Trustly and Collector Bank Bring Instant Payments to Nordic Merchants

A new collaboration between online banking e-payments innovator Trustly and digital bank Collector will bring instant bank payments to the checkouts of Nordic merchants of all sizes. The partnership seeks to take advantage of the popularity of online bank payments in the region; nearly one in three shoppers in Finland, for example, expressed preference for paying directly from their online bank, according to a recent report.

Trustly’s cross-border pedigree was an important factor for Collector Bank. Calling the company a “great match” on this score, the bank’s General Manager for Payments Mikael Anstrin said, “(Trustly’s) cross-border payment solutions are available in our all of our existing markets and its vast coverage also opens up the opportunity for us to expand into new geographies.”

Trustly enables users the ability to shop and pay directly from their bank accounts. Individuals can Pay with Trustly by simply choosing and logging into their bank, selecting the account from which they want to pay, and then confirming the payment with the authentication option of their choice. The company processes transactions to and from consumer bank accounts at more than 3,000 banks in 29 European markets.

“We’re delighted to partner with Collector and offer our fast, simple, and secure bank payment solution to their hundreds of merchants,” Chief Commercial Officer for Trustly, Johan Nord said. “The partnership is very much aligned with our strategy of delivering the best, most versatile and, for PSPs as well as merchants, most operationally easy-to-use bank payment solution in the markets where we operate.”

Trustly demonstrated its Direct Debit solution at FinovateEurope 2017. The technology adds support for recurring charges and one-click payments from a bank account, and offers the highest encryption standard available. More recently, the company teamed up with fellow Finovate alum Eurobits Technologies to help form the European Third Party Suppliers Association (ETPPAO, and announced that it had reached the 300 employee mark.

Founded in 2008, Trustly was acquired by Nordic Capital last spring. The company is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Vymo Partners with Microsoft to Help Sales Teams Leverage AI

Giving sales professionals the ability to leverage AI to provide better service is the goal behind the new partnership between Vymo and Microsoft. Specifically, the two will work to grow the market for Vymo’s intelligent personal assistant for sales, bringing predictive and actionable insights to customer relationship management (CRM).

“We are helping organizations move to a more proactive CRM experience powered by mobility and intelligence,” Vymo co-founder and CEO Yamini Bhat explained. ” With Vymo, salespeople can operate more effectively in a deskless environment and that has translated into a significant revenue impact for businesses. We look forward to working closely with Microsoft as we scale.”

Vymo’s intelligent personal assistant delivers intelligent and actionable insights to sales professionals. The solution helps boost productivity by more than 30% by detecting the sales representative’s actions, and anticipating what the rep should do next. The technology learns from the most effective sales reps in the network and helps users achieve the best possible outcomes for customers. Sales productivity metrics from conversion percentage to turnaround time to activity per opportunity are among the KPIs Vymo can help sales teams improve.

The collaboration between Vymo and Microsoft builds on the existing relationship between the two companies. Vymo is a 2015 graduate of Microsoft’s Winter Accelerator, and won the Microsoft’s AI for All award in 2018. Vymo is already working with more than 85,000 users in verticals ranging from banking and financial services to insurance and pharmaceuticals, powering machine learning and AI-based tools backed by Microsoft Azure.

In Vymo’s statement announcing the news, Microsoft General Manager for Partner Ecosystem Rajiv Sodhi said the partnership represented “Microsoft’s commitment to enabling its partner ecosystem to leverage AI capabilities to be able to build powerful solutions and tap growth.” Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, added that the Vymo “was fundamentally changing both how retailers work and (how) financial services work.”

Headquartered in Bangalore, India, and founded in 2013, Vymo demonstrated its technology at FinovateAsia 2018. The company began this year with news that it would be a part of Bangkok Bank’s 12-week accelerator program, and announced that Zurich Topas Life, a division of Zurich Group, had selected Vymo’s solution to boost sales productivity.

In March, Vymo announced that it was going live in Vietnam courtesy of a partnership with local consumer finance firm, FE CREDIT. That month the company also announced that it won the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce) Award for Innovation in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. Vymo also reported that its technology was available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Vymo has raised $5 million in funding. The company includes Sequoia Capital India, who led the company’s Series A round in 2016, among its investors.

Fundopolis Turns to AlphaPoint for Tokenization Initiative

Equity crowdfunding portal Fundopolis will partner with asset tokenization and digital asset trading technology provider AlphaPoint to support its tokenization initiative. The company will use AlphaPoint’s technology to facilitate the issuance of equity crowdfunding perks, as well as make it easier for fundraising customers to interact with investors.

“Small businesses have been priced out of traditional capital markets due to their prohibitive upfront costs, listing fees, compliance costs, complex terms, and the list goes on,” Fundopolis Chief Strategy Officer Ben DiScipio said. “AlphaPoint’s cloud-based blockchain technology helps us as we work to change the game for small businesses by providing them (with) an opportunity to reach funding goals with less costs and fewer headaches than traditional capital markets.”

Greater transparency is also the gift that blockchain technology keeps on giving. Together, AlphaPoint and Fundopolis will be able to provide investors and issuers with updates during the entire fundraising lifecycle, letting them know when they will receive perks or pay-out once the fundraise is complete.

AlphaPoint CEO Igor Telyatnikov underscored this point. “By building Fundopolis’ portal on AlphaPoint’s powerful blockchain technology,” he said, “this new crowdfunding approach will provide investors and companies alike (with) the peace of mind that investments are secure, transparent, and verifiable.”

AlphaPoint was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in New York City. The company demonstrated its AlphaPoint Distributed Ledger Platform (ADLP) at FinovateFall 2017. The proprietary blockchain platform enables users to digitize, trade, and manage any asset, and is currently powering digital asset networks on five continents. Designed to optimize for high data throughput and low system latency, the technology helps financial institutions access new sources of capital while keeping operational costs low.

Recent headlines for AlphaPoint include the company winning a spot in the inaugural cohort of cross-border regulatory sandbox, Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), earlier this month. In March, AlphaPoint announced that it had enhanced its technology stock to service security token issuance and exchange customers.

With $17.6 million in funding, AlphaPoint includes Galaxy Digital LP, Blockchain Capital, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Robin Hood Ventures among its investors.

Marqeta Secures $260 Million in Series E Funding

Global card issuing platform Marqeta, which demonstrated its Payment Gateways technology at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, announced today that it has secured $260 million in new funding in a round led by Coatue Management. The capital will be used to further develop the company’s payment card platform and to fuel global expansion, according to company founder and CEO Jason Gardner.

The investment boosts Marqeta’s valuation to “nearly $2 billion” and featured the participation of new investors Vitruvian Partners, Spark Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and Geodesic. The company’s existing investors include Visa, ICONIQ, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures, CommerzVentures, and CreditEase.

In a statement, Gardner positioned Marqeta at the center of a worldwide transformation in card issuance. “When today’s innovators are in need of modern payment solutions, they aren’t turning to banks as their primary issuers any more and want a platform built for their needs,” he said. “We’ve been proud to power this transformation as the most advanced card issuing platform built in over two decades.”

With more than 300 employees around the world, Marqeta leverages its platform and open APIs to enable fintechs to build and offer a wide variety of payment-based solutions for customers. The growth in the company’s business has been connected increasingly to the rise of new technology-savvy companies entering the financial services space who seek to offer payment, lending, and other solutions without relying on traditional banks.

“Marqeta is attacking a multi-trillion dollar opportunity in this market,” Gardner said. “This investment puts us in prime position to round out our product vision, bring Marqeta to new geographies, build even more groundbreaking features for our customers and double down on our already aggressive growth trajectory.”

Founded in 2010, Marqeta is based in Oakland, California. With partners including Square, Affirm, and Kabbage, the company has doubled revenues for the past three years and opened a new office in London last fall to kick off its European expansion. TechCrunch reported that Marqeta is considering an initial public offering within the next year and a half.

Marqeta presented Democratizing Issuer Payment Processing with Just-In-Time (JIT) Funding at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The discussion, led by Marqeta CTO Tony Ford, introduced the company’s open payment APIs, which democratize issuer payment processing by making e-commerce innovators a part of the authorization stream.

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Kabbage and Azlo Launch Mission Street Capital to Help Fund SMEs

A new partnership between cash flow technology and SME lending innovator Kabbage and online banking platform Azlo will make it easier for small businesses to secure growth financing. The two companies have launched a new program, Mission Street Capital, which will provide loans of up to $250,000 for SMEs.

“Azlo is helping fill a crucial gap in our financial system to serve underbanked small businesses,” Kabbage Chief Revenue Officer Laura Goldberg said. “Kabbage’s real-time lending platform allows Mission Street Capital to effectively serve any small business in any location to access the funding they need to grow.”

Firms with an Azlo small business banking account will be eligible to participate in the program, and can apply via Mission Street Capital to access Kabbage loans. Azlo will use Kabbage’s technology to analyze banking and other business performance data in real-time in order to generate a fully automated financing decisions for the customer. The digital-only bank with no physical branches believes Mission Street Capital will make it easier to reach its business customers who may struggle to secure financing because they have relatively thin-file credit histories or because they are a part of the gig economy.

“Azlo is proud to be serving today’s small businesses,” Azlo Chief Operating Officer Bryan Crumpler said. “Our mission is enabling small businesses to succeed in their mission and partnering with Kabbage is a huge step forward in being able to accomplish that.”

More than 175,000 small businesses have accessed more than $6.5 billion through Kabbage’s platform. In its most recent Finovate appearance at FinovateSpring in 2015, the company demonstrated its Kabbage Card solution. The card, part of its Kabbage Everywhere initiative, gives small businesses the ability to use their Kabbage credit to pay for inventory or supplies wherever they may be. Also that year, the Kabbage participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, showing how developers can leverage its technology to build their own automated lending platform.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Kabbage has raised more than $2.3 billion in funding, including a debt financing round this April that added $700 million to the company’s coffers. Also this spring, the firm was highlighted in’s feature: 5 Companies That Prove You Must Evolve to Thrive.

Conversational AI Fintech Clinc Raises $52 Million in Series B

In a round featuring participation from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and other investors, conversational AI innovator Clinc has raised $52 million in new funding. The Series B round brings the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based fintech’s total capital to $60 million.

“We’ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,” Clinc CEO Jason Mars said. “Now we’re adding more world-class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.”

Mars, who recently participated in FinovateSpring’s AI Summit Day conversations on AI in financial services, noted that the new investment would help the company add to its team and expand to new, larger offices in Ann Arbor. He also suggested to TechCrunch that this funding, which dwarfs the company’s $6.3 million Series A round from two years ago, could be the firm’s last financing before pursuing an IPO.

Clinc’s technology leverages natural language processing, advanced machine learning, and neural networks to decipher and respond to not just the meaning, but also the context and intent of human speech. In addition to being able to comprehend unstructured speech, the technology’s ability to learn and improve itself with every interaction allows it, for example, to quickly support new languages after being introduced to as few as 500 utterances.

Clinc demonstrated its conversational AI technology at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show honors. Earlier this year, the company proved its technology could be used to provide in-game assistance for gamers, enabling them to communicate with the game using natural language, including slang, without requiring the use of specific commands.

In 2018, Clinc announced that it was expanding its technology to the automotive industry to give developers the ability to add natural language-based interaction and control functionality to vehicles. Also last year, the company teamed up with Turkey’s Isbank to launch the world’s second biggest mobile banking voice assistant.

With customers including USAA, Barclays, S&P Global, OCBC Bank, and US Bank, Clinc was founded in 2015. The company has achieved 300% year-over-year revenue growth, and anticipates tripling its business in 2019. Via its partners, Clinc estimates that more than 30 million people are using its conversational AI technology.

Revolut Seeks Banking License in Russia; Mastercard Pledges Partnerships with Indian Fintechs

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • DisruptAfrica profiles TeamApt and its role as the “go to” fintech startup for Nigeria banks.
  • Nairobi, Kenya-based CarePay International raises $44.7 million (€40 million) for expansion into new markets.
  • expressPay goes live with Visa on mobile in Ghana.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian fintech Bitpanda launches gold and silver trading on its platform.
  • Revolut announces plans to pursue banking license in Russia.
  • Nayax introduces its new cashless payment integration, the Bluecode payments solution, in Austria and Germany.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Visa teams up with Bahrain FinTech Bay to drive fintech innovation in the country.
  • Saudi Payments inks memorandum of understanding to introduce QR code-based national payment system in Saudi Arabia.
  • National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) says it is the first MENA-based bank to launch an open banking offering.

Central and Southern Asia

  • PayPal India unveils its OneTouch feature which, integrated with Google Smart Lock, enables users to register their Android device with PayPal and remain logged in for all subsequent PayPall purchases on that device.
  • Mastercard pledges partnerships with Indian fintechs via its India Investment Fund.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Descendants of the Medici banking family launch a digital bank, Medici Bank, in Puerto Rico.
  • Japan’s SoftBank invests $20 million in Mexican payments innovator Clip.
  • Scotiabank’s fintech accelerator, FactoryA, introduces its incoming cohort of startups from Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.


  • Singapore-based YouTrip raises $25.5 million for its multi-currency payments app.
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority issues another four virtual bank licenses.
  • South Korea unveils new regulations to empower robo-advisory services.

Top image designed by Freepik

Minna Technologies Raises $6.3 Million

Subscription management tool for online banks Minna Technologies just announced it has received a $6.3 million (€5.6 million) investment, bringing its total funding to almost $9 million.

Zenith Group led the round, followed by Visa and existing investor Swedbank. Minna will use the funds to increase its presence in Europe. To support these plans, the company will bolster its team and open a new office in Europe.

“This investment round makes it possible for us to scale up and execute on our European expansion plans. As many European banks have started to embrace FinTech partnerships, we have seen a dramatic increase in the interest of our subscription management platform,” said Minna CEO and Cofounder Joakim Sjöblom. “Our current bank partnerships have proved that subscription management is well received by banking customers and that it is an essential part of digital banking.”

Founded in 2014, Minna originally began as a consumer-facing app for subscription management, then launched as a bank-integrated platform in 2016. Since then, the company has helped consumers save more than $33.5 million in unwanted subscriptions. The company is partnered with several top-tier banks across Europe, including Swedbank and Danske bank, and has a pilot agreement with OP bank.

Sjöblom demoed Minna at FinovateEurope 2019 in London. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and has 34 employees. In 2017, the company’s revenues totaled $536,000.

Currencycloud to Power Cross Border Payments for Fellow Fintech

International payments platform Currencycloud announced this week it has teamed up with WireBarley to fuel the Seoul-based company’s international growth.

WireBarley, an AsiaPac remittance services company, has expanded its services from Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Today, with the support of Currencycloud, WireBarley will provide cross-border remittance services to the U.S. market.

Currencycloud offers APIs to help businesses accept, pay, and convert foreign currencies while managing balances, notifications, permissions, and reporting. The company’s clients, which include fellow Finovate alums Azimo, Klarna, Revolut, and Fidor, can make domestic and international payments in 35 currencies to 180+ countries.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud has raised just over $68 million in eight rounds of funding. The company most recently appeard at FinovateFall 2016 where it debuted its Payment Engine

Jumio Teams Up to Fight Financial Crime with TruNarrative

Financial crime specialist TruNarrative is partnering with identity verification innovator Jumio to bolster its fraud detection and customer onboarding platform. The integration will enable TruNarrative’s existing customers and prospects to verify the authenticity of more than 3,300 ID document types from more than 200 countries and territories.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jumio as a partner within our Appstore,” TruNarrative CEO John Lord said. “The service helps our customers comply with their obligation to verify that their customers are who they say they are, enhancing the use of traditional evidence databases and document verification.”

Jumio’s identity verification and authentication solution combines AI, OCR, and biometrics to help organizations fight fraud, onboard customers faster, and remain compliant. The company’s AI-powered, Trusted-Identity-as-a-Service technology provides ID, identity, and document verification and authentication. Jumio also offers a new screening service – unveiled this spring – that combines ID verification and complete AML screening and monitoring.

Jumio head of worldwide partnerships Stephen Kearney explained the partnership as a way for businesses to provide a comprehensive anti-fraud solution without relying on multiple “disparate” solutions. “With TruNarrative, Jumio’s identity proofing, fraud detection, and eKYC solutions can be easily integrated into a single platform that enables these organizations to better defend themselves against financial crime,” he said.

Jumio demonstrated its Netverify identity verification solution at FinovateAsia 2018 in Hong Kong. The technology helps establish that the individual behind a transaction is physically present and is who they say they are by using a combination of ID and identity verification, as well as liveness detection.

More recently, Jumio reported that challenger bank Monzo would use Netverify for customer identity authentication. We highlighted Jumio this spring in our look at companies that can help banks compete against the new credit card from Apple.

Founded in 2010 and based in Palo Alto, California, Jumio has raised more than $55 million in funding from investors including Millennium Technology Value Partners and Centana Growth Partners, which acquired Jumio in 2016.

Yseop Pairs Up with Larsen & Toubro Infotech

Natural language generation (NLG) expert Yseop teamed up with technology consulting and digital solutions company Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI).

Yseop CEO Emmanuel Walckenaer said that the deal “significantly advances” the company’s NLG efforts while expanding its global reach.

Founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of India-based Larsen & Toubro Limited, LTI has operations in more than 30 countries. Through today’s partnership, LTI will provide Yseop’s NLG technology as part of its global project delivery services, offering the intelligent automation solution to more than 300 clients.

Harsh Naidu, Chief Business Officer of Banking and Financial Services at LTI said, “We are excited to partner with YSEOP to foster NLG adoption across a wide spectrum of use cases in banking, financial services, and other sectors. Our customers demand unprecedented experience of intelligent automation which we will be able to deliver by leveraging YSEOP’s unique NLG approach.”

Paris, France-based Yseop offers an AI platform that powers human-like interactions in customer support, sales, and reporting applications. The company demoed its Augmented Analyst last week at FinovateSpring. The demo video will be available soon.

Previously, Yseop demonstrated its business intelligence solution that turns data into written reports at FinovateFall 2015. The company has raised $3.4 million since it was founded 2007. Last month, Yseop announced that the solution it created for Société Générale won the award for most innovative initiative of the year at the 2019 Digital Finance Awards.

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.

BioCatch Brings on New Chief Revenue Officer

Behavioral biometrics expert BioCatch brought on a new team member today. The company appointed Bill Sytsma as Chief Revenue Officer.

Bill Sytsma

Sytsma is a 20-year veteran of the software and security industry. Most recently, he served as a vice president of sales at ThreatMetrix. In addition to that role, Sytsma has worked at Emulex, iPass, Aveksa, Lumigent Technologies, and EMC.

“As we accelerate our plans for growth, Bill is the ideal person to lead the effort,” said BioCatch CEO Howard Edelstein. “He has vast experience as well as a proven ability to scale global sales efforts, secure new client relationships and drive revenue, exactly what is needed to enhance the results generated by our seasoned and talented team to date.”

The appointment of Sytsma is the latest in a recent string of C-level appointments for Israel-based BioCatch. Last year, the company named Gadi Mazor COO and Paul Mattison CFO.

BioCatch’s technology works by embedding what the company calls Invisible Challenges into online and mobile user experiences. The challenges are a set of subtle tests that the user subconsciously responds to. The user’s responses help to distinguish themselves over a fraudulent person or bot without interrupting the user experience.

BioCatch has raised $41.6 million since it was founded in 2011. At FinovateFall 2014, the company’s cofounder Uri Rivner demoed how some of the Invisible Challenges work.

Artivest Inks Deal with Institutional Investment Manager LaSalle

Curated online platform for alternative investments Artivest announced a major new partnership today. The firm has been selected by institutional investment manager LaSalle to help it enter the retail market for privately-held value-added real estate investment programs via a closed end fund.

“We are delighted to find a compelling platform to seamlessly connect financial advisors and qualified high net worth investors to our flagship, U.S. value-add investment strategy,” Jason Kern, CEO of the Americas at LaSalle Investment Management, said.

One of the largest real estate investment managers in the world with $65 billion in assets under management, LaSalle will leverage Artivest’s Open Network to make its offerings available for investment by advisors and qualified purchasers. In an investment environment increasingly characterized by passive management and low-fee ETFs, LaSalle sees Artivest as a partner to help it meet investor demand for alternative solutions that can provide outperformance.

Artivest combines expert insights, extensive due diligence, and a streamlined investor experience to improve the process of finding, evaluating, and investing in leading private funds for advisors and fund managers. The solution reduces the complexity of private fund investing, helping clients save time and more readily identify opportunities that are most compatible with their investment goals.

“Our platform brings together data-driven insights, proprietary technology, and robust diligence expertise to deliver a simplified, efficient experience and remove the barriers that have traditionally stood in the way of advisors and investors seeking access to alternatives,” Artivest founder and CEO James Waldinger said.

Artivest demonstrated its curated investment platform at FinovateSpring 2014. Headquartered in New York City and founded in 2012, the company completed a merger with alternative investment manager Altegris last summer that made the company one of the biggest independent alternative investment solution providers in the world.

Earlier this year, Artivest announced that was expanding its services to include both product structuring and fund distribution solutions for asset and wealth managers. Back in December, Chicago-based Northern Trust added private market capabilities to its ArcLine Alternatives platform for its wealth management customers courtesy of a partnership with Artivest.

With more than $17 million in funding, Artivest includes 500 Startups, RRE Ventures, Founders Fund, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Signatures Capital among its investors.

Holvi Expands to Five New European Markets

BBVA-backed start-up Holvi will expand its offering to micro businesses in Ireland, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands after reaching a 150,000-customer milestone, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Claiming to provide small business banking services for “everyday entrepreneurs”, the Finnish firm has experienced significant growth, particularly since its acquisition by global bank BBVA in 2016.

Holvi has been providing business banking in Germany, Austria and Finland for over three years and has seen year-on-year growth of 60% from 2017 to 2018.

CEO Antti-Jussi Suominen said: “2019 is set to be an exciting year for Holvi. Having become the leading business banking service for micro-entrepreneurs in our home market of Finland, and rapidly growing in Austria and Germany, we are setting our sights on the rest of Europe.”

Holvi caters for customers such as freelancers, small family-run businesses and gig economy workers, through a combination of banking, a Mastercard and smart digital business tools.

The firm is authorized to operate across the European Economic Area (EEA) under the Payment Services Directive by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).

Holvi was founded in 2011. The Helsinki, Finland-based company demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2013, and was acquired by fellow Finovate alum BBVA in 2016.

SparkPost Unveils Predictive Email Intelligence Solution

This week marks the official launch of SparkPost Signals, the data-powered predictive email intelligence solution from Columbia, Maryland-based Finovate newcomer, SparkPost. The company announced earlier this week that its platform, which helps users gain 4x higher engagement while sending 70% less email, is now available via the SparkPost Cloud, as well as to customers using SparkPost’s Momentum and PowerMTA on-premises email delivery platforms.

“Current email analytics products sit outside the delivery process and don’t have access to ISP behavior and industry-wide sending data, two factors that are essential for finding delivery problems before they occur,” SparkPost CEO Rich Harris explained. In contrast, SparkPost’s technology is designed to predict email delivery problems and offer actionable remedies before the damage is done.

Signals leverages its massive email data footprint (the company sends 37% of the world’s business email) and machine learning to monitor dozens of key email engagement and delivery metrics and provide users with an email Health Score. The technology uses the Health Score to predict potential issues and problems with email engagement or delivery, and also provides peer analysis against other senders who match the user’s profile. Users can set up alerts to have the platform notify them in the event of changes to their Health Score.

In a blog post, the company teased “Health Score V2 (Coming Soon)” which they referred to as having “a wider set of features … for 50% greater accuracy.” The update is expected “over the next two months.”

Other platform features include Spam Tram Reporting, which uses visibility into the largest commercial and non-commercial spam trap networks to help senders identify and fix any issues before they cause major problems. Signals also includes Engagement Insights. This feature helps senders leverage data to better understand how different subgroups within a recipient pool are responding to specific email campaigns.

Founded in 2008, SparkPost made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2019 earlier this month. Video of the company’s live demonstration at the event will be available soon.

SparkPost began the year with an announcement that it had forged a strategic partnership with cloud communications platform, MessageBird. With more than $93 million in funding, the company includes Hercules Capital, LLR Partners, and NewSpring Capital among its investors.

Fintech OS Raises $1.2 Million

Digital transformation expert Fintech OS landed $1.2 million (€1.1 million) in a post-seed investment round this week. The round, which brings the company’s total funding to $3 million (€2.7 million), was led by GapMinder VC. LAUNCHub Ventures, Gecad Ventures, and private investors also contributed.

Fintech OS will use the funds to expand its international presence. “This new investment round allows us to quickly deploy commercial teams in three strategic territories: U.K., Benelux and DACH,” said Teodor Blidăruş, FintechOS CEO. “Meanwhile, we’re going ahead full-throttle to further integrate AI technology within the FintechOS platform, because intelligent processing of massive amounts of data and quick customization of financial instruments are critical components for the whole financial industry.”

Founded in 2014, Fintech OS helps banks launch new technologies by offering them low-code solutions that facilitate fast and inexpensive deployment of new products and services. At FinovateEurope 2018, Blidăruş demoed how the company uses AI to facilitate financial services companies’ digital transformation.

By the end of this year, the company plans to have secured $9 million to $11.2 million (€8 million to €10 million) in Series A funding. Also in 2019, the company anticipates expanding its workforce to 70 employees and plans to see over 4X year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue from licenses. Additionally, Blidăruş said, Fintech OS will be “announcing a technological revolution” in the third quarter of 2019.

Neustar Helps TELUS Fight Caller ID Spoofing

Data services company Neustar has joined forces with TELUS this week to fight caller ID spoofing. The Canadian telecommunications company recently finalized a test of Neustar’s Certified Caller software suite.

The trial was done per the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandate that telecommunications service providers deploy caller ID authentication and verification for voice over internet (VoIP) calls to reduce illegal caller ID spoofing. TELUS tested Neustar’s Certified Caller in its NFV lab environment using the STIR/SHAKEN protocol.

STIR, which stands for Secure Telephony Identity Revisited, is a set of technical standards to certify the identity of originating calls. SHAKEN, which stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs, is a framework that focuses on implementing STIR within IP-based service provider networks. The industry sees STIR/SHAKEN as the most feasible measure of trust in the phone number and name displayed during an incoming call.

“We fully support the adoption of STIR/SHAKEN as a means to restore trust in calls,” said Neustar General Manager and Vice President of Caller ID Solutions James Garvert. “Neustar’s Certified Caller is a full STIR/SHAKEN solution that enables service providers to meet the standards to authenticate and verify the caller telephone identity between originating and terminating carriers and detect and warn subscribers of spoofing.”

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Virginia, Neustar combines identity and data to offer businesses a range of marketing, risk, communications, security, and registry services. Among the company’s clients are Google, Tesco, Ticketmaster, Allstate, and Pinterest.

Neustar demoed its marketing solution at FinovateSpring 2016. Earlier this year, the company acquired fraud solutions provider TrustID. Neustar is a public company, listed on the NYSE under the ticker “NSR.” The company has a market capitalization of $1.87 billion. Charles Gottdiener is president and CEO.

Personetics Unveils AI-Enabled Small Business Banking Solution

Personetics is leveraging its success in developing AI-enabled consumer banking solutions to help small businesses better manage their day-to-day banking affairs. The tool is geared toward the small business owners who cite a “lack of tools that fit their needs” as the primary challenge to banking digitally. Personetics’ integrates the solution into the bank’s online and mobile channels to give SMEs deeper insight into cash flow and liquidity.

“The small business solution is a result of our work with banks around the globe to address the shifting expectations of business customers as they become more digital-savvy,” Personetics co-founder and CEO David Sosna explained. “Banks that act on these emerging needs have an opportunity to turn online and mobile banking into the go-to places for businesses to manage their day-to-day finances and stay ahead of the rapidly evolving needs of their small business customers.”

Personetics’ new solution proactively identifies potential issues in payments and receivables, anticipates future cashflow, and offers relevant financing options to help users reach liquidity and growth objectives. Additionally, the technology leverages bank and accounting information to give users a comprehensive overview of both financial planning and actual activity.

The company’s announcement is the latest sign of Personetics’ determination to bring AI-enabled personalization solutions to more financial institutions. In March, Personetics teamed up with fellow Finovate alum MX in a technology partnership designed to help FIs translate data into actionable insights.

Also this spring, Personetics partner BGL BNP Paribas, one of the largest banks in Luxembourg, launched its personalized, intelligent digital assistant, Genius. The AI-powered solution, which the bank said was “developed in close collaboration with the fintech Personetics,” encourages financial wellness by providing information on user spending, analyzing cash flow for unusual transactions or other issues, and offering tips on better banking.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, Personetics demonstrated its Personetics Anywhere chatbot solution at FinovateFall 2016. The company works with six of the top 12 banks in North America and Europe, and serves more than 60 million customers around the world.

Personetics has raised more than $18 million in funding from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital Israel, and Viola Ventures. The company announced an investment of an undisclosed amount from United Overseas Bank last summer.