Friday Fun: Fintech Startups by US City (Top 12)

Earlier this month Bank Innovations published a post on five emerging U.S. fintech hubs (outside NYC, Silicon Valley and Boston). Their up and comers were Atlanta, Austin, Lincoln, Miami and Washington DC. Austin and Atlanta made sense but I was surprised by Miami, DC and especially Lincoln.

The article didn’t include a methodology, so to test their hypothesis I searched AngelList’s database of fintech and financial services startups (financial technology, financial services, payments, fin tech or insurance). Miami did in fact make the top 12, but Lincoln (7 startups) and Washington DC (9 startups) are pretty far out of the running, at least from a startup perspective. Bank Innovations was considering more than just startup activity.

Here’s the 10 most common U.S. homes of fintech startups outside SF and NYC are (note these numbers do not include neighboring cities such as San Jose or Brooklyn):

HQ/Number of Startups

  1. NYC 1,367
  2. San Francisco 1,241
  3. LA 431
  4. Chicago 267
  5. Boston 246
  6. Austin 226
  7. Atlanta 161
  8. San Diego 156
  9. Palo Alto 136
  10. Seattle 116 (tie)
  11. Dallas 116 (tie)
  12. Miami 107

Source: Angel List, 18 Aug 2017

Enjoy your weekend all!

Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services user-experience consultancy. 

Note: Photo credit, LA Fintech Meetup Aug 22


HotDocs Integrates with Data Management Solutions Provider, AdvoLogix

Document automation specialist HotDocs has announced a new integration. The company has partnered with cloud-based legal data management solutions provider, Advologix, to combine its interview, assembly, and template services with Advologix’s data, workflows, and “best of breed document automation.” The result, according to Advologix VP of Product Development Steve Stockstill, is an “end-to-end cloud-based document assembly experience.”

HotDocs COO Steve Spratt said the partnership would lead to “greater efficiency and accuracy to the law firms and legal teams using the combined solution.” He pointed to the ease of integration, courtesy of HotDocs’ APIs, which will enable legal professionals to build documents automatically as part of their business workflow.

Pictured: HotDocs Chief Technology Officer Mark Settle demonstrating new enhancements to the HotDocs platform at FinovateSpring 2017.

HotDocs’ technology enables the automatic generation of documents ranging from standard correspondence to complex contracts such as trusts and wills. Deployed in verticals ranging from banking and insurance to legal and the public sector, HotDocs’ software reduces costs, improves accuracy and efficiency, encourages standardization, and is available on site, on the desktop, or as a cloud-based service. The technology can be used as a standalone solution or integrated into a company’s workflow, document management or case management systems.

During HotDocs’ demo this spring, Mark Settle and Julie Rotz presented the example of a document processor at a large global bank who produces financial agreements for bank customers. On a good day, Settle said, this processor could generate three or four of such agreements. “These agreements require a long and tedious process that ends only when everyone agrees that most of the errors are probably gone,” Settle explained, “and that the risk of a customer receiving a document with errors in it is low.” In contrast, HotDocs enables document processors to select from a variety of document templates and then rely on a dynamic questionaire (“interview”) to add the necessary elements. Using the processor’s answers and the business rules embedded in the template, HotDocs is able to generate an accurate, perfectly-formatted, Microsoft Word document “in just a fraction of the time” it takes to complete similar documents manually. Templates can be modified by the document processor to add business rules and logic. Settle showed this by adding a conditional region to the template that will include certain language in the output document if the individual reading the document responds in a certain way. Completed templates can be shared with colleagues via the HotDocs Hub.

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Edinburgh, U.K., HotDocs demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2017. The company, which also maintains a U.S. office in Lindon, Utah, has more than a million end users across more than 11,000 client companies in more than 60 countries. In a very busy June, HotDocs teamed up with technology consulting and ECM solution provider, General Networks Corporation, enjoyed the “biggest and best global user conference” in its history, and appointed Mark Settle, who led the company’s FinovateSpring 2017 presentation earlier this year, to Chief Technology Officer. This spring, HotDocs was honored at the Digital Technology Awards, picking up Company of the Year and International Technology Star awards. Russell Shepherd is founder and CEO.

Blockchain Launches Ethereum Wallet

Digital currency wallet Blockchain has added ether to the list of currencies it supports. The London-based company, whose motto is Be Your Own Bank, announced this week that users will be able to create Ethereum wallets– meaning they can store, send, and receive ether.

The user interface of the wallet will remain the same, and the ether wallet mirrors the bitcoin interface. As a part of the new launch, Blockchain has partnered with ShapeShift to power a bitcoin-to-ethereum and ethereum-to-bitcoin exchange to help users diversify their digital currency holdings.

Founded in 2011, Blockchain has 15+ million wallets and has worked with its exchange partners to process 100+ million transactions in 140+ countries in 20+ currencies. The company considers its wallet more secure than competitors Coinbase and Kraken. That’s because, unlike the latter platforms which act as digital currency exchanges, Blockchain offers a wallet to simply store the funds and has no visibility into users’ wallets.

Blockchain presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company has offices in London, New York, and Brazil and has $70 million, thanks in part to a $40 million Series B round raised in June. Peter Smith is CEO and co-founder.

Finovate Alumni News


  • HotDocs Integrates with Data Management Solutions Provider, Advologix.

Around the web

  • iSignthis to gain from proposed bill to strengthen Australia’s AML laws.
  • Alkami Adds Adrianne Court as New Chief Human Resources 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.

LendingRobot and NSR Invest to Form Biggest Robo Advisor in Marketplace Lending

P2P lending robo advisor LendingRobot will join NSR Invest, creating what the company called in a statement “the largest independent robo advisor in the alternative lending space.” LendingRobot explained in its blog that the “websites, operating, and trading systems” of each platform will continue to function as usual for the time being as the companies prepare to combine the two businesses. Formally, the acquisition involves Lend Core, the parent company of NSR Invest, acquiring Algorithmic Inc. and its assets, which include LendingRobot.

The new entity is expected to bring a variety of new innovations to the P2P alternative lending space, and LendingRobot pointed to its Lending Robot Series Fund, as an example of the types of products customers will see more of in the future. As reported in LendAcademy, the combined company will have more than 8,000 clients and $150 million in assets under management. NSR Invest co-founder and CEO Bo Brustkern will serve as CEO, with LendingRobot CEO and co-founder Emmanuel Marot remaining as a special advisor.

“We have long respected the work of the LendingRobot team and recognize that our companies are pursuing a common goal,” Brustkern explained. He added that the combination of the two companies will deliver “enhanced capabilities to our combined client bases today, and big plans for the future.” Marot highlighted the fact that the two companies had “taken different tracts to provide similar services” and that the time had come to marry “complimentary strengths.”

LendingRobot provides investors with the opportunity to invest in P2P loans as an asset class. The company’s platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to spot loans with risk and return profiles that suit individual investor preferences. LendingRobot automates loan selection to ensure that investor portfolios remain diversified and can be configured to continually-invest sidelined cash. Alternative lending platforms accessible through LendingRobot include fellow Finovate alums, Lending Club and Prosper.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, LendingRobot demonstrated its LendingRobot Dashboard at FinovateSpring 2016. Prior to its acquisition by NSR Invest, the company had raised $3 million in funding from investors including Runa Capital and Club Italia Investimenti.

12 Alums Earn Their Place on Inc. 5000 List

Inc. released its lists of the fastest-growing 5,000 private companies in the U.S. and Europe this week. Eight Finovate alums made the U.S. list and four earned spots on the Europe list. To qualify*, companies were required to be privately-owned and independent.

Inc. 5,000 U.S.

Overall in the U.S., financial services companies saw a 151% growth rate, while IT services experienced 112% growth, security 171% growth, and software grew 134%. Out of the 5,000 companies listed in 28 industries, here are the eight Finovate alums that earned their place on the list:

Alkami Technology

  • Rank: 176
  • 2016 revenue: $11.9 million
  • 3-year growth: 24x
  • Founded: 2009
  • Employees: 192
  • Ranked number 11 in top software companies, number 8 in top Dallas companies, and number 13 in top Texas companies.

Alkami debuted under the name iThryv at FinovateSpring 2009 in San Francisco.


  • Rank: 361
  • 2016 revenue: $26.1 million
  • 3-year growth: 12.2x
  • Founded: 2012
  • Employees: 273
  • Ranked number 24 in top software companies and number 10 in top North Carolina companies.

nCino debuted its bank operating system at FinovateEurope 2017 in London.

Tango Card

  • Rank: 373
  • 2016 revenue: $10.6 million
  • 3-year growth: 11.6x
  • Founded: 2009
  • Employees: 57
  • Ranked number six in top Seattle companies and number six in top Washington companies.

Tango Card debuted its Rewards as a Service API at FinovateFall 2016 in New York.


  • Rank: 449
  • 2016 revenue: $172 million
  • 3-year growth: 9.8x
  • Founded: 2009
  • Employees: 325
  • Ranked number 24 in top financial services companies, number 14 in top Atlanta companies, and number 16 in top Georgia companies.

At FinovateSpring 2015, Kabbage debuted the Kabbage Card. Kathryn Petralia, the company’s President, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, will be featured on our Digital Lending Summit panel on September 13. Register today to save your spot.

Lighter Capital

  • Rank: 634
  • 2016 revenue: $6.4 million
  • 3-year growth: 7.1x
  • Founded: 2010
  • Employees: 36
  • Ranked number 10 in top Seattle companies and number 11 in top Washington companies.

Lighter Capital debuted its Next-Generation Loan Analysis & Monitoring at FinovateFall 2013 in New York.


  • Rank: 771
  • 2016 revenue: $11.4 million
  • 3-year growth: 5.9x
  • Founded: 2012
  • Employees: 59

defi SOLUTIONS showcased its loan origination solution at FinovateSpring 2014.


  • Rank: 1069
  • 2016 revenue: $112.8 million
  • 3-year growth: 4x
  • Founded: 2008
  • Employees: 325

At FinovateFall 2013, Cardlytics showcased its geolocation application.


  • Rank: 1912
  • 2016 revenue: $100 million to $500 million
  • 3-year growth: 2x
  • Founded: 2005
  • Employees: 100 to 249
  • Is a five-time Inc. 5,000 honoree
  • Awarded as a Best Place to Work

Payoneer showcased its Commercial Account at FinovateAsia 2013.

Inc. 5,000 Europe

This is Inc’s third annual ranking of private companies in Europe, based on three-year revenue growth. In its analysis, Inc. ranked Paris, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, and London as the top five regions with the highest number of fastest growing companies in Europe. Four Finovate alums landed on Inc.’s Europe list this year:

True Potential

  • Rank: 900
  • 2015 revenue: $52.6 million (€44.9 million)
  • 3-year growth: 6.9x
  • Founded 2010
  • Employees: 29

True Potential demonstrated impulseSave at FinovateFall 2014


  • Rank: 909
  • 2015 revenue: $32.9 million (€28.1 million)
  • 3-year growth: 6.9x
  • Founded: 2004
  • Employees: 111

Zopa showcased its P2P lending platform at FinovateSpring 2008.

Fidor Bank AG

  • Rank: 4413
  • 2015 revenue: $35.5 million (€30.3 million)
  • 3-year growth: 2x
  • Employees: 148

At FinovateEurope 2011, Fidor Bank demonstrated its Fidor Pay account.


  • Rank: 4183
  • 2015 revenue: $42.9 million (€36.6 million)
  • 3-year growth: 2.9x
  • Founded: 2001
  • Employees: 522

Truphone showed off Truphone Mobile Recording at FinovateEurope 2014.

*Other qualifying criteria include

  • Have started earning revenue by March 31st, 2013
  • Had revenue no less than $100,000 in 2013
  • Had revenue no less than $2,000,000 in 2016
  • Revenue in 2016 exceeds revenue in 2013

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Adobe

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

With the Adobe Experience CloudAdobe Solutions leverages artificial intelligence to instantaneously pinpoint specific user data and dynamically assemble personalized imagery to that individual.


Dynamic personalization in real-time and at scale with:

  • Automated personalization
  • Screens
  • Facial Recognition

Why it’s a must-see
Late last year, we also launched Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence capability that spans across our content, document and digital marketing offering.


Charles Sherman, Adobe Experience Cloud Evangelist
Sherman is Adobe’s Sr. Evangelist for the Adobe Experience Cloud. As a Marketing Cloud Evangelist, he works to drive product and industry knowledge deep into organizations.


Eric Matisoff, Analytics and Data Science Evangelist
Matisoff is the Analytics and Data Science Evangelist at Adobe with 10+ years of digital experience working with data and visualizations.




Check out more previews of upcoming FinovateFall presentations. Visit our registration page to save your spot. 

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: ebankIT

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

ebankIT by Voice allows you to engage in a natural and intuitive way, providing an optimized and secure interface for all your banking solutions, using nothing but the sound of your voice.


  • Accelerate omnichannel digital transformation, reducing costs
  • Integrate with next generation fintech and 3rd parties
  • Increase digital sales, future-proofing banks

Why it’s a must-see
Whatever the future is, ebankIT will be there to help you embrace change, supporting clients to accelerate their digital banking transformation.


Diana Winstanley, Business Developer
Winstanley coordinated several projects on business analysis and international business development, with experience showcasing the latest technological innovations to financial institutions throughout the globe.


Pete Atkinson, VP UK and Ireland
Currently Vice President UK and Ireland for omnichannel banking software provider ebankIT, Atkinson has spent much of his career operating at the convergent point of technology and consumers.


Check out more previews of upcoming FinovateFall presentations. Visit our registration page to save your spot. 

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Zafin

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Zafin’s enterprise banking platform spans across global and regional banks’ retail and commercial groups, managing dynamic multi-product offerings, real-time pricing and billing, loyalty, and analytics.


  • Dynamic multi-product offerings in retail and corporate banking environments
  • Real-time pricing, billing and cash management
  • Fully-segmented analytics and loyalty platform

Why it’s a must-see
Zafin’s enterprise banking software is platform-agnostic, spanning various retail and corporate banks.


Adam Nanjee, SVP, Digital Banking
Nanjee is Zafin’s SVP of Digital Banking. Prior, he built Canada’s largest fintech innovation hub, ran digital at Mastercard Canada’s digital payments group, and ran eComm for BlackBerry.


Check out more previews of upcoming FinovateFall presentations. Visit our registration page to save your spot. 

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Layer

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Layer is a customer conversation platform enabling financial services companies and their clients to have immediate, interactive, and personalized experiences from any digital interface.


Leverage messaging to:

  • Accelerate loan and application processes
  • Aggregate all channels of communication into one method to be compliant
  • Provide immediate and interactive customer service

Why it’s a must-see
Layer creates a branded, client communication experience to drive more sales, provide better support, and increase lifetime value.


John Montgomery, Chief Operating Officer
Montgomery is a software executive with wide-ranging experience covering all functions required to take software from an idea through implementation. His focus is managing programs, operations, R&D, and customer experience.


Bill Hu, Vice President of Sales
Hu is an experienced Vice President of Sales with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. He is a strong sales professional skilled in negotiation, sales, go-to-market strategy, and customer relationships.


Check out more previews of upcoming FinovateFall presentations. Visit our registration page to save your spot.