Celebrate Canada Day with Our Alums from the Great White North


July 1st is Canada Day, the day Canadians from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and all the provinces in between celebrate the day the country we know as “Canada” was officially formed as a single nation within the British Empire.

So if you’ve got room in your schedule for one more Canada Day Celebration, then please join us in spending a little time celebrating with a score of Finovate alums that are driving fintech innovation in and out of “the Great White North.”

And a special Canada Day shout-out to Finovate partner, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, which supports Canadian startups through mentorship and access to U.S. partners and investors.

Ask Finovate: Who’s Who in Voice-banking Technology?

Telephone with piggy bank – call for help

A few days ago, we received a query from a Finovate follower:

“Can you please provide a list of companies that have demoed their voice-banking technology over the last few years?”

Interesting question! We trolled through our archives and here’s what we found.

When it comes to voice banking, ebankIT (FinovateEurope 2015); Interactions (FinovateEurope 2014); and ETRONIKA (FinovateEurope 2014) have all demonstrated innovative voice-banking technologies on the Finovate stage in recent years. It may not be a coincidence that all three companies won Best of Show awards for those demonstrations, as well.


ebankIT Director Joao Lima Pinto and Omnichannel Specialist Paulo Oliviera demonstrated omnichannel social banking at FinovateEurope 2015 in London.

Another company worth mentioning is Finantix. The three-time Finovate veteran demoed its Smart Banking Assistant which responds to commands and queries posed in natural language, and is a part of the company’s Finantix Sharp multichannel platform.

Larger alums also have made inroads into voice banking. This cohort includes Fiserv, whose Voice Response for DNA solution is providing voice-banking services to a growing number of FIs, including credit unions, and ACI Worldwide, specializing in providing voice banking technology to community FIs via its Voice Banking suite within the ACI Self-service Banking platform.


Interactions Marketing Manager Dan Fox demoed conversational solutions for banks and FIs at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose.

A number of Finovate alums have built and deployed voice-banking technologies, while emphasizing on stage only a small component of that technology, such as real-time authentication. These companies include NICE Systems (most recently at FinovateEurope 2015 and a Best of Show winner at FinovateFall 2014) and Q2ebanking (FinovateSpring 2011).

Also, many alums have focused on voice biometrics as an authentication solution without being a full voice-banking-platform provider. These companies include Canada’s VoiceTrust (FinovateEurope 2013); Great Britain’s ValidSoft (FinovateSpring 2013); Best of Show winners AnchorID (FinovateFall 2014) and BehavioSec (most recently at FinDEVr 2014) from New York and Sweden, respectively.


ETRONIKA CEO Kęstutis Gardžiulis and Head of Marketing Asta Sabaite demonstrated BANKTRON at FinovateEurope 2014.

Additionally, a handful of alums have developed technologies that complement voice banking. SayPay Technologies made its Finovate debut in London this year with a voice-driven bill-pay solution. IntelliResponse, which was recently acquired by [24]7 for its customer service chat resources, last deployed its virtual agent technology at Bank of Internet USA, adding the oldest internet bank in America to its roster of more than 450 deployments across more than 150 brands and institutions.

There is an even broader field of companies that leverage voice technologies to help consumers make payments and transfer money, manage their finances, and even direct investments. Some of these companies, e.g., Credit Sesame, are using Siri-like functionality to improve the customer experience, while others such as mBank are combining voice and video to bring customers real-time assistance from live agents as opposed to virtual ones.

Is there a Finovate alum we left out? If you’re an alum with interesting innovations in the field of voice banking, send us an email at research@finovate.com, and tell us all about it.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “CardFlight Unveils EMV-Ready Chip Readers for SwipeSimple”

Around the web

  • Sonavation launches its IDKEY biometric security key that uses 3D Surface Scan Ultrasound technology.
  • CMSWire interviews Michael Laurie, co-founder and VO of product strategy at Silanis Technology.
  • iExpats takes a look at Azimo in a column on the costs of foreign currency transfers.
  • Arxan Technologies Security Solutions architect Matt Clemens talks mobile app security on Federal News Radio.
  • PaymentsSource’s look at “strange mobile security methods” features EyeVerify and Bionym.
  • IntelliResponse wins bronze at 9th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
  • Jack Henry & Associates to be honored at Cedar Falls Business & Industry Association event.
  • Now Digital Network reviews Kashoo in column on ways to streamline small business accounting.
  • Computing U.K. features TransferWise and its use of big data to drive its social media marketing.
  • The CoinFront reports on Klarna’s “experiments” with bitcoin.
  • AMP Credit Technologies wins “Highly Commended Award for Best Initiative in Financial Inclusion” at the 6th Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards in Singapore.
  • TIO Networks now has 1+ million registered members in its direct-to-consumer user base.
  •  Taulia names Cedric Bru as new CEO.

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.

Alumni News– December 19, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMoney Facts looks at how TransferWise helps consumers save on money transfer fees.
  • Huffington Post features Matthew Goldman of Wallaby Financial in a conversation on credit card strategies for travelers.
  • PYMNTS.com interviews LoopPay Chief Technologist George Wallner.
  • A comparison between Stockholm and Silicon Valley in The Independent highlights Klarna.
  • Virtual Agent Chat checks in on post-acquisition IntelliResponse.
  • Cardflight’s SwipeSimple joins MasterCard mPOS providers.
  • News.com.au reports: How Xero went from a scribbled figure on a serviette to a $2 billion company.
  • Crealogix and Meniga create Digital Bank and PFM Solution for BNP’s Consors Bank.
  • peerTransfer named 2014 Winner of BostInno’s 50 on Fire Award.
  • Forbes lists Holvi as 1 of 5 Finnish startups to watch.
  • Programmable Web considers how Open Bank Project’s API brings more openness to banking internationally.
  • Ayondo launches ad campaign on 2 major German TV networks.
  • Business Insider features Betterment, Financial Guard, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, Personal Capital, SigFig, TradeKing, and Wealthfront in a look at the growth of robo-advisors.
  • BrightScope releases its Top 30 401(k) Plans List.
  • Management Today profiles David Harrison, managing partner at True Potential.
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.

Alumni News– November 26, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgSpend Matters features P2Binvestor and its crowdfunding approach to providing credit to small businesses.
  • POTs and PANs looks at biometric authentication innovators, EyeVerify, BehavioSec, and BioCatch.
  • Best Advice explores EZBOB’s strategy to attract SMEs to online lending.
  • Bank of Internet USA to deploy IntelliResponse virtual agent technology.
  • First Annapolis’ The Navigator Newsletter interviews Sebastian Siemiakowski, CEO of Klarna.
  • Fastacash, Heckyl Technologies, Kabbage, Linkable Networks, and Nomis Solutions named to Red Herring Top 100 Global.
  • Investor Intel mentions Patch of Land and Realty Mogul in column on helping baby boomers participate in real estate crowd funding.
  • Azimo to join London mayor Boris Johnson’s trade mission to Malaysia and Singapore.
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.

Alumni News– November 14, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgIntelliResponse acquired by [24]7 for its customer service suite.
  • Another +1 For Host Card Emulation: SimplyTapp Garners $6 Million.
  • Financeit Brings in Fresh Funding After U.S. Launch.
  • Payfone selected as “Best Revenue Creator/Enhancer” for Mobile Network Operators in the 2014 Fierce Innovation: Telecom Edition Awards.
  • InComm & PayPal collaborate to offer digital gift cards.
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.

Alumni News– August 27, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMonitise announces digital commerce and resourcing alliance with IBM.
  • ThinkAdvisor takes a look at the deal between the San Francisco 49ers football team and Wealthfront.
  • The Globe and Mail profiles David Lloyd and IntelliResponse as part of its Innovators at Work contest.
  • Fortune magazine column discusses Ripple and the “Internet of value exchange.”
  • ValueWalk: FutureAdvisor can be used as a free tool to rate your own investment decisions or a low-cost asset management service.
  • Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation visits Bolstr for video interview.
  • Bill.com CEO and co-founder Rene Lacerte writes about the “new sharing economy” for Inc.com.
  • CashStar announces spot in Inc 500|5000 for a second year in a row.
  • EyeVerify opens new offices to accommodate recent growth.
  • Locaid partners with Danal to leverage location services in fight against financial fraud.
  • Wallaby Financial named finalist in Samsung Gear App Challenge 2014.
  • ZDNet: Xero continues march into U.S., launches partner marketplace.
  • The Independent looks at how BehavioSec uses behavioral biometrics.
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– May 23, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgSilicon Republic reports: Disruptive banking service Holvi gets regulatory approval to spread across Europe.
  • Cardlytics named one of the Georgia Fast 40, which honors GA-based companies that sustain growth over a 3 year period.
  • CBS 12 News features Arxan’s security tech.
  • miiCard partners with eMerchantPay to offer merchants a more secure, compliant transaction processing solution.
  • Bank Innovation speculates on potential new features from GoBank.
  • Finovate alums Fenergo and Thomson Reuters win recognition from Inside Reference Data Awards.
  • Virtual Agent Chat takes a look at IntelliResponse’s OFFERS as a form of “just in time marketing.”
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek sources Scott Goldman, CEO of TextPower, on the eBay data breach.
  • Deutsche Startups interviews Numbrs CEO, Julien Arnold.
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.

IntelliResponse Leverages its Virtual Agent Technology to Build a Better Offer


This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateSpring 2014.

Our next presenter is the team from IntelliResponse with a pair of solutions based around its virtual-agent technology: VOICES and OFFERS.

“VOICES is the first and only Voice-of-the-Customer technology designed to help enterprises visualize and derive actionable insight from customer questions posed on digital channels. VOICES captures and automates authentic Voice-of-the-Customer data from client interactions across web, mobile, agent, and social channels and transforms it into a collection of customer insights.
OFFERS turbocharges the online offers approach by increasing the precision and relevance of targeted offers, resulting in increased conversion in orders of magnitude not possible with traditional approaches. When a customer asks a question via our virtual agent, in addition to getting the one right answer, the customer also receives the one right offer.”
Presenting: David Lloyd (CEO & President) and Paul Smith (VP Product & Services)

Product Launch: June 2013 & April 2014
Metrics: 75 employees; 450+ live customer-facing implementations
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B)
HQ: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Founded: 2000
Twitter: @IntelliResponse

Where the Alums Are: A Remembrance of FinovateSpring Past

Thumbnail image for FinovateSpring2014ButtonLogo.jpg

It is hard to believe that it is almost time for FinovateSpring 2014.

There’s still plenty of time for you to get your tickets to our upcoming event in San Jose, California on April 29 and 30. Our final Sneak Peek preview post is up, all the companies who were prepping under the radar are now out of stealth, and we can’t wait for you to see what this year’s spring crop of fintech entrepreneurs and innovators has in store.

Before we do, however, let’s take a moment to take a look back at last year’s FinovateSpring alums. As we scrolled through blog archives, several themes jumped out: the appetite for startups remains as passionate as ever, with three of our Spring 2013 alums being acquired by such financial sector potentates as Intuit and PayPal. And venture capitalists continue to see innovation in this space as a more than worthwhile investment, with 20 separate fundings for Spring 2013 alums

We’ve grouped the achievements into four categories: Exits, Fundings, Awards, and Acquisitions. Enjoy!

  • Jack Henry buys Banno for undisclosed sum
  • The rumors are true: eBay’s PayPal acquires Braintree for $800 million in cash
  • Intuit buys tax planning/preparation specialist GoodApril
  • TaxAct acquires Balance Financial
  • CardFlight secures $1.6 million in seed funding from ff Venture Capital
  • Encap earns seven-figure investment from ProVenture Seed
  • EyeVerify earns $2.3 million in Series A funding
  • Jemstep raises $4.5 million in Series A round
  • Kabbage brings in $270 million in debt financing to provide small businesses with funding of their own
  • Kabbage brings in $75 MIllion in debt financing
  • Leaf raises $20 million from Heartland Payment Systems
  • Alternative lender LendUp raises $14 million in new funding
  • D3 Banking creator Lodo Software Brings in $3 million
  • Narrative Science secures $11.5 million in Series C funding
  • OpenCoin wins investment from Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners
  • P2BInvestor raises $1.2 million in Series A round
  • PayNearMe leverages Family Dollar Partnership; raises $20 million
  • PayNearMe raises $10 million in Series D funding, launches Express Merchant Onboarding Option
  • Prestadero raises 5 million pesos ($400,000 USD) in first round of funding
  • Quantopian raises $6.7 million in Series A round
  • Realty Mogul raises $9 million in round led by Canaan Partners
  • SeedInvest raises $2 million in crowdfunded investment campaign
  • SeedInvest Raises $1 million in round Led by Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network
  • Zooz Closes $2 million Series A round Led by XSeed Capital
  • OpenCoin acquires SimpleHoney
  • Kofax acquires data integration software provider Kapow Technologies
  • NICE to acquire Causata to enhance customer experience management