London’s Accountant Marketplace Capitalise Raises $4.5 Million

Capitalise.com, the London-based financial marketplace for accountants, has raised a $4.5 million (£3.5 million) Series A investment round, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The round was led by QED Investors, a US fintech venture capital firm, and supported by existing investor Hambro Perks, as well as Gauss Ventures.

Capitalise positions accountants as experts, using its data analytics and marketplace access, so it becomes the point of advice to discuss growth plans with small business clients.

Paul Surtees, co-founder and CEO of Capitalise, said it wants to build a “culture of funding.”

The firm cites the UK’s Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), which says access to finance and cash flow are business owners’ top concerns despite the UK market having over 360 small business lenders.

Surtees said: “Whilst the bank manager might be a thing of the past, we say it is ‘long live the accountant.’”

According to Capitalise, its platform and online learning for accountants has allowed for an annual compounded growth rate of 234%.

“The recent raise will be used to expand our cloud product for advisers to navigate the market of financial products for SMEs”, explained Ollie Maitland, co-founder and chief product officer at Capitalise.

Through its online platform, Capitalise works with 105 partners, including PKF, Armstrong Watson, Farnell Clarke, BluSky, Wow and Woods Squared.

Not to be confused with fellow Finovate alum Capitalise from Tel Aviv, U.K.-based Capitalise demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2016.

SaaS Banking Specialist Mambu Scores $34 Million in Funding

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) banking firm Mambu has raised $34 million (€30 million) in its latest funding round led by US-based Bessemer Venture Partners, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The round also had participation from existing investors Acton Capital, CommerzVentures, Point Nine Capital and Runa Capital. The company’s funding total now stands at more than $47 million.

The news is not a surprise to FinTech Futures, because at the start of this month – and in an exclusive – Mambu signed a deal to implement its core banking system at Orange Bank‘s new location in Spain.

At that time, Mambu said it had recently completed a funding round “in the tens of millions” and would provide details soon.

In the latest chapter, Eugene Danilkis, Mambu CEO, said institutions “have to move at the pace of a technology company rather than a traditional bank” and “as a direct result, we have experienced significant growth as these institutions change strategic direction and face new tech-enabled players entering the financial services market.”

Mambu, which launched in 2011, says it has experienced triple-digit growth for four consecutive years as challenger and established banks sign on to implement the platform.

The funding will be used for its commercial teams, and product, platform and services; resulting in a “planned three-fold growth in headcount and six-fold in revenues in the forthcoming years across all regions”.

Technology investment firm GP Bullhound acted as exclusive financial advisor to the firm for this transaction

In terms of other recent news about Mambu, FinTech Futures understands that its core system is in the running for Scottish SME challenger bank AlbaCo and Diamond Bank UK.

Mambu is an alum of Finovate’s developer conference, FinDEVr, presenting Smart Consumer Lending: Platform and Scoring Architecture at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

Personal Capital Raises $50 Million in Round Led by IGM Financial

Silicon Valley-based wealthtech player Personal Capital is living up to its name as it has raised $50 million in a Series F funding round led by IGM Financial, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The firm is in a personable mood as it has recently surpassed $8.5 billion in assets under management and two million registered users on its platform, which tracks more than $650 billion in aggregated account value.

The company didn’t go into specifics, but the funding will be used for growth, enhance its technology platform, and invest in partnerships.

“We have stayed laser focused on our mission of building a business that uses the ideal combination of technology and advisors to help Americans achieve clarity and confidence in their financial lives,” said Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital.

In terms of details, it has launched Smart Withdrawal, a personalized and interactive withdrawal strategy planner for retirement.

The company also announced a partnership with Alight Solutions and AllianceBernstein to create WealthSpark that will provide American workers with insights to their finances through Personal Capital’s technology.

Personal Capital is headquartered in Redwood City with hubs in San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Atlanta. It was founded in 2009.

IGM Financial is a Canadian personal financial services company, with approximately $154 billion in total assets under management. Its activities are carried out principally through IG Wealth Management, Mackenzie Investments and Investment Planning Counsel.

Personal Capital demonstrated the One Click Investment Proposals feature of its platform at FinovateSpring 2014.  The company is also a veteran of our developers conferences, most recently providing a presentation titled Data-Driven Account Opening at FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2016.

Tink Raises $63 Million, Goes Live in Five New European Markets

Less than a week away from its return to the Finovate stage, open banking platform Tink has raised $63 million (€56 million) in new funding. The investment, the largest for the Stockholm, Sweden-based fintech, was led by Insight Venture Partners and will help power the company’s growth plans.

Also participating in the Series C were current investors Sunstone, SEB, Nordea Ventures, and ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund. New investors Christian Clausen, former Chair of the European Banking Federation, and Nikolay Storonsky, founder of fellow Finovate alum, Revolut, were involved in the round, as well.

“This funding round allows us to accelerate our European roll-out but also invest further in our data services,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said. “As Europe gradually embraces open banking, our platform has proved to be its rails and brains – delivering the technology that makes it possible.”

Kjellén also credited the company’s success to being “the first platform provider to combine Account Aggregation and Payment Initiation, the scale of our connectivity and our smart data products that make it all understandable.”

In addition to the funding news, Tink also announced that it is live in five new markets in Europe, making it possible for developers in the Nordics, the U.K., Austria, Germany, Belgium, and Spain to get access to financial data via Tink’s account aggregation API. The company said it plans to add four more offices this year to accommodate growth, doubling its European workforce to “around 300,” and hopes to have a presence in 20 markets by the end of 2019.

Calling Tink a “category leader” in the field of financial services API providers, Insight Venture Partners Managing Director Teddie Wardi praised the company’s “impressive list of current customers in both fintech and traditional banking” and said Tink was “well positioned” for continued expansion in Europe. “We are excited to welcome Tink into our portfolio and look forward to helping the company drive continued growth,” Wardi said.

Tink demonstrated its platform, which combines aggregation, account information, and payment initiation services to create a virtual banking experience in line with PSD2 regulations, at FinovateEurope 2017, winning Best of Show. Founded in 2012, the company launched its developer platform last spring to make it easier for developers to take advantage of its Account Aggregation and Categorization solutions. Tink also announced a partnership with BNP Paribas Fortis in the first half of 2018, integrating its aggregation, PFM, and payment initiation technology into the bank’s mobile app.


Join Tink as it demonstrates its latest technology live on the Finovate stage next week at FinovateEurope. For more information, including how to get your ticket and save your spot, visit our registration page today.

DataSine Scores $5 Million Investment in Round Led by BBVA

In a conscious move, BBVA’s Propel Venture Partners has invested into psychology and machine learning (ML) tie-up business DataSine, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The bank says it has co-led the latest funding round of $5.2 million (£4 million). BBVA and DataSine do not reveal the other names and have been contacted for more details.

The funding will be used to help DataSine launch a new content personalization platform called Pomegranate.

This is described as a collaborative artificial intelligence (AI) powered campaign platform that “tailors content to personality specific to the customer”.

DataSine founder and CEO Igor Volzhanin said: “I launched DataSine after moving to London to do a PhD in Psychology because I believed that personality can help companies understand their customers as a whole, which empowers them to truly connect with customers through every interaction, and move beyond traditional focus of click optimization.”

The platform works by applying ML to behavioral data that companies already collect to build customer profiles, and provides an AI-powered content editing platform to guide marketers in tailoring a range of content elements, including words and images.

DataSine is entering the SME market through the launch of Pomegranate in March. Pomegranate already integrates with HubSpot and MailChimp, and the company is looking to launch further integrations throughout the year.

DataSine launched in 2015 and has worked with various companies from across Europe, including BNP Paribas and Tinkoff Bank.

For BBVA, it likes to invest in a wide range of firms. Call it hedging your bets or diversification – the choice is yours.

Just last month, it was one of the big names in India-based investment app Groww’s $6.2 million funding round.

Headquartered in London, DataSine demonstrated its Pomegranate personality profile platform at FinovateEurope 2018.

Insurtech Innovator CoverHound Fetches $58 Million in New Funding

Insurtech pioneer CoverHound announced today that it has closed a $58 million Series D round. The funding was led by global insurance firm, Hiscox, and featured participation from a variety of major insurance providers including Chubb, Aflac Ventures, and Japan’s MS&AD. The company’s total capital now stands at more than $112 million.

“The future of digital insurance will continually shift to more non-traditional insurance brands,” CoverHound CEO Keith Moore said. “CoverHound has built the leading P&C platform to enable any brand’s customers to easily quote, compare, and buy personal, business, and cyber insurance.”

In a statement, CoverHound said the new capital would help fuel continued development of its CyberPolicy subsidiary, as well as support expansion of its offices beyond Northern California to Charlotte, North Carolina. The funding will also support the firm’s international growth plans, including expansion into Japan.

Since inception, CoverHound has sold more than 200,000 policies, providing insurance consumers with the ability to shop for and select insurance solutions online. CoverHound’s curated list of best insurance options for both personal and business insurance needs brings choice and transparency to the insurance market.

Additionally, the company’s licensed advisors help make sure that insurance buyers receive any and all eligible discounts that may apply to their policies. Using CoverHound is free – the company is paid by the carriers on the platform – helping keep insurance costs low for consumers.

Giving the company high marks for sharing its “passion for making material strides in the changing SMB landscape,” Hiscox USA EVP of Small Business Insurance Kevin Kerridge praised the company for “leading the charge in providing a best-in-class digital cyber solution for businesses.” Kerridge highlighted CoverHound’s CyberPolicy subsidiary, which helps SMEs deal with the potential costs of cyberattacks by providing first party coverage for immediate responses costs associated with a data breach, as well as third party coverage to claims brought by customers and clients.

Launched in 2016, CyberPolicy became the first marketplace for SMEs to shop and purchase cyber insurance online in minutes. The subsidiary’s offerings have since expanded to include 98% of small business types with as much as $250 million in revenue.

“Cyber insurance is one of the fastest growing insurance products for small businesses,” said GM of Small Business Insurance at Progressive Insurance, Bill Kampf, whose firm partnered with CoverHound’s CyberPolicy last year. “Progressive wants to make finding insurance easier for the small business owner, and by working with CyberPolicy, we can offer consumers an efficient platform to shop for cyber insurance and easily find coverages to help protect their business.”

Founded in 2010, and based in San Francisco, California, CoverHound demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2013. The company partnered with Clearsurance, an online insurance consumer data publisher, last September. CoverHound’s Head of Engineering and Product, Kjersten Elias, was featured in an interview with Women in Business back in November.

Alt Credit Scorer Aire Scoops Up $11 Million in Growth Funding

Alternative credit assessment innovator Aire has picked up $11 million in new funding. The London-based company, which demonstrated its Aire Credit API at FinovateEurope 2015, said the new capital will support the continued development of its credit insight engine, as well as support expansion in the U.S.

This week’s investment adds to the $5 million Aire raised in the summer of 2017, and takes the company’s total funding to $23 million.

“Aire is built on the premise that empowering consumers to play an active role in their credit assessment is the only way to give lenders a comprehensive view with which to make a decision,” company co-founder and CEO Aneesh Varma said.

Calling the announcement a “significant milestone,” Varma highlighted the participation of Experian Ventures, the venture arm of fellow Finovate alum and credit bureau giant, Experian. “This Series B funding is allowing us to push the Aire philosophy further into new markets, such as the U.S., as well as new sectors,” he said.

Aire improves the credit decisioning process by providing lenders with the tools they need to accurately assess thin file credit histories. When an applicant’s initial credit check reveals insufficient information, the applicant is directed to an Aire Interactive Interview. The applicant answers a series of tailored questions to create a “three-dimensional” view of their finances, focusing on issues such as affordability, stability, and financial resilience. Aire then creates and delivers a score based on this data that gives lenders insight into the applicant’s creditworthiness in the future rather than the past.

This latest funding for Aire was led by Crane Venture Partners, and featured participation from Orange Digital Ventures as well as Experian Ventures. The round comes two years after the company earned Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval, and accompanies news that Aire has scored more than $10 billion in credit across a variety of consumer credit categories.

Krishna Visvanathan, Crane Venture Partners founding partner praised Aire’s “unique contextual decisioning methodology” which he said “combines direct consumer engagement, new data sources, and (a) dynamic algorithm model” to help lenders make more accurate assessments of credit risk.

“Aire is yet another great example of a category-leading enterprise software company formed in Europe that is fundamentally changing an industry,” Visvanathan said, “and we are proud to support its new phase of growth.”

Aire was founded in 2014. The company’s partners include Zopa and the UK. arm of auto financing company, Toyota Financial Services.

New Funding Helps Featurespace Fight Fraud in Financial Services

Fraud detection and risk management specialist Featurespace has raised $32.3 million (£25 million) in a round led by Insight Venture Partners and MissionOG. With participation from existing investors IP Group, Highland Europe, TTV Capital, Robert Sansom, and Invoke Capital, the investment takes Featurespace’s total funding north of the $71 million mark.

“We have made tremendous progress over the last 15 months since our last fundraising,” Featurespace CEO Martina King said, “and this fund raise is the largest to date.” King added that the new capital will be used to help fuel the company’s international expansion via a focus on “products, people, and customers.”

“We have also grown our financial services customer base and now are working with 17 banks across continental Europe, the U.K., the U.S., and Latin America,” King said. She noted that Featurespace had also become the “technology partner of choice” for many payment processors and merchant acquirers who have made Featurespace’s technology a part of their own fraud prevention efforts.

Based in Cambridge, U.K., with offices in London and Atlanta, Georgia, Featurespace demonstrated its ARIC Fraud Manager at FinovateFall 2016. The technology leverages behavioral analytics, anomaly detection, and machine learning to understand behavior and identify risk more accurately in real-time. Compared to traditional, rule-based anti-fraud solutions, Featurespace’s ARIC provides better fraud detection without increasing the incidence of false positives.

The company is off to a big start in 2019. Recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) in its list of the 40 most innovative companies in the state, Featurespace partnered with business consultancy everis earlier this month. The company also announced that international bookmaker and gaming operator SKS365 would use its technology to provide real-time fraud protection.

Last fall, Featurespace teamed up with new U.K. clearing bank, ClearBank; partnered with Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark; and released a white label version of its ARIC fraud and risk technology. Founded in 2005, Featurespace is a member of the Inc. 5000 Europe.

Finovate Alums Raise More than $4 Billion in 2018, $802 Million in Q4

Finovate alums raised more than $800 million in the final months of 2018, taking the year’s fundraising total over the four billion mark.

This achievement represents the biggest fundraising year for Finovate alums, and serves as a testament to the enduring commitment to fintech innovation by a broadening community of investors.

Previous Annual Comparisons

  • 2017: $2.7 billion raised
  • 2016: $2.3 billion raised (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4)
  • 2015: $3 billion raised
  • 2014: $2.2 billion raised

The fourth quarter of 2018 was also one of the biggest fourth quarters for our alums in recent years.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q4 2017: More than $730 million raised by 23 alums
  • Q4 2016: More than $700 million raised by 26 alums
  • Q4 2015: More than $302 million raised by 28 alums
  • Q4 2014: More than $1.4 billion raised by 26 alums

The quarter’s top equity investments were the $300 million raised by fintech unicorn Coinbase, and the $250 million raised by Plaid, a veteran of our developers conference, FinDEVr. In sum, the top investments of Q4 2018 represented 97% of the quarter’s known total. Note that investments for three alums (and specifically the equity portion of a fourth alum’s combined debt and equity fundraising) were undisclosed.

Top 10 Equity Investments

  • Coinbase: $300 million
  • Plaid: $250 million
  • Pindrop: $90 million
  • Quid: $37.5 million
  • Zopa: $20.7 million
  • Klarna: $20 million
  • PayActiv: $20 million
  • Thought Machine: $14.4 million
  • Modo: $13 million
  • Finn AI: $11 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q4 2018

October 2018: More than $388 million raised by seven alums

  • Coinbase: $300 million – post
  • Finn AI: $11 million – post
  • Klarna: $20 million – post
  • PayActiv: $20 million – post
  • Ondot: undisclosed – post
  • Quid: $37.5 million – post
  • Zenmonics: undisclosed – post

November 2018: More than $58 million raised by six alums

  • Anorak: $6.5 million – post
  • Meniga: $3.4 million – post
  • Modo: $13 million – post
  • Moneyhub: undisclosed – post
  • Thought Machine: $14.4 million – post
  • Zopa: $20.7 million – post

December 2018: More than $356 million raised by six alums

  • FI.SPAN: $4 million – post
  • ISARA: $10 million – post
  • ShopKeep POS: $65 million (combined debt and equity) – post
  • Switch: $2 million – post
  • Pindrop: $90 million – post
  • Plaid: $250 million – post

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the fourth quarter of 2018, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at research@finovate.com. We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

Symbiont Closes $20 Million Series B in Round Led by Nasdaq Ventures

Blockchain outfit Symbiont has closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by Nasdaq Ventures with participation from additional new investors including Galaxy Digital, Citi, Raptor Group, and others, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Symbiont has developed a platform for institutional applications of blockchain technology.

The firm will use this funding round for deployments across various sectors including data management, mortgages, private equity, and syndicated loans.

“Our investment will also include the integration of Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain and smart contract platform into the Nasdaq Financial Framework,” said Gary Offner, head of Nasdaq Ventures.

Symbiont CEO and co-founder Mark Smith said: “Leveraging our financial markets and blockchain technology experience, our anchor partners like Vanguard, Lewis Ranieri, and Nasdaq will benefit from developing new distributed applications on Assembly, our enterprise blockchain and smart contract platform.”

Assembly enables financial institutions to maintain the peer-to-peer nature of their transactions with no central authority, while also getting a shared database with end-to-end privacy.

Symbiont received a big investment by Medici Ventures back in July 2017.

Founded in 2015, the company participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, in 2016. At the event, Symbiont CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein presented Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts, a look at the architecture of the company’s Smart Securities system.