Finovate Alumni News


  • “Trunomi Raises $3 Million to Solve KYC Challenges”
  • Finovate Debuts: “Hip Pocket Generates Qualified Mortgage Leads While Boosting Engagement”

Around the web

  • Financial Times quotes Giles Andrews, Zopa executive chairman, in discussion on P2P providers and fee transparency.
  • Let’s Talk Payments talks with Stephane Dubois, CEO and founder of Xignite, on the importance of APIs in fintech. See Xignite at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco in October.
  • iSignthis to provide KYC services to Crownbet Pty starting in 2016.
  • TickSmith’s TickVault earns certification on Cloudera Enterprise.
  • KPMG and Matchi form alliance to enhance access to financial service innovation.

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

  • Yodlee’s startup incubator contributes to “Startup Fever.”
  • Revolut, Sedicii, SizeUp, & Token named Innotribe Startup finalists.
  • TIS signs deal to process school exams in Chile.
  • Trustly appoints Jonas Palmquist as chief financial officer.
  • features PsychSignal and Market Prophit in a discussion on market signals and social media.
  • Dwolla launches its white-label service to make it easier for FIs to use its FiSync transfer platform.
  • Segmint launches new marketing solution, Segmint Reach.
  • RetailWeek features TradeShift as startup of the week.
  • Lending Club celebrates surpassing $11 billion in loans.

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, FinDEVr Alums Earn Finalist Spots in BBVA Open Talent Competition


The BBVA Open Talent competition released the list of finalists for its 2015 competition. And five alums from both our Finovate and FinDEVr conferences will be competing for the top prizes.

The three regional finals will be held in September (schedule below). Six winners will be chosen, two from each category. Winners will receive €30,000 to develop their fintech projects in partnership with BBVA.

  • Latin America Finals: Mexico City, 9/10 September
  • USA and the Rest of the World Finals: New York, 14/15 September
  • Europe Finals: Barcelona, 21/22 September

Here’s a look at the alumni who will be competing in September:

Coinalytics_logo_FinDEVr2015_250xCoinalytics provides an end-to-end intelligence platform that helps institutions gain actionable insights from the blockchain. The company will make its FinDEVr debut at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco in October. Coinalytics was founded in April 2014 and is based in San Francisco, California.

DRAFT_logoDRAFT made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose. The company has developed a crowdsourced, mobile investment-analysis solution geared toward mass-affluent millennials. DRAFT was founded in October 2014 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Rippleshot_hi_res_FS2014Chicago-based Rippleshot builds security and anti-fraud solutions. Their cloud-based technology leverages big data to spot bank card data breaches. The company was founded in June 2013 and last demoed for Finovate as part of FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

SizeUp_logoFounded in September 2011 and based in San Francisco, SizeUp uses big data to give small businesses the kind of business intelligence and market analysis often available only to larger companies. The company demoed at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose.

FS2015_Token_logo_snagMaking its Finovate debut this spring at FinovateSpring 2015, Token has developed a payment platform that relies on public-key cryptography and digital signatures for faster, more secure transactions. Founded in January 2015 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Now in its seventh year, the BBVA Open Talent competition seeks fintech projects that “contribute to the industry’s evolution and transformation.” Ideal areas for innovation include big data, e-commerce, and security. The Open Talent challenge seeks to emphasize solutions from companies and entrepreneurs interested in becoming “fellow travel companions” with the bank.

Here are the rest of the finalists in the competition (alums excluded).

Latin America category

  • Aflore
  • Bitnexo
  • Bitso
  • Culqi
  • Destácame
  • Finvox
  • Moneero
  • Openpay
  • Quotanda
  • Uanbai
  • Volabit
  • Wayniloans
  • Zave App
  • Zoop

USA and Rest of the World category

  • Bitwage
  • ClearServe
  • Control
  • Koho
  • LendingFront
  • ModernLend
  • New Constructs
  • SnapCard
  • Voaztz
  • WeFinance

Europe category

  • Aplázame
  • Continuum Security
  • Cutover
  • Everledger
  • Origin Markets
  • Ormsby Street / Credit HQ
  • PayBox
  • Pich
  • Ringpay
  • Safello
  • Squirrel Financial Wellbeing
  • TheMarkets Trust Ratings
  • Vaultoro
  • Wayerz
  • Wealth-Arc
  • 50wise


Finovate Debuts: Token Creates Secure Payment Ecosystem













What do you get when you cross a serial entrepreneur identity/security expert (who has created billions of dollars for investors) with a technologist responsible for moving more than a quadrillion dollars every year in his previous incarnation as Citibank CTO?

In a word: Token, a new way to secure payment ecosystems based on end-to-end secure protocols and digital signatures that is designed specifically for payments.

“Regulators are demanding faster, more secure payments for banks,” Token CEO Steve Kirsch said. “We supply software so (they) can meet those needs.”


Left to right: Token CTO Yobie Benjamin and CEO Steve Kirsch demonstrated Token at FinovateSpring 2015.

Kirsch initially had been interested in taking a bitcoin-oriented path toward creating a better payment system for banks (think Ripple). But he decided that innovating with bank technology was a “much better strategy” than dealing with many of the frustrations of the bitcoin world (including the difficulty in getting a business bank account as a bitcoin company).

What Kirsch and his team have developed is an end-to-end payments system complete with account ledger, money-transfer protocol, identity server, mobile and web apps, and developer tools. It’s a solution Kirsch says is faster than ACH, less expensive than wire transfer, and more secure (and less expensive for businesses) than credit cards. And instead of a shared-secrets regime of passwords and account numbers, Token relies on state-of-the-art cryptography and pamper-proof digital signatures.

In their Finovate debut, Kirsch and Chief Technology Officer Yobie Benjamin showed four different ways that banks can use Token to offer a variety of faster, more secure services to their customers: mobile payments, billpay, authentication, and push notifications for payment authorization. Token also introduced its API to show how easy it is for developers to use the technology.

Company facts:

  • Founded January 2012
  • Headquartered in Palo Alto, California
  • 10 employees
  • More than $50 billion in sales leads

How it works

Token_mobilepayments_FS2015Each of the examples in Token’s demo at FinovateSpring emphasized the main points about the technology’s speed and security. The security of the mobile payments feature, for example, was highlighted by the use of cryptographic keys in both the phone used to make the transaction and in a wearable—in this case a FitBit wristband—that needed to be matched in order for the mobile-payment transaction to go through. Having only the phone, or only the wristband, would not be enough.

Token_billpay_FS2015In a second example, Token’s billpay feature requires a 30-second process of entering a phone number and banking credentials; after that, paying bills with Token is a one-touch process. Once signed up, customers will be able to click on a “Pay with Token” button and a Token receipt will appear. The customer clicks on the receipt and the bill is paid.

“This kind of technology lowers the overall cost of bill-pay operations,” explained Benjamin, who added that a major Silicon Valley utility would be deploying the bill-pay technology this summer.

Other features demonstrated included the ability to send push notifications to mobile devices to authenticate users. Again, the exchange of the multiple, distinct, digital signatures between the mobile device and the platform is what allows Token to establish identity. “This is simpler, faster, and easier than anything anyone is doing now to verify identity,” Kirsch said. He also said that push notification could also be used to authorize payments.

Token_authentication_FS2015“If I want to order a pizza, for example, I could call up the pizza company and tell them to send me a push notification to authorize the charge, and also to release my address. So I don’t have to give out my credit card or my address when I order things,” Kirsch explained.

“Never before have banks been able to do both push and pull transactions that are secured by digital signatures,” Kirsch said. “We’re moving payment protocols from outdated, closed protocols to modern, simple, open APIs.”

Speaking of APIs, Kirsch and Benjamin also showed how Token works from a developer perspective. Benjamin emphasized the power, security and simplicity of the API, showing how easy it was for programmers to build features like pre-authorizations (“spend up to $100 on Uber”) that can give customers greater payment flexibility and convenience and thus encourage wider adoption of the technology.

The future

Token is launching this summer with a major Silicon Valley utility, having signed its first financial services company client in April. The utility will be deploying the billpay technology that will allow customers to pay their bill with a single click. “Certain companies like cable, mobile phone companies have a huge reach and that’s why we’re targeting them,” Kirsch said.

That said, at Finovate, it was conversations with banks and financially savvy investors that he and his team were after. Token followed up its first Finovate appearance with a winning appearance at the Innotribe Startup Challenge 2015 in New York, and will join four of its fellow Finovate alums in Singapore at Sibos for the Finale.

Kirsch sees Token as part of an “inevitable transition” away from “closed, proprietary, slow, manual processes” to open protocols, straight-through processing, and technologies like digital signatures to secure identity, rather than “shared secrets” like passwords. He calls it a “once every 50-year opportunity” and has positioned Token at the forefront of it. “This is the big, final transition into secure payments,” he said. “It’s a really, really big deal.”

Check out the video of Token’s live demo at FinovateSpring 2015.


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.

SizeUp, Token, and Pendo Systems Win at Innotribe 2015 New York


Three Finovate alums, SizeUp, Token, and Pendo Systems won in their respective categories at the Innotribe 2015 New York showcase today in Manhattan. The three will join fellow New York showcase winners, Payfirma and Hyperledger—and 15 other finalists from showcases in London, Singapore, and Capetown—at the final competition at the Sibos conference in Singapore in October 2015.

Fresh off their Finovate debuts this spring, SizeUp and Token competed in the early-stage startups category. This category includes companies less than three years old or have less than $1 million in combined revenue and investment in the past 12 months.

Based in San Francisco, SizeUp provides companies with the business intelligence and market research they need to make better use of their data. In its first appearance at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose, SizeUp demonstrated a version of its platform geared specifically for financial institutions, SizeUp FI.

Also making its debut at FinovateSpring 2015, Token has developed a payments ecosystem that helps banks and billers meet regulatory, business, and consumer demand for faster, real-time payments and better security. The company was founded in January 2015 and is based in Palo Alto, California. Steve Kirsch is CEO and founder.

Pendo Systems won in the growth-stage startups category, representing companies more than three years old or have more than $1 million in combined revenue and investment in the past 12 months. Founded in 2007 and based in New Jersey, Pendo Systems demoed its cross-vertical, global investment-accounting cloud-solution, BasisPoint, at FinovateAsia 2012.

Also competing at the Finale in October are Finovate alums Revolut and Sedicii, finalists from the 2015 London showcase.

The Innotribe Startup Challenge was launched by SWIFT in 2011 as a way to promote technological innovation in the financial services industry. The challenge features regional showcases around the world that provide opportunities for emerging fintech startups to network with banks, venture capitalists, and decision-makers in financial services.

Finovate Alumni News


  • SizeUp, Token, and Pendo Systems Win at Innotribe 2015 New York
  • Vantiv Brings its Payment and Processing Solutions to the USPS
  • Finovate Talks Payment API Security with John Canfield, VP of Risk for WePay

Around the web

  • American Banker talks with LendingRobot about liquidity in P2P lending.
  • Wallaby now has 2,700 credit cards and 500 banks in Cardbase database. Come see Wallaby at FinDEVr in San Francisco.
  • SuiteRetail joins Avalara’s community of certified solution partners. Check out Avalara at FinDEVr 2015, 6/7 October.
  • Tradier Brokerage integrates with OneOption LLC to advance options trading platform.
  • GeekWire considers Avalara’s success, including its corporate lounge, at the U.S. Open.
  • PYMNTS interviews Souheil Badran, newly appointed president and CEO of edo Interactive.
  • Nuno Sebastião, CEO of Feedzai, talks with PYMNTS about fraud detection.
  • Pindrop Security launches Pindrop Labs.
  • Financial Times lists Personal Capital in its Top 300 RIA List.
  • iBe publishes study on customer experience in banking and fostering innovation.

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.

Token Creates a Fast Payment Ecosystem

This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateSpring 2015.

FS2015_Token_logo_snagToken showed its payment ecosystem that uses end-to-end secure protocols with digital signatures:

For the past 2,500 years, our payment rails have relied upon the use of shared secrets, such as passwords, account numbers, payment card numbers, and paper signatures. Shared secrets are the root cause of the never-ending security problems with payment cards, checks, and ACH. Tokenization is a band-aid, not a cure. The only real way to create a secure, fast payment ecosystem is to eliminate the use of all shared secrets by using end-to-end secure protocols with digital signatures. This has never been done before anywhere in the world. It is what sets Token apart from all other payment systems.

Presenters: CEO Steve Kirsch and CTO Yobie Benjamin



Product Launch: May 2015

Metrics: 10 employees; launching in May 2015 with a large public utility; over $50B in sales leads
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B), through financial institutions, through other fintech companies and platforms

HQ: Palo Alto, California
Founded: January 2, 2015
Twitter: @token_io

FinovateSpring 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 8


Today marks our final Sneak Peek preview. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know a little about the companies that will be taking the stage at FinovateSpring 2015.

Register today to see and meet these innovators in person on 12/13 May at our upcoming conference in San Jose, California.

If you’ve missed an edition, our complete Sneak Peek series for FinovateSpring 2015 is below:

And now let us introduce you to the final fourteen companies of FinovateSpring 2015. See you in San Jose!

FS2015_Finaeos_logoFinaeos automates the back office and capital-raising compliance.

Why it’s great
Serves the demand for new ways to invest, save, and generate income by investors across the globe.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

FS2015_Finicity_logoFinicity helps developers build powerful apps to drive financial software innovation.

Why it’s great
TXPUSH Interface to the Finicity API Platform.

  • Founded: 1999
  • HQ: Salt Lake City, Utah

FS2015_MoneyAmigo_logoMoney Amigo is a social money interaction platform that solves the lack of simple and clustered services for the unbanked and underbanked.

Why it’s great
Money Amigo makes managing money fast, fair, and friendly.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Las Vegas, Nevada

FS2015_Ondot_logoOndot Systems builds white-label solutions that enable financial institutions to provide security and convenience for their customers.

Why it’s great
Our platform brings innovation to mobile card services.

  • Founded: 2011
  • HQ: San Jose, California

FS2015_Onovative_logoOnovative’s powerfully simple marketing automation software helps financial institutions meet the challenge of cross-selling current customers.

Why it’s great
Onovative provides banks and credit unions with modern APIs and a simple UI to help them grow.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: Jeffersonville, Indiana

FS2015_Outski_logoOutski’s platform improves employee health and wellness, increases productivity, and reduces job-related stress.

Why it’s great
Outski helps companies improve margins and reduce costs by focusing on the health and well-being of their employees.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: Tucson, Arizona

FS2015_PrairieCloudware_logoPrairie Cloudware provides a comprehensive set of omnichannel, digital payment services to solve the need for more security, convenience, and control when purchasing goods and services online and in-store.

Why it’s great
We are a cloud-based, open platform that allows consumers to access and use their preferred payment mechanisms and accounts via the financial institution’s digital channels.

  • Founded: 2012
  • HQ: Omaha, Nebraska

FS2015_Slice_logoSlice’s technology provides item-level purchase-data across the largest base of online consumers (two million and counting).

Why it’s great
Slice’s one-of-a-kind Purchase Graph technology.

  • Founded: 2010
  • HQ: Palo Alto, California

FS2015_SmartAsset_logoSmartAsset provides a tools-and-content platform to give consumers personalized and actionable advice.

Why it’s great
Leverage our Automated Financial Modeling technology to make significant personal finance decisions.

  • Founded: 2011
  • HQ: New York City, New York

FS2015_Token_logo_snagToken is a new payment rail that solves the “faster payments” problem for banks, businesses, and consumers.

Why it’s great
A new open bank API, an unbreakable identity system, developer tools, and a wallet app for business and consumers.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Los Altos Hills, California

FS2015_TopImageSystems_logoTop Image Systems introduces the eFLOW mortgage, which eliminates the manual, time-consuming and expensive mortgage-origination process.

Why it’s great
Top Image Systems’ IQA (Image Quality Analysis) provides unparalleled accuracy, security, and ease of use.

  • Founded: 1991
  • HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel

FS2015_Vanguard_logoVanguard introduces the Funds Visualizer to rid investors of suboptimal portfolio construction.

Why it’s great
Our interactive, 3-D, data visualizations of diversification provide unique insights when it comes to building portfolios.

  • Founded: 1975
  • HQ: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

FS2015_Vouch_logo_414updateVouch is the first social network for credit, enabling consumers to connect and share creditworthiness so they get the financial products they deserve.

Why it’s great
Vouch is for anyone who believes they are more than their credit score.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: San Francisco, California

FS2015_Whodini_logo_snagWhodini helps merchants engage customers using social media marketing, reaching loyal customers with targeted offers.

Why it’s great
At Whodini, we help local businesses know their customers better.

  • Founded: 2004
  • HQ: Westport, Connecticut