Finovate Alumni News


  • “Socure Raises $13 Million in New Capital”
  • “Investment from Rakuten Boosts Kreditech’s Total Capital More Than $10 Million”
  • “Personal Capital’s Growth Leads to Additional $25 Million in Funding”

Around the web

  • eToro forges strategic partnership with Lufax Holding, China’s largest internet financing company.
  • PayPal teams up with Citibank, FIS to expand cross-channel presence.
  • NICE Systems celebrates record year in customer acquisitions.
  • SocietyOne appoints Maria Loyez as chief marketing officer.
  • NuData Security partners with Arvato Financial Solutions to combat fraud and enable a smoother customer experience.
  • Quantopian hires Marc Volpe as chief financial officer.

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


  • “Finovate Debuts: Daon Brings Security and Convenience to Mobile Authentication”
  • “Quid Unveils New Data Visualization Solution, Opus

Around the web

  • Thomson Reuters partners with FX analytics firm, BestX.
  • Visa announces two-day, digital payments hackathon during 2016 UAE Innovation Week.
  • First Financial Bank chooses Fiserv as new technology partner.
  • FXCM and QuantConnect team up to offer live trading integration.
  • Kontomatik expands to Italy, now the tenth country served by Kontomatik’s banking API.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee unveils incoming 2016-2017 incubator class.
  • The Age reports SocietyOne to start making profits within the next 12 to 18 months.

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.


Fintech Trending: Australia and the Road to Fintech in Asia

australia_newzealand_flagsFinovateAsia 2016 is right around the corner. Be sure to visit our registration page and pick up your tickets today. We look forward to seeing you next week, 8 November, as Finovate returns to Asia.

When we talk about financial technology in Asia, we typically turn to places like Singapore, widely regarded to be the fintech “hub” of the region, or to Japan, with its advanced consumer economy (and increased participation in fintech events in the West, like Finovate and FinDEVr, or to China which was recognized by H2 Ventures and KPMG in their 2016 Fintech 100 report as follows:

China now tops the global ranks—swithin three years, China’s fintech ventures have gone from only one company included in the top Established 50 rankings in 2014, to this year China featuring four of the top five companies and eight of the top 50.

This includes Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, which as the world’s largest third-party payment platform, is the #1 company in the report, as well as Qudian, a Beijing-based student micro lender, ranked #2.

But there’s a reason why analysts refer to the area as the Asia-Pacific region, and part of that reason is the presence of countries like Australia and New Zealand which, while very much a part of the Asian financial ecosystem, are often overlooked in discussions about the growth of fintech in the area.

Turning back to the H2 Ventures/KPMG report, we see that of the top 100 companies highlighted, while 14 are from Asia, 1o are from Australia and New Zealand. This compares well with the U.K., a long-standing global fintech center, that landed 12 companies in the top 100. These companies include:

  • #14 Xero (F11; FD14) – New Zealand
  • #31 Prospa – Australia
  • #43 Tyro – Australia
  • #50 SocietyOne (F12) – Australia

As well as emerging stars:

  • AfterPay – Australia
  • Bright – Australia
  • Data Republic – Australia
  • HashChing – Australia
  • Identitii (F16) – Australia
  • springy – Australia

Australian and New Zealand fintech companies are clearly punching above their weight. As one illustration noted by Let’s Talk Payments, in December 2015, 5% of Australian fintech startups raised capital. Yet that 5% represented 14% of all capital raised by fintechs in December. Compare this to the United Kingdom where 15% of fintechs received investment dollars in December 2015, yet the amount raised was 11% of the total for that month. It is no surprise that China stands out as the true overachiever, with only 2% of Chinese companies raising capital in last December, but those companies represented 17% of all financing raised.

The takeaway here is more than a call for FinovateDownUnder—although that’s an intriguing idea. It suggests that more attention paid to Australia—as both a developing fintech nation in its own right, as well as a way for Western companies, technical talent, and capital to begin making its way eastward—could be well-rewarded.

See also:

  • 9 Australian companies have made it to the latest global Fintech 100 – Business Insider Australia
  • Australian FinTech Firms Recognized as World Leaders in FinTech – Cryptocoins News
  • Australian fintech founders recognized as world leaders next to tech giants Stripe, Xero and Square – Startup Smart
  • CBA takes pop-up innovation lab on a tour of Australia – Finextra

Our friends from Down Under

This discussion of Australia and New Zealand merits a reminder of how many innovators from Down Under are alums of our Finovate and FinDEVr conferences. In addition to those mentioned above, here’s a quick look at some of our more recent Australian and New Zealander alums:

H2 Ventures and KPMG Unveil 2016 Fintech 100


H2 Ventures and KPMG have released their Fintech 100 roster for 2016. Divided equally between 50 “industry leaders” and 50 “emerging stars,” the roster features 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums in the first category, and 10 in the second. Calling its roster a “celebration” of the most compelling innovators in this “bold new space,” the H2 Ventures/KPMG 2016 Fintech 100 covers a variety of different shades of fintech:

  • Lending (32 companies)
  • Payments (18 companies)
  • Insurance (12 companies)
  • RegTech (9 companies)
  • Data & analytics (7 companies)
  • Wealth management (6 companies)
  • Blockchain (5 companies)
  • Digital currency (5 companies)
  • Capital markets (3 companies)
  • Crowdfunding (2 companies)
  • Accounting (1 company)

And here is a look at how Finovate/FinDEVr alums fared. Earning recognition among the companies in the Leading 50 group are:

Also noteworthy in the Leading 50 are Ant Financial, which acquired Best of Show-winning EyeVerify in September 2016, and Avant, which acquired Finovate alum ReadyForZero in the spring of 2015.

Additionally, Finovate/FinDEVr alums earning spots in the Fintech 100’s 50 Emerging Stars roster were:

The H2 Ventures/KPMG report includes a geographic breakdown of the 2016 Fintech 100, as well as a set of key takeaways such as increased geographic diversification, the return of lending, the continued ascent of Insurtech, and the appearance of RegTech. The report also notes that China now has four out of the top five companies in the report’s top 10, and eight companies in the top 50. The report says funding for fintech “continues to rise,” and its authors cite more than $14 billion in capital was raised by the Fintech 100 in the past year.

SocietyOne Strikes Up Partnership with Beyond Bank, Reeling in $1.5 Million


Australia-based P2P lender SocietyOne announced a new bank partner today. The company has teamed up with Beyond Bank Australia, a $4.8 billion customer-owned financial institution.

Beyond Bank Australia has contributed $1.5 million for an equity stake in SocietyOne and has increased its funding commitment in personal loans on the site to $10 million. The bank anticipates the investment will expand its footing in the fintech sector; CEO Wayne Matters describes the partnership as a “perfect example of our approach to innovation, customer service and new product opportunities.”

This isn’t the first time SocietyOne has received funding from a bank. In 2014, the company received $5 million from Reinventure, a VC management company funded by Westpac Bank. Westpac was believed to be the first bank to take an equity stake in a P2P lending organization.

SocietyOne’s online platform uses risk-based pricing to connect borrowers and investors to loans using its ClearMatch technology, which it launched at FinovateAsia 2012 (Finovate returns to Asia this year: Hong Kong on November 8). ClearMatch allows investors to bid together at different interest rates and amounts against a single loan.

In August, SocietyOne announced it had facilitated $38 million in personal loans in 2016. Since the company was founded in 2013, it has facilitated $150 million total. In April, SocietyOne announced it brought on a new CEO, Jason Yetton, and a new CFO, Anna Harper. The company has raised almost $55 million from eight investors.

Finovate Alumni News


  • CrowdFlower Brings AI to Business Processes via Partnership with Microsoft
  • Fintech Trending: Bots Break Out, AI Gets Personal, and Blockchain Buys the Farm
  • SocietyOne Strikes Up Partnership with Beyond Bank, Reeling in $1.5 Million

Around the web

  • Payoneer to facilitate cross-border payments for e-commerce marketplace, Rakuten, in new partnership.
  • eWise unveils its new financial transaction Categorization-as-a-Service (CaaS) API for FIs.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews Swych CEO Deepak Jain. See video of Swych’s Best of Show winning performance at FinovateFall.
  • Bank of America, Santander, and the Royal Bank of Canada to form global blockchain payments network with distributed ledger technology from Ripple.
  • Azimo’s Facebook Messenger bot is now live.
  • Project Juno highlights Featurespace in its European Machine Intelligence Landscape.
  • Larky partners with Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD).

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.

SocietyOne Has Facilitated $38 Million in Personal Loans in 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 11.21.08 AM

Australian P2P lender SocietyOne’s new CEO Jason Yetton disclosed some growth figures this week. The company told the Sydney Morning Herald that it has arranged $38 million ($50 million AUD) in personal loans on its platform so far this year.

This number is almost double the nearly $20 million the company facilitated in the latter half of 2015, and it is 10x the $3.8 million from the same period in 2015. As a result of this growth, the company’s portfolio of outstanding personal loans totals $76 million, which represents 0.5% of Australia’s $15 billion personal loans market.

In his interview with the Herald, Yetton said, “We readily admit that our current lending volume is still a small sum in the context of a $20 billion ($15 billion USD) personal loan market, which itself is one fifth of the overall consumer finance market in Australia.” He added that his point is that “we now have a solid base from which we can grow and meet our ambitious target of taking a 2% to 3% share of that $100 billion market by 2020 to 2021.”

SocietyOne’s returns average 10% for institutional and sophisticated investors. Since the company was founded in 2011, SocietyOne has lent an average of $15,000 to its borrower base of 5,000. Yetton, who took the reins as new CEO in March, plans to distribute loans to a “much wider range of borrowers.”

At FinovateAsia 2012, SocietyOne launched ClearMatch, a feature that allows investors to bid together at different interest rates and amounts against a single loan. Finovate returns to Asia this year: Hong Kong on November 8. The application deadline is fast approaching, so act soon to secure your spot on the FinovateAsia stage.

Finovate Alumni News


  • PrivatBank’s Partnership with InComm Initiates Launch of Prepaid Products in Ukraine
  • Obloco Beta Tests Expense Reporting Solution with Washington Trust Bank
  • SocietyOne Has Facilitated $38 Million in Personal Loans in 2016
  • PayPal Partners with Xero to Support B2B Invoice Payment

Around the web

  • Boku partners with Google to enable carrier billing as payment option on Google Play in Lithuania.
  • Ghana-based startup, Sovereign Bank, deploys T24 core-banking system from Temenos.
  • CenturyLink to host SatuitCRM and SatuitCRA software as part of new agreement.
  • Risk Ident CEO Robert Valerio appointed to European Advisory Board of the Merchant Risk Council (MRC).
  • Fortune features PayPal, MasterCard, and IBM on its list of companies that will change the world.
  • Nikkei Asian Review looks at how Japanese banks will leverage Ripple.

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.

SocietyOne’s March Madness: New CEO, New CFO, New Major Milestone


Australia-based P2P lender SocietyOne is entering the second quarter of 2016 with a new CEO, a new CFO, and a major new milestone under its belt.

Jason Yetton, former executive at Westpac Group, is the company’s new CEO. Yetton takes the reins from SocietyOne co-founder Matt Symons, who will stay on as Chief Strategy SocietyOne_JasonYettonand Innovation Officer. Yetton pointed out that the company was at an important point in its growth and that he was looking forward to being a part it. “The opportunities offered by marketplace lending in Australia for consumers and investors through innovation and greater competition are significant,” Yetton said.

Symons added that Yetton’s arrival marked a “significant milestone” in SocietyOne’s development. Calling Yetton a “game-changer who is passionate about innovation and technology,” Symons praised the new CEO’s “unique combination of skills and expertise … through his time in funds management and wealth management.” Yetton spent more than six years in executive positions at Westpac and over nine years at BT Financial Group. He has degrees from UNSA Australia, Securities Institute of Australia, and Harvard Business School.

Yetton is not the only C-level arrival to SocietyOne this spring. Also joining the company in March was Anna Harper, who will serve as SocietyOne’s new Chief Financial Officer. Harper was formerly group SocietyOne_AnnaHarperfinancial controller for Virtus Health, among the largest assisted reproductive services providers in Australia, and her hiring was called a “coup” by the company’s new CEO. “(It) just underlines how far we have come and how we are viewed by the rest of corporate Australia as the company that is really shaking up the financial services industry,” Yetton said.

Previous to Virtus, Harper worked with Rabobank Australia, JP Morgan Chase, and the accounting firm, Crowe Horwath, where she was senior auditor. She is a graduate of University of Technology in Sydney, and of AGSM at the University of New South Wales. Speaking of her new role, Harper said that her experience working with “dynamic” companies made her excited about joining SocietyOne. “I jumped at the chance to be a part of the team shaking up the banking sector and making a real difference to the lives of our customers,” she said.


Pictured (left to right): SocietyOne co-founders Greg Symons and Matt Symons demonstrated their P2P lending platform at FinovateAsia 2012.

The big changes in the executive suites reflected big moves in the business, as SocietyOne also announced in March that its loan book has surpassed $100 million. Yetton called it a “stunning achievement by a company that didn’t exist five years ago and only started writing loans in August 2012.”

SocietyOne credited Q1 loan-growth of $30 million for helping push the company past the $100 million milestone. And the company says that since January 2013, investors have earned an effective greater-than 8.5% annualized rate of return. Yetton credited SocietyOne’s “world-class technology platform (ClearMatch), credit and risk disciplines and customer service” for his company’s ability to provide “the best outcomes for borrowers and investors.”

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, SocietyOne demonstrated its ClearMatch platform for P2P lenders at FinovateAsia 2012 in Singapore.

Finovate Alumni News


  • “Finovate Debuts: Envestnet “Advisor Now” Offers Robo-Tools for Wealth Management”
  • “SocietyOne’s March Madness: New CEO, New CFO, New Major Milestone”
  • “Guardian Analytics Launches Omnichannel Fraud Prevention”

Around the web

  • Beyond Bank wins Celent Model Bank Award for 2016, courtesy of its customer-engagement platform from Avoka.
  • Fastacash announces new CIO, Jorgen Nordin.
  • Xceed Financial merges with Reach FCU; combined entity to deploy DNA core-processing system from Fiserv.
  • Zopa executive chairman and co-founder, Giles Andrews, was named Fintech Leader of the Year.

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.