Email Security Specialist GreatHorn Locks in $13 Million Investment

Email security specialist GreatHorn has raised $13 million in a funding round led by RRE Ventures and .406 Ventures. Existing investors Techstars Ventures, V1.VC, and Uncork Capital also participated in the round, which boosts the firm’s total capital to $21.8 million.

GreatHorn said it will use the new capital to continue its innovation in the email security space. The company offers organizations a 100%, cloud-native platform designed specifically to defend email systems before, during, and after an attack. The technology’s proactive approach blends integrated threat detection, in-the-moment user education, and comprehensive incident response to combat threats ranging from credential theft and email compromise to ransomware and phishing.

“As we continue to meet customer demand and drive the market,” GreatHorn CEO Kevin O’Brien said, “we remain fundamentally interested in redefining email as a secure system for all users, and ensuring that organizations who have adopted cloud email platforms are not relying on outdated perimeter controls or simple user education to protect their most critical assets.”

GreatHorn’s funding news comes as the company celebrates its third consecutive year of 3x revenue growth, as well as its “rapid expansion into the enterprise market.” RRE Ventures General Partner Raju Rishi praised GreatHorn as being among the “category-defining businesses” the firm prefers to invest in. He credited the company for providing an overhaul in the way that organizations think about protecting their email systems.

“GreatHorn has delivered a platform that comprehensively protects enterprises against the rising sophistication of today’s threats,” Rishi said. “We’re excited to support GreatHorn as the company that continues to build upon its current innovation and grow in the enterprise space.”

Founded in 2015, GreatHorn demonstrated its inbound email security platform at FinovateFall 2017. More recently, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company was awarded a patent for a new method for detecting email impersonation. GreatHorn began the year with news that its latest version was now enabled to detect credential theft involving Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite.

More Than $1.8 Billion Raised by 29 Alums in Q2 2019

Our “Best Q2 to Date” just got bested.

Finovate alums raised more than $1.8 billion in new funding in the second quarter of 2019. The Q2 figure from this year surpasses the previous, record-setting second quarter from 2018 by more than $300 million. This year’s amount also represents an increase of more than 3x over our alum funding total of $468 million for Q1.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q2 2018: More than $1.5 billion raised by 37 alums
  • Q2 2017: More than $726 million raised by 25 alums
  • Q2 2016: More than 510 million raised by 23 alums
  • Q2 2015: More than $840 million raised by eight alums

The second quarter of 2019 also marks our fifth billion dollar quarter since 2015.

Previous Billion Dollar Quarters

  • Q2 2018: More than $1.5 billion raised by 37 alums
  • Q1 2018: More than $1.3 billion raised by 26 alums
  • Q3 2017: More than $1 billion raised by 31 alums
  • Q3 2015: More than $1 billion raised by 40 alums

Our biggest fundraising alum for the quarter was financial management platform Sofi – by a mile. But Sofi aside there were still more than a handful of sizable investments in Finovate alums this spring, including four other nine-figure financings in Marqeta, Blend, Dashlane, and multiple-time Best of Show winner MX.

The top ten equity investments for our alums in Q2 totaled $1.35 billion, representing 75% of the quarter’s total funding.

Top Ten Equity Investments for Q2 2019

  • Sofi: $500 million
  • Marqeta: $260 million
  • Blend: $130 million
  • Dashlane: $110 million
  • MX: $100 million
  • Bill.com: $88 million
  • Alkami: $55 million
  • Clinc: $52 million
  • Synapse: $33 million
  • Payfone: $24 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q2 2019.

April 2019: More than $205 million raised by seven alums

May 2019: More than $1.25 billion raised by 11 alums

June 2019: More than $375 million raised by 10 alums


If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second quarter of 2019, 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.

CurrencyCloud Raises New Capital in Series E

Currencycloud is believed to have raised around $40 million (£32 million) in the first part of a Series E funding round, Jane Connolly writes in Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

TechCrunch reported that the London-based company, which provides an API and service for cross-border payments, plans to follow tranche one with more funding in the next two or three months.

According to TechCrunch’s sources, Goldman Sachs is rumored to be taking part, along with other possible investors GV and Santander. Currencycloud has declined to comment.

Currencycloud undertook a Series A round in 2011. The company operates across Europe, the U.S. and Canada, and includes Visa, Starling Bank, Standard Bank South Africa, Travelex and Klarna among its clients.

With offices in Amsterdam and New York, Currencycloud demonstrated its technology most recently at FinovateSpring 2018.

Canada’s Sensibill Closes $31.5 Million Series B

Toronto-based fintech, Sensibill, has raised $31.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Radical Ventures, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Previous investors Information Venture Partners and First Ascent Ventures joined National Bank of Canada and others in the round.

This latest round takes the total raised to $46.5 million for Sensibill, which provides receipt management for mobile banking apps. Sensibill will use the funds to advance its AI-assisted decisioning and pursue its mission of unlocking the value of purchase data.

The company aims to offer contextual advice to users and says it is working with over 30 major banks in the U.S., U.K. and Canada – including Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and FIS.

“We’re helping champion the future of work,” said Corey Gross, co-founder and CEO of Sensibill. “That means supporting small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs – they’re the fastest growing segment and the most underserved by banks.”

He added: “What we’re trying to do at Sensibill is bridge the gap between what banks are good at today, and where they need to be in five or ten years to protect their relationships from disruption. Tools beyond core banking, an incredible customer experience and meaningful customer insights for banks – that’s what we bring to the table.”

Jordan Jacobs, co-founder and managing partner at Radical Ventures, commented: “This is a classic story of an under-the-radar company from Toronto with fantastic data-driven, customer-facing AI solutions being used by a who’s who of global Tier 1 banks.”

Since its last funding round, Sensibill has more than doubled its workforce and opened a U.K. office.

Sensibill demonstrated its Receipts for Microbusinesses solution at FinovateEurope 2018 – in partnership with NatWest. Founded in 2013, the company was featured last month in Startup Here Toronto and this spring announced that it was chosen to participate in the incoming cohort of startups for Plug and Play’s Fintech Europe accelerator program.

Ninth Wave Lands New Investment

Data connectivity expert Ninth Wave announced it received a strategic investment from private equity firm SARORAS Private Capital.

The amount of the minority investment was undisclosed but the company said it is “significant.” Ninth Wave said it will use the funds to accelerate the growth of the Ninth Wave Platform, form new sales and marketing initiatives, and expand its leadership team.

“We have been continually focused on advancing our technology, team and strategic partnerships with companies and individuals that help us provide the highest level of services and counsel,” said George Anderson, Founder and CEO of Ninth Wave. “SARORAS is the perfect partner for us and pairs an expertise in our industry with the experience and proven playbook to scale our business.”

SARORAS, which typically invests in middle market technology and business services companies, said that Ninth Wave’s management team, reputation, and technology were the top factors for its investment.

Ninth Wave positions itself as the financial data supply chain, offering a SaaS solution that delivers financial data through a universal standard that satisfies open banking requirements. In addition to data access and data aggregation tools, Ninth Wave also provides tax services that streamline and simplify tax reporting.

Last year, Ninth Wave was spun out from its parent company, Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (EEI). Anderson debuted the newly-formed company at FinovateFall 2018 in New York. The Ninth Wave platform offers access to more than $8 trillion in AUM for eight of the top 10 wealth managers. Since launching last year, Ninth Wave has analyzed more than 10 billion transactions.

MX Picks Up $100 Million in New Funding

MX, a provider of financial services data, has announced a $100 million financing round led by Battery Ventures, with participation from new and existing investors including the Tokyo-based venture capital firm, Digital Garage, reports Sharon Kimathi of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The Series B round brings the company’s total equity financing to $175 million. The new investment reflects the value of financial technology data to banks, credit unions and other fintech companies, while allowing MX to accelerate its already rapid product development and customer growth.

With this round, the company will continue to be focused on the power of data that is cleansed, categorized, presented and usable.

“The use of data is essential to every industry, including financial services, and we are thrilled to support MX in its mission to leverage data to help drive better customer experience and deeper engagement for banks, credit inions, and fintechs,” said Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures. “(It) leads to financial strength for everyone.”

He added “The company is already powering some of the top financial institutions in the world and is uniquely positioned to provide the smart aggregation and insights that the financial industry will need.”

Aside from Battery Ventures, new investors HIG Capital, Point72 Ventures, Sorenson Capital, Pelion Venture Partners, and Cross Creek Capital, also participated in the round, alongside National Bank of Canada and Washington Federal.

“With our surge in growth, we are proud of the fact that we have operated profitably the past two years, leading naturally to this next round of funding,” said Ryan Caldwell, founder and CEO of MX.

“We could have raised several times this amount, but we simply didn’t need the capital. We are disciplined in our spending and building for the long term. This additional investment will be spent on continuing to grow MX’s high-performing sales team, building upon our industry-leading user experience and partnerships, releasing a new product category that will be forthcoming, and hiring more of the best talent in the industry.”

MX is scaling quickly, with 15% of banks and credit unions in the U.S. already adopting MX technology and user growth rising in the last 24 months.

Headquartered in Utah, MX most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2017. A multiple Finovate Best of Show award winner, MX was founded in 2010.

Ocrolus Reels in $24 Million Investment

Automated document analysis platform, Ocrolus, has raised $24 million in funding in a Series B round led by Oak HC/FT. The new capital will help the company develop workflows for new document types, as well as improve the company’s analytic and fraud-detecting capabilities.

Ocrolus puts human empowered automation to work to help financial services firms and other companies make back office operations more efficient. Ocrolus’ technology leverages pattern recognition, crowdsourced data verification, and fraud detection to automatically analyze financial documents, digitize the data, and input it directly into the firm’s credit models. Even poor quality data scans from e-statements and smartphones can be effectively read by the technology and transformed into 99%+ accurate, validated datasets.

“Sometimes humans are better than robots,” Ocrolus CEO and co-founder Sam Bobley said. “We combine machine processes with live human intelligence to provide customers with a complete solution.”

Also participating in the round were FinTech Collective, and existing investors including Bullpen Capital and QED Investors. The investment takes the company’s total capital to more than $30 million.

Ocrolus demonstrated the Perfect Audit feature of its platform at FinovateFall last year. Perfect Audit provides cash-flow analytics from financial documents that have been digitized and analyzed by the Ocrolus platform. These analytics function as superior credit model inputs that enable lenders to price risk more effectively.

“Ocrolus is a unique company providing a rare combination of smart automation, analytics, and accuracy in its solution,” Oak HC/FT Venture Partner Dan Petrozzo said. “By combining its tremendous technology with an added human touch where required, the platform delivers amazing results for its customers.”

Last month, Ocrolus teamed up with inFactor to enhance the underwriting process for the small business financing platform. In April, the company partnered with fellow Finovate alum BlueVine to help accelerate financial application processing. Founded in 2014, Ocrolus is based in New York City.

Blend Raises $130 Million in Series E

In a round led by Temasek and General Atlantic, digital lending technology innovator Blend has raised $130 million in new funding. The Series E round boosts the company’s total capital to $310 million and will help power its development of additional consumer lending solutions as Blend pursues what it calls “a one-tap lending future.”

Also participating in the round were existing investors 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Blend also announced that former Pixar CFO Ann Mather will join the company as an independent board member.

“Together with our partners, we’ve made significant strides in transforming lending experiences for consumers and institutions across the country,” Blend founder and CEO Nima Ghamsari said. “As we build toward a more transparent and frictionless future where lending transactions happen in one tap, we’re grateful to have the experience of Ann (Mather), along with the teams at Temasak and General Atlantic, in our corner for this journey.”

Blend’s funding news comes in the wake of the company’s latest product release, a new mobile-first deposit account solution that lenders can offer to loan applicants. The solution helps lenders build loyalty and convert mortgage customers into account holders, and integrates seamlessly into other Blend workflows, core banking, and CRM systems.

Speaking for Mountain America Credit Union, which partnered with Blend last spring, SVP Kelly Albiston highlighted the upsides of committing to Blend’s technology: “By partnering with them on multiple products, including deposit opening, we are providing a consistent and streamlined experience for our members across the board and taking friction out of the process,” Albiston said. Utah-based Mountain America CU has $8.5 billion in assets, and is the 12th largest credit union by membership in the United States with more than 740,000 members.

Blend demonstrated its Data-Driven Mortgage at FinovateSpring 2016. The company also participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, later that year. Founded in 2012, the company offers a digital lending platform for mortgage and home equity lending that reduces loan cycle times by as much as 50%. Blend has spent much of this year launching new products – including digital HELOC and HELOAN offerings – as well as expanding its partnership with Salesforce. The company currently processes almost $2 billion in U.S. mortgages daily, supports more than 150 lender clients, and has grown its customer base by 3x from 2017 to 2018.

Blend was named one of the best places to work by Inc. earlier this year, and was honored with a spot in the Forbes Fintech 50, as well. Also this year, the company added former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos as President. Blend is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Token Lands $16.5 Million

Open banking expert Token received $16.5 million in a round of funding led by Opera Tech Ventures, the venture arm of BNP Paribas. The investment brings the company’s total funding to $35 million.

Also participating in today’s round are two banks headquartered in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as existing investors Octopus Ventures and EQT Ventures. California-based Token will use the funds to build on its TokenOS open banking platform and develop new payment solutions with digital money and identity technology.

“As the emerging category leader in open banking infrastructure, Token gives banks a fast track to deliver great open banking customer experiences,” said Token Founder and CEO Steve Kirsch. “For banks, establishing an early position in this new hyper-connected market is a competitive advantage; a new wave of independent financial apps and services will soon be available to their customers, so banks need to be clear about their future roles. By solving the infrastructure problem, Token enables them to focus on service innovation and delivery earlier than the competition.”

Founded in 2015, Token was built on the mission to create the next generation of payment capabilities. The company has 4,000 bank clients in its ecosystem in which participating online merchants to connect to the bank to allow the customer to make purchases directly from their bank accounts. Among Token’s clients are Tandem Bank, Think Money Group, An Post, Sberbank Croatia and Slovenia, and Khaleeji Commercial Bank.

Token showcased its PSD2 compliant solution at FinovateEurope 2017 in London. Last month, the company partnered with Omni Group to provide open banking and PSD2 compliance solutions to the group’s bank partners. This year, Token won Best Payments Newcomer in the 2019 Card and Payments Awards as well as Fintech Start Up of the Year in the 2019 FStech Awards.

Cybercrime Fighter ThetaRay Announces Strategic Investment from ABN AMRO

A new strategic investment from ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund “strengthens the current operational relationship” between the bank and Israel-based cybersecurity innovator ThetaRay, fund director Hugo Bongers said today. The investment, amount undisclosed, adds to the company’s reported $66.5 million in funding.

ThetaRay leverages its big data analytics platform and solutions to provide advanced cybersecurity and risk mitigation for financial services companies. The company, founded in 2013, demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015, and showed how its approach to anomaly detection provides protection against unknown, next generation cyberattacks while delivering low-false positives. ThetaRay’s IntuitiveAI platform helps spot money laundering activity, fraud, and dangerously risky loans, as well as helps firms become more efficient operationally and identify new potential growth areas.

“We’re very proud that ABN AMRO, a customer that benefits from ThetaRay’s intuitive artificial intelligence technology to combat financial cybercrime and operational failures, has now also become an investor,” ThetaRay CEO Mark Gazit said. He praised the company as a “visionary” that recognizes the role of AI-enabled technologies to help financial services companies better serve their customers. “We see ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund as a true partner for creating a safer world,” Gazit said.

ThetaRay is not the first Finovate alum to receive funding from ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund. The €50 million corporate venture entity has also invested in Tink, BehavioSec, and Cloud Lending Solutions. The strategic nature of the firm’s investment in ThetaRay, however, brings with it specific dividends, according to Bongers. “ABN AMRO stands to benefit from access to the Israeli ecosystem of cybersecurity and financial crime detection firms, as well as the leading venture capital investors operating in this business, such as JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) and OurCrowd,” he said.

Named one of 10 Security Startups to Watch by Network World earlier this year, ThetaRay was honored by the 2019 Fortress Cyber Security Awards last month, earning recognition in the Software & Applications category. The company added veteran marketing talent in May, hiring former Arachnys and Axioma executive Steve Mann as its new CMO.