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

  • Marqeta Secures $260 Million in Series E Funding.
  • Fundopolis Turns to AlphaPoint for Tokenization Initiative.

Around the web

  • Mastercard partners with Samsung Electronics to develop mobile digital verification solutions.
  • YellowDog appoints James Stevens as its new Chief Commercial Officer.
  • Chile’s largest acquirer Transbank to deploy UP Retail Payments solution from ACI Worldwide.
  • ThetaRay adds Steve Mann as Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Spectrum Equity closes sale of Ethoca to Mastercard.

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

  • SoFi Goes InsurTech with Lemonade and Root.
  • Lending Club Shutters SMB Lending Arm, Redirects Customers to Other Lenders.

Around the web

  • elEconomista interviews Finect’s Antonio Botas (in Spanish).
  • YellowDog partners with DVE Advanced Systems.
  • Ixaris adds new Chief Legal and Compliance Officer Georg von Breven and Commercial Director Sean Ashton.
  • FICO unveils the latest version of its Decision Management Platform, FICO DMP.
  • Visa launches a suite of beta APIs and tools to help developers design and test payment 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.

YellowDog Raises $3.3 Million in Series A

In a round led by Bloc Ventures, cloud computing scheduling and orchestration management platform YellowDog announced securing an additional $3.3 million (£2.5 million) in Series A funding. The investment brings the total raised for the company’s Series A to more than $5.5 million (the company raised $2.2 million – £1.7 million – in March of last year.)

The financing also featured participation from Vodafone and ARM Holdings. YellowDog said that it will use the additional capital to scale its business and continue its successful expansion into financial services.

The company also announced that Reid Downey, an executive with 10 years’ experience leading software and cloud enterprise sales of Microsoft Azure and Office365 to Fortune 500 firms, will join YellowDog’s board of directors.

Left to right: CEO and founder Gareth Williams and CTO Simon Ponsford demonstrating YellowDog for Financial Services at FinovateEurope 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Reid to the Board and to secure this further funding given our tremendous year of growth ahead,” YellowDog CEO Gareth Williams said. “With our recent wins in the financial services market and more in the pipeline this year, we are only at the tip of the iceberg in this market.”

“The funding will enable us to support our global customer base and extend our technology into new markets such as aerospace,” he added.

YellowDog demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2019. With more than 1,500 customers in 42 countries around the world, YellowDog leverages high performance cloud compute orchestration technology to enable businesses to accurately anticipate the computing resources required to complete complex computational workloads.

With customers in a wide variety of verticals – from entertainment studios to financial services, YellowDog helps companies not only use computing resources more efficiently, they also save significantly on the cost of connectivity – which can be significant when it comes to cloud-based high performance computing.

And in addition to providing intelligent, optimized orchestration, YellowDog’s technology also functions across multi-vendor cloud fabric, providing the high level of compute resilience that some firms, especially those in financial services, require.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Bristol, U.K., the company was shortlisted for the Tech Company of the Year award at the U.K. Business Tech Awards in 2018. Also last year, YellowDog won the Business Innovation Award at the inaugural Best New Business Awards. U.K.-based Business Leader magazine identified the company among its 32 South West Tech Businesses That Are Shaping the Future profile.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Overbond Launches COBI Matching in Pivot to Analytics.
  • YellowDog Raises $3.3 Million in Series A.
  • Nutmeg Says No to IPO, Opts for Crowdfunding Instead.

Around the web

  • Ledger integrates with Cardano’s ADA and Yoroi Wallets.
  • Insuritas partners with SouthEast Bank to launch bank-owned digital insurance agency platform.
  • Adobe unveils Commerce Cloud, a customizable and scalable platform to manage, personalize, and optimize the commerce experience.
  • SigFig unveils SigFig Atlas, a financial advice and software-guided sales platform.
  • InComm and WH Smith launch in-store, online hubs for game cards in the U.K.
  • UBank integrates Watson into its customer service offerings with RoboBrain, a Watson-enabled virtual assistant.
  • Token.io and Konsentus launch fast PSD2 compliance solution by combining a PSD2 API with automated TPP verification.
  • Verimi and Signicat partner to deliver verified digital identity solution for European enterprises.
  • HooYu to provide ID verification for esports betting platform, Luckbox.
  • Qover earns a spot on Programmable Web’s list of 13 Notable Insurance APIs.
  • WRAL Tech Wire features Spreedly in a look at local technology companies.

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

  • OnDeck Launches Subsidiary to Help Banks with Small Business Lending.

Around the web

  • Daon partners with Akbank, making the Turkish bank the first in the country to deploy facial recognition technology for mobile banking authentication.
  • YellowDog shortlisted for Tech Company of the Year honors at the 2018 U.K. Business Tech Awards.
  • Bluefin teams up with data security tokenization vendor, TokenEx, to boost payment security.
  • Finicity selected as third-party service provider for Freddie Mac’s automated income and asset assessment solution, Loan Product Advisor.
  • Zenmonics earns a spot in the 2018 IDC FinTech Rankings.
  • FinTech Global recognizes Insuritas as a 2018 InsurTech100 Company.
  • Lendio announces facilitating $1 billion in financing to more than 51,000 U.S. SMEs since inception in 2011.
  • Indonesia’s biggest telecommunications company, Telkomsel, picks Kinetica to support its accelerated analytics, location-based visualization and AI.
  • Blockchain innovator identitii to list on the Australian Securities Exchange this week with anticipated market capitalization of $41 million.
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle interviews Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia, highlighting her as a 2018 Women Who Mean Business honoree.
  • Sara Berg appointed Chief Operating Officer of Trustly.
  • Expensify launches training and certification program for accountants.
  • Ping Identity launches new Quickstart Private Sandbox for Open Banking and PSD2
  • Openfinance signs data partnership with Refinitiv.
  • Trustly partners with Ingenico for online banking payments.
  • Moneynetint partners with Ripple to leverage instant payment rails.
  • Coinbase expands with new Dublin office.
  • Native American Bank selects Jack Henry’s SilverLake system.

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

  • Additiv Partners with Orange Business to Bring Digital Wealth Management to FIs.
  • Zopa’s Record Lending Figures Suggest a Healthy U.K. P2P Lending Sector.

Around the web

  • Iraq’s Banque Liban-Francaise completes upgrade to Temenos’ T24 core banking system.
  • P2P lender Zopa announces 40% revenue growth and a return to profitability.
  • Ohpen signs LeasePlan Bank as its latest customer.
  • Efigence implements technological side of Alior Bank open banking project.
  • Open Bank Project collaborates with Citizens Bank hackathon.
  • The World Economic Forum names Neener Analytics as a Technology for Integrity 2018.
  • YellowDog wins Business Innovation Award at inaugural Best New Business Awards.
  • Finicity forges data sharing agreement with USAA.
  • MapD debuts MapD 4.0 for interactive location intelligence at scale.

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

  • Risk Ident to Help Universum Protect Retailers from Fraud.
  • Dorsum Unveils My Wealth Mobile App.
  • Ondot Introduces Digital Card Services Platform.

Around the web

  • NuData Security named a “Top 100 in Tech” by Business in Vancouver.
  • ThetaRay wins ATMIA’s Next Generation ATM Security Award.
  • Tuition.io to power student loan repayment benefits for Hulu employees.
  • Standard Chartered Bank announces intentions to apply for the virtual banking license.
  • Conversation.one is Amazon Alexa-Certified for Financial Institutions.
  • Flywire and UnionPay Partner to Take the Cost Out of Cross-Border Payments from China.
  • Yoyo introduces quarterly tracker to monitor customer activity in closed catering environments.
  • U.K.-based Business Leader magazine features Wealthify and YellowDog among its 32 South West Tech Businesses That Are Shaping the Future spotlight.
  • Unblu opens offices in London.

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

  • Lender Price Integrates with Mortgage Management Solution from Ellie Mae.
  • WorkFusion’s $50 Million Round to Fuel Robotic Process Automation.
  • $1.32 Billion Raised by 26 Alums in Q1 of 2018.

Around the web

  • Retail chain Speedway names InComm Innovative Business Partner of the Year.
  • Technology from Malauzai and Geezeo contributes to new mobile app for Florida’s Axiom Bank.
  • YellowDog announces new partnership with [RE]DESIGN.
  • Mr. Cooper awarded Top Servicing Performance Rating from Fannie Mae. Come see Mr. Cooper’s demo at FinovateSpring next month.
  • Arxan launches new app security monitoring and analysis service, Arxan Threat Analytics.

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.

YellowDog Secures Funding Courtesy of Round Led by Bloc Ventures

YellowDog, which introduced its Limitless Compute technology at FinovateEurope last week, has scored a major investment in a round led by Bloc Ventures. The total amount of the funding was not disclosed. Featuring participation from Bristol Private Equity Club – and a successful Seedrs crowdfunding campaign – the round will enable YellowDog to tackle its next big challenge: big batch processing for financial services.

“The backing of Bloc proves that we are on the right trajectory with our offering,” YellowDog founder Gareth Williams said. “This fundraise will help YellowDog begin to unlock the massive potential in new sectors starting with financial services. Having Bloc as an investor means we can begin to leverage both their expertise and their network to support our growth.”

David Leftley, CTO and co-founder of Bloc, pointed to the unique nature of YellowDog’s offering as a reason for supporting the firm. “The ability of YellowDog’s technology to spin-up massive high performance computing grids already has been proven in the animation market and the potential to scale into other markets such as financial services and engineering fits perfectly with our investment strategy.”

More than 1,000 companies are using YellowDog’s platform to unleash the massive latent potential of their existing computer networks. Combined with the public cloud, the technology gives institutions secure and immediate access to hundreds of thousands of cores without the complication of relying on multiple vendors. Integrated within the company’s current IT infrastructure, the platform enables high performance computing clusters that securely extend any underutilized computing system.

The YellowDog platform can also burst batch workloads to preferred public cloud providers to ensure prompt batch processes. The company said its vendor-agnostic technology is “more flexible than virtualization, more resilient than high performance computing clusters, and less expensive to deploy than hyperconvergence.” Leftley praised YellowDog’s leveraging of both AI and machine learning as “a big differentiator in this market” and said Bloc Ventures was committed to helping the company “unlock (its) full potential.”

Shortlisted by the National Technology Awards 2018 last month in the Startup Tech Company of the Year category, YellowDog was founded in 2015 and is based in Bristol, U.K. The company announced its 1,000th user on its platform last fall – a milestone reached after just two years in operation – and has been awarded both the Bristol Life Technology and Innovation Award and Bristol Post Startup of the Year Award for 2017. Video of the company’s demo from its debut at FinovateEurope 2018 will be available soon.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Nordic Capital Fund Acquires Majority Share of Trustly.

Around the web

  • Coinbase granted e-money license by U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); joins Faster Payments Scheme courtesy of partnership with Barclays Bank.
  • ACI Worldwide announces contract extension with DBS.
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade for Vietnam (Vietcombank) picks trade finance platform from Finastra.
  • nCino and Enforce partner to accelerate cloud adoption for financial institutions.
  • Tradeshift partners with Canon Business Process Services.
  • Pindrop partners with Aeriandi to detect fraudulent calls through cloud platforms.
  • GMO’s Z.com Trade adds Trustly as payment option.
  • Kabbage teams with New Media to advertise to more than five million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) that do business in New Media’s markets.
  • OnDeck appoints Kenneth Brause as CFO.
  • Sandia Area Credit Union hires Insuritas to launch member-owned, digitally-powered insurance agency.
  • Oregon Community CU selects Alkami Technology’s digital banking platform to provide its more than 150,000 members with a modern digital banking offering.
  • Bankjoy selected to compete in Google Demo Day in March.
  • TSYS implements new payment solution, Advanced AuthControl, with Walmart and Sam’s Club locations around the U.S.

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.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: YellowDog

 

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 6 through 9 of March 2018 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

YellowDog transformed the CGI rendering industry with Limitless Compute and amazing algorithms. YellowDog is now scaling to disrupt the financial services industry with award-winning technology.

Features

  • Reduce risk and make better decisions by carrying out more analyses faster than ever before
  • Always deliver batch workloads on time without spending more on servers

Why it’s great
YellowDog solves big batch problems in financial services by giving them access to Limitless Compute.

Presenters

Gareth Williams, CEO
Williams has built and led product management teams in mobile and software companies for the past 13 years. He founded YellowDog in January 2015.
LinkedIn

Simon Ponsford, CTO
Ponsford has 16 years experience in high growth start-up environments working in CIO, CTO and Technical Architect roles in the across the world, with several cloud computing related patents to his name.
LinkedIn