Indian Fintechs Raise Capital; Expensify Partners with Asian RideShare Startup

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.

Central and South Asia

  • India’s ZestMoney raises $20 million in new funding.
  • Fiserv to streamline and automate cash management processes for Eurasian Bank of Kazakhstan.
  • Indian digital investment advisor Kuvera raises $4.5 million in Series A financing.
  • Telecom operator Tcell and Wallet Factory launch mobile financial app, TezSum, in Tajikistan.
  • Cashfree, an Indian payments company, raised $5.5 million in a round led by Smilegate Investment.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian credit marketplace FinanZero raises $11 million in Series B funding.
  • Tencent Holdings invests in Argentine mobile payments app Uala.
  • Euromoney considers the battle for dominance in Brazil’s emergent fintech space.

Asia-Pacific

  • Expense management specialist Expensify integrates with Southeast Asia-based ride share company Grab.
  • WorldRemit initiates international transfers to UnionPay debit cards in China.
  • Singapore machine learning data analytics firm AIDA picks up investment from Mastercard.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ghanan fintech KudiGO raises $450,000 in seed funding.
  • The Financial Times looks at the rise of mobile money in Kenya.
  • South African accelerator and incubator Founders Factory Africa (FFA) and Standard Bank welcome five fintech startups to their incoming class.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank partners with Digital Horizon and Gazprombank to support biometric technology company Speech Technology Centre.
  • Billon Solutions wins approval from Polish Financial Supervision Authority to operate as a registered e-money institution.
  • N26 announces plans to open a technology and innovation center in Vienna, Austria.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Vocalink brings real-time payments to Saudi Arabia courtesy of new partnership with Saudi Payments, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.
  • Investors from the Qatar Investment Authority believed to participate in SoFi’s $500 million funding round.
  • Financial Times looks at financial inclusion and “homegrown fintech” in Iraq.

Top image designed by Freepik

Expensify Integrates with Southeast Asia Ridesharing Company Grab

Expense tracking software company Expensify has integrated with Southeast Asia-based ridesharing startup Grab to automate expense tracking and rideshare reimbursement for Grab users.

When they connect their Expensify account to their Grab business profiles, Expensify customers who live in or travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia can automatically create and submit expense reports for their Grab rides. Upon booking rides in Grab’s mobile app, the receipt for the trip is automatically sent to Expensify.


Expensify opted to integrate with Grab because receipt volume for the ridesharing platform grew 200% in 2018. “Business travel has become one of Grab’s priority segments, with more users discovering and using Grab Business Profiles every day,” says Shawn Heng, Regional Head of Business Development and Grab for Business. “Partnering with Expensify, a great app for anyone who needs to keep track of receipts and expenses, is an exciting next step to make business travel even smoother for all of Grab’s customers.”

Grab is not the first ridesharing company Expensify has integrated into its platform. The California-based company integrated with Uber in 2016 and with Lyft in 2017. Today’s deal does, however, mark the company’s first partnership in the Southeast Asia region. Expensify also has partners in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

Founded in 2008, Expensify most recently demoed at FinovateSpring 2013, where the company’s CEO David Barrett showed off invoicing technology. The company teamed up with rapper 2 Chainz and actor Adam Scott earlier this year to create a SuperBowl ad. You can check it out below:

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kazakh Eurasian Bank Upgrades Cash Tech with Fiserv.
  • Token.io Teams Up with Omnio Group to Boost Open Banking.
  • Financeit to Power Mobile POS Financing for ServiceTitan.
  • Expensify Integrates with Southeast Asia Ridesharing Company Grab.

Around the web

  • The Five Minute Founder podcast interviews Jake Tyler, Finn AI CEO.
  • STRANDS and adorsys expand their partnership for digital transformation for global financial services.
  • Signifyd to power fraud protection for Solupay’s NetSuite SuitePayments.
  • Kony ships Kony Quantum for Microsoft Azure and Kony DBX digital banking suite on Kony Quantum for Azure.
  • Connect Financial Software Solutions partners with CuneXus to offer the CuneXus perpetual loan automation platform to its credit union clients.
  • Georg von Brevern joins Ixaris as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.
  • Telenor to acquire majority stake in the Finnish telecom operator DNA.
  • Crypterium launches Crypterium SX, an AI-based system that ensures all transactions get the best exchange rates available.
  • Omnio Group and Token.io partner to deliver open banking and PSD2 compliance to Omnio’s financial institution customers.
  • Raiffeisen Bank International partners with Feedzai to bring advanced ML to European banking to fight fraud.
  • Jack Henry’s ProfitStars unveils Gladiator Total Protect, a suite of managed IT, network security, and compliance services to enhance banks’ cybersecurity and compliance management.

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.

Expensify Celebrates Profitability, Cash Flow Positivity at Year’s End

“Profitable and cash flow positive” are among the prevailing themes from Expensify’s year end report for 2018. And as far as company founder and CEO David Barrett is concerned, this is news worth noting.

“(It) may sound silly to some – but it’s extremely rare in an industry in which companies burn through piles of cash to acquire users,” Barrett said.  He added that the receipt tracking and expense management platform’s growth was accelerating, which he said would lead to a “predictable trajectory for us to confidently push the bounds of what we can offer our customers.”

In a press release reviewing the year, Expensify highlighted a variety of achievements beyond its profitability and cash flow accomplishments. Topping the list was the company’s 94% year-on-year revenue growth for 2018, and the introduction of four updated plans – Track, Submit, Collect, and Control – to enable individual entrepreneurs and global enterprise companies alike to incorporate Expensify into their operations.

Other 2018 highlights include an expansion of its partnership program to include 35% of the top 100 U.S. accounting companies, and 70% of the top U.K. accounting firms. Earlier this year, Expensify launched a bank integration program, ExpensifyApproved! Banks, with Wells Fargo partnering for the pilot. This summer, the company was named Innovation Partner of the Year by NetSuite. More recently, Expensify introduced a training and certification program to help accountants and bookkeepers maximize their use of the platform.

2018 also featured integrations with top 10 U.S. accounting firm, CLA; private hotel booking platform, Hotel Engine; and a pair of major value-added tax (VAT) reclamation solutions, Global VaTax and Taxback International.

Expensify founder and CEO David Barrett presented “Bedrock – Expensify’s Open-Sourced Infrastructure Secret Weapon” at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The company has also demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage, unveiling its Expensify Invoices solution at FinovateSpring 2013.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Expensify Celebrates Profitability, Cash Flow Positivity at Year’s End.
  • Quantum-Safe Security Specialist ISARA Raises $10 Million.

Around the web

  • Tradeshift acquires cloud integration technology innovator, Babelway.
  • Myanmar’s biggest privately-owned bank, Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank picks Finastra’s treasury management solution, Fusion Treasury.
  • Temenos secures core banking deal with Israel’s largest credit card company, Isracard.
  • Onfido reports sales growth of 342% in 2018.

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

  • Swych Powers WeChat’s Travelex Pay Service.

Around the web

  • Bento for Business partners with payroll and HR company Cast & Crew
  • PayActiv announces Walmart as Destination to Pick Up Cash-Based Earned Wages.
  • TechCrunch: Blockchain startup Blockchain to launch hardware wallet in partnership with Ledger.
  • Monetate and Bazaarvoice partner on product recommendation strategies.
  • CLA selects Expensify for its clients’ receipt tracking and expense reporting app.

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

  • OnDeck Launches Subsidiary to Help Banks with Small Business Lending.

Around the web

  • Daon partners with Akbank, making the Turkish bank the first in the country to deploy facial recognition technology for mobile banking authentication.
  • YellowDog shortlisted for Tech Company of the Year honors at the 2018 U.K. Business Tech Awards.
  • Bluefin teams up with data security tokenization vendor, TokenEx, to boost payment security.
  • Finicity selected as third-party service provider for Freddie Mac’s automated income and asset assessment solution, Loan Product Advisor.
  • Zenmonics earns a spot in the 2018 IDC FinTech Rankings.
  • FinTech Global recognizes Insuritas as a 2018 InsurTech100 Company.
  • Lendio announces facilitating $1 billion in financing to more than 51,000 U.S. SMEs since inception in 2011.
  • Indonesia’s biggest telecommunications company, Telkomsel, picks Kinetica to support its accelerated analytics, location-based visualization and AI.
  • Blockchain innovator identitii to list on the Australian Securities Exchange this week with anticipated market capitalization of $41 million.
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle interviews Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia, highlighting her as a 2018 Women Who Mean Business honoree.
  • Sara Berg appointed Chief Operating Officer of Trustly.
  • Expensify launches training and certification program for accountants.
  • Ping Identity launches new Quickstart Private Sandbox for Open Banking and PSD2
  • Openfinance signs data partnership with Refinitiv.
  • Trustly partners with Ingenico for online banking payments.
  • Moneynetint partners with Ripple to leverage instant payment rails.
  • Coinbase expands with new Dublin office.
  • Native American Bank selects Jack Henry’s SilverLake system.

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.

Get Your VAT Back: Expensify Integrations to Streamline Reclamation

Back to school season is also back to business travel season for many professionals. And this makes the news of two new integrations from expense management innovator Expensify all the more timely and welcome.

The San Francisco, California-based company announced today that it has integrated with two major value-added tax (VAT) reclamation solutions: Global VaTax and Taxback International. This will make it easier for businesses to reclaim VAT by exporting expenses directly from Expensify to one of these two services.

“Many companies don’t know that VAT reclamation exists, much less how to benefit from it,” Director of Strategy and Marketing for Expensify Ryan Schaffer said. “But with the right tools it can mean some serious money back with minimal effort upfront.”

Both Global VaTax and Taxback International help individuals and businesses maximize VAT reclamation. Once the data is extracted from Expensify, the VAT reclamation process analyzes all expenses, invoices, and VAT calculations per expense type. The company’s solutions then review all invoices for VAT refund compliance, prepare submission claims for each country and submit those claims to the relevant national authorities. VAT refunds are available anywhere from three to nine months, depending on the processing speed of government.

“Companies using Expensify can already track receipts and manage expenses in more than 160 currencies,” Schaffer said. “Now, it’s just a matter of enabling one of our partner integrations to automatically extract that expense data for easy VAT processing and a maximum refund.”

Used by more than six million people around the world, Expensify leverages technologies and features like OCR receipt tracking, corporate card reconciliation, and integrations with leading accounting software solutions to automate the complete expense reporting process. Since inception, the company has processed more than $100 billion, and topped 660 million expenses created with more than 180 million expenses created in 2017 alone.

Founded in 2008, the company demonstrated its Expensify Invoices solution at FinovateSpring 2013. More recently, Expensify announced an integration with Hotel Engine, was named Innovation Partner of the Year by Netsuite, and inked a deal with Wells Fargo to pilot the launch of its ExpensifyApproved! Banks integration program.

Expensify has raised $38.2 million in funding, and includes Redpoint Ventures, OpenView, PJC, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) among its investors. David Barrett is founder and CEO.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Getting Gritty with Fintech’s Top Trends.
  • TradeIT Teams Up with TradingView to Help Retail Investors Reach Big Brokers.
  • Get Your VAT Back: Expensify Integrations to Streamline Reclamation.

Around the web

  • Mambu extends capacity with Integration Platform as a Service.
  • Entrust Datacard and Blackboard partner to enhance the ID card issuance process.
  • Peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne hits $500 million in loans.
  • CREALOGIX reports record sales for the third time in a row.
  • Compass Plus expands its processing business with Mastercard and Visa certified UK-based processing center.
  • Continuity recipient of 2018 Marcum Tech Top 40 Award.

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

  • Diebold Nixdorf Receives $650 Million Capital Commitment.
  • Mint Brings User Interface into 2018.
  • A Framework for Your 2019 Fintech Strategy.

Around the web

  • Mitek announces departure of CEO Jim DeBello.
  • The SaaS Report recognizes bpm’online CEO and managing partner, Katherine Kostereva, as one of its Top 50 SaaS CEOs of 2018.
  • ACI Worldwide integrates with tax filing technology firm, SPAN Enterprises.
  • Modo teams up with Etihad Airways to build loyalty solution for airline industry.
  • Vera welcomes Carlos Delatorre as CEO.
  • Temenos launches Temenos Learning Community Engine.

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.