CBANC Acquires Lendwell

CBANC, a professional networking platform for banks, acquired fellow Austin-based fintech Lendwell in a deal this week. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Our acquisition of Lendwell is the next step in our strategy of unlocking the power of cooperation and the collective purchasing power of thousands of financial institutions within the CBANC Network,” said Bryan Koontz, CBANC CEO. “The Lendwell platform will help our network members reduce the cost of lending operations while improving their ability to serve their customers.”

This is CBANC’s first acquisition, but as the company seeks to add value to its platform and give members more reasons to log on, today’s purchase may not be its last.

Lendwell, a mortgage settlement services company, helps credit unions and community banks with the mortgage settlement process, primarily with refinances, second mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit. The company offers a range of products including property condition reports, appraisals, title insurance, closing services, and more to serve as a one-stop shop for loan settlement products.

Lendwell’s SaaS loan aggregation offering gives banks access to quality mortgage settlement services at cost savings that add up to 20%. As a result of the acquisition, CBANC’s 8,000 financial institution members will have access to the Lendwell platform at no cost.

Lendwell founders Gabe Flores and Mike DeBonis have joined CBANC as the GM of Lendwell and as SVP of Engineering, respectively.

Founded in 2009, CBANC serves as an online platform where financial institutions can connect to share ideas, get their questions answered, build their brand and reputation, and publish reviews and insights on new products and services.

CBANC’s Founder and former President Myers Dupuy demonstrated the network at FinovateFall 2011 in New York. Earlier this month, the company hired on Mike Snavely as its Chief Commercial Officer. CBANC has raised more than $7 million from Adams Street Partners.

Equifax Buys PayNet for Commercial Lending Data

Credit reporting agency and financial health company Equifax closed its 19th acquisition this week with the purchase of commercial lending solutions company PayNet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PayNet was founded in 1999 to help commercial lenders make better decisions. The company provides underwriting products for both banks and alternative lenders. Among the solutions offered are growth strategies, risk management, collections solutions, and business intelligence tools.

“I co-founded and ran PayNet with the belief that when commercial lenders are assured of risks, they are more likely to make credit available, unlocking opportunity for small businesses. I believe this aligns perfectly with the Equifax vision,” said Bill Phelan, PayNet president and co-founder. “The combined companies create the premier set of data on the private credit market in the U.S. and Canada.”

In addition to its tools, one of PayNet’s biggest attractions is its data on the commercial lending and leasing market. These two factors will help boost Equifax’s Commercial business, data assets, and analytics capabilities. Together, the companies can fuel client growth in the small and medium commercial business space.

“We are intensely focused on adding unique and valuable data assets to couple with our industry-leading data and analytics capabilities. The PayNet acquisition brings unique and valuable commercial leasing data assets to our leading commercial data assets and insights capabilities to enhance decisioning and access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses,” said Mark W. Begor, Equifax CEO.

PayNet and its employees have joined Equifax’s U.S. Information Solutions business unit.

Today’s deal isn’t the first example of Equifax chasing data. Last year the company acquired DataX, an alternative data provider that helps lenders expand credit access to underbanked populations.

At FinovateFall 2011, Equifax showcased the benefits of the Equifax Complete features of its mobile app. Founded in 1899, Equifax is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker EFX. The company’s market capitalization sits at $15 billion.

Figure Eight Acquired by Appen

AI data enrichment platform Figure Eight announced today that it has been acquired by Appen, a developer of high-quality, human-annotated datasets for ML and AI. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Becky Scott, Figure Eight chief operating officer, said that the conjunction of the two companies offer a “single-source global data annotation solution for any company, in any vertical, seeking to advance its use of artificial intelligence.”

“With a critical component of our integration complete, we’re excited for the opportunity to deliver immediate value to Figure Eight customers who can now accelerate their AI and machine learning initiatives with the massive scale of Appen’s crowd,” said Mark Brayan, Appen’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re also pleased to offer even more flexible work from home opportunities to our crowd as a result of integrating with the Figure Eight platform.”

Figure Eight uses human intelligence to create quality data to train machine learning models. The data that Figure Eight helps enhance can train models relating to natural language processing; images, video, and computer vision; search relevance; data enrichment; and speech-to-text. Under the acquisition, the company’s users now have access to Appen’s over 1 million on-demand global crowd workers covering 130 countries across 180 languages and dialects.

Founded in 2009 as CrowdFlower, the company rebranded to Figure Eight last April to refocus on AI and machine learning opportunities. At FinovateFall 2014, the company won Best of Show for its demonstration on how its crowdsourced workforce quickly collects, cleans, and labels financial transaction data to help banks curate a better customer experience.

Headquartered in California and founded by Chris Van Pelt and Lukas Biewald, Figure Eight has raised $58 million from firms including K9 Ventures, Industry Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Signicat Acquired by Nordic Capital

Identity assurance provider Signicat has been acquired by private equity investor Nordic Capital, which hopes to accelerate the company’s international expansion. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Fredrik Näslund, Partner at the Advisor to the Nordic Capital Funds, said Signicat “has shown consistent high growth since inception, driven both by a rapidly increasing number of customers and strong volume growth among existing customers.” He added that the company’s “highly experienced management team is well positioned to capitalize on enormous growth opportunities across geographies, customer verticals and products, as the digital transformation of the economy continues.”

Nordic Capital acquired Signicat from Secure Identity Holding, Viking Venture III, and other shareholders. Viking will re-invest proceeds from the deal, making it a minority owner.

Signicat’s digital identity solutions make customer onboarding faster, more secure, and compliant with privacy and data protection regulations by replacing paper-based processes. At FinovateEurope 2017, the company showcased Signicat Assure, a digital identity verification product; and Signicat Sign, an e-signature offering.

Gunnar Nordseth, CEO and Co-Founder of Signicat, referred to Nordic Capital as “the most prominent and experienced investors” in fintech and said that the company is the “perfect partner” to support Signicat’s international expansion strategy.

Founded in 2007, Signicat’s 115 employees across offices in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal serve 500 clients including Klarna, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale and Western Union, BMW, and Konica Minolta. Prior to today’s announcement, Signicat had raised almost $9 million.

NIIT Technologies to Acquire WHISHWORKS IT Consulting

IT solutions organization NIIT Technologies is making a move this week to acquire WHISHWORKS. The IT consulting firm is expected to strengthen NIIT’s digital capabilities and complement the company’s offerings to create a powerful solution in the digital integration space.

Specific terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, have not been disclosed. However, NIIT announced it will acquire a 53% stake initially and purchase the remainder of the company over the next two years, with compensation dependent on financial performance. The company will be making the purchase in an all-cash transaction, funded through internal accruals.

“WHISHWORKS fits into our overall digital strategy, enhances our footprint in a high demand space, and is a significant addition to our existing capability spectrum in digital integration. This initiative is in line with our strategy to drive growth and create value over the long term by enhancing capabilities and domain depth, adding new partnerships, and making well-considered acquisitions that complement our existing strengths,” said NIIT Technologies CEO Sudhir Singh.

Founded in 2010, WHISHWORKS specializes in MuleSoft and big data technologies. The company’s 250 employees build around MuleSoft’s AnyPoint platform and its consultants hold over 350+ MuleSoft certifications, making it the largest group of MuleSoft certified experts in the EMEA region.

WHISHWORKS Founder and CEO Sri Arardhi said that the company sees “substantial opportunities and growth potential” with the new deal. Specifically, Arardhi noted that the company is “thrilled” to have NIIT Technologies’ support, presence, and scale in the U.S.

NIIT Technologies was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. At FinovateSpring 2016 the company demoed Digital Foresight, a predictive analytics platform that enables a enterprises to develop actionable strategy for marketing, operations, and risk management.

OnDeck Acquires Evolocity

Alternative small business lending platform OnDeck finalized its purchase of Canada-based small business lender Evolocity Financial Group. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The closing of this transaction signals a new era of online lending innovation on behalf of Canada’s small businesses,” said Noah Breslow, CEO of OnDeck. “As one of Canada’s leading online lenders to the crucial small business sector, we are well-positioned to provide financing options that will benefit Canadian small business owners from coast to coast.”

Evolocity brings expertise in Canadian underwriting practices, as well as local business relationships and knowledge to the table. Combined with OnDeck’s marketing and international online lending experience, the two businesses will offer small businesses across Canada access to working capital finance solutions.

The combined companies will operate under the name and branding of OnDeck Canada, with Evolocity CEO Neil Wechsler serving as CEO of OnDeck Canada. Evolocity co-founders David Souaid and Harley Greenspoon will serve as chief revenue officer and chief operating officer, respectively.

OnDeck was founded in 2007 and has loaned more than $10 billion to small businesses in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada, and Australia since launch. The company leverages its OnDeck Score to underwrite loans and deliver funds to small businesses in as little as 24 hours.

OnDeck most recently demoed at FinovateSpring 2012. The publicly traded company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ONDK and has a market capitalization of $418 million.

TradeIt To Be Acquired by TradingView

Trading API and app developer TradeIt has agreed to be acquired by long-time partner TradingView. The company will leverage TradeIt’s technology to bring mobile trading to the more than 10 million monthly active retail users in 150+ countries who use its social trading platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the latest evolution in a relationship that extends back “several years,” according to TradeIt CEO and founder Nathan Richardson. “TradingView’s vision aligns strongly with our view of the distributed financial networks of the future,” he said. “(We’ve) always felt our complimentary products and shared retail investing users makes us stronger together.”

TradeIt’s API infrastructure connects to more than $70 billion in actively traded assets at top U.S. brokerages. Its technology enables financial publishers and app developers to link users’ brokerage and investment accounts, and provides support for transactions in most asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, options, and currencies. TradeIt’s solutions include Trading Ticket,  an order management tool; PortfolioView, which links and provides access to account balances and positions; and Account Opening, which enables customers to open new brokerage accounts in less than two minutes.

TradeIt noted in its statement that brokers have seen a 10x increase in activity among active traders and a 5x gain in account funding when linked to TradeIt’s platform. The company’s partners include Bloomberg, Business Insider, as well as fellow Finovate alums TipRanks and Divy.

In the announcement, TradeIt and TradingView quoted Insight Venture Partners’ Paul Szurek who express optimism about the new, combined entity. “The product pipeline of account opening and messaging services being delivered by TradeIt makes TradingView an essential retail investors service,” he said. Insight Venture Partners led a Series B round for TradingView last year.

TradingView CEO and founder Denis Globa added the combination will help make his company “part of the backbone of the investing ecosystem.” He said that TradingView also will add to TradeIt’s ecosystem with new account opening and messaging solutions. TradeIt users will gain access to TradingView’s charting and quoting functionality.

TradeIt demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in New York City.

eToro Buys Blockchain Company Firmo

Just weeks after launching in the U.S., trading and investment platform eToro announced plans to purchase Copenhagen-based blockchain firm Firmo. The terms of the deal, which marks eToro’s first acquisition, were not disclosed.

With today’s purchase, eToro aims to grow tokenized financial assets on its platform. To facilitate that growth, the Israel-based company is specifically interested in bringing on Firmo’s research and development team.

“This acquisition,” eToro CEO Yoni Assia told Bloomberg, “will help boost our growth in the future tokenized economy. We aim to be active players in blockchain consolidation.” And eToro may be ahead of the curve on this one– according to Bloomberg, tokenized assets will play a huge role in 2019 as investors seek to convert assets such as property and stocks into tradable digital assets.

Founded in 2017, Firmo offers a programming language called FirmoLang that runs on a sidechain. Exchanges can leverage FirmoLang to create financial instruments such as P2P lending platforms or cryptocurrency derivatives with tokens. And Firmo is versatile, allowing the tokens to be run on any blockchain.

eToro most recently showcased CopyFunds for Partners at FinovateEurope 2017. Originally known for being a social trading platform, the company began pioneering bitcoin trading in 2013 via CFDs and in 2017 allowed clients to trade and invest in Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. eToro has raised $223 million since it was founded in 2007.

Streamdata.io Acquired by Axway

Data insights company Streamdata.io has been acquired by Axway Software in a deal this week. The France-based startup sold for an undisclosed amount.

Vince Padua, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Axway, said that the company made the purchase to “enable [its] customers and partners with a prescriptive journey toward digital transformation and hybrid integration” and to “advance [its] strategy in enabling businesses to accelerate their IT and digital transformation.”

Streamdata.io’s event-driven API management will boost Axway’s AMPLIFY integration platform. Streamdata.io brings two assets to the table– its event-driven API management that helps support real-time and event-driven use cases, and its digital transformation methodology designed around API adoption and maturity. Streamdata.io’s offerings, on the other hand, will benefit from Axway’s 11,000 customers across 100 countries.

“Axway and Streamdata.io share a passion for data. In joining Axway, we can help our customers stay ahead of the digital transformation curve by securely enabling real-time data,” said Streamdata.io CEO Eric Horesnyi. “We look forward to jointly paving the way for one of the most innovative hybrid integration platforms on the market.”

Founded in 2008, Streamdata.io had raised $12.2 million before today’s acquisition. At FinDEVr London 2017, Horesnyi showed how developers can leverage Streamdata.io to code real-time mobile trading in less than 15 minutes with any API. Last June, the company unveiled its API Gallery featuring more than 360 different entities with 14,400+ API paths spanning 420 topics.

Envestnet to Acquire PIEtech for $500 Million

Wealthtech innovator Envestnet announced earlier this month plans for its tenth acquisition. The Chicago-based company will bolster its existing advisor offerings with the purchase of PIEtech, a deal expected to close mid-year 2019.

PIEtech is the parent company of MoneyGuide, a suite of goals-based financial planning applications for advisors. “Financial planning is a key component of our vision for enabling Financial Wellness,” said Jud Bergman, Chairman and CEO of Envestnet. “With MoneyGuide’s financial planning applications more deeply integrated into Envestnet’s wealth management solutions, enterprises, advisors and their clients can benefit from a frictionless wealth management technology solution across the application stack, driving higher productivity and better client outcomes.”

Envestnet will continue to build on the success of MoneyGuide’s offerings, including MoneyGuideOne, MoneyGuidePro and MoneyGuideElite. These solutions, which serve tens of thousands of financial advisors, are integrated with more than 150 wealth management providers.

Envestnet will leverage the acquisition to complement its Logix and Apprise features to provide advisors and their clients with access to financial planning capabilities. The deal will also enable Envestnet to offer additional domestic and international financial wellness solutions and will boost cross-selling opportunities.

Envestnet | Yodlee showcased its predictive financial wellness and intelligence solution at FinovateFall 2018. Late last year, the company entered into a strategic partnership with Blackrock in which Envestnet integrated BlackRock’s Digital Wealth technologies into its platform.

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 $3 billion.