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.

More Than $400 Million Raised by 19 Alums in Q3 2018

After racking up more than $1 billion in funding last summer, Finovate alums secured more than $400 million in funding over July, August, and September of 2018. This year marked the second time in the past four years that a billion-dollar third quarter was followed the next year by a significantly less bountiful Q3 in terms of equity financing.

Interestingly, eight of our 19 fundraising alums in the third quarter did not disclose the amounts of their investments. And while this does not provide any specific clues to the exact amounts of equity financing involved, it is noteworthy that undisclosed investments in AdviceRobo and Personetics both represented minority stakes taken by KPMG and United Overseas Bank, respectively.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q3 2017: More than $1 billion raised by 31 alums
  • Q3 2016: More than $500 million raised by 30 alums
  • Q3 2015: More than $1 billion raised by 40 alums
  • Q3 2014: More than $194 million raised by 17 alums

If Q3 represented a small step in the funding growth for our alums overall, it was a giant leap for the quarter’s top fundraiser, Gusto. The $140 million in funding picked up by the payroll, benefits, and HR platform in July nearly doubled the firm’s total funding, and boosted the company’s valuation to almost $2 billion.

And you’ve got to hand it to Bambu. The three million raised by the Singapore-based robo advisor pales in comparison to the capital raised by its fellow top ten alums in Q3. But Bambu is the only company in the quarter’s top ten to have won not one, but two Best of Show awards, once at FinovateAsia 2017 and again last month at FinovateAfrica 2018.

Top Ten Equity Investments for Q3 2018

  • Gusto: $140 million
  • Flywire: $100 million
  • Zopa: $57 million
  • ThetaRay: $30 million
  • Deserve: $17 million
  • SynapseFI: $17 million
  • Wonga: $13 million
  • BlueVine: $12 million
  • Cortera: $10 million
  • Bambu: $3 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q3 2018.

July 2018: More than $285 million raised by nine alums

August 2018: More than $87 million raised by six alums

September 2018: More than $28 million raised by four alums


If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the third 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.

More Than $1.5 Billion Raised by 37 Alums in Q2 2018

 

Best funding quarter for Finovate alums to date.

There’s no other way to put it. With more than $1.5 billion raised by 37 alums, the second quarter of 2018 is twice as large as the previous year’s Q2. Not only that, but this year’s second quarter is also the biggest quarter for equity funding in Finovate history, ranking among our “unicorn” quarters of more than $1 billion raised.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • 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
  • Q2 2014: More than $458 million raised by eight alums

Previous Billion Dollar Quarters

  • Q1 2018: More than $1.32 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

Which alums topped the funding ranks in the second quarter? There were a number of triple digit investments over the past few months, including a pair of quarter billion dollar investments picked up by digital bank Revolut and business commerce innovator Tradeshift. But the biggest alum funding in Q2 2018 was the $360 million raised by low code app development platform OutSystems, which presented its technology at our developers conference, FinDEVr, last year.

Combined, the top ten equity investments for the quarter add up to $1.3 billion, representing 86% of the total alum funding for Q2.

Top Ten Equity Investments for Q2 2018

  • OutSystems: $360 million
  • Revolut: $250 million
  • Tradeshift: $250 million
  • LendStreet: $117 million
  • Signifyd: $100 million
  • BlueVine: $60 million
  • WorkFusion: $50 million
  • Unison: $40 million
  • Tango Card: $35 million
  • Qapital: $30 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q2 2018. Interestingly, the amount raised in June 2018 alone – more than $716 million – is greater than all but two previous second quarters.

April 2018: More than $370 million raised by 11 alums

May 2018: More than $434 million raised by 11 alums

June 2018: More than $716 million raised by 15 alums


f you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second 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.

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AlphaPoint Raises $15 Million in Series A Led by Galaxy Digital Ventures

AlphaPoint, a New York-based fintech that leverages distributed ledger technology to enable financial institutions to digitize, trade, and manage any asset, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with news that it has raised $15 million in new funding. The Series A round was led by Galaxy Digital Ventures, and brings the company’s total capital to $16.6 million. AlphaPoint says it will use the funds to double the size of its team by year’s end.

“We are delighted to have Galaxy Digital Ventures as a strategic investor who shares our vision to unlock the value of illiquid assets for a wider audience of investors and traders,” AlphaPoint CEO Salil Donde said. “This investment allows us to continue our focus on our customers’ success.”

Galaxy Digital Ventures managing director Greg Wasserman credited AlphaPoint for having the combination of talent and technology in order to take advantage what he called a “tremendous” demand for the digitization of illiquid assets. AlphaPoint estimates the total value of the illiquid asset market – including gold and real estate – at more than $11 trillion and sees its technology as a way to provide badly needly liquidity. “Consumers are demanding increased access, transparency, and trust,” said Wasserman, who will join AlphaPoint’s board of directors as part of the strategic investment. “Businesses are seeking increased liquidity with reduced fraud, risk, and cost.”

Founded in 2013, AlphaPoint demonstrated its AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP) at FinovateFall 2017. The general-purpose blockchain platform streamlines the deployment of distributed financial applications, and enables financial institutions to participate in digital asset issuance, confidential smart contracts, and automated workflows. Running in live production since 2013, the solution has facilitated  transactions totaling more than $100 billion to date for platform customers. The company’s partners include Intel – with whom AlphaPoint teamed up last fall – Microsoft, and RedHat. The CME Group, London Block Exchange, and BTCC are a few of AlphaPoint’s more than 30 global clients.

Earlier this year, AlphaPoint announced completion of a blockchain trial with Scotiabank that explored a variety of use cases for the company’s ADLP. In April, AlphaPoint teamed up with CME Group and The Royal Mint to support the Royal Mint Gold initiative, a trading platform for digital gold. And last month, AlphaPoint introduced its Regulated Asset Backed Token (RABT), a new framework designed to support the launch of blockchain tokens supported by regulated assets. The goal is to leverage blockchain technology to add liquidity to the real estate market.

Donde took over the CEO spot at the company last fall – at the same time AlphaPoint unveiled plans for a new public blockchain network. He arrived at AlphaPoint after serving as EVP of Global Information Services at Nasdaq.

$1.32 Billion Raised by 26 Alums in Q1 of 2018

It seems as if it was only yesterday when we were looking at the first quarter funding numbers for our alums in 2017 and wondering if the slow start was a harbinger of investment stinginess to come.

Fortunately, by the end of 2017, investment in fintech in general and our Finovate alums in specific had rebounded strongly. As the financial world accommodated itself to the incoming Trump administration, so too did fintech investors get back to the business of putting major money behind some of our industry’s most innovative startups. The result was a big year for Finovate alums who raised more than $2.7 billion for 2017, recording their fourth consecutive year of more than $2 billion in funding.

And it looks like the momentum is still going strong. For the first quarter of 2018, 26 Finovate alums have raised more than $1.32 billion in funding combined. This number is not only more than 5x our first quarter funding total from last year, it also rivals any other first quarter in our history – as our quarterly comparison below shows.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q1 2017: $230 million raised by 20 alums
  • Q1 2016: $656 million raised by 32 alums
  • Q1 2015: $680 million raised by 29 alums
  • Q1 2014: $600 million raised by 23 alums

What is especially tantalizing about Q1 numbers this year is the high number of undisclosed investments. This quarter, five of the investments were undisclosed. This compares with two undisclosed investments from Q1 2017, five in Q1 2016, one in Q1 2015, and one in Q1 2014. The actual amounts of undisclosed investments can vary widely, of course, but having five such investments in a quarter suggests our real alum funding total for Q1 is actually higher.

Top 10 Equity Investments

  1. Credit Karma: $500 million
  2. NuBank: $150 million
  3. eToro: $100 million
  4. Ledger: $75 million
  5. Wealthfront: $75 million
  6. Alkami: $70 million
  7. defi SOLUTIONS: $55 million
  8. Endor: $45 million
  9. Stash: $37.5 million
  10. Ohpen: $31 million

In terms of the top equity investments in the first quarter, Credit Karma stands out with their secondary investment of $500 million. NuBank’s $150 million comes in second place, with the $100 million raised by eToro being our third largest equity investment of the first quarter of the year. Tied for fourth place are Ledger and Wealthfront, each raising $75 million in funding. The top 10 equity investments in Q1 totaled $1.14 billion or 86% of the quarter’s total funding.

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q1 2018.

January: More than $338 million raised by ten alums

February: More than $156 million raised by ten alums

March: More than $825 million raised by six alums


If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the first 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.

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Finovate Alums Garner $2.7 Billion in 2017, $730 Million in Q4 Alone

Updated! Funding for fintechs is back on the rise. We tallied up equity funding in 2017 and our totals show that Finovate alumni pulled in $2.7 billion over the course of the year. This marks the fourth consecutive year alums passed the $2 billion mark and pushes the 4-year total to more than $10 billion. 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Finovate alums raised more than $730 million, beating last year’s Q4 total by more than $30 million. Q4 2017 also marked a resumption of the strong Q4s of last year and 2014.

Previously Quarterly Comparisons

  • 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
  • Q4 2013: More than $294 million raised by 17 alums

Q4 2017’s largest equity investment was the $280 million raised by TransferWise in November. Coming in second place was the $130 million in capital raised by BlueVine in October. The top 10 overall investments for the fourth quarter of 2017 totaled $654.7 million or more than 90% of the total alum funding for the quarter.

Top 10 Equity Investments (equity only)

  1. TransferWise: $280 million
  2. BlueVine: $130 million
  3. Feedzai: $50 million
  4. Passport: $43 million
  5. Credit Sesame: $42 million
  6. BankBazaar: $30 million
  7. TrueAccord: $22 million
  8. Featurespace: $21.9 million
  9. BondIT: $18.3 million
  10. Simility: $17.5 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q4 2017.

October 2017: More than $337 million raised by 12 alums

  • BankBazaar: $30 million – post
  • BLUERUSH: $1.3 million – post
  • BlueVine: $130 million – post
  • BondIT: $18.3 million – post
  • Credit Sesame: $42 million – post
  • Featurespace: $21.9 million – post
  • Feedzai: $50 million – post
  • Finn.ai: $3 million – post
  • Omnyway: $12.75 million – post
  • SelfScore: $12 million – post
  • Tink: $16.5 million – post
  • Wealthify: undisclosed – post

November 2017: More than $308 million raised by three alums

  • PayStand: $6 million – post
  • TransferWise: $280 million – post
  • TrueAccord: $22 million – post

December 2017: More than $89 million raised by eight alums

  • Avoka: $12 million – post
  • Financeit: undisclosed – post
  • NuCypher: $4.3 million – post
  • Passport: $43 million – post
  • Payoneer: undisclosed – post
  • Prevoty: $13 million – post
  • SBDA: undisclosed – post
  • Simility: $17.5 million – post

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the fourth quarter of 2017, 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.

More than $1 Billion Raised by 31 Alums in Q3 2017

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*Update: 10/10/2017. Bill.com disclosed today the amount of its September funding at $100 million. This takes our September 2017 funding total to more than $187 million, and puts Bill.com in our “top ten” fundings for the quarter, as well. The total raised for Q3 2017 now stands at $1.13 billion.

In reeling in more than $1 billion in funding over the months of July, August, and September, Finovate alums in the third quarter of 2017 raised more than twice as much in equity capital compared to Q3 2016. This happened with the number of alums funded in both Q3 2015 and Q3 2016 – 31 versus 30 – being virtually the same. In this regard, the third quarter of this year was even more impressive than the $1 billion raised by 40 alums in 2015. For all the concerns over the slow start to funding this year, it appears the world’s fintech investors are more than making up for lost time.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q3 2016: $500 million raised by 30 alums
  • Q3 2015: $1 billion raised by 40 alums
  • Q3 2014: $194 million raised by 17 alums

The biggest deals of the third quarter this year were the $250 million raised by Kabbage and the $225 million raised by Klarna. Also impressive were the pair of $100 million fundraisings by Blend and Coinbase, as well as the $70 million investment in Betterment that edges the company that much closer to unicorn status. The top 10 equity investments totaled more than $922 million or more than 89% of the quarter’s total alum funding.

Top 10 Equity Investments (equity only)

  1. Kabbage: $250 million
  2. Klarna: $225 million
  3. Blend: $100 million
  4. Coinbase: $100 million
  5. Betterment: $70 million
  6. Prosper: $50 million
  7. Juvo: $40 million
  8. Personal Capital: $40 million
  9. Stockpile: $30 million
  10. Karmic Labs: $17.2 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q3 2017.

July 2017: More than $374 million raised by 15 alums

August 2017: More than $570 million raised by 10 alums

September 2017: More than $187 million raised by six alums

If you are a Finovate/FinDEVr alum that raised money in the third quarter of 2017, 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.

$726 Million Raised by 25 Alums in Q2 2017

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Updated (4/18/18): Finovate alums raised more than $726 million in the second quarter of 2017. The funding total, which does not include a pair of undisclosed investments for Bitbond and Symbiont, represents one of the highest Q2 fundings for Finovate alums to date (Q2 2015 produced more than $840 million). The second quarter total is more than triple the total funding for alums in the previous quarter, reinforcing the notion that pause in fintech investment over the first few months 2017 has likely passed.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q2 2016: More than $510 million raised by 23 alums
  • Q2 2015: More than $840 million raised by eight alums
  • Q2 2014: More than $458 million raised by eight alums

The biggest equity deal of the second quarter by far was the $225 million equity investment Klarna received from new strategic investor, Brightfolk in June. The capital infusion made Brightfolk a qualified owner of the company (i.e., owned more than 10%) and gave Klarna an estimated valuation of more than $2.25 billion.

Also impressive was the $120 million raised by Kreditech, which represents the largest equity investment in a German fintech so far. The top 10 investments in the second quarter of 2017 totaled $610 million or more than 80% of the quarter’s total alum funding.

Top 10 Equity Investments (equity only)

  1. Klarna: $225 million
  2. Kreditech: $120 million
  3. Signifyd: $56 million
  4. Zopa: $41 million
  5. Blockchain: $40 million
  6. Scalable Capital: $33 million
  7. Fintonic: $28 million
  8. Additiv: $25.5 million
  9. savedroid: $22 million
  10. Crowdflower: $20 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q2 2017.

April 2017: More than $41 million raised by four alums

  • Meniga: $8 million – post
  • Moneytree: $9 million – post
  • Narrative Science: $11 million – post
  • SwipeStox: $13 million – post

May 2017: More than $253 million raised by nine alums

  • Additiv: $25.5 million – post
  • Bitbond: undisclosed – post
  • Kreditech: $120 million – post
  • NetGuardians: $8 million – post
  • Quovo: $10 million – post
  • Signifyd: $56 million – post
  • Symbiont: undisclosed – post
  • Token: $18.5 million – post
  • Vera: $15 million – post

June 2017: More than $432 million raised by 11 alums

  • Blockchain: $40 million – post
  • Cardlytics: $12 million – post
  • Crowdflower: $20 million – post
  • Fintonic: $28 million – post
  • Klarna: $225 million – post
  • Scalable Capital: $33 million – post
  • StockViews: $640,000 – post
  • Stratumn: $7.8 million – post
  • Trusona: $10 million – post
  • Yoyo Wallet: $15 million – post
  • Zopa: $41 million – post

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second quarter of 2017, 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.

PayU Investment in Kreditech Marks Largest Funding for a German Fintech

In a funding round led by online payment service provider, PayU, Germany’s Kreditech has raised $120 million (€110 million). The investment is the largest equity investment in a German fintech company to date. Kreditech CEO Alexander Graubner-Müller said his company was looking forward to bringing “point-of-sale finance” to markets where “reliable credit risk assessment” is lacking. Graubner-Müller added “Teaming up with PayU provides underbanked customers new possibilities and supports our mission of providing financial freedom through technology.”

In addition the record-setting nature of the funding, the partnership between Kreditech and PayU also represents what the company called in a press release: “the first such strategic cooperation pact between a payment service provider and a technology driven consumer finance company.” Pointing to its commitment to bring credit and financial services to the underbanked, PayU CEO Laurent le Moal said his company’s “substantial investment” in Kreditech will “help to bring pioneering machine learning and AI technology to the many high growth markets around the world that need better access to financial services.”

Pictured (left to right): Co-founders Sebastian Diemer and Alexander Graubner-Müller demonstrating Kreditech’s platform at FinovateSpring 2014.

This week’s funding adds to the $10.4 million Kreditech raised in a round led by Japan-based Rakuten last December. With total capital of more than $280 million, the Hamburg-based online lender has earned a valuation of between $325 million and $540 million, according to an estimate in TechCrunch.

Kreditech has processed more than four million loan applications via its subsidiaries, leveraging its API-driven, lending-as-a-service approach to make it easy for partners to integrate and custom-fit a variety of consumer finance solutions. These include loan application and credit risk management products, e-signature and customer service, loan refinancing, processing, and collections. The company is active in more than five markets around the world – including Russia, Mexico, Spain, and Poland, where Kreditech and PayU recently completed an $11 million (€10 million), 12-month pilot program.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, Kreditech demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2014. Named to H2 Ventures and KPMG’s Fintech 100 in 2016, the company added a pair of new board members last month: former Vanquis Bank CEO Michael Lenora and OneSavings Bank CEO Andy Golding.

FinDEVr Alum Symbiont Scores Funding from China’s Hundsun Technologies

The amount of the investment was undisclosed. But blockchain startup and smart contracts specialist, Symbiont has picked up funding from China-based Hundsun Technologies. The investment in Symbiont is the first in the U.S. for the financial services software provider and the company, which is partly-owned by Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, will also add an observer to Symbiont’s board of directors. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith referred to the investment as a “clear vote of confidence for Symbiont” and called Hundsun Technologies a “strong partner in Asia.”

Symbiont’s innovation is a smart contracts platform that enables FIs to develop applications based on distributed ledger technology. Current use cases enabling the issuance, trading, and processing of corporate bonds, syndicated loans, and other low-liquidity financial instruments. Guan Xiaolan, executive president of Hundsun highlighted the company’s “superior, mature, and highly differentiated DLT stack,” as well as the technology’s high level of security. “Its smart contracts have a proven ability to automate complex business logic, such as highly tailored employee compensation waterfalls for private companies,” he added.

Pictured: Symbiont CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein during his presentation at FinDEVr New York 2016.

It has been almost a year since the State of Delaware partnered with Symbiont in a project called The Delaware Block Initiative designed to make it easier for state government and businesses to leverage blockchain technology. In an update published as part of the Delaware law series last month, Andrea Tinianow of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative and Caitlin Long of Symbiont noted that the “first milestone of DBI’s roadmap” – deploying distributed ledger technology at the state’s public archives – had been achieved. Underscoring the relevance of this initial effort, the two wrote: “By being the first to adopt the technology, the State will maintain its leadership in corporate registry services.”

Also this spring, Symbiont added Yale University computer science professor, Dr. Zhong Shao, to its Technical Advisory Board, and partnered with commodity services specialist, Orebits, who will use Symbiont’s smart contract technology to further develop their eponymous commodity-backed digital assets. The first digital assets, called “orebits,” were made available on Symbiont’s platform in March.

Symbiont was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in New York. Adam Krellenstein, CTO and co-founder of the company, presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.