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VC Investment In The U.S. Remains Strong At $32.6 Billion In Q1′ 2019 With Unicorn IPOS Looming: KPMG Report

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Venture Capital (VC) investment in the U.S. continued performing at a high level during Q1 ’19 with $32.6 billion invested as the U.S. economy remained strong, and increased IPO activity set the stage for further investment at all points of the deal spectrum — from early stage to late stage, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q1′ 2019 report.

The largest deals in Q1’19 included a $5 billion raise by shared-space provider The We Company (formerly WeWork), and a $1 billion raise by freight logistics company Flexport – earning that company coveted unicorn status.

“In the past five years, the number of U.S. unicorns has more than doubled to over 160 as private capital is readily available allowing companies to stay private longer,” said Brian Hughes, National Co-leader, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “We finally saw some unicorns choosing to go public in late 2018, and this unicorn IPO trend is expected to continue well into this year, spurred by recent high profile offerings and the ongoing strength of the public markets.”

Lyft hosted a successful IPO on Nasdaq in late March, raising $2.3 billion to value the company at $24 billion. It is the first in a line of large IPO unicorns expected in 2019, with ride-hailing company Uber also expected to file publicly, amongst others. The good performance of these unicorn companies in the early part of 2019 will trigger more investor interest in mature unicorns later in the year, in addition to providing additional capital for early stage deals.

U.S. investors continued to invest in established verticals in Q1’19, including food-delivery, healthcare and transportation, while mega-funds gained a significant amount of attention, coupled with strong activity in smaller-size funds.

Growth and Innovation Occurring Beyond Silicon Valley
The report found a growing boom of VC investment outside of Silicon Valley and the West Coast. In 2018, while 39 percent of VC deals occurred on the West Coast, 20 percent occurred in the Mid-Atlantic region, 9 percent in New England, and 9 percent in the Great Lakes region. These numbers reflect the growing number of innovation hubs appearing in cities such as New YorkBoston and others –a trend continuing this year.

In Q1’19, New York and New Jersey both attracted big deals, such as The We Company’s $5 billion raise, and Knock’s $400 million raise.

Among companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, there has been a shift toward scaling outside of the Valley in order to access or attract talent and better manage labor and space costs. Late in 2018, for example, Slack announced a new Denver Office, while other companies set up offices in ArizonaSalt Lake City and beyond. This trend is only expected to continue as companies look to balance a presence in the Valley with the need to scale and grow efficiently.

Digital Banking Heats Up
The digital banking space in the US continued to gain traction in Q1’19.  Chime’s Q1’19 $200 million raise earned it unicorn status, with a number of non-U.S.-based banks voicing plans to raise capital to fund a U.S. expansion.

The U.S. is well positioned for growth
The maturing fintech sector is also expected to see more M&A activity as companies are looking for scale and consolidate market share. In Q1’19, FIS announced plans to acquire Worldplay in a $34 billion deal.

“The story in the U.S. continues to be very positive.  The 2018 IPOs generally performed very well and the pre-public companies that have completed financings recently have been at high valuations,” said Conor Moore, National Co-Lead Partner, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “This should encourage greater investment at all points on the investment spectrum from seed to late stage.”

 

SOURCE KPMG LLP

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Qohash launches its first commercial data security solution, aimed at protecting financial institutions

Vlad Poptamas

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Qohash Executives

 

Qohash today announces the launch of its first data security solution to help financial institutions protect their sensitive data. With a focus on performance, the solution provides lightning-fast and accurate sensitive data classification along with support for data risk management and compliance. With the launch of this new solution, the company aims to significantly reduce the threat of insider breaches for financial institutions.

LEARN MORE ABOUT QOHASH HERE

The Quebec-based company delivers a hybrid-SaaS solution designed to find and risk-manage sensitive data at scale. It features a web-based dashboard for configuration and reporting and on-premises components for analysis. By using Qohash, customers are able to scan sensitive data while keeping it under their constant control.

The platform runs a number of data sources, including cloud, shared drives, devices, and proxies, meaning thousands of file types are supported, and new connectivity is added with each update. Pilot deployments of Qohash’s solution are now available for financial institutions located in the USA and Canada, with the company focusing on making the solution completely available in MontrealToronto and New York.

Qohash has grown rapidly since its creation in January 2018 and continues to attract world-class data security and product talent with its mission to significantly reduce the threat of insider breaches. While the data discovery solutions market may be competitive, Qohash has been listening closely to its customers since the founders started shaping the company’s idea over two years ago. Today, Qohash bets on the superior performance of its solution and narrow focus on the financial sector to attract customers looking for better sensitive data management alternatives.

Data breaches continue to take place all over the world. During the third quarter of 2019, a Risk-Based Security report showed that data breaches went up by 33.3% over 2018. In fact, finance is being hit especially hard: the Boston Consulting Group found that cyberattacks hit financial services firms 300 times more than other companies.

Qohash helps financial institutions not be part of these statistics. Its arrival to the fintech and security market represents a big step forward for banks, insurance companies, wealth management firms, and other financial services providers looking for high-performance and scalable ways to protect against one of the most dangerous threats: insider breaches.

“Risk management professionals want to know exactly where their sensitive data is at all times, who has access to it, and how to reduce the risks associated with insider breaches,” said Jean Le Bouthillier, CEO at Qohash. “Customers have had enough of lethargic classification engines that won’t scale and are too complex to manage. We provide purpose-built, lightning-fast and accurate solutions that get the job done,” he added.

Qohash benefits from solid governmental support from both the Province of Quebec and the Government of Canada who recognize that innovation and vigilance in cybersecurity are crucial in today’s climate. Beyond the high-performance solution, the company sets its differentiating point with a team that has extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, data protection and product development.

 

SOURCE Qohash

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Finastra Strengthens Its Position in Israel With New Office Opening

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo shows from left to right: Tom Kilroy, Chief Operating Officer, Mark Miller, Chief Financial Officer, Sharon Doherty, Chief People Officer, Eric Duffaut, President and Global Head of Field & Marketing, Eli Rosner, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Sagive Greenspan, SVP, General Manager, Payments and General Manager of Finastra Israel and Simon Paris, Chief Executive Officer at Finastra’s office launch in Kfar Saba, Israel.

 

Finastra is investing further in Israel with a new office in Kfar Saba, just outside Tel Aviv. The office, which is home to over 330 employees, offers more space for the Finastra team to grow as the company strengthens its position in the country, and provides an ultra-modern workspace to inspire creativity and facilitate collaboration. The move will help the company support technological and financial innovation in the region, and drive adoption of its open development platform, FusionFabric.cloud.

To mark the opening, Finastra welcomed an audience of banks, fintechs, government bodies and industry partners to a celebration event, with keynote speakers Chemi Peres (Co-Founder, Pitango Venture Capital) and Dr Amiram Appelbaum (Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy and Industry). Also on the agenda, the “Fintech Factor” showcased four of Israel’s most innovative fintechs – AIOCRiskCoSonarax and Vala – who delivered rapid-fire pitches. AIO, voted as the favorite by the audience, is now integrating its solution to Finastra’s APIs through FusionFabric.cloud.

Eli Rosner, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Finastra, said, “Finastra has been operating in Israel for many years, and during the last few, we’ve seen a surge in the number of fintech developments. According to PitchBook data, fintechs headquartered in Israel raised over US$143 million in funding in 2018, 145% more than 2017’s $58 million. As we step up the pace of adoption on FusionFabric.cloud, it’s crucial for Finastra to have a more significant presence in the region and help drive innovation and collaboration in the industry. We look to strengthen our collaboration with local financial institutions, academia, fintechs and government bodies to achieve this.”

Sagive Greenspan, SVP, General Manager, Payments and General Manager of Finastra Israel said, “Israel has been Finastra’s main hub for payments for many years. We have developed a team of research and development and global services specialists who deliver payment solutions for some of the leading banks in the world. The new office offers a collaborative environment that will inspire our employees, breed creativity and encourage innovation. Ultimately, this will enable Finastra to increase its footprint with existing clients as well as to grow its customer base by positioning innovative solutions in payments and across other business lines.”

Finastra aims to become the most inclusive and diverse employer in fintech, a key part of which includes ensuring its offices deliver a modern working environment to drive collaboration. To facilitate this, the office in Israel blends some of the most modern technology with fun and creative décor, which includes themed scrum areas and a fully equipped music room.

 

SOURCE Finastra

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Emmanuel Coulon named Chief Technology Officer at OANDA

Vlad Poptamas

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Emmanuel Coulon

 

A global leader in online multi-asset trading services and currency data and analytics, OANDA is pleased to announce the appointment of Emmanuel Coulon as Chief Technology Officer. He will be responsible for driving the firm’s global technology strategy and providing technical leadership across all areas of the business.

With a career that spans almost three decades, Coulon has worked with several leading financial services and technology firms over the years. He joins OANDA from ADSS where he served as Global Head of Technology, having previously worked at leading firms such as ICAP, Grupo CIMD and Effix Systems / Reuters.

Gavin Bambury, Chief Executive Officer of OANDA, commented, “With almost 30 years’ experience, Emmanuel combines deep-seated technical expertise with an in-depth understanding of the electronic trading industry, which will be critical to our success as we explore new ways to leverage our technology and drive future growth. I’m delighted to welcome him as our new Chief Technology Officer.”

Coulon commented, “A Fintech company at heart, OANDA has long been driven by a culture of innovation and technical excellence. As such, I’m excited to being part of such a dynamic team and look forward to enhancing our technology solutions even further.”

 

SOURCE OANDA

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