2015: A Year in Finovate Alumni Mergers and Acquisitions

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2015 was another big year for mergers and acquisitions in the fintech industry. And whether they were the acquirer or the acquired, Finovate alums were very much a part of the M&A action.

Because terms of many deals were undisclosed, it is difficult to get a precise number on how much money was spent acquiring some of fintech’s most promising startups this year. But looking just at those acquisitions for which figures were available, we can see that 2015 was a banner year in M&A (more than $7 billion) — and that’s just counting alums.

So from the $5 billion deal between FIS and Sungard to the “alum-acquires-alum” mergers of September 2015, let’s take a closer look at some of the major unions of the year that featured Finovate alums.


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If you’re a Finovate alum whose merger we’ve missed or acquisition we’ve overlooked, let us know. Send us an email at research@finovate.com.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Gusto, Formerly ZenPayroll, Closes on $50 Million Funding”
  • “U.K.-Based Yoyo Rolls Out Mobile Wallet in U.S.”

Around the web

  • B2B commerce technology company Handshake teams up with Xero.
  • Braintree launches new extension of its v.zero SDK in partnership with Magento Commerce.
  • CRIF Credit Solutions unveils new, fully responsive website geared toward international audiences.
  • Business Insider names Kabbage, Twilio, and Prosper as 3 of 42 startups that grew to be worth billions in 2015.
  • Top Image Systems to deploy eFLOW Digital Mailroom at GED Bulgaria.
  • NerdWallet’s five financial tips from robo-adviser CEOs feature insights from leaders of Betterment, Wealthfront, TradeKing Advisors, FutureAdvisor, and Personal Capital.
  • Nine months after launching, One Touch from PayPal reaches 10 million users in 23 countries.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s “FinDEVr APIntelligence”
  • “Finovate Debuts: ArcBit Introduces its Secure, Easy-to-Use Bitcoin Wallet”
  • “FIS Closes SunGuard Acquisition to the Tune of $5.1 Billion”

Around the web

  • CSI globalVCard launches partnership program for banks for its electronic payments program.
  • SavingAdvice.com highlights how Personal Capital can help you gain control of your finances.
  • Credit Sesame features millennial-friendly robo-adviser investment-platforms: Betterment, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, Blooom.
  • Quisk selected as a 2015 Red Herring 100 Global Winner.
  • TSYS signs payments agreement with Atlanticus to continue support of loan-origination platform, Fortiva.
  • Digital Insight unveils Business Banking, an SaaS solution to enable FIs to offer personalized banking experiences to business customers.
  • Q2 opens new offices in Lincoln, Nebraska, to accommodate growth, acquisition of Centrix Solutions.
  • Xignite Market Data APIs now available on SoundHound’s Houndify sound recognition and search-technology platform.
  • Let’s Talk Payments features Trustev, Trulioo, and Trunomi in its look at “RegTech” startups in Europe and the U.S.
  • Temenos wins “Best Provider of Front-to-Back Wealth Suite Solutions” at Asian Private Banker’s Technology Awards 2015.
  • Avalara partners with open-source billing and payments platform, Kill Bill.
  • Silicon Prairie News interviews Daniel Carnes, CSO at Prairie Cloudware, on the future of cybersecurity.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Munich-Based Fidor Bank Launches in the UK” —Check out Fidor Bank at FinDEVr, 6/7 October, in San Francisco.

Around the web

  • New P2P lending app, Ledge, leverages Venmo technology.
  • CNET features Wealthfront, Betterment, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, and Personal Capital in a look at investment in robo-advisers.
  • American Banker profiles PaySwag and its strategy to put a gamified face on debt collection.
  • Kashoo unveils version 4.4 of its iOS app.
  • American Legion magazine interviews Mark Rockefeller, StreetShares CEO and co-founder.
  • itBit announces new higher withdrawal limits.
  • Digital Retail Apps CEO and founder Wendy MacKinnon Keith wins 2015 Women in Payments Innovation Award.
  • InvestorJunkie lists its top 15 robo-advisers, featuring eight Finovate alums.
  • Braintree and PayPal reflect on their two-year anniversary. See Braintree show off its APIs at FinDEVr in San Francisco, 6/7 October.
  • EQ features DAVO’s sales-tax solution.
  • Bank Innovation highlights Ldger’s demo at FinovateFall last week.
  • Forbes features Aerospike. See Aerospike’s presentation at FinDEVr San Francisco on 6/7 October.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Banking Suite Provider Urban FT Acquires Wipit” Come see Urban FT at FinovateFall September 16 & 17.

Around the web

  • Niklas Adalberth steps down as Klarna’s deputy CEO.
  • ShopKeep to offer discounts to members of the MasterCard Easy Savings program.
  • Yodlee partners with Salesforce to offer advisers a comprehensive view of their clients’ financial accounts. Come see Yodlee’s presentation at FinDEVr, 6/7 October.
  • Monex to incorporate corporate-actions data from Markit. See Markit at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco.
  • Bank Innovation takes note of the Moven approach to displaying transaction histories.
  • Tech Vibes features Trulioo in a look at Vancouver, British Columbia, as a home for fintech innovation. See Trulioo at FinovateFall 2015 in New York.
  • Investment News looks for the next robo-adviser acquisition in the wake of BlackRock’s deal with FutureAdvisor.
  • Waters Technology highlights Nous, StockViews, AnalytixInsight, and Xignite in a review of how innovators are using market data. See Xignite at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco.
  • Flint enhances Android app to include immediate electronic receipts via SMS.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “SumUp Raises €10 Million in Round Led by BBVA Ventures, Groupon, American Express”

Around the web

  • In its fiscal year 2015, Avoka signs record number of clients and experiences 70% year-on-year bookings growth.
  • Yodlee is accepting applicants for its upcoming Ynext Incubator class.
  • Markit acquires FX trade-processing specialist DealHug. See Markit at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco in October.
  • Emailage opens European data center.
  • After BlackRock’s acquisition of FutureAdvisor, ThinkAdvisor considers the fate of Wealthfront and Betterment.
  • Forbes looks at Mint, MaxMyInterest, Moven, and Venom in a discussion on the connection between mobile, messaging, and financial services.
  • Mainstream features a quote from founder of DoubleNet Pay, CEO Brian Cosgray, on the impact of debt on new retirees.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

BlackRock Acquires Online Investment Adviser, FutureAdvisor

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When the going gets tough in today’s wealth-management business, the tough acquire robo-advisers.

International risk- and investment-management titan BlackRock has agreed to acquire FutureAdvisor, the San Francisco-based online investment adviser founded in May 2010, for an undisclosed sum.

In an email to clients and customers Wednesday morning, FutureAdvisor co-founder and CEO Bo Lu singled out BlackRock’s retirement-planning tools, specifically BlackRock’s CoRI retirement indexes. Lu added that the merger will allow the company to “build out new features at an even faster clip,” and assured clients there would be no change in the relationship between clients and FutureAdvisor.

“Our brand, our culture, and our people will work to serve you and improve your digital experience every day, just as we did before the acquisition,” Lu said.

FutureAdvisor_stage_FF2013

From left: CEO Bo Lu, founder, and Joe Cianciolo, VP of business development, demonstrated FutureAdvisor’s technology at FinovateFall 2013 in New York.

FutureAdvisor provides a few services, such as a basic portfolio review, for free. For investors who want the full suite of services, FutureAdvisor Premium charges a flat 0.5% of funds managed to handle everything from fund selection, based on criteria and goals set by the investor, to periodic portfolio rebalancing. And rather than being a solely automated solution, FutureAdvisor also provides licensed advisers to answer questions and explain concepts, as well as service personnel to help investors navigate the platform.

The merger comes as robo-advisers in general, and FutureAdvisor in specific, have been making headlines. FutureAdvisor reached the $600 million-under-management milestone in June, and took its total capital to more than $20 million in May, courtesy of a $15 million investment led by Canvas Venture Fund’s Rebecca Lynn. Earlier this summer, FutureAdvisor launched its online investment library, and was named a 2015 Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum.

Interestingly, FutureAdvisor came under takeover speculation in July, when an analyst at Seeking Alpha suggested that a merger between FutureAdvisor and market-data aggregator Yodlee (a fellow Finovate alum) was a good idea. Citing the company’s strategy of combining robo-advisory with human specialists, FutureAdvisor’s rapid growth, and the size of the average FutureAdvisor account of more than $150,000: “Can you say farm system?” the analyst wrote, “Are you seeing the fit potential?”

Headquartered in San Francisco, FutureAdvisor last appeared on the Finovate stage at FinovateFall 2013 in New York.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “BlackRock Acquires Online Investment Adviser, FutureAdvisor.
  • “Finovate debuts: WealthForge is a Private Placement Compliance Engine Wrapped in Technology”
  • “Finovate debuts: INETCO Analytics Helps FIs Leverage Transaction Data to Boost Customer Engagement”

Around the web

  • HedgeCoVest adds two models to its platform.
  • Zumigo launches Assure Radius in India to protect consumers and merchants in the credit, debit and mobile payments market.
  • bobsguide ranks the $9-billion acquisition of SunGard by FIS as the #1 fintech M&A deal of 2015.
  • PayPal’s One Touch Instant Checkout platform now available in 13 new markets.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “More than 30 Alums Earn Spots on the Hot Topics 100 Most Influential People in Fintech Roster”
  • “Finovate Debuts: How DRAFT Offers Transparency into Investment Performance”

Around the web

  • Patch of Land to directly secure all existing and future loans with underlying collateral.
  • The College Investor reviews FutureAdvisor.
  • The Denver Post profiles Broomfield-based Avoka Technologies. See Avoka at FinovateFall 2015 in New York City in September.
  • Matchi launches new insurance category.
  • Pymnts interviews Flint Mobile’s CEO Greg Goldfarb on how its solution will adapt to the upcoming liability shift.
  • Larky to power CoastHills Credit Union’s privi, a mobile app that delivers instant member savings and loyalty.
  • Let’s Talk Payments looks at Venmo and its new group-payments feature.
  • Payoneer partners with freelance jobs platform, Nebbish.com.
  • Expensify launches real-time expense reports.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland hosts hackathon in partnership with Open Bank Project.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

 

Five Finovate Alums Named 2015 Technology Pioneers by World Economic Forum

WorldEconomicForum_homepage

According to the World Economic Forum, whatever it takes to be a Technology Pioneer in 2015, a quintet of Finovate alums has got it.

Ayasdi, FutureAdvisor, Ripple Labs, Sedicii Innovations, and TransferWise were named as 2015 Technology Pioneers in the World Economic Forum’s Information Technology category.

AyasdiLogo_FF2014The Technology Pioneers program was launched in 2000 to give recognition to early stage companies developing new technologies that will have a “significant impact on business and society.” Previous winners have included AirBnB, Google, Next, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

futureadvisorlogoThe World Economic Forum chooses approximately 30 companies each year out of a pool of “hundreds” of applicants. The field is winnowed by a selection committee consisting of top technology experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists who review the applications and submit a recommendation to the World Economic Forum. Since the program began, 600 companies from five continents have been represented in the Technology Pioneer program.

RippleLabs_logoCompanies interested in the 2016 program should apply before February 5, 2016. Applicants will be notified by mid-July 2016. More information about the program is available here.

Sedicii_logo_high-resAyasdi made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014 in New York. The company raised $55 million in funding this spring, taking its total to more than $100 million. FutureAdvisor recently unveiled its FutureGift solution, to make it easier for friends and family to make contributions to a child’s college savings plan. The San Francisco-based company demoed its platform at FinovateFall 2013, and has total capital of more than $20 million.

Transferwise_logo_newRipple Labs picked up a $28 million investment and hired former Yahoo exec Brad Garlinghouse as its new chief operating officer in April. Irish startup Sedicii demoed its authentication solution at FinovateEurope 2015, and TransferWise, making its Finovate appearance at FinovateEurope 2013, began 2015 with a $58 million fundraising led by Andreessen Horowitz that boosted the company’s total capital to more than $90 million.