Alumni News — Week of July 4, 2011

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Boku

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CNNMoney examined Zong’s competition with Boku. Link
BrightScope
  • The Forbes blog recommended BrightScope as a tool to check your financial advisor’s history. Link
  • The Washington Examiner discussed how BrightScope helps consumers make informed decisions about their 401(k) plan. Link
Clairmail
Clairmail increased its security by using authentication from the RSA Secured Partner Program. Link
Credit Karma
The Forbes blog recommended Credit Karma as a tool to track and monitor your credit score. Link
Credit Sesame

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The Forbes blog recommended Credit Sesame as a tool to track and monitor your credit score. Link

Dwolla
Dwolla updated its iPhone app to allow customers to send money via email. Link
Dynamics
American Banker discussed Dynamics’ adaptability to the mobile payment world. Link
Enloop
Small Biz Technology outlined three of Enloop’s features. Link
eToro
AlphaTrade Finance discussed eToro’s CopyTrader network. Link
Expensify
Expensify’s app was listed as Gearburn’s App of the WeekLink
Finsphere

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GeekWire reviewed Finsphere’s new round of $1.75 million funding. Link
Geezeo
American Banker reported that Geezeo’s partnership with Sharetec Systems will help Geezeo reach more credit unions. Link

Guardian Analytics
The Street reported that Guardian Analytics’ Anomaly Detection & Fraud Monitoring will help financial institutions meet updated FFIEC guidelines. Link

Kony Solutions
Kony Solutions announced a partnership with Donriver for the delivery of multi-channel mobile apps. Link
Mint.com
The Quickbooks blog examined Mint.com’s PFM tool. Link
Monitise Americas

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Monitise developed two banking apps designed for the iPad for NatWest and RBS. Link
PayNearMe
The Paypers interviewed Avangate and PayNearMe regarding their partnership and various future endeavors. Link
PayPal
TechCrunch speculated that eBay’s acquisition of Zong  will advance PayPal’s mobile payments. Link
ProfitStars
Credit Union Times discussed ProfitStars’ partnership with Corporate One Credit Union. Link
Prosper
The Social Lending Network reviewed Prosper’s new Quick Invest feature. Link
Q2ebanking

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Q2ebanking commented on the security implications of the new FFIEC guidelines. Link
RobotDough
The Motley Fool highlighted RobotDough as a powerful new tool for individual investors. Link
SilverTail Systems
  • Credit Union Times reported that SilverTail Systems’ capabilities enable financial institutions to comply with FFIEC guidelines. Link
  • Homeland Security Television profiled SilverTail Systems. Link

ThreatMetrix
ThreatMetrix enhanced its security in anticipation of FFIEC guidelines. Link
TradeKing
Stockbrokers4u.com analyzed TradeKing’s services. Link
Xero
Xero hired a CFO onto to its team. Link
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Yodlee
  • Yodlee released its new MoneyCenter app. Link
  • Quickbooks’ blog examined Yodlee’s PFM tool. Link
  • TechCrunch reported that Yodlee reached 30M users. Link

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

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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.

Alumni News — Week of May 30, 2011

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Betterment
Medill Reports discussed the benefits of Betterment and Currensee, claiming that the social networking craze changes the way some people invest. Link
BrightScope
BrightScope announced the top 10 treasury inflation protected securities funds in America’s 401ks. Link
ChargeSmart

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Fox News’ Studio 10 reviewed ChargeSmart, PlasticJungle, and Bills.com and found a number of money saving tools and ideas. Link
Check Point Software Technologies
Check Point Software Technologies won The Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2011 Award from The Association of Support Professionals for its exceptional web support design, implementation, and customer experience. Link
ClairMail
ClairMail announced record customer expansion with a 300% year-over-year growth in users. Link
Corduro

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The New York Times reported that Corduro’s cloud platform challenges PayPal and Square’s mobile payment services. Link
Credit Sesame
The Wisdom Journal depicted Credit Sesame’s services as more than just credit scores. Link
Currensee
See Betterment above.
doxo
  • doxo explained how to use its online filing cabinet and “due date” alerts to help organize GroupOn, Living Social, and other daily deals. Link
  • TheFinancialBrand.com discussed Oregon Federal Credit Union’s use of doxo and discussed other usage ideas such as uploading a scan of your passport prior to travelling. Link
Dwolla 
  • Credit Union Times listed Dwolla as a contender in the P2P payment space. Link
  • Dwolla rallied community efforts to gather donations for the tornado-stricken town of Joplin by selling its t-shirts and accepting donations. Link
  • Omaha World-Herald covered Dwolla’s arrival into Nebraska. Link
Enloop

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  • About.com highlighted Enloop’s business plan creation service. Link
  • Forbes blog discussed “How Not to Fail” by using Enloop to assess the potential success of a business plan. Link
Geezeo
Call Federal Credit Union, based in Richmond, VA, selected Geezeo for its PFM solution. Link
Guardian Analytics
Guardian Analytics positioned by Gartner in the “Visionary” quadrant for web fraud detection. Link
HelloWallet

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom urged residents to improve their money management by using HelloWallet. For every five subscriptions purchased, HelloWallet will give away one subscription to a family in need. Link
Hidden Levers
Financial Advisor Blog discussed using Hidden Levers to build better portfolios, highlighting risk management and accuracy of the service. Link
Lending Club
  • Lending Club exceeded a quarter million dollars in cumulative loans and is offering cash bonuses. Link
  • Wall Street Journal blog discussed growth of P2P Lending sites Prosper and Lending Club. Link
Lendio

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Lendio raised $2 million in debt financing. Link
PayNearMe
PayNearMe founder Danny Shader, in an interview with Vator News, revealed the service is used beyond the unbanked population, including teens who prefer to pay with cash and consumers who would like to keep their online transactions private. Link
Prosper
See Lending Club above.
RobotDough

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Dow Jones Financial reports that a UCLA professor backed RobotDough. Link
SecondMarket
The Washington Business Journal discussed SecondMarket’s recent popularity. Link
Sybase

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Sybase launched the M-Commerce Guide, a publication for examining global market opportunities for mobile network operators, advisors, and FIs. Link
TradeKing
TradeKing CIO Dan Raju discussed security issues that may arise with the NYSE cloud community, citing its security. Link
Tyfone
Tyfone contracted with Star One Credit Union to use its NFC technology.
 Link

UBank

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CEO of UBank examined security concerns and competitors during an interview with ZDNet. Link

Alumni News — Weeks of March 7, 13 and 21, 2011

To view our alumni news updates in real time, follow us on Twitter

Andera adds its 500th customer. http://bit.ly/finovate322116
Bill Harris and Mark Goines join the Pageonce Advisory Board. Harris was formerly CEO of Intuit and of PayPal, and Goines was formerly a senior executive at Intuit and Charles Schwab. http://prn.to/finovate322111
Bill.com named to the JMP Securities “Hot 100.” The list includes the 100 best privately held software companies for 2011 according to the investment bank. http://bit.ly/finovate38113
BillShrink adds Anil Arora, Yodlee president and CEO, to its board of directors. The announcement comes just after the launch of “Statement Rewards” from BillShrink. http://bit.ly/finovate322112
Boku moves from virtual-goods billing to real-goods billing in Germany. Now real goods can be added to wireless bills thanks to Boku’s technology. http://bit.ly/finovate324112
Cardlytics wins Judge’s Choice Award in the 2011 Paybefore Awards. The Paybefore  awards are hosted annually by Prepaid Media. http://bit.ly/finovate38111
CashEdge signs Huntington for P2P PopMoney. http://bit.ly/finovate322117
Check out the Filene webinar with Thwakk on how to leverage financial education to increase youth membership. http://bit.ly/finovate322113
Columbus Water Works customers can now pay their utility bill via eWise’s secure payment platform. http://yhoo.it/finovate37113
Cedit Sesame closes on $6.15 million Series B funding round led by Melo Ventures. http://bit.ly/finovate322118
eToro launches “Trade Story.” This social platform helps traders learn the strategies behind other users’ trades. http://bit.ly/hQNDGc
Expensify is featured in Money magazine. http://bit.ly/finovate322114
Guardian Analytics raises $11 million. This is Guardian’s fourth round of funding, this time led by Split Rock Partners. http://bit.ly/finovate323113
H&R Block and Yodlee partner to make it easier to file taxes. http://yhoo.it/finovate3236
ICICI and Intuit partner on a Mint-like platform for India. http://bit.ly/finovate324113

Credit Sesame to Demystify Personal Credit, Offer Alternatives

Thumbnail image for CS_Logo_Circle.pngFinovateFall 2010 alum Credit Sesame has shown promising growth in the nine weeks since launching in public beta. The startup helps consumers make smarter decisions about their loans and debt. The company is already monitoring $375 million in loans and has generated $18 million in lifetime savings for users. And during the last two months, the company has averaged 60,000 monthly unique website visitors.  

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(Image credit: Compete.com)
Credit Sesame monitors credit scores and debts, free of charge, with targeted advertising providing the revenue. Users must register with their Social Security Number, and once registered, input the interest rates of their debts. Otherwise, all of the data is provided from the credit report. 
I recently gave Credit Sesame a try, and was impressed at how exhaustive the information was. Unlike other user-reported tools for determining debt strategy, the service provides a full report of an individual’s credit utilization 
All open debt accounts are visible, as well as credit score and credit use percentages.  All charts are clear and easy to read.  If needed, relevant product recommendations are made based on the data. And the startup doesn’t try to steer you to something you don’t need. For example, Credit Sesame marked my mortgage as “competitive” and gave me a green light without any advertising.  The only advertising displayed was geared toward helping me save money on  my consumer debt, a credit card and a Lending Club loan.  In addition, Credit Sesame weeds out offers that you don’t qualify for, making the research process much simpler. 
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When I first toured the site a few weeks ago, recommendations offered by Credit Sesame indicated that I should include refinance my remaining consumer debt into a second mortgage to obtain a lower monthly payment.  This is not practical to me, since I’ll have the balance of the consumer debt paid off this spring,but  if I was shopping for the lowest payment, this would be a reasonable solution.  
Another visit to the site this week confirmed that the data is refreshed regularly, with options changed based on the latest numbers.  In my case, after a few payments on my credit card, Credit Sesame stopped recommending a second mortgage as an alternative. 
Users will see a new option, now that Credit Sesame is partnering with Lending Club, offering peer-to-peer loans within the debt optimization recommendations see screenshot below).

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Credit Sesame believes the Lending Club partnership is a win-win for consumers, who can be introduced to this emerging financial product when they’re looking for an alternative to high-interest credit cards. The Lending Club term loans, both the three and five year options are offered, help meet the needs of those consumers looking to eliminate debt altogether. [See our earlier coverage on the five-year notes from Lending Club.]
Lending Club benefits from the direct link to consumers who are looking to refinance debt. Chief Marketing Officer Scott Sanborn reported to Credit Sesame that over 60% of the Lending Club’s borrowers are borrowing to refinance higher-interest debts.
Credit scores on the site are provided by Experian. 

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

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Videos Now Available

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We’re pleased to announce that the demo videos from FinovateFall 2010 are now available for free download (or immediate consumption) from the Finovate archives.

This fall’s NYC conference showcased 56 handpicked companies doing 7-minute demonstrations (no slides allowed) of their latest technology innovations to a sold-out audience of 650 financial & banking executives, venture capitalists, press, analysts and entrepreneurs.

Check out these cutting-edge ideas in financial, banking, payments, mobile, lending, investing and security technologies today for inspiration and your next edge on the competition! 

(P.S. If you’re interested in joining us at the next Finovate event, tickets are now on sale for FinovateEurope (Feb, 1, 2011 in London). It is going to be an amazing showcase of European and global fintech innovation!)


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Eric Mattson is CEO of Online Financial Innovations, the parent company of NetBanker, Online Banking Report and the Finovate Conference Series. He can be reached at eric@netbanker.com.

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Lineup Revealed

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We’re very excited to reveal the 56 cutting-edge companies that have been selected to demo their latest technology innovations on October 4 and 5 in New York City at FinovateFall.

Over the show’s two days, attendees will get to watch the future of fintech and banktech unfold on stage via fast-paced demos (28 each day) from these innovators. And then have a chance to interact with top executives from each of the demo companies during intimate networking sessions.

Without further delay, here’s the list of companies we’re excited to showcase:

If you’re interested in attending the conference, registering now will save you $100 on your ticket via the early-bird discount and reserve your spot (space is limited and we’re expecting to sell out). We’ll see you in New York!


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Eric Mattson is CEO of Online Financial Innovations, the parent company of NetBanker, Online Banking Report and the Finovate Conference Series. He can be reached at eric@netbanker.com.