Russia Gets a New Tech Billionaire as U.K. Fintechs Get Funded

Russia has a new tech billionaire. The $500 million raised by financial platform Revolut this week not only establishes the U.K.-based business as the country’s most valuable fintech. It also makes its founder and CEO, Moscow-born Nikolay Storonsky, the latest fintech billionaire to come from the Russian Republic.

The investment was led by Technology Crossover Ventures – a U.S. firm – and takes Revolut’s total capital to $836 million. Revolut now sports a valuation of $5.5 billion.

Storonsky’s net worth figure – on paper, at least – is based on a Forbes report from last February in which he noted that his stake in Revolut was being diluted to 30%.

As part of this big week for U.K. fintechs, SME lender iwoca picked up $109 million funding and expansion into Germany. B-Social, a social payments app based in London, raised $10 million ahead of its transformation into a fully-licensed challenger bank later this year. And Azimo partnered with fellow Finovate alum Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments to the Philippines.

This week on Finovate.com, we featured a profile of Innovate Israel founder and CEO Itai Green and his thoughts on open innovation and collaboration between corporates and startups. We also highlighted Finovate newcomer Sonect, a Swiss company that demonstrated its Best of Show winning virtual cash network at FinovateEurope earlier this month.


Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian fintech PhoneParLoan announces new investment from accelerator MOX. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
  • Bengaluru-based digital billpay company XPay Life goes live in India.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee acquires Indian data aggregator FinBit.io.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • AlphaCredit, a Mexico City-based fintech, raises $125 million in round led by the SoftBank Innovation Fund.
  • Mexico issues its first license – to NVIO Pagos Mexico – under its new fintech law.
  • U.S. Bancorp’s merchant acquirer subsidiary, Elavon, sells its Mexican operations to banking group Santander.

Asia-Pacific

  • Azimo taps Ripple for cross-border payments to the Philippines.
  • Philippines-based Tonik Financial raises $6 million ahead of the launch of its new digital offering.
  • Malaysia’s biggest telecom, Axiata Group, is the latest company in the country to announce plans to pursue a digital banking license.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa’s Jumo raises $55 million in combined debt and equity funding.
  • Nigeria’s The Nation looks at how fintech empowers startups.
  • Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Sokowatch locks in $14 million Series A funding.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Mastercard expands its partnership with Rakuten Viber to bring P2P payments to Romania.
  • A new $500 million funding round for Revolut makes the company’s founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky Russia’s latest tech billionaire.
  • Apple Pay goes live in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Kashat, an Egyptian mobile app that offers short-term loans of up to $95 to the underbanked, goes live in Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Jordanian SME lending marketplace Liwwa raises $5 million in growth funding.
  • A new agreement between Tencent Holdings and Network International will expand WeChat Pay’s presence in the UAE.

Top image designed by Freepik

Envestnet | Yodlee Acquires Indian Data Aggregator FinBit.io

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

Envestnet | Yodlee has acquired another asset in its strategy to further grow and develop its data aggregation and analytics business.

The company has purchased India-based FinBit.io, a data analytics platform that offers a scoring solution, BankScore, designed to help people who struggle to obtain credit due to a poor or insufficient credit history. Both companies are Finovate alums: Envestnet | Yodlee made its last Finovate appearance at FinovateFall in New York back in September; FinBit.io made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia last fall in Singapore.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal was completed on February 18th.

Envestnet sees the acquisition as accelerating innovation within the company, fueling the ability of the firm to market compliant solutions to new and existing customers in the region. As part of the deal, FinBit.io founder and CEO Prashant Paliwal will lead Yodlee FinSoft, an Envestnet | Yodlee subsidiary focused on the account aggregation business in India and Asia.

Envestnet | Yodlee Chief Executive for Data and Analytics Stuart DePina called India and Asia strategically important to the company, and highlighted the account aggregator ecosystem in India as one of the more vibrant developments in fintech. “We are delighted to empower millions of consumers in India with state-of-the-art Account Aggregator technology and superior user experiences that will allow them to share consented data seamlessly across platforms enabling speedy solutions such as the real-time processing of personal loan applications,” DePina explained.

“Our vision is to empower consumers with the ability to permit the aggregation of their financial data so that holistic analytics can be made available to valuable services like affordable credit, personal finance management, and even accounting,” FinBit.io’s Paliwal said. Paliwal, who founded the Bangalore-based company in 2017, said the acquisition would enable FinBit.io to expand its product portfolio and scale its offerings. Paliwal is a Yodlee veteran, running the company’s APAC fintech business before launching FinBit.io.

Envestnet acquired multiple Finovate Best of Show winning Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. Founded in 1999, the company has more than 25 million users around the world and 1,200+ financial institution partners including 15 of the top 20 U.S. banks. The publicly-traded firm, ENV on the New York Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of $4 billion.

JPMorgan Chase: More Tokens, Fewer Passwords, Better Security

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels

According to reporting in the Financial Times, JPMorgan Chase is the latest financial institution to pledge a pivot toward tokenization to make it easier and safer for customers to access third party financial solutions. Tokenization enables FIs to securely send only the limited amount of data necessary to complete transactions, and limits the exposure of customer passwords and other sensitive information. The article, by Laura Noonan, highlights a pair of companies – Envestnet |Yodlee and Plaid – and their agreements to use tokenization in their interactions with Chase and other major FIs.

“Our partnership with Chase will allow further consumer choice, reliability, and insight into how and where their data is being used, along with improved overall financial well-being,” Envestnet | Yodlee CEO Stuart DePina said when his company’s deal was announced last December. “As we move toward API-based connectivity in the United States, relationships like the one we have with Chase are laying the groundwork for this reality by giving consumers greater connectivity across their financial accounts, all accomplished through these types of secure and protected channels.”

The move also represents Chase’s most recent strike against screen scraping, with the FI has long opposed out of concerns that the practice was exploitative of customer data. Noonan’s article notes JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon who decried the way “many third parties sell or trade information in a way customers may not understand, and the third parties, quite often, are doing it for their own economic benefit – not for the customer’s” in a shareholder letter in 2016.

On Finovate.com

  • The CA Consumer Privacy Act Went into Effect While You Were on Vacation – If you’re unfamiliar with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), you might want to stop catching up on email you missed over the holiday and focus on this new regulation. Here are a few highlights of California’s new law, which went into effect yesterday.
  • Wall Street to Exiting Fintechs: Show Us the Profits – What does the fintech landscape look like for startups in 2020? Among all the forecasts and predictions we’ve been reading and re-reading, is reporting from the Wall Street Journal that suggests that fintech startups seeking successful exits may face tougher challenges in 2020 than in 2019.
  • B-North Lands $2.6 Million Ahead of Launch – E.U.-based alternative lending company B-North announced this week it landed $2.6 million (£2 million) in new funding. The investment comes as part of crowdfunding efforts via Crowdcube and Growthfunders.
  • Finovate Global: Solaris Bank to Secure CryptoCurrencies; Brazilian Fintechs Announce New Funding

Alumni in the News

  • Mastercard snaps up RiskRecon.
  • Lendio recognized as one of the best places to work by Glassdoor.
  • iProov CEO Andrew Bud earns Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) status from Queen Elizabeth as part of his work in driving technology innovation in the U.K.
  • Standard Chartered appoints Rene Keller as CIO of CCIB.
  • Ayondo chairman resigns.

If you are a Finovate alum, please send us your news and announcements by Friday noon, Pacific Time, in order to be featured in our weekly Alumni in the News roundup.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • RightCapital Inks Strategic Partnership with Financial Advisor Association

Around the web

  • Envestnet | Yodlee forges data sharing agreement with JP Morgan Chase.
  • Temenos partners with CWB Financial Group.
  • DriveWealth teams up with SBI Thai Online Securities, bringing access to U.S. stocks to Thai investors.
  • Open banking platform Tink announces expansion to Portugal and Italy.
  • New partnership with Smart Pension will enable Revolut to offer its business customers the ability to automate monthly pension contributions.
  • Artivest announces new partnership with Wellington Management.
  • Paysend introduces worldwide money transfers to Uzbekistan.
  • Jumio takes home top honors in the “Software Security Enterprise Product of the Year” category at the 2019 Best in Biz Awards.
  • Finastra inks deal with Pancreta Bank of Greece to deploy its Fusion Risk solution to help automate regulatory reporting.

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.

Envestnet Adds Yodlee FinApps to MoneyGuide’s MyBlocks

Envestnet announced today that it is adding five Yodlee FinApps to MoneyGuide’s MyBlocks client-engagement tool. This will give financial advisors new resources to improve customer engagement as well as their customer’s financial wellness.

An interactive, digital experience, MyBlocks helps advisors engage clients on topics such as social security and retirement compatibility by breaking them into “bite-sized blocks” that are easier to understand, navigate, and manage. By adding Yodlee Finapps, advisors will also be able to offer clients a holistic view of their assets, insurance, and other financial information, as well. “Get clients engaged faster and keep them engaged,” Envestnet | MoneyGuide president Tony Leal said. “That’s the foundation of MyBlocks.”

The new five blocks include:

  • AI Fintech: AI-driven virtual assistant that measures financial health
  • Cash Flow Analysis: financial tracker that forecasts future expenses and income
  • Investment Holdings: portfolio viewer with ability to examine sectors and individual holdings
  • NetWorth Summary: aggregated, continually-updated snapshot of assets and liabilities
  • OK to Spend: cash flow optimizer that provides transparency on future income and expenses

This week’s announcement furthers the initial integration between MyBlocks and Yodlee FinApps announced over the summer. The new blocks are currently available to MoneyGuide customers who are subscribers to MyBlocks and have licensed Yodlee data aggregation. The offering is expected to be extended to all registered investment advisors using the Envestnet | Tamarac platform in 2020.

“This is another step in our journey to create a unified advice network that allows advisors and their clients to build better financial futures,” Envestnet interim CEO Bill Crager said.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Envestnet| Yodlee demonstrated its latest financial wellness data offering at FinovateFall in September. The new app enables users to structure their financial data in repositories called “boards” that leverage notifications, alerts, and insights to make it easier for users to manage their finances. Among other recent offerings from the company are its Intelligent APIs, unveiled just weeks ago, which take advantage of data science and machine learning to empower the development of “hyper-personalized” financial solutions.

Envestnet has more than 99,000 advisors and 4,100+ companies using its data aggregation and digital analytics platform and services. The company’s customers include 17 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 43 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, and 500+ of the largest Registered Investment Advisers. Recent partnerships with Envestnet include working with Voya Financial over the summer to help the firm launch a hybrid roboadvisory solution, and announcing a $500 million acquisition of PIEtech – the mother company of MoneyGuide – this spring.

Envestnet acquired multiple-time, Finovate Best of Show winner Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. The company is publicly-traded on the NYSE under the ticker ENV, and has a market capitalization of $3 billion.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Finicity’s AssetReady Reports Accelerate the Prequal Process.
  • Envestnet Adds Yodlee FinApps to MoneyGuide’s MyBlocks.

Around the web

  • PyraMax Bank launches PyraMax Insurance Services leveraging Insuritas’ digital insurance platform.
  • Finastra’s new Fusion Treasury Essential helps small banks with no dedicated treasury system automate their treasury function.
  • nCino appoints David Rudow as Chief Financial 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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Paper.id lands funding to power digital invoicing for SMEs in Indonesia.

Around the web

  • BlueVine launches BlueVine Business Banking.
  • Salt Edge unveils Salt Edge Authenticator for strong customer authentication and dynamic linking.
  • Jack Henry’s PayCenter helps first 15 bank clients join RTP network.
  • AccountScore and Equifax debut credit risk index to help lenders better understand loan applicants.
  • Personal Capital celebrates 10 years in wealthtech with a brand refresh.
  • MX ships new tool to help consumers manage and cancel recurring subscriptions.
  • Swaper’s three years milestones: 2800 investors have funded over 7 million Euros in loans.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee releases Intelligent APIs to further personalize financial wellness tools.
  • myGini completes PCI Level 1 compliance audit.
  • FinTech Global recognizes Insuritas as InsurTech 100 Member.

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

  • Finovate Alums Raise More Than $4 Billion in 2018; $802 Million in Q4.

Around the web

  • Symbiont closes $20 million Series B in round led by Nasdaq Ventures.
  • New partnership helps Moven grow in MENA.
  • UNPay founder Zhang Zhenghua named as 2018 Golden Shell Award’s inaugural “Payment Industry Pioneer.”
  • Envestnet|Yodlee acquires Abe AI to drive Yodlee’s latest conversational AI solution.
  • Experian unveils first affordability check for gaming websites.

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

  • EVRY Wins $75 Million Contract.
  • Best of Show Winner Voleo to Help Drive Social Trading in Europe.
  • FI.SPAN Raises $4 Million for U.K. and Australia Expansion.

Around the web

  • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
  • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
  • Anorak earns a spot in FinSMEs’ Top 10 U.K. Insurtech Startups to Watch in 2019 roster.
  • Intuit relaunches its redesigned ProAdvisor program in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
  • DataSine and FinovateFall Best of Show winner Golden join the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator’s latest cohort.
  • API platform provider for banking and insurance NDGIT announces strategic partnership with Synpulse.
  • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
  • PYMNTS highlights WePay Co-founder Rich Aberman in its latest podcast.
  • Jack Henry & Associates introduces a voice-driven consumer billpay solution.

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.

Envestnet | Yodlee Doubles Down on the Developer Experience

Data aggregation and analytics company Envestnet | Yodlee made a strategic hire to its Developer Experience team this week, recruiting Sebastien Taveau (pictured), former chief developer evangelist for Mastercard, as its vice president of Developer Experience.

Taveau is charged with overseeing the new developer experience, positioning it as a developer-first platform, and strengthening ties with the fintech developer community. And Taveau is well-suited for the job; he brings more than 20 years of experience working in POS, mobile payment, mobile security, mobile identity, and consumer solutions.

Among his prior roles are chief technologist at Zelle/Early Warning Services, chief developer evangelist for Mastercard, CTO for Validity, and principal/astronomer at PayPal.

“Sebastien’s blend of skills, experience and passion for the job are invaluable in our continued commitment to delivering upon our developer first vision and driving industry innovation. His role is also vital in nurturing our important relationship with the fintech community, enabling them to better serve their customers,” said Brandon Rembe, SVP of products at Envestnet | Yodlee.

Hiring Taveau is part of a broader effort Envestnet | Yodlee has put forth into crafting the developer experience. Last month, the company unveiled a new developer experience that delivers enhanced data that spans 18,000 global sources, as well as updated tools that aim to speed up the developer experience. The new tools will be available to developers by the end of 2018.

Envestnet | Yodlee showcased its predictive financial wellness and intelligence solution at FinovateFall 2018. Envestnet was founded in 1999 and acquired Yodlee in 2015 for $660 million. Envestnet | Yodlee is a public company listed on NYSE under the ticker ENV. It has a market capitalization of $2.37 billion.

Finovate Favorites: A Baker’s Dozen of Best of Show Winners

Which fintech companies have continued to impress Finovate audiences over the years? The return of Kasasa to FinovateSpring last month, winning its fourth Best of Show award in the process, got a few of us thinking that it was a good time to take a look at which companies have been selected as fan favorites most frequently after demoing their latest technologies live on stage.

We’ve highlighted companies that have been especially popular at certain conferences, such as FinovateAsia and FinovateSpring before. Here is our compendium of the top Best of Show vote-getters to date for all shows combined (minimum of three wins).

The Big Three

The three companies that have won the most Best of Show awards from Finovate audiences reflect three different themes in fintech over the years: the allure of social investing (eToro), the rise of data analytics in banking (MX, formerly Money Desktop), and the persistence of the payment card (Dynamics). What is especially impressive about all three companies in our Best of Show Big Three is their ability to innovate over time. Each alum won their first Best of Show award between 2010 and 2012 and won their most recent Best of Show award between 2016 and 2018.

Dynamics (8) Founded in 2007. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jeff Mullen is CEO.

MX / Money Desktop (6) Founded in 2010. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah. Ryan Caldwell is CEO.

eToro (6) Founded in 2007. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel and London, U.K. Yoni Assia is CEO.

The Super Six

Of our Super Six – the six companies to have won Best of Show awards four times – what is most interesting is also the way many of them have been proven innovators over a time of major change in fintech. Companies like Kasasa (formerly BancVue) and Yodlee (now Envestnet | Yodlee) made their big splash back in the earliest days of Finovate and, with recent Best of Show wins in 2018 and 2017, respectively, shown that they are still among fintech’s most inspiring solution providers.

Backbase – 4

Kasasa / BancVue – 4

Meniga – 4

oFlows – 4

SaleMove – 4

Yodlee (including Envestnet | Yodlee) – 4

The Fantastic Four

Two of the companies in our Fantastic Four companies that have won Best of Show awards three times have since been acquired. LearnVest, a three-time Best of Show winner from 2011-2013, was acquired by Northwestern Mutual for more than $250 million in 2015. EyeVerify, which won Best of Show awards on three different continents, was acquired by Ant Financial in 2016. The company now operates as ZOLOZ, and is focused on providing digital identity solutions for the underbanked in Asia.

BehavioSec – 3

EyeVerify (now “ZOLOZ”) – 3

LearnVest – 3

mBank – 3

Note: FA: FinovateAsia, FE: FinovateEurope, FF: FinovateFall, FS: FinovateSpring. Audience favorite awards from FinDEVr not included.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • PayPal Acquires Simility for $120 Million.
  • Finovate Favorites: A Baker’s Dozen of Best of Show Winners.
  • Touché, OCBC Bank Bring Fingerprint Authentication to In-Person Commerce.
  • P2Binvestor Earns $17+ Million in Funding.
  • Veridium Earns $150,000 Grant.
  • Newchip Lands $2 Million in Seed Funding.

Around the web

  • Experian secures FCA accreditation to supply Open Banking and PSD2 services.
  • Finn AI is the latest fintech to join Temenos Marketplace.
  • CFSI names financial health leaders: Envestnet | Yodlee, Finicity, Handle Financial, Lendstreet, Lend Up, Lending Club, Moven, and Simple.

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.