Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Zopa CEO Giles Andrews quoted in The Financial Times column on the growth of P2P lending in Asia.
  • Daily Fintech looks at SigFig and its turn toward a B2B business model in the wake of the Yodlee acquisition.
  • Consumer Reports calls Betterment a “top 5” in customer service.
  • Top Image Systems announces “multiyear, multimillion” deal with a “top 5 U.S. bank”
  • Hot Topic names multiple Finovate and FinDEVr alum leaders in its list of top 100 in the industry.
  • Blockchain achieves 4 million bitcoin wallets.
  • Prosper moves into new headquarters after growing from 88 to 500 employees since 2013.
  • PayPal ranks in the top 5 of payments companies based on market cap.

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.

FinDEVr Alums Featured Among Top Hackathon Payment APIs


Devpost, the self-described “home for hackers” formerly known as ChallengePost has released data from nearly 10,000 student programming projects that finally answers the question: When the going gets tough and the competitive coders get coding, which language do they choose?

You can find the answer to that question here—hint: rhymes with HTML/CSS—along with the full report from Devpost. JavaScript came in second, and Python in third, but what caught our eye were the top payments APIs. After more than 150 hackathons involving more than 13,000 hackers, which payment APIs were most in demand?

  1. Venmo
  2. PayPal
  3. Stripe
  4. Braintree
  5. Blockchain

It was no surprise to see Finovate and FinDEVr alums among the pack. Venmo is a Finovate alum, having demonstrated its Venmo Touch technology with Braintree at FinovateSpring 2013. And PayPal, Blockchain and Braintree all presented at the inaugural FinDEVr 2014 conference for developers in San Francisco last fall. Braintree will be back again this year for FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco.

WebDevpost’s survey of student hackers is based on the 2014-2015 academic year. The data set included 13,281 student hackers from 160 student hackathons featuring 9,898 individual projects.

In a note about the report, the authors emphasized that sponsorship matters when it comes to being “the one that gets used” by builders. “If you show up and participate,” the authors wrote, “hackers will use your technology.”

paypal_logo_new“We looked at the 20 companies that sponsored two or more student hackathons in 2014 and had 50 or more overall projects tagged with their technologies,” the authors wrote. “Nineteen of those companies had a higher prevalence of tags when they sponsored, including 11 tagged more than twice as often when they sponsored.”

As ChallengePost, the platform served as a place for online competitions in general. But as the number of software and technology competitions began to grow, the company shifted direction to focus on “software-developer hackers.”

braintree_logo_new“Hackers make stuff and exhibit imagination, ingenuity, self-confidence, and a collaborative spirit,” wrote Brandon Kessler, company founder and CEO. “That’s who we are too, and we wanted to support the community around it.”

BlockChain_logoDevPost has powered more than 700 in-person hackathons, and partnered with companies like Uber, AT&T and IBM to help build developer communities. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in New York City. The student report was DevPost’s first, but the company plans to publish rankings periodically, and encourages hackers to tag the technologies they use.

*Post updated to add FinDEVr 2014 alum, Blockchain.

If you’re interested in learning more about the technologies engineers and developers are using to build the fintech innovations of tomorrow, join us in San Francisco, October 6-7, for FinDEVr 2015: the premier event for fintech developers.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Xero and ZenPayroll Win Honors at CPA Practice Advisor 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards
  • Finovate Debuts: Using Financial Media Solutions’ MAPPS to Create Videographics

Around the Web

  • MasterQueue, powered by Intellaegis, partners with Whitepages Pro.
  • Bitpost lists Coinbase and Blockchain as 2 of the top 5 bitcoin wallets on Android.
  • EVO Payments partners with Boomtown to simplify tech support for POS developers and merchants.
  • Fintech Today reports: With Paydiant, PayPal Will Be a Huge Hit with Merchants.
  • Blackhawk to integrate Kofax Mobile Capture SDK into its digital services platform.
  • Team One CU to pilot MShift’s AnyWhereMobile payment-network with a locally owned restaurant in Michigan.
  • SecondMarket’s Bitcoin Desk Relaunches as Genesis Trading.
  • Taulia named by AlwaysOn as a 2015 OnFinance Top 100 Company.
  • According to Gartner, Check Point Software Technologies lead the worldwide market share for firewall equipment in Q4 2014 and FY 2014.

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.


AlwaysOn’s OnFinance Top 100 Features 30 Finovate Alums


More than a quarter of the companies recognized in AlwaysOn’s first OnFinance Top 100 roster are Finovate alums.

The OnFinance Top 100 is designed to recognize the Top 100 private companies in fintech. The list was chosen by the AlwaysOn editorial team, along with several venture capital firms and industry experts. The criteria included degree of innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and “media buzz.”

The list is divided into six categories, and Finovate alums are well represented in each. Category winners will be announced at Always On’s event at the NASDAQ OMX in New York City at the end of April 2015.

Banking and corporate finance

Big data and analytics

Capital markets and investing

Digital currencies

Payment platforms

Personal finance management

Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, AlwaysOn was founded in 2003 by Tony Perkins, founder and editor of Red Herring magazine. The company serves as a networking and social media platform for technology professionals in variety of fields, and has a membership of more than 5,000.

Alumni News– February 3, 2015

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgProfitStars adds Banno Mobile solutions to the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) Preferred Service Provider program.
  • Lending Club to serve as exclusive POS financing for’s U.S. business buyers.
  • Visa CEO selects NBCUniversal’s Vasant M. Prabhu as CFO.
  • On “Fidelity Investments Acquires eMoney Advisor for Reported $250 Million”
  • The Philippine National Bank deploys core banking solution and EFT switching solution from FIS.
  • ABC2 News in Baltimore talks with Robb Gaynor of Malauzai Software about mobile banking apps.
  • Thinking Bigger profiles Blooom and its new way to 401(k).
  • The Costa Rica Star features Azimo, a money-transfer service.
  • Financial Advisor’s look at assets managed by roboadvisors highlights Wealthfront, Financial Guard, Personal Capital, and Betterment.
  • Jumio enhances capturing technology for its ID card-scanning service, Netverify.
  • Discussion of the “positive powers” of fintech in The Guardian features ACI Worldwide, Azimo, TransferWise, Ripple, and Blockchain.
  • Check out our final Sneak Peek before we launch into a record-breaking FinovateEurope.
  • CSO Online features Nymi, Myris, and EyeVerify.
  • Kabbage funding More Than $3 Million per Day.
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 Alums Populate the FinTech50

Looking for the most innovative startups in fintech? The FinTech50 is a great place to start.

It also turns out to be a great place to find Finovate alums. Of the 50 companies recognized by FinTechCity’s panels of judges as being “game-changers transforming the future of finance,” nearly half are alumni of Finovate conferences – including our upcoming event in London.
Here is the list of alums in alphabetical order:
According to Chris Skinner, who was one of the panelists, more than 700 companies competed for spots in the FinTech50. The selection panel included veterans of finance and technology from companies ranging from American Express and Google to Silicon Valley Bank and UBS. The FinTech50 winners were announced at an invitation-only event in London.
Speaking of London, Five Degrees, InvoiceSharing, Ixaris, mBank, and Trunomi will be in town next month, demonstrating their latest solutions at FinovateEurope 2015, February 10 and 11. More information on the event available here.

Alumni News– December 3, 2014

  • iQuantifi announces million-dollar angel investment.
  • LendingTree unveils its small business loan marketplace with loans from $5,000 to $1 million.
  • Young Adult Money explains how to invest using Motif Investing.
  • Betterment reaches 50,000 customer milestone.
  • SK Planet promotes its Bluetooth Low Energy powered mileage app, Syrup, in Seoul.
  • True Potential announces the launch of 15 new, open-ended investment company funds in Q1 2015.
  • Bank of South Pacific to deploy ACI Proactive Risk Manager from ACI Worldwide to help protect against fraud.
  • Klarna to invest $100 million over the next three years to launch its payments systems in the U.S.
  • Finovate Debuts: Loyal3’s Stock Investments Democratizes Access to Stocks and IPOs.
  • Entrepreneurial Finance Lab gets a new look.
  • Pymnts features conversation with Currency Cloud’s Chief Commercial Officer on how they modernize money movement.
  • Coinbase now enables some customers to hold USD balances in their Coinbase wallets.
  • Time names Braintree’s Venmo as 1 of the top 10 apps of 2014.
  • Blockchain issued a .SSL certification.
  • TechVibes features Trulioo’s new design.
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.

Alumni News– November 21, 2014

  • migrates client base of 1,000+ freelancers and contractors to the FreeAgent platform.
  • Uber helping drivers manage and pay back their student loans by partnering with
  • Actiance recognized in Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving.
  • Bloomberg: CAN Capital to weigh IPO with up to $2 billion value.
  • Intuit’s Quickbooks and Xero coming to Square App Marketplace.
  • PayStand sets flat fees for e-check payment option.
  • Virtual Piggy, provider of Oink, launches the Oink Discover prepaid card for teens.
  • Fiserv links its Popmoney P2P payment solution to charitable giving.
  • Yodlee wins top honors at Citi Mobile Challenge Latam 2014.
  • Bazaarvoice announces plans to relocated to new corporate HQ in North Austin.
  • Kashoo announces enhancements to its web app, including more P&L options and increased security.
  • VoiceTrust launches strategic partnership with German biometric cloud security company, BioID AG.
  • The Washington Post features Bionym’s Nymiband.
  • Accenture mentions Thinknum as an innovation that is helping to change the banking industry.
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.

What the Hack to do With All those APIs?


We’re in Vegas this week, catching up with several Finovate and FinDEVr alums. Before the week even started, however, we took a gamble and spent the weekend at the Money20/20 Hackathon.

Many Finovate and FinDEVr alums have powerful APIs to enable the creation of solutions to solve all types of problems. At the hackathon, the crowd of 450 developers, engineers, and entrepreneurs developed a myriad of solutions over the course of 25 hours.

Here are the winners for each company:


Bionym winners

  • OffBank, which uses Bionym’s Nymi band to authenticate bank customers before initiating a wire transfer
  • I Heart Pay, which uses Bionym’s Nymi band, combined with an app, to enable merchants to verify a customer’s identity to charge them for a transaction

Check out Bionym’s demo from FinDEVr 2014, San Francisco


Blockchain winner:

Samaritus, which uses barcode scanners inside of recycling bins that read bar codes on recyclable materials to reward people for recycling. The app pays them in bitcoin, while simultaneously collecting data on what and where users recycle.


Feedzai winner:
Bacon, which places a multi-layer authentication platform that layers more security data on top of Feedzai’s algorithm to authenticate customers before a transaction. 


Intuit winner:
In Reach, which uses the QuickBooks Online API to determine the availability of a retailer’s inventory, then enables customers to purchase goods via a native app, and pick up the item in the store.

MasterCard winner:

Enterchange, which uses MasterCard’s API to enable customers to order food and pay at sit-down restaurants.
Modo Payments winners:
    • ShopperPal (for FIS), an app that incents consumers to enter a physical retail store by giving them points for entering a 

      store, liking the company on Facebook, and making purchases in the store. The points are added to the consumer’s Modo Payments app.

    • KidFit (for Alliance Data), an app that syncs with wearable devices, such as a smartwatch, to enable parents to reward their children for elevating their heart rate for a set amount of time. The rewards are given in the form of points in the Modo Payments app. 
    • Nike Modo, a system that uses the Nike Fuel band to track a consumer’s geolocation and add reward points to their Modo Wallet when they enter a store and make a purchase.
Swift, a solution for retail stores that uses an RFID sensor to track each product that is placed into shopping carts. The data syncs to the consumer’s PayPal app to enable a quick and mobile checkout experience.

Blockchain Raises $30 Million in Growth Capital


In a massive Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital, bitcoin wallet innovator Blockchain announced today that it has raised $30 million in growth capital.

The successful round comes as the company celebrates reaching 2.3 million consumers with its private, secure, and portable bitcoin wallets. Writing at the Blockchain blog, the company credits Lightspeed Venture Partners for being one of the first Silicon Valley firms to begin paying serious attention to the bitcoin phenomenon. Wicklow Capital also comes in for commendation, with Blockchain hoping to leverage Wicklow’s experience and leadership in developing “technology enabled trading and financial services”.

Blockchain also announced new additions to its board of directors, onboarding Richard Branson, Mosaic Ventures, and Prudence Holdings, among others.
Founded in 2011 by Ben Reeves as a way to study and analyze the bitcoin market, Blockchain is the maker of the first, Java-based, client side bitcoin wallet that makes it easy for individuals to store and use their bitcoins. Calling itself the “de facto search engine for the bitcoin economy,” Blockchain manages more than two million bitcoin wallets, representing more than $21 billion in total payment volume.
Reeves currently serves as Blockchain CTO, Nicholas Cary is CEO, and Peter Smith is President.
Blockchain participated in the first FinDEVr conference last week in San Francisco, where they demonstrated their core API for bitcoin development. Read more about the company’s FinDEVr presentation here.