Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25 Million Investment in Quantopian
  • “Finovate Debuts: GoodData Helps Banks Put Their Data to Work”
  • “Nutmeg Spices Things Up with New $37 Million Investment”

Around the web

  • FinDEVr alum Smart Token Chain completes first smart token transfer via Ripple network.
  • From apps to APIs: Dwolla rebrands as platform.
  • PwC unveils Vulcan Digital Asset Services, a suite of digital currency solutions including digital wallets and international payment processing.
  • Entersekt to power mobile app security for FirstBank.
  • CoverHound partners with Metromile to offer more coverage options for auto and property insurance.
  • WealthForge exceeds $250M in transactions completed on platform.
  • Kabbage hires chief technology officer and chief data officer.
  • AutoGravity to power digital car sales and finance app for Fletcher Jones Motorcars.
  • Visa Developer Challenge winner Corezoid earns recognition at Money 20/20 Hackathon.

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

  • Pindrop Debuts Phoneprinting Technology with Lloyds Banking Group

Around the web

  • Malauzai Software teams up with Guardian Analytics, adding new fraud detection functionality to mobile banking apps.
  • Q2 launches Centrix Dispute Tracking System Fraud Alerts module.
  • UAE Exchange partners with Jumio for identity verification. Read our interview with Jumio CEO Stephen Stuut.
  • Edison TV interviews Martina King, Featurespace CEO, about the company’s ARIC Engine.
  • CoverHound launches CyberPolicy.com to help small businesses protect against cyber attacks.
  • Pendo Systems announces new application for Gainsight and CRM Systems.
  • Yseop to ship Narrative Charts to Information Builders.
  • GuardStreet and WellCard Savings launch products on Insuritas SmartCard insuretech digital platform.
  • Crowdfund Insider reports: Bitbond receives BaFin license.

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.

Wave Mechanics: FT Partners Report Highlights Trends Driving Rise of Insurtech

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“Insurtech” isn’t about providing financial assistance to distracted gamers who injure themselves playing Pokemon Go (though there is that). It’s a growing, thriving aspect of financial technology that is becoming a category of its own, apart from the world of payments, robo-advisers, and PFM that characterizes much of what we call “fintech.”

The new report just released from FT Partners (and available for free download) helps financial services execs better understand the rise of insurance technology. Prepare for the Insurtech Wave: Overview of Key Insurance Technology Trends is a 247-page research report that details trends in insurance distribution and administration, data and analytics; and sales, marketing, and engagement; and puts into context the opportunities from the “new technologies and transformative business models” that are “targeting all areas of the multi-trillion dollar global industry.”

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A few key metrics from the report:

  • Total premiums for all insurance sectors in 2015: $2.0 trillion
  • More than 6,000 insurance companies in the U.S. employ more than 2.5 million.
  • Property and casualty (P&C) insurers generated $64 billion in net income in 2014. Life and health insurance companies generated $38 billion.

What makes insurtech especially interesting is where it sits at the nexus of the pace of technological innovation and the reality of an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Prepare for the Insurtech Wave reveals an industry responding to this challenge in a variety of ways from starting ventures arms to teaming up with startups tackling key pain-points, as well as those best poised to take advantage of new technologies such as the internet of things. This, the report notes, has “huge implications across the insurance value chain.”

The report highlights the “disruptors” of insurtech, a group of 40 startups that includes Finovate alums CoverHound and Sureify, as well as what it calls “established tech-enabled companies” such as insurance-software developers Ebix and even 3D aerial measurement services and reports startup from Seattle, EagleView Technologies. Also listed are major recent insurtech M&A and financing transactions such as the $500 million raised by Zenefits and the $160 million to Clover.

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Prepare for the Wave underscores the importance of convenience, speed, and transparency for the modern insurance consumer, encouraging the industry to embrace multi-channel engagement and new products like micro insurance. The report also looks at the role of the insurance agent, noting that a growing preference for insurance-shopping online—61% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 54 say they would purchase life insurance online in a recent PwC poll—is one of many factors likely to undermine one of the industry’s historically most relied-upon distribution channels. “At a time when life insurance ownership is plummeting,” the report reads, quoting the PwC poll, “life insurers are waking up to an inconvenient truth: Decades of relying on an agency-distribution system have left them woefully unprepared to survive in today’s consumer-driven economy.”

ftpartners_insurtech_map

At the same time, the report notes that “the incumbents do not have their heads in the sand.” Note that:

  • Among traditional insurers, 43% are planning to “acquire, or have already acquired, innovative startups to help expand digital capabilities.”
  • More than half have “already invested” in social media, data mining, and predictive modeling
  • Approximately 68% are embracing mobile technology.

Additionally, Ptolemus Consulting is cited for pointing out that insurance companies have “launched nearly 230 telematics programs worldwide, in twice as many countries as two years ago.” Telematics is the intersection of telecommunication and informatics, and is a part of the internet of things (IoT). Specifically, it refers to the collection and transformation of data via sensors in a “connected” vehicle or building for the purpose of risk-assessment. The report concludes with an extensive Selected Transactions section, detailing fundraising, mergers, acquisitions, and other relevant deals involving insurtech companies.

About FT partners

Founded in 2001 by Steve McLaughlin, CEO, Financial Technology Partners is the only investment banking firm dedicated exclusively to financial technology. FT Partners—named Investment Banking Firm of the Year in 2016 and Deal Maker of the Year in 2015—is a long-time sponsor of Finovate events and has offices in San Francisco and New York.

CoverHound Launches Insurance for Small Businesses

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Online insurance marketplace CoverHound expanded its offerings today. In addition to offering insight into auto, homeowners, and renters insurance, customers now can use CoverHound to find insurance for their small business.

The new business suite allows users to compare rates of custom commercial coverage. Currently, the insurance offerings are targeted toward businesses with fewer than 20 employees, but the company has plans to expand to cover larger companies. At launch, carriers include:

  • Chubb
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Berkshire Hathaway Direct
  • Hiscox
  • Progressive
  • Employers

More carriers will be available in the future. To get a quote, customers start by answering questions on the company’s web or mobile interface. Then they are connected by phone to a licensed insurance adviser to match them with the right coverage, including:

  • General liability
  • Professional liability
  • Business owners policy
  • Commercial auto
  • Cyber insurance

“Having once been a startup ourselves, CoverHound understands the growing pains of a small business,” said CoverHound CEO Keith Moore. “We’ll be there every step of the way to support business owners and ensure they get the coverage they need to satisfy third-party and legal requirements, and protect their property, customers and investment.”

CoverHound CEO and founder Basil Enan and CMO Keith Moore demoed the company’s mobile app at FinovateFall 2013. In 2015 the company closed a $33 million Series C funding round which brought its total funding to $53 million and boosted its valuation to $100 million. Later this year, CoverHound will launch CyberPolicy.com, where small businesses can shop for cyber insurance and cybersecurity tools. The company was founded in 2010.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CoverHound Launches Insurance for Small Businesses
  • Avalara Raises $96 Million in New Funding

Around the web

  • Dwolla to power same day ACH transfers with new API.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews Tommy Petrogiannis, eSignLive CEO.
  • WePay chooses Workflow Manager from Sphonic to help meet KYC and KYB requirements.
  • Kony Wins First Place Honors for 2016 CTIA Emerging Tech Awards.
  • Expensify launches Concierge, and AI virtual assistant.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions to Deploy Select Mobile Deposit Solution for Mobile-Only Bank Varo Money.

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.

CoverHound Completes $33 Million Series C

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Move over robo-advisers and alternative lenders, there’s a new destination for investment dollars in the fintech space.

Digital insurance-comparison and -shopping platform CoverHound announced today that it closed a $33.3 million Series C round. The investment takes the company’s total funding to more than $53 million, giving CoverHound a valuation of more than $100 million.

CoverHound_screen_FF2013_1The round was led by ACE Group and featured participation by existing investors, American Family Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, and RRE Ventures.

CoverHound CEO Keith Moore emphasized his company’s commitment to the comparison-shopping model as the “fastest and smartest way” for consumers to buy property and casualty (P&C) insurance. The company plans to use the capital to invest in new talent, specifically in product management and engineering, as well as new products for SMEs and entrepreneurs. CoverHound also plans to emphasize adding insurance carriers to its platform and finding partnerships in new states.

2015 has been a banner year in funding for CoverHound. This spring, the company announced a successful $14 million Series B round that included news of its Google Compare partnership. CoverHound currently provides auto, homeowners, renters, and motorcycle insurance from more than 20 carriers including Progressive, Safeco, Travelers, and MetLife. The company says it has experienced new customer policy growth of more than 168% in 2015.

As part of the investment, James D. Robinson III, RRE Ventures’ co-founder and general partner, will join the CoverHound board. Robinson was CEO of American Express from 1977 to his retirement in 1993.

Founded in May 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, CoverHound demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2013 in New York.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “CoverHound Completes $33 Million Series C”
  • “Trading Ticket Picks Up $4 Million in Seed Funding from Citi, Valar Ventures”

Around the web

  • Engage Financial Technology, formerly OnBudget, powers BBVA’s new ClearSpend mobile budgeting app.
  • Eastern Bank to pilot Stratos partner program.
  • PYMNTS considers BlueVine’s approach to factoring.
  • CellTrust named a finalist for Arizona Technology Council’s 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards.
  • SecureKey brings its SecureKey Concierge authentication and ID verification service to the U.S.
  • Temenos executive James Redfern joins eWise as Global Head of Sales.
  • Geezeo unveils new API website with revised REST API and .NET SDK.
  • ShopKeep acquires Ambur, an mPOS software specialist.
  • TIO Networks forms TIO Telecom Solutions, a new division focused on the needs of network operators.
  • ThreatMetrix experiences 50% increase in mobile volume since Sep 2014.
  • Kanto X hits $2+ billion in currency-exchange transactions.
  • Check Point and AirWatch partner to secure the future of the mobile enterprise.
  • 7-Eleven and PayNearMe launch PayNearMe Bill Pay app, a full-service bill-payment center.

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.

$680 Million Raised by 29 Alums in Q1 2015

cartoonmoneystackThe biggest surprise in our look at first-quarter funding is that the $677 million amassed by 29 Finovate alums was more than 20% of the $3.2 billion invested in the entire worldwide fintech sector.

The $677 million raised was $85 million (+14%) above the same quarter a year ago, and more than triple the first quarter of 2013.

Q1 2015 was also $133 million above the $544 million mark set in the fourth quarter of 2014.

It will be worth watching to see if this record-setting first quarter for Finovate alum fundraising will be a sign of more great things to come for capital-raising in 2015.

Top 10 Overall Investments

  1. Xero: $111 million in February
  2. Coinbase: $75 million in January
  3. Betterment: $60 million in February
  4. TransferWise: $58 million in January
  5. App Annie: $55 million in January
  6. Ayasdi: $55 million in March
  7. Motif Investing: $40 million in January
  8. Ripple Labs: $30 million in January
  9. Bill.com: $50 million in February
  10. Pindrop Security: $35 in February

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q1 2015: More than $676 million raised by 29 alums
  • Q4 2014: More than $544 million raised by 25 alums
  • Q1 2014: More than $600 million raised by 8 alums
  • Q1 2013: More than $155 million raised by 14 alums

January: More than $275 million raised by 14 alums

February: More than $264 million raised by 8 alums

March: More than $136 million raised by 7 alums

If you are an alum that raised money in the first quarter of 2015, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at research@finovate.com. We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

Alumni News: March 10, 2015

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  • CoverHound Raises $14 Million in Series B
  • Mambu partners with NCC Group, adding assurance solution, SaaS Assured.
  • Check out our interview with CurrencyTransfer.com co-founder, Daniel Abrahams.
  • Fiserv makes The Card Collection available to FIs to help accelerate transition to EMV chip cards.
  • Nashville Post reports on iQuantifi and its participation in the Plug and Play accelerator program this spring.
  • All ten of the top apps in U.S. News & World Report’s review of credit union apps were built by Digital Insight.
  • A look at technology in Kansas City features insights from EyeVerify CEO and founder Toby Rush.
  • Rippleshot and BioCatch earn finalist spots in MRC METAwards.
  • Gartner positions MicroStrategy in the “Leader” quadrant of the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report for eight years in a row.
  • Finovate Debuts: ebankIT’s Solutions Tap into Wearables and Augmented Reality

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.

CoverHound Raises $14 Million in Series B

CoverHoundLogo-thumb-150x52-5777CoverHound, the company whose technology empowers consumers shopping for the best rates on insurance, has raised $14 million in new investment.

Participating in the Series B were existing investors Blumberg Capital, Bullpen Capital, and RRE Ventures, alongside new investors Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, Thomas Lehrman, Tugboat Ventures, and American Family Ventures. The new funding takes CoverHound’s total capital to more than $23 million.

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CoverHound CEO Keith Moore said the new funding will help the company grow its team, reach more insurance consumers, and forge new, “high profile partnerships.” “Welcoming more FinTech-focused investors to an already strong group has us well-positioned to provide the best possible consumer experience,” Moore said.

Enabling consumers to quickly and accurately comparison-shop on everything from smartphones to airplane tickets is one of the Internet’s greatest gifts to the consumer economy. CoverHound has leveraged this to build a platform that gives consumers a way to compare rates and prices on homeowners, automobile, renters, and motorcycle insurance. The company’s platform currently supports insurance from 21 carriers such as Progressive, Esurance, and Safeco; provides personalized quotes; and allows consumers to purchase a policy in minutes.

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CoverHound founder Basil Enan and CEO (then CMO) Keith Moore at FinovateFall 2012.

Since its launch in 2012, CoverHound has sold 26,000 insurance policies; in 2014, it sold $17 million in insurance. The company was named “Best Money Saving Site for Auto Insurance” by Good Housekeeping in November 2013, and was named one of the “Top American Startups to Watch in 2014” by Huffington Post U.K.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CoverHound demoed its price-comparison technology at FinovateFall2012.

Finovate Alumni News — January 13, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgeToro to allow its members to invest and trade in bitcoin.
  • CaixaBank enables cardholders to make transaction-based, charitable micro-donations.
  • PhotoPay wins spot in this year’s FinTech Innovation Lab London. See them in action at FinovateEurope.
  • Flint Mobile, BillGuard both featured in Forbes column on companies “moving global commerce forward.”
  • Daily Mail takes a look at Zopa and the Zopa Rate Promise.
  • miiCard and Axiomatika partner to power identity verification solutions for the Russian financial industry.
  • CoverHound grows 533% Year over Year in 2013 and Promotes Keith Moore to CEO.
  • ShopKeep POS launches ShopKeep Mobile for iPod Touch.

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 Raise $825 Million in 2013, Up 79%

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Cheers to a new year! After ringing in 2014, we wanted take a look back at the capital raised by Finovate alumni in 2013. It was quite a year, with alums pulling in $825 million, $365 million more than in 2012 for an increase of about 80%.
2013 funding summary:
    • 62 companies raised $825 million
    • Q4 had the most capital, with a total of $294 million raised by 17 companies (more than half by Xero, which landed $150 million). 
    • October was the busiest month, with $177 million raised (mostly Xero’s $150 million)
    • May was second highest with $91 million raised by 7 companies
2012 comparison
Last year Finovate alums took in almost twice as much as 2012, when 44 Finovate alums collectively raised $460 million. The chart below shows the quarter-by-quarter comparison for both years.
2013YearEndTable.jpg
Quarter 1 — blog post
More than $155 million raised by 14 companies
January — $57 million raised by 6 companies
February — $56 million raised by 5 companies

March — $42 million raised by 4 companies


Quarter 2 — blog post
More than $205 million raised by 15 companies
June — $81.7 million raised by 6 companies
May — $91.5 million raised by 7 companies
April — $32 million raised by 2 companies

Quarter 3 — blog post
More than $171 million raised by 22 companies

July — More than $63 million raised by 8 companies
August — More than $26 million raised by 6 companies
September — $82 million raised by 9 companies
Quarter 4
More than $294 million raised by 17 companies

October— $177 raised by 6 companies
November — More than $87 million raised by 7 companies
December — More than $30 million raised by 6 companies

Note: Funding that companies received before they first appeared at Finovate was not counted. Questions? Comments? Email us at julie@finovate.com or david@finovate.com.