Watch List

Avuba is a technology company that aims to build the next-generation bank account that provides payments services and financial guidance.
Oliver Lukesch
Berlin, Germany
Holvi (Finland),Soon by AXA Banque (France), Hello Bank! by BNP Paribas (France), mBank by Commerzbank (Poland)
- Received $19.3 thousand seed funding (8/2013)
Avuba fills a need for a modern mobile-first account, but has scant funding and stiff competition in Europe
Balanced is an online payments processor.
Matin Tamizi
San Francisco, Calif.
- Received $2 million seed funding ($3.4 million total) in April 2013
- Added bitcoin functionality, Feb 2014
Y-Combinator pedigree and solid technology, good ux.
March 11, 2014
Betterment is an online (and mobile) investment tool attempting to differentiate with a superior user experience and customer service.
Jon Stein
New York, N.Y.
- Acquired ImpulseSave, October 2013
- Quite a few investment tools out there for well-heeled Ge Y'ers, but Betterment appears to be finding traction.
BIM -- Buy It Mobility -- is a mobile payments platform for retailers. Barcodes authorize payments using tokens. Teh platofrm also pushes offers, loyalty and rewards.
Benjamin Bronfman
New York, N.Y.
Loop, DoubleBeam
BIM looks like a good intermediate technology that does not require changes at the POS, but it's still difficult to see how it will gain traction
Birdback offers card-linked rewards for European market. The idea is to push in-store offers to online shoppers to bring them to the store.
Nicolai Watzenig
London, U. K.
Cardlytics, edo interactive
- $2.4 million in funding (February 2014)
A great American idea testing the waters in Europe.
Blackwire develops data-driven applications for financial services companies. The company aims to break the chains that bind banks to big vendors.
John Agan
Atlanta, Ga.
Standard Treasury
- Also offers consulting and training services. Software sits on top of legacy infrastructure.
A lot of potential but have to see real-world applications
bsavi is a personal financial management (PFM) tool that helps users make budgets and save money. The platform also offers rewards and loyalty incentives. Future plans include billpay and other banking features, all with the goal of helping users maintain adequate money for everyday use.
Tobie Van Zyl
Capetown, South Africa, Moneydesktop
- Set to launch internationally April 2014
bsavi has a laserlike focus on allowing users enough money to spend each day -- other features are planned for the future. PFM is unpopular in the US -- users don't like budgeting -- but done correctly, PFM can make life easier. bsavi seems to be aware that PFM must be practical for price-conscious consumers first of all.
Buttercoin is an open-source bitcoin exchange backed by an impressive roster of techies. It uses the same gamified waiting list Clinkle used -- share on social media and jump the line, essentially.
Cedric Dahl
Palo Alto, Calif.
BitStamp, BTC China
- Received $1.25 million in August and Septmeber 2013
The Mt.Gox implosion has left people scared of trading coins, and the price of bitcoins has fallen significantly -- but is still up 56x in 2014. Buttercoin's backers are impressive -- Google Ventures and Y Combinator to name two.
ByteLight employs LED technology to locate customers in retail environments and engage them via their smartphones.
Dan Ryan
Boston, Mass.
PayPal Beacon, Apple iBeacon
- $3 million Series A funding (October 2013)
Technologies that bring financial institutions closer to the shopping experience will have success -- but some big players are lined up in this space.
CardSpring builds platforms for payments companies and point-of-sale vendors to add card-linked programs to their services. CArdSpring Connect offers APIs and SDKs for retailers to get in on the card-linked action.
Eckart Walther
Palo Alto, Calif.
- $10 Series A funding January 2013
Former Netscape engineers take on payments -- good stuff. But the card-linked space is both limited and crowded. Broken links in navigation website suggest things are not going well -- or that the team is extremely busy.
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