Safe Spaces: The Best of the Authenticators, Verifiers, and Fraud Fighters

Left to right: A representative from Alipay joins Tinna Hung, Director of Marketing for EyeVerify during a demonstration of Eyeprint ID at FinovateAsia 2016.

This month we’re highlighting the issue of security in fintech. Our first installment was our interview with ENVEIL CEO Ellison Anne Williams.

Today we use the lens of our Best of Show awards to take a look at companies innovating in the security space for financial services companies and institutions. Three security companies have won Best of Show awards in more than one conference. Biometric specialists EyeVerify and BehavioSec have both earned Best of Show trophies on three separate occasions. Interestingly, both companies won one of their Best of Show awards at FinovateAsia; BehavioSec in Singapore, EyeVerify in Hong Kong. (Speaking of FinovateAsia, remember that Finovate returns to the Far East November 7 & 8.)

Earning two Best of Show awards was Silver Tail Systems (now a part of RSA, the security division of EMC, which acquired the company in 2012). Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Menlo Park, company was a pioneer in leveraging real-time behavior analysis to spot and stop business logic abuse on financial institution websites.

BehavioSec CEO Neil Costigan demonstrating BehavioWeb and BehavioMobile at FinovateEurope 2014.

EyeVerify, which was acquired by Ant Financial last fall, announced in August that it was rebranding as Zoloz. In a blog post at the company’s website, CEO Toby Rush said the new company would be focused on providing a hosted identity platform geared toward the Asian market. “Underserved and underbanked consumers in this region are moving to mobile so quickly that they have leapfrogged biometrics adoption and identity services in other geographies,” Rush wrote. “The platform is centered around the idea that I am me, my phone should just know me, and my apps and services should know me – automatically, conveniently, and securely,” he explained.

Zoloz is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and was founded in 2012. The company most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2017.

BehavioSec, the behavioral biometric innovator, forged a partnership with Gemalto earlier this summer, to provide end-user verification and identity solutions as FIs increasingly embrace digital technologies. “Removing bottlenecks to achieve full digitization of a business goes hand-in-hand with conquering online fraud, through a layered an collaborative approach,” Costigan said. In May, BehavioSec teamed up with fellow Finovate alum Kount, integrating its behavioral biometric technology with Kount’s fraud management platform. A partnership with Appdome this spring produced AppFusion for BehavioSec, a solution that makes it easier for app developers to add behavior-based biometric authentication to their mobile apps.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, BehavioSec was founded in 2009. The three-time Best of Show winner most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015.

Making it on the Finovate stage as a security solutions provider is one challenge. Taking home a Best of Show trophy as a company dedicated to helping stop fraudulent transactions, prevent unauthorized access, and create truly “safe spaces” in a connected world is quite another. Here is the full list of security companies that have won Best of Show awards at Finovate conferences.

FinovateFall 2017

FinovateSpring 2017

FinovateAsia 2016

FinovateFall 2016

FinovateEurope 2016

FinovateEurope 2015

FinovateFall 2014

FinovateSpring 2014

FinovateEurope 2014

FinovateAsia 2013

FinovateFall 2012

FinovateSpring 2012

FinovateFall 2011

FinovateFall 2010

Finovate 2009

FinovateStartup 2009

  • Silver Tail Systems (demo)

2015: A Year in Finovate Alumni Mergers and Acquisitions


2015 was another big year for mergers and acquisitions in the fintech industry. And whether they were the acquirer or the acquired, Finovate alums were very much a part of the M&A action.

Because terms of many deals were undisclosed, it is difficult to get a precise number on how much money was spent acquiring some of fintech’s most promising startups this year. But looking just at those acquisitions for which figures were available, we can see that 2015 was a banner year in M&A (more than $7 billion) — and that’s just counting alums.

So from the $5 billion deal between FIS and Sungard to the “alum-acquires-alum” mergers of September 2015, let’s take a closer look at some of the major unions of the year that featured Finovate alums.











If you’re a Finovate alum whose merger we’ve missed or acquisition we’ve overlooked, let us know. Send us an email at

Multifactor Authentication Specialist Toopher Acquired by Salesforce


(Left to right): Toopher co-founders CTO Evan Grim and CEO Josh Alexander demonstrated their multifactor authentication technology at FinovateFall 2014.

When word hit the Finovate office that Austin, Texas-based, multifactor authentication specialist Toopher had agreed to be acquired by Salesforce, we all had the same question in mind:

Will Salesforce get the drone too?

What’s certain is that the purchase of Toopher will give the cloud-computing innovator a powerful solution to offer customers looking for multifactor authentication.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Including $200k in debt financing raised in March, Toopher’s total is $3 million.

According to the Austin Business Journal, Toopher’s seven workers will remain in Austin as employees of Salesforce. The Journal also notes that conversations between Toopher and Salesforce began a year ago, with “acquisition discussions” starting in 2015. The company has discontinued selling its own products as it makes the transition (although Toopher’s”pre-acquisition” developer portal remains open).

Writing at the Toopher blog, CEO Josh Alexander explains the move in his typically colorful fashion:

We here at Toopher have a standard question we ask new Toopherarians: ‘If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?’ Even with the normal, attractive archetypes, the most common response from a Toopherarian is to be able to provide even greater levels of security without affecting the user experience.

And with the Salesforce acquisition, Toopher now considers itself appropriately “superpowered.”

Toopher was founded in September 2011 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company demoed its technology at both FinovateFall 2014 and FinovateFall 2013.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Multi-Factor Authentication Specialist Toopher Acquired by Salesforce

Around the web:

  • Moven updates iOS and Android apps for easier views of balance and spending.
  • Concur surpasses 30-million-user milestone.
  • Multi-factor authentication now available for Venmo users on both iOS and Android.
  • Mobile World Live interviews VP of Telenor Financial Services and CEO of Valyou, Viktoria Erngard.
  • Business & Economy feature on P2P foreign exchange highlights TransferWise, CurrencyFair, Currency Cloud, and Kantox.
  • Misys wins honors in three categories at FStech Awards 2015.
  • HedgeCoVest adds 14 new models to its platform.
  • Business Insider Australia features Xero.
  • Yodlee announces 100% revenue growth in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Check Point to acquire Lacoon Mobile Security for a reported $100 million.

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

  • Business Standard looks at the partnership between TradeHero and OANDA.
  • P2Binvestor reaches $50 million invoices-funded milestone.
  • Ripple Labs adds former State Department policy official, Anja Manuel, as advisor.
  • peerTransfer picks Digital River to provide payment processing.
  • Trustev Wins Most Disruptive Technology Award at SXSW.
  • WattzOn to participate in Georgetown University Energy Prize competition to help communities reduce energy consumption.
  • Toopher raises $200,000 of planned $300k financing round.
  • Fifth Third Bank launches online money movement solution from CashEdge.
  • Finovate Debuts: How Bitbond Leverages Bitcoin to Benefit Borrowers and Lenders.
  • Madrid-based Banco Mare Nostrum implements MicroStrategy as its analytics standard to drive analysis and insight for its employees.
  • American Banker features David Pinski’s move from a bank to a startup, Zumigo.
  • Payment Week interviews Cardlytics on how big data is changing consumer engagement.
  • American Banker: Ripple Labs hires Anja Manuel, a former U.S. State Department official, as company adviser.
  • Ovum names Kony a leader, recognizes it for its comprehensive cloud-based mobile solution.
  • ThreatMetrix enhances TrustDefender Mobile to help businesses meet new payment card industry data security standards.
  • Spring and All: FinovateSpring 2015 Presenters Revealed!

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.

Alumni News– November 7, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgP2Binvestor marks milestones in new credit lines, purchased invoices.
  • MasterCard announces acquisition of Payment Gateway Services business from TNS.
  • Andover Bank to deploy Precision core processing platform and other solutions from Fiserv.
  • Jack Henry Banking’s Symitar division partners with Stickley on Security to bring SoS Advisor to its core credit unions.
  • Josh Alexander, CEO of Toopher, named “Top Techpreneur” by Austin Business Journal.
  • eWeek looks at Concur’s ecosystem for app development.
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.

FinovateFall 2014 Best of Show Winners


After a busy two days at FinovateFall packed with people, some of the most innovative new technology we’ve seen, and some rather entertaining demos, the audience has spoken. 

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to be a part of our record breaking audience and cast their votes. Each attendee was able to vote for their top three favorite company demos both days, and the top seven were crowned Best of Show winners.
Here they are in alphabetical order:


AnchorID for its new way to log into websites and apps. One universal username logs you in with unique security.


blooom for its simple tool built to fix the millions of mis-invested 401(k) allocations for individual clients.


CrowdFlower for its leading data enrichment platform to help data scientists, analysts, and engineers collect, clean, and label data to make it useful.


Loyal3 for its use of social technologies to democratize the markets, making investing in IPOs and stocks easy and affordable for everyone.



MX/MoneyDesktop for its WideNet Technology to help FIs expand their market reach, and its Helios cross-platform digital banking app.


NICE Systems for its real-time authentication that strengthens and streamlines the authentication process in real-time, while customers converse with an agent.


Toopher for its multi-factor authentication platform that uses the location awareness of your smartphone to automate authentication for logins and critical actions.

Again, thanks to everyone who came out to the show. We’ll see you next year!

Notes on methodology:  

1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.     
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.    
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”  
4. The seven companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named Best of Show.  
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners. 

Toopher Broadens its Authentication Suite with Access, Touch, and Halo


This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateFall 2014.

Our next presenter is Toopher, demoing its authentication solution that pairs enterprise class security with the location awareness of mobile devices.

Toopher Access will allow clients to provide their customers with invisible authentication for logins and critical actions. Toopher Touch incorporates biometrics into the authentication process and Toopher Halo offers seamless deauthentication based on powerful geofencing technology. When the user leaves a specified geofence, Tooper will log them out automatically, ensuring full session security.”
Presenting: Josh Alexander (CEO & Co-Founder) & Evan Grim (CTO & Founder)
Product Launch: Q1 2015
Metrics: 20 employees
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B), through financial institutions, through other fintech companies and platforms, licensed
HQ: Austin, TX
Founded: September 2011
Twitter: @toopher

Trustev Wins SXSW Accelerator Award for Top Enterprise Startup

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for trustevLogo.jpg

Fresh off their Finovate debut, Irish-based real-time ID verification innovator Trustev is the latest winner in the SXSW Accelerator awards in the Enterprise and Big Data category.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,”Trustev CEO Pat Phelan said in an interview with News At One. “I’m just moving to the U.S. to head up the U.S. launch of the business.”


More than 1,000 companies applied for this year’s SXSW Accelerator. Forty-eight were selected to compete for 18 spots in the competition’s final round.
This year marks the sixth year of the event, held in Austin, Texas as part of the annual SXSW Music Film Interactive. Previous Accelerator participants include Klout (2009) and Siri (2010), as well as Finovate alums Kabbage (2011), OneID, and Toopher (both 2012).
A specialist in online fraud detection, Trustev serves more than 100 customers in five countries, and has raised more than $3.5 million in seed and angel funding. The company recently announced a partnership with Datameer, a big data analytics firm, that will help them further enhance the capabilities of their fraud detection system.
Trustev was named Europe’s Top Technology Startup by the EU Commission, and was recognized as one of the Hottest Global Startups by Forbes magazine. See the company in action in their video from FinovateEurope in February here.

Finovate Alumni News– November 27, 2013

  • Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgHeckyl Technologies featured in Startup Innovation.
  • Toopher unveils WordPress plugin.
  • U.S. Bank’s Mitek-powered Mobile Photo Bill Pay wins Best Technology Initiative in Banking award.
  • Independent Research Group names Cardlytics a Best in Class Provider in 4 categories of card loyalty technology report.
  • Ally Bank adds Fiserv’s Popmoney to power recurring funds transfers on its mobile app.
  • PayPal now accepts prepaid gift cards.
  • Mashable looks at HelloWallet as an easier way to save money.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports online advisers like Jemstep enhance free services.
  • Forbes features how Moven can be especially useful over the holidays.
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.

Toopher Brings Invisible Multifactor Authentication to WordPress

Thumbnail image for ToopherLogo.jpg

Three of the best words in this business – Free. Live. Downloadable – now apply to Toopher’s WordPress plugin, available at

Josh Alexander, CEO of Toopher, said, “WordPress is the foundation for so many sites of all levels of sophistication …Now any WordPress site owner can feel confident they can continue using the simple, wildly popular, open source website platform, but that now can include industrial-grade security with consumer-style user experience.”

Toopher’s agreement with WordPress comes months after announcing its partnership to provide authentication services for fellow Finovate alum miiCard (Fall 2013).

The company’s authentication process leverages the user’s smartphone in order to provide security against online fraud, password hacks, and identity theft. Toopher’s “phone stays in your pocket” approach automates the process, using the phone’s location-awareness to make authentication “invisible”. The result is what the company calls “a security solution that people actually want to use.”
The new plugin means that more than 72 million WordPress websites around the world will have access to Toopher’s authentication technology. On websites hosted by WordPress, nearly 400 million people view more than 14 billion pages a month.
Taking advantage of Toopher requires downloading the plugin and acquiring access credentials to Toopher’s API. This will enable all users of a site to deploy Toopher.
Toopher demoed their technology in a memorable presentation at FinovateFall in September. Take a look at the speed-talking, laptop-tossing duo from Toopher here.

Finovate Alumni News– November 21, 2013

  • Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgHPC Wire takes a look at the partnership between Toopher and Texas Advanced Computing Center.
  • Regulators green light IDology plans for New Jersey expansion.
  • Jackson Free Press uses data from Manilla to source column on student loan debt.
  • Michigan-based ECCU introduces a responsive designed website powered by Banno.
  • MyBankTracker reports: SimpleTuition’s SmarterBank to Shut Down Due to Low Participation.
  • International Business times considers how Holvi and TransferWise are revolutionizing banking.
  • Tagit powering Maybank P2P m-payment Service in Singapore.
  • BancVue’s Kasasa wins Five 2013 MarCom Awards.
  • Betterment CEO Joe Stein talks about the online RIA industry with RIA Biz.
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.