Bid ’em In! Blippy Bunch Announce Live Auction iPhone App

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Are they hipper than the Home Shopping Network? More engaging than eBay?

Tophatter, the live auction website, has just launched its new iPhone app. The app will provide users with their own avatar and enable them to communicate with each other and the auctioneer.

Tophatter is the latest project and major pivot from the team that brought us transaction-sharing Blippy (Finovate alum, Spring 2010). But whatever Blippy may have missed in its ability to keep users coming back for more, the makers of Tophatter believe they have found in their new “QVC for the social Web” network.

A few early metrics:

  • More than $1 million dollars in monthly gross transaction volume
  • 35% of first time buyers bought three items in their first month
  • 500,000 bids placed in March, with a sell rate of 80%

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The live auction approach of Tophatter reflects CEO Ashvin Kumar and COO Andrew Blachman’s continued investment in “social spending”. In working to promote retention, the team has tried to capture the live experience of the auction with interactivity, while at the same time enriching the virtual experience with a design described by TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha as “loose and cartoony.” In a good way.

Finovate Alumni News– April 11, 2013

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  • Alliance Data teams up with Locaid to provide opt-in geofence pilot program for branded cards.
  • Currensee announces Trade Leaders Investment Program.
  • Leaf announces Quick Serve POS solution for restaurants. See Leaf in action at FinovateSpring in May.
  • Credit Sesame reports growth figures.
  • Banno creates 15 responsive design websites in Q1 2013.
  • HelloWallet hires 6, bringing total number of employees to 40.
  • LG now offers the convenience of purchasing via PayPal on their 2013 line of Smart TVs.
  • American Banker reports Fiserv updates its Unified Wealth Management platform.
  • Money Marketing features Rplan, Nutmeg, and LoveMoney as startups that appeal to the under-30 crowd.
  • Dropbox offers single sign on through partnership with Ping Identity.
  • CMO.com interviews Yandex CEO Bernard Lukey is the director of sales and business development.
  • GigaOM reports PayPal offers 2 new extensions for Magneto merchants.
  • The Economist takes a look at the bitcoin boom, including alternatives like OpenCoin. See OpenCoin demo Ripple at FinovateSpring in May.
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– March 4, 2013

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  • Online Broker Review takes a look at the TradeKing iPhone app.
  • Ayondo’s investing and trading app TradeHub available on the iPhone.
  • Entrepreneur interviews Candance Klein, CEO of SoMoLend.
  • Brr Media interviews Kiboo founder and CEO Lisa Halpern.
  • TechCrunch chats with Simple CEO and co-founder Josh Reich to find out why Simple is better than your bank.
  • Lend Academy reports: Lending Club Issues $120 Million in New Loans in February.
  • American Banker reports: Bank of Zachary Selects Andera’s Account Opening System.
  • Check Point positioned as leader for 16th consecutive year in 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewall.
  • The WSJ reports: SecondMarket to Launch Student-Loan Securities Platform.
  • Blippy for iPad available at the iTunes App store.
  • Comarch announced as a sponsor of Loyalty Expo 2013 in Orlando, Florida.
  • Prepaid Resources announces partnership with IDology.
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 Website Traffic in July

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of Finovate alums using data from Web-analytics company Compete
Out of 255 alumni, 59 (23%) had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in July 2011 (see tables below). Of those, 19 (32%) had more visitors than in the previous month and 25 (42%) were flat. Year-over-year, 26 (44%) had an increase, 10 (17%) were flat, and 23 (39%) were down. 

Private Companies
Notable successes:
  • Seeking Alpha had the most traffic in July with more than 2 million unique visitors.
  • eToro saw the highest monthly growth percentage with 3 times the number of unique visitors in July compared to June.
  • Bundle had the highest increase in number of unique month-over-month visits, with 450,000 more visitors in July than in June.
  • eRollover had the highest percent year-over-year traffic increase, with 260,000 more visitors from last July. 
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Source: Compete.com retrieved week of August 15, 2011
1. The previous month recorded was May 2011
2. Sears Credit Score is powered by CreditKarma.com
3. Kasasa is powered by BancVue
Public Companies
Notable successes:
  • PayPal had the highest number of U.S. visitors in July, with more than 30 million visitors.
  • Jack Henry & Associates saw the highest monthly growth with twice as many visitors in July than June.
  • Wipro Technologies had the highest year-over-year growth, with 3 times as many visitors this year compared to last year.
  • FIS Global and Online Resources also doubled their traffic compared to last year. 
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Source: Compete.com retrieved the week of August 15, 2011
1. The previous month recorded was May 2011.
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Notes:
1. We reviewed 255 Finovate alumni. Only those with at least 10,000 unique visitors in July are listed. 
3. NM = Not measurable
4. Compete estimates online visitors based on the activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic and may undercount at-work usage.

PayPal and Cortera Take Charge in May’s Web Traffic

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of our alums, using data from Web-analytics company Compete to review the sites they operate. 

Out of 255 alumni, 62 (24%) had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in May 2011 (see tables below). Of the 62 reviewed, 25 (40%) had fewer visitors than in the previous month and 28 (45%) saw a decline year-over-year.

Private Companies
The 44 private companies are as follows:

Notable successes:

  • Cortera saw the highest number of unique U.S. visitors in May, with almost 2 million hits.
  • HelloWallet experienced the greatest month-over-month growth, with more than four times as many visitors.
  • Betterment saw its traffic increase an impressive 38 times from May of last year.

Private Finovate Alumni With More Than 10,000 Unique Visitors in May 2011

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Source: Compete.com retrieved June 29, 2011

Public Companies
The 18 public companies are as follows:

Notable successes:

  • PayPal experienced the highest number of U.S. visitors in May, with over 32 million visitors.
  • TransUnion Interactive saw the highest month-over-month growth with more than two times the number of visitors in May than in April.
  • Sybase 365 experienced the highest year-over-year growth, with its traffic up almost 80% from last year.

Public Finovate Alumni With More Than 10,000 Unique Visitors in May 2011 

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Source: Compete.com retrieved June 29, 2011

_____________________________________________________________________________

Notes:

1. We reviewed 255 unique sites. Data was unavailable or irrelevant for 201 sites because: 

  • They had been acquired.
  • They were no longer available online.
  • They were not covered by Compete for various reasons (including some that were not U.S. domestic companies).
  • The number of unique visits was too small to be considered accurate.
  • They were subdomains of larger websites.

2. Numbers have been rounded to three significant digits.

3. The charts include companies that did not have measurable traffic in May 2011, indicated by “N/A.”

4. Compete draws its information from the online activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic, and may undercount at-work usage.

New Online Banking Report Available: Online & Mobile Banking Forecast through 2020

image The latest Online Banking Report: 2011 to 2020 Online & Mobile Banking Forecast is now available. It was mailed over the weekend to all OBR subscribers. It’s also available online here. There’s no charge for current subscribers; others may download it immediately for US$495.

The report includes our latest 10-year online & mobile banking and bill-pay forecast. While our reading of the tea leaves is unlikely to be perfect, it seems clear that the demand for online banking in the United States has reached a plateau (note 1); in fact, we are likely within a year or two of online banking penetration peaking and slowly heading down.  

How could that be? Mobile of course. In fact, through the end of 2020, we project an increase of 40 to 45 million U.S. households using mobile banking, to a total of nearly 60 million. During the same period, online banking penetration is actually expected to drop by a few million households.

If we are right, sometime near the end of the decade mobile banking will surpass online (note 2), although by then, the two will look pretty similar. 

The report also includes a revised 10-year forecast for U.S. peer-to-peer lending. After more than doubling in 2010, we expect continued strong growth of around 40% compounded annually through 2020.

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Top innovations & trends of 2010
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The report includes a summary of the top ten innovations or trends during the past year (in alphabetic order):

  • In-statement merchant rewards goes from zero to 100 financial institutions
  • Loan preapproval wizards reduce uncertainty for applicants
  • Location-aware mobile services for banking debut
  • Mobile banking goes mainstream
  • Mobile capture removes the paper from commerce
  • Mobile payments gains real momentum
  • Online personal financial management (outside of the bank) struggles
  • P2P lending solidifies its niche
  • Social media proves it can have real impact in financial promotions
  • Transaction streaming and sharing gain a foothold

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New entrants on the list of the top 43 innovations of all time
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Each year we rank the top online/mobile innovations of all time (North America). There are a total of 43 products listed from 42 unique companies:

  • 15 banks
  • 5 credit unions
  • 9 non-bank financial services companies
  • 13 technology companies

The class of 2010, which was unusual for being all technology companies rather than financial institutions (note 3):

  • Blippy for its automated transaction-sharing network
  • Cardlytics for its merchant-funded in-statement online rewards service
  • Finsphere for its location-aware fraud-targeting service, PinPoint
  • Mitek Systems for its mobile photo bill pay

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Notes:
1. The penetration of online banking into U.S. households is relatively flat going forward. However, because each households accesses a larger number of financial accounts, growth at individual financial institutions is still growing on average.
2. Forecast is for the United States. Mobile has already surpassed all types of banking in some developing countries.
3. Perhaps this can be explained by the necessary focus of financial institutions on getting through the global banking crisis beginning in 2008.

Alumni News — Week of January 9, 2011

To see Finovate alumni company news in real-time, follow our feed on Twitter here
Backbase is holding an engagement banking seminar on January 27. — Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required. http://bit.ly/finovate114111
Blippy has been nominated for a Crunchie award. — The awards, given in a number of startup  categories, are a joint effort by three tech blogs: TechCrunch. VentureBeat and GigaOM. http://tcrn.ch/finovate113114
FeeFighters (formerly TransFS) has raised an additional $1.6 million in funding. — FeeFighters helps businesses comparison shop for credit card processing services. http://tcrn.ch/finovate113112
Fifth Third Bank will offer Popmoney from CashEdge. — Popmoney, an e-mail based money transfer system, will be available to Fifth Third customers in mid-2011. http://bit.ly/finovate110113
Firstmark Credit Union selects Geezeo for PFM platform. — The credit union, with  90,000 members with $700 million in assets, will use Geezeo’s white label platform . http://bit.ly/finovate1101
iBearSoft releases Money 5.0 mobile app. — The new release includes several speedups and new features. http://bit.ly/finovate1112
Jwaala offers free trials of the Better Online Banking (BOB) platform for credit unions. — The trial platform can be launched within two days of the request and allows prospective clients to see all of the available features. http://bit.ly/finovate113113
Kabbage raises an additional $6.5 million to support its loan business targeted to eBay and other online sellers. — This round was led by BlueRun Ventures and UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. http://tcrn.ch/finovate113111
Kashoo users get a 30% discount on electronic tax filing with eSmart Tax. http://bit.ly/finovate114112
PerkStreet and Lending Club offer cash prizes for creatively shredding credit cards. http://bit.ly/finovate111113 or shredyourcreditcard.com
Plastyc and eBillMe launch a new banking system for self-employed users. — The platform allows users to receive clients’ electronic payments directly. http://bit.ly/finovate112112
SafetyPay signs deal with Brazil’s Banrisul. — This will allow Banrisul Bank’s three million customers to make purchases in their own currency by way of SafetyPay’s service. http://bit.ly/finovate111111
SmartyPig launches its first iPhone app. — Users can add to their savings,  manage goals and even contribute to another user’s goal. The app also includes a location-based tool to find participating merchants.  An Android app is planned for February. http://bit.ly/finovate110112
Tyfone receives a fourth patent for mobile e-wallet technology. — This newest patent, is entitled, “Asymmetric cryptography with user authentication.” http://bit.ly/finovate112111
The Mii card, powered by Yodlee, becomes a digital passport for online authentication. — See the Mii card in Action at FinovateEurope. http://www.miicard.com/

Alumni News — Week of January 2, 2011

To see updates on Finovate alumni companies follow our live feed on Twitter
Finovate alums Blippy and Expensify land on Robert Scoble’s list of 25 startups to watch for 2011. http://scoble.it/finovate13114
Credit Karma now offers free insurance scoring tools in addition to free credit scores. http://bit.ly/finovate13113
Expensify launches iPhone/iPod app version 2.6. – The upgrade includes support for 100 currencies. http://bit.ly/finovate14114
Lending Club mentioned in CNN Living – Borrowing from the family bank? http://bit.ly/finovate13112
Prosper alters the way its loan prices are set, switches to preset loan rates based on risk profile. http://bit.ly/finovate14113

Weekly Updates — Week of November 15, 2010

To see Finovate news updates in real-time, follow our feed on Twitter

Backbase is launching its fall webinar series. — The first 25 signups get a copy of Brett King’s new book “Bank 2.0.” http://bit.ly/finovate11193
Billeo is powering the new American Express inSite service. — Amex users get rewards and bonuses from within their browser. http://bit.ly/finovate11162
BillFloat shines at the “Under the Radar Conference.” — The company won the “Judges’ Choice” and “Audience Choice” awards in the Commerce category.  http://bit.ly/finovate11163
Blippy lets users “fancify” their profiles. http://bit.ly/finovate11154
Data is king at BrightScope. — See the  O’Riley Radar article which includes a five-minute video on how the startup gathered 401k plan info from the Department of Labor  http://oreil.ly/finovate11192

Credit Sesame launches. — Public Beta is open to everyone. http://bit.ly/finovate11171 Excellent info-graphic about consumer debt in America http://bit.ly/finovate11182
eRollover announces new website. — The new site is designed to be easier to navigate and better show analytic tools. http://bit.ly/finovate11153
GoalMine launches with $25 reward to users who establish a $25 per month investment plan. — The program not only encourages ongoing investment, but highlights the convenience of the company’s online GoalPack gift card system. http://bit.ly/finovate11152
Ixaris launches Secret Path Developer Challenge. — Secret Path rewards developers who build payment applications on Ixaris Opn for social media networks, mobile devices and ecommerce. http://bit.ly/finovate11172
Kasasa Poetry Challenge. — Poets can win cash prizes, and have their work used in a Kasasa commercial. http://bit.ly/finovate11194
Monitise and US Bank work together for contactless payments solution. http://bit.ly/finovate11173
Mozo wins Deloitte’s Rising Star award. — The award is for companies in operation for fewer than three years. http://bit.ly/finovate11191
PayNearMe garners $16 million in venture capital. — Khosla Ventures led the funding round. The company will also be launching a mobile payments application. http://bit.ly/finovate11161 
SmartyPig adds 21 new “Best in Class Retailers” just in time for holiday shopping. — Retail partners boost users’ savings by up to 14% when the savings goal is withdrawn via their gift card. http://bit.ly/finovate11155
Tempo Payments powers reward card for Sheetz convenience stores. — The decoupled affinity debit cards are independently-branded rewards debit cards, which link to the customer’s checking account. http://bit.ly/finovate11151
Wikinvest launches Android and Blackberry apps which allow users to view their accounts regardless of brokerage. http://tcrn.ch/finovate11181

Weekly Updates — Weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2010

From PayPal X Conference: Bill.com uses PayPal business payments to transform how businesses get paid. http://bit.ly/finovate10273 and gets a makeover. http://bit.ly/finovate10255
From PayPal X Conference: Bling Nation launches “FanConnect” platform. FanConnect helps consumers and businesses to connect at checkout via social media platforms like Facebook. http://bit.ly/finovate10272
Blippy and Sephora work together to spread the word about cosmetic products via Twitter. See TechCrunch’s story. http://tcrn.ch/finovate10271
Continuity Control and uMonitor partner for compliance automation. http://bit.ly/finovate11334
Dynamics Inc. is profiled in “the future of credit cards” in the New York Times. http://j.mp/finovate102510
From PayPal X Conference: Expensify announces support for expense reimbursement via PayPal. See a demonstration: http://bit.ly/finovate1142.
How Finsphere is helping to prevent identity theft with geo-location and mobile check-ins. http://rww.to/finovate10281
Ixaris partners with Apigee to create payment application development API platform.  — The new platform will be named Ixaris Opn (pronounced “open”). http://bit.ly/finovate1121
From PayPal X Conference: More on Kabbage’s service to provide working capital for eBay Sellers. http://bit.ly/finovate10276
Lending Club welcomes North Carolina and Kansas. Peer-to-peer personal loans are now available in 42 states. http://bit.ly/finovate1141
Mint.com launches MintData to delve into the spending habits of Mint’s 4 million users. The data is anonymous and provides insight into the pocketbooks of customers in 300 U.S. cities. http://tcrn.ch/finovate1122
From PayPal X Conference: Outright.com launches free accounting app in PayPal apps marketplace. http://bit.ly/finovate10274
Citi takes CashEdge’s Popmoney Service live. FinVentures breaks it down. http://bit.ly/finovate1123
The Receivables Exchange Co-Founder and CEO Justin Brownhill was named one of  Silicon Alley Insider’s “Silicon Alley 100.” The list covers New York’s “Coolest Tech People in 2010.” http://bit.ly/finovate11335
SafetyPay pioneers new ways to provide micropayments in the gaming industry. http://bit.ly/finovate10277