HT Mobile Apps Acquires Hip Pocket

If you try to access Hip Pocket’s website today, you’ll be redirected to this site: htmobileapps.com/products/hippocket/. That’s because mortgage rate comparison site Hip Pocket has officially been acquired by HT Mobile Apps (HTMA).

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Hip Pocket is a six-year-old fintech that aims to help consumers compare mortgage, auto loans, and retirement products on their bank’s website. The solution also gives banks a personalized way to engage their clients.

Founded by Mark Zmarzly in 2013, the company has raised over $250,000 across three rounds of funding. At FinovateSpring 2015, Hip Pocket demoed its mortgage comparison site. Two years later, the company graduated from Point of Light accelerator and that same year the company spun out Hip Money, a savings app that specifically targets millennials.

Kathleen Craig, Founder and CEO of HTMA said, “Hip Pocket is a great complement to our range of products. Each of our products empower customers to grow their knowledge of personal finances while also helping financial institutions provide better digital offerings and develop more meaningful relationships with their customers. We are excited to acquire this innovative technology.”

“Kathleen and I have known each other for years and always looked for ways to help each other’s companies,” said Zmarzly. “As we talked more, it became obvious that we could raise the level of impact for banks and customers by working together.”

The acquiring party, HTMA, is a Michigan-based fintech that offers a suite of solutions for banks and credit unions. The company also offers Plinqit, a savings management app; as well as Banker Jr. and Member Jr., apps that teach financial literacy to young clients.

This deal comes at a time when merger and acquisition activity is booming within fintech. So far this year, Finovate alums have inked 32 M&A deals, including the mega-merger announced today between Kony and Temenos. We laid out why all of this M&A is good for fintech in a blog post published this June.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Trends at FinovateFall: The Big, the Small, and the Surprises
  • DefenseStorm Launches New Fraud Monitoring Solution
  • From Start-up to Scale-up: Token Introduces New CEO Todd Clyde
  • Temenos Buys Kony to Boost its Front Office Technology for Banks

Around the web

  • PayActiv partners with Fiserv to streamline access to earned wages.
  • ABN Amro teams up with open banking solution provider Tink to bring multi-banking functionality to the bank’s Grip app.
  • Avaloq appoints Imad Abou Haidar as its new Head of Asia.
  • BeSmartee launches its new Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) Command Center for loan originators.
  • Marqeta to create 175 new jobs in 2019, growing its workforce beyond 400 people.
  • SparkPost unveils new SparkPost Recipient Validation service, a sender reputation protection service that helps eliminate harmful bounces.
  • Azimo’s Richard Ambrose moves from COO to CEO, replacing Michael Kent.

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

  • Fenergo Helps Santander Enhance Customer Onboarding Experience.

Around the web

  • Juvo partners with Malaysian mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Tune Talk. Join Finovate as we return to the Far East for FinovateAsia in November.
  • Alpha Payments Cloud accentuates its end-to-end middleware technology in rebrand to Alpha Fintech.
  • Klarna completes acquisition of German online payment specialist, BillPay.
  • ID.me adds support for FIDO U2F (Universal Second Factor) Security Keys.
  • DefenseStorm wins 2017 IDC FinTech Rankings Real Results Award for Digital Trust and Stewardship.
  • Alpha FinTech (formerly Alpha Payments Cloud) and Market IQ shortlisted for inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge in October. Join our first foray to the Middle East as Finovate comes to Dubai in December.
  • Hip Pocket founder Mark Zmarzly to help promote innovation and provide mentorship to fintech startups in Australia as part of new Queensland-sponsored initiative.

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

  • Expensfy Brings Auto Expensing to Lyft Business Riders.
  • Ephesoft Earns $15 Million Investment from Mercato Partners.
  • Summit View: What Drives Innovation in Regtech and Insurtech?

Around the web

  • LendingClub expands partnership with Opportunity Fund to help entrepreneurs access capital.
  • Gene Lockhart appointed Chairman of DemystData.
  • BioCatch receives patent for detecting the presence of remote access tools.
  • eToro launches Crypto CopyFund that includes top cryptocurrencies.
  • Segmint partners with IBM to enhance Financial Institutions’ data ACI Worldwide expands in Romania
  • FICO extends cybersecurity score to rate 4th party risks.
  • BrightFunds and Roostify named to Forbes Cloud 100.
  • GreenKey Technologies partners with Red Box Recorders to launch trading voice collaboration and compliance recording solution.
  • American National Bank selects Jack Henry Banking’s SilverLake System.
  • Hip Pocket graduates from Points of Light Civic Accelerator.
  • Financial Resources Federal Credit Union Teams with Roostify to Create Better Online Mortgage Experience.
  • Santander partners with supply chain finance startup Tradeshift.
  • Bancpass issued patent for its mobile payment technology.

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

  • StockTwits Partners with TradeIt to Expand Beyond Robinhood’s Brokerage.

On FinDEVr.com

  • SimplyTapp Launches New Payments and E-Commerce App, Gane.

Around the web

  • TransferTo partners with Wirecard to enable mobile money operators to offer mobile-to-mobile remittance services.
  • Ayondo announces deadline for 2017 social trading championship.
  • Hellenic Bank of Cyprus to deploy new digital banking platform from Backbase. Join Backbase at FinovateEurope in London next month.
  • StockTwits teams up with TradeIt to give community members ability to execute trades with major brokerages via new iOS app.
  • Xignite adds senior sales, business development talent; unveils new offices in New York financial district.
  • Bambu wins Best Early Startup award at Next Money in Hong Kong.
  • Wealthfront revamps Selling Plan to help users sell and diversify their company stock.
  • Arxan Technologies partners with Cisco as to protect connected medical devices.
  • South by Southwest (SXSW) selects Hip Pocket to showcase Hip Money at SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event in March

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.

Hip Pocket Closes $150k Round of Funding

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Mortgage rate comparison site Hip Pocket announced last week it has padded its own hip pockets after closing a recent $150,000 funding round. The convertible note round brings the Nebraska-based company’s total funding to $180,000.

Hip Pocket founder and CEO Mark Zmarzly says the funds will be used to expand into the employer financial wellness market and to further build out Hip Money, Hip Pocket’s latest product. Hip Money is a savings-focused PFM app that leverages Swipe to Save, a Tinder-like UX to encourage users to save for their personalized savings goals by swiping. Hip Money does not have a launch date but is launching “soon” and is taking requests for early access.

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“Hip Pocket engages your mobile and website visitors by using social influence and personalized consultation to drive new, engaged mortgage and retirement leads,” CEO Zmarzly said at the start of the company’s FinovateSpring 2015 demo. Hip Pocket’s white-labeled web app helps banks increase consumer engagement by comparing the borrower’s current mortgage rate not only to that of their peer group, but also to the bank’s own rates. By offering this transparency, banks foster consumer trust and encourage borrowers to increase engagement.

Founded in 2013, Hip Pocket was featured in Inc.’s overview of the Silicon Prairie and was featured as one of three finalists for Techli’s Startup Voodoo competition in the Most Promising Startup category.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Hip Pocket Closes $150k Round of Funding”

Around the web

  • German consumer goods manufacturer selects end-to-end AP automation solution from Top Image Systems.
  • Wipro teams up with Microsoft Accelerator.
  • Evry signs $83 million deal with Handelsbanken.
  • Business Insider features Betterment’s new business offering.
  • DAVO Technologies partners with ABC Financial.

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.

Hip Money Launches Kickstarter Campaign

HipMoney_Kickstarter_May2016

Hip Money launched a Kickstarter campaign to help founder Mark Zmarzly and his team take the next step in the development of their new savings app. The campaign began at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, and Hip Money is throwing a launch party later that afternoon at Fuse Co-Working in Lincoln, Nebraska.  It’s the first fintech app to go the Kickstarter route and is already more than halfway to its $15,000 goal.

“Hip Money is helping to fuel a movement,” Zmarzly wrote in the invitation to the event. The app is designed to help millennials and young professionals save more money easier. With a swipe, Hip Money users can transfer small amounts of money to their savings or to prepay a loan. “Millennials want to live their lives in the present while not feeling like they’re failing when it comes to their financial future,” Zmarzly said.

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Pictured (left to right): Hip Pocket’s Todd Cramer, head of design, and CEO Mark Zmarzly, founder, demonstrated their mortgage comparison software at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose, California.

Hip Money is the latest product from Zmarzly, who demoed his Hip Pocket mortgage comparison software solution last year at FinovateSpring 2015. Emphasizing Hip Money’s potential to help borrowers as well as savers, Zmarzly estimates the app will save the average user more than $100 in interest each year by transferring “extra” cash into loan repayments.

And like modern political campaigns, the Hip Money Kickstarter comes with both movement and manifesto. Referring to his app as part of the “Fingers Up” movement (#FINGERSUP), Zmarzly said, “Our goal was to create a movement of people that forces our country’s banks and financial systems to rethink the way they do business—a movement that would force change with a single app and a million FU fingers.”

That’s a swiping, INDEX finger, by the way.

Hip_Money_FingersUp

Summer is once again a busy time for Zmarzly. His Hip Pocket solution was featured in Inc.’s look at the Silicon Prairie last July, a month after Hip Pocket was named one of three finalists for Startup Voodoo’s Most Promising Startups award. Hip Pocket earned a runner’s up spot at the inaugural FinCon FinTech Startup Competition held in Charlotte, North Carolina last fall.

The Art of Mobile Banking Engagement

Customer engagement word cloudIt’s been fascinating to watch mobile banking take hold. The path has been much the same as online (desktop) banking a decade earlier, but at about double the pace (at least in the parts of the world that are highly banked).

Modern online banking started 21 years ago this month, when Wells Fargo began web banking in May 1995. It took 12 years before Mint came along and made it all look good and introduced the masses to more advanced concepts such as account aggregation, goal-oriented online budgeting, and expense tracking.

Mobile banking, which got its start in the post-iPhone App Store era (2008), took only about five years before it was “Minted” by Simple and then others. And in fewer than eight years mobile banking is already far better than desktop by almost every measure. From touchID access, to location awareness, to that very useful camera for depositing checks, there is just no way desktop online banking can compete.

But we have just barely scratched the surface of its biggest advantage: the always-on, always-with-you benefits. Account and transaction security is one of the first features having huge impact both on consumers (peace of mind, less hassle) and financial institutions (fewer false negatives, lower fraud costs, less customer-service expense).

Another area where huge benefits exist? Proactive communications about finances. Simple, Moven and Capital One’s Level Money are on the forefront with tools that help mobile customers know where they stand BEFORE they drop another $12 for a fancy cocktail or $35 on Uber.

And while monitoring spending in real-time has big theoretical benefits, it’s universally loathed by most consumers as the ultimate buzz-kill, kind of like having your parents hovering over you at point of sale. A more exciting always-on benefit is guidance to achieve bigger aspirations, like replacing your aging vehicle, trading up from your dinky apartment, or buying a house.

Take home buying. Many of our readers have been through this multiple times. But do you remember how little you knew about it back in the day? It’s a daunting task today even forHip_Pocket_Art0 the financially savvy.

That’s why I love tools that help people understand all aspects of the home-buying process: the mortgage, the purchase, and dealing with all of the ancillary expenses. We’ve seen a number of companies working on various aspects of the mortgage process. And next week at FinovateSpring, you’ll be treated to demos by two of the new breed of mortgage startups: Blend Labs which powers mortgage processing on the back-end and Roostify which helps consumers through the process.

And as luck would have it, last week Mark Zmarzly from Hip Pocket visited Seattle to present at a CU event, and was able to spare a few minutes to meet me for coffee. Mark wowed the crowd when he demo’d at FinovateSpring last year. Hip Pocket’s first product is a mobile app that allows anyone to input mortgage rate and monthly payment to see how their company stacks up against its peers (see inset).

The Hip Pocket mortgage app is a compelling value-prop for users, and potentially a great lead-gen tool for banks and credit unions. While Hip Pocket has had some great traction since then, it is still looking for additional seed funding to build more tools and fine-tune its customer-acquisition model. Hip Pocket is in a sweet part of the market—mobile mortgage (MoMo)—and is at a point in their company arc where relatively small dollars can make a big impact. They are a great candidate for “bank strategic seed funding.”

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Finovate Alums Make Tech Tour’s 50 High Growth European Companies”

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • GreenKey unveils pilot version of its “voice quote capture” technology. See GreenKey at FinDEVr New York next week.
  • Boku announces new partnerships that will bring direct carrier billing to Google Play in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
  • InvestGlass and Hip Pocket presented their technologies as part of the Innovation Challenge buy Sony launched by Matchi last week.
  • Patch of Land reaches 3 key milestones in Q1: $100m in origination, over $25m returned to investors, new products introduced.

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.