Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Xero announces API integration partnerships with OCBC and NETS.
  • Exate Technology named “One to Watch” for data privacy technology at the Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence 2018.
  • Yoyo Wallet inks deal with coffee chain, easyCoffee.
  • Experian launches a pair of new advanced Open Banking services: Affordability Check and Tennant Vetting Service.
  • New biometric capabilities powered by iProov enable secure enrollment onto U.K. Home Office services via smartphone app.

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 Global: Fintech News from Around the World

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and South Asia

  • Visa takes minority stake in Indian payment gateway BillDesk.
  • Swift India partners with MonetaGo to pilot blockchain-based banking.
  • India FinTech Forum (IFF) announced the 20 companies recognized at its India FinTech Awards (IFTA), including Finovate alums Hydrogen, iProov, Ocrolus, and James Finance.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Elevar Equity leads $5.25 million investment round for Uruguayan fintech, Bankingly.
  • Banco Original, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based FI, to deploy FICO Origination Manager and FICO Application Fraud Manager.
  • First Data launches Clover Mini and Clover Flex in Argentina.


  • Finastra gives Singapore banks top marks in its inaugural Open Banking Readiness Index.
  • FinLab accelerator introduces its smart business transformation program for Thailand small businesses.
  • SmartPesa brings its softPOS contactless card acceptance via NFC phone running Android – to Singapore and South East Asia.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African financial services company, Discovery, to launch “behavioral bank.”
  • Nigeria’s central bank proposes fintech licensing regime to help manage cyber risk, capital adequacy, and operational oversight issues.
  • A “hands-off” attitude toward regulation is credited for helping boost Uganda’s emergent fintech sector.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Poland’s Braintri merges with iCompass.
  • The Polish Financial Supervision Authority names the Heart as one of operators for its regulatory sandbox for companies developing fintech solutions.
  • Ingenico Group teams up with Russia’s Sberbank to enable MOIR card payments for online purchases.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Study from Mena Research Partners calls for major gains in fintech funding in the MENA region over the next ten years.
  • Egypt Innovate features ten Egyptian startups “following the world’s fintech trend.”
  • The Tehran Times looks at the “challenges and opportunities” of fintech innovation in Iran.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News


  • Finablr Takes Majority Stake in Digital Gifting Innovator Swych.
  • Simple Appoints Former Amazon Exec as CEO.

Around the web

  • Analyst Ian McKenna highlights six Finovate alums – Access Softek, Bucket Technologies, Systelos, BlueRush, Tinkoff, and Golden – in his roundup of “fintech innovators making waves.”
  • Marketing Technology Insights interviews CallVU CEO Ori Faran.
  • Hydrogen, iProov, Ocrolus, and James Finance are among 20 startups competing for top honors at the India FinTech Awards 2018.
  • The Constant Investor’s Crypto Watch interviews Identitii CEO Nick Armstrong on the role of blockchain technology in fighting cybercrime.
  • Tinkoff Mobile extends service to seven additional areas of Russia including Smolensk and the Republic of Mordovia.
  • Kofax pays $400 million in cash to buy Nuance’s imaging division.
  • Walmart’s in-store Direct2Cash service gives PayActiv users instant cash access to earned wages.
  • Kony enhances Kony AppPlatform to support progressive web apps.
  • CEO Review magazine features AdviceRobo CEO Diederick Van Thiel.
  • BehavioSec launches new features for version 5 of its behavioral biometrics platform.

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


  • iProov Wins Contract with U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • iSignthis Unveils B2B Transactional Banking Service, Partnership with Gobbill.
  • LendStreet Raises Additional $117 Million for Debt Restructuring.
  • DarcMatter Partners with Crypto Fund #Hashed.

Around the web

  • Trulioo’s AML/KYC identity verification now covers Romania.
  • MicroStrategy wins 2018 NetworkWorld Asia Information Management Award.
  • Token completes PISP open banking transaction.
  • Actiance and Smarsh update executive leadership team in wake of merger.
  • Investor Junkie takes 401(k) roboadvisor Blooom for a test drive.

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.

iProov Wins Contract with U.S. Department of Homeland Security

iProov received accolades for its identity authentication tools after being voted an audience favorite and winning Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2018. Now, the U.K.-based company is boasting social proof from another audience– the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

iProov recently won a bid with the government agency to support border security for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This makes iProov the first overseas company to win a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

The government will leverage the company’s Flashmark technology, which allows users to take a photo of themselves using their smartphone to verify their identity at border crossings. CBP will cross-check the live photo against travelers’ pre-registered information complete the authentication without human intervention. The process is not only more secure, it is also much faster for the traveler to self-authenticate than to wait in line for a border patrol agent.

In the press release, iProov stated that the reason it was selected by CBP is because of its ability to detect spoofs, recognizing when users attempt to trick the technology using a fake photo, screenshot, or doctored video. Andrew Bud, chief executive of iProov, said that this capability is due to advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence. In a press release, Bud said, “We’re now seeing more and more cases of governments and banks turning to self-service, spoof-resilient face verification as the biometric of choice to both increase security and ensure ease of use.”

Founded in 2011, iProov demoed at FinovateEurope earlier this year, showcasing its ID-Matcher, a technology that uses selfie face verification to authenticate users against their photo ID. In addition to winning Best of Show for their demo, the company has received multiple other accolades, including winning the 2017 National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Dragon’s Den competition at CYBERUK 2017, receiving numerous grants from Innovate U.K., and being named member of the SINET16.

FinovateEurope 2018 Best of Show Winners Announced

If there is one theme that unites all of our FinovateEurope Best of Show winners this year, that theme may be summed up in one word: data. As Finovate senior research analyst Julie Muhn pointed out during a recent conversation, the ability to leverage data to create more meaningful, more personalized, more secure experiences for consumers of financial services underlies much of the innovation that we see not just on the Finovate stage, but across fintech writ large, as well.

In this way, financial technology is turning the old adage – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – on its head. The connections between us and the things we do, the places we go, the transactions we make, are in many ways the Holy Grail for companies that are constantly seeking out better ways to serve us. And for those companies that do win our trust and gain access to what we know and do, the rewards could not be greater.

With this in mind, we present to you a small sample of those companies that may be best positioned to take advantage of this Golden Age of Data: the Best of Show winners of FinovateEurope 2018.

Backbase for its Customer OS, the next generation of the Backbase Digital Banking Platform, which is laser-focused on providing customer-first journeys. Video.


Be-IQ for its holistic and gamified approach to risk profiling and financial well-being that accounts for the very contradictions that make us human: our behaviors. Video.


CREALOGIX for its customer banking platform, Gravity, which is breaking new ground with its intuitive and user-friendly, self-service insights application. Video.


iProov for its liveness-protected, facial biometric authentication technology which is fully-automated for fast, easy and ultra-secure mobile and PC on-boarding. Video.



Meniga for its digital banking solution that helps banks around the world use data to personalize digital channels and drive customer engagement. Video.


Microblink for BlinkReceipt, its SDK for real-time extraction of all purchase data from retail receipts and OCR technology which eliminates typing from mobile apps. Video.



W.UP for its digital banking sales and engagement solution that uses pre-built customer insights to build relevant, personalized, and timely interactions with clients. Video.


Please join us in thanking our sponsors and partners who help us make FinovateEurope a huge success year in and year out. And be sure to stay tuned for coverage of our new extended format on Thursday and Friday as we take deep dives into some of the most pressing issues and fascinating trends in fintech today. For more information about the keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside chats coming up on Days Three and Four, our full agenda is available on our FinovateEurope 2018 page.

Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The seven companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 through 2018 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016
FinovateFall 2016
FinovateAsia 2016
FinovateEurope 2017
FinovateSpring 2017
FinovateFall 2017
FinovateAsia 2017
FinovateMiddleEast 2018

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: iProov 

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 6 through 9 of March 2018 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

iProov uses the faces of your mobile and online customers to verify them for KYC, onboarding and PSD2 authentication. Its uniquely effective anti-spoofing technology is the strong, usable solution chosen by banks and governments.


  • Fully automated for fast, reliable results, even with ID document photos
  • Customer-proven great usability and security
  • The best anti-spoofing system in the world

Why it’s great
iProov’s user experience is so simple and easy it delivers superior customer conversion on any device, yet its unique technology satisfies even the most demanding security team.


Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO
Bud founded iProov in 2011. From 2000-2010 he founded and led mBlox, the world’s largest provider of enterprise text messaging services and mobile payments.

Matthew Pearch, Commercial Director

Finovate Alums Prepare for Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge Finals

For the the next month or so, we’re calling a bunch of Finovate alums the “Awesome Eight”. Citi revealed the finalists for its Tech for Integrity Challenge (T41) Demo Days competition last week. And out of the more than 1,000 entries, eight of the 103 finalists are alumni of Finovate and/or FinDEVr conferences.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech for Integrity Challenge earlier this year, Citi global head of the public sector group in charge of corporate and investment banking, Julie Mocaco said, “By supporting open innovation and providing innovators with the tools they need to develop ideas, we hope to help solve some of the biggest challenges that the public sector faces.”

The Challenge encourages technology companies to develop solutions that “promote integrity, accountability, and transparency in the public sector.” Competition organizers crowd-sourced a set of “pain points” ranging from financial transactions and information security to analytics and financial crime to provide contest participants with potential “solution areas” in which to innovate. The 103 finalists are presenting their pilot-ready technologies at live demonstration events in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dublin, Ireland; Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Singapore; and Hyderabad, India from mid-May through mid-June.

Here’s a look at the eight alums. Click on the company logo to visit their website.



DigiByte Holdings

  • Headquartered in Santa Monica, California
  • Founded in 2015
  • Raised $250,000 in funding
  • Jared Tate is President
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2016; Presented at FinDEVr 2016 New York



  • Headquartered in Sydney, Australia
  • Founded in 2014
  • Nick Armstrong is CEO and co-founder
  • Demoed at FinovateFall 2016






  • Headquartered in London, UK
  • Founded in 2011
  • Andrew Bud is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateEurope 2017




  • Headquartered in Cupertino, California
  • Founded in 2012
  • Raised $20 million in funding
  • Subrah Iyar is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2017




Neener Analytics

  • Headquartered in San Jose, California
  • Founded in 2014
  • Jeff LoCastro is CEO and co-founder
  • Demoed at FinovateSpring 2017; Won Best of Show




  • Headquartered in Ranana, Israel
  • Founded in 1986
  • Publicly traded with market capitalization of $4.4 billion
  • Barak Eilam is CEO
  • Demoed at FinovateEurope 2015



  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Founded in 2016
  • Investors include Base Ventures, Mission and Market, NewGen Capital, Y Combinator
  • MacLane Wilkison is CEO
  • Presented at FinDEVr 2017 New York
  • Selected to present at FinDEVr 2017 London





  • Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Founded in 2011
  • Raised $23.3 million in funding
  • Stephen Ufford is CEO and founder
  • Demoed at FinovateFall 2016; Presented at FinDEVr 2014 Silicon Valley

See the full list.

Winners of the Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge will be announced in June. One or more finalist will receive a cash award as the Global T4I award recipient(s). The Demo Days events will also feature Audience, Peer’s Choice, Citi and Ally awards, as well. Partnering with Citi as strategic allies are companies including IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Let’s Talk Payments, pwc, Clifford Chance, and Mastercard.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: iProov

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.53.14 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.27.53 PMA look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 7 and 8 of February 2017 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

iProov’s secure online authentication is multi-device and effortless. Patented Flashmark technology protects its network-based face verification against replica and replay attacks and compromised devices.


  • Device-independent: use any device, even insecure or compromised
  • Effortless: its unique experience is reassuring yet undemanding
  • Highly secure: sustainable Flashmark protection from advanced attacks

Why it’s great
For access authentication and remote onboarding, only iProov delivers the convenience of a device-independent biometric and the sustainable security financial institutions and governments need.

PresentersScreen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.58.59 PM

Andrew Bud, Founder & CEO
Founder, CEO & chairman of global SMS/payments business mBlox, Bud founded iProov to innovatively meet the unanswered business need for simple, secure online user authentication.

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.59.09 PMMatthew Pearch, Commercial Director
An experienced sales and marketing leader, with previous senior positions at mBlox, IOVOX, and Nice Systems, Pearch now leads iProov’s commercial and partnership activities worldwide.

Finovate Alumni News


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


  • 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.