Payfone Raises $24 Million in Round Led by TransUnion

Digital identity authentication provider Payfone closed a $24 million funding round today. Credit reporting agency TransUnion led the round, while existing investors Synchrony, MassMutual Ventures, and Wellington Management also contributed. The investment brings the New York-based company’s total funding to $117.6 million.

TransUnion’s investment comes in conjunction with a strategic partnership between the two companies, which have been doing business together since 2017. The Chicago-based company will integrate Payfone’s Trust Platform and Trust Score into its IDVision with iovation suite of products.

“Within this new strategic partnership, we anticipate supporting Payfone’s expansion to new markets and looking at other uses of their products throughout our organization,” said Geoff Miller, senior vice president of global fraud and identity solutions at TransUnion. “We are both committed to protecting consumers, focusing on data privacy and building trust with our customers, and the combination of our solutions will create a better, more seamless experience for everyone.” Miller will join Payfone’s Board of Directors.

TransUnion will serve as Payfone’s primary partner for regulated identity verification information. Payfone CEO Rodger Desai said, “With our partnership with TransUnion, we can now leverage TransUnion’s footprint of more than 30 countries to help expand our Trust Score around the globe, allowing billions of additional consumers to safely access digital services.”

Payfone, which was founded in 2008 as a mobile payments company, demoed1-Touch Checkout at FinovateFall 2012. The New York-based company has since pivoted to focus on authentication solutions.

Last year, Payfone authenticated 20 billion transactions for Fortune 500 companies using its zero-knowledge architecture (if you’re unsure what zero-knowledge is, check out Payfone’s blog post on the matter). The company plans to double the number of transactions authenticated this year.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion has office locations at its headquarters in Chicago, as well as in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and acts on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $13.3 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”

Kantox Closes $5.7 Million to Bring More Tech to FX

Currency and foreign exchange solutions company Kantox boosted its total funding to just over $35 million today after closing a $5.7 million (€5 million) debt financing round.

The investment is the second debt financing deal Kantox has received from Silicon Valley Bank following a round of an undisclosed amount in December of 2017.

Kantox CEO and co-founder Philippe Gelis said that the company has a “very strong” relationship with the bank. He added, “This investment will contribute to our ongoing growth trajectory as we continue to bring more technology to the FX market.”

Founded in 2011, Kantox offers a low-cost way for businesses dealing with a variety of foreign currencies. The tool allows treasury managers to collect, hold, and pay in 29 different currencies.


Kantox also offers a host of other FX tools, including a product to help businesses price their goods dynamically, based on market changes; a service that provides companies with mid-market rates for spots and forwards in over 130 currencies and hundreds of currency pairs; and a suite of FX risk management tools. Dynamic Hedging, one of the risk management tools Kantox launched in 2016, helps companies monitor currency risk in real time.

Gelis demoed Kantox Peer FX at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. The company’s 3,500+ clients have leveraged Kantox’s foreign exchange management solutions to trade $9.7 billion in 143 countries.

Dashlane Raises $30 Million

Password management platform Dashlane is bringing home $30 million in debt financing today. The investment brings the company’s total funds raised to just over $100 million.

Hercules Capital joins previous investors FirstMark Capital, Rho Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransUnion, and Silicon Valley Bank. The funds will help Dashlane build out its platform beyond password management into the broader field of identity management.

Dashlane has been expanding its horizons as of late, having added features such as password breach alerts and monitoring, a VPN option for wifi protection, a Secure Notes feature that helps users encrypt personal data and attachments, and an option that connects users’ closest family members with their account information in case of emergency.

In addition to the funding announcement today, Dashlane unveiled it has added Seth Farbman, former Spotify and Gap CMO, to its board of directors.

Along with its B2C offering, Dashlane also offers solutions that help businesses seamlessly onboard staff with new accounts and has a partner program to allow brands to co-brand Dashlane’s identity manager as a service. Among the company’s partners are Visa, Intel, and yubico.

Since it was founded in 2009, Dashlane has amassed 10 million users from 180 countries across the globe. The company demoed its password manager and keyboard-less ecommerce transaction technology at FinovateEurope 2013.

Virtual Card Platform Extend Raises $11 Million

Virtual credit card issuance platform Extend has secured $11 million in Series A funding ahead of the company’s Finovate debut next month in San Francisco. The round, led by Point72 Ventures and FinTech Collective, featured participation from Reciprocal Ventures and strategic partner City National Bank.

The funding takes Extend’s total capital to $14 million. The company said in a statement that the financing will enable it to launch new features for both its app and API, pursue partnerships, and add talent to its engineering, marketing, and operations teams.

“Extend allows banks to keep up with the fast pace of the evolving payment landscape,” company CEO Andrew Jamison said. “Our cutting-edge capabilities sit seamlessly on top of existing bank card platforms, eliminating traditional technical hurdles to deployment.”

Extend offers two primary solutions: an app for businesses that enable them to provide their workers with a secure payment option in the form of a virtual card, and a set of APIs that incumbents and startups can use to better leverage virtual credit cards. The company’s virtual card payment option is a boon for businesses engaged in microservices or the gig economy. And Extend’s partnerships with card issuers – the company has integrated with both Mastercard and Visa – empowers those firms to provide a variety of advanced virtual card capabilities to their customers.

“We lead the way for future financial innovation by serving as the layer between fintech startups and financial institutions,” Jamison said. “(This enables) them to better integrate their services for the mutual benefit of their customers.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in New York City, Extend will demonstrate its platform next month in San Francisco at FinovateSpring. To see the company demo its technology live, visit our FinovateSpring registration page and pick up your ticket today.

Sezzle Raises $5.6 Million in New Funding

Alternative payments specialist Sezzle has raised $5.6 million in funding in advance of its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) later this year. The financing was led by Continental Investors of Chicago, and featured participation from a total of 10 investors. Sezzle plans to raise $6 million in the current round, which was described as a “pre-IPO” round by the Australian Financial Review.

Sezzle hopes to raise between $20 million and $30 million via initial public offering on the ASX. The company admits that it has no plans to begin operations in Australia, and that the listing on the ASX was to take advantage of the investment interest that Afterpay, a Sezzle rival based in Melbourne, has enjoyed since its own arrival on the ASX. Sezzle CEO Charlie Youakim noted that investors in Australia have been quicker than investors in the U.S. to embrace what he called “the potential of the payment method.”

Sezzle empowers consumers by enabling them to make purchases and pay for them in four, interest-free installments, payable every two weeks. The company’s merchant partners have recorded higher average order value and higher conversion rates since adding Sezzle to their checkout systems. More than 3,500 stores currently offer Sezzle as an option.

Sezzle’s funding comes just a few months after the company announced that its Shop Now Pay Later option would be available on the 3dcart ecommerce platform. Founded in 1997, the Florida-based, Inc. 5,000 company has more than 22,000 merchants using its technology to build and manage online stores and shopping carts, and engage in content marketing.

“By providing our merchants with an easy way to allow customers to finance their purchases, we open up possibilities for both retailers and customers,” 3dcart founder and CEO Gonzalo Gil said.

Sezzle demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company was named to American Inno’s Top Minnesota Startup Fundings of 2018 in December, the same month the company announced the hiring of new Chief Risk Officer Jamie Kirkpatrick.

Also late last year, Sezzle picked up a $100 million line of credit from Connecticut-based investment firm, Bastion. The financing helped Sezzle promote its pay-in-2019 initiative with online retailer Tobi during last year’s holiday season. Sezzle also partnered with Priority Payment Systems last fall, which began offering Sezzle’s alternative payment option to the 174,000+ merchants on its network.

Fintonic’s $21.4 Million Funding Boosts Valuation to $180 Million

Personal finance app Fintonic earned $21.4 million (€19 million) in a Series C funding round this week. The new investment values the Spain-based company at $180 million (€160 million).

The deal, which brings Fintonic’s total funding to $51 million (€45.2 million), was led by ING Ventures, which holds a 22% stake in the company. The round also saw participation from additional shareholders including the PSN group.

The funding comes at a time of major growth for Fintonic, which has increased its active users by 74% in the last 14 months, bringing its total number of active users to 700,000. In the past year, the company has seen a 45% quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue and expects to break even in the next six months. Since it was founded in 2012, Fintonic has expanded to Mexico and Chile; an expansion that boosted its app downloads to 2.8 million.

Part of this growth is owed to the success of Fintonic’s lending offering, which allows customers to take out loans of up to $45,000 (€40,000). The company expects to lend over $1.1 billion (€1 billion) in less than three years. Helping to make this possible, Fintonic has extended its own financing for the lending platform, issuing a $79 million (€70 million) bond listed on the MARF (Alternative Fixed-Income Market) and approved by the Spanish CNMV (National Securities Market Commission).

In addition to its lending product, Fintonic offers insurance, having obtained an insurance broker license from the General Directorate of Insurance. The company said the offering is part of its goal to help users save money without having to compromise on service.

At FinovateSpring 2016, the company debuted its alerts and inbox system to help users act in a timely manner on their financial needs and recommendations. Last year, Fintonic teamed up with BBVA to boost its in-app lending capabilities, allowing users to borrow up to $39,400. Most recently, the company bolstered its lending offering via a partnership with Unicaja Banco to offer the bank’s consumer loans through its mobile app.

Onfido Raises $50 Million in New Capital

A new round of funding led by SBI Investment and Salesforce Ventures has driven identity verification specialist Onfido’s total capital to more than $100 million.

“With this new funding, we can protect more businesses, in more countries – and in more ways – from the effects of fraud,” Onfido co-founder and CEO Husayn Kassai said. “We’ll also be able to expand the reach of our technology, so that people without a credit history can finally access the online services they badly need.”

This week’s $50 million financing, which featured participation from M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), FinVC, and other investors, will help Onfido fulfill its goal of leveraging AI to standardize how businesses verify identity. In a statement, the company said the funding would also help it “consolidate its core market in the U.S.” as well as support growth in areas like Europe and Southeast Asia.

As part of the investment, former Chief Sales Officer and Vice Chairman of Salesforce Frank van Veenendaal (pictured right with Onfido CEO Kassai) will join Onfido’s board of directors. “There has never been a more important time for companies to build trust with their customers by showing they are one step ahead of fraudsters,” Veenendaal said.

“I believe Onfido has the unique opportunity to transform the digital identity market and deliver robust and scalable authentication-as-a-service,” he added, “similar to how Salesforce transformed customer relationship management.”

Onfido demonstrated its Facial Check with Video solution at FinovateFall 2018. The technology offers enhanced security during new user onboarding by having users video themselves performing specific actions such as repeating random numbers to ensure liveness. Onfido’s solution then leverages machine learning to compare the facial image in the video to the image on the user’s identity document.

Appointed to the FIDO Alliance Board of Directors in March, Onfido also last month announced a project to help train officials at INTERPOL to better identify fraudulent ID documents. The company has made a number a partnerships in the first few months of the year including teaming up with PensionBee, collaborating with P2P RV rental firm, RVshare, and providing verification services for extended stay marketplace, 2nd Address.

Most recently, Onfido partnered with IDValidation to fight the growing problem synthetic identity fraud in which only a single element of an individual’s identity – rather than the users’s complete identity – is stolen and used to make transactions.

With more than 1,500 customers around the world – including industry leaders like DraftKings, Remitly, and Zipcar – Onfido was founded in 2012. The company is headquartered in London, U.K.

Fintech’s Newest Unicorn Bill.com Raises $88 Million in New Funding

In a round led by Franklin Templeton, business payments innovator Bill.com has raised $88 million in new funding. The investment, which also featured participation from Mastercard, Fidelity Canada, FLEETCOR, Tamasek, and others, takes Bill.com’s total funding to $275 million, and gives the company a valuation of more than $1 billion.

“Bill.com is changing how payments are made in the SMB market by defining an industry leading payment and software platform for SMBs,” company founder and CEO René Lacerte said. “Businesses struggle with conventional payment processes which are complex, manual, paper-based and not always secure. Our cloud payment platform is changing all that. We automate payments and back office business processes resulting in significant efficiencies and cost savings.”

In addition to the funding announcement, Bill.com revealed that it has teamed up with fellow Finovate alum Mastercard to offer its virtual cards as part of Bill.com’s automated AP solution for SMEs. The move is part of Bill.com’s effort to further digitize the payment process, leveraging virtual card technology to make funds more readily available to cardholders and to ensure accurate matches between payments and receivables.

Mastercard Small Business Lead for North America Ginger Siegel highlighted the advantages of virtual cards, and praised the collaboration with Bill.com as a way to increase adoption of the technology. “Virtual cards are more secure and provide transparency into cash in-flows and out-flows, which is critical to the growth of all small businesses,” Siegel said. “With the partnership with Bill.com, we can bring the benefits of virtual cards to hundreds of thousands of smaller enterprises in the United States.”

Bill.com demonstrated the Cashview feature of its platform at FinovateSpring 2012. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company made fintech headlines recently when it announced that it was ending wire transfer fees for small businesses using its International Payments technology. Earlier this year, Bill.com announced a partnership with American Express to offer a new solution to streamline vendor payments, Vendor Pay.

Founded in 2006, Bill.com manages $60+ billion in annual payment volume in its three million member network, and includes more than 70 of the top 100 accounting firms in the U.S. among its clients. Bill.com is also partnered with major accounting software providers like QuickBooks and Xero, and is the preferred digital payment solutions provider for CPA.com.

YellowDog Raises $3.3 Million in Series A

In a round led by Bloc Ventures, cloud computing scheduling and orchestration management platform YellowDog announced securing an additional $3.3 million (£2.5 million) in Series A funding. The investment brings the total raised for the company’s Series A to more than $5.5 million (the company raised $2.2 million – £1.7 million – in March of last year.)

The financing also featured participation from Vodafone and ARM Holdings. YellowDog said that it will use the additional capital to scale its business and continue its successful expansion into financial services.

The company also announced that Reid Downey, an executive with 10 years’ experience leading software and cloud enterprise sales of Microsoft Azure and Office365 to Fortune 500 firms, will join YellowDog’s board of directors.

Left to right: CEO and founder Gareth Williams and CTO Simon Ponsford demonstrating YellowDog for Financial Services at FinovateEurope 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Reid to the Board and to secure this further funding given our tremendous year of growth ahead,” YellowDog CEO Gareth Williams said. “With our recent wins in the financial services market and more in the pipeline this year, we are only at the tip of the iceberg in this market.”

“The funding will enable us to support our global customer base and extend our technology into new markets such as aerospace,” he added.

YellowDog demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2019. With more than 1,500 customers in 42 countries around the world, YellowDog leverages high performance cloud compute orchestration technology to enable businesses to accurately anticipate the computing resources required to complete complex computational workloads.

With customers in a wide variety of verticals – from entertainment studios to financial services, YellowDog helps companies not only use computing resources more efficiently, they also save significantly on the cost of connectivity – which can be significant when it comes to cloud-based high performance computing.

And in addition to providing intelligent, optimized orchestration, YellowDog’s technology also functions across multi-vendor cloud fabric, providing the high level of compute resilience that some firms, especially those in financial services, require.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Bristol, U.K., the company was shortlisted for the Tech Company of the Year award at the U.K. Business Tech Awards in 2018. Also last year, YellowDog won the Business Innovation Award at the inaugural Best New Business Awards. U.K.-based Business Leader magazine identified the company among its 32 South West Tech Businesses That Are Shaping the Future profile.

Alternative Data Platform Thinknum Raises $11.6 Million

“I still think I’m the first person with dreads to raise $11.6 million.”

That’s how Gregory Ugwi, co-founder and CEO of alternative data provider Thinknum, summed up the company’s just-closed Series A funding round in a tweet earlier today. The firm, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014, enables investors to access non-traditional data on company performance and behavior that can provide actionable insights.

“Over the past couple of years, we have helped hundreds of data-driven companies and investment firms derive valuable insights from alternative data,” Thinknum co-founder Justin Zhen wrote at the company’s LinkedIn page today. “We believe that the greatest challenge any society has to face is how to efficiently allocate resources. The movement of commercial activity to the web provides important data sources that businesses need to make smarter decisions.”

He added, “By helping companies track that data, we’re helping businesses make critical strategic moves ahead of their competitors.”

Thinknum gives non-programmers the ability to query large datasets quickly, using intuitive tools and advanced visualizations to make data easier to understand. The platform enables users to scan open source data on 400,000+ of companies, and alert users when specific metrics are triggered.

Today’s funding comes as the company announces that it has been cash flow positive for “the past few years” and doubling revenues every twelve months. Green Visor Capital led the Series A, which takes Thinknum’s total capital to $12.6 million.

The company plans to use the new capital in three main areas: make it easier for non-programmers to use external, alternative data; build its business and engineering teams; and “spread the word” about the actionable insights available via alternative data.

“We will continue to share our economy-changing findings with the world and reach out to decision makers and analysts and show how they can leverage these new information sources to solve their specific problems,” Zhen wrote.

Founded in 2013, Thinknum was featured last fall in TechCrunch’s look at 14 seed-stage startups. The company, which includes Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch among its clients, is headquartered in New York City.