Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.


Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”


Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on Finovate.com

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fiserv Unveils its Intelligent Billpay Service, CheckFree Next.
  • Kabbage Joins the Small Business Payments Processing Party.
  • Raising Roostify: Santander InnoVentures Leads Expansion Round.

Around the web

  • Backbase teams up with Payveris to bring integrated digital payments and money movement solutions to FIs.
  • TransUnion appoints communications and IT services veteran Mike Davies as UK Chief Operating Officer.
  • Danish challenger bank Lunar chooses financial crime mitigation technology from Temenos.
  • Finn AI announces expansion of its partnership with Visa beyond Canada.
  • Revolut opens up new offices in Singapore.
  • myGini successfully completes PCI Level 1 compliance audit.

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

  • Temenos Signs Core Banking Deal with Maltese Challenger Laskaris Finance.
  • HiddenLevers Now Has $500 Billion in Assets on its Platform.
  • Upgrade Pack Opens Singapore Office, Appoints New COO.

Around the web

  • CredoLab partners with TransUnion’s iovation to fight credit fraud.
  • CUneXus adds Delta Community Credit Union to list of clients for its 1-click digital lending platform.

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

  • Ondot Unveils New Cloud Service to Help Smaller Banks Compete.
  • Urban FT Acquires Remote Deposit Capture Innovator CFC Technology Group.

Around the web

  • TransUnion launches its consumer data mapping solution, TrueVision.
  • Coinbase to offer exclusive trading data to all customers.
  • Plaid unveils its Liabilities endpoint to support development of apps to help combat student loan debt.
  • Signifyd announces general availability of its Signifyd INR Protection add-on, bringing coverage of item-not-received (INR) chargebacks to its fraud protection solution.
  • Klarna partners with Superdry to enable the company’s customers in the U.K. to pay later or pay in three installments.

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.

TransUnion Acquires TruSignal

Risk management and credit reporting agency TransUnion is boosting its marketing expertise this week with the acquisition of TruSignal. Financial terms of the deal, which marks TransUnion’s 15th acquisition, were undisclosed.

TruSignal is a target marketing specialist that offers businesses optimization, monetization, and targeting solutions that leverage AI-powered predictive scoring. TransUnion said that combining TruSignal’s capabilities with its in-house technology will help it operate at scale while still allowing people to have personalized interactions with companies in real-time.

TransUnion President and CEO Chris Cartwright said that TruSignal’s marketing solutions will allow the firm to “rapidly and flexibly serve the evolving digital marketing ecosystem.” Matt Spiegel, EVP of digital marketing solutions and head of media at TransUnion added, “Our history of leveraging data to develop rich insights and products, combined with TruSignal’s industry-leading rapid modeling and technology platform, has the potential to be a critical part of shaping the future of the industry and how consumers will experience the brands they engage with.”

Having access to TruSignal’s technology will help TransUnion enhance its marketing products, building on the partnership the company formed last month with Tru Optik. TransUnion’s marketing offerings currently include audience segmentation for digital marketing, customer acquisition, and customer engagement tools.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion has office locations at its headquarters in Chicago, as well as in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and act on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $12.3 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”

Last month the company led a $24 million funding round for digital identity authentication provider Payfone. A few days prior to that announcement, TransUnion completed the sale of U.K. credit reporting service Noddle to fellow Finovate alum Credit Karma.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate

  • Holvi Expands to Five New European Markets.
  • Artivest Inks Deal with Institutional Investment Manager LaSalle.
  • BioCatch Brings on New Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Yseop Pairs Up with Larsen & Toubro Infotech.

Around the web

  • Inc. names Blend, Kabbage, Lendio, Plaid, Pendo, Signifyd, and Ripple among the best places to work.
  • Alt Coin Magazine interviews Steven Parker, Crypterium CEO.
  • Interactions‘ IVA was named the top virtual assistant in Speech Technology Magazine’s 2019 People’s Choice Awards.
  • Salt Edge Open Banking API now supports eIDAS PSD2 certificates.
  • NIIT Technologies launches Cognitive Service Desk Audit, a tool to help applications understand and interpret user needs through natural communication.

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.

Payfone Raises $24 Million in Round Led by TransUnion

Digital identity authentication provider Payfone closed a $24 million funding round today. Credit reporting agency TransUnion led the round, while existing investors Synchrony, MassMutual Ventures, and Wellington Management also contributed. The investment brings the New York-based company’s total funding to $117.6 million.

TransUnion’s investment comes in conjunction with a strategic partnership between the two companies, which have been doing business together since 2017. The Chicago-based company will integrate Payfone’s Trust Platform and Trust Score into its IDVision with iovation suite of products.

“Within this new strategic partnership, we anticipate supporting Payfone’s expansion to new markets and looking at other uses of their products throughout our organization,” said Geoff Miller, senior vice president of global fraud and identity solutions at TransUnion. “We are both committed to protecting consumers, focusing on data privacy and building trust with our customers, and the combination of our solutions will create a better, more seamless experience for everyone.” Miller will join Payfone’s Board of Directors.

TransUnion will serve as Payfone’s primary partner for regulated identity verification information. Payfone CEO Rodger Desai said, “With our partnership with TransUnion, we can now leverage TransUnion’s footprint of more than 30 countries to help expand our Trust Score around the globe, allowing billions of additional consumers to safely access digital services.”

Payfone, which was founded in 2008 as a mobile payments company, demoed1-Touch Checkout at FinovateFall 2012. The New York-based company has since pivoted to focus on authentication solutions.

Last year, Payfone authenticated 20 billion transactions for Fortune 500 companies using its zero-knowledge architecture (if you’re unsure what zero-knowledge is, check out Payfone’s blog post on the matter). The company plans to double the number of transactions authenticated this year.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion has office locations at its headquarters in Chicago, as well as in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and acts on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $13.3 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kantox Closes $5.7 Million to Bring More Tech to FX.
  • Payfone Raises $24 Million in Round Led by TransUnion.

Around the web

  • Kony helps Amway drive digital innovation for business owners across 100 countries and territories.
  • Revolut adds 5 new currencies to the app including: MXN, SAR, RUB, HRK, and BGN.
  • Entersekt expands operations, opening second office in Cape Town.

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

Around the web

  • TransUnion completes sale of U.K.-based Noddle to Credit Karma following FCA approval.
  • MX announces MoneyMap with Pulse, a self-guided financial wellness tool to empower banks’ customers.
  • Forbes: Most Active Israeli Venture Investor OurCrowd Leads Global Restructuring of Startup Funding.

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

  • New Investment in Zafin to Drive Innovation in Financial Services.

Around the web

  • London-based anti-fraud platform Fortytwo Data rebrands as Napier.
  • Fenergo launches new low to no-code administration suite, Fenergo Digital Configuration Studio.
  • Lighter Capital provides $700,000 in growth capital to FitSmallBusiness.com.
  • Forrester names CREALOGIX a leader in the Now Tech: Digital Banking Engagment Platforms, Q4 2018, category.
  • Artivest announces expansion of its platform to include product structuring and fund distribution solutions.
  • TransUnion unveils its Auto Payment Shopper solution to improve the car buying process for consumers, lenders, and dealers.
  • ieDigital named “market challenger” in latest Ovum Decision Matrix.

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.

TransUnion Teams Up with EXL for CECL Compliance

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Credit reporting agency and risk solutions provider TransUnion is taking steps to help lenders to comply with the new Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting rule. The company is partnering with operations management and analytics company EXL to facilitate the change.

The partnership will allow TransUnion to create a CECL Credit Loss Calculator to help lenders forecast losses under CECL, since the new guidelines change the methodology used to calculate loan loss allowances. The tool combines EXL’s analytics capabilities with TransUnion’s de-personalized credit data to create a platform that complies with all CECL reporting guidelines, which alter how banks calculate loan loss.

“Many players in the industry are describing CECL as the biggest change to bank accounting standards in years,” said Jason Laky, SVP and consumer lending business leader at TransUnion. “While large banks have more resources at their disposal to adapt, we believe the majority of small to mid-sized lenders will not have the ability or capacity to comply internally and may face challenges as they prepare for the rollout of this new rule.”

Using the Credit Loss Calculator, lenders can leverage their own portfolio data or automatically import data reported by TransUnion. The tool allows lenders to adjust for macroeconomic scenarios, apply overlays, and adjust the models for different credit products, including mortgages, auto loans, and revolving credit.

Founded in 1968, TransUnion is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with office locations in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Toronto, Johannesburg, Colombia, and Brazil. At FinovateFall 2016, TransUnion showcased Prama, a suite of analytics tools that helps lenders gain market intelligence and acts on insights to drive growth and build a risk policy. Last month, the company acquired device intelligence firm iovation. TransUnion is a public company with a market capitalization of $13.4 billion, trading on the NYSE under the ticker “TRU.”

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Wonga Raises $13 Million in New Funding.
  • TransUnion Teams Up with EXL for CECL Compliance.
  • RightCapital Adds Student Loan Functionality to its Platform.

Around the web

  • PasswordPing wins Startup of the Year at 13th Annual 2018 IT World Awards. See PasswordPing at FinovateFall in New York next month.
  • Zopa to finance loans for CommuterClub season tickets, courtesy of a new partnership.
  • Xero announces integration with GoCardless.
  • PYMNTS.com profiles payroll, benefits, and HR platform, Gusto.
  • MicroStrategy appoints Marge Breya as Chief Marketing Officer.

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.