itBit Debuts its Global Bitcoin Exchange


This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateSpring 2015.

Kicking off Day Two at FinovateSpring 2015 is itBit debuting its bitcoin trading platform:

itBit offers an institutional-grade exchange that is available to traders around the world. Our innovative platform, created for retail and institutional clients, adheres to the strictest levels of regulatory compliance. The exchange supports both REST API and the Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocols to serve sophisticated traders.

Presenters: Bobby Cho, director, institutional client group, and Dara Orlando, senior director of marketing



Product Launch: November 2013

Metrics: 32 employees; thousands of customers around the world use the exchange, from large financial institutions to major bitcoin merchant processors to individual enthusiasts; to date, the company has raised more than $30+ million in funding.

HQ: New York City, New York
Founded: 2012
Twitter: @itbit

Finovate Alumni News


Around the web

  • Forbes column on a “$30 trillion customer service experience” features insights from Motif Investing CEO Hardeep Walia.
  • Wells Fargo funding authorizes ApproveIt Web Server from Silanis Technology as part of their approved e-signature solutions program.
  • Sun Sentinel article highlights Toshl Finance in a discussion on the eight things you should know before going to college.
  • Column on RIAs and the active ETF market quotes AlphaClone CEO Mazin Jadallah.
  • Bright Funds establishes six disaster-response funds to support Nepal disaster relief.
  • The Economist features Lending Club, Prosper, Zopa, and Kreditech in its look at P2P lending and “financial democracy.”
  • Axis Bank launches Ping Pay, a multisocial payment app, in partnership with Fastcash.
  • considers what itBit’s New York banking license and $25M funding means for the broader bitcoin community. See itBit at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose this week.
  • ACI Worldwide signs Letter of Commitment to support U.K. Faster Payments Scheme’s New Access Model.

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.

itBit Raises $25 Million, Earns New York State Trust Charter Ahead of Finovate Debut


Days away from its debut at FinovateSpring in San Jose, itBit has earned an investment of $25 million from new and existing investors. Participating in the round were Liberty City Venture, RRE Ventures, and individual investor, Jay W. Jordan II, as well as James Pallotta, chairman of Raptor Capital Management.

The round takes itBit’s total funding to more than $30 million. The company said in a statement that the capital will be used for both increasing investment in future products and services, as well as hiring talent in a wide variety of areas from engineering and operations to marketing and customer service.

The investment comes as itBit announces that it has won approval as a New York State trust company. This makes itBit the only federal and New York state compliant, U.S.-chartered and managed bitcoin exchange.

Charles Cascarilla, itBit co-founder and CEO, explained that the approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) will allow itBit to “serve as a custodian for our clients’ assets” and take advantage of the large pool of bitcoin traders in the U.S. Accounts will be dollar-denominated and FDIC-insured.

“Our mission at itBit has always been to create a trusted, institutional-grade exchange. Regulatory compliance is an important pillar of that mission,” Cascarilla said.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, itBit provides a platform for both institutional and retail traders and investors to buy and sell bitcoin. The company recently announced major additions to its board of directors: former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, and former FASB Chair Robert H.Herz.

Join itBit in San Jose for FinovateSpring 2015 next week. Seats are going quickly as we head for another record-breaking attendance at our annual spring event. Visit our registration page and save your spot today.

Finovate Alumni News


  • itBit Raises $25 Million, Earns New York State Trust Charter Ahead of Finovate Debut Next Week in San Jose

Around the web

  • The Fiscal Times features Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, and Motif Investing in a column on the rise of the robo-adviser.
  • FierceFinanceIT highlights Lending Club and Prosper in its look at growing investment in P2P lenders by Wall Street.
  • Version 3.5 of Wallaby Financial’s new Android app provides ambient alerts to help consumers save on gasoline.
  • MiiCard CEO James Varga quoted in a column on Edinburgh’s tech pioneers.
  • CAN Capital reaches milestone of $5 billion in working capital facilitated through its platform.
  • Report on fintech in The Economist references Lending Club among key disruptors.
  • Nokia partners with Checkpoint for telco cloud security.
  • MyECheck completes acquisition and integration of Seergate.
  • Yodlee adds LearnVest acquirer, Northwestern Mutual, as client.
  • Javelin Strategy & Research lists 4 trends to watch at Finovate next week. Come see them unfold live at FinovateSpring 12/13 May.

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


Around the web

  • D3 Banking unveils its new mobile app.
  • American Banker takes a look at itBit and its plan to become a trust company in New York State. See itBit at FinovateSpring 2015.
  •’s roundup of the “Mobile Wallet Wars” features LoopPay.
  • Everett Blog previews version 3.0 of Encap’s smart authentication solution.
  • interviews Sarah Brylewski, managing director at Ayondo.
  • BioCatch and Mistral Mobile win spots on Red Herring 2015 Top 100 Europe. See Mistral Mobile at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose.
  • TradeHero releases version 3.1.0 of its Android app.
  • DRAFT featured at LaunchingNext. See DRAFT’s Finovate debut at FinovateSpring in San Jose next month.
  • NICE Systems partners with Capgemini to deliver a new Robotics Automation Hub.
  • Washington Business Journal interviews Blake Hall, CEO of
  • peerTransfer to provide its international tuition payments service at another 56 educational institutions.
  • TechCrunch’s guest column on “industry convergence” in financial services highlights Telenor Banka.

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.

FinovateSpring 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 6


FinovateSpring 2015 is right around the corner. And with news this morning that attendance has already topped 1,000, now is a great time to register and save your spot at our annual spring event on May 12 and 13.

A total of 72 companies will be on stage at the City National Civic in San Jose, California, to demonstrate the latest in financial technology live in front of our audience of industry professionals, venture capitalists, bankers, media, and more. And along with more than 500 minutes of live demos, we make sure you’ve got plenty of time to meet, greet, and network with presenters, sponsors, and fellow attendees alike.

Today in our Sneak Peek Preview series, we’re featuring another seven companies to help you get to know a little more about the companies that will be presenting next month at FinovateSpring 2015.

Check out the previous installments of our Sneak Peek series below. And stayed tuned for more introductions to our FinovateSpring 2015 presenters next week.

FS15_CreditSesame_logo_reducedCredit Sesame helps millions of consumers access, monitor, and manage their credit, improve their finances and protect their credit and identity for free.


  • Mobile integration combined with the power of voice control and TouchID
  • Manage, monitor, and protect your credit and identity anytime, anywhere
  • White label / turn-key solution

Why it’s great
Credit Sesame makes it easier than ever for mobile users to access, monitor, and manage their credit, improve their finances, and protect their identity on the go.


CreditSesame_ANazari_cropAdrian Nazari, CEO
Nazari is a serial entrepreneur, an acknowledged industry expert, and founder of Credit Sesame Inc.



CreditSesame_JLevey_cropJesse Levey, Head of Product
Levey is a product innovator and growth expert with more than 12 years experience in technology and financial services.




Hip Pocket engages your mobile and website visitors by using social influence and personalized consultation to generate new, qualified mortgage leads.


  • Unique peer-group comparisons
  • Real-time integration and personalization savings estimates
  • Results and call-to-action are customized to each user’s situation

Why it’s great
Hip Pocket allows your institution to provide an engaging, intuitive user experience that marries the emotional and logical decision-making processes.


HipPocket_MZmarzly_cropMark Zmarzly, CEO, Founder
Zmarzly is a passionate innovator and thought leader in the financial industry. He has delivered multiple TEDx talks and presented for the ABA, BAI, and JD Power & Associates.


HipPocket_TCramer_cropTodd Cramer, Head of Digital Experience & Design
Cramer is a MBA with more than five years of experience in branding, user experience and eCommerce for a $5B bank enterprise.


FS15_itBit_logoitBit is a global bitcoin exchange offering institutional and retail investors a powerful platform to buy and sell bitcoin.


  • Trusted, institutional-grade exchange
  • Available around the clock
  • Offers the best security, privacy, and asset protection

Why it’s great
itBit is the most trusted and secure platform for trading bitcoin.


itBit_CCascarilla_cropCharles Cascarilla, CEO, Co-founder
As a bitcoin early adopter with more than 15 years’ experience in financial services, Cascarilla has a unique perspective and interest in integrating bitcoin with traditional systems.


itBit_BCho_cropBobby Cho, Director of Institutional Client Group (ICG)
As the head of itBit’s ICG team, Cho provides tailored client relationships trading services to itBit’s global network of institutional clients.


FS15_Kofax_logoAnyone can hit a baseball thrown straight down the middle, but Kofax’s robust mobile new account opening platform can accommodate curveballs, screwballs, and the off-speed pitches in life.


  • Mobile capture of IDs and supporting documents
  • Intelligent decisioning allows complex exception and compliance management
  • Seamless multichannel customer experience

Why it’s great
Paramount to mobile onboarding is giving customers the right product at the right time with the right risk-assessment profile in a completely automated fashion.


Kofax_DHyatt_cropDrew Hyatt, Senior Vice President, Mobile Applications
Hyatt is a leading domain expert in mobile image-capture and is responsible for Kofax’s mobile product roadmaps, go-to-market strategies, and product positioning.



Kofax_DMorgan_cropDiane Morgan, Senior Business Development Manager
As Senior Mobile Business Development Manager at Kofax, Morgan partners with financial institutions to identify, develop, and execute their mobile capture and imaging strategies.


FS15_Mitek_logoMitek, the leading innovator of mobile imaging for financial transactions and identification, will demonstrate how to optimize mobile for secure customer acquisition.


  • Increase mobile form completion by 30-50%
  • Double number of accounts booked via mobile
  • Meet KYC requirements and complete ID check in mobile channel

Why it’s great
Mobile account opening starts are dramatically increasing while desktop is declining. Mitek’s next innovations will do for account opening what it did for check deposits.


Mitek_MNelson_cropMichael Nelson, Vice President for Business Development
Nelson leads the business-development team focused on expanding mobile-imaging usage within banking and beyond.



Mitek_SClark_cropSarah Clark, Vice President Product Owner
Clark directs product strategy and the roadmap for our mobile-imaging platform and suite of products including mobile deposit, our market leading MiSnap SDK and Mobile Identity product line.


FS15_NAMU_logoWith the growing importance of the user experience and customer intelligence in digital channels, NAMU Systems sets a new standard in mobile banking.


  • Highly visual user experience—connecting money with memories
  • Targeted advertising based on social spending patterns
  • Google-like search in banking

Why it’s great
NAMU helps your customer to have joyful banking experiences with relevant connection to memories and a beautiful user interface backed by NAMU’s patent-pending platform.


NAMU_TKo_cropThomas Ko, President, Co-founder
Ko is ex-global head of mobile banking at Citibank, developing the most successful corporate mobile banking solution worldwide.



NAMU_PBudzinski_cropPiotr Budzinski, CEO, Co-founder
Prior to NAMU, he led strategic technology projects for European banks and U.S. asset managers, including UniCredit and Franklin Templeton.


FS15_Persistent_logoBuddyPay from Persistent Systems is a real-time payment-switching mechanism. The control of payment is shifted from buyer to payer for online/in-store purchases of products and services in real-time.


  • The Payment Switching Mechanism can be used while selling/fulfilling literally anything
  • Sell physical goods, insurance, billpay, flight and hotel booking
  • Intuitive mobile app

Why it’s great
You can “sell” products/services to people who don’t have money to “buy” it!


Persistent_AModak_cropAbhiram Modak, Principal Business Analyst & Industry Expert
Modak has multiple years of diverse experience and is an innovator at heart. He can come up with solutions to most complex business problem with his domain knowledge and technology understanding.