Fundopolis Turns to AlphaPoint for Tokenization Initiative

Equity crowdfunding portal Fundopolis will partner with asset tokenization and digital asset trading technology provider AlphaPoint to support its tokenization initiative. The company will use AlphaPoint’s technology to facilitate the issuance of equity crowdfunding perks, as well as make it easier for fundraising customers to interact with investors.

“Small businesses have been priced out of traditional capital markets due to their prohibitive upfront costs, listing fees, compliance costs, complex terms, and the list goes on,” Fundopolis Chief Strategy Officer Ben DiScipio said. “AlphaPoint’s cloud-based blockchain technology helps us as we work to change the game for small businesses by providing them (with) an opportunity to reach funding goals with less costs and fewer headaches than traditional capital markets.”

Greater transparency is also the gift that blockchain technology keeps on giving. Together, AlphaPoint and Fundopolis will be able to provide investors and issuers with updates during the entire fundraising lifecycle, letting them know when they will receive perks or pay-out once the fundraise is complete.

AlphaPoint CEO Igor Telyatnikov underscored this point. “By building Fundopolis’ portal on AlphaPoint’s powerful blockchain technology,” he said, “this new crowdfunding approach will provide investors and companies alike (with) the peace of mind that investments are secure, transparent, and verifiable.”

AlphaPoint was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York City. The company demonstrated its AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP) at FinovateFall 2017. The proprietary blockchain platform enables users to digitize, trade, and manage any asset, and is currently powering digital asset networks on five continents. Designed to optimize for high data throughput and low system latency, the technology helps financial institutions access new sources of capital while keeping operational costs low.

Recent headlines for AlphaPoint include the company winning a spot in the inaugural cohort of cross-border regulatory sandbox, Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), earlier this month. In March, AlphaPoint announced that it had enhanced its technology stock to service security token issuance and exchange customers.

With $17.6 million in funding, AlphaPoint includes Galaxy Digital LP, Blockchain Capital, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Robin Hood Ventures among its investors.

Marqeta Secures $260 Million in Series E Funding

Global card issuing platform Marqeta, which demonstrated its Payment Gateways technology at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, announced today that it has secured $260 million in new funding in a round led by Coatue Management. The capital will be used to further develop the company’s payment card platform and to fuel global expansion, according to company founder and CEO Jason Gardner.

The investment boosts Marqeta’s valuation to “nearly $2 billion” and featured the participation of new investors Vitruvian Partners, Spark Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and Geodesic. The company’s existing investors include Visa, ICONIQ, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures, CommerzVentures, and CreditEase.

In a statement, Gardner positioned Marqeta at the center of a worldwide transformation in card issuance. “When today’s innovators are in need of modern payment solutions, they aren’t turning to banks as their primary issuers any more and want a platform built for their needs,” he said. “We’ve been proud to power this transformation as the most advanced card issuing platform built in over two decades.”

With more than 300 employees around the world, Marqeta leverages its platform and open APIs to enable fintechs to build and offer a wide variety of payment-based solutions for customers. The growth in the company’s business has been connected increasingly to the rise of new technology-savvy companies entering the financial services space who seek to offer payment, lending, and other solutions without relying on traditional banks.

“Marqeta is attacking a multi-trillion dollar opportunity in this market,” Gardner said. “This investment puts us in prime position to round out our product vision, bring Marqeta to new geographies, build even more groundbreaking features for our customers and double down on our already aggressive growth trajectory.”

Founded in 2010, Marqeta is based in Oakland, California. With partners including Square, Affirm, and Kabbage, the company has doubled revenues for the past three years and opened a new office in London last fall to kick off its European expansion. TechCrunch reported that Marqeta is considering an initial public offering within the next year and a half.

Marqeta presented Democratizing Issuer Payment Processing with Just-In-Time (JIT) Funding at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The discussion, led by Marqeta CTO Tony Ford, introduced the company’s open payment APIs, which democratize issuer payment processing by making e-commerce innovators a part of the authorization stream.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Marqeta Secures $260 Million in Series E Funding.
  • Fundopolis Turns to AlphaPoint for Tokenization Initiative.

Around the web

  • Mastercard partners with Samsung Electronics to develop mobile digital verification solutions.
  • YellowDog appoints James Stevens as its new Chief Commercial Officer.
  • Chile’s largest acquirer Transbank to deploy UP Retail Payments solution from ACI Worldwide.
  • ThetaRay adds Steve Mann as Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Spectrum Equity closes sale of Ethoca to Mastercard.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateSpring 2019: “You have to be at Finovate if you want to be an innovator”

1100+ attendees. 60+ demoers. 120+ speakers. Only at Finovate.

Across 3 main days and one specialist summit day during FinovateSpring 2019, we were joined by hundreds of senior financial and banking executives, venture capitalists, press, industry analysts, bloggers, regulators and entrepreneurs from the Bay Area and beyond to explore fintech’s real-world solutions and share cutting edge insight.

Early booking for FinovateSpring 2020 is now open!  Book your tickets now at the lowest possible price!

Kabbage and Azlo Launch Mission Street Capital to Help Fund SMEs

A new partnership between cash flow technology and SME lending innovator Kabbage and online banking platform Azlo will make it easier for small businesses to secure growth financing. The two companies have launched a new program, Mission Street Capital, which will provide loans of up to $250,000 for SMEs.

“Azlo is helping fill a crucial gap in our financial system to serve underbanked small businesses,” Kabbage Chief Revenue Officer Laura Goldberg said. “Kabbage’s real-time lending platform allows Mission Street Capital to effectively serve any small business in any location to access the funding they need to grow.”

Firms with an Azlo small business banking account will be eligible to participate in the program, and can apply via Mission Street Capital to access Kabbage loans. Azlo will use Kabbage’s technology to analyze banking and other business performance data in real-time in order to generate a fully automated financing decisions for the customer. The digital-only bank with no physical branches believes Mission Street Capital will make it easier to reach its business customers who may struggle to secure financing because they have relatively thin-file credit histories or because they are a part of the gig economy.

“Azlo is proud to be serving today’s small businesses,” Azlo Chief Operating Officer Bryan Crumpler said. “Our mission is enabling small businesses to succeed in their mission and partnering with Kabbage is a huge step forward in being able to accomplish that.”

More than 175,000 small businesses have accessed more than $6.5 billion through Kabbage’s platform. In its most recent Finovate appearance at FinovateSpring in 2015, the company demonstrated its Kabbage Card solution. The card, part of its Kabbage Everywhere initiative, gives small businesses the ability to use their Kabbage credit to pay for inventory or supplies wherever they may be. Also that year, the Kabbage participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, showing how developers can leverage its technology to build their own automated lending platform.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Kabbage has raised more than $2.3 billion in funding, including a debt financing round this April that added $700 million to the company’s coffers. Also this spring, the firm was highlighted in Inc.com’s feature: 5 Companies That Prove You Must Evolve to Thrive.

Conversational AI Fintech Clinc Raises $52 Million in Series B

In a round featuring participation from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and other investors, conversational AI innovator Clinc has raised $52 million in new funding. The Series B round brings the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based fintech’s total capital to $60 million.

“We’ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,” Clinc CEO Jason Mars said. “Now we’re adding more world-class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.”

Mars, who recently participated in FinovateSpring’s AI Summit Day conversations on AI in financial services, noted that the new investment would help the company add to its team and expand to new, larger offices in Ann Arbor. He also suggested to TechCrunch that this funding, which dwarfs the company’s $6.3 million Series A round from two years ago, could be the firm’s last financing before pursuing an IPO.

Clinc’s technology leverages natural language processing, advanced machine learning, and neural networks to decipher and respond to not just the meaning, but also the context and intent of human speech. In addition to being able to comprehend unstructured speech, the technology’s ability to learn and improve itself with every interaction allows it, for example, to quickly support new languages after being introduced to as few as 500 utterances.

Clinc demonstrated its conversational AI technology at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show honors. Earlier this year, the company proved its technology could be used to provide in-game assistance for gamers, enabling them to communicate with the game using natural language, including slang, without requiring the use of specific commands.

In 2018, Clinc announced that it was expanding its technology to the automotive industry to give developers the ability to add natural language-based interaction and control functionality to vehicles. Also last year, the company teamed up with Turkey’s Isbank to launch the world’s second biggest mobile banking voice assistant.

With customers including USAA, Barclays, S&P Global, OCBC Bank, and US Bank, Clinc was founded in 2015. The company has achieved 300% year-over-year revenue growth, and anticipates tripling its business in 2019. Via its partners, Clinc estimates that more than 30 million people are using its conversational AI technology.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Conversational AI Fintech Clinc Raises $52 Million in Series B.
  • Kabbage and Azlo Launch Mission Street Capital to Help Fund SMEs.

Around the web

  • Mastercard unveils its Mastercard Innovation Engine, an API-based platform to enable easier deployment of digital customer experiences.
  • Sezzle teams up with Bank of America Merchant Services, who will serve as the fintech’s digital card processor.
  • Plaid earns recognition as one of the Best Workplaces from Inc.com.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Minna Technologies Raises $6.3 Million

Subscription management tool for online banks Minna Technologies just announced it has received a $6.3 million (€5.6 million) investment, bringing its total funding to almost $9 million.

Zenith Group led the round, followed by Visa and existing investor Swedbank. Minna will use the funds to increase its presence in Europe. To support these plans, the company will bolster its team and open a new office in Europe.

“This investment round makes it possible for us to scale up and execute on our European expansion plans. As many European banks have started to embrace FinTech partnerships, we have seen a dramatic increase in the interest of our subscription management platform,” said Minna CEO and Cofounder Joakim Sjöblom. “Our current bank partnerships have proved that subscription management is well received by banking customers and that it is an essential part of digital banking.”

Founded in 2014, Minna originally began as a consumer-facing app for subscription management, then launched as a bank-integrated platform in 2016. Since then, the company has helped consumers save more than $33.5 million in unwanted subscriptions. The company is partnered with several top-tier banks across Europe, including Swedbank and Danske bank, and has a pilot agreement with OP bank.

Sjöblom demoed Minna at FinovateEurope 2019 in London. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and has 34 employees. In 2017, the company’s revenues totaled $536,000.

Currencycloud to Power Cross Border Payments for Fellow Fintech

International payments platform Currencycloud announced this week it has teamed up with WireBarley to fuel the Seoul-based company’s international growth.

WireBarley, an AsiaPac remittance services company, has expanded its services from Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Today, with the support of Currencycloud, WireBarley will provide cross-border remittance services to the U.S. market.

Currencycloud offers APIs to help businesses accept, pay, and convert foreign currencies while managing balances, notifications, permissions, and reporting. The company’s clients, which include fellow Finovate alums Azimo, Klarna, Revolut, and Fidor, can make domestic and international payments in 35 currencies to 180+ countries.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud has raised just over $68 million in eight rounds of funding. The company most recently appeard at FinovateFall 2016 where it debuted its Payment Engine

Jumio Teams Up to Fight Financial Crime with TruNarrative

Financial crime specialist TruNarrative is partnering with identity verification innovator Jumio to bolster its fraud detection and customer onboarding platform. The integration will enable TruNarrative’s existing customers and prospects to verify the authenticity of more than 3,300 ID document types from more than 200 countries and territories.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jumio as a partner within our Appstore,” TruNarrative CEO John Lord said. “The service helps our customers comply with their obligation to verify that their customers are who they say they are, enhancing the use of traditional evidence databases and document verification.”


Jumio’s identity verification and authentication solution combines AI, OCR, and biometrics to help organizations fight fraud, onboard customers faster, and remain compliant. The company’s AI-powered, Trusted-Identity-as-a-Service technology provides ID, identity, and document verification and authentication. Jumio also offers a new screening service – unveiled this spring – that combines ID verification and complete AML screening and monitoring.

Jumio head of worldwide partnerships Stephen Kearney explained the partnership as a way for businesses to provide a comprehensive anti-fraud solution without relying on multiple “disparate” solutions. “With TruNarrative, Jumio’s identity proofing, fraud detection, and eKYC solutions can be easily integrated into a single platform that enables these organizations to better defend themselves against financial crime,” he said.

Jumio demonstrated its Netverify identity verification solution at FinovateAsia 2018 in Hong Kong. The technology helps establish that the individual behind a transaction is physically present and is who they say they are by using a combination of ID and identity verification, as well as liveness detection.

More recently, Jumio reported that challenger bank Monzo would use Netverify for customer identity authentication. We highlighted Jumio this spring in our look at companies that can help banks compete against the new credit card from Apple.

Founded in 2010 and based in Palo Alto, California, Jumio has raised more than $55 million in funding from investors including Millennium Technology Value Partners and Centana Growth Partners, which acquired Jumio in 2016.