Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Challenger Banks Down Under Raise Capital Amid Crisis

What a week it’s been for the challenger bank business in the Land Down Under!

Australian small business challenger bank Judo just announced a major fundraising, securing an investment of $307 million (AUD 500 million) from a pair of Australian government agencies.

The Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) and the Australian Structured Finance Support Fund (SFSF) contributed equally. The investment makes Judo the first recipient of funding from Australia’s two-billion dollar small business funding program. The program was initially designed in 2018 to help promote competition between the country’s major banks and to provide more financing opportunities for the country’s small business.

“At a time when the availability of credit has never been more important to tens of thousands of Australian SMEs, Judo is delighted to be able to announce such a substantial investment by the AOFM,” Judo co-founder and co-CEO David Hornery said.

The country’s first SME-oriented challenger bank, Judo earned its full banking license just under a year ago. This spring, Judo announced securing a three-year, $350 million credit facility with Citi. The challenger bank has a deposit book of $860 million (AUD 1.4 billion).


An infusion of capital from the private sector has boosted the coffers of fellow Australian challenger bank 86 400. The firm announced this week that it has raised $20.8 million (AUD 34 million) in new funding in a round led by Morgan Stanley.

The Series A round takes 86 400’s total capital to $57 million (AUD 90 million). Also participating were an Australian superannuation fund, high net worth investors and family offices, as well as fund managers.

“At our current rate of growth, we should hit 500,000 accounts on the platform in the next 12 months,” 86 400 CEO Robert Bell said. “Of course, that will be balanced by growing the lending side of our business and we anticipate having a mortgage book of close to $2 billion by the end of 2021.”

86 400, which bills itself as “Australia’s first smartbank,” launched in September of last year and currently has more than 170,000 accounts on its platform. With more than 350,000 transactions and balance updates processed daily, and a mortgage book of $20 million, 86 400 currently offers two accounts – Pay and Save – that make spending convenient and incentivize savings.


Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Mamo Pay, a Dubai-based fintech developing a P2P payments app, raises $1.5 million in seed funding.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Halalah attains e-money institution license after graduating ahead of schedule from its sandbox trial period.
  • UAE-based fintech Rise locks in growth funding believed to be in excess of $1 million.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Fintech News takes a look at the “10 Fastest Growing Fintechs in India.”
  • BusinessWorld India examines the role of fintech in driving the digitalization trend in India.
  • Pakistan Today features American fintech entrepreneur Brandon Timinsky and his efforts to launch SadaPay in Pakistan.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Cryptonews looks at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Mexican fintech.
  • Contexto sees more fintechs in Chile’s future, courtesy of a new global entrepreneur network, Endeavor.
  • Latin American on-demand delivery startup partners with Arcus to launch new payment app, RappiPay.

Asia-Pacific

  • Hong Kong fintech Neat raises $11 million in Series A featuring participation from Visa among other investors.
  • HSBC goes live with its Smart Mobile Onboading for customers in China.
  • Hong Kong-based online lender Credit Hero partners with Salt Edge.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa’s Vodacom and Kenya’s Safaricom conclude acquisition of mobile money platform, M-Pesa.
  • Senegalese mobile network operator, Free, deploys Comviva’s mobiquity Money solution.
  • South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) unveils new innovation hub.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russian payments platform Qiwi picks up investment from Japan’s SBI.
  • Germany corporate pension and life insurance digitization company Xpension raises $27 million (EUR25 million) in Series C funding.
  • Fintechs innovating in ecommerce, payments, and real estate populate EU Startups’ look at top 10 Romanian startups for 2020.

Top image designed by Freepik

Helping Secure Digital Identities; Managing Financial Crime Risk

Two of the biggest themes in fintech – digital identity and the rise of fintech in Central and Eastern Europe – meet in the latest announcement from biometric authentication specialist and Finovate Best of Show winner iProov. The company’s facial recognition technology now makes it easier for users of SK ID Solutions’ Smart-ID Service in countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to renew their accounts without having to visit a physical bank branch.

“This is a major development for all digital identity providers,” iProov CEO Andrew Bud said. “Estonia has proved, for the first time, that a remote, automated, biometric ID verification service can deliver the highest possible levels of security.”

Recognized as equal to a handwritten signature throughout Europe, Smart-IDs enable users to authenticate themselves and provide permissions online using a smartphone app. iProov’s facial recognition technology adds a three-second scan to compare the image of the user to the image on their presented ID document to help defend against fraud and identity theft.

Smart-ID also leverages NFC-based ReadID document verification technology from InnoValor.

Financial crime risk management innovator Featurespace will be helping Enfuce combat fraud and money laundering courtesy of a newly announced partnership. Enfuce, a financial services firm based in Finland, will use Featurespace’s ARIC Risk Hub to enhance its ability to protect its customers from fraud and financial crime.

“Our clients deserve industry-leading services that allow them to freely and fully concentrate on the success of their core business, without worrying about ever-evolving fraud,” Enfuce co-founder and chair Monika Liikamaa said.

ARIC Risk Hub offers real-time transaction monitoring for fraud and financial crime, enabling institutions to identify and act against anomalous and potentially dangerous behavior as it occurs. The technology also reduces the number of false positives by as much as 70%, keeping anti-fraud processes efficient. Featurespace introduced its fraud-fighting technology to Finovate audiences at FinovateEurope 2016.


Here is a round up of recent news from our Finovate alumni.

  • Sezzle unveils new logo along with its first annual report.
  • Flybits expands its executive team in New York, Toronto, the U.K., and Dubai.
  • ID R&D updates voice biometric solution IDVoice.
  • M1 Finance surpasses $1 billion in assets on its platform.
  • Armor Bank selects Teslar Software’s automated workflow and portfolio management tools.
  • Mastercard partners with myPOS to boost adoption of card payment solutions among European SMEs.
  • Black Hills FCU selects nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Bazaarvoice launches partnership program with Yotpo as the piloting partner.
  • Keysafe inks partnership with Salt Edge to access tenants’ bank data without the need to acquire its own PSD2 license.
  • Lending Club appoints Annie Armstrong as Chief Risk Officer.
  • Assaray Trade and Investment Bank selects Temenos Infinity and Transact to power its digital transformation.
  • Long John Silver’s chooses Blackhawk Network for gift card program.
  • Trustly and Fly Norwegian team up to let travelers pay directly from their bank accounts.
  • Pindrop launches Deep Voice 3, the new version of its voice recognition technology.
  • Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga steps down, replaced by Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach.
  • Venmo to launch debit card for teens.
  • Almost 600 banks select Fiserv’s Turnkey Service for Zelle.
  • Finastra to offer ClickSWITCH’s account switching technolkogy to its clients.
  • Simmons Bank partners with Jack Henry to leverage its Banno platform to build a digital presence.
  • Currencycloud and Currensea team up.
  • Yseop and Automation Anywhere join forces to scale intelligent automation.
  • Lighter Capital appoints Kevin Fink at CTO and Patricia Elliott as CSO.
  • InComm launches Roblox gift cards in France and Germany.

Finovate Alum Features and Profiles

Revolut’s $500 Million Round Boosts Valuation to $5.5 Billion – Global financial platform Revolut has secured its place as the U.K.’s most valuable fintech.

Dealing with Deepfakes in Fintech – The fintech industry is ripe with security firms, such as iProov, that use AI to combat both video and audio deepfakes with anti-spoofing technologies.

Envestnet | Yodlee Acquires Indian Data Aggregator FinBit.io – Envestnet | Yodlee has acquired another asset in its strategy to further grow and develop its data aggregation and analytics business.

Meet Sonect: Cash Network Builder, Finovate Newcomer, Best of Show Winner – What’s better than having a large pizza with all your favorite toppings delivered to your front door? How about a side order of cash, saving you a trip to the ATM or bank branch?

Azimo Taps Ripple for Cross-Border Payments to the Philippines – Fueling these payment transfers is Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution that uses XRP to source liquidity and complete money transfers within three seconds.

Lendio Lands $55 Million to Match Small Businesses with Lenders – The investment more than doubles the company’s previous funding, bringing its total to $108.5 million.

SheerID Expands Identity Marketing Platform – The move enables brands to identify and acquire new customers across the globe.

The Winning Ten: Finovate Alums Earn Spots on the 2020 Fintech Power 50

The newly-released Fintech Power 50 for 2020 features ten Finovate alums. The roster is produced every December and bills itself as “meant to be controversial and provoke debate” while at the same time providing “inspiration to the rest of the industry.”

“Throughout its first year the Fintech Power 50 has seen consistent success for our members and we are very proud of the opportunities that being a member of the Power 50 has offered the companies involved,” Fintech Power 50 Managing Director and co-founder Jason Williams said. “We look forward to continuing the traction we have made this year with the 2020 cohort, with a more ambitious and exciting programme.”

The Finovate alums to make the cut are:

The Fintech Power 50 aims to help fintechs reach a broader audience around the world. Over the course of 2020, the program will offer media partnerships and networking, business development and branding support, and investment and talent acquisition. This year marks the third edition of the program; coincidentally, the 2019 Power 50 featured ten Finovate alums, as well.

“We’re incredibly excited at this announcement, which is clear recognition of Keepabl’s value to customers, and to trusted advisers alike, and our potential to keep disrupting compliance-as-a-service,” wrote Keepabl CEO Robert Baugh in an email.

CREALOGIX CEO David Joyce added that he was “looking forward to exchanging ideas with the renowned digital leaders in this unique group.” He praised the way the roster reflected “the breadth, diversity, and creativity of the global fintech scene.”

The Fintech Power 50 2020 also features ten fintech thought leaders whose names will be familiar to Finovate veterans. Nine of the ten – David Birch, Ghela Boskovich, Theo Lau, Brett King, Jim Marous, Devie Mohan, David Parker, and Ruth Wandhofer – have made major contributions to our Finovate conferences since we expanded our format in 2017. We’ll have to get Mr. Lawrence Wintermeyer, co-founder of Global Digital Finance and the tenth thought leader on this year’s Fintech Power 50, to a Finovate stage sooner than later!

See the full Fintech Power 50 2020 list.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Finovate Global: Nigerian Fintechs Near $400m Week; Ant Financial Eyes License in Singapore
  • Tyro Payments Preps for IPO
  • FinovateMiddleEast Best of Show Winners Announced.

Around the web

  • CurrencyFair introduces cross-border collections solution for marketplaces; inks partnership with Chinese wholesale marketplace, Buy-World.
  • Enveil wins $1 million contract from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) to improve supply chain security.
  • MoneyHub, Salt Edge, Direct ID, and Plaid earn finalist spots in the Financial Data & Technology Association (FDATA) Awards 2019.
  • Chatbots.Studio to provide chatbot templates for Colvir Software Solutions end clients.
  • doxo expands doxoINSIGHTS to 900 cities.
  • Plaid makes inroads into France, Spain, and Ireland.
  • myGini named to the Benzinga Global Fintech Listmakers and recognized as a Best Payments App.
  • BodesWell joins FinMason’s FinSpring accelerator program

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

On Finovate.com

  • How Revolut and Mastercard Are Helping Fintech Do Good
  • Keepabl Partners with ClauseMatch to Boost GDPR Compliance
  • More Than $1 Billion Raised by 21 Finovate Alums in Q3 2019

Around the web

  • Gartner names Exagens a 2019 “Cool Vendor.”
  • Trulioo appoints Zac Cohen as chief operating officer.
  • Trustly reaches 100 live gaming brands with its Pay N Play player registration and verification product.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.
  • Globitex taps Salt Edge for strong customer authentication.
  • After Belfast launch earlier this year, Signifyd recruits 63 people with plans to recruit 150 more over the next three to five years.
  • Revolut and Mastercard team up with Save The Children to support Universal Children’s Day.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune names Jack Henry & Associates a top place to work in San Diego for the fourth year in a row.
  • CredoLab, Neener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.
  • Chetu ranked as the number two of 50 top software development firms in the U.S.
  • Payments company VoPay teams up with Plaid to offer a new credit card alternative to consumers in North America.

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

On Finovate.com

  • BlueVine Raises $102.5 Million in New Funding
  • Aerospike Raises $32 Million for NoSQL Data Platform
  • ACH Alert Partners with Apiture to Fight Payments Fraud

Around the web

  • ACI Worldwide announces strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver Universal Payments technology via Microsoft Azure.
  • Citi extends its existing contract with Temenos to continue using its Multifonds Global Accounting solution.
  • Arkose Labs and Trusona earn spots on CNBC’s 2019 Upstart 100.
  • Quadient awarded gold for sustainable development.
  • Salt Edge crosses the mark of 600+ integrated PSD2 APIs.
  • ACH Alert partners with Apiture to offer ACH Alert’s fraud detection services to Apiture’s 450+ customers.
  • Bank Mandiri selects Avaloq for wealthtech.
  • Askari Bank selects Finastra’s trade finance solution.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Spreedly Raises $75 Million in Growth Funding.
  • NLP Innovator Eigen Technologies Closes $37 Million Series B.
  • nCino Brings AI to its Bank Operating System with nIQ.
  • Lloyd’s Syndicate to Insure Ledger’s Vault.

Around the web

  • DriveWealth partners with Bamboo to give Nigerians real-time access to trade 3,500+ stocks listed on the U.S. stock market.
  • OnDeck builds liquidity with new $125 million securitization.
  • Salt Edge teams up with Exprivia to expand access to open banking solutions.
  • Insuritas partners with Security Federal Savings Bank to launch digital insurance agency platform.
  • Coinbase adds five new currencies to its Coinbase Card – XRP, BAT, REP, ZRX, and XLM – as it brings its card to ten new countries.
  • Mastercard launches Mastercard Accelerate, a worldwide initiative that gives fintechs access to the company’s suite of digital solutions to help differentiate their offerings.
  • Finastra inks partnership with UAE-based United Arab Bank, which will deploy the company’s Fusion Corporate Channels and Fusion Cash Management solutions.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Paper.id lands funding to power digital invoicing for SMEs in Indonesia.

Around the web

  • BlueVine launches BlueVine Business Banking.
  • Salt Edge unveils Salt Edge Authenticator for strong customer authentication and dynamic linking.
  • Jack Henry’s PayCenter helps first 15 bank clients join RTP network.
  • AccountScore and Equifax debut credit risk index to help lenders better understand loan applicants.
  • Personal Capital celebrates 10 years in wealthtech with a brand refresh.
  • MX ships new tool to help consumers manage and cancel recurring subscriptions.
  • Swaper’s three years milestones: 2800 investors have funded over 7 million Euros in loans.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee releases Intelligent APIs to further personalize financial wellness tools.
  • myGini completes PCI Level 1 compliance audit.
  • FinTech Global recognizes Insuritas as InsurTech 100 Member.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Investment Firm Takes Minority Stake in OurCrowd.
  • Bill.com’s New Release Targets Midmarket Companies.
  • DriveWealth Teams with Nigerian Trading Platform.
  • Lidya Launches SME Lending Platforms for Poland and Czech Republic.

Around the web

  • CU Broadcast features Larky CEO and Co-founder Gregg Hammerman.
  • eToro partners with The TIE to develop unique sentiment-driven investment strategies for traders.
  • Trustly launches Trustly Live to bring instant cashless payments to land-based casinos and sportsbooks.
  • Home Bank renews relationship with Baker Hill, adding Baker Hill NextGen CECL and Baker Hill NextGen Business Loan Origination.
  • Salt Edge to power PSD2 API for Habib Bank AG Zurich.
  • Chetu earns #3 for dollar growth and #15 for percentage growth at the SFBJ technology awards 2019.
  • Insuritas to power bank-owned insurance agency for Signature Bank of Georgia Partners.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Voleo Teams Up with Software Development Firm Convergence Concepts.
  • Finn.AI’s New Integration Makes Chatbots More Personal.
  • Ripple to Offer Blockchain Technology through Finastra.

Around the web

  • Salt Edge reaches milestone of 500+ integrated open banking APIs.
  • Tink makes its platform available in the Netherlands.
  • Stratifyd teams with Anexinet to scale delivery of its AI-powered analytics platform.
  • TASCET releases SYM Certain software suite.
  • Microblink earns a spot in the Deloitte Fast 500.
  • Vymo teams up with ABeam Consulting to expand its business in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • YUKKA Lab joins Plug and Play’s incoming cohort for its Insurtech Europe program.
  • Socure wins 2019 API Award for Best in Data APIs from API World.

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

  • TransferWise announces that TransferWise for Banks is now live in the U.S, enabling FIs in the states to integrate with the international money transfer specialist.
  • Onfido forges strategic partnership with blockchain-based, e-voting provider Agora.
  • Digital mortgage solution provider BeSmartee integrates with cloud communications platform Twilio.
  • YUKKA Lab joins Deutsche Börse Venture Network.
  • Jack Henry & Associates earns spot in the top 15 of the IDC Financial Insights’ 2019 DC FinTech Rankings.
  • In partnership with Radius Bank, MaxMyInterest launches Max Checking, a new FDIC-insured offering with high-interest yields and no minimums or fees.
  • Salt Edge unveils its partner program to help companies get access to open banking channels.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Namaste Credit Becomes Challenger Bank.
  • Chatbots.Studio Partners with Yozobi. Check them out at FinovateFall later this month!
  • Credit Sesame Raises $43 Million in Advance of IPO.

Around the web

  • Salt Edge marks 400+ integrations with open banking APIs.
  • Payfone teams up with Digital Matrix Systems to help companies fight fraud.
  • Fenergo appoints Louise O’Connell to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer.
  • StrategyCorps brings on former Geezeo executive, Bryan Clagett.

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.