Finovate Alumni News


  • Klarna Raises $35 Million in ‘First Small Step” into Debt Financing
  • D3 Banking Brings in $10 Million from West Partners
  • LendingTree Launches CRA-Eligibility Tool
  • Encap Security Acquired by Client, AllClear ID
  • Avoka Locks in $12 Million in New Investment

Around the web

  • Banco CTT goes live with customer onboarding solution developed by Novabase.
  • Canada’s ATB Financial and Germany’s ReiseBank use Ripple to complete world’s first banking transfer using blockchain.
  • Wired UK profiles Fidor, “the fintech bank run by its customers.”
  • Asseco South Eastern Europe (SEE) named a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s report on open unified digital banking platforms.
  •’s list of the five hottest companies in fintech features alums Kensho and Ripple.
  • Kasasa’s MoneyIsland money-management game for children ranks among iTunes’ most popular apps.
  • Chip-Chap bitcoin marketplace leverages SafetyPay as a payment method.
  • OnDeck launches Accountant Advisor Program to help accountants arrange financing for their small business clients.

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


  • “Hedgeable Helps Investors Add Venture Capital Exposure with New Fund”
  • “Finovate Debuts: Ledger’s Blue Smartcard Mitigates Phishing & Malware Attacks”

Around the web

  • Ripple reports that banks can save more than 40% on payments by using distributed ledger technology.
  • PFM technology from Geezeo now available to customers of Access Softek, courtesy of new partnership.
  • Concur Technologies teams up with CTI, a travel management specialist.
  • Dashlane adds YubiKey support.
  • Nerdwallet profiles robo-advisors Betterment and Wealthfront.
  • ThetaRay launches its Detection Center, the “visual results module,” for its new UI.
  • Britain’s Bank Leumi to deploy e-banking technology from Infosys Finacle.
  • Cortera releases 10 new modeling-attribute families to help commercial lenders improve their risk and response analytics.
  • Kasasa enhances online marketing platform FIRSTBranch to improve the UX by creating a website that drives traffic online and in-branch.
  • The Australian Business Review features SocietyOne.
  • The New York Times publishes extensive feature on Kensho.

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.

20 Alums Make the First Forbes Fintech 50


There’s more to the Forbes Fintech 50 list than just an awesome logo featuring George Washington wearing wrap-around shades. Forbes compiled the list by soliciting information from 300 startups, then interviewing more than 150 CEOs, founders, and industry experts. To make the cut, companies were required to have operations in the U.S. and a viable product.*

Simply put, Forbes describes the companies on the list as “small firms destined to have a big impact on your financial future and possibly upend your portfolio.”

This year, 20 Finovate and FinDEVr alums made the cut:


  • Founded: 2012
  • HQ: London
  • Funding: $30 million
  • Customers: 14 large banks and 140 buy-side firms
  • FinovateFall 2014 demo




Credit Karma


  • Founded: 2009
  • HQ: Washington, D.C.
  • Exit: Purchased by Morningstar in 2014 for $52.5 million
  • FinovateFall 2015 demo



  • Founded: 2009
  • HQ: New York City, New York
  • Exit: Purchased by Northwestern Mutual in 2015 for $250+ million
  • FinovateFall 2013 demo


Personal Capital











*While the list excludes financial giants, Forbes included startups acquired by larger companies but operating independently.

Artificial Intelligence Innovator Kensho Boosts Total Capital to $58 Million


Update: Artificial intelligence specialist Kensho has raised an additional $33 million in new funding, according to regulatory filings filed last week. The $47.8 million figure originally reported includes $15 million raised in November 2014 in a round led by Goldman Sachs.

Investors in the most recent capital infusion were not specified. The latest investment takes Kensho’s total funding to more than $58 million.

Kensho’s previous investors include Accel Partners, Devonshire Investors, General Catalyst Partners, Google Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Promus Ventures, Work-Bench, and Xfund.


From left: Kensho’s Adam Broun, head of strategy and business development, and CEO Daniel Nadler demonstrated Warren, an interactive research environment from Kensho, at FinovateEurope 2014 in London.

Kensho has built what it calls the world’s “first computational knowledge engine for the financial industry.” The company leverages massively parallel, real-time, statistical computing and advances in unstructured data engineering to create Warren, an “interactive research environment” that is able to answer more than a million queries posed to it in natural language. Portfolio managers and market researchers can ask Warren questions—such as the short-tern history of Apple’s share price after an earnings announcement or the effect of North Korean missile tests on the South Korean stock market—and get answers in minutes.

Recently featured in a review of Boston-area startups, Kensho was named to OnFinance’s “50 Companies to Watch” roster in April. The company forged a partnership with NBC Universal News Group last fall, providing unique analysis to the viewers of the financial news network, CNBC. Later that month, Kensho announced a $15 million fundraising led by Goldman Sachs.

Founded out of MIT and Harvard in 2013 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kensho demoed Warren at FinovateEurope 2014 in London.

Finovate Alumni News


  • “Holy Yodlee! Envestnet to Buy Yodlee for $660 Million”
  • “Artificial Intelligence Innovator Kensho Locks in $48 million Series B Round”
  • “Digital Retail Apps Raises C$1 Milllion in Round Led by Texas Ventures”

Around the web

  • Misys shortlisted in three different categories in the CIR 2015 Risk Management Awards.
  • Bloomberg TV looks at Fenergo in a discussion on investment in startups.
  • NICE Systems wins “8-figure contract” to bring call recording and incident-management technology to NYC’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).
  • Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris writes about the rise of robo-advisors in a column for Investment News.
  • CashStar to power digital gift card offerings from Maritz Motivation Solutions.
  • KCUR 89.3 FM interviews EyeVerify CEO Toby Rush.

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


  • “Finovate Debuts: LoanNow Helps Borrowers ‘Outperform their FICO Score'”

Around the web

  • HedgeCoVest launches its real-time, hedge fund replication platform.
  • First Republic Bank to deploy virtual banking solutions from Q2 Holdings.
  • The Independent takes a look at Klarna and the power of micropayment.
  • oneID featured in MacWorld as a two-factor authentication app for the Apple Watch.
  • Allied Wallet now a supported online payment provider of Spreedly.
  • emX Select from eMoney Advisor now integrated with Dropbox.
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung features Trustly and Klarna (in German).
  • Bank Innovation profile on alternative fintech capitals looks at Iceland and highlights Meniga.
  • Ripple Labs adds former Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) CEO Donald Donahue as advisor.
  • A review of local fintech startups in the Boston Globe features Kensho and Quantopian.
  • Temenos wins “Best Core Banking System” honors from Banker Africa East Africa Awards 2015.
  • American Banker considers how Namu covers the emotional side of banking.
  • Entrepreneur lists Patch of Land as 1 of 100 brilliant companies to watch in 2015.
  • Pendo Systems wins awards from international financial technology publications, the New Jersey Technology Council, and SWIFT.
  • Asian Wealth Times: “Singapore’s MoneySmart to Launch PFM tools with Ewise”
  • Finaeos teams up with TATA Consulting Services to help SMBs take advantage of Regulation A+ of the JOBS Act.

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.

OnFinance’s “50 Companies to Watch” Features Finovate, FinDEVr Alums


Alumni from both Finovate and FinDEVr are featured in AlwaysOn’s OnFinance “50 Companies to Watch” roster released this week.

AlwaysOn’s OnFinance “50 Companies to Watch” highlights “early to mid-stage startups focused on honing fintech innovation” that are effectively taking their technologies to market. This ability to “capitalize on enormous market opportunities” is what AlwaysOn uses to distinguish its “50 Companies to Watch” from its “Top 100” list published earlier this month.

“(The 50) are positioned at the inflection point of growth and are quickly emerging as contenders that are earning global recognition,” write the editors.

See for yourself. The full list is here. Below are the nine Finovate and FinDEVr alums that made the cut, along with a link to their most recent appearance on stage.

AlphaPoint_hires_logo_boxFinovateEurope 2015


Betterment_logo FinovateFall 2011


CardFlight_logo FinovateSpring 2014



See them at FinovateSpring 2015




jumio_logo_cmyk FinovateEurope 2015



Kensho_logo FinovateEurope 2014


Plaid_logo FinDEVR San Francisco 2014


Tradier_logo FinDEVR San Francisco 2014



Zumigo_logo FinovateSpring 2014


Alumni News– December 22, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgDeutsche Bank launches FinanzPlaner powered by Strands PFM. Check out Strands’ newest tech at FinovateEurope.
  • Arroweye Solutions increases its payment card security.
  • SF Gate considers how Personal Capital brings a human touch to robo-advising.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems partners with 3Delta Systems to provide Bluefin’s Decryptx Point-to-Point Encryption Solution to 3Delta clients.
  • Financial Post takes a look at how innovations like SelfPay from Digital Retail Apps are helping small businesses.
  • Feedzai wins Silver Stevie Award in Most Innovative Company of the Year category in the 12th Annual American Business Awards.
  • FTSE Global Markets looks at how Kensho, Motif Investing, FutureAdvisor, and Wealthfront are leveraging big data and big computing.
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.

Goldman Sachs Leads $15 Million Investment in Kensho

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for KenshoLogo.jpg

In the world of promising young startups, there are far worse things than having Goldman Sachs as your largest investor.

Just last week we announced that NBCUniversal News Group had forged a strategic partnership with Kensho, the global analytics and intelligence systems specialist. This week we learn that Goldman Sachs has taken the lead in a $15 million investment in the company and is now Kensho’s largest investor.

According to a source cited in Forbes discussion of the news, the investment puts Kensho’s valuation “in the 9-figure range.” Combined with the company’s previous funding, Kensho’s total capital raised stands at more than $25 million.
Tony Pasquariello, Co-Head of North American Equity Derivatives Sales in the Securities Division for Goldman Sachs said, “our unique partnership with Kensho is an extension of our overall strategy of using and investing in new technology which allows us to deliver insights to our clients.”
Kensho leverages massively parallel statistical computing on unstructured data to provide financial analysts with real-time responses to complex questions. It’s partnership with NBCUniversal will include deploying a Kensho Stats Box for use by journalists at the financial news network, CNBC. And rumors and opinions are already swirling about how the notoriously savvy Goldman Sachs may use the technology.
Writing for Business Insider, Mike Bird suggested that Kensho “should have analysts quaking in their boots” for fear of losing their jobs to the Siri-like intelligent virtual assistant. Over at The Financial Times, Tracy Alloway and Arash Massoudi cited analysts who said that the move is largely a cost-cutting one – which may or may not calm the nerves of Bird’s quaking analysts. 
The Financial Times also reported that Goldman Sachs played at least a small role in convincing the company to change the name of its signature implementation of the technology from “Warren” to “Kensho”, the same name as the company. Recall that “Warren” was the name of the platform when it was demoed at FinovateEurope 2014 back in February.
Zack’s Equity Research added that Goldman will use the analytics platform “throughout its business as well as to some of its major clients” and noted that Goldman has been active in the technology space, including an investment in Finovate alum, Motif Investing. “We believe Goldman is set to benefit from its tech investments,” Zacks said, “which seem to offer decent returns to the company.”

Alumni News– November 24, 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.jpgGoldman Sachs announces investment in Kensho, becomes platform’s largest strategic investor.
  • Acculynk launches strategic partnership with PayPlum, announces acquisition of company’s intellectual property.
  • The Economist cites Comarch in its review of Polish companies succeeding internationally.
  • Leaf CEO Sarah McCrary talks mobile payments in panel discussion on Foodable WebTV.
  • features Azimo in column on online money transfer companies.
  • Finovate DebutsBlueVine.
  • examines PayPal’s place in the mobile payments wave.
  • Forbes looks at how PayNearMe helps the underbanked.
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.