Finovate Favorites: A Baker’s Dozen of Best of Show Winners

Finovate Favorites: A Baker’s Dozen of Best of Show Winners

Which fintech companies have continued to impress Finovate audiences over the years? The return of Kasasa to FinovateSpring last month, winning its fourth Best of Show award in the process, got a few of us thinking that it was a good time to take a look at which companies have been selected as fan favorites most frequently after demoing their latest technologies live on stage.

We’ve highlighted companies that have been especially popular at certain conferences, such as FinovateAsia and FinovateSpring before. Here is our compendium of the top Best of Show vote-getters to date for all shows combined (minimum of three wins).

The Big Three

The three companies that have won the most Best of Show awards from Finovate audiences reflect three different themes in fintech over the years: the allure of social investing (eToro), the rise of data analytics in banking (MX, formerly Money Desktop), and the persistence of the payment card (Dynamics). What is especially impressive about all three companies in our Best of Show Big Three is their ability to innovate over time. Each alum won their first Best of Show award between 2010 and 2012 and won their most recent Best of Show award between 2016 and 2018.

Dynamics (8) Founded in 2007. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jeff Mullen is CEO.

MX / Money Desktop (6) Founded in 2010. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah. Ryan Caldwell is CEO.

eToro (6) Founded in 2007. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel and London, U.K. Yoni Assia is CEO.

The Super Six

Of our Super Six – the six companies to have won Best of Show awards four times – what is most interesting is also the way many of them have been proven innovators over a time of major change in fintech. Companies like Kasasa (formerly BancVue) and Yodlee (now Envestnet | Yodlee) made their big splash back in the earliest days of Finovate and, with recent Best of Show wins in 2018 and 2017, respectively, shown that they are still among fintech’s most inspiring solution providers.

Backbase – 4

Kasasa / BancVue – 4

Meniga – 4

oFlows – 4

SaleMove – 4

Yodlee (including Envestnet | Yodlee) – 4

The Fantastic Four

Two of the companies in our Fantastic Four companies that have won Best of Show awards three times have since been acquired. LearnVest, a three-time Best of Show winner from 2011-2013, was acquired by Northwestern Mutual for more than $250 million in 2015. EyeVerify, which won Best of Show awards on three different continents, was acquired by Ant Financial in 2016. The company now operates as ZOLOZ, and is focused on providing digital identity solutions for the underbanked in Asia.

BehavioSec – 3

EyeVerify (now “ZOLOZ”) – 3

LearnVest – 3

mBank – 3

Note: FA: FinovateAsia, FE: FinovateEurope, FF: FinovateFall, FS: FinovateSpring. Audience favorite awards from FinDEVr not included.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Bluefin Buddies Up: Decryptx P2PE Network Grows to 50+ Connected Partners
  • Fiserv Teams with TransUnion to Enhance Automotive Loan Origination System
  • Azimo Brings Faster Money Transfers to Nigeria
  • eToro to Build Blockchain-Based Social Trading Products in Partnership with CoinDash
  • CashStar Launches Digital Gifting Program with Belk Department Store

Around the web

  • Mark Saltzman Interviews Flybits Founder & CEO on TD for Me (video).
  • API Evangelist features
  • LearnVest CEO Alexa von Tobel featured on NPR podcast How I Built This.
  • MapD unveils latest release featuring new geo heatmap , custom aliases, faster SQL sorts and more

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.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Virtual Piggy brings on President &CEO of Broad Street Consulting Advisors as its Senior Advisor.
  • Cachet streamlines RDC check settlement process for Banks and Credit Unions.
  • Finovate/FinDEVr alums populate TradeStreaming Fintech’s companies to watch in 2017 list.
  • Finance Disrupted interviews Xignite CEO and founder, Stephane Dubois.
  • Venmo, LearnVest, Qapital, Level Money, and PayPal featured in PC Mag’s Best Mobile Finance Apps of 2017.
  • From Founder to CEO talks with GainX founder & CEO Angelique Mohring. See GainX at FinovateEurope 2017 in London in February.

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.

Top Direct-to-Consumer Wealthtech Plays

Top Direct-to-Consumer Wealthtech Plays


Our wealthtech industry coverage continues this week. We looked at the industry last week and reviewed the top trends earlier this month. Today we’re taking a look at industry players with B2C offerings—in other words, companies that market directly to consumers and not through businesses.

Since wealthtech is broader than just roboadvisers, we’ve divided B2C wealthtech players into seven categories and laid out our top picks for each group. Since category sizes vary, the number of our selections also vary.

Top in-house builds from traditional players
These are offerings from traditional wealth management firms that have been built in-house (or purchased and then white-labeled) and marketed under the firm’s brand.

Fully automated roboadvisers
These are online platforms that provide automated, algorithm-based portfolio management without intervention from human advisers and without personalized, one-on-one conversations with a human adviser.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-06-40-pmAcorns takes a unique approach by linking a user’s debit card and investing their “spare change”

Hybrid roboadvisers
These are traditional advisory services, including personalized conversations and actively managed portfolios blended with computerized portfolio recommendations. Business Insider reports hybrid roboadvisers will manage 10% of all investable assets by 2025.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-11-08-pmSigFig has partnered with multiple banks, including Wells Fargo, Pershing, and Citizens Bank

Non-U.S. roboadvisers

Alternative investing platforms
These are platforms that link participants to unconventional investment types, such as private equity, hedge funds, futures, real estate, etc.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-18-08-pmWith Motif, uses invest in grouped stocks and ETFs that revolve around a common theme

Non-U.S. alternative investing platforms

News and information companies
These are online platforms that help users discover news and market trends before they go mainstream. Some include social networking aspects.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-23-47-pmTickerTags helps users discover trends even before they become news

FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums

FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums

FTPartners_logo_2The new research report on digital wealth management from Financial Technology Partners is a timely reminder of just how deep the firm’s dedication to, and insight into, the fintech world goes (that the report features a dozen Finovate and FinDEVr alums is pretty neat, too).

FT Partners’ report “Are the Robots Taking Over? The Emergence of Automated Digital Wealth Management Solutions” looks at the different platforms and business models used by digital wealth management companies, as well as the response by industry incumbents. The 140+ page report also features interviews with CEOs from leading major digital wealth-management companies such as Betterment, Nutmeg, and SigFig.

Writing about this FT Partners’ report on digital wealth management for Bloomberg View, columnist and money manager Barry Ritholtz noted:

“For those of you who may not have thought much about how technology might affect Wall Street, the work you do each day, and how you do it—not to mention what it means for your careers—this report is invaluable.”

Ritholtz outlined how his own experience as a money manager had been shaped by the rapidly changing technology landscape (“My office is small, but thanks to technology, and fintech in particular, we are able to be very productive with just 14 people,” he wrote). He also admits this productivity comes at a cost for some. “Those people who don’t adapt will find themselves with limited career options,” Ritholtz writes.

So who are the disruptors in the digital wealth management space of whom both FT Partners and Ritholtz speak?



















  • Founded in 2008
  • Headquartered in Los Altos, California
  • Kevin Cimring and Michael Blumenthal are joint CEOs
  • Acquired by Invesco, January 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2013




  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquartered in New York, New York
  • Alexa von Tobel is CEO and founder
  • Acquired by Northwestern Mutual, March 2015
  • FinovateFall 2013
















  • Founded in 2005
  • Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida
  • Donato Montanaro is CEO
  • Acquired by Ally Financial, April 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2008


Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • recognizes Shoeboxed among its five startup companies to watch in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Business Builders interviews Harper Reed, head of commerce at Braintree.
  • Kurtosys features Personal Capital, Wealthfront, LearnVest, and Betterment in a look at the future of roboadvisers.
  • Kasasa (formerly BancVue) launches Retail Portfolio Optimization solution with enhanced, data-driven account analysis.
  • New York Times column on apps that help you save highlights Qapital.

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.

2015: A Year in Finovate Alumni Mergers and Acquisitions

2015: A Year in Finovate Alumni Mergers and Acquisitions


2015 was another big year for mergers and acquisitions in the fintech industry. And whether they were the acquirer or the acquired, Finovate alums were very much a part of the M&A action.

Because terms of many deals were undisclosed, it is difficult to get a precise number on how much money was spent acquiring some of fintech’s most promising startups this year. But looking just at those acquisitions for which figures were available, we can see that 2015 was a banner year in M&A (more than $7 billion) — and that’s just counting alums.

So from the $5 billion deal between FIS and Sungard to the “alum-acquires-alum” mergers of September 2015, let’s take a closer look at some of the major unions of the year that featured Finovate alums.











If you’re a Finovate alum whose merger we’ve missed or acquisition we’ve overlooked, let us know. Send us an email at

20 Alums Make the First Forbes Fintech 50

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.

More Than 30 Alums Make Hot Topics 100 Most Influential People in Fintech

More Than 30 Alums Make Hot Topics 100 Most Influential People in Fintech


If you drew up a list of the 100 most influential men and women in fintech, how many of them would be alumni of our Finovate/FinDEVr conferences?

The answer is about a third, according to Hot Topics, which released its list of the top 100 fintech influencers this week.

“More transactions taking place online mean more opportunities to help consumers manage their money in digital form: enter the fintech platforms,” wrote Joel Watson for Hot Topics. “Whether it be securing mortgagees, getting a loan, transferring money abroad, spending money in an ecommerce store, or one of a thousand other applications, the marketplace is fiercely competitive and growing all the time.”

See if you agree with who made the cut, who was overlooked, and who deserves at least an honorable mention.

Hot Topics is an online community of more than 300 entrepreneurs, corporate executives, venture capitalists, journalists, bloggers and other professionals interested and involved with technology.


Finovate Alumni News


  • “Platform-as-a-Service Specialist Apprenda Raises $24 Million”
  • “Azimo Launches New Service in 10 Countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific”

Around the web

  • Irish Tech News interviews Neil Costigan, BehavioSec CEO.
  • InComm partners with Gemalto to offer a secure, prepaid mobile NFC-payment option.
  • Zooz partners with Cardinal Commerce to offer Cardinal Consumer Authentication (CCA) to the Zooz merchant base.
  • CNBC highlights how Northwestern Mutual’s LearnVest attracts millennials.
  • Denver Community Credit Union to install Insuritas’ insurance-agency solution for its 25,000+ members.
  • Daily Life Tips highlights Ayondo as the best online trading platform for beginners.
  • “Tradeshift Partners with EcoVadis to Bring Reliable Supplier Sustainability Ratings to Global Platform”
  • “Cachet Financial Solutions and Access Development Partner to Enhance Mobile Commerce for Financial Institutions Across America”
  • Trulioo appoints former Experian GM as president.
  • FutureAdvisor launches its online investment library.
  • eMerchantPay teams up with iSignthis to offer AML and KYC compliance to its merchants.
  • interviews David Disque, managing director of CSI globalVCard.

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: Token Creates a Secure Payment Ecosystem

Around the web

  • PYMNTS chats with Ripple Labs CEO Chris Larsen, co-founder.
  • Forbes lists Transferwise as 1 of 3 fintech startups you should know.
  • Inc. names Planwise, Trulioo, WePay, Flint in its look at the evolution of fintech.
  • After launching with Tradier, QuantConnect saw a 300% jump in user-engagement signals, including traffic, coding and backtesting.
  • Fiserv expands card-production capabilities to speed EMV chip-card migration.
  • TechCrunch column on fintech startups features Lending Club and LearnVest.
  • quotes LoopPay CEO Will Graylin in a discussion of how Apple, Google, and Samsung “pitch payments.”
  • Market Prophit adds Nasdaq Last Sale real-time data to its analytics platform.
  • Queens Gazette columnist calls MaxMyInterest “a way to get back at the banking industry for their pitifully low interest rates on savings.”
  • The Financial Times’ review of P2P lending for business and consumers features Zopa.
  • Ernst & Young name TransferWise co-founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann “Entrepreneurs of the Year” for 2015.
  • Great Friday reading material! Draft co-founder Brad Lawler describes how he was inspired by Finovate.

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

  • Market Prophit unveils its social market sentiment smart beta index.
  • Silicon India takes a look at Ayasdi’s plans to use the capital raised in its latest $55 million funding.
  • Financial Advisor IQ highlights Betterment and Motif Investing in its discussion of millennials and machines.
  • QuantConnect is now integrated with Interactive Brokers.
  • ProfitStars celebrates surpassing 600 FIs using its Remote Deposit Anywhere technology.
  • FIS wins Best Core Banking, Best Outsourcing Project honors at Asian Banker Technology Implementation Awards.
  • TechCrunch: Yodlee’s Joe Polverari writes about LearnVest and its acquisition by Northwestern Mutual.
  • ABC’s 7 On Your Side quotes IDTheft 911 founder Adam Levin on protecting your driver’s license from identity theft.
  • Connect Financial Software Solutions to provide real-time, P2P payments courtesy of new partnership with Acculynk.
  • Cortera announces new releases of eCredit Software.
  • Zoho partners with Forte Payment Systems to offer electronic payments directly with Zoho Finance apps.
  • Dexterity Ventures’ Place2Give releases GIVE_api v. 2.0.
  • Pymnts interviews SimplyTapp president and co-founder Ted Fifelski.
  • PayPal to be publicly traded on NASDAQ in Q2 2015 with its original stock ticker symbol PYPL.

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.