Finovate Alumni News


  • Check out sneak peeks from FinovateSpring demoing companies SpeechPRO, CallVU, ACH AlertnanoPay DefenseStorm, and SuperMoney.
  • InComm Partners with WeChat Pay Parent Tencent.

Around the web

  • looks at Payoneer and escrow service as a way to support B2B payments.
  • SelfScore launches Achieve Card to provide international students with access to credit.
  • New service from Azimo enables money transfers with just a phone number.
  • PYMNTS profiles LendUp’s target market focus.
  • Loan validation firm Global Debt Registry Adds Prosper to Network.
  • DemystData celebrates its one-year anniversary in Singapore by expanding its offices.
  • EyeLock receives patent for sequentially linking iris matching with facial imaging.
  • Wired gets into the algorithmic brains of Quantopian.

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.

H2 Ventures and KPMG Unveil 2016 Fintech 100


H2 Ventures and KPMG have released their Fintech 100 roster for 2016. Divided equally between 50 “industry leaders” and 50 “emerging stars,” the roster features 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums in the first category, and 10 in the second. Calling its roster a “celebration” of the most compelling innovators in this “bold new space,” the H2 Ventures/KPMG 2016 Fintech 100 covers a variety of different shades of fintech:

  • Lending (32 companies)
  • Payments (18 companies)
  • Insurance (12 companies)
  • RegTech (9 companies)
  • Data & analytics (7 companies)
  • Wealth management (6 companies)
  • Blockchain (5 companies)
  • Digital currency (5 companies)
  • Capital markets (3 companies)
  • Crowdfunding (2 companies)
  • Accounting (1 company)

And here is a look at how Finovate/FinDEVr alums fared. Earning recognition among the companies in the Leading 50 group are:

Also noteworthy in the Leading 50 are Ant Financial, which acquired Best of Show-winning EyeVerify in September 2016, and Avant, which acquired Finovate alum ReadyForZero in the spring of 2015.

Additionally, Finovate/FinDEVr alums earning spots in the Fintech 100’s 50 Emerging Stars roster were:

The H2 Ventures/KPMG report includes a geographic breakdown of the 2016 Fintech 100, as well as a set of key takeaways such as increased geographic diversification, the return of lending, the continued ascent of Insurtech, and the appearance of RegTech. The report also notes that China now has four out of the top five companies in the report’s top 10, and eight companies in the top 50. The report says funding for fintech “continues to rise,” and its authors cite more than $14 billion in capital was raised by the Fintech 100 in the past year.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Welcome to Day 2 of FinDEVr Silicon Valley
  • FinDEVr Silicon Valley: Celebrating the Best of the Builders

Around the web

  • FinDEVr alum Thinking Capital launches Lucy, an AI-powered chatbot for small business borrowers.
  • Narrative Science forges strategic partnership with Deloitte to promote broader adoption of advanced NLG technology.
  • AdviceRobo launches Seedrs crowdfunding campaign as part of U.K. growth plan.
  • CME Group to deploy TickVault from TickSmith to improve access to historical data.
  • New mobile app from Azimo enables money transfers via Siri, among other enhancements.
  • FIS introduces unified mobile payments solution, BuyWay.
  • FinDEVr alum Symbiont unveils SDK for Assembly, a distributed ledger for use in institutional finance.
  • EVRY licenses G&D Convego CloudPay from Giesecke & Devrient to offer NFC, HCE mobile payments.
  • FinDEVr newcomer Smartwave announces its first banking client, Societe Generale Serbia.

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.

Finovate Alumni News


  • CrowdFlower Brings AI to Business Processes via Partnership with Microsoft
  • Fintech Trending: Bots Break Out, AI Gets Personal, and Blockchain Buys the Farm
  • SocietyOne Strikes Up Partnership with Beyond Bank, Reeling in $1.5 Million

Around the web

  • Payoneer to facilitate cross-border payments for e-commerce marketplace, Rakuten, in new partnership.
  • eWise unveils its new financial transaction Categorization-as-a-Service (CaaS) API for FIs.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews Swych CEO Deepak Jain. See video of Swych’s Best of Show winning performance at FinovateFall.
  • Bank of America, Santander, and the Royal Bank of Canada to form global blockchain payments network with distributed ledger technology from Ripple.
  • Azimo’s Facebook Messenger bot is now live.
  • Project Juno highlights Featurespace in its European Machine Intelligence Landscape.
  • Larky partners with Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD).

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.

Fintech Trending: Alt-Lending Woes, Asia Grows and Everbank Exits

A look at the trending topics of the past two weeks.

Trending highest: No Lush Life for Alt Lenders

LushLIfe_Coltrane_albumcoverIf unanimously positive perceptions are the hallmark of a bubble, then rest assured that the alt-lending market has moved past that stage. For every headline-grabbing C-level departure at Lending Club (F09)—CEO Renaud Laplanche stepping down in June, CFO Carrie Dolan announcing her resignation in August—there are successes: Prosper (F09) revealed its plan to sell $5 billion in loans to a group of private investors over the next two years; small business lender OnDeck (F12) surpassed earnings expectations despite its second consecutive quarterly loss and reported year-over-year quarterly revenue gains, as well as a year-over-year increase in loans under management of 47%.

So if there’s no bubble in the alt-lending part of the fintech universe, should we fear a bust? Diverging fortunes among these companies is a good sign. The more the fates of alternative lenders are linked to the decisions of individual corporate leaders, their business plans, and their customers rather than investing trends among venture capitalists (or hedge funds in the case of alt lenders gone public), the better. Looking at the P2P lending market in the U.K., LendInvest CEO Christian Faes told Business Insider, “Over the next few years, the businesses that can prove they can make a profit will be the ones [still] around in another ten years, making a lasting impact on finance.” In other words, just like any other business.

For Lending Club, the challenge is diversifying away from “fickle funding sources.” In addition to Prosper’s $5 billion move, Social Finance went so far as to launch a hedge fund, the $15 million SoFi Credit Opportunities Fund, to purchase its loans as well as those of its competitors.

  • OnDeck Loan Originations (And Loan Loss Provisions) Soar –
  • OnDeck Defends Strategy After $17.9 Million Loss – American Banker
  • Online Lenders Have a Tough Job Ahead – Wall Street Journal
  • The U.K.’s historically low interest rate could benefit alternative lenders – Business Insider
  • Lending Club’s latest results tell us a lot about the online credit business model – FT Alphaville

Other trending topics

Fintech Advances in Asia
While investors have been bullish on the tech scene in Asia for some time, a slew of new reports appeared this month. TechCrunch recently reported that in 2015 and the first half of 2016, fintech accounted for 21% of all VC funding in Southeast Asia. In a recent blog post, Trulioo (F15) said that fintech startups in Asia garnered $4.5 billion in 2015, triple what European fintech firms received during the same period. Recent developments include:

It’s no coincidence that Finovate is returning to Asia now to bring the innovators together in one place. Join us November 8, 2017, in Hong Kong for FinovateAsia 2016 as we showcase the latest and greatest.

Blockchain Developer, UNICEF Wants YOU!
The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund is looking for a developer interested in using blockchain technology to help “solve the problems of the developing world.” Interested parties can find out more about the position here. And if the combination of blockchain and the developing world sounds familiar, it may be because you’re thinking of recent Finovate Best of Show winner BanQu (F16) which has developed a blockchain-based identity platform that promotes financial inclusion and empowerment among the underbanked, including refugee populations.

Hello, It’s Me: Voice Auth Comes to Barclays
Barclays adds instant voice authentication for all 12 million retail customers, ending 30 years of maneuvering through tedious telephone prompts and redundant authentication questions. – Bank Innovations

Everbank’s Awesome Exit
1990s digital banking pioneer Everbank exits for $2.5 billion in sale to TIAA. After PayPal (F12), this is the most successful fintech company to come out of the original 1990s dot-com era. –

Mastercard on the Move
Early Warning’s clearXchange saw some growth as of late. Mastercard, which announced this week that its Mastercard Send U.S. debit cardholders can send and receive money through the clearXchange network. Fiserv (F16) will also become a distribution partner for clearXchange, leveraging the partnership to provide a turnkey solution for banks.

Speaking of Mastercard, the company is looking at the newly announced partnership between PayPal and Visa (FD14), with an eye toward striking a similar deal. Finextra talked with Mastercard CEO Singh Banga who said it will be “important for Mastercard to provide something in addition to what Visa’s offered” as Mastercard “doesn’t have as much to offer PayPal” as Visa did because it has fewer consumers.

Azimo Goes Social
London-based Azimo (F13) took a step toward facilitating P2P payments by launching money transfers via Facebook Messenger. Interestingly, the transfer is initiated within the Azimo app (via Facebook integration) and completed in Facebook Messenger.

Insurance for Everything
Insurance startup investors are betting big that the smartphone platform allows a new breed of insurance products to flourish, so-called insurance on demand. The classic example is an alert when arriving at the airport asking if you would like to buy travel insurance. But the bigger market automobile/motorcycle policies are offering coverage only when you are using the vehicle. Our Insurance for Everything example of the week? On-demand insurance for your drone courtesy of Verifly. – Techcrunch

Also keeping our eyes on …

  • On August 2, 2016, Bitcoin dropped 20% after $70M worth of bitcoin (around 12,000 BTC) was stolen from Bitfinex exchange. The company is now offering a reward of up to $3.6 million for the recovery of the digital currency. Bitfinex said it has taken “significant steps” to improve its security, and resumed trading on its platform on Thursday, August 10. – TechCrunch
  • The U.K.’s FCA has granted app-only bank Mondo a banking license, thereby joining the ranks of neobanks Atom Bank, Tandem, and Starling. – The Financial Times
  • “An Interview with the Inventor of the Credit Card Chip Reader” – The New Yorker
  • “The Dawn of the Virtual Assistant” – The New York Times

Parentheticals after a company name refer to the year of their most recent Finovate or FinDEVr conference appearance (F = Finovate, FD = FinDEVr).

Azimo Launches Money Transfers on Facebook Messenger

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 10.47.36 AM

With its new launch today, Azimo is making global money transfers as easy as sending a message. The London-based company now lets customers send money to 190+ countries via Facebook Messenger, which counts one billion users.

Azimo’s integration with Facebook Messenger reaches customers in the channel they’re already using. It makes transferring money easy: No IBAN number, contact details, or other info is required.

Azimo’s users (iOS or Android) simply select who they want to pay, how much to send, and request the recipient’s details on Facebook Messenger. Within the Facebook app, the recipient enters their details to complete the transfer. Azimo offers the option of transferring the money to their bank or to one of its 290,000 brick-and-mortar pick-up locations.

Here’s a video tutorial from Azimo:

This news comes just over a month after the company launched its Facebook Messenger chatbot, which uses AI and machine learning to create a natural, human-like conversational chat experience.

Founded in 2012, Azimo has raised a total of $40 million; its estimated value is $100 million. The company debuted its global money transfer platform at FinovateEurope 2013 in London.

Finovate Alumni News


  • PayNearMe Powering Cash Payments for Comcast
  • Lendio by the Numbers: $250 Million in Loans to 10,000+ Small Businesses
  • Azimo Launches Money Transfers on Facebook Messenger
  • Dwolla Launches New Dashboard for White-Label Partners

Around the web

  • Trustly announces new partnership with Nordnet Bank to speed new customer onboarding.
  • Sberbank adds brokerage services to its online system.
  • Wealthfront upgrades its Android app, adding PIN and fingerprint lock and support for IRA contributions.
  • TipRanks launches new feature to allow users to Import their Online Brokerage Portfolio to TipRanks.
  • The International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit launch ISDA Amend 2.0.

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.

7 Alum Leaders Named U.K.’s Coolest People in Fintech

BritishFlagBusiness Insider rounded up the 40 most exciting people in fintech in the United Kingdom. As it turns out, Brexit isn’t enough to shake the fintech scene in the U.K. In fact, according to KPMG, British fintech startups raised $962 million in 2015. Of that amount, London companies raised $743 million.

The list includes these seven leaders from Finovate and FinDEVr alumni:

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and cofounder of TransferWise

Marta Krupinska, General Manager and cofounder of Azimo

Nikolay Storonsky, CEO and cofounder of Revolut

Giles Andrews, Executive Chairman and cofounder of Zopa

Peter Smith, CEO and cofounder of Blockchain

Usman Khan, CTO and cofounder of Algomi

Nick Hungerford, CEO and founder of Nutmeg

Check out all 40 leaders who made the list. Wonder how Business Insider made its selections? Here’s how the publication described its process:

We looked at who’s done cool and interesting things in the past year, including companies that have raised money or grown rapidly. We’ve also tried to include some of the less obvious names—the people doing great things behind the scenes—as well the faces out front.

Azimo to Launch Facebook Messenger Bot

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 11.03.30 AM

Global money transfer platform Azimo recently announced plans to make sending and receiving money more social by launching a chatbot for Facebook Messenger.

The U.K.-based company will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a natural, human-like conversational chat experience. At a WIRED event in London, the company’s co-founder Marta Krupinska said, “We want to get to a point where the experience is like going into a branch.” Krupinska went on to note that, in addition to simply conducting transactions, users can interact with the bot as they would a human, for example, by asking about international transfer rates.

This is the second step we’ve seen Azimo take toward integrating its money-transfer services into messaging applications. Last month the company raked in $15 million from Rakuten, the owner of messaging service Viber. Azimo says it plans to integrate the funds into messaging services.

Azimo, which is already using AI in an algorithm to detect originality of scanned documents, lets users send money to and from 204 different countries. The company debuted at FinovateEurope 2013 in London and prides itself on being a cheaper, faster, and simpler way to send money across the globe.

Founded in 2012, Azimo has raised a total of $40 million; its estimated value is $100 million.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Passport Raises $8 Million in Series B.
  • OurCrowd Wins Red Herring Awards; Announces Partnerships with Bayer, DuPont.

Around the web

  • NCR releases updated version of its transactions processing solution, Authentic.
  • Major update to Xero’s online invoicing technology to help businesses avoid phishing scams.
  • TimeTrade brings its Banking by Appointment functionality to FIS’ mobile banking app.
  • Clover selects DAVO’s Sales Tax App as first app featured on its new blog.
  • ForwardLane and AlphaPoint selected to participate in Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab.
  • ENGIE to leverage Kony’s enterprise-mobility platform.
  • SafetyPay increases its volume of transactions paid in cash by 86% compared to last year.

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.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Tradeshift Closes $75 Million Series D Round, Boosts Valuation to $500 Million.
  • Finovate Debuts: EquityZen Lets Wealth Managers Invest in Pre-IPO Companies.
  • Backbase Announces New CFO Leonore Van Waiij.
  • MyOrder, Wirecard Helps Power Shared Spending Functionality for GRPPY App.
  • Dyme Unveils Prototype of Facebook Saving Chatbot.

On FinDEVr

  • FICO Launches Falcon Assurance Navigator to Help Universities Monitor Federal Grant Spending.

Around the web

  • Chartis names CustomerXPs an Enterprise Solution player in the 2016 RiskTech Quadrant for Enterprise Fraud Tech.
  • Patch of Land Adds Institutional Investors to Real Estate Platform.
  • Prosper hires investment banks to explore raising more funds.
  • NuData Security Selected Best AntiFraud Solution at CardNotPresent Expo.
  • TechCrunch: Lending Robot makes Lending Club investing easy as setting screen brightness.
  • Tokbox launches its video broadcast solution for producers.
  • Banking Technology: Goldman Sachs to use technology from Infosys to power its new digital bank, GS Bank.
  • Business Insider features Finovate alums Azimo, eToro, Currency Cloud, and Zopa in list of potential future U.K. fintech unicorns.
  • True Potential wins Best Use of Technology at Money Marketing Awards 2016.
  • CreditHQ announces special freelancer rate.

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.

Finovate Alumni News


  • “SuiteBox Teams Up with Midwinter to Ease Compliance Burdens for Investment Advisers”
  • “SigFig Partnership with UBS Features Equity Investment, Tools for Wealth Managers”


  • “PIMCO Selects Markit and to Bolster Onboarding”

Around the web

  • PaymentEye interviews Azimo CEO Michael Kent in discussion with Ricky Knox, Tandem CEO.
  • Sberbank introduces fundraising function in mobile application.
  • Guardian Analytics partners with the Norman Group.
  • WePay unveils its white-label mPOS solution.
  • Misys wins awards for its work with Bank of Beijing and Vietnam Technological & Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
  • Green Dot announces plans to divide chairman and CEO roles.
  • Michigan First FCU leverages Insuritas to power Michigan First Insurance Agency for its members.
  • Bleu selected for VC Fintech Accelerator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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.