By Maria Gotsch
At the Demo Day for our FinTech Innovation Lab last week I suggested a second definition for “fintech” and “insurtech”: externalized research & development for financial services.
Although the definition for fintech in the online Oxford dictionary is correct, this new one better captures the reality of what is happening between emerging tech companies and large financial services firms. It also explains why we continue to have such great engagement by our partner financial services firms.
Disruption is motivating the financial industry to provide new products and continued improvement in service for their customers. At the same time these financial institutions are responsible (and required by regulators) for keeping our money and personal information—and importantly, the financial system—safe and secure. Safe from the hackers and robbers who on a daily basis are attempting to steal both that money and increasingly our data.
This year’s class of exceptional fintech and insurtech companies are 11 datapoints that back up my new definition. All eleven have interesting solutions that are providing access to cutting edge technology that was developed outside of the walls of the big institutions–but is solving meaningful problems for them.
For the financial institutions’ customers:
- LiveOak allows the FIs to on-board new customers remotely and focused on those situations where there are complex forms and lots of paperwork and multiple parties required.
- YayPay automates the collections process for merchants and enables better tracking and analytics of this traditionally manual and time-consuming process
For all the data used by financial services:
- Alpha Vertex uses graphical analysis to find hidden correlations in data for uses in trading
- Diffeo’s AI-powered research assistant connects everyday tools — including the web, email, shared drives and enterprise data portals — to uncover relationships across vast amounts of disparate data and present valuable insights in areas such as financial crimes, credit risk and client management
- Uplevel allows FI’s to respond more quickly and efficiently to cyber security events by linking events graphically
- Virtualitics combines artificial intelligence and virtual reality so that the user can get a different set of insights and better explain the “black box” on complex models
For a financial institution’s ever important technology infrastructure:
- Cutover automates critical technology improvement processes and helps financial services organizations successfully deliver more technology improvements for their customers and regulators while reducing the risk of outages
- Galactic Fog provides an easy-to-use platform for enterprise development and ops teams to rapidly build, deploy and manage cross-cloud serverless and container technologies, while driving improved security through seamless audit and governance capabilities
For insurance companies:
- Habit gathers information from smartphone and IoT devices to create behavioral profiles which allow insurance companies to improve their risk models and offer better products
- Open Data Nation uses its extensive collection of municipal data to help insurance companies better understand the risk of the environment in which they are writing individual policies
- StrongArm Tech uses wearable sensors and AI-drive analysis to collect, analyze and predict insights on industrial workers in order to mitigate risk of injury
You can see the presentations from Demo Day here. If you are interested in learning more about any of these great companies, we’d be happy to make an intro. Please contact my colleague Sunny Parikh via email sparikh [at] pfnyc.org.