HackerOne Cracks into $36.4 Million in Funding

Bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure platform HackerOne announced a funding round this week that boosts its capital up to $110 million. The oversubscribed Series D round, which totaled $36.4 million, saw contributions from Benchmark, New Enterprise Associates, Dragoneer Investment Group, EQT Ventures, and others.

HackerOne will use today’s round to expand global market reach, scale its offerings, and continue to strengthen its hacker community.

The California-based company offers a platform that recruits security researchers and white hat hackers to identify security weaknesses for its more than 1,500 clients, including Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Yelp, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Government bug bounty programs, in fact, have increased more than 2x in the last 12 months alone, during which time customers have resolved more than 30,500 security vulnerabilities.

Since it was founded in 2012, the hackers on HackerOne’s platform have found over 120,000 vulnerabilities and have been awarded over $51 million in bug bounties. With the average bounty paid for critical vulnerabilities now totaling almost $3,400, some hackers are able to make a career out of discovering bugs on HackerOne’s platform. And while it’s not explicitly in the business of making millionaires, the company has helped six hackers earn more than $1 million each by finding vulnerabilities.

David Obrand, partner at Valor Equity Partners, will join HackerOne’s Board of Directors. “HackerOne is leading a new wave of cybersecurity companies tackling the unique challenges brought on by rapid growth and more sophisticated attack surfaces,” said Obrand. “Hacker-powered security is here to stay and with its tremendous customer and hacker community, HackerOne is dominating the market. I am thrilled to be joining the Board of Directors and being a part of the next stage of growth and innovation.”

HackerOne has offices in London, New York, Singapore, and the Netherlands. In 2017, the company earned the Favorite FinDEVr Debut award for its presentation at FinDEVr New York and won the Crowd Favorite award at its FinDEVr London presentation. Mårten Mickos is CEO.

Twisto Raises $15 Million in Series B Funding

William Reeve, a co-founder of LOVEFiLM and Secret Escapes, is the latest investor in Czech payments innovator Twisto. Tech.eu reports that the company has raised $15 million (€14 million) in capital as a follow-on to the Series B that it completed in this spring. The company is also looking to bringing an additional $33 million to $44 million (€30 million to 40 million) in senior and venture debt financing to support expansion.

Twisto will use the funds to further build out its platform and to develop what it calls the first universal “debit-credit payment app.” The company’s goal is to have two million, “full-account” customers within the next five years.

Speaking of Reeve, Twisto CEO and founder Michal Smida called his fintech experience “an invaluable resource” and said Twisto would work closely with Reeve on “key strategic initiatives” including M&A and entry into new markets.

Founded in 2013, Twisto has grown into a major Central European fintech with more than 275,000 customers and more than 500,000 monthly visits. The company’s Nikita risk engine applies machine learning to non-traditional data to provide a credit assessment based on more than 400 data points per transaction – all in milliseconds.

Twisto demonstrated its Twisto Card at FinovateEurope 2018. The card, designed to support all of the daily financing needs of its users, provides access instant credit and notifications, a favorable foreign exchange rate, cashback and UNIQA insurance. The card also features a “Buy Now. Pay Later” solution that provides one-click instant financing. Twisto offers three tiers, including a free online version that includes many of the platforms key features including cashback from online purchases and Twisto Snap, which lets users pay bills and invoices by photo or email.

Headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, Twisto announced in July that it was opening an office in Poland, with an expansion into Romania expected soon. The company began the year with news that Wirecard would facilitate the integration of Apple Pay for users of Twisto’s digital Mastercard.

Credit Sesame Raises $43 Million in Advance of IPO

Credit score and loan management platform, Credit Sesame, has raised $43 million so far in its latest funding round, which is likely to be the last before the firm goes public, writes Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The round, led by ATW Partners with participation from previous investors, has not yet closed. TechCrunch reports CEO and founder, Adrian Nazari, believes the company is on track to achieve a $1 billion valuation when the round does close.

The funding is a combination of equity and debt for the profitable company, which has seen 90% annual revenue growth for the last five years. It will be spent on business expansion and developing Credit Sesame’s RoboCredit artificial intelligence algorithms, which enable consumers to see what actions they can take to improve their credit scores.

Nazari said this is likely to be the last funding round before launching an IPO and the company has no plans to look at mergers or acquisitions until after it goes public.

“Credit Sesame is revolutionizing how consumers manage their credit,” said Kerry Propper, co-founder and managing partner of ATW Partners. “What once was a mystery and black box is now distilled by Credit Sesame’s PCM platform into easy to digest actionable insights that can effortlessly and meaningfully change a consumer’s credit and financial health.”

Users of Credit Sesame, which coined the term “Personal Credit Management,” can check their initial credit score and look at debt rebalancing options for free, but pay fees to take up products referred through the engine.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, Credit Sesame demonstrated its credit-based PFM for a co-branded environment at FinovateSpring 2015.

3E Software’s Teslar Closes $2 Million Round

3E Software’s portfolio management system Teslar closed a $2 million funding round this week. Leading the investment is the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).

“We provide the solutions necessary for community banks to operate more efficiently and effectively, while focusing on what matters most: exceptional customer service,” said Teslar CEO and Founder Joe Ehrhardt. “This investment and ICBA’s support will provide resources to grow our team and continue advancing our technology, furthering our mission to help community bankers prosper.”

The Arkansas-based company will use the funds to add to its workforce, specifically in its client support, marketing, and technology development departments. Teslar graduated from ICBA’s ThinkTECH accelerator program earlier this year where its demo won the Banker’s Choice Award for Most Impactful Solution.

Teslar offers a lending and credit management SaaS solution that offers banks a holistic tool for managing credit and lending operations. At FinovateSpring 2015, Ehrhardt demoed how Teslar serves as a one-stop shop for lenders.

A full 60% of the company’s staff are former bankers, a pedigree which offers them insight into the headaches often faced during the lending process. This group of former bankers relies on what they call the “four pillars:” empowering bankers, integrating multiple systems, streamlining processes, and making it scalable. These objectives translate into everything from a toolset to manage loan reviews, to loan portfolio management, exceptions management, and more.

Innovation in the lending space is becoming increasingly relevant as bankers are taking a second look at their loan portfolios to make sure they are recession-proof. Solutions like Teslar offer a faster way for loan officers to close deals and minimize risk.

We’ve Got Funding, How About You?

With FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast coming up later this year, we wanted to pause to take a look at the funding that participants from last year’s shows have received so far this year.

In the first eight months of 2019, four fintechs that participated in FinovateAsia and FinovateMiddleEast 2018 raised more than $23 million combined.

With real funding at stake, what are you waiting for? Apply to demo your tech at FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast today. The application is free and you have nothing to lose!

The Middle East and North Africa startup culture has continued to mature, especially when it comes to early stage companies. Part of the growth can be attributed to the region’s investment in both talent and infrastructure. Coding programs and regional hackathons have not only added to the talent pool of startup recruits, they have also given the startup culture a boost.

In Asia, India has risen as the region’s top country for fintech funding. The $286 million in fintech funding the country raised in Q1 of this year outranks China’s total of $192 million raised for fintechs in that same quarter. Part of the slowdown in China can be attributed to increased regulation in the region.

If your startup is interested in demoing at this year’s FinovateAsia or FinovateMiddleEast conference, contact our demo team at middleeast@finovate.com or asia@finovate.com.

New Investment Makes Numbrs Europe’s Latest Fintech Unicorn

Swiss fintech Numbrs, which demonstrated its PFM solution at FinovateFall in 2013, is back in the fintech headlines in a big way. The company has raised $40 million in new funding that takes the firm’s total capital to nearly $200 million and boosts the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion.

The company did not disclose the round’s investors by name. It did confirm that both existing and new investors participated. The funding is designed to help Numbrs as it prepares to expand outside of its current market in Germany, with the U.K. as the company’s next target.

In a blog post at the Numbrs website, the company highlighted the relatively-exclusive club it has joined when it comes to private firms with a billion-plus valuation and praised the role of private investors in giving Numbrs “the time to build the best technology platform in the financial industry.” Since its founding in 2012, the company has developed partnerships with major FIs such as Barclaycard and Santander. More than two million app downloads and an excess of $11 billion (€10 billion) in managed assets have helped the company’s solution to become the top independent finance app in Germany.

Numbrs leverages machine learning and analytics tools to enable users to better manage their financial lives. Users link one or more accounts to the app and Numbrs goes to work: analyzing finances to create savings plans based on user goals, tracking and categorizing transactions in real-time to help users avoid overspending, and making it easy to handle common banking chores such as checking balances and transferring money.

The Numbrs app also offers a Money Store where users can shop for loans, credit cards, and insurance – just added in April – as well as other financial products and services.

The funding news for Numbrs arrives amid a summer of positive headlines for the company. Numbrs celebrated reaching 2.2 million downloads in July, the same month the company announced hitting the €10 billion mark in terms of assets managed on the platform. The company forged a partnership with Allianz in May, making the company’s insurance products available via the Numbrs app.

Numbrs is headquarterd in Zurich, Switzerland. Martin Saidler is CEO.

DemystData Lands $12.5 Million for its Data Marketplace

Data-as-a-service (DaaS) startup DemystData received $12.5 million in a Series C round co-led by MissionOG and Notion Capital. Singtel Innov8 also participated in the round, which raises the New York-based company’s total funding to $31.5 million.

DemystData will use the funds to further develop its data platform, bolster its workforce, and increase data onboarding. The company offers an alternative data marketplace that helps banks and businesses protect themselves against fraud using email and address verification, criminal history information, and data on negative online sentiment. Leveraging its third party data warehouse, DemystData also offers property information for risk underwriting, as well as commercial marketing segmentation.

In 2018, DemystData launched its API-based external data platform. The data-as-a-service tool helps bank’s data teams improve their growth, risk, and compliance workflows.

“This is an exciting time for us,” said DemystData Founder and CEO Mark Hookey. “Data demand is growing from AI, digitization, and faster innovation cycles. Clients are rapidly adopting platforms to meet data compliance needs, support testing, and eliminate the friction from the external data.”

With AI evolving into a hot topic these past few years, data services have become increasingly popular. DaaS companies such as DemystData are fueling the AI era by breaking down silos of big data and creating a type of subscription service for live data streams. These information services companies allow firms to break outside of their internal data sources by accessing real-time data streams.

This information services vertical is a $50 billion market. In the past four years, the number of enterprises demanding information services rose from 17% to 59%. “Over the past 12 months we have doubled ARR, tripled our data access, and tripled our client base,” added Hookey.

 At FinovateAsia 2012, DemystData debuted Credit-in-a-Box, a suite of tools that help banks leverage big data to make better lending decisions. Among the company’s competitors are Alpine Data Labs, TIBCO, and MX.

CurrencyCloud’s Grant Boosts Total Funding Over $80 Million

Just over a month after announcing a $40 million Series E funding round, international payments platform Currencycloud received another windfall. The company landed a $12.2 million (£10 million) grant as a part of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) program. This week’s funds bring Currencycloud’s total investment to more than $80 million.

Part of the BCR’s Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C, the award aims to include lending, international payments, and local payments services to SMEs in the U.K. The goal fits well with Currencycloud’s API offerings that help businesses accept, pay, and convert foreign currencies. The company’s tools also help businesses manage balances, send notifications, set permissions, and compile reports.

Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said that the company plans to use the funds to “accelerate product development for SME’s, particularly in the area of collections.” He added, “We will also work on distribution partnerships that enhance our ability to deliver to SMEs. Our current U.K. eco-system of over 150 FX brokers, money transfer firms, payment service firms and banks service 1,000’s of U.K. SMEs with payment services today. Our intent is to widen access to affordable FX and international payments for U.K. SMEs, targeting 40,000 SMEs using our platform by 2024.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud counts fellow Finovate alums AzimoKlarnaRevolut, and Fidor as clients. The company can make domestic and international payments in 38 currencies to 180+ countries. Currencycloud most recently appeared at FinovateFall 2016 where it debuted its Payment Engine

Scalable Capital Raises $28M

Munich-based robo-advisor platform, Scalable Capital, has raised a further €25 million in growth capital, two years after BlackRock invested €30 million, writes Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Handelsblatt reports that HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures also took part in this round.

Founded in 2016, Scalable aims to target high-earning young professionals, who invest an average of €35,000. Customers can answer a list of questions about their experiences and objectives, to receive a recommendation for a portfolio of listed index funds (ETFs).

Although the amount raised is relatively low for the industry, Scalable Capital founder Erik Podzuweit said, in the Handelsblatt Disrupt podcast: “Actually, we did not need the money, because unlike some other business models, each customer pays for the offer.”

He added: “So we took the money and can now grow a little faster and at the same time still keep something in reserve.”

BlackRock acquired just under a third of the company two years ago. Despite the capital increase, the founders still have ownership of more than a quarter of the business.

Scalable Capital demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2016. Last month, the company teamed up with Futurae to add multi-factor authentication to its investment platform. This spring, the company was named to the Wealthtech 100.

King Klarna: New Investment Boosts Valuation to $5.5 Billion

An investment of $460 million in Swedish e-commerce payments innovator Klarna takes the company’s valuation to $5.5 billion, and makes it the largest private fintech firm in Europe. The funding will help fuel Klarna’s international growth, especially in the United States, where it has been gaining new customers at a rate of six million a year.

Dragoneer Investment Group led the round. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HMI Capital LLC, Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, Första AP-Fonden (AP1), IPGL, IVP, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock also participated. Combined with the financing from a round this spring, the investment gives Klarna more than $1.2 billion in total capital.

For company CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the funding comes at a moment of great opportunity for fintechs like Klarna that are innovating in the area of consumer finance. “This is a decisive time in the history of retail banking,” he said. “Finally, transparency, technology and creativity will serve the consumer, and there will be no more room for unimaginative products, non-transparent terms of use or lack of genuine care of ones customers.”

Klarna’s Shop Now Pay Later approach to e-commerce enables consumers to pay for purchases at leading, brick and mortar retailers as well as with online merchants, with a variety of interest-free, no-fee financing offerings. These include a four installment payment option that charged every other week to the customer’s credit or debit card, and 30-day payment period that begins once the item is shipped or received.

Klarna has more than 60 million shoppers using its offerings, and 130,000 retailer partners around the world. Richard Watts of Merian Chrysalis Investment Company credited Klarna with providing its merchant partners with “considerable improvement in customer engagement and sales.” In fact, Klarna reports that merchants that are offering its four installment payment plan have experienced a 68% increase in average order value, a 44% increase in conversion v.s. cards, and a 21% higher purchase frequency.

“Klarna is one of Europe’s great fintech success stories and the company continues to develop truly innovative payment solutions,” Watts said.

The funding news for Klarna arrives amid a flurry of new service offerings, such as making its Shop Now Pay Later option available in-store, as well. It has also been a big year for products, from the launch of its global customer authentication platform to unveiling of its open banking platform. 2019 has also been a busy year in terms of partnerships: Klarna joined global fashion retailer ASOS in an expansion to the U.S., teamed up with U.K. fashion brand Superdry, and partnered with Canadian e-commerce and in-store point-of-sale financing company PayBright.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Klarna demonstrated its platform at FinovateSpring 2012.