Arival Announces Beta Launch of its Banking Account for Abnormal Customers

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels

“As a matter of fact, I went to the doctor and he said that I was above normal. Or, as he put it, ‘abnormal.'” Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman, Laverne & Shirley, 1976.

Whether you consider yourself “above normal” or just another banking consumer with unique needs, Arival Bank, which launched in 2018 as a spin-off venture from Life.SREDA, has you covered. The bank announced today that it is launching its Arival beta account to provide banking services to “abnormal customers.”

“Too many clients today are rejected by traditional even digital banks because they are viewed as ‘abnormal’, ‘too risky,’ or ‘unusual,” Arival Bank COO Jeremy Berger noted in a blog post announcing the beta launch. “International startups, new tech ventures, crypto-related businesses, investment funds, e-residency businesses, freelancers, charities, expats, digital influencers, bloggers, gamers and streamers, and many others are rejected by traditional and even digital banks. It’s only a matter of time (before) the demand from abnormal customers will outgrow that of traditional customers.”

Arival is introducing an online bank account that is tailored to the needs of businesses and entrepreneurs like these. The company is opening the beta release to 3,000+ early signups from its waiting list. Arival will be adding a business bank account and an individual bank account soon, and said that it is already accepting applications for both accounts. Beta participants also will get an early look at Arival’s banking platform, ArivalOS, with no fees for the first 90 days.

A Best of Show winner in its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia in 2018, Arival was founded to help underbanked businesses maximize the opportunities of digital banking. Powered by open API fintech banking, the company’s ArivalOS provides a digital banking platform that integrates a comprehensive suite of third-party fintech solutions and services geared toward the needs of SMEs and entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Singapore and co-founded in 2017 by Vladislav Solodkiy (CEO) and Igor Pesin (CFO), Arival raised more than $2.3 million in its equity crowdfunding campaign last fall, earning a pre-money valuation north of $14.8 million.

Singapore’s Digital Bank License Space Race Accelerates

Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced last week that it has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses. A decision is expected in June, and the fortunate five who receive licenses will be able to launch their businesses by the middle of next year. Applicants have included a wide range of companies, from e-commerce and telecommunications firms, to fintechs, PSPs, and crowdfunding platforms.

Specifically, MAS is making available two different types of license: a digital full bank license and a digital wholesale bank license. There are two digital full bank licenses available, which would enable non-banks to accept deposits from retail customers. There are seven applicants for these licenses, which come with initial, temporary restrictions on deposits and capitalization.

The digital wholesale bank license will permit firms to lend to SMEs. Fourteen companies have applied for the three digital wholesale bank licenses MAS is making available. These new businesses would be required to meet the same regulations as existing wholesale banks, including capitalization of $74 million (S$100 million). Among the more well-known firms competing for these digital wholesale bank licenses are rideshare startup Grab and Ant Financial.

Also in the running for a digital wholesale bank license is Finovate alum and Best of Show winner Arival Bank. The firm announced its application earlier this week, noting that securing the license “will add tremendous value in Arival’s quest to becoming a borderless fintech bank.” The company plans to leverage its ArivalOS digital banking technology, as well as its banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to serve the freelancers, micro businesses, and startups that it believes remain underserved within the broader SME market worldwide.

In other international news on the Finovate blog this week, we talked with João Pinto of Portugal’s ITSCREDIT ahead of the company’s Finovate appearance next month in Berlin. We also featured German insurtech Getsafe’s expansion to the U.K., looked at European deposit marketplace Raisin’s acquisition of U.S. fintech Choice Financial Solutions, and profiled French mobile payments app Lydia as it locks in $45 million in new funding.

Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Business Maverick looks at PayU’s decision to merge its consumer lending business, LazyPay, with Indian digital credit platform, PaySense.
  • EpiFi, a Bengalaru, India-based digital banking startup founded by a pair of former Google executives, raises $13.2 million in funding.
  • Entrepreneur India features B2B digital ledger mobile app, KhataBook.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Resuelve tu Deuda, a Mexican fintech that specializes in helping consumer repair their credit, raises $24 million in funding.
  • lists online payments, banking, billpay, proptech, and lending in its feature, 5 Opportunities for Fintech Disruption in Latin America.
  • Brazilian neobank Nubank announces its first acquisition, purchasing local consulting company Plataformatec largely to access the firm’s crew of engineering and developer talent.


  • Digital-only neobank Tonik secures banking license in Philippines ahead of planned launch.
  • Arival Bank is the latest fintech to throw its hat into the Singapore digital banking license ring.
  • CredoLab earns listing from Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority OJK) as an official provider of financial services in the country – the first fintech in Indonesia to be granted this recognition.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • EverSend founder Stone Atwine talks about trends in the African fintech industry with CNBC Africa.
  • Kenyan fintech Alternative Circle earns recognition as “One to Watch” in the first global fintex index ranking 2020 by Findexable.
  • What can we expect from South African fintech in 2020? Ventureburn examines the country’s prospects.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Euromoney takes a look at the complicated relationship between banks and fintechs in the CEE region.
  • The Paypers interviews Valeri Valtchev of the Bulgarian Fintech Association on the evolution of Bulgaria as a fintech hub.
  • Latvian fintech Jeff App locks in €150,000 to help improve financial inclusion for borrowers in Southeast Asia.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Salaam African Bank in Djibouti selects core banking technology from Oracle FSS.
  • A partnership between crypto exchange Huobi and Dubai-based real estate firm fäm Properties will enable investors to pay in a digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP.
  • Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) introduces its Instant Credit Card service via its mobile app.

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.

Top image designed by Freepik

Arival Bank Nets $2.3 Million in Equity Crowdfunding Campaign

FinovateAsia 2018 Best of Show winner Arival Bank announced this week that it raised $2.3 million (£1.87 million) in a pre-Series A, equity crowdfunding campaign. The Singapore-based fintech bank for businesses and entrepreneurs soared past its fundraising target of $864,500 (£700,000), and now boasts a pre-money valuation of more than $14.8 million (£12 million).

“We’re not a neobank or challenger bank,” the company noted in its crowdfunding pitch. “We think of ourselves as the first fintech bank. We’ll exist as a licensed bank, (with) forward-thinking compliance (as) our secret sauce, and we plan to bundle some of the world’s hottest fintech products inside one banking platform.”

The fundraising follows the company’s $1 million seed round from April of last year. The new capital will help support licensing, product development, and effectively going live. The company is targeting a series A early in 2020 to capitalize the bank in the U.S., as well as to expand operations globally.

The campaign also marks the first time a digital bank has conducted an equity crowdfunding raise in the U.S. Seedinvest, an SEC-licensed broker dealer platform based in New York, spearheaded the fundraising with Crowdcube (the largest platform in the U.K.) in the role of joint partner.

“This is atypical for a digital banking startup, especially in the U.S.,” Arival Bank COO Jeremy Berger explained. “However, this was something we presented to the local regulators as we enter one of the most sophisticated banking markets in the world. Other digital banks in Europe have had real success with similar raises as it opens the opportunity to build camaraderie with future customers.”

Currently, Arival Bank has more than 1,000 requests from individuals and entities interested in opening accounts with the firm as it seeks to provide an alternative for “abnormal clients” traditional banks and even some digital banks do not serve. The firm’s main target focus currently are crypto- and blockchain-related businesses – who are chronically underbanked – as well as tech startups, and freelancers. The company, which applied for a U.S.-based international banking license last year, is betting that providing SMEs with access to innovative third party financial products and services – as well as “kick-ass customer service” and a unified banking interface – will go a long way toward supporting the next generation of businesses.

At FinovateAsia 2018 in Hong Kong, Arival Bank demonstrated ArivalOS, a digital banking platform, powered by open APIs, that features integrated third party fintech solutions designed specifically for SMEs. ArivalOS offers bank accounts, money transfers, debit cards, mPOS and factoring, and SME loans. The company also offers A.ID, a “virtual compliance manager” that provides a full-stack compliance solution that covers KYC, onboarding, AML and transaction monitoring.

Arival Bank was founded in 2017 by Jeremy Berger (COO), Igor Pesin (CFO) and Vladislav Solodkiy (CEO) – also known as the team behind Life.SREDA venture capital. Berger was recognized by Forbes this year in its 30 Under 30 list of the world’s top young finance professionals. Pesin is one of the top-ranked fintech influencers in Southeast Asia according to Lattice80, and is author of the annual fintech report, Money of the Future. Solodkiy is author of the book, The First Fintech Bank’s Arrival, now in its second edition, that inspired the very idea for Arival.

Berger will be one of the featured speakers later this month at FinovateFall in New York, joining a panel discussion titled Digital Challengers vs Incumbents: Who Will Emerge Victorious? For more information on how to catch his presentation, visit our FinovateFall page.

Finovate Alumni News


  • HackerOne Cracks into $36.4 Million in Funding.
  • Arival Bank Nets $2.3 Million in Equity Crowdfunding Campaign.
  • Winners Circle: Finovate Honors Fintech’s Finest with New Awards Series.

Around the web

  • Cinchy voted “Top Pick” for TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 and selected as a CIX Top 20 company for 2019. Check out Cinchy’s upcoming demo at FinovateFall later this month!
  • ThetaRay unveils new office in Mexico City.
  • Epcor partners with data-driven solution provider Segmint to help FIs better leverage payment data.
  • Dwolla teams up with Currencycloud to make international payments easier for businesses.
  • Luxoft to collaborate with Fenergo as part of the company’s Global Platinum Partner program.
  • Meniga helps Grupo Crédito Agrícola launch its new banking app, moey!.
  • Nomis Solutions expands presence in the Midwest with the opening of a Center of Excellence in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • WePay launches same-day deposits to Chase bank accounts for free.
  • Blackhawk Network appoints Harel Kodesh as chief technology officer.
  • Lendio Southwest Michigan franchise opens to offer funding to local businesses.

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.

We’ve Got Funding, How About You?

With FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast coming up later this year, we wanted to pause to take a look at the funding that participants from last year’s shows have received so far this year.

In the first eight months of 2019, four fintechs that participated in FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast 2018 raised more than $23 million combined.

With real funding at stake, what are you waiting for? Apply to demo your tech at FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast today. The application is free and you have nothing to lose!

The Middle East and North Africa startup culture has continued to mature, especially when it comes to early stage companies. Part of the growth can be attributed to the region’s investment in both talent and infrastructure. Coding programs and regional hackathons have not only added to the talent pool of startup recruits, they have also given the startup culture a boost.

In Asia, India has risen as the region’s top country for fintech funding. The $286 million in fintech funding the country raised in Q1 of this year outranks China’s total of $192 million raised for fintechs in that same quarter. Part of the slowdown in China can be attributed to increased regulation in the region.

If your startup is interested in demoing at this year’s FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast conference, contact our demo team at or

How Facebook’s Libra Looks from Latin America; Indian Neobank Raises $30 Million

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.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Capetown, South Africa-based digital lender Lulalend raises $6.5 million in Series A.
  • Techpoint Africa looks at how fintechs are “democratizing investment opportunities” for Nigerians across the income spectrum.
  • The Catalyst Fund announces that three Africa-based fintechs – Turaco, Chipper Cash, and Salutat – will join its accelerator program.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Estonia’s Tallinn Business Bank (TBB) partners with Icefire and Token to deliver PSD2 compliance.
  • Cointelegraph profiles Warsaw, Poland’s Alior Bank leverages Ethereum blockchain to authenticate client documents.
  • Polish Netflix subscribers will soon be able to pay for their viewing via the country’s Blik payment system.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Bahrain’s Bank ABC partners with Jumio, making it the first bank in the MENA region to offer biometric-based, digital KYC.
  • Egypt’s Banque du Caire to deploy omni-channel banking technology from Temenos.
  • Wamda interviews Elie Nasr founder of Lebanese fintech startup FOO.

Central and Southern Asia

  • The Bank of Mongolia will implement Intellect Design Arena’s Quantum Central Banking Solution as part of its digital transformation.
  • Indian SME-based neobank Open raises $30 million in Series B funding.
  • India’s Wizely introduces a new mobile savings account.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Contxto looks at the current fintech landscape of Mexico.
  • How will Facebook’s Libra project impact Latin America?
  • BBVA announces major changes to mortgage portfolio, including a rate reduction.


  • U.K. regtech firm ClauseMatch teams up with Singapore-based consultancy Ingenia, the company’s first client in the country.
  • Axinan to work with PT Sompo Insurance to provide on-demand insurance options to Indonesian millennials.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore to issue as many as five new digital bank licenses.

Top image designed by Freepik

FinovateAsia Best of Show Winners Announced

Congratulations to the trio of companies that earned Best of Show honors from our FinovateAsia 2018 audience. This year’s selections reflect two key themes in fintech: the importance of enabling banks with the resources they need to empower SMEs to better serve their customers, and the rise of intelligent virtual assistants to improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

Arival Bank for its ArivalOS digital banking platform that integrates a full suite of third party fintech products tailored for SMEs, including bank accounts, money transfers, debit cards, mPOS, factoring, and lending. Video.


Avaloq for its platform that provides seamless access to fintech solutions via a “double marketplace” that brings the app store concept to banking. Video. for its human-friendly, virtual intelligent agent for financial services call centers that helps drive lead generation, cross-sales, notifications, scheduling, and more. Video.

To see all the demo videos from FinovateAsia 2018, visit our video archives.

Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The three companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 through 2018 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016
FinovateFall 2016
FinovateAsia 2016
FinovateEurope 2017
FinovateSpring 2017
FinovateFall 2017
FinovateAsia 2017
FinovateMiddleEast 2018
FinovateEurope 2018
FinovateSpring 2018
FinovateFall 2018

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Arival Bank

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on October 29 and 30, 2018 in Hong Kong. Register today and save your spot.

Arival is the first digital fintech bank for SMEs. Arival partners with some of the best names in fintech to deliver awesome products tailored for businesses. Arival makes running a business easy.


  • Supports 100% online business account opening from any part of the world
  • Provides access to digital banking products handpicked for SMEs
  • Integrates the best fintechs to create an amazing banking experience

Why it’s great
Imagine if all your favorite fintechs existed inside your bank and you never had to go searching for another financial product or service again.


Jeremy Berger, Chief Operating Officer
Berger is a young entrepreneur with big dreams. Driven by resilience and an insatiable desire to create a legacy, Berger is on a mission to help businesses discover the new world of digital banking.


Igor Pesin, Co-Founder and CFO
Pesin is a Partner at Life.SREDA (Singapore), one of the first fintech-only VC funds in SE Asia with a portfolio of 25+ fintech startups. Pesin co-founded Arival, the first fintech bank for businesses.

Finovate Alumni News


Around the web

  • iSignthis announces its Tier 1 JCB card acquiring service is now live in the EU/EEA.
  • CallVU to provide advanced biometric authentication technology to international credit card provider.
  • Jumio reports sales growth of 130% year over year for the first three quarters of 2018.
  • Capsilon teams up with Home Point Financial to streamline loan process.
  • The latest upgrade of SecureSafe features desktop encryption. In German.
  • NICE Actimize launches X-Sight, a financial crime risk management platform-as-a-service solution.
  • Alloy and Socure partner to automate digital identity verification and onboarding for financial institutions.
  • PayStand expands operations to Mexico, forms regional partnership with StartupGDL.
  • Tinkoff Bank adds 26 new currencies for its Black Card customers.
  • Identitii launches Overlay+ to enable Know Your Transaction. 
  • Jack Henry & Associates acquires BOLTS Technologies for its digital account opening 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.