Interactions Garners $56 Million in its Largest Funding Round Yet

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 7.54.51 AM

This blog may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.

Virtual customer-assistance company Interactions—the technology behind automated customer-service solutions for companies such as Hyatt, LifeLock, and Asurion—pulled in $56 million today. This is the company’s largest round since launching in 2004. It brings the company’s total funding to $167 million.

The funding comes from Comcast Ventures, NewSpring Capital, and Revolution Growth. Previous investors include Sigma Partners and Softbank Capital. Interactions CEO Mike Iacobucci said he plans to use the funding to meet the “widespread, growing demand” for its speech and natural language offerings and to boost sales and marketing efforts.

The Massachusetts-based company leverages AI and voice-recognition technology to help big brands offer a more friendly, automated customer experience. At FinovateSpring 2014, Interactions launched conversational solutions for banks that enable customers to access account information, change account details, and ask complex questions about their account in real time.

Interactions processes just shy of one billion customer transactions on an annual basis for large brands in seven industries. From 2014 to 2015, the company doubled its annual revenue; it expects to grow sales by 50% in 2016.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Interactions Garners $56 Million in its Largest Funding Round Yet
  • Automobile Title Lending Platform Finova Financial Raises $52.5 Million
  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.

Around the web

  • Kontomatik’s Konstantin Rabin shares his thoughts on successful lending in The Paypers.
  • Forbes features Jon Stein, Betterment CEO and cofounder.
  • San Diego Business Journal names eMoney Advisor one of the “Best Places to Work in San Diego.”
  • Envestnet | Yodlee launches Transaction Data Enrichment to offer transparency into transactions.
  • TradeRiver Finance reaches milestone of lending GBP100 million to U.K. businesses.
  • Portland Business Journal takes a look inside Simple’s new office.

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.

Interactions Names New CFO

Interactionshomepage

InteractionsCFOVirtual assistance and customer-care company Interactions recently appointed Jason Bristow as new CFO.

Bristow (pictured) comes to Interactions having served as VP of finance and treasurer at Amazon for 10 years, helping to grow the company’s revenues from $5 billion in 2003 to $89 billion in 2014. He most recently served as CFO of Code42 Software, a SaaS data-security provider.

Interactions CEO Mike Iacobucci says, “Jason will play a vital role in sustaining our record growth and will help guide our strategy for continued innovation in speech and natural language technologies that are fundamentally changing the customer care market.”

Interactions is a two-time Best of Show winner, having taken home awards at both FinovateFall 2013 and FinovateSpring 2014 where the company debuted conversational solutions which offer callers access to balance, transaction history, and account information. In April, Interactions teamed up with Arise Virtual Solutions as a distribution partner.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Interactions Names New CFO”
  • “Fidor Bank Opens its Doors in Dubai; Ge Drossaert Tapped as Managing Director”

On FinDEVr

  • “BlockCypher to Developers: Your Ethereum Toolkit is Ready

Around the web

  • CU Times’ white paper features IDology.
  • Crowdfund Insider interviews Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana.
  • Bank of Newington and Cleveland State Bank deploy Core Director platform from Jack Henry.
  • Narrative Science partners with client reporting and communications software company, Vermilion Software.
  • Pirean opens local support centre for the Australia and New Zealand markets.
  • Insuritas to power insurance agency for Community Resource Credit Union.
  • VoicePIN opens U.S. office.

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

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Cachet Financial Solutions to Power Mobile Account Opening for PAYTOO”
  • “First Data’s Clover Launches Ecommerce Solution”

On FinDEVr.com

  • Beyond the Bitcoin BlockChain: Coinalytics is Now Skry”

Around the web

  • Interactions partners with Arise Virtual Solutions to bring virtual assistant technology to customer care.
  • Aerospike releases version 3.8 of its database server.
  • TransferWise opens its remittance service to the U.S./Mexico regions.
  • Wealth Professional features Betterment and Wealthfront in a column on roboadvisers.
  • ThreatMetrix Updates Smart Analytics Platform.
  • “SITO Mobile Partners with Cardlytics to Power Mobile Ad Campaigns with Purchase Intelligence”
  • Bitbond joins SME Finance Forum.
  • Insuritas to power insurance agency solution for Inspire Federal Credit Union.

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

  • “IDology Announces “Significant,” Strategic Equity Investment in Payfone
  • “Worldpay Goes Public; Shares Rally on Trading Debut”

Around the web

  • Fastacash announces strategic investment in Myanmar-focused, MyPAY.
  • American Banker interviews CEO Manolo Sanchez, BBVA Compass.
  • Persistent Systems announces technology partnership with Municipal Corporation.
  • Independent.IE features CurrencyFair, Expensify, and PayPal in a review of 20 PFM apps.
  • Fox Business interviews Blooom President Greg Smith on the future of 401(k) plans.
  • Silicon Review lists SnoopWall as 1 of 20 fastest growing security companies.
  • The Hindu features Cloud Lending Solutions’ co-founder Snehal Fulzele.
  • Interactions wins bronze Stevie Award in the Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year category. This is its fourth consecutive Stevie Award.
  • Slush.org interviews Kristo Kaarmann, TransferWise co-founder.
  • The Culture Trip highlights Kantox in its review of successful Barcelona startups.

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.

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_FEU2015_stage

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_FS2014_stage

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_FEU15_stage

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

  • “Oink Launches New App with Peer to Peer Functionality”

Around the web

  • Peter Day’s World of Business talks about machine learning technology with Jay Wilpon and Michael Johnston of Interactions.
  • Forbes.com column on innovations in lending features On Deck, Lending Club, Cloud Lending Solutions, and Vouch.
  • As Lighter Capital ramps up to closing six deals per month and nears its 100th investment, Jeff Seely is named chairman.
  • Lending Club leads investment in Propel(x), an online investment platform.
  • BBVA Compass launches online financial advice portals, MoneyFit and Great Ideas for Small Business.
  • As Lighter Capital ramps up to closing six deals per month and nears its 100th investment, it names Jeff Seely Chairman.
  • Lending Club leads investment in Propel(x), an online investment platform.
  • American Banker: “Temenos Is Ready to Make Waves in U.S. Core Processing”
  • CNBC discusses the future of fintech with Bill Harris, Personal Capital CEO.
  • Braintree partners with Pinterest to launch Buyable Pins.
  • Bluefin releases Version 2.0 of its proprietary P2PE manager.
  • Inc.: “Lending Club Jumps as Online Lending Continues to Grow”
  • Let’s Talk Payments names many alums in list of 50 fintech startups to watch out for.
  • British Bank Association undertakes a campaign to recommend that U.K. businesses deploy solutions such as TIS’ eFLOW INVOICE.

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

  • Britain’s Second Largest Mobile Wallet, Yoyo, Pulls $10 Million in Funding
  • Mint Bills Brings Mobile Billpay to One Million Customers of Quester Gas
  • Global Debt Registry Teams Up with TransUnion to Better Serve Debt Industry

Around the web

  • Bento for Business founder and CEO weighs in on the future of tech accelerators. See Bento for Business at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose next month.
  • Global Market Solutions joins the Misys InFusion Partner program.
  • TechCrunch column on fintech regulation features Lending Club, Motif Investing, Betterment, OnDeck, Wealthfront, Prosper, and WealthForge. Join WealthForge in San Jose for FinovateSpring 2015.
  • OnDeck partners with Angie’s List to offer financing to its service providers.
  • Paybefore selects InComm as a 2015 Paybefore Awards Europe winner in the Change Agent of the Year category.
  • Banking Exchange: Kabbage hopes to harvest more bank partnerships.
  • Check Point Software and FireEye partner to share threat intelligence to protect customers from modern advanced attacks.
  • Bank Innovation’s look at Voice Assisted Banking features Interactions.

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.

Interactions Raises More than $9 Million in New Funding

Interactions_homepage_800px

The rumors are true: Interactions has raised $9.5 million in new funding.

We reached out to Interactions for confirmation, and they were generous enough to reply with a quote from Interactions CEO Mike Iacobucci:

“This new round of funding further supports our momentum in the market and represents an investment in Interactions’ expansion strategy following the recent acquisition of the AT&T Watson research and technology program.”

“We’re happy to have the continued support of our investors, who share Interactions’ vision of a highly accurate, multimodel interface for any application, device, or service.”

The new investment takes Interactions’ total capital to more than $100 million. Participants in this latest venture round were not disclosed. But previous investors in the company have included Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, North Hill Ventures, and Sigma Partners, all of which participated in funding rounds for the company in 2011 and 2013.

Interactions_DFox_FS2014_stage

Above: Dan Fox, marketing manager for Interactions, demoed at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose.

Interactions’ technology is used by several Fortune 100 companies looking to leverage natural language understanding technology to make customer interactions both more efficient and more engaging. For banks and financial institutions, this includes providing a wide range of services—replacing lost or stolen cards, transferring money between balances, locating nearby ATMs—without the intervention of a live human agent. Interactions’ platform provides conversational solutions for customers in spoken language (including Spanish), as well as being able to respond by text, and email.

Recent headlines for Interactions include the company’s performance at the 19th MITX Awards this month, earning finalist honors in both the “Best Work Productivity Technology” and “Best Consumer Tech that Makes Life Easier” categories. The company’s virtual assistance technology was also recognized by TMC as a CUSTOMER Contact Center Technology Award winner for 2014.

The company’s acquisition of AT&T’s Watson speech-recognition and natural language understanding platform in December was a major coup that, according to Iacobucci, “will enable the development of highly intuitive interfaces for virtually any device or service and deliver on our vision for the ‘Interface of Things.'”

Interactions was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts. A multiple Finovate alum, and two-time Best of Show winner, the company last demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose.

Alumni News– December 16, 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.jpgTop Image Systems announces closing “six-figure eFLOW5 deal” with leading Asia-Pacific bank.
  • ACCESSbank to deploy turnkey insurance agency courtesy of Insuritas.
  • Klarna payment solution now integrated into ekmPowershop.
  • D3 Banking partners with ProfitStars to offer iPay Consumer Bill Pay.
  • Pymnts interviews Jingit, Spreedly, and TSYS CEOs on what they think will make or break 2015.
  • Pymnts: PayPal Loan Program to Compete with Lending Club.
  • ShopKeep gives free NFC reader to new customers wanting to accept ApplePay.
  • Finovate Debuts: EyeLock’s Myris Device Authenticates Using Iris Identification.
  • Arroweye Solutions to Provide Debit and Prepaid Card Production to DMS Bank & Trust Ltd. 
  • ZenPayroll now lets companies match employees’ charitable donations.
  • Arxan Integrates With IBM Security AppScan and Trusteer Products.
  • Mint launches bill pay and management platform.
  • Entersekt Receives Honorable Mention in 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for User Authentication.
  • Interactions closes strategic deal to acquire AT&T Watson speech recognition and natural language understanding platform.
  • Consumer Reports features AnchorID, Betterment, Blooom, EverSafe, FutureAdvisor, iQuantifi, MaxMyInterest, and Wealthfront in its column, “Bright Ideas for a Prosperous 2015.”
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– October 15, 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 Finovate-F-Logo.jpgPYMNTS: Karen Webster interviews Spreedly CEO Justin Benson.
  • Finovate alums dominate alternative lending section of Bplans’ “35 Great Ways to Fund a Small Business.”
  • Check out our latest CEO Interview: Mike Iacobucci of Interactions.
  • Betterment launches Betterment Institutional to bring its technology to registered investment advisors.
  • G2 Crowd Gridscape at Dreamforce ’14 shows eSignLive by Silanis earning highest customer satisfaction rating.
  • Kony receives Global Information Security Certifications for Enterprise Mobility Solutions.
  • Iceland’s Snorrason acquires Handpoint merchant portfolio.
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.