Articles by: JJ Hornblass

Dubious and Disturbing ‘Pay to Play’ in FinTech Media

Dubious and Disturbing ‘Pay to Play’ in FinTech Media

by May 22, 2015 at 10:58 am 0 comments

This week, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, my alma mater, graduated its latest class of students. The graduation had me thinking about journalism and media ethics, and that led me to call for a public outcry over the ever-increasing “pay to play” media in fintech. You may not know this (or maybeRead More

Venture Funding for FinTech Climbs 62% YOY, New Data Shows

Venture Funding for FinTech Climbs 62% YOY, New Data Shows

by May 21, 2015 at 11:49 am 0 comments

FinTech venture funding continues to increase. A total of $520 million was invested in financial services startups last quarter, up from $289 million during the last quarter of 2014 and $321 million, in the same quarter last year — a 62% year-over-year increase — according to new data from PricewaterhouseCoopers’s MoneyTreeRead More

CIBC First to Launch Funds Transfer for Apple Watch

CIBC First to Launch Funds Transfer for Apple Watch

by May 14, 2015 at 9:27 am 1 comment

While fintech was focused on Finovate — around 1,500 #finovate tweets were generated during this week’s event in San Jose, Calif. — CIBC quietly released on Tuesday what appears to be the first Apple Watch app to allow for funds transfer. CIBC, the Canadian bank, officially released its Apple Watch offering on Tuesday.Read More

Rare Commercial RE Finance Startup Gets Funding

Rare Commercial RE Finance Startup Gets Funding

by May 12, 2015 at 10:35 am 1 comment

A rare commercial real estate finance startup scored an $8 million funding round yesterday. Credifi, an Israeli company, secured the Series A funds from Battery Ventures, Carmel Ventures, and OurCrowd. This is the only funding Credifi has completed since its launch in 2014. A few CRE startups have surfaced recently. There is Realty Mogul,Read More

Affirm Hiring Push Starts Not a Week After Raising $275 Million

Affirm Hiring Push Starts Not a Week After Raising $275 Million

by May 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm 0 comments

Well, that didn’t take long. Affirm is not a week from its $275 million round of fundraising, and already it is looking to add staff. The company this week began soliciting applications for three new positions: director of manager of consumer risk; “customer success manager”; and recruiting coordinator/junior recruiter. ThatRead More

Yodlee Scores Northwest Mutual as a Client

Yodlee Scores Northwest Mutual as a Client

by May 8, 2015 at 10:11 am 1 comment

Yodlee has secured a client agreement with The Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Co., the company disclosed yesterday. Northwest Mutual is a notable win, considering the insurance company’s $26.7 billion of total revenue in 2014. Anil Arora, Yodlee’s CEO, told investors yesterday that Yodlee has “recently launched both the Yodlee wealthRead More

Mega Social Media Data for Financial Services Has Arrived

Mega Social Media Data for Financial Services Has Arrived

by May 7, 2015 at 11:24 am 2 comments

It wasn’t too long ago that the suggestion that social media data could feed financial services underwriting and products was, well, dubious. Yes, we paid it lip service — isn’t it cool that OnDeck and Lenddo are using social media to make loans? The lip service ends today. Like a slow-moving glacier thatRead More

Affirm’s $275M Round Coincides with Climbing Traffic

Affirm’s $275M Round Coincides with Climbing Traffic

by May 6, 2015 at 9:53 am 3 comments

Affirm Inc., the POS lender, closed a $275 million round today, which coincides with climbing traffic. The site is now hosting around 80,000 unique visitors a month. SimilarWeb.com estimates that Affirm.com is getting around 250,000 visitors per month now. By comparison, PayPal.com, the site Affirm’s founder, Max Levchin, helped launch,Read More

Investment Round in Cheddar Starts Heating Up

Investment Round in Cheddar Starts Heating Up

by May 5, 2015 at 10:52 am 1 comment

The seed round for Cheddar, a mobile banking startup, is starting to accelerate. The $200,000 round needs around $38,000 to close, with several investors committing to the company in just the last few days, including Pramod Rustagi, an active angel investor who is a former Intel software engineer. The round is being syndicatedRead More

Everyone Can Become an ATM with MoolahMe

Everyone Can Become an ATM with MoolahMe

by May 4, 2015 at 11:07 am 2 comments

MoolahMe, which was a runner-up at this weekend’s TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon, wants everyone to be an ATM. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you need some cash. You put a query out for someone to give you, say, $20. Someone who has $20 of cash nearby will indicate that sheRead More

Amex’s Plenti Rewards Program Launches Next Week

Amex’s Plenti Rewards Program Launches Next Week

by May 1, 2015 at 10:24 am 1 comment

Plenti, the new American Express rewards program for a selection of major brands, will kick off on May 4. The rewards program serves AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy and Hulu. The interesting thing about Plenti — and why is deserves our mention — is that it lets consumersRead More