Accenture Acquires Select Assets from Banking Software Platform Zafin

Digital banking platform provider Zafin and global professional services company Accenture have forged a new relationship that is both a strategic alliance and an acquisition. The companies have announced a “joint go-to-market strategy” that will make Accenture the preferred integrator of Zafin’s financial platform. And by bringing on “select employees” from Zafin’s professional services business, Accenture also gains the technical integration and development capabilities it needs to enhance its own financial services offerings.

For Zafin, the alliance and acquisition gives the company the opportunity to “focus squarely on product innovation and technology” said CEO and founder Al Karim Somji. He added that the partnership also provides the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based firm with “rapid scalability.”

“We are particularly proud of the work we’ve done with our clients globally,” Somji said, “and expect our expanded relationship with Accenture to enable us to accelerate our momentum in the market.”

Zafin offers financial institutions around the world technology that drives relationship pricing, bundling, and rates management strategies. The company’s platform enables financial institutions to boost revenue and efficiency by upgrading legacy infrastructure which, among other benefits, helps them improve client engagement via solutions and services that deliver greater customization for consumers and greater profitability for banks.

Head of Accenture’s global banking practice Alan McIntyre blamed legacy IT systems for the inability of many FIs to modernize the customer experience, and pointed to Zafin’s technology as a solution. “Zafin’s software enables financial institutions to improve their pricing, personalization and product configuration without having to replace their legacy systems,” the senior managing director said.

Zafin demonstrated its miRevenue enterprise banking platform at FinovateFall 2017. In May of this year, the company announced a partnership with Celero, an IT solution provider for credit unions. In April, Zafin inked a strategic partnership with the Empire Startups, a  global community of fintech entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators.

Named one of Canada’s 50 fastest growing companies in 2016 by Deloitte, Zafin has more than 40 global banking customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and India. The company was founded in 2002, and raised $30 million in funding previous to the alliance and acquisition by Accenture.

With clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture offers a wide variety of strategy, consulting, technology, and operations services and solutions. The company partnered with mBank at FinovateFall 2013 to demonstrate the Polish bank’s next generation online banking platform. Accenture was founded in 1989, and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. With a market capitalization of $106 billion, Accenture trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ACN.”

Temenos Acquires Avoka in $245 Million Deal

In a $245 million deal, banking software company Temenos will acquire fellow Finovate alum Avoka. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

A public company, Temenos will finance the purchase with cash and debt. The deal marks the company’s 14th acquisition since it was founded in 1993 and its second purchase this year, following the buy of its British competitor, Fidessa Group for $1.96 billion in February.

Temenos will integrate Avoka’s customer acquisition and onboarding technology into its Digital Front Office product, which serves 300 banking clients. “This is a highly strategic acquisition for Temenos as it not only reinforces our leadership position within the Digital Front Office space but it also strengthens our capabilities in the U.S. market where we are seeing significant traction as banks accelerate their digital transformation plans,” said Max Chuard, chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Temenos. “The combination of Avoka’s capabilities along with the extensive Temenos Digital Front Office product offers banks the most complete set of services which through APIs can be easily integrated either with the market-leading Temenos T24 Core Banking product or as a standalone on a third party banking system.”

Since it was founded in 2002, Avoka has grown to offer customer acquisition and onboarding technology to the financial services sector as well as government entities. In fact, the company’s first major client was the Australia Capital Territory government. Avoka also provides form filling technology to Australia’s Federal Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science’s business.gov.au portal. And according to ITNews, the company has provided services to Australia’s Defense, Centrelink, Attorney General’s Department, Customs and Border Protection, AUSTRAC, Education, Home Affairs, Human Services, as well as state and local clients. Temenos has not disclosed its plans for the government side of Avoka’s business.

Avoka CEO Philip Copeland said, “By combining our strengths with Temenos’ expertise and reach, we will expand our scope and scale to deliver winning omni-channel, digital experience solutions to banks globally. The combination of Temenos and Avoka is an excellent fit for our customers and employees and will catapult our growth to the next stage. Together, with the leadership on both sides, we are committed to the group’s future success.”

Founded in 1993, Temenos debuted its Connect Mobile Banking application at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. Last month marked the company’s 25th birthday. With clients in 145+ countries, Temenos employs more than 4,600 people in 63 offices. The company has a market capitalization of $9.14 billion.

Avoka most recently demoed Transaction Insights at FinovateEurope 2017. Transaction Insights is a digital account opening tool that helps financial services companies measure where customers are spending time, making errors, requesting help, or abandoning their session. Headquartered in Colorado, Avoka has offices in London, England and Sydney, Australia. The company has digitized more than 100 million transactions for 150+ global clients. Prior to today’s acquisition, Avoka had raised $28 million.

Motive Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Finantix

Private equity firm Motive Partners will become a majority shareholder in Finantix, a provider of digital services for the private banking, insurance and wealthtech sectors, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Financial details were not disclosed. Both firms are a bit vague but Motive will support the company and the founders (Ralf Emmerich and Alessandro Tonchia) in “extending the functional footprint of the product and in accelerating geographic expansion”. The latter means Europe, Asia and to enter the U.S. market.

Scott Kauffman, partner at Motive Partners, said Finantix has demonstrated its ability to create a “compelling product, bringing a leading technology platform to an ever-increasing set of blue chip clients”.

Finantix’s founders and the management team will continue to lead the company.

The company has over 250 staff in seven cities and a customer base in more than 45 countries. Some of its clients include Rothschild Bank, Crossbridge Capital, and DBS.

Motive Labs, the operational and technology team of Motive, will also work with Finantix.

Back in March, Finantix acquired Singapore-based Smartfolios, a creator of quant-enabled investment tools. No financial details in that deal as well.

As reported last year, Motive powered up and revealed its plans to invest in fintech firms in the U.K. and U.S.

According to its Form D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S, Motive was looking to raise $150 million.

“Our mission is to back and build the next generation of financial technology businesses to transform markets, models and society,” the company said on its website.

Based in Venice, Italy, and founded in 1994, Finantix demonstrated its Banking Assistant solution at FinovateEurope 2013.

Boku Acquires Mobile ID and Authentication Company Danal

Carrier billing company Boku is set to expand its expertise with a new acquisition this week. The San Francisco-based company agreed to acquire mobile identification and authentication company Danal for up to $68 million. The acquisition is expected to close December 31, 2018.

The deal is being structured as a reverse triangular merger to ensure Boku acquires 100% of Danal, a subsidiary of DFS Services. To finance the acquisition, Boku is issuing 26.7 million common shares for $0.0001 each, $3 million in Boku warrants, and $1 million in cash. In addition, Boku will pay deferred consideration of up to $64 million, the exact amount dependent on Danal’s future performance.

Leveraging its connections to MNOs, Danal offers data matching, account baselining, phone identification, and proactive monitoring to verify users’ identities for verticals including banks, healthcare, hospitality, and ecommerce. The San Jose-based company also offers solutions to satisfy Know Your Customer (KYC) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations. Some of Danal’s customers include Western Union, BNP Paribas, PayPal, Square, Moneygram, Login.gov, and USAA. The privately-held company has raised $14.5 million.

Boku will leverage Danal’s technology to offer mobile identity services to its existing customers and to provide global coverage to Danal’s U.S. customers. “Combining Danal’s customer base and technology with Boku’s international scale and global MNO connection capability, will allow us to build the world leader in this emerging space,” said Boku CEO Jon Prideaux. “This acquisition allows us to offer services that go further and to improve user quality for our customers while at the same time improving the mobile experience for users… Danal has shown that MNO data can also combat fraud, reduce friction in signup and ensure regulatory compliance on mobile.”

Boku was founded in 2008 and provides payments technology that allows consumers to charge purchases to their mobile phone bill. The company offers its operator network for acquiring, activating, and monetizing customers through their mobile phones. The Boku platform is used in large digital marketplaces such as the Google Play store, Apple’s App store, Spotify, and Facebook’s App Center.

At FinovateEurope 2011 Boku showcased its mobile payment service. Earlier this fall, Boku was awarded Best Newcomer at the AIM Awards. Boku is publicly traded on the London stock exchange with a current market capitalization of $124 million.

TIBCO Acquires Orchestra Networks

It’s the second acquisition this year for TIBCO. The integration and analytics software company announced this week that it purchased Orchestra Networks for an undisclosed amount.

“This is a very important acquisition for us, supporting our mission to create the world’s leading platform for digital business. Orchestra Networks will allow TIBCO to address our customers’ simple and complex master data and data asset management needs quickly and easily,” said Matt Quinn, chief operating officer, TIBCO.

Founded in 2000, Orchestra Networks specializes in master data management and data access management solutions, including EBX a solution that helps clients manage, govern, and share all master data, reference data, and metadata assets. The addition of the Paris-based company to TIBCO’s portfolio will help it expand its Connected Intelligence platform with data assets for operational and analytics processes.

“EBX, an industry-leading master data management solution, will be further amplified as part of the TIBCO Connected Intelligence Cloud. EBX customers will gain instant access to our leading integration and analytics capabilities for their data assets. Orchestra Networks brings an exceptional team that, with TIBCO, will continue to support their customers and partners,” said Quinn.

In the press release, Christophe Barriolade, co-founder and CEO of Orchestra Networks mentioned how the acquisition will boost EBX, saying that the company will support it on a “larger, more global scale while offering complementary API-led integration and AI-driven analytics capabilities” to Orchestra Network’s customers.

This is TIBCO’s 23rd acquisition since it was founded in 1997. TIBCO itself was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2014.

The company demoed at FinovateAsia 2013, showcasing how banks can leverage their clients’ transactional data to gain insight into customer behavior. At the beginning of this year, TIBCO made two C-level appointments, transitioning Matt Quinn to a new role as TIBCO’s COO and hiring Nelson Petracek as its new CTO.

Q2 Acquires Gro Solutions

Digital banking solutions company Q2 Holdings boosted its capabilities this week with the acquisition of account opening technology provider Gro Solutions. This follows Q2’s purchase of Cloud Lending Solutions in August, making it the Austin-based company’s fifth acquisition since it was founded in 2004.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With Q2’s recent acquisitions of Cloud Lending and now Gro—combined with our leading, secure digital banking platform—we are delivering powerful solutions for the financial services vertical to provide exceptional experiences needed to keep pace with the high expectations of today’s account holder,” said Matt Flake, CEO of Q2. “Our acquisition of Gro adds yet another element that helps our customers reduce user friction, increase engagement in the digital channel and expand their offerings.”

Once the acquisition closes, Q2 will benefit from Gro’s omni-channel account opening technology, Gro Checkout, which CEO David Eads launched at FinovateFall 2015. Q2 will also boost its portfolio with Gro’s other solutions, including Gro Funnel, a set of marketing automation and CRM tools; Gro Business, tools for business clients; and Carrier Data Integration, technology that leverages information from a customer’s wireless billing record to auto populate data fields.

“As a combined force, we look forward to providing leading account opening, ecommerce and end-to-end digital financial solutions to banks, credit unions and other financial technology companies,” said Eads. “We are delighted to be joining the Q2 team and look forward to delivering best-in-class in financial digital sales and marketing solutions.”

Gro Solutions most recently demoed an extension of its digital sales platform at FinovateFall 2017. The company had raised $4.3 million since it was founded in 2015. Gro has been named a Fintech Company to Watch by American Banker and was recently awarded the TAG Fintech Advance Award.

Q2 debuted Q2 Biller Direct at FinovateSpring earlier this year. The company had 2017 revenues of $194 million, has 10.4 million end users, and 382 bank and credit union customers. Matt Flake is CEO.

BlackRock to Acquire Equity Stake in Envestnet

Wealthtech companies Envestnet and BlackRock have entered into a strategic partnership agreement in which Envestnet will integrate BlackRock’s Digital Wealth technologies into its platform. On the financial side of the deal, BlackRock will take a 4.9% equity stake in Envestnet in a stock transaction totaling $123 million.

“Envestnet is uniquely positioned to create the premier financial wellness network. Integrating BlackRock Digital Wealth offerings into the Envestnet platform represents an industry milestone, advancing advisors’ ability to help investors meet their financial goals,” said Bill Crager, president of Envestnet.

BlackRock launched its Digital Wealth services last October to merge its wealthtech offerings. The services iRetire, BlackRock Advisor Center and FutureAdvisor, which BlackRock acquired in 2015, will all be integrated into the Envestnet platform. Venu Krishnamurthy, global head of digital wealth for BlackRock, said that BlackRock will deliver its Digital Wealth solutions to Envestnet in a “modern, highly integrated way.” The new technologies will help advisors “scale their business and build better portfolios,” he added.

In addition to the stock transaction, Envestnet will offer BlackRock the option to purchase 470,000 shares of Envestnet common stock at $65.16 per share for up to four years from the date of issue. The agreement is expected to close before the end of this year.

Envestnet | Yodlee showcased its predictive financial wellness and intelligence solution at FinovateFall 2018. In September, Envestnet unveiled a new developer experience that delivers enhanced data that spans 18,000 global sources, as well as updated tools that aim to speed up the developer experience. Adding to that effort, the company recruited Sebastien Taveau, former chief developer evangelist for Mastercard, as its vice president of Developer Experience.

Envestnet was founded in 1999 and acquired Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. Envestnet | Yodlee is a public company listed on NYSE under the ticker ENV. It has a market capitalization of $2.52 billion.

Tradeshift Makes Bid to Buy Basware

While everyone is busy completing their online orders on Cyber Monday, supply chain innovation company Tradeshift is attempting a purchase of its own.

The California-based company is reportedly in talks to purchase Finnish software maker Basware. Tradeshift made the unsolicited takeover bid last month in a deal backed by China-based Ping An Insurance Group. The terms of the proposal, which is yet to be confirmed, are undisclosed.

As one of Tradeshift’s competitors, Basware provides networked source-to-pay solutions, e-invoicing, and financing services. The company connects 1 million businesses in more than 100 countries across the globe. Some of its current customers include Heineken, McDonald’s, Toyota, and other large global brands. According to Bloomberg, if the deal goes through it could help Tradeshift compete with SAP and Oracle.

Tradeshift was founded in 2010 to provide a platform to digitize and manage business processes such as cashflow. At FinovateEurope 2012, Tradeshift demoed Instant Payments, which allows small businesses to receive payments instantly on the Tradeshift platform in exchange for a small interest rate.

Tradeshift’s business commerce platform connects more than 1.5 million companies across 190 countries. To date, the company has processed more than half a trillion dollars in transaction value. Tradeshift has raised $432 million, including its most recent $250 million round from Goldman Sachs this spring which vaulted the company’s valuation up to $1.1 billion. Earlier this year, the company collaborated with MakerDAO on a blockchain payments solution.

Vaamo Acquired by Moneyfarm

In merger and acquisition activity this week, robodvisor startup Vaamo has been acquired by Moneyfarm, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Financial details were not disclosed but Moneyfarm now has its third core market, alongside the U.K. (since 2015) and Italy (since 2012). Giovanni Daprà, CEO of Moneyfarm, said, “We see Germany as an attractive growth market with great potential for digital asset management.”

Vaamo founder Dr. Thomas Bloch and Dr. Oliver Vins join the executive committee of Moneyfarm. Dr. Bloch will be responsible for the Germany business and Moneyfarm’s Europe-wide B2B business. Dr. Vins will be responsible for product management and development at Moneyfarm groups in the future. There were no details about any job cuts due to the acquisition.

Moneyfarm was founded in 2011 and had around 30,000 private clients (double year-on-year) at the end of 2017, with a total investment of ($511 million) £400 million, as reported in May 2018. It has made some good progress as back in May it got($51 million) £40 million in a Series B funding round – meaning it has secured close to ($77 million) £60 million in capital so far.

The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority.

Vaamo was founded in 2013. Customers include German challenger bank N26 and 1822direkt. The company launched its goal saving app at FinovateEurope 2014 in London. The company has raised $3.8 million in two rounds from Route 66 Ventures.

Finablr Takes Majority Stake in Digital Gifting Innovator Swych

Global payments and foreign exchange solution platform, Finablr, has boosted its stake in – and become a majority shareholder of – digital gifting platform, Swych. The investment adds to Swych’s Series B round, and will enable the company to reach a broader international audience via Finablr’s 160+ country network.

“At Finablr, we facilitate access for consumers and businesses to the digital economy,” Finablr CEO and Executive Director Promoth Manghat explained. He praised Swych for its “distinctive business proposition that complements the services offered by the Finablr network brands.” Those brands include UAE Exchange, Xpress Money, Unimoni, Remit2India, and Ditto.

The partnership will be managed by Swych Blockchain Labs, a Swych subsidiary built to develop and incubate blockchain, payments, digital wallet, and cross border e-commerce solutions. This will enable the two firms to offer Swych’s instant, secure, personalized digital gift and incentive solutions to consumers and businesses globally.

“The presence of Finablr network companies in key international markets with millions of consumers has the potential to greatly accelerate Swych’s mission,”  Swych CEO and founder Deepak Jain said. “Finablr network brands’ entrepreneurial culture combined with its focus on innovation and strong team is highly synergistic with our own core values at Swych. This investment is a testament to the robustness of our business model and will be invaluable as we look to take digital gifting to global audiences.”

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, Swych demonstrated its blockchain-based, digital gift card platform at FinovateSpring 2016, winning Best of Show. The company returned to the Finovate stage earlier this year for FinovateSpring. Last month, Swych announced an agreement in which its digital gift card technology will power Travelex Pay, a cashless spending solution from Travelex hosted within messaging app WeChat. In August, the company reported that it was leveraging its acquisition of GiftCardsIndia to bring its blockchain-based gifting solutions to international markets.

Swych has 50,000 registered users in the United States and 100,000 users in India. With total global revenues near $20 million, the company reports more than 50 corporate customers “and growing.”