners, Maveron, and Boston Seed Capital.
“The funding will be used to increase headcount and infrastructure across functional areas to support growth as it expands the number of colleges and universities it works with. peerTransfer already works with over 30 leading institutions…”
This round, when added to the $1.1 million in seed money received last October, brings the startup’s total funding to $8.6 million.
To learn more about peerTransfer’s international education payments processing, watch its FinovateSpring 2011 demo.

ActivePath & Cardlytics Partner to Offer Transaction-based Marketing in Email Statements

Last week, ActivePath and Cardlytics announced a joint marketing agreement that will combine


ActivePath’s email banking technology with Cardlytics’ transaction marketing platform.
“With this partnership, banking customers can 
receive enhanced offer-carrying eStatements

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 directly into their inbox to be viewed and transacted from within in the email message at their convenience without the need to log on to the bank’s website or download the statement. Additionally, this partnership will provide banks and retailers with the ability to utilize transaction-based marketing in the eStatement, a win-win solution that can help increase transaction volume, enhance customer relationships and generate new revenue.”
To learn more, watch ActivePath’s FinovateFall 2010 demo and the FinovateEurope demo from Cardlytics in 2011.

Weemba Launches Social Lending Platform


Miami-based Weemba launched a social lending site today. This social network-like platform allows borrowers to create profiles in order to share more about themselves and their project.
“Profiles may include everything from the borrower’s income, education level and veteran status (individuals) to number of employees, annual sales or revenues, and articles of incorporation (business). Borrowers can upload images, videos and files that support their loan projects, better showcasing them for lenders.” 
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Come see Weemba’s demo at FinovateFall in New York this September 21-22. Get your ticket here.

Lighter Capital Looking to Loan $500K to a Small Business in August


Lighter Capital, a startup focused on financing small businesses, announced its goal to provide up to $500,000 in financing to a business with “explosive” revenue potential.
The reasoning behind this effort is:
“We heard the banks were tightening credit, so we decided to do the opposite…. If the banks aren’t going to fund awesome, growing companies, we will, no matter what the market does.”
The loan will go to a business in the pyrotechnics area that applies by 5PM Pacific Standard Time on August 31, 2011.
To see Lighter Capital’s new fintech developments, come see its live demo at FinovateFall this September. Get your ticket here.

Expensify Launches New “Crop & Rotate” Feature

Expense-management startup Expensify announced a new feature that allows the user to 


crop and rotate receipts. 
The functionality is simple: 
1) In the Edit dialog, select Rotate/Crop
2) Adjust the image as needed
3) Save the image
Made a mistake? It even allows users to undo changes to receipts by restoring the original copies.
For more information, see Expensify’s FinovateSpring 2011 demo here.’s Interview with SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert

Inc. Magazine released the interview below with SecondMarket CEO, Barry Silbert, who


 discusses how he began the startup. 
The interview highlights Silbert’s success in creating liquidity in private markets and shares his lessons learned as an entrepreneur.

To see SecondMarket’s innovations in action, check out its FinovateStartup09 demo.

eToro’s Blog to Syndicate Content from Financial News Site

In order to provide its users with a wide variety of topics and points of view, eToro has formed a

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with news site Benzinga.

“eToro has employed several Benzinga writers who will create content specifically designed for the eToro user. This content will be posted in addition to the blog’s regular daily updates, multilingual daily and weekly technical analysis, and various columns such as Trader’s Insight and Social Trading.”
eToro is hoping the new addition will provide its readers with relevant content that is easy to understand.
To learn more about eToro, check out its FinovateEurope demo and see its newest fintech development at FinovateFall in New York this September. Get your ticket here.

BankSimple Receives $10M in New Funding and Partners With Visa, Andera, Bancorp Bank and Others


BankSimple announced a new round of VC funding, $10 million from IA Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and other existing investors.
The banking startup also announced partnerships with Finovate


alums Visa and Andera, along with The Bancorp Bank, TxVia, Allpoint, and CBW Bank.
Andera’s press release reports that BankSimple,
“…will use the Application Risk Management and Funding Risk Management components of Andera’s software development kit (SDK) to power its online account opening process.”
BankSimple is readying for its launch later this year. Come see its first live demo at FinovateFall in New York next month where Andera will also be showcasing its new technology. Get your FinovateFall ticket here.

New Solution From Confident Technologies Uses Mobile Pictures for Additional Security

Last month, Confident Technologies released Two-Factor Mobile Authentication, a

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new security solution that is both multi-layered (referring to a second level of security before login) and multi-factor (referring to the use of a second, out-of-band device: the user’s cell phone).
How it works
1) Enroll online at your bank.
2) Select three categories that are meaningful to you. In the example below, food, beverages, and airplanes were chosen.


3) During future website logins requiring multi-factor identification,* the bank 

sends a text message with a link (as shown below) or a push notification through a smartphone app. 
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4) After clicking the link, an image-based challenge appears as a grid of randomly-generated pictures. The user clicks on the three categories previously chosen (in this case food, beverages, and airplanes). 
The pictures and grid locations vary, so it is extremely difficult for a virus to capture the unique authentication code created. 

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5) Once the bank receives confirmation that the correct pictures were selected, the online banking session proceeds automatically. 
More secure than text-message solutions
While many banks use multi-factor authentication via text-message for security, there are two risks that still exist:
1) The message can be intercepted using malware.
2) The user’s cell phone could be stolen or “borrowed” providing the thief account access if they know the user’s username/password.
Because the hacker doesn’t know your preselected categories, Confident’s System provides an extra dose of security.
More Information  
* Two-factor identification is often required when logging in from a new IP address, different device, or other unexpected condition.

Alumni News — Week of August 1, 2011

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Bobber Interactive


Tech Flash interviewed Eric Eastman, Bobber Interactive’s CEO, on how the gamification of money management aims to help Generation Y better manage their money. Link 
BrightScope released a report detailing the top 12 small-cap funds in America’s 401k plans. This report is part of a series that provides insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace. Link
Discover is offering an instant rebate to customers who pay their utility bills using a Discover Card on ChargeSmart’s website. Link

Check Point Software Technologies
  • Check Point enhanced its Software Blade Architecture by releasing R75.20, a comprehensive approach to security that includes a URL filtering Software Blade, SSL inspection, and data loss prevention. Link
  • The Wall Street Journal discussed Check Point’s ZoneAlarm SocialGuard that helps parents protect children on Facebook in a non-intrusive manner. Link
Clairmail announced  record growth this quarter, with more than a 60% increase in bookings from last quarter. Link
Clovr Media


  • BostInnovation stated that Clovr Media is changing the way consumers collect loyalty rewards through its Card-Linked Ads that allow consumers to access rewards by clicking on an advertisement. Link
  • Mass High Tech’s weekly Startup Watch listed Clovr Media as one of five startups to follow. Link 
EQuicknews listed as a free way to check your credit score with no strings attached and highlighed the Credit Report Card feature. Link
The Appvita blog profiled doxo, noting insider tips and practical uses, such as comparing bills on a month-to-month basis. Link
Bank Technology News looked at the players in the mobile payments space and listed Dwolla as a formidable competitor. Link
EDO Interactive


EDO Interactive received $20 million in Series B funding to grow its Prewards platform that enables advertisers to offer digital deals and incentives that consumers redeem by using their existing credit, debit, or prepaid cards. Link
eToro began a trading contest for users with both demo and live trading accounts. Traders who accumulate the greatest gains will win each round. Link
eWise added Renasant Bank to its customer base, providing Renasant customers access to Secure Vault Payments, an alternative payment method. Link
  • Expensify added a new feature that provides QuickBooks users a way to easily identify billable expenses to add to invoices. Link
  • The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal listed Expensify as one of ten business apps for empowering your inner geek. Link
Kony Solutions 

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Tower Group, in its Review of North American Consumer Mobile Banking Technology Vendors, ranked Kony Solutions among the top mobile banking technology vendors. Kony excelled in the feature/function and customization categories. Link
Lending Club 
TechCrunch highlighted Lending Club’s announcement of $25 million in Series D financing from Union Square Ventures and other existing investors. Link
Lendio added Cardinal Bank to its network of lenders providing clients with more options in finding equipment loans, business lines of credit, acquisition financing, commercial real estate, SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loans. Link

Mitek Systems
Mitek Systems launched  Mobile Imaging Cloud Service that captures, extracts, and routes information contained in documents. The service helps app developers create smartphone and tablet apps that use a camera input function. Link
Monitise Asia Pacific launched its mobile banking, payments, and commerce services in Indonesia and signed a joint venture agreement with PT Astra Graphia Information Technology, an information and communication business. Link
On Deck Capital

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On Deck Capital raised $19 million of its own in a Series C round of funding. Link

RobotDough founder, Wilton Risenhoover, revealed why he started RobotDough and how it works. Link
SafetyPay received a Payment Services Directive License to provide cross-border payments throughout Europe strengthening its position in that market. Link
BostInnovation used SecondMarket’s alternative investments platform to discover top Boston companies. Link


Baton Rouge Water Company selected Striata, along with payment services company Western Union, to provide email billing with integrated electronic payment service. Link
The Receivables Exchange 
Treasury & Risk profiled The Receivables Exchange, describing the process companies use to sell their receivables on the online platform. Link

TradeKing launched a $100 bonus for new customers who open an account by August 31, 2011. Link
Smarta interviewed Wonga director, John Moorwood, about Wonga’s growth over the past 12 months. Wonga is now issuing over 1.5 million short-term loans. Link
Xero released Xero Touch, its new accounting app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Link

Dwolla Passes $1 Million In Transactions Per Day Milestone

Payment platform Dwolla has been circulating around news headlines lately, and for good 


reason. The startup recently announced that it is processing more than one million dollars in transactions per day. This news comes just seven months after launching its service and three months after achieving one million dollars in transactions per month.
Location: Des Moines, IA
Funding: $1.31 million
Founded: June 2008
Users: 20,000
Business Model: Dwolla charges merchants 25 cents per transaction.
User Experience
There are multiple ways to pay using Dwolla. The following scenario walks through the user experience of purchasing a coffee.
1) After establishing a profile, enter your bank account information. Here’s the email that describes how to verify your bank account:


2) Transfer funds from your bank account into your new Dwolla account. Dwolla confirms that funds are now available:

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3) Find a business that accepts Dwolla payments. Dwolla Spots (mobile and online) locates a business near you, like this coffee shop:
3) To purchase your coffee, tell the cashier you’ll be paying with Dwolla. Find and select the merchant on Dwolla Spots, then enter your PIN and the payment amount.
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4) Review the payment amount and send the money to the merchant. 
IMG_0110.PNG5) The merchant completes the transaction using a Dwolla “Kiosk” on an iPhone, Android, Windows 7, or computer with a wi-fi connection. Here’s what it looks like from their side:


That’s it. There’s no dirty cash or digging out a credit card. And for the merchant, there is no extra hardware necessary and no need to store credit card information.
To learn more, check out Dwolla’s website or FinovateSpring 2011 demo.

Currensee’s Trade Leaders Program Now Available to China’s 450 Million Internet Users

Currensee, a Boston-based startup that provides an online trading platform for world 


currencies, recently launched its Trade Leaders program in China. The Trade Leaders program allows investors of all ability levels to automatically copy the currency trades of the highest-performing investors on Currensee’s platform. As part of this expansion, the company is launching a dedicated website to serve the Chinese market —
Why is Currensee expanding to China?
  • It’s a huge potential market: China has 450 million Internet users and it is the second largest economy in the world. 
  • Investing is increasingly popular: Retail currency trading in China has grown 112% in the last 3 years to almost $20 billion in trading volume per day. 
  • Currensee’s performance is beating the Chinese stock market: From January to June 2011, Trade Leaders delivered returns of 33.5%. Compare this to the Heng Seng Index’s 2.94% return and the Shanghai Composite Index’s 2.39% loss during the same time.
  • Plus Currensee’s Trade Leaders program already has a foothold there: Three of Currensee’s 15 Trade Leaders are from China.
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Currensee’s Profile
  • Founded: 2008 (Its Trade Leaders Program began in fall 2010) 
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Total Funding: $16.8 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, Egan-Managed Capital, and Vernon & Park Capital
  • Assets Under Management:  $12 million (50% is the result of existing customers increasing their investments)
More Info