Finovate Alumni News– January 23, 2012

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFox Business News advises using BillShrink to review your mobile phone bill.
  • T8 Webware to receive $120k in incentives & $200k in job training to help it expand to Des Moines.
  • BetaBeat plants rumor that Dwolla landed $10 million in Series B funding from Union Square Ventures.
  • MShift reaffirms strategic relationship & rights to MShift software & technologies.
  • Finsphere raises $11.3 million, adds Vodafone board member.
  • The New York Times Buck blog details Dwolla’s payments approach.
  • PayNearMe to launch mobile cash payment application in mid-February.
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.

2011 Funding for Finovate Alumni– Over $423 Million Raised

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTo wrap up 2011, we’ve compiled a list of all of the funding Finovate alumni received over the course of the year. 

The results were impressive:
  • A total of 34 companies received funding, some more than once
  • The companies collectively raised over $423 million dollars
  • The months with the highest number of companies receiving funding were June August, both with 8 companies
  • The highest amount of funding came in the month of June, when the alumni brought in over $124.4 million
Here is a month-by-month breakdown of funding received:
January — $40.8 million raised by 3 companies
February — $10.3+ million raised by 3 companies
March — $20.4 million raised by 4 companies
June — $124.4 million raised by 8 companies
July — $1.1 million raised by 1 company
August — $103.4 million raised by 8 companies
September — $33 million raised by 1 company
October– $22 million raised by 2 companies
November — $16.3+ million raised by 3 companies
December — $52.2 million raised by 5 companies
Note: Funding that companies received before they demonstrated at Finovate was not counted. If you see any funding that is not on this list, please send the name of the company along with a link to the funding information to and I will add it.

Affinion Group To Distribute Finsphere’s Mobile Transaction Monitoring Service

finsphere_logo.jpgFinsphere announced yesterday that the Affinion Group will serve as the exclusive distribution partner of its Mobile Transaction Monitoring service to financial institutions in the United States.

Here’s how it works:

“The service’s unique algorithm takes into account not only a user’s current location, but the historical location of the phone and previous financial transactions, as well as the transaction amount and merchant to determine whether the transaction is high-risk and whether to alert the user.  Once a user receives an alert, they can call the appropriate financial institution or an FCRA certified identity theft expert to get help in resolving any potential issues.”

The Affinion Group will offer the service as part of a suite that provides consumer protection from identity theft.

To learn more about Finsphere, watch its FinovateFall 2010 demo.

Finovate Alumni News– November 16, 2011

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgApparel Retailer Aeropostale selects CashStar to provide e-gift cards.
  • CU Insight reports that Geezeo partners with IBT, a financial services innovator.
  • Dynamics’ Chip And Choice Technology wins 2011 CARTES Best in Show Award.
  • NY Daily News recommends LearnVest and DoughMain as resources for financial education.
  • Lendio inspires future entrepreneurs with $2,500 scholarship.
  • Arroweye approved to digitally produce Discover Cards.
  • ABA Banking Journal describes mobile banking, citing Celent’s report, “Innovations in Mobile at Finovate.”
  • Affinion Group to distribute Finsphere’s Mobile Transaction Monitoring service.
  • Betterment CEO Jon Stein interviews with top investment bloggers.
  • Centuryware discusses SecondMarket’s success.
  • Wonga CEO named Entrepreneur of the Year by European Tech Tour Association.
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.

New Funding for Braintree, Dynamics, and Finsphere

Recently, three Finovate alumni reached significant funding milestones. 

New Round
$14 million Series A funding from Accel Partners
Market Position: Online Payment Processing
Founded: 2007
Location: Chicago
Braintree is a business credit card processor that provides:
    • Merchant accounts
    • Payment gateways
    • Recurring billing
    • Credit card storage
More Information
Thumbnail image for Dynamics, Inc.jpg
New Round
$35 million Series B funding from Bain Capital Ventures
Funding History
$5.7 million Series A funding in 2009
Previous Investors
Adams Capital Management
Market Position: Interactive Payment Cards
Founded: 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, New York City
Dynamics’ use of programmable magnetic stripes on payment cards increases security with its four payment card products
    • Hidden: Hides the card number until a user enters his pin on the card.
    • MultiAccount: Holds two accounts on one card, allowing the user to choose which to use.
    • Redemption: Allows the user to choose between using rewards or credit for in-store purchases.
    • Dynamic Credit Card: Writes a new security code onto a magnetic stripe for every in-store purchase.
More Information

New Round
$1.75 million from undisclosed investor
Funding History
$9.9 million in June 2008
$9 million in July 2009
$1.75 million in March 2011
Previous Investors
Shasta Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures, and Bezos Expeditions
Market Position: Identity Fraud Protection
Founded: 2007
Location: Bellevue, Washington

Finsphere helps reduce Identity fraud for businesses and individual consumers. Its core product, PinPoint Fraud, validates a user’s identity by comparing the location of their mobile phone with that of the credit or debit card transaction.
More Information

Alumni News — Week of July 4, 2011



CNNMoney examined Zong’s competition with Boku. Link
  • 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 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

Credit Sesame.jpg

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

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


GeekWire reviewed Finsphere’s new round of $1.75 million funding. Link
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
The Quickbooks blog examined’s PFM tool. Link
Monitise Americas


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


Q2ebanking commented on the security implications of the new FFIEC guidelines. Link
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 enhanced its security in anticipation of FFIEC guidelines. Link
TradeKing analyzed TradeKing’s services. Link
Xero hired a CFO onto to its team. Link

  • Yodlee released its new MoneyCenter app. Link
  • Quickbooks’ blog examined Yodlee’s PFM tool. Link
  • TechCrunch reported that Yodlee reached 30M users. Link

New Online Banking Report Available: Online & Mobile Banking Forecast through 2020

image The latest Online Banking Report: 2011 to 2020 Online & Mobile Banking Forecast is now available. It was mailed over the weekend to all OBR subscribers. It’s also available online here. There’s no charge for current subscribers; others may download it immediately for US$495.

The report includes our latest 10-year online & mobile banking and bill-pay forecast. While our reading of the tea leaves is unlikely to be perfect, it seems clear that the demand for online banking in the United States has reached a plateau (note 1); in fact, we are likely within a year or two of online banking penetration peaking and slowly heading down.  

How could that be? Mobile of course. In fact, through the end of 2020, we project an increase of 40 to 45 million U.S. households using mobile banking, to a total of nearly 60 million. During the same period, online banking penetration is actually expected to drop by a few million households.

If we are right, sometime near the end of the decade mobile banking will surpass online (note 2), although by then, the two will look pretty similar. 

The report also includes a revised 10-year forecast for U.S. peer-to-peer lending. After more than doubling in 2010, we expect continued strong growth of around 40% compounded annually through 2020.


Top innovations & trends of 2010

The report includes a summary of the top ten innovations or trends during the past year (in alphabetic order):

  • In-statement merchant rewards goes from zero to 100 financial institutions
  • Loan preapproval wizards reduce uncertainty for applicants
  • Location-aware mobile services for banking debut
  • Mobile banking goes mainstream
  • Mobile capture removes the paper from commerce
  • Mobile payments gains real momentum
  • Online personal financial management (outside of the bank) struggles
  • P2P lending solidifies its niche
  • Social media proves it can have real impact in financial promotions
  • Transaction streaming and sharing gain a foothold


New entrants on the list of the top 43 innovations of all time

Each year we rank the top online/mobile innovations of all time (North America). There are a total of 43 products listed from 42 unique companies:

  • 15 banks
  • 5 credit unions
  • 9 non-bank financial services companies
  • 13 technology companies

The class of 2010, which was unusual for being all technology companies rather than financial institutions (note 3):

  • Blippy for its automated transaction-sharing network
  • Cardlytics for its merchant-funded in-statement online rewards service
  • Finsphere for its location-aware fraud-targeting service, PinPoint
  • Mitek Systems for its mobile photo bill pay


1. The penetration of online banking into U.S. households is relatively flat going forward. However, because each households accesses a larger number of financial accounts, growth at individual financial institutions is still growing on average.
2. Forecast is for the United States. Mobile has already surpassed all types of banking in some developing countries.
3. Perhaps this can be explained by the necessary focus of financial institutions on getting through the global banking crisis beginning in 2008.

Weekly Updates — Weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2010

From PayPal X Conference: uses PayPal business payments to transform how businesses get paid. and gets a makeover.
From PayPal X Conference: Bling Nation launches “FanConnect” platform. FanConnect helps consumers and businesses to connect at checkout via social media platforms like Facebook.
Blippy and Sephora work together to spread the word about cosmetic products via Twitter. See TechCrunch’s story.
Continuity Control and uMonitor partner for compliance automation.
Dynamics Inc. is profiled in “the future of credit cards” in the New York Times.
From PayPal X Conference: Expensify announces support for expense reimbursement via PayPal. See a demonstration:
How Finsphere is helping to prevent identity theft with geo-location and mobile check-ins.
Ixaris partners with Apigee to create payment application development API platform.  — The new platform will be named Ixaris Opn (pronounced “open”).
From PayPal X Conference: More on Kabbage’s service to provide working capital for eBay Sellers.
Lending Club welcomes North Carolina and Kansas. Peer-to-peer personal loans are now available in 42 states. launches MintData to delve into the spending habits of Mint’s 4 million users. The data is anonymous and provides insight into the pocketbooks of customers in 300 U.S. cities.
From PayPal X Conference: launches free accounting app in PayPal apps marketplace.
Citi takes CashEdge’s Popmoney Service live. FinVentures breaks it down.
The Receivables Exchange Co-Founder and CEO Justin Brownhill was named one of  Silicon Alley Insider’s “Silicon Alley 100.” The list covers New York’s “Coolest Tech People in 2010.”
SafetyPay pioneers new ways to provide micropayments in the gaming industry.

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Videos Now Available


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!)


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

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Lineup Revealed


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!


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

Stealth Finsphere Corp Lands $10 mil for Mobile Transaction Verification Services

imageLast week, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported on a Pacific Northwest stealth startup that’s receiving a lot of attention from Silicon Valley, at least measured in dollars. The $10 million round for Finsphere is an impressive endorsement, especially given the apparent involvement of prominent VC Mohr Davidow.

There’s not a lot we know about the company other than the founders are out of the wireless industry, and the company’s services are described as “location-based transaction verification services.” That sounds like using the GPS-based or triangulated location of mobile phone users to authenticate card transactions and/or online banking logins. Armed with the GPS reading, card companies would know that you (or at least your mobile phone) are where your credit card activity says you are, e.g., buying a tank of gas in Washington D.C.

With GPS capabilities coming to the iPhone next month, this could be a very large market indeed. If we are right about the product, we’ll try to convince the company to demo at one of our Finovate conferences.