Divvy Sells to Bill.com for $2.5 Billion

Divvy Sells to Bill.com for $2.5 Billion

Corporate expense management platform Divvy has agreed to sell to small business financial software provider Bill.com for $2.5 billion.

Adding Divvy’s technology to its platform expands Bill.com’s solution. The new capabilities will help the California-based company enable its 115,000 customers to automatically manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, and corporate card spend. Additionally, Divvy’s tools will offer businesses real-time insight into their B2B spending and provide them access to multiple payment solutions.

Combining the two companies also boosts Divvy’s capabilities. The Utah-based company will be able to offer its 7,500 small business customers automated payable, receivables, and workflow capabilities. “As we listened to our customers, we heard them ask for a comprehensive payments platform so that they don’t have to use multiple software systems to manage their finances,” said Divvy CEO and Co-Founder Blake Murray. “Today I’m proud that Divvy is joining Bill.com to bring the one-stop-shop platform that our customers and the market have been asking for.”

“Since founding Bill.com, I have been driven by the desire to build solutions that make a real difference for small and mid-sized businesses. Customers have been asking us to help them with their spend management, and I am excited that together with Divvy, we can deliver on that ask, furthering our vision to transform SMB financial operations. Our expanded platform will provide more automation and real-time information to SMBs, enabling them to make more informed decisions,” said Bill.com CEO and Founder René Lacerte. “We are excited to work with the talented Divvy team. We have a shared passion for helping SMBs succeed and both companies are driving our customers’ digital transformations. Together, we can further empower SMBs to transition quickly and easily.”

Today’s deal is expected to close by the end of September and is subject to regulatory approvals closing conditions.

Bill.com was founded in 2006 and went public in 2019. With a market capitalization of $12.33 billion, the company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BILL.

Founded in 2016, Divvy has raised $418 million from investors including PayPal Ventures, Insight Partners, and New Enterprise Associates.

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Ripple Brings on Kristina Campbell as CFO

Ripple Brings on Kristina Campbell as CFO

Payments network Ripple is bolstering its ranks this week with the appointment of Kristina Campbell as CFO.

Campbell has been tapped to drive Ripple’s financial strategy, accelerate growth, and deliver value to shareholders. She most recently served as CFO at PayNearMe and has also held multiple roles at GreenDot.

“Digital asset technology allows us to rethink and improve the systems and infrastructure around how money moves. With this technology, we will make the global financial system accessible to all,” said Campbell. “Ripple is uniquely positioned to improve global payments in ways that have yet to be defined and I’m excited to be a part of that solution.”

Ripple also revealed that Rosa Gumataotao Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States, has joined its Board of Directors. In her role as Treasurer, Rios oversaw all currency and coin production and focused on economic development, urban revitalization, and real estate finance.

“I’ve dedicated my career to financial inclusion and empowerment, which requires bringing new and innovative solutions to staid processes. Ripple is one of the best examples of how to use cryptocurrency in a substantive and legitimate role to facilitate payments globally,” said Rios. “Blockchain and digital assets will underpin our future global financial systems. Cryptocurrency is the what. Ripple is the how.”

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that the new appointees come “at a pivotal time for the company.” Garlinghouse’s phrase, “pivotal time,” is in reference to Ripple’s international expansion efforts; earlier this spring the company acquired a 40% stake in Asia-based cross-border payment specialist Tranglo. It is also a head nod to the lawsuit Ripple is currently facing.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse conducted an illegal securities offering that raised more than $1.3 billion through sales of Ripple’s XRP currency. Ripple, which considers XRP as a currency and not an investment contract, is denying the allegations.

Backed by SBI Holdings, Santander, Andreessen Horowitz, and Lightspeed, Ripple has raised $294 million and is valued at $10 billion.

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Curve Taps Cardlytics to Power Rewards Program

Curve Taps Cardlytics to Power Rewards Program

Loyalty and rewards may seem like dated technology. After all, the conversation around loyalty and rewards peaked in 2012 when merchant-funded rewards and in-statement offers were the hottest new customer acquisition bait.

Today’s banking environment that focuses on the customer is proving that the technology isn’t all hype, however. Almost a decade after the merchant-funded rewards conversation, there’s still activity going on in the loyalty and rewards space.

As proof, banking app and smart card Curve announced today it is partnering with purchase-based marketing intelligence firm Cardlytics, which will power Curve’s new rewards program. Dubbed Curve Rewards, the app will offer Curve users a range of rewards from Cardlytics’ brand partners, including Pret a Manger, JustEat, FatFace, Harvey Nichols, and Cult Beauty. Two of the merchants piloting Curve’s new program, Harvey Nichols and Cult Beauty, will offer 20% off and 5% off respectively.

Curve Rewards leverages Cardlytics’ purchase intelligence data and will help customers earn while they spend. This data-driven approach ensures that the rewards offered to the consumer are personalized to their spending habits.

“Today’s consumers want a reward scheme that is tailored to how they shop and why they shop,” said Cardlytics’ Head of Bank Partnerships Campbell Shaw. “We’re pleased to have built a reward scheme for Curve that does just that, putting customers back in the driving seat while building loyalty and engagement for Curve.”

The partnership is especially notable for Cardlytics. In the company’s thirteen year history, the partnership with Curve is its first digital-native brand. Up until this point, Cardlytics’ partnerships were primarily with traditional financial institutions, including Lloyds Banking Group, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Santander.

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Expensify Planning IPO

Expensify Planning IPO

In an era when SPACs are the hip new way to take a company public, corporate expense management technology company Expensify is taking the old fashioned route.

The San Francisco-based fintech announced this week it has submitted an S-1 document– a key step on the road to an initial public offering to the SEC. The S-1 was submitted confidentially. Since Expensify is considered an “emerging growth company,” the contents of the filing do not need to be made public until 21 days prior to the road show for the IPO.

Expensify, which reached profitability at the end of 2018, has not yet determined the size and price range for the proposed IPO.

Founded in 2008, Expensify launched with its flagship receipt-scanning app and a simple motto, “Expense reports that don’t suck!” Since then, the company has gone on to launch a corporate payment card, offer a COVID-friendly virtual travel assistant, and expand into billpay.

Expensify’s IPO is expected to commence after the completion of the SEC review process, subject to market and other conditions. The company has raised a total of $38.2 million. David Barrett, who Finovate interviewed about the company’s launch, is CEO.

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Thought Machine Integrates with Wise

Thought Machine Integrates with Wise

Cloud native core banking technology innovator Thought Machine has partnered with international payments company Wise (formerly Transferwise) in a deal that will enable banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions that are using ThoughtMachine’s core banking engine, Vault, to take advantage of the low-cost international fund transfer services provided by Wise.

“We have built a world-class financial technology partner ecosystem which our clients can tap into as they build a future-proof bank,” Thought Machine CEO Paul Taylor explained. “The firms we choose to partner with are those that have built meaningful, ultra-reliable products that ultimately improve the banking experience for customers. We look forward to working with Wise to bring its industry-leading payments solution to many more financial institutions, and customers, around the world.” 

To ensure cross-system interoperability, Thought Machine and Wise have built an integration layer that cuts down on the amount of development work needed to plug into Wise’s API by as much as 60%. The partnership is a response to the growing demand for faster, more affordable, and transparent multi-currency banking, and comes amid a broadening trend away from reliance on legacy core banking technology and traditional correspondent banking networks.

“Though the internet has transformed much of the economy, the global banking system has lagged behind and moving money internationally has remained slow, difficult, and expensive for most,” Wise Platform & Wise Business Managing Director Stuart Gregory said. “Our mission is to change this 一 a goal we share with Thought Machine. Our integration today makes it quicker and easier for financial institutions and banks to enable faster and cheaper payments for their customers and brings us one step closer to our mission of building money without borders.”

Wise is actually the second money transfer company that Thought Machine has teamed up with in the first half of 2021. In February, the company announced that it was working with TransferGo, who will use Thought Machine’s Vault to provide advanced platform capabilities that will enhance the customer experience. The company also recently forged partnerships with German software engineering company GFT to launch challenger bank BankLiteX, and with full-stack fintech solution provider Vacuumlabs, which leveraged ThoughtMachine’s Vault to power a virtual bank in Hong Kong. An alum of FinovateEurope, London-based Thought Machine has raised more than $148 million in funding.

A Finovate alum since 2013, Wise moves more than $6 billion every month, saving its 10 million customers $1.5 billion in hidden fees every year. Rebranding as Wise in February, the company unveiled its product roadmap earlier this month, highlighting new initiatives in customer experience, spending and cards, expansion, small business services, and security. The company offers a multi-currency account that enables individual users to take advantage of real exchange rates in more than 50 international currencies. Wise Business provides payment services including invoice payments, debit cards, P2P payments, and cash management to more than 400 businesses. The firm includes companies ranging from fellow Finovate alum Xero to challenger bank N26 among its customers.

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Fiserv Launches QR Code Payments at the Point of Sale

Fiserv Launches QR Code Payments at the Point of Sale

Today brings yet another indication that QR codes are back in style. Fiserv announced it is partnering with PayPal to enable businesses to use QR codes to offer touch-free payments at the point of sale.

Through the partnership, small and mid-sized businesses using Fiserv’s Clover point of sale and large enterprises leveraging the company’s Carat commerce ecosystem will be able to accept payment via PayPal and Venmo through QR codes at the point of sale.

“With consumer preference shifting towards touch-free interactions, it’s critical that businesses are able to connect physical and digital commerce,” said Fiserv’s Head of Global Business Solutions Devin McGranahan. “By enabling consumers to pay digitally via a QR code and popular digital wallets like PayPal and Venmo, businesses are providing added convenience and choice as in-person shopping, dining and entertainment experiences resume.”

As shown in the video above, the QR codes make the touch-free payment process relatively frictionless. Nonetheless, there is one catch– users must have a PayPal or Venmo account and mobile app.

Consumers may be willing to endure the extra friction, however, as people have become more likely to try out new digital technologies in the wake of the pandemic.

Fiserv’s announcement comes about a month after the company agreed to acquire payment processing and payment acceptance startup Pineapple Payments.

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Wisconsin, Fiserv’s technologies serve nearly six million merchants across the globe. Frank Bisignano is president and CEO.

Nutmeg Reaches $4.2 Billion AUM

Nutmeg Reaches $4.2 Billion AUM

When it comes to European wealthtech companies, Nutmeg is the original gangster. The London-based company was founded in 2011 and demoed at FinovateEurope a year later in 2012.

Today, the company reached a milestone, topping almost $4.2 billion (£3 billion) in assets under management. The news comes after the company experienced a 72% year-on-year growth in assets under management in the first three months of this year.

Nutmeg has seen a 53% increase in the number of investors on its platform over the past year, and now counts 130,000 investors total.

The growth spurt can be attributed to a few things. First, the company brought on a new CEO, Neil Alexander, after taking a $30+ million loss in 2019. Another big factor in Nutmeg’s recent growth is the increased interest in investing during a low interest rate environment.

“While the last year has been financially difficult for many people, we have also seen many new and existing clients who have been fortunate enough to have more disposable income as a result of reduced expenditure on leisure, hospitality, commuting and holidays,” said Alexander. “Nutmeg has been a beneficiary of this shift, welcoming tens of thousands of seasoned investors wanting to take advantage of a digital-first wealth management service, along with first-time investors looking for the support they receive from our wealth services team in helping them to achieve their financial goals.”

Nutmeg offers ISAs, pensions, and general investment accounts. The firm offers a range of investment options including fully managed, fixed allocation, socially responsible. Earlier this year, Nutmeg partnered with J.P. Morgan Asset Management to offer a new investment option, Smart Alpha.

Smart Alpha combines Nutmeg’s core investment principles, ETF experience, and fractional investment expertise with J.P. Morgan’s in-house, multi-asset knowledge to provide investors a globally diversified, dynamic portfolio.

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MX and Moov Bring Instant Account Verification to Fintechs

MX and Moov Bring Instant Account Verification to Fintechs

MX, which began the year with a $300 million investment that boosted its valuation to $1.9 billion, is collaborating with developer-first payments platform Moov Financial to give fintechs and other companies instant account verification (IAV) and money movement.

“Moov is transforming the way fintechs enable account verification, money movement, and ACH payments through APIs,” MX cofounder and CTO Brandon Dewitt said. “We align with their mission to help fintechs and organizations focus on building amazing new experiences. Fintechs like Moov are a big reason why a massive digital shift is happening across the banking industry.”

Moov enables platforms, marketplaces, and software companies to embed payment functionality into their solutions, providing seamless money acceptance, storage, and disbursement. The combined, turnkey solution enhances the account verification process, providing a faster, more secure, and reliable experience for customers who are adding banking or payment functionality to their offerings.

“Whether you think of yourself as a fintech or not, every modern company is seeking a way to automate its process to accept, store, and disburse money,” Moov CEO Wade Arnold said. “Developers want the best user experience possible for their application. MX’s ability to provide fast IAV makes the payment experience swift and more seamless than it would have been without the joint solution.”

A multiple time Finovate Best of Show winner, MX provides connectivity and data enhancement for more than 16,000 financial institutions and fintechs – including 85% of digital banking providers. Among the Utah-based firm’s most recent collaborations is its partnership with AbbyBank. The $616 million asset community-owned bank launched its PFM solution – an embeddable digital money management tool powered by MX and offering budgeting, subscription tracking, debt management, and more – in March.

“With MX, AbbyBank is giving its customers across Wisconsin greater clarity into their personal finances,” MX Chief Customer Officer Nate Gardner said. “(It’s) exactly the kind of innovation, partnership and money experience that MX loves to enable through our powerful data platform.”

Founded in 2010, MX most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2019.

Banking Technology Provider NYMBUS Scores $15 Million Investment

Banking Technology Provider NYMBUS Scores $15 Million Investment

News of NYMBUS’ $15 million fundraising this week – and the company’s recent appointment of three women to key leadership positions – serves as a fitting bookend to a first quarter that began with big investment and big C-suite hires, as well.

In January, the Miami, Florida-based banking technology provider expanded its leadership team with the addition of Chief Alliance Officer Sarah Howell and Chief Product Officer Larry McClanahan. A month later, Nymbus secured a Series C investment of $53 million in a round led by Insight Partners.

“As the pandemic has pushed digital to the forefront, more banks and credit unions have turned to Nymbus as their partner for growth,” Nymbus CEO and Chairman Jeffery Kendall said when the funding was announced in February. “This new and significant investment validates a confidence in Nymbus to continue transforming the financial services industry with a banking strategy that buys back decades of lost time to speed digital innovation.”

Little did we know how quickly further valuation would arrive. This week’s investment by European private equity firm Financial Services Capital doubles its investment in Nymbus to more than $31 million. The funding gives Nymbus a total capital raised of more than $98 million.

“We look forward to continue working with Nymbus as they build out a best-in-class, cloud-native offering that is well positioned to be a leader in the industry and will transform our portfolio companies,” Financial Services Capital Managing Partner Miroslav Boublik said. He and fellow Managing Partner Matthew Hansen will join the Nymbus Board of Directors as part of the investment.

Also joining “Team Nymbus” is Veeva Systems co-founder Matt Wallach, who will serve as a Strategic Advisor. Nymbus will benefit from Wallach’s experience in co-founding one of the leading cloud software companies in life sciences. Founded in 2007 and, 14 years later, the first publicly traded company to transition into a public benefit corporation, Veeva now has a market capitalization of more than $40 billion and 975+ customers in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in emerging biotech.

As mentioned, Nymbus’ funding announcement comes on the heels of the company further bolstering its leadership ranks with a trio of new, C-suite hires. The women – Trish North as Chief Customer Officer, Michelle Prohaska as Chief Compliance Officer, and Crina Pupaza as Chief People Officer – bring years of customer success, risk management, and people-centered programming experience to a company that has seen significant growth as banks turn increasingly toward digital transformation of their outdated legacy systems.

“In order to help our partner institutions serve the unique financial needs of niche audiences, success begins with diversity in our own Nymbus leadership,” Kendall said last week when the appointments were announced. “I’m incredibly proud of the impactful effort we are making to recruit a balanced male to female representation into our C-suite, and beyond confident of the value that Trish, Michelle, and Crina will each uniquely provide to both our team and partner clients.”

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Sensibill Brings SKU-Level Data Insights to AbbyBank

Sensibill Brings SKU-Level Data Insights to AbbyBank

A new partnership between AbbyBank and FinovateFall Best of Show winner Sensibill will enable the Wisconsin-based community bank to give its customers the ability to de-clutter and digitize their financial lives.

“In today’s online world, customers expect more convenience to bank how they want,” AbbyBank AVP of Marketing Natalyn Jannene said. “Our partnership with Sensibill will help our customers and employees with digitizing the shoebox of receipts or overstuffed purses and wallets, making it easier for them to track receipts, exchanges, and warranties in one place.”

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sensibill offers a receipt management solution that makes it easier to organize and track everything from Health Savings Account receipts to expenses from government relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program. Sensibill’s everyday financial tools give financial institutions the ability to tap into – and act upon – SKU-level transaction data in order to provide their customers with the kind of personalized financial insights that can help them build better financial habits. More than 60 million individuals across North America and the U.K. use Sensibill’s AI-powered technology.

The company’s newest solution – Sensibill Platform – features a pair of new tools – Spend Manager and Spend Insights – that provide financial institutions with more ways to drive digital engagement with their customers and members. Spend Manager leverages predictive analytics to help customers track and manage their everyday spending, while providing personalized tips and custom advice based on their transactions. Spend Insights enables financial institutions to draw upon more than 150 unique points of data from purchases, and pair them with transaction data to anticipate customer needs and preferences in real-time.

“Sensibill is empowering institutions of all sizes to harness SKU-level data to offer personalized experiences and recommendations that help make customers’ hard-earned money go further,” Sensibill co-founder and CEO Corey Gross explained when the platform was unveiled in January. “The time to act is now – by better contextualizing the transaction-level data they already have with SKU-level insights, institutions can help their customers make smarter financial decisions. Those that do will retain loyalty and expand market share while making financial wellness more attainable for all.”

In addition to its newly-announced partnership with AbbyBank, Sensibill in recent months has also teamed up with Leaders Credit Union of Jacksonville, Tennessee ($520 million in assets) and Progress Bank, a $1.4 billion asset bank that serves customers in Alabama and in the Florida panhandle. Last month, Sensibill earned recognition as the winner of the “Personal Finance Innovation” category of the FinTech Breakthrough Awards.

A Finovate alum since 2017, Sensibill has raised more than $55 million in funding. The company’s investors include First Ascent Ventures, Information Ventures Partners, Impression Ventures, Mistral Venture Partners, and Radical Ventures. Sensibill also secured $5 million in debt financing from CIBC Innovation Banking a year ago.

This week’s partnership with Sensibill is only the latest instance of AbbyBank working with innovative fintechs in order to add to its own offerings. Last month, the Wisconsin-based community bank – with more than $616 million in assets – teamed up with another Best of Show-winning Finovate alum, MX, to power its new PFM solution.

“The goal is to help our customers improve their financial awareness,” Jannene said when the collaboration with MX was announced in March. “Knowing where money is spent allows you to manage your money more effectively. When our customers succeed, we succeed and that is truly what AbbyBank is here for.”

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SoFi Revamps Auto Loan Investing with MotoRefi Partnership

SoFi Revamps Auto Loan Investing with MotoRefi Partnership

Digital financial solutions provider SoFi is getting into the vehicle loan refinance game. The online lender formed a partnership with MotoRefi to offer users yet another reason to use its services.

Founded in 2016, MotoRefi connects users with lenders and manages the back-end documentation process with each state’s motor vehicle department.

According to SoFi Executive Vice President Jennifer Nuckles, the addition of an auto loan refinancing tool was a logical one since many of the company’s users carry large balances on their auto loans.

Additionally, the nation is an increasingly fertile ground for a car loan refinancing tool. In the past decade, the number of vehicle loans has grown by 41%. Today, auto loans account for 9% of all household debt, with 114 million Americans carrying a total of $1.37 trillion in auto loans.

Through today’s partnership, MotoRefi will have access to SoFi’s two million customers via an integration on SoFi’s website. MotoRefi is banking on this increase in exposure; the company expects to process $1 billion in loans this year after handling $250 million last year.

Overall, the addition of the new service is another step toward making SoFi into a more “bank-like” environment. The California-based company, which originated in student loan refinancing, has since expanded to offer personal loans, home loans, investing tools, a checking account, rewards, budgeting tools, and more.

Launched last month, SoFi’s latest tool offers investors early access to IPOs. Users with at least $3,000 in their account can purchase shares of companies as they go public. This type of access to IPOs, which is generally not available to individual retail investors, will help SoFi reach the new generation of traders that have entered the stock market since the pandemic hit last year.

Fintech connoisseurs may notice the irony in SoFi’s new IPO investment tool. The company itself recently eschewed a formal public listing for a SPAC merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings.

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More Than $3.3 Billion Raised by 26 Alums in Q1 of 2021

More Than $3.3 Billion Raised by 26 Alums in Q1 of 2021

When it comes to the competition for investment dollars, Finovate alums are off to their best start to date. Having raised more than $3.3 billion in funding in the first three months of 2021, companies that have demoed their innovations on the Finovate stage are attracting VC capital at the fastest rate in years.

In fact, Finovate alums in Q1 of 2021 raised more money than in the previous four first quarters combined.

Previous quarterly comparisons

  • Q1 2020: $1.3 billion raised by 14 alums
  • Q1 2019: $468 million raised by 20 alums
  • Q1 2018: $1.3 billion raised by 26 alums
  • Q1 2017: $230 million raised by 20 alums
  • Q1 2016: $656 million raised by 32 alums

This year’s powerful first quarter came courtesy of nearly a dozen, nine-plus figure investments. Global breadth was wide. Among the countries represented by the quarter’s top ten equity investments are Sweden, Brazil, Germany, and the U.K. And within the U.S., innovators from familiar locations in Silicon Valley share our top ten list with fintechs from Boston, New York, and Lehi, Utah.

Top Equity Investments

  • Klarna: $1 billion
  • Nubank: $400 million
  • Blend: $300 million
  • MX: $300 million
  • Feedzai: $200 million
  • Jumio: $150 million
  • OutSystems: $150 million
  • Mambu: $135 million
  • Stash: $125 million
  • Blockchain.com: $120 million

The top ten equity investments of the quarter represented $2.88 billion or 87% of the quarterly total. As large as these investments were, they represented a smaller share of the quarter’s overall total than we’ve seen in the past few years. In 2020, the top ten investments made up more than 99% of the Q1 total. In 2019, the top ten represented more than 91% of the total raised by Finovate alums for the first quarter.

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q1 2021.

January: More than $1.3 billion raised by 10 alums

February: More than $533 million raised by eight alums

March: More than $1.5 billion raised by eight alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the first quarter of 2021 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.