Fintech accelerator Finance Forward extends deadline to startups

finextra | April 16, 2020

Finance Forward, a fintech accelerator run by Village Capital, MetLife Foundation and PayPal, has extended the deadline for its European programme to accommodate startups working on Covid-19 applications.
The focus for the programme - which now closes for applications on 25 April - is on startups that are building tech for the nearly 40 million Europeans locked out of basic financial services, as well as tools for small businesses.
Allie Burns, CEO of Village Capital, says: "As people lose jobs, dig into their nest eggs and fight to keep businesses from shuttering, we need innovation more than ever in building solutions that help people save money, find work and access financial services. We're extending recruitment for financial health startups to ensure that startups that are actively responding to the pandemic have an adequate amount of time to finish applications"

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The market for financial services is changing fast. To evolve, banks are transforming their organizations into digital ecosystems using APIs. APIs have emerged as critical enablers to help financial services firms meet new consumer expectations. Through collaboration with fin techs, banks will use APIs to add new functionality f


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Synapse Announces Partnership with Lineage Bank, Enabling a Wide Range of Financial Services for Fintech Companies and Their Customers

Synapse and Lineage Bank | August 22, 2022

Synapse Financial Technologies Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that increases access to best-in-class financial products, and Lineage Bank, a developing, traditional community bank based in Franklin, Tennessee, today announced a partnership to enable fintech companies and other non-banks to build and deliver innovative financial apps and services. “We are thrilled to welcome Lineage Bank as part of our multi-bank strategy, enabling us to serve fintech customers in faster, highly flexible, and more comprehensive ways, Lineage is a nimble, fast-moving bank that recognizes the power of the BaaS space to serve more customers. This partnership will help both companies deliver on our promise to quickly provide best-in-class solutions to all kinds of fintech innovators.” -Sankaet Pathak, CEO and co-founder of Synapse Synapse’s multi-bank strategy uniquely positions the company to make it faster and easier for fintech companies to launch and scale a wide range of financial services and products leveraging multiple bank partners simultaneously. Through Synapse’s bank relationships – as well as the regulated position of its affiliates – it can extend the most flexible and advantageous terms and features and provide a path to market for its customers that can be better, faster and with reduced partner risk, by driving an efficient and frictionless onboarding experience. Lineage is committed to staying on the leading edge of banking technology to better serve our local customers and reach new ones, This new partnership represents an extension to our BaaS technology partners, further increasing our reach into a digital-first audience of consumers and businesses via neobanks. It also aligns perfectly with our growth strategy by providing new opportunities through embedded, digital-first banking solutions,said Kevin Herrington, CEO of Lineage Bank. Lineage Bank will serve as a sponsor bank to Synapse and its affiliates, providing core banking services such as FDIC deposit insurance, payment processing, and card issuance. By working together, Synapse and Lineage Bank will be able to help fintech providers get up and running rapidly in a safe, regulated environment that serves the needs of everyday consumers who need access to all types of financial services. About Synapse Synapse was founded in 2014 with the mission to ensure that everyone around the world has access to best-in-class financial products, regardless of their net worth. Synapse’s banking-as-a-service platform provides payment, card issuance, deposit, lending, compliance, credit and investment products as APIs to more than 15 million end users. It has an annualized transaction volume of $67 billion and $11 billion of assets under management across its platform. With white-labeled APIs for developers and bank-facing APIs for institutions to automate their back-end operations, Synapse customers can quickly build, launch and scale innovative financial products and services. The company is backed by more than $50 million in funding from top venture firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, 500 Startups, and Trinity Ventures. Global cash management services are provided by Synapse Brokerage LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Synapse is not a Bank. Banking and card services are provided by Synapse Financial Technologies Inc.’s partner banks, Members FDIC. About Lineage Bank Lineage Bank is a developing, traditional community bank located in Franklin, Tennessee, and is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. The bank’s focus is serving the everyday banking needs of customers in Middle Tennessee as well as those in other areas through digital BaaS solutions. Lineage Bank is part of the Lineage Financial Network, a bank holding company that empowers community banks with the technology and local customer focus to create a unique banking experience. Lineage Financial Network is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, and was founded in 2020.

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FINTECH

Fintech and Cleantech Win as Global Venture Capital Investments Become More Focused

KPMG International | July 26, 2022

According to the Q2’22 edition of Venture Pulse — a quarterly report, published by KPMG Private Enterprise, that analyzes key VC deals and trends globally — fintech, cybersecurity, supply chain management and alternative energy and energy storage opportunities are continuing to attract significant interest from investors. This is despite global VC investment dropping to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. The Americas attracted $66.2 billion in VC investment — over half of the total global VC investment — during Q2’22, with the US accounting for $62.3 billion of this amount. Europe’s market showed strong resilience during the quarter, attracting $27.2 billion in investment during Q2’22. Despite the second successive quarter of decline, VC investment in Europe remained high compared to pre Q2’21. Q2’22 was the most subdued in Asia, dropping to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals. Investor interest in supply chain and logistics continues to grow as industry challenges continue to have an impact. Soaring global energy prices and increased concerns around energy security has driven investors to look at alternative energy and storage options. Investments in electric vehicles, battery technologies and increasingly hydrogen are becoming more attractive. The US attracted the world’s largest VC deals during Q2’22, including a $2 billion raise by Epic Games, a $1.7 billion raise by Space X, and a $1.5 billion raise by Gopuff. With its $1.2 billion raise, Germany-based fintech company Trade Republic accounted for the fourth spot — the only company outside of the US to raise a $1 billion plus round during the quarter. In Asia, the largest deal of the quarter was an $805 million raise by India-based Dailyhunt. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “Heading into Q3’22, this trend is expected to continue as start-ups look to survive in an increasingly challenging environment where profitability will be of critical importance.” Key Highlights – Q2’22 Global VC investment dropped considerably, from $165.3 billion across 11,468 deals in Q1’22 to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. VC investment in the Americas dropped from $89.3 billion across 5,034 deals in Q1’22 to $66.2 billion across 3,778 deals in Q2’22. The US accounted for $62.3 billion of Q2’22 investment in the Americas, down from $81.9 billion in Q1’22. VC investment in Asia sunk to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals in Q2’22. Despite a drop to $27.2 billion in Q2’22, VC investment in Europe remained quite strong compared to historical trends. Global fundraising remained very strong, with $158.6 billion raised by the end of Q2’22 — well on track to exceed the $$252.2 billion record high set in calendar 2021. After plummeting from $355 billion in Q4’21 to $70 billion in Q1’22, exit value dropped even further to just $50.8 billion in Q2’22. Global CVC-affiliated investment dropped from $76.6 billion in Q1’22 to $49.7 billion in Q2’22. Global fundraising remains on record pace, driven by activity in the US Global fundraising activity remained on record pace at mid-year, with $158.2 billion in fundraising by the end of Q2’22. The US helped buoy global fundraising amounts, accounting for $121.5 billion at mid-year, compared to the $138.9 billion annual record high the region saw in 2021. VC investment in cybersecurity, alternative energy, electric vehicles, and battery storage in the US held strong in Q2’22 and is well-positioned to remain hot heading into Q3’22. Fundraising activity in Europe fell off record pace, with $13.3 billion in fundraising at mid-year, while fundraising in Asia remained very subdued compared to previous highs, with $16.9 billion raised in the first half of 2022. No end in sight to uncertainty but interest in new tech to grow Heading into Q3’22, the global uncertainty plaguing the world is expected to continue, which will likely continue to keep the IPO window shut and VC investment soft. Down rounds could become more common as companies are forced to raise funding rounds despite the challenging fundraising environment. M&A activity globally could increase as investors look for deals among companies experiencing challenges and start-ups in various industries look to consolidate to improve their economies of scale and market positions. In tech, the crypto tide is likely to turn with further consolidation among firms heading into Q3’22 as many try to cope with a major sell-off in assets. “While there’s still dry powder out there, over the next quarter, VC investors are going to become a lot more critical of targets and are likely to place increasing emphasis on profitability,” said Conor Moore, Head of KPMG Private Enterprise in the Americas Region & Partner at KPMG in the US. “We’ve been talking about potential consolidations for a while, particularly in more mature industries like e-commerce. While the top one or two or three companies in a particular space might continue to be attractive to investors, the rest will likely see a pullback. This will likely drive consolidation as companies run out of cash.” About KPMG International KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively. KPMG firms operate in 144 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT,FINTECH

FormFree and Take3Tech partner to bring AccountChek asset, income and employment verification to the LoanMAPS mortgage technology platform

FormFree | August 25, 2022

FormFree® today announced it has partnered with Take Three Technologies (Take3Tech) to make its AccountChek® automated asset, income, and employment verification solutions available within LoanMAPS™, an all-in-one loan origination platform that encompasses a loan origination system (LOS), point-of-sale system (POS), customer relationship management system (CRM), compliance monitoring and report generation. The integration enables loan originators to text or email borrowers a request to electronically verify asset, income and employment data without leaving the LoanMAPS user experience. Once borrower permission is granted, AccountChek uses securely encrypted, direct-source data to automatically populate underwriter-friendly verification of asset (VOA) and verification of income/employment (VOIE) reports, which are made available within LoanMAPS. "We are proud to introduce AccountChek as a LoanMAPS integration partner. Our partnership enables lenders to provide a streamlined verification experience while reducing loan processing and underwriting times as well as fraud risk, We look forward to helping lenders empower consumers with the speed and convenience of electronic data verification." -Take3Tech CEO Anita Padilla-Fitzgerald FormFree is on a mission to make it easy for mortgage lenders to assess borrowers' ability to pay mortgage loans using high-fidelity, direct-source consumer data, It is a pleasure to partner with Take3Tech to make the benefits of AccountChek available to more mortgage lenders and consumers,said FormFree CEO and Founder Brent Chandler. Lenders interested in learning more about the Take3Tech and AccountChek integration should visit FormFree at booth #612 or set up a meeting with Take3Tech at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Technology Solutions Conference & Expo 2022 taking place April 11–14 at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. About FormFree®: As the industry's go-to provider for direct-source VOA and VOI/E data, FormFree helps lenders understand credit risk like never before. Our patented AccountChek® and Passport® products open doors to more inclusive credit decisioning by revealing each customer's true ability to pay (ATP®). We have completed over $3 trillion in loan verifications that help lenders lower operating costs while improving the borrower experience. About Take Three Technologies: Take Three Technologies developed LoanMAPS, a cloud-based and fully-integrated loan origination platform. With LoanMAPS, you can replace your current LOS, CRM, POS, and Report Generator with one easy-to-use solution that covers of all of your mortgage banking technology needs. From client management and origination to processing and closing, LoanMAPS is here for you with easy implementation and training at your fingertips. Reduce your cost to close and increase your productivity with LoanMAPS today.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT,INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Awiros raises $7m led by Inflexor and Exfinity to accelerate growth and global expansion

Awiros, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners | September 15, 2022

National, Sep 14 2022: Tech-focused VC funds, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners, led the Series A round in Awiros, a deep-tech start-up that develops an AI-based computer-vision platform primarily for video processing. The current round of funding also saw participation from VedaVC, leading family offices and UHNIs. Awiros is bridging a key gap in the market through its offering, a marketplace of Video AI “Apps” that allows its customers to discover and adopt suitable technology solutions quickly. Enterprises have been actively deploying Video AI solutions across automation, safety and process monitoring where the market is projected to reach USD 27Bn by 2030, based on various research studies. Awiros is accelerating the adoption of this technology, where its average customer subscribes to more than 10 apps today, up from 4 in 2019. With several Fortune 500 customers and large-scale Video AI deployments across manufacturing, warehousing, data centres, critical infrastructure and public safety, Awiros is already one of the leading companies in this space in India. In terms of technology, Awiros is a device-agnostic Operating System (OS) for easy development and delivery of Video AI applications. The OS eliminates the need for enterprise clients to upgrade, redesign, or reinstall new systems as the enterprise’s Video AI use cases increase. The platform also abstracts out all the tedious workflow around computer vision-based AI models and lets developers concentrate on building efficient models, resulting in faster development and deployment cycles for enterprise-grade applications. In the near future, Awiros aims to be the default platform for computer vision use-cases that would allow any developer to create and deploy computer vision applications in large-scale projects in a friction-less manner and create an ecosystem that allows the best apps to thrive, much like the app-stores for smartphones. The company aims to utilize the funding towards product enhancement, building its developer community, and business growth in India and overseas markets. This funding round will allow Awiros in augmenting the India and US teams, both in technology and sales-related functions. Awiros was founded in 2015 by Vikram Gupta and Yatin Kavishwar. Vikram is a computer engineering research expert with a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His key focus area during his PhD was to architect a middleware for multi-application embedded systems, which became the base and motivation for founding Awiros. Yatin is a seasoned enterprise business leader with experience in leading government, enterprise, defence and public sector sales across multiple stints at AppDynamics, Citrix, Cisco and IBM. Vikram Gupta CEO & Co-Founder of Awiros said “Awiros is one of the fastest growing companies in the Video AI space in India and this funding round will help us build further momentum for global growth by increasing our market share, streamlining technical operations and investing in the R&D of existing and new product categories. By onboarding the seasoned deep-tech investors from Inflexor and Exfinity, Awiros will benefit heavily from their extensive experience in technology, international business and scalable GTM.” Jatin Desai, Managing Partner at Inflexor Ventures added, “We are very excited to partner with Vikram, Yatin and the team at Awiros as they take their patented deeptech/AI-based Computer Vision operating system and app store to global markets and continue to grow in the domestic market. As cameras become even more ubiquitous globally there will be a huge addressable market for their products. Awiros investment fits very well with Inflexor’s deeptech/tech IP theme and backing solid founders in this space”. Chinnu Senthilkumar, Managing Partner at Exfinity Venture Partners added, “In the backdrop of data explosion happening in the video domain, we are thrilled to join Awiros’ journey in building a unified video intelligence platform that derives actionable insights for its customers. Awiros’ approach is analogous to Android O/S which enables and empowers the customer to design and deploy AI-based solutions for their business needs quickly. Awiros has excellent business synergy with our portfolio company Kinara (erstwhile Deepvision) wherein they will be able to co-develop solutions in domains such as retail automation, smart buildings, Industry 4.0 etc. for Fortune 500 clients.” About Inflexor Ventures Inflexor Ventures is a sector-agnostic VC firm that invests in deep and emerging technology startups from Pre-Series A to Series B stages. The team at Inflexor Ventures brings decades of experience in fund management and investments, serial entrepreneurship and global technology and operational roles. Inflexor past investments include Atomberg, Playshifu, Kale Logistics, GramCover, SecureThings, Bellatrix, Vitra.ai, and recently exited Steradian. From their earlier fund Parampara, they had also invested in Entropik, CloudSEK, SCube, and SecurAx. About Exfinity Venture Partners Exfinity Venture Partners is an early-stage technology-focused fund investing in the domains of deep technology, SaaS and platforms. Exfinity’s core founding principles are to focus on B2B-sector investments with a practitioner-driven approach, and they are the pioneer fund in India in these aspects. Exfinity is uniquely positioned to enable the scaling of cross-border startups building world-class enterprise solutions for customers across the globe, and also facilitate growth stage investments for their portfolio companies. Their other investments include Pixis, Log 9 Materials, MoEngage, Kinara, Locus, Skit, Ati Motors, AiPalette, Credilio, Mad Street Den and CloudSEK.

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Spotlight

The market for financial services is changing fast. To evolve, banks are transforming their organizations into digital ecosystems using APIs. APIs have emerged as critical enablers to help financial services firms meet new consumer expectations. Through collaboration with fin techs, banks will use APIs to add new functionality f

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