BlueVine Raises $102.5 Million in New Funding

In a Series F round led by ION Crossover Partners, small business banking and financing firm BlueVine has raised $102.5 million in new funding. The investment takes the company’s total equity financing to more than $692 million, and will help the Redwood, California-based fintech scale its end-to-end banking platform, BlueVine Business Banking.

BlueVine will also use the capital to develop integrations with the company’s financing offerings, such as its line of credit, invoice factoring, and term loan products. The investment will support the hiring of additional talent for the company’s engineering, product, and revenue teams, as well.

“This funding further validates our mission and will help democratize true business-grade banking for small businesses who have been underserved for so long,” BlueVine CEO and co-founder Eyal Lifshitz said. He highlighted the company’s BlueVine Business Checking Account, introducedlast month, which offers small businesses an intuitive financial management dashboard and a debit Mastercard, as well as 1% interest on balances and no monthly fees.

“The recent launch of BlueVine Checking demonstrates our commitment to revolutionize banking for small business owners with a full suite of services designed specifically to meet their unique needs,” Lifshitz said.

This week’s funding featured a sizable number of participants, including all of BlueVine’s current investors, as well as new investors MUFG Innovation Partners, O.G. Tech – Eyal Ofer’s VC, Vintage Investment Partners, ION Group, Maor Investments and other private investors. ION Crossover Partners’ Jonathan Kolodny praised the BlueVine for its “track record of success” and the variety of financing solutions it offers small businesses.

“We’ve been following the company closely since its early days,” Kolodny said, “and have witnessed the demand, and frankly the economic need, for BlueVine’s banking services.” He added that BlueVine was poised to “change the way small businesses manage their financial needs today and in the future.”

BlueVine demonstrated its small business financing solutions at FinovateFall 2014. More recently, the company hired former PayPal executive Brad Brodigan as its Chief Commercial Officer, and appointed former Xero VP Herman Man as Chief Product Officer. Over the course of the year, BlueVine has teamed up with a variety of institutions ranging from its collaboration with GovQuote to its partnership with recruitment industry solution provider Bullhorn.

Founded in 2013, BlueVine earned recognition from Growjo this fall as one of the fastest growing startups in California. Since inception, the company has provided more than 20,000 small business owners with access to more than $2.5 billion in financing.

Aerospike Raises $32 Million for NoSQL Data Platform

NoSQL data solutions firm Aerospike received $32 million in Series D funding today. The round is the company’s largest investment to date and brings Aerospike’s total funding to $78 million.

Triangle Peak Partners led the round, followed by existing investors NewView Capital Partners, Alsop Louie Partners, and Eastward Capital Partners. Triangle Peak Partners Co-founding Partner Dain DeGroff and NewView Capital Operating Partner Tim Connor will join Aerospike’s Board of Directors.

Aerospike will use the funds to expand its geographic presence into Asia Pacific, develop additional data infrastructure integrations, and grow partnerships. There is no updated valuation for the company, which was valued at $90.8 million in 2017.

“Companies are on a journey to convert unprecedented amounts of data into intelligence and push it from the core to the edge and gain a competitive advantage,” said John Dillon, Aerospike CEO. “Aerospike is the critical real-time data platform in a new stack of technologies underpinning this sea change, and our footprint continues to aggressively expand within enterprises as real-time transactions and analytics become more pervasive and mainstream.”

Founded in 2009, Aerospike delivers a NoSQL database for a range of industries, including advertising, ecommerce, financial services, and telecommunications. The technology stores petabytes of data that can be instantly accessed for real time decisioning.

The company, which counts Adobe, Wayfair, and Verizon Media as clients, has been growing at a rate of more than 50% year-over-year and has maintained a 95% customer retention rate for more than five years.

Aerospike is a five-time participant in our developers conference, having most recently presented at FinDEVr London 2017. During the presentation the company’s CTO and Cofounder, Brian Bulkowski, talked about rapid application design in financial services.

ACH Alert Partners with Apiture to Fight Payments Fraud

Multi-payment channel fraud prevention specialist ACH Alert has forged a strategic partnership with digital banking solution provider Apiture. The collaboration will enable Apiture’s 450+ customers to benefit from the combination of ACH Alert’s fraud detection services and Apiture’s online cash management solutions.

“This partnership demonstrates the industry’s need for sufficient fraud prevention tools that can be easily accessed by account holders through their online banking platforms,” ACH Alert CEO Debbie Peace said. “Apiture is already equipping financial institutions with quick and straightforward payment options that their customers crave, so adding our tools into the mix will assist their customers in mitigating the risks associated with electronic payments.”

ACH’s Fraud Prevention HQ platform enables account holders to play a more active role in the fraud fighting effort. The technology allows them to customize actionable alerts and accept or deny suspect transactions in real-time whether they are in the form of ACH, check, or by wire – before funds are withdrawn from the account. ACH Alert also leverages out-of-band verification using voice biometrics for handling high risk transactions.

Named “The Best Solution for Customer Experience” by FinXTech, and recognized by American Banker in its “Best Fintech to Work For” roster this year, Apiture was founded as a joint venture between First Data Corporation (now Fiserv) and Live Oak Bank in 2017. The partnership with ACH Alert will enable FIs using Apiture’s online banking platform to contract for the various fraud detection and prevention services available on ACH Alert’s Fraud Prevention HQ platform. These services include wire transfer protection, as well as credit origination, check, and ACH positive pay. Together, the services give FIs the ability to automate dispute resolution, provide business customers with greater control over the payments they accept, and fight cybercrimes such as account takeover.

“ACH Alert has long provided the industry standard for fraud protection for many of our customers,” Apiture President Chris Cox said. “Formalizing this partnership will enable us to bring a more unified experience to our online banking customers.”

Tennessee-based ACH Alert demonstrated its fraud prevention technology at FinovateSpring 2017. The company began this year with the launch of the latest Payment Data Xchange (PDX) service module for its Fraud Prevention HQ platform. Founded in 2007, ACH Alert was the recipient of the Kevin O’Brien ACH Quality Award in 2012 – the highest award for quality in the ACH Network industry.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • BlueVine Raises $102.5 Million in New Funding
  • Aerospike Raises $32 Million for NoSQL Data Platform
  • ACH Alert Partners with Apiture to Fight Payments Fraud

Around the web

  • ACI Worldwide announces strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver Universal Payments technology via Microsoft Azure.
  • Citi extends its existing contract with Temenos to continue using its Multifonds Global Accounting solution.
  • Arkose Labs and Trusona earn spots on CNBC’s 2019 Upstart 100.
  • Quadient awarded gold for sustainable development.
  • Salt Edge crosses the mark of 600+ integrated PSD2 APIs.
  • ACH Alert partners with Apiture to offer ACH Alert’s fraud detection services to Apiture’s 450+ customers.
  • Bank Mandiri selects Avaloq for wealthtech.
  • Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.

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.

EVERFI and Zelle Partner to Boost Youth Financial Literacy

A new partnership between youth financial literacy technology company EVERFI and Zelle parent Early Warning Services will provide 1,000+ high schools and 50,000 students with free financial education courses.

“Our partnership with Zelle is based on shared principles that we can do more together than alone, especially when it comes to inspiring social change,” EVERFI President of Financial Education Ray Martinez said. “In the past decade, we have seen how education can transform lives. We welcome Zelle to our community of organizations, institutions, and educators to revolutionize the way education is developed and delivered – using today’s technology to connect learning to the real world and equip communities with the skills they need for success in the 21st century.”

EVERFI’s technology enables FIs to offer personalized financial education to their customers, employees, as well as SME and commercial clients via a mobile-first, interactive platform. The on-demand financial education content is organized into short, “micro-learning” modules inside of major topic areas such as banking, retirement planning, homeownership, and investing. EVERFI said it may add topic areas such as student loans and small business information in the future.

This week’s announcement is the latest indication of Zelles’s commitment to financial literacy. The payments company partnered with Stacks House in March in an initiative to boost women’s financial empowerment and independence. Last month, the company introduced its Pay It Safe program to help educate consumers on how to defend themselves against fraud and scams.

“Banking is going through an unprecedented rate of change, improving our lives through speed and convenience, but also introducing a new set of risks for the uninformed,” Early Warning Chief Marketing Officer Rose Corvo said. “We’ve partnered with EVERFI to navigate this change and are committed to making sure the next generation has access to the knowledge to help them understand the impact of technology so they may thrive in this ever-changing landscape.”

EVERFI demonstrated its EVERFI Achieve financial wellness solution at FinovateSpring 2019. Founded in 2008, EVERFI drives social change in a variety of areas – from financial wellness to prescription drug safety to workplace conduct – using its interactive SaaS community engagement platform. With more than 30 million users of the technology to date, EVERFI has raised $251 million in funding from investors including The Rise Fund and TPG Growth, as well as support from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Named to Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500 earlier this month, EVERFI acquired U.K.-based social education firm EdComs and announced a digital education partnership with UBS – both in October. Tom Davidson is CEO and co-founder.

Tracking the Trends at FinovateMiddleEast

FinovateMiddleEast begins tomorrow, which means our demoing companies are rehearsing their pitches of the newest technologies they plan to show off on stage.

What’s hot in the MENA region right now? The best way to find that out is to attend FinovateMiddleEast (taking place at the Ritz Carlton DIFC in Dubai November 20 and 21). The second best way is to take a look at the following word cloud that depicts trends from the live demos that will take the stage on the second day of the show.

Aside from the obvious banking trend that appears front and center of the word cloud, the following fintech sub sectors are expected to make a big impact at FinovateMiddleEast this week:

  • Underbanked
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • APIs and SDKs
  • Design

We’re looking forward to starting the conference tomorrow with a keynote presentation from Chris Skinner. For more information about the discussion content, check out our summary of day one: Banking on the Future in the Age of the Customer and day two: Digitization, Disruption, and the Business of Banking; and take a look at our sneak peek series for in-depth information about the live demos.

Bill.com Preps for $100M IPO

Intelligent business payments platform Bill.com aims to raise $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO), according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

Underwriters listed for Bill.com’s IPO include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (BofA) Securities, Jefferies and William Blair. Pricing terms have not yet been shared publicly.

The fintech provides cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates back-office financial processes for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB). Bill.com has customers including company calling service Dialpad, benefits and human resource manager and fellow Finovate alum Gusto, and local professional search engine Thumbtack.

With $347.1 million already in the bank according to Crunchbase, the 2006-founded company has gathered investors such as MasterCard, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and BofA.

Talking about how the procure-to-pay landscape is converging, Mercator Advisory Group’s commercial and enterprise payments director Steve Murphy said: “That’s led technology companies such as Bill.com to add virtual cards to automate accounts payable for small businesses through partnerships with Amex and Mastercard.”

Set up by PayCycle’s co-founder René Lacerte, Bill.com now has more than three million members and processes $60 billion in yearly payments, according to its announcement in April 2019 following its most recent funding round of $80 million.

Bill.com demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. More recently, the company launched a new suite of solutions for midmarket companies to help them automate their AR/AP processes to boost efficiency. The Palo Alto, California-based company was founded in 2006.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Tracking the Trends at FinovateMiddleEast.
  • Bill.com Preps for $100M IPO.
  • EVERFI and Zelle Partner to Boost Youth Financial Literacy.

Around the web

  • Tradeshift partners with Wax Digital to launch a procurement tool called web3.
  • Trilogy Health taps Tuition.io for student loan repayment assistance.
  • Non-bank payment service provider CreDec enables users to create a Virtual Account within their Xero platform account.
  • ThetaRay named a “Rising Star” in Chartis Research’s 2020 RiskTech 100 report.
  • Jack Henry & Associates named a “Top Workplace in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area” by The Dallas Morning News for the second time.

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.

New Experian Credit Solution Brings Enhanced Predictive Performance

Just under a year after launching its Experian Boost credit solution, the global information services company is back with another resource – this time to increase the predictive power of its creditworthiness assessment technology. Experian Lift, announced last week and available to lenders early next year, combines traditional and alternative credit data with trended data assets to build a more complete picture of the consumer’s ability to repay their debts.

Experian Lift was developed in partnership with Experian’s advanced analytic research and development group, Experian DataLabs. The suite of credit score products uses advanced analytics to provide insights into consumer behavior over the most recent 24-month period. The technology leverages alternative data – such as alternative financing information, rental data, and public record information – to provide lenders with a FCRA-regulated analysis of a customer’s creditworthiness. The company noted that Experian Lift improves predictive performance by 23% compared to other scores used to provide underwriting to what it called “credit invisibles.”

Experian Consumer Information Services EVP and Chief Product Officer Greg Wright put Experian Lift in the context of the company’s overall efforts to help creditworthy consumers get the financing they need. “Through Experian Boost, we’re empowering consumers to play an active role in building their credit histories. And, with Experian Lift, we’re empowering lenders to identify consumers who may otherwise be excluded from the traditional credit ecosystem.”

Experian Boost helps consumers increase their FICO scores by allowing Experian to include their positive telecom and utility payment history in its credit analysis. The company said the tool is especially helpful for consumers with thin credit files and credit scores between 580 and 670.

“We are committed to financial inclusion, and Experian Boost is the latest example of our efforts to increase consumer awareness of credit’s impact and value while giving them greater control,” Experian Global CEO Brian Cassin said when the solution was unveiled last December.

Experian demonstrated its cloud-based credit decisioning technology at FinovateFall 2018. The company, founded in 1996 and maintaining headquarters in Dublin, Ireland; Costa Mesa, California; and Nottingham, England, has been active on the international front of late in particular. Experian acquired leading Peruvian credit bureau Sentinel Peru, provided Open Banking solutions to U.K. fintech solution provider incuto, and announced a strategic investment in Indian smart data platform Vserv – all this month.

Experian has a workforce of more than 17,000 across 44 countries and reported fiscal 2019 revenues of $4.9 billion. A member of the FTSE Top 35, Experian is considered one of the top three credit reporting entities along with TransUnion and Equifax.

Visa’s Minority Stake in Interswitch Creates Africa’s Latest Fintech Unicorn

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

FinovateMiddleEast returns to Dubai next week, November 20 and 21. Learn about our Day One and Day Two agendas, our demoing companies, and then visit our FinovateMiddleEast registration page and pick up your ticket today.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Yes Bank launches India’s largest banking developer platform.
  • Pakistan-based digital lending platform Finja closes $3 million convertible note funding round.
  • India’s National Stock Exchange launches an open trading API sandbox.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mastercard partners with Mexico’s weex wallet to offer physical debit cards.
  • Colombian fintech Simetrik inks agreement to serve as payment gateway for Mercado Pago transactions.
  • Brazilian lender Banco Inter unveils new e-commerce app.

Asia-Pacific

  • MoneyGram and Wing partner to launch new mobile wallet in Cambodia.
  • Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) agree to locate the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore.
  • New Hong Kong license in hand, Tencent announces plans to build a blockchain-based digital bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Visa acquires minority stake in Nigerian digital payments company Interswitch Group, an investment that takes the African firm’s valuation to $1 billion.
  • South African P2P insurance provider Pineapple wins $1.5 million (R22.5 million) in taking home top prize in the Connecticut Innovations VentureClash 2019 competition.
  • Kenya institutes data protection law to support investment in its technology sector.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Billon, a Polish-British blockchain company, joins initiative with Raiffeisen Bank International to digitize the euro.
  • Trusted identities innovator OneSpan partners with Poland’s Bank Millennium.
  • Visa teams up with Georgian challenger bank Space.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A new interest-free, credit service, Postpay, goes live in Dubai.
  • Executive Magazine looks at the fintech industry in Lebanon and the role of regulation in stimulating growth.
  • Tunisia announces the digitization of its national currency, the dinar, making the first country to convert a portion of its money supply to digital form.

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