Zooz Acquired by PayU in Deal Valued at More than $80 Million

Zooz Acquired by PayU in Deal Valued at More than $80 Million

In an extended post at the Zooz blog, company CEO Oren Levy announced that the eight-year old global payments platform he co-founded had agreed to be acquired by PayU. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Reuters reported that the deal was valued between $80 million and $100 million.

“Although it wasn’t entirely out of the blue, I can honestly say that PayU is a natural buyer for Zooz,” Levy wrote. “It simply makes sense.” He explained that given the options of continuing to raise capital and remain independent or seek the opportunity to grow “under the umbrella of PayU. The choice was clear.”

PayU will use Zooz’s technology to provide more payment options for its merchants, and help the company expand into cross border payments markets in developing, high-growth areas. This includes building a payment infrastructure with fraud management and smart routing. With a strong presence in India, Netherlands-based PayU currently has operations in 17 markets around the world.

The acquisition of Zooz also represents a win for the company’s open platform approach that gives merchants the ability to connect with a variety of payment providers. “In the choice between building a closed walled garden and an open platform, we decided to go with the second model,” PayU CEO Laurent le Moal told The Indian Wire. “The reality is that you need to be neutral and work with everyone.”

Levy and Zooz CTO Ronen Morecki will join PayU’s leadership team. The company’s 70 employees will also become a part of PayU.

“While Zooz will continue to innovate and further disrupt the payments world,” Levy wrote,” the scale that will be introduced through the sheer number of merchants using the PayU payment solution, coupled with the huge trove of data that can accelerate our analytics and machine learning capabilities, make this an exciting opportunity that we’re eager to explore.”

Zooz demonstrated its Transforming Checkout solution at FinovateFall 2013. Based in Raanana, Israel, Zooz announced a partnership with PayU last year that combined its cross border payment expertise with PayU’s presence in emerging markets. This spring, the company launched its open-payments-platform-as-a-service solution, PaymentsOS.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Figure Eight (formerly CrowdFlower) Collaborating with Google Cloud on Machine Learning.
  • Zooz Acquired by PayU in Deal Valued at More than $80 Million.

Around the web

  • Currencycloud announces new CRO Nick Cheetham.
  • Rabobank to leverage ACI Worldwide’s ACI Issuer to manage and modernize its card portfolio business.
  • TransferTo teams up with distributed, open-source blockchain platform, Stellar.org to make cross border money transfers easier.
  • Infosys Finacle to power Ayeyarwaddy Farmers Development Bank’s digital transformation.
  • The Silicon Review names Arxan and IdentityMind Global among 50 best companies to watch in 2018.
  • Prosper moves from providing investors estimated return data to historical return data.

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.

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

This week, CB Insights unveiled its Fintech 250 list. The research outfit selected 250 emerging, private companies in 17 sub-sectors of fintech that are changing the face of financial services. The roster includes 44 Finovate and FinDEVr alums that were selected using CB Insights’ data-driven process that analyzes company momentum, market participation, funds raised, and investor quality.

The list is in alphabetical order.









Credit Karma





Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)










Personal Capital





Ripple Labs
















Zooz Partners with PayU to Help Merchants Reach Customers in High Growth Markets

Zooz Partners with PayU to Help Merchants Reach Customers in High Growth Markets

Payment technology innovator Zooz has inked a deal with PayU that will help merchants reach customers in high growth markets. The partnership combines Zooz’s expertise in facilitating cross-border payments – including the company’s Smart Routing technology – with PayU’s deep presence in emerging markets around the world.

“PayU is clearly aware of the opportunities and barriers faced by international merchants,” Zooz CEO Oren Levy said. “The combination of PayU’s expertise and customer base with Zooz’s advanced technology platform is a natural fit, and we look forward to helping merchants gain access to new global markets and opportunities,” he said. Citing cross-border payment infrastructure as a major challenge for businesses in high growth markets, PayU CCO Matthias Setzer added that Zooz’s technology would “help us solve some of the difficulties facing merchants.” Setzer noted that the high growth markets PayU specializes in make up 85% of the world’s population. “Ambitious merchants are increasingly attracted to the business opportunities this presents,” he said.

The news from Zooz and PayU comes weeks before the two companies are slated to make further partner-related announcements during the Money20/20 Europe conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. We will update this post as soon as the companies make the news public.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Raanana, Israel, Zooz demonstrated its Transforming Checkout technology at FinovateFall 2013. The company has raised more than $39 million in funding, including a $24 million Series C completed in May 2016. The company includes Target Global, Blumberg Capital, XSeed Capital, and lool ventures among its investors. Named to Emerging Stars roster of H2 Ventures and KPMG’s 2016 Fintech 100 in October, we featured Zooz in our look at fintech innovation in Israel.

PayU is an online payment service provider with local operations in 16 high-growth markets around the world including in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The company is the e-payments division of multi-national media corporation Naspers Ltd. which was founded in 1915. Last month, PayU forged a global partnership with Finovate alum, Kreditech, investing more than $124 million (€110 million) in the German-based company. Former PayPal executive Laurent le Moal joined PayU as CEO in January 2016.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • The largest bank in the Philippines, BDO Unibank, reups with Fiserv.
  • Customers of PayU gain access to payments services from Zooz courtesy of new partnership.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews BanQu co-founder, Ashish Gadnis.
  • Insuritas partners with Constellation to Monetize Online Banking Experience.

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.

H2 Ventures and KPMG Unveil 2016 Fintech 100

H2 Ventures and KPMG Unveil 2016 Fintech 100


H2 Ventures and KPMG have released their Fintech 100 roster for 2016. Divided equally between 50 “industry leaders” and 50 “emerging stars,” the roster features 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums in the first category, and 10 in the second. Calling its roster a “celebration” of the most compelling innovators in this “bold new space,” the H2 Ventures/KPMG 2016 Fintech 100 covers a variety of different shades of fintech:

  • Lending (32 companies)
  • Payments (18 companies)
  • Insurance (12 companies)
  • RegTech (9 companies)
  • Data & analytics (7 companies)
  • Wealth management (6 companies)
  • Blockchain (5 companies)
  • Digital currency (5 companies)
  • Capital markets (3 companies)
  • Crowdfunding (2 companies)
  • Accounting (1 company)

And here is a look at how Finovate/FinDEVr alums fared. Earning recognition among the companies in the Leading 50 group are:

Also noteworthy in the Leading 50 are Ant Financial, which acquired Best of Show-winning EyeVerify in September 2016, and Avant, which acquired Finovate alum ReadyForZero in the spring of 2015.

Additionally, Finovate/FinDEVr alums earning spots in the Fintech 100’s 50 Emerging Stars roster were:

The H2 Ventures/KPMG report includes a geographic breakdown of the 2016 Fintech 100, as well as a set of key takeaways such as increased geographic diversification, the return of lending, the continued ascent of Insurtech, and the appearance of RegTech. The report also notes that China now has four out of the top five companies in the report’s top 10, and eight companies in the top 50. The report says funding for fintech “continues to rise,” and its authors cite more than $14 billion in capital was raised by the Fintech 100 in the past year.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • NYMBUS Raises $12 Million in Round Led by Vensure  Enterprises
  • CardFlight to Power EMV Mobile Processing for BluePay
  • Bento for Business Unveils New Mobile App

Around the web

  • Investopedia features Zooz and ThetaRay in a look at Israeli fintech startups.
  • National Bank of Kuwait goes live with Temenos Treasury Trader.
  • Compass Plus earns Faster Payments accreditation.
  • InformationWeek lists CrowdFlower in its lineup of cool machine learning startups to watch.
  • Ping Identity launches Contextual Access Management capabilities to help companies with digital transformation and cloud and mobile initiatives.
  • GeekWire features Tango Card. Watch the startup’s live demo at FinovateFall next month.
  • Kony enhances support for applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and updates offerings in AWS Marketplace.
  • ThreatMetrix appoints key executives to initiate Asia Pacific expansion.
  • TradingView announces support for DriveWealth.

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.

Ready for a Sneak Peek? How to Best Prepare for FinovateFall

Ready for a Sneak Peek? How to Best Prepare for FinovateFall


To give you a sense of the many new ideas at the upcoming FinovateFall conference in New York, we’ve launched our Sneak Peek series. Eight companies are featured each week leading up to the 8/9 September event (tickets now available).

In the meantime, here is a quick summary of the 66 announced companies (six more are in stealth mode). It’s a lot to take in; pace yourself!

  • Agreement Express offers an an end-to-end platform that helps traditional financial institutions automate labor-intensive parts of the customer onboarding process to remain compliant while quickly opening customer accounts.
  • Aleo’s marketplace uses e-procurement, e-commerce and supplier financing bundled in a single open platform to offer small and medium enterprises an online procure-to-pay solution.
  • AutoGravity’s mobile-first digital marketplace helps digitally minded customers, looking to buy and finance a vehicle, circumvent the inefficiencies of the auto-financing process by leveraging the full potential of their smartphone.
  • Avoka’s customer-acquisition platform integrates multiple fintech services to help banks, wealth managers and insurers use mobile and digital channels to onboard customers.
  • Backbase offers 60-second onboarding for financial services companies to accelerate customer acquisition with a simple, fast, and seamless omnichannel onboarding journey.
  • Bankjoy offers developers a banking API for a modern, real-time, holistic interface for credit unions and community banks.
  • Bitbond’s automated, international credit-scoring mechanism compares small business-loan applicants from different countries by using machine learning and data from the applicant’s business accounts.
  • Bluescape offers large financial services companies a highly interactive, visually collaborative platform that uses real-time, cloud-based architecture that’s ultra-scalable, all-capturing, and accessible anytime from any device.
  • BondIT offers financial advisers and portfolio managers a data-driven solution that uses machine learning advanced algorithms to manage fixed-income portfolios and solve optimization challenges.
  • brandCrowder has developed an alternative investment platform focusing on branded franchises. It leverages 45+ years of franchise-operations experience to help retail investors finance franchises, helping to bring them to market quicker.
  • Clinc’s mobile, voice-activated personal financial adviser uses artificial intelligence to help consumers get answers to financial questions and tasks.
  • Consdata offers banks and financial institutions a comprehensive platform for e-form management and customer-communication complexities.
  • Currencycloud’s dedicated API services use intelligent APIs to help businesses with the cost, limitations, and boundaries of existing payment infrastructure.
  • Daon bridges convenience and security by offering financial services companies a mobile biometric authentication platform that turns a smartphone into a mobile capture device.
  • Divy’s app and social investing community uses an approachable interface and engaging content to help first-time and emerging investors access direct marketing and financial literacy material.
  • Dynamics offers issuers and their cardholders interactive payment cards and an authorization-based, real-time loyalty processing system.
  • ebankIT’s platform offers financial institution clients an omnichannel experience.
  • Econiq’s Conversation Hub uses color-coded conversations to help bank and insurer frontline staff, and operational management and executives avoid disconnected customer conversations in branches and contact centers.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee offers millennials a solution for measuring financial health and promoting a healthy financial lifestyle.
  • Experian CrossCore is a single platform that helps manage customer identities, fraud-prevention tools, workflows and decision strategies in an easy-to-use and scalable format.
  • EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID offers banks and other financial services companies eye biometrics via smartphone cameras for convenient, secure and private authentication.
  • Featurespace’s ARIC Engine helps financial services clients spot and prevent fraud attacks in real time using adaptive behavioral analytics.
  • Finicity offers an API for companies to build financial apps.
  • Fiserv helps financial institutions enable social finance by providing customers access to a safe, collaborative bank-secured social funding product.
  • Full Profile uses the blockchain and smart contracts for real-time settlement and reporting of physical agri-commodities to help farmers, buyers, banks and government counter party and credit-risk exposures.
  • FutureVault’s cloud-based filing cabinet helps financial service providers and their clients organize asset documents and accounts using a secure, structured and collaborative B2B2C cloud environment.
  • GainX’s SaaS platform uses decades of market research and leading-edge technology to help large financial institutions overcome innovation and adaption failures.
  • GoodData helps large banks, credit-card processing and insurance companies commercialize and monetize their data using a scalable, manageable and secure platform that is exclusively designed for data products and embedded analytics.
  • iBank Marketing offers millennials a multifunction digital wallet to help them achieve personal goals around life events by using its local eco-system that bridges consumers and small- to medium-sized enterprises.
  • identitii uses tokens and blockchain to help financial institutions with KYC, CTF and AML compliance using an information layer over legacy systems.
  • InSpirAVE’s social e-commerce platform curates advice and financial support from the user’s friends and family, financial institutions, and merchants. It helps multiply savings, for big-ticket purchases for customers who otherwise may not be able to afford them, by placing important goals for life’s special moments within reach, without the crushing burden of debt.
  • KORE’s platform transforms enterprise applications, online banking and mobile apps into personalized, conversational engagements to help financial institutions meet customer-experience expectations using the power of bots and simplicity of messaging.
  • LendingFront’s lending platform leverages a cloud-based system that furnishes small businesses with capital using their cashflow data.
  • Lidya offers African small- to medium-sized enterprises access to finance using online receivables-based lending and proprietary credit scoring.
  • Liferay’s Digital Experience offers banks a richer understanding of customers by orchestrating personalized customer experiences.
  • M1 Finance places assets held in low-yielding cash accounts into an asset-linked bank account and intuitive investment platform.
  • MapD’s Immerse helps quantitative hedge fund and asset managers query datasets with billions of rows in real-time by applying the parallel processing power of GPUs to the challenges of databases, visualization and analytics.
  • MarketX’s cross-border investment platform helps international investors with the lack of liquidity for U.S. startup shares and limited access to U.S. pre-IPO investment opportunities.
  • ModoPayments offers financial companies a digital payments hub to connect disparate sources of value to diverse destinations using Modo’s COIN technology.
  • Moonraft Innovation Labs helps banks innovate and evolve by rapidly adapting to changing market needs using Catamera, its unique customer experience delivery framework.
  • Moven’s growing platform reaches the millennial, mobile first, digital native audience by bringing banking (specifically savings) into the moment.
  • MX helps financial institutions become true advocates for their account holders by using analytics to power a revolutionary category of data-driven money management.
  • nanoPay offers a payments and loyalty solution for merchants.
  • Overbond’s digital platform offers transparency, efficiency, and liquidity in the fixed income market for corporate issuers, investors, and dealers.
  • Personetics offers financial services providers a digital personalization platform that uses real-time, ultra-scalable predictive analytics to keep customers engaged in the digital age.
  • ProActive FinTech uses a phone app and debit card featuring unlimited mini bank accounts and pre-purchase categorization to help millennial moms with cash-flow management.
  • QE Data offers commercial banking systems a real-time predictive model for net cash-flows that uses machine learning, rich visualization, speedy deployment and real-world banking experience.
  • Qumram uses 100% real-time, video-like recording of every mouse movement, keystroke and button click to help financial services organizations with compliance and transparency issues relating to digital business.
  • RightCapital’s financial and tax-planning platform helps advisers deliver unbundled, quality financial planning and tax-planning services. It works to efficiently and digitally help consumers with the lack of viable business and technology solutions.
  • SaleMove offers financial institutions a live engagement platform to help sell and service complex financial services products online. The platform uses instant video chat and guided browsing with no downloads or installations.
  • Sindeo’s self-directed consumer rate quote and prequalification tool simplifies home financing and refinancing using an integrated platform that offers consumer, real estate partner, and adviser tools that conform to CFPB regulation and ensure a simple and easy consumer experience.
  • SpeechPro’s customer onboarding solution offers multichannel access to help CTOs, developers and other technologists focus on KYC, identity and verification.
  • Swych’s mobile gifting platform offers gift-card recipients a better way to buy, gift, and manage gift cards.
  • Tango Card’s RaaS API 2.0 uses simple-yet-complete delivery technology and domain expertise to help enterprises deliver incentives efficiently and effectively.
  • TokBox’s Financial Services Accelerator Pack offers banks and financial organizations secure and easy-to-embed, real-time communications technology.
  • TransUnion’s interactive data-visualization solution uses big data and analytics to connect and interpret consumer financial data for lenders.
  • Trulioo’s GlobalGateway uses traditional and cyber ID data sources to offer banks, financial services providers, and online marketplaces secure access to reliable, global data sources for instant ID-verification.
  • Trusona’s anti-replay and TruToken technology offers an insured identity platform for sensitive assets.
  • Unbill’s API enables companies to offer bill pay in their app or technology platform without complicated integration or high costs.
  • Uniken’s REL-ID, a card-not-present approval solution, uses mobile API tool kits and DMZ software appliances to help enterprises secure mobile communications.
  • Urban FT’s enhanced, white-label digital banking platform gives financial services organizations, wireless carriers, and other consumer-facing organizations a long-term, competitive advantage that makes their brand integral to customers’ daily financial and online social activities, financial tools, and social features.
  • Xentral Station’s supply-chain funding app helps vendors of all sizes receive cash for trade financing within 24 hours.
  • Zenmonics uses a single, common platform to help banks and their customers minimize friction in customer engagement with channelUNITED.
  • Zooz offers an agnostic, cross-border payments platform to help merchants act on payment processes and save money to maintain their client base.

Stay tuned on the blog for more detailed descriptions. And don’t forget to register now to reserve your spot.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Bento for Business Banks $7 Million in New Investment”
  • “FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums”

Around the web

  • Daily Fintech profiles Kreditech in a feature on the future of consumer banking.
  • CNN features Betterment, Wealthfront, and StockTwits in a list of the 10 best investing apps.
  • Spend Matters takes a look at the latest investment in Tradeshift and what it means for innovation in the procurement industry.
  • Oren Levy, Zooz CEO, writes in mobile payments today about the rising deployment of mobile wallets in developing markets.
  • Baseventure wins Red Herring Top 100 North America award.

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 Alums Help Represent Fintech Innovation in Israel

Finovate Alums Help Represent Fintech Innovation in Israel

Israel_FlagPYMNTS.com published an interesting, metric-based post on the tech scene in Israel. The post emphasized that while the country has a well deserved reputation as a “cybersecurity hotspot,” it is also true that “Israel’s tech ambitions and prowess extend much further.”

The salient statistic for me: 430—the number of fintech startups headquartered in Israel—is highly impressive, considering only 90 fintech startups existed in 2009.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some recent Israel-based Finovate alums who are helping make the country one of the world’s key locations for fintech innovation.

Our 14 Israel-based Finovate alums have raised more than $164 million in funding. Two alums—NICE Systems and Top Image Systems—are publicly traded on the Nasdaq, and two more—Capitali.se and TipRanks—have won Best of Show awards.


There’s no doubt the fintech in Israel is on the move. The country’s first fintech hub, The Floor, was launched in 2015, and as of March 2016 is now located at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Writing about why fintech innovation is thriving in Israel, VentureBeat’s Avi Zeevi of Carmel Ventures highlighted a few key features:

  • Mastery of relevant technologies such as real-time analytics, cybersecurity, and risk management
  • Legacy of success creating a “startup ecosystem (with) massive amounts of knowledge”
  • The country has learned from other key global financial centers
  • Global financial institutions have a presence and have been investing in Israel
  • Israeli FIs “have always been open to innovation”

“All of this had led to a dramatic rise in investments in Israel fintech companies,” Zeevi wrote. “By addressing the needs of both developed and emerging markets, Israeli fintech will only continue to grow.”

Are you an Israel-based Finovate or FinDEVr alum that we overlooked? Send us an email at research@finovate.com and we’ll update our roster.



Zooz Raises $24 Million in its Largest Funding

Zooz Raises $24 Million in its Largest Funding


In a round led by Target Global Ventures, Israeli payments technology innovator Zooz  just raised $24 million in new capital. The investment takes the company’s total funding to more than $40 million and will enable Zooz to accelerate growth, build and develop new products, and expand in both existing and new markets.

In thanking both new and current investors, Zooz CEO Oren Levy said that the growing interest on the part of merchants is playing a key role in driving adoption of new payment technologies. “Retailers now understand the need for smart payment platforms that can help them expand into new markets quickly and cost-effectively,” he said, “and that is where we excel.”


Pictured (left to right): Peter Donarski, senior executive, First Data, and Noam Inbar, VP business development at Zooz, demonstrated Zooz Transforming Checkout at FinovateFall 2013.

Saying that Zooz is in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the growth in the global payments market, Target Global Ventures’ general partner Shmuel Chafets praised the way the Zooz platform “optimizes and simplifies the payments process, meeting a crucial industry need that will only increase.” The round also featured participation from new investors Fang Fund, iAngels, and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Blumberg Capital, lool ventures, Rhodium, Claltech, XSeed Capital, and CampOne Ventures, as well as angel investor Eilon Tirosh.

Since the company’s last funding round in the summer of 2014, Zooz added offices in London, Berlin, and San Francisco and increased headcount by 50%. In April, Zooz integrated eCommerce, CRM, ERP and other technologies from Nodus Technologies into its platform, one month after announcing support for Android Pay. The company added Chester Ritchie, formerly of Worldpay, as its new EVP of sales and development in February. Ritchie spoke about Zooz’s payment technology in a company profile for The Green Sheet in April.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Raanana, Israel, Zooz demonstrated its Transforming Checkout solution at FinovateFall 2013.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Zooz Raises $24 Million in its Largest Funding”
  • “Fiserv and INETCO Team Up to Enhance ATM Management”

On FinDEVr.com

  • “What’s in a Name? Plaid Earns “Cool Vendor” Status from Gartner”

Around the web

  • U.K.’s oldest bank, C. Hoare & Co, goes digital with Backbase.
  • “Crowdfund Insider: CAN Capital Forms Agreement with Entrepreneur to Provide SME Loans”
  • Huffington Post names Tactile Finance on its list of 15 women-led startups to watch in 2016.
  • Qumram opens offices in London and San Francisco. See Qumram at FinovateSpring in San Jose next week.
  • Core banking solutions from Wipro to power Paytm’s new payments bank.

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.