Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Women in Fintech: “Pursuing Growth and Pursuing Profits Are Not Mutually Exclusive.”
  • New Threats, New Solutions: BioCatch Joins Anti-Vishing Fight.

Around the web

  • Clinc partners with Ford to bring voice recognition to its automobiles.
  • B2B digital marketing executive Nicky Senyard joins Voleo’s board of directors.
  • CSO Online reviews enterprise email security platform GreatHorn.
  • Coinbase offers cross-border wire transfer service to high-volume customers to help them fund their accounts.

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 Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore-based InstaReM announces new multi-currency feature to make overseas payments easier for SMEs.
  • Myanmar’s biggest privately-owned bank, Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank picks Finastra’s treasury management solution, Fusion Treasury.
  • Government ministries in South Korea partner for joint blockchain project to improve marine logistics and shipping.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) invests $2.9 million three companies from Burundi, Malawi, and Uganda to support financial inclusion.
  • Nigerian Stock Exchange extends partnership with Nasdaq to continue using its matching engine technology.
  • Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority releases its “FinTech Sandbox Guidance Note” with an initial focus on robo advisors and blockchain technology.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Intelligent CIO looks at the merger of Polish fintechs, Braintri and iCompass.
  • Mastercard partners with Polish Payment Standard to provide contactless payments.
  • New report from Deloitte and ID Finance analyzes the growth of Russia’s private fintech sector.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Iraq’s Hammurabi Commercial Bank to deploy ICS Banks Universal Banking Software Suite.
  • Ripple and UAE Exchange team up to launch blockchain-powered cross-border remittance payment services in Asia in early 2019.
  • Egypt’s Commercial International Bank introduces nation’s first fintech-focused venture capital fund.
  • Clinc Brings Conversational AI to Turkey’s Isbank.

Central and South Asia

  • Obopay teams up with Federal Bank and Mastercard to offer new pre-payment card in India.
  • Indian digital payments firm ePayLater teams up with Cashfree to bring its credit-based payment option to merchants.
  • YourStory features Pune-based fintech startup, Phi Commerce.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian lender Creditoo announces $1.2 million in new funding.
  • IDB, Finnovista report notes that four out of ten Peruvian fintechs has a female founder.
  • Costa Rica unveils new virtual currency, Ecolones, to encourage recycling.

Top image designed by Freepik

Clinc Brings Conversational AI to Turkey’s Isbank

U.S.-based Clinc and Turkish private bank Isbank have launched the “world’s second-largest” mobile banking voice assistant with over six million users, reports Antony Peyton of FinTech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Powered by Clinc’s conversational artificial intelligence (AI), the new voice assistant – named “Maxi” – will be available in the IsCep app.

Maxi will answer financial questions “unique to each individual user,” offer personalized spending advice, and do banking tasks.

According to the duo, based on the total number of users, Maxi is “second only to Bank of America’s ‘Erica’”.

Halim Memis, channel strategy unit manager at Isbank’s digital banking division, said: “While creating a first of its kind native language solution had its challenges, training the platform in Turkish and integrating it to our mobile banking application was smooth with [Clinc’s] support.”

Clinc CEO Dr. Jason Mars pointed out that this is the “first time that conversational AI has been deployed in Turkey.”  He added, “Because our AI learns new languages in a neural network way without hardcoding new rules and grammar, banks can quickly build and deploy in over 80 languages”.

Using their voice, the bank’s customers can check balances and spending history, transfer money, review transactions, and get spending advice.

The bank also plans to integrate Clinc’s AI into additional customer support channels including its IVR call centre. As reported in June, the pair talked about doing this.

Clinc demonstrated its conversational AI technology at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc has raised $7.8 million in funding. The company’s investors include Drive Capital and eLab Ventures.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Citi Forges Strategic Partnership with Feedzai.

Around the web

  • Clinc Brings Conversational AI to Turkey’s Isbank.
  • FinTech Futures sits down with TransferWise’s Stuart Gregory to talk about the power of partnerships.
  • Intelligent CIO looks at the merger of Polish fintechs, Braintri and iCompass.
  • Experian launches Experian Boost, an online platform that enables consumers to instantly improve their credit scores by providing additional financial information.
  • Envestnet president Bill Crager is featured in Financial Planning’s 19 People Who Will Change Wealth Management in 2019.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Envestnet | Yodlee’s AI FinCheck Takes Financial Wellness to a New Level.
  • Blockbid Partners with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ThreatMetrix.
  • Ignite Sales and FIS Team Up on Digital Engagement.

Around the web

  • Revolut goes live in Russia courtesy of partnership with QIWI.
  • Clinc brings its conversational AI technology to Turkey’s Isbank.
  • BBVA teams up with IPsoft to enhance service at its call centers in Mexico.
  • PYMNTS.com interviews BlueVine CEO Eyal Lifshitz on the “real value of invoice factoring.”
  • CFO Tech Outlook names Urban FT a top ten fintech solution provider.
  • NF Innova powering omnichannel banking for Halkbank ad Skopje.
  • Geezeo issues fully-fledged launch of Responsive Tiles PFM feature.

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

Around the web

  • Best of Show winner Clinc launches Spotlight, the first self-service training program for conversational AI.
  • Cloud Lending Solutions recognized as a Top 10 Best Performing Salesforce Solution Provider for 2017 by Insight Success Magazine.
  • Ohpen Angelique Schouten named Chief Commercial Officer; Lydia van de Voort appointed to U.K. CEO post.
  • Auto financing offers from Santander Consumer USA now available on the AutoGravity app.
  • Pushfor wins public vote at inaugural Dublin Innovation Jam.
  • Members Heritage Credit Union launches member-owned insurance agency in partnership with Insuritas.
  • Lendio introduces new franchise in Gainesville-Ocala Florida region.

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.

Clinc Tops $4.5 Million in Annual Revenue; Hires Helen Yu as Chief Growth Officer

Conversational AI platform for banks Clinc topped off a year of “explosive growth” in 2017 by generating more than $4.5 million in annual revenue. The strong revenue numbers come as the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based, Finovate Best of Show winner announces the hiring of technology executive Helen Yu (pictured) as its Chief Growth Officer.

Calling Yu’s talents “hard to find,” Clinc CEO Dr. Jason Mars praised the former Hyperion, Oracle, and Adobe executive’s “tremendous knowledge, extensive experience and track record of transforming organizations.” These, Mars said, would be “an impactful asset to our team as we execute our aggressive growth plans, expand into additional verticals and achieve our mission to revolutionize and redefine experiences through conversational AI.”

Yu comes to Clinc most recently from Marketo, where she served as group vice president. While at the marketing software firm, Yu led the enterprise business from 5% of Marketo’s ARR (annual recurring revenue) to 50% within three and half years before the company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in an all-cash, $1.79 billion deal. An Athena pioneer, the founder and CEO of the Tigon Advisory Corporation, as well as an advisor for Jebbit and the C-Suite Accelerator program, Yu studied at Cornell University and has a MBA from Loyola University in Chicago.

“The combination of Clinc’s market momentum, technical capabilities and diversified leadership team made this an irresistable opportunity,” Yu said. “There’s a massive opportunity ahead of us and I’m elated to help take Clinc to the next level.” Yu underscored the uniqueness of Clinc’s offering and praised the fintech’s execution, as well. “No one has accelerated from product launch to achieving 15x growth within the same year,” she said.

Founded in 2015, Clinc demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2016, earning a Best of Show award for its AI-enabled intelligent financial assistant. In November, the company announced that its technology was live in six countries, including Turkey, where the nation’s largest private bank signed a deal to deploy Clinc’s platform. Also last fall, Clinc announced a partnership with Enacomm to bring its AI chatbot technology to smaller, community banks and credit unions. 2017 also featured a deal with USAA  and the closing of a $6 million Series A round led by Drive Capital that took the company’s total capital to $7.75 million. Dr. Mars participated in our Finovate webinar “How to Make it In the Fintech Industry: 3 Start-Up Success Stories” last year.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Payfone Receives $23 Million in Funding from Synchrony Financial.
  • Clinc Tops $4.5 Million in Annual Revenue; Hires Helen Yu as Chief Growth Officer.
  • Payworks Completes $14.5 Million Series B Round.
  • Bankjoy Brings New Online and Mobile Banking System to SafeAmerica Credit Union.
  • Placecast Acquired by Ericsson’s Emodo.

Around the web

  • GreenKey Technologies to release its voice API through OpenFin’s plugin architecture
  • TipRanks offers stock tracking tool to manage investments and maximize returns.
  • Worldline selects VMware to accelerate innovation and time to market.
  • Japanese personal care company selects Top Image Systems’ eFLOW Extract accounts payable solution.
  • Kestra Financial to offer eMoney Advisor’s financial planning platform to its advisors.
  • TIBCO ranked first in Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Japanese Telecom NTT to Distribute Trusona Technology in Japan.
  • RealtyMogul Introduces new President, Aaron Halfacre.
  • Tradeshift Launches Innovation Center to Bring the Blockchain to Business Commerce.
  • Payfone Teams Up with U.K. Mobile Network Operator.
  • Expensify Reports More than 1 Million New Users and Double the Partnerships in 2017.

Around the web

  • Auto Finance Excellence talks with AutoGravity CTO Sheng Wang, who discusses the company’s new security features.
  • Sam Maule talks with Kabbage founder Rob Frohwein.
  • F&M Bank selects Geezeo to enhance digital banking.
  • Kantox partners with BELLIN to help support SMEs expanding globally.
  • Mitek and IdentityMind announce integration to enhance their digital ID verification capacities.
  • Zopa re-opens its platform for new customers.

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.

Clinc Goes Global With Deployments in Six Countries, Signs Deal with Turkey’s Biggest Private Bank

Conversational AI innovator Clinc has partnered with Işbank, the largest private bank in Turkey, which will deploy the Finovate Best of Show winner’s technology within its two mobile banking apps. The bank’s mobile banking app will provide users with a voice-activated intelligent personal assistant, while the bank’s mobile wallet payments app will feature Clinc’s AI brain and enable in-store payments and money transfers.

The announcement makes Işbank the first global FI to offer conversational AI with multi-language support. It also means that Clinc’s natural language platform, Finie, is now deployed in six countries and in 80 different languages. The partnership with Isbank alone will put Clinc’s technology in the hands of more than 4.5 million app users.

Clinc CEO and co-founder Dr. Jason Mars demonstrating Finie, a conversational AI platform, at FinovateSpring 2016.

“In contrast to the rule-based, bot-approach taken by all other vendors in the market, the fundamentals of our deep neural-network architecture enable us to break down the barriers to global adoption of conversational A.I.,” Clinc CEO Dr. Jason Mars said. “We can deploy to a bank in Istanbul or Singapore just as quickly and easily as we can deploy to a bank in Chicago or New York.”

Leveraging advanced natural language processing, machine learning, and deep neural networks, Clinc’s conversational AI platform is able to comprehend, recall, and respond to unstructured, everyday human speech. The technology understands speech patterns, word and sentence structure, and sentiment, surpassing other solutions that merely convert speech to text and rely on a set of pre-coded responses. This is also key to the multi-language capabilities of Clinc’s technology. “We’re miles ahead because the only other way to do multi-language is to start from scratch, and to code new rules and new grammar for every new language,” Mars explained.

Clinc demonstrated its Finie conversational AI technology at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show. Last month, the company announced a partnership with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Enacomm that will make it easier for smaller banks and credit unions to adopt AI chatbot technology. In August, Clinc integrated its technology with the Alexa skill for members of USAA.

Founded in 2015 and based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc has raised $7.75 million in funding and includes Drive Capital, Cahoots Holdings, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and individual investor Stuart Porter among its investors. Company co-founder and CEO Mars was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking 2017 by Bank Innovation. Check out his thoughts on what it takes to become a successful fintech start-up in our roundtable conversation from earlier this year.