Selected startups hail from California, New York, Illinois and Colorado
SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Financial Venture Studio (FVS) today announced the six companies that comprise its next cohort of the nation’s premier program dedicated to seed-stage fintech startups. Following an application and rigorous vetting process, these companies have received an investment in capital from FVS, and are now participating in a bespoke six-month, non-residential program designed to help early stage fintechs navigate critical elements of the financial services industry.
“We spent the winter scouring the country for fresh innovations in fintech. We were thrilled to see so many high-quality fintech products being built that can benefit the financial lives of everyday Americans,” said Ryan Falvey, Managing Partner and co-founder of Financial Venture Studio. “The economic damage created by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the critical need for innovations in financial services—especially for consumers and small businesses— and urgency around improving the efficiency of banks.”
The FVS team focuses its program on helping seed stage fintechs navigate their way successfully through the five areas key to fintech success: legal/regulatory, technical, communications, partnerships and capital markets.
“As a first-time founder, I experienced the difficulty of getting access to the people and networks needed to succeed in this complex and highly-regulated industry,” said Tyler Griffin, Managing Partner at FVS, who previously founded payments fintech Prism, which was sold to PayNearMe. “At Venture Studio, we’re bringing together the best people from the most critical legacy providers, regulators, law firms, and capital markets to give our founders the resources they need to build enduring businesses quickly.”
The FVS Spring 2020 cohort includes:
Agentero (CA) uses robust data to enable independent insurance agents to proactively offer insurance choices to customers at the right time, every time—mitigating risks for consumers while growing relationships and revenue for agents. Founder and CEO Luis Pino was the first employee at insurtech CoverWallet, and has also worked for McKinsey & Co.
Anvil (CA) is a single platform for automating document-based processes. Anvil replaces endless forms with intuitive online workflows that gather information, complete documents, request signatures and share information wherever it needs to go, streamlining businesses’ operations and accelerating digital transformation. Co-founder and CEO Mang-Git Ng was previously a founding engineer at Dialpad (acquired by DropBox). Co-founder and CTO Ben Ogle previously founded YC-backed company Easel.io, which was acquired by Github. At GitHub, Ben developed Atom, a code editor used by over 1 million developers. Anvil has launched a PPP application workflow that streamlines applications for banks making PPP loans during COVID-19.
Copilot (NY) is a personal finance app that transforms how people see and interact with their money. The startup uses machine learning to deliver powerful, hyper-personalized insights that help customers effortlessly understand and manage how they spend, save, invest and meet financial goals. Copilot is a paid app which does not sell user data. Founder Andres Ugarte, originally from Chile, spent five years at Google working on YouTube, Hangouts, and Pigeon.
NestEgg (IL) is an app for independent landlords to manage their properties online. Using the AI property manager, landlords can manage a portfolio of any size in minutes each month. NestEgg’s platform is a two-sided marketplace bringing rental owners together with contractors and other professionals to create safe, happy homes for renters. NestEgg founder Eachan Fletcher is the former CTO and VP of Product at Expedia, and has more than 20 years of experience building high-growth consumer platforms.
Reserve Trust (CO) is a state chartered trust company that provides a platform of APIs and tools that enable its customers to embed financial services across a wide range of products and services. Reserve Trust CEO Justin Guilder was previously Managing Director of PennAve One, a boutique investment firm. Justin also practiced law in Washington, D.C. at international law firms, representing commercial banks and mortgage servicing companies in commercial litigation and investigations by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, New York’s Department of Financial Services, and other state banking regulators.
Zaam (CA) is an end-to-end SaaS solution for onboarding business customers onto financial platforms. Using Zaam, financial companies improve their customers’ onboarding experience, gain increased revenue from higher conversion rates, and reduce operational costs. Zaam co-founder and CEO Parinaz Firozi started her career at JPMorgan and later joined Jumia Kenya, part of Jumia Group where she led a 250-person team, scaling the organization to 29x GMV. More recently, she was a VC at the International Finance Corporation focusing on growth equity investments, and led Strategy and Operations for an Andreessen Horowitz-backed blockchain startup called TrustToken.
FVS has selected three cohorts of startups for its unique model of support since its founding in 2018. Of the first 13 startups to participate in the firm’s previous two cohorts, 12 have raised subsequent funding—with over $37 million in follow-on capital raised by firms since participating in the FVS program.
Patrick Mrozowski, founder and CEO of Point, said of his FVS cohort experience, “FVS has been super supportive and helpful to Point. The team is well informed about the fintech ecosystem and is always dependable for sound advice on which vendors to work with, go-to-market strategies, and help with finance-related partnerships.”
“This is probably the most valuable program you can do as an early stage fintech startup anywhere in the world,” said Cathrine Andersen, co-founder and CEO of Roger.ai. “Our participation took us where we wanted much quicker than we could have on our own.” Roger.ai raised a Series A led by QED Investors immediately following its participation in the Studio.
FVS seeks technology companies launching products that have the ability to transform the financial services industry. When making investments, FVS prioritizes firms that demonstrate rapid execution, strong initial product growth and user engagement. To learn more about the Financial Venture Studio’s previous cohorts and its investing and development approach, visit www.finventurestudio.com.
About Financial Venture Studio
Financial Venture Studio invests in great early stage teams who are seeking to improve how Americans conduct their financial lives. From more efficient savings to superior investments to faster payments and better information, the promise of today’s financial products has never been greater. Learn more at www.finventurestudio.com.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/21e2611c-a3db-4e88-bd20-61f7919081b5
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