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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
“We are delighted that Astorg and Bridgepoint have chosen to invest in our company, providing us with the financial strength required to pursue our ambitious high-growth strategy,” Fenergo founder and CEO Marc Murphy said. “Both Astorg and Bridgepoint have enormous experience and credibility in our sector, something I am keen to leverage over the coming years. Ultimately, we only exist to serve the needs of our customers. We are looking forward to partnering with them in the next phase of our development.”
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Dublin, Fenergo made its Finovate debut three years later, demonstrating its innovative client onboarding and account opening management solution. Since then, Fenergo has established itself as a major player in the space, partnering with 32 of the world’s top 50 financial institutions, as well as technology companies like IBM, PwC, and Luxoft. The company says its technology has provided clients with 82% reduction in onboarding times, 34% savings in audit costs, and 7x ROI in four years or less.
Fenergo began the year with the launch of its KYC & Onboarding for Salesforce solution, connecting its client lifecycle management (CLM) technology and regulatory intelligence with Salesforce’s CRM. The integration makes it easier for banks and other financial institutions to enhance the customer experience by providing a more seamless onboarding process.
“In today’s highly challenging business environment, there is no margin for error in delivering exceptional, digital, and joined-up customer experiences,” Murphy explained when the new offering was launched. “Automation is key so that customers can be onboarded without unnecessary manual intervention in the back-end processes. Salesforce is the launchpad for automated onboarding while Fenergo ensures compliance by design through API-powered multi-channel orchestration.”
Revolut has added a new feature to its Revolut Junior app for youth aged seven to seventeen that will help parents teach the value of saving to their children. Goals enables both parents and child users to set and track financial savings objectives, and leverages the app’s other main features – Allowances and Tasks – to provide a more comprehensive financial wellness solution that works for kids and their parents.
Available to Revolut’s Premium and Metal customers, the new option can be used by parents to create financial savings goals and monitor their child’s progress as savings accrue. Kids can set their own savings goals as well, which can be supervised via the parent’s app. Goals can be funded directly by parents or by child users via their Allowances or by completing assigned tasks and chores.
“Goals, along with payments, allowances, and tasks, was one of our customers’ top requested and valued features,” Revolut Head of Premium Product Felix Jamestin said in a statement. “(We’re) excited to be building a product that is making saving fun and easy for both kids and parents.”
Revolut launched its Revolut Junior app earlier this year, and now boasts more than 200,000 children signed up for the program. Currently available in the EEA and the U.S., Revolut plans to offer the solution in Singapore, Japan, and Australia “in the near future.”
Alumni News Updates
LendingClub sheds P2P lending en route to bank rebirth: You would be forgiven for thinking the first rule of a company called “LendingClub” is to lend money. But LendingClub’s pivot away from its origins as an innovator in the P2P space 14 years ago continues as it announces that it will shut down its retail P2P platform as of the end of the year. The move comes more than a year after LendingClub shuttered its small business lending arm, and is widely understood to be a path-clearing effort en route to LendingClub incarnation as a bank.
Fenergo, IBM partner to bring AI to customer onboarding: A new integration between IBM Watson, the IBM Cloud, and Fenergo’s client lifestyle management technology will improve the efficiency of the onboarding process for financial institutions. IBM Customer Lifecycle Management with Fenergo combines Fenergo’s leadership in customer journey and digital transformation with IBM’s AI-enabled, AML and KYC solutions to provide better personalization, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance.
Eigen Technologies hires its first CFO: London-based NLP technology innovator Eigen Technologies has selected Spyros Karageorgis as its first Chief Financial Officer. Karageorgis comes to Eigen after tenures as CFO and COO at image recognition company Cortexica Vision Systems, and as CFO at SaaS e-commerce platform Venda. Karageorgis is one of two new members of Eigen’s C-suite: the company also announced new Chief Revenue Officer Tony Ehrens.
What do mid-tier and boutique banks need in order to enhance their ability to onboard new customers quickly and efficiently? What solutions are available to enable them to remain compliant with an ever-changing set of regulations while at the same time keeping up with even faster changes in customer expectations? And how has the global health pandemic made these challenges all the more complicated for financial institutions of all sizes?
We caught up with James Follette, Head of North American Sales and Global Head of Commercial, Business, and Retail Banking with Fenergo. A Finovate alum since 2012, the Dublin, Ireland-based company specializes digital transformation, customer journey, and client lifecycle management (CLM) solutions for banks and other financial institutions.
Finovate: Fenergo secured a major investment earlier this year – the largest in the company’s history, I believe. What was the significance of this fundraising in terms of helping Fenergo reach its goals for 2020 and beyond?
James Follette: Fenergo received $80 million in funding from DXC Technology and our client, ABN AMRO at a valuation of just under $1 billion, so it was of huge significance for the business. Both firms’ pedigrees, deep experience and industry knowledge made them the ideal investment partners for Fenergo. Apart from the continuous enhancement of our product, the funding will go towards recruitment and growth initiatives.
Finovate: The company just released a cloud-based version of its CLM solution, Fen-Xcelerate. What does the technology do? Who does it do it for? And why make the solution available now?
Follette: Fen-Xcelerate is a lower cost, cloud-based SaaS version of Fenergo’s client lifecycle and journey management (CLM) solution. It is tailored specifically to mid-tier, community and boutique commercial, business and retail banks seeking to accelerate digital transformation, so they can offer digital services and open accounts remotely.
Fenergo launched Fen-Xcelerate in response to a growing demand amongst mid-tier and boutique banks for a digitally enabled CLM solution that could be up and running in weeks. This cohort of banks, heavily reliant on manual processes for onboarding and compliance, were also looking for an off-the-shelf solution that was plugged into Customer Relationship Management (CRM), data and screening providers such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Refinitiv and RDC, at a price point more suited to their budgets. Fen-Xcelerate addresses these challenges, enabling banks to more readily step up and support businesses and the community in their hour of need.
Finovate: What is required on the bank’s part in terms of deployment and integration? How much work and how much time is involved?
Follette: With minimum customization, Fen-Xcelerate can be deployed in six to twelve weeks. It removes the need for banks to spend time and resources plugging into services such as Salesforce, RDC and World-Check One. As a result, banks can very quickly switch to a digital onboarding and client journey management model, while performing client due diligence (CDD) for KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance, digitally and seamlessly. Deployment will typically be carried out by Fenergo’s professional services team.
Finovate: The combination of rapid technological advancement, accelerating customer expectations, and ever-changing regulatory obligations can create a challenging environment for mid-tier business and retail banks. How does Fenergo, both specifically with Fen-Xcelerate and more generally, help these FIs successfully navigate this territory?
Follette: Many mid-tier commercial, business and retail banks lack the wholistic solution required to offer digital services and open accounts remotely, while being able to meet regulatory obligations and detect financial crime. With Fen-Xcelerate, mid-tier and boutique banks can benefit from Fenergo’s deep financial services heritage and best-in-class CRM, data, screening and identity and verification (ID&V) integrations in one solution. Validated by the industry, Fen-Xcelerate can be quickly deployed to digitalize account opening while delivering a seamless customer experience and regulatory compliance across 100+ jurisdictions and offering access to Fenergo’s community of global banks and regulators. By leveraging Fen-Xcelerate, the goal posts for digitalization within these banks could move from months to just weeks.
Finovate: This territory has become all the more complicated with the global public health crisis – and the economic consequences of fighting it. What has Fenergo done to help its customers and partners manage this challenge specifically?
Follette: Our community of clients, partners, regulatory and financial services experts means that we are very tuned in to the needs of the industry. We are continuously enhancing our solution according to the rapidly evolving technology and regulatory needs of financial institutions – and today is no different. Many of our clients have had to pivot to a remote account opening model overnight, this is why we brought forward the launch of Fen-Xcelerate. Banks need to be up and running with a client onboarding and journey management solution very quickly, so that they can provide support to their customers when they need it most.
Finovate: This year Fenergo has introduced its remote account opening solution, partnered with the likes of IBM, PwC, and Aviva, and of course, released Fen-Xcelerate. What can we expect to see from Fenergo in the second half of 2020?
Follette: We are experiencing very high demand and have signed 16 new clients since the beginning of the year. The second half of the year will be spent doubling down on supporting our clients in their digital transformation journeys, as they navigate uncertain territory.
Mambu, the cloud-based banking platform based in Germany, is partnering with U.K. business banking platform Tide to power the company’s revolving credit facilities and overdrafts for small businesses.
“There is a need to be flexible, agile, and customer-centric in the design of financial products,” Managing Director of Mambu EMEA Eelco-Jan Boonstra explained. “Legacy technology constraints can undermine even the best innovation strategy.”
The collaboration will enable Tide to overhaul its product suite in order to better serve customers in a number of locations around the world. This includes offering larger overdrafts, credit cards, and invoice financing, as well as enabling Tide members to lend to each other leveraging solutions managed by Mambu.
“When today’s customers evaluate financial institutions, they no longer compare different banks, they compare experiences,” Boonstra said. “We see this partnership approach as the future of banking technology.”
Regtech is all the rage in fintech these days. From helping businesses negotiate a wave of new regulation – from GDPR to PSD2 – to empowering firms to combat fraud, companies involved in developing technologies to ensure that businesses are getting and staying compliant are enjoying rare attention from the rest of the industry.
A recent review of top regtech startups in Europe in Fintech News was an example of the light increasingly shining on these companies and their vital role in supporting a fintech industry that a growing number of financial services customers – and other businesses – are relying on.
The review cited research from KPMG that anticipates regtech spending in 2022 climbing to $76 billion. Analysis from XAnge, a European VC firm, finds approximately 140 regtech startups in the E.U., divided fairly equally between compliance management, KYC/AML, and risk management solutions.
We were especially please to see that, of the ten regtech startups highlighted in the feature, four of the companies are Finovate alums. Apiax and NetGuardians, which most recently demoed at FinovateEurope and at FinovateAsia respectively, both hail from Switzerland. Apiax, recently profiled here on the Finovate blog, offers a comprehensive compliance solution that leverages APIs to integrate its compliance rules into digital processes. NetGuardians focuses on Big Data and uses it to help banks fight fraud and automate compliance.
Also earning recognition on the top European regtech list was Ireland’s Fenergo. The company, founded in 2009 and having made its Finovate debut back in 2012, specializes in client onboarding and account opening solutions for banks and financial services companies. Just this week, Fenergo announced that it was launching a new remote account opening solution in both the EMEA and APAC regions.
Half of the companies on Fintech News’ regtech roster are from the U.K. The Finovate alum among this group, Onfido, leverages automated machine learning, optical character recognition (OCR), and other technologies to provide identity verification to combat fraud. Demoing its technology at both FinovateEurope and FinovateFall in 2018, the company earlier this month announced a major $100 million fundraising that brought the company’s total capital to more than $182 million.
“We’ve naturally chosen the grow-fast path because we strongly feel that the time to solve the digital access problem is overdue, and urgently needs to be solved, for good,” Onfido CEO and co-founder Husayn Kassai said. “We didn’t fundraise to just get to the next milestone, we need the funding as we’re changing the world.”
Tencent’s move comes shortly after its rival Ant Financial took a minority stake in Afterpay competitor Klarna. Afterpay has 3x the web traffic of Klarna and 1.5x the traffic of its other major competitor Affirm.
The buy-now-pay-later segment of fintech has been heating up this year, despite– or perhaps because of– the current economic and health crises.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
V Capital, and advisory firm based in Malaysia, and U.S.-based Cross River Bank partner to apply for a digital banking license in the country.
Hong Kong-based Oriente, a fintech that provides digital infrastructure for financial services, secures $50 million in its still-open Series B round.
South Korean cryptocurrency startup Childly teams up with blockchain analysis company Chainalysis.
Nigerian fintech startup Okra, which facilitates the exchange of real-time financial between banks, customers, and apps, locks in $1 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by TLcom Capital.
Flutterwave, based in San Francisco, California and Lagos, Nigeria, introduces new portal for African e-commerce merchants.
Visa and Kenya’s Pesapal team up to support connected digital payments.
Central and Eastern Europe
Resistant AI, a cybersecurity startup based in the Czech Republic, raises $2.75 million in funding.
Azer Turk Bank (ATB), based in Azerbaijan, deploys technology from Lithuania’s Ashburn to manage EFTPOS networks.
Germany’s Celonis leverages its process mining platform to develop new AI-powered accounts payable solution.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Egypt’s Commercial International Bank acquires 51% stake in Kenya’s Mayfair Bank.
BenefitPay, Bahrain’s national electronic wallet, announces 1257% increase in remittance volume in March.
Tata Consultancy Services to launch a digital only bank in Israel.
Central and Southern Asia
Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX announces trading availability of two native tokens from Crypto.com, MCO and CRO, on its platform.
Amazon launches new credit service, AmazonPay Later, in India.
India-based ecommerce firm Paytm unveils contactless dining solution for restaurants in the coronavirus era.
Latin America and the Caribbean
paysafecard brings its payments platform, Paysafe, to Paraguay.
Latin Post looks at the use of fintech apps in Mexico.
Digital banking and client lifecycle management solutions provider Fenergobrought in $80 million in funding today, bringing its total raised to $155 million and boosting its valuation to $800 million.
The funds come from new investor ABN AMRO Ventures and existing investor DXC Technology, which have taken a 10% stake in Fenergo. “We are very happy to add Fenergo to our investment portfolio,” said Hugo Bongers, Director at ABN AMRO Ventures. “This investment will contribute to ABN AMRO’s strategic priority to build a future proof bank and fight financial crime. We are impressed with the management team and solution Fenergo offers. In addition, this gives us additional exposure to a group of tier one investors.”
Fenergo will use the funds to bolster its products and hinted that the money will also fuel future company and product acquisitions.
Founded in 2009, Fenergo aims to help financial institutions revamp their client onboarding process by creating a seamless user experience while maintaining regulatory compliance. Demand for the company’s modern onboarding tools can be seen in the growth of its bottom line; last year, Fenergo grew its revenue by 21%.
The Dublin-based company boasts 70 clients, including two of its investors, ABN AMRO and BNP Paribas. Also on the list are ANZ, PNC, Banc of California, National Australia Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, UBS Asset Management, Anglo Gulf Trading Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Tricor, Exos Financial and Mizuho.
Digital transformation strategist Luxoft and client lifecycle management specialist Fenergo are joining forces. The agreement, announced earlier this week, makes Luxoft the latest to join Fenergo’s 300-member, worldwide partnership ecosystem.
Luxoft will act as a consulting partner to provide expertise, practical experience, and advice to Fenergo’s clients when its comes to initiatives such as data migration, IT architecture, and change readiness. Other such partners on Fenergo’s platform include Accenture, Capgemini, and Genpact. Fenergo CEO Marc Murphy described Luxoft as an “ideal partner” that will help the company “scale… business at a greater pace.”
Luxoft not only gains a way to fulfill its clients’ needs for digital transformation, the company also stands to gain new clients of its own by becoming a member of Fenergo’s ecosystem. “Our partnership with Fenergo aligns with our strength and success in financial services, and presents new opportunities to grow our business, expand our partner ecosystem, and deliver exceptional value to our clients,” said Dmitry Loschinin, executive vice president of DXC Technology, and president and CEO of Luxoft.
Luxoft was acquired by DXC Technologies (NYSE: DXC) which holds a market capitalization of $8.5 billion. At FinovateFall 2014, Luxoft debutedHorizon, a data visualization framework for banking executives.