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Finmark Brings Financial Modeling to Fledgling Startups

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It is a truism that many talented technologists are not especially talented businesspeople. So if you have an idea for a technology solution, and want to build a business around your idea, where do you turn for the kind of help that can enable you to turn your funky tech startup into a serious up ‘n’ coming competitor?

One option for many startups is a company like Finmark. Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and founded earlier this year, Finmark specializes in providing startups with the resources they need to build and manage their financial plans. By providing insights into everything from runway and hiring to fundraising and reporting, Finmark makes the task of financial modeling that much easier for startups.

We caught up with Finmark co-founder and CEO Rami Essaid recently by email to learn more about the company and how it helps startups become better businesses.

What is the problem that Finmark solves – and who does it solve it for?

Rami Essaid: Finmark is a technology company that provides financial planning and modeling software for startups. Finmark’s platform takes complex financial concepts and calculations and distills them down into a simple-to-use interface so companies can easily update, inspect, and share their financial metrics.

Startup founders, from pre-revenue companies to pre-IPO companies, rely on Finmark to align teams, drive collaboration, reduce costs and resources, and build the next generation of great startups.

What makes Finmark’s solution better than others? What functionality does it have that sets it apart?

Essaid: Most startups use Excel for financial modeling, but spreadsheets are poor for collaboration and version control is a nightmare. Finmark eliminates the need for complex spreadsheets with a simple-to-use platform, so founders can easily create, update, and share their financial plans. 

Finmark was built so that anyone, not just finance professionals, can easily make and update a financial model without having to spend weeks laboring over complicated spreadsheets. While Excel-based spreadsheets have a half-life of about a month, founders can have immediate access to Finmark and know that their financials are updated regularly. 

Many founders also rely on templated models, but we help to create customized models in minutes, taking the components that are driving your business and allowing them to be linked together seamlessly. 

What in your background gave you the confidence to launch the company?

Essaid: As a now three-time startup founder, I’ve lived through the complications of Excel-based financial models. At my former company Distil Networks, I tried to fix these issues so many times that I came up with the general idea of Finmark so that other startup founders didn’t have to go through what I went through. 

At the time, it was only an idea that was put on the back burner, but when the time came for a new venture, I knew that I wanted to create Finmark. As a founder who understands the pain of financial modeling, my experiences have helped shape the company to ensure it will help others out there like me.

My goal is to help startup founders know they are building their company on a solid foundation. I believe that, as a result of Finmark, more good companies will survive. 

What adjustments have you had to make as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?

Essaid: As a company launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to be agile in our efforts, where we haven’t had to make many adjustments. The majority of our employee base is working from home, and this will likely continue to be the case once the pandemic has subsided. There have been numerous adjustments we’ve had to make, but we’ve taken them in stride, relying on new forms of technology to help us out.

We even participated in the Y Combinator Summer 2020 Demo Day, and while it wasn’t the major event many are used to, we still had the opportunity to pitch our startup via Zoom to more than a thousand attendees. 

Finmark recently raised $5 million in seed funding. How important was this to the company and what will it enable Finmark to do?

Essaid: I’m extremely excited about our seed funding, as we saw an incredible amount of interest from investment funds and angel investors alike, with more than 14 firms and 30 angels participating in the round. This level of interest underscores the need for a tool like Finmark, as many of these investors want to move away from the complex Excel spreadsheet modeling that is relied upon today.

Most of the funds will be asking that their portfolio companies use Finmark to stay on track, and the majority of our angel investors are or will be using Finmark to track their own financials, too.

You mentioned that Finmark is a recent graduate of Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 cohort. What was that experience like?

Essaid: It was a great experience overall. For us, our Y Combinator goals were two-fold. We gained a ton of experience with the accelerator, but also used the connections to introduce companies to Finmark. As the majority of the cohort were founders and CEOs in need of a tool like Finmark, I was able to sign on dozens of my peers as beta users. These users are both our target audience, and are also highly involved with the investor community, who will also be introduced to Finmark via the financial models created by our software.

What can we expect from Finmark in the year to come?

Essaid: Our first and primary goal is to build and perfect the platform, however we plan to expand our capabilities in the year to come in order to become the system of record for startups. A financial model is typically the central hub for all company data, including marketing and sales expenses, payroll, revenue, and more. With Finmark, companies will have a centralized access point for all data, where we can then help to provide benchmarks based on other companies in their respective industry, and ultimately help companies grow.

Source: https://finovate.com/finmark-brings-financial-modeling-to-fledgling-startups/

Blockchain

Banque de France Successfully Completes First CBDC Transactions

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Banque de France (the French central bank) has announced the successful testing of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in collaboration with multiple financial and tech groups. The experiment was considered to be successful on December 17th of 2020 but wasn’t announced until January 19th of this year via a press release. It was completed […]

The post Banque de France Successfully Completes First CBDC Transactions appeared first on Blockonomi.

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Banque de France (the French central bank) has announced the successful testing of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in collaboration with multiple financial and tech groups.

The experiment was considered to be successful on December 17th of 2020 but wasn’t announced until January 19th of this year via a press release. It was completed in collaboration with IZNES, SETL, CACEIS, CITIGROUP, GROUPAMA AM, OFI AM, and DXC.

Conducted by Banque de France and its collaborators, the experiment consisted of the subscription and redemption of money market funds using blockchain technology provided by SETL, with over 2 million euros being transacted during the experiment (PDF).

Banque de France Shows Interest in Digital Currency Rising

The bank opened applications for CBDC experimentation back in March of 2020 intending to explore the potential offered by the technology, as well as identifying concrete cases in which CBDC could be integrated into innovative procedures.

Multiple countries in the European Union have been vocal about their interest in developing a digital Euro, with other countries like Italy and the Netherlands taking steps in proposing legislation and experimenting with blockchain technology in collaboration with local banks.

A Successful Experiment

SETL, in collaboration with the BDF and IZNES technology teams, provided the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the underlying infrastructure for the issuance and redemption of the CBDC tokens.

The central bank then issued CBDC tokens on the private blockchain to simulate cash settlements by developing and deploying smart contracts. The bank was able to issue and control the circulation of the tokens throughout the simulation process.

On the other hand, CITI and CACEIS collaborated by purchasing CBDS tokens as participating commercial banks, which allowed the experimenters to replicate possible real-life scenarios and workflows.

While this experiment was a success, other experiments will be running until mid-2021, according to the bank as it hopes the findings “will be an important part of the Banque de France’s contribution to the Eurosystem’s more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.”

Digital Currencies Powered by Blockchain Are the Future

The successful completion of this experiment represents an important step forward toward the adoption of CBDC by allowing regulators and legislators to assess the positive impact digital currencies can have on the national economy.

By using blockchain technology, central banks will be able to enhance the efficiency and resilience of financial transactions, while improving security and accessibility by settling them on-chain.

Sir David Walker, SETL Chairman, referred to the results by stating: “The successful completion of a central bank digital currency live experiment with BDF confirms that SETL is uniquely positioned to help transform Financial Markets. We are delighted to be recognized for the role we play in these significant market transformation programs.”

While some CBDCs use blockchain technology as their backbone, they are different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum due to the centralization of the ledger and the ability of central banks to regulate the issuing and supply of the currency.

A Boost for the Industry as a Whole

However, this new application of blockchain technology could further boost blockchain adoption and have an impact on how everyday people interact with digital assets, facilitating the transition to cryptocurrencies and decentralized platforms.

This collaboration also provides the companies participating in them with important data that could lead them to further develop their technology for the benefit of the entire blockchain ecosystem:

In the words of Philippe Morel, SETL CEO: “Further to the successful delivery of our two market infrastructures – the Fund Platform IZNES and the ID2S Central Securities Depository, we are now excited to take our Payments offering to the next level. Together with our proven track record in delivering regulated Market Infrastructures, this further strengthens SETL’s strategic capabilities.”

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Source: https://blockonomi.com/banque-de-france-successfully-completes-first-cbdc-transactions/

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Blockchain

JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin Saat Ini

Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan manajemen aset digital terbesar di dunia, Grayscale Investments, disebut-sebut menjadi pemegang kunci harga bitcoin (BTC) bisa stabil sampai saat ini. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh peneliti dari JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan melakukan penelitian yang dipimpin oleh ahli strategi keuangan bernama Nikolas Panigirtzoglou. Dalam penelitian yang dilakukan Nikolas tersebut, bitcoin diperkirakan akan kehilangan masa kejayaannya […]

The post JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin Saat Ini appeared first on Kanalcoin.

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JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin


Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan manajemen aset digital terbesar di dunia, Grayscale Investments, disebut-sebut menjadi pemegang kunci harga bitcoin (BTC) bisa stabil sampai saat ini. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh peneliti dari JPMorgan Chase.

JPMorgan melakukan penelitian yang dipimpin oleh ahli strategi keuangan bernama Nikolas Panigirtzoglou. Dalam penelitian yang dilakukan Nikolas tersebut, bitcoin diperkirakan akan kehilangan masa kejayaannya dalam jangka pendek.

Akan tetapi, Nikolas menyebut kalau ada satu syarat yang membuat bitcoin bisa saja tidak kehilangan level tertinggi mereka saat ini. Satu hal yang dimaksud adalah harga bitcoin bisa menembus angka di atas $ 40 ribu atau sekitar Rp 564 juta per tokennya.

Sebenarnya, bitcoin sempat menembus harga di atas $ 40 ribu beberapa waktu yang lalu. Akan tetapi, hal tersebut hanya terjadi sebanyak dua kali dalam bulan Januari ini. Satu kali saat harga bitcoin mencapai yang tertinggi sepanjang masa, yakni $ 42 ribu (Rp 592 juta). Satu kali yang lainnya adalah terjadi pada minggu lalu.

Namun, stabilnya harga bitcoin di atas $ 40 ribu akan dipengaruhi oleh satu pihak. Menurut para ahli strategi keuangan JPMorgan, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust memegang peran penting dalam kondisi tersebut.

Hal itu dikarenakan, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust saat ini memiliki aset bitcoin sebesar $ 23 miliar (Rp 324,23 triliun) yang mereka kelola. Oleh karena itu, Grayscale memegang peranan yang sangat penting dalam stabilitas harga bitcoin saat ini.

Kendati demikian, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust harus terus menjaga konsistensi aliran bitcoin ke dalam perusahaan mereka dengan nilai sebesar $ 100 juta per harinya secara berturut-turut dalam hitungan hari dan minggu.

“Aliran ke Grayscale Bitcoin Trust kemungkinan akan perlu mempertahankan kecepatannya sebesar US $ 100 juta per hari selama beberapa hari dan minggu mendatang agar terobosan seperti itu terjadi,” tulis para ahli strategi keuangan, dikutip Kanalcoin.com dari Cointelegraph.

Sejak bitcoin menembus harga $ 20 ribu per tokennya, bitcoin mengalami kenaikan harga yang luar biasa ekstrem dalam tiga minggu. Bitcoin mampu melonjak mencapai dua kali lipat hanya dalam waktu yang sangat singkat.

Salah satu faktor yang mempengaruhi hal tersebut memang disebut-sebut adalah Grayscale. Pengaruh Grayscale kepada naiknya harga bitcoin cukup besar sampai saat ini. Arus masuk mingguan rata-rata saja mampu menyentuh angka $ 250,7 juta pada kuartal keempat.

Angka tersebut merupakan yang paling tertinggi sepanjang masa dalam sejarah Grayscale. Padahal, sebelumnya Grayscale hanya menghasilkan arus masuk sebesar $ 217,1 juta rata-rata per minggu.

Naiknya arus masuk yang dialami Grayscale Bitcoin Trust tersebut bukan tanpa alasan. Hal tersebut dikarenakan Grayscale membuka kembali layanannya kepada para investor baru pada 13 Januari yang lalu.

(*)


Source: https://www.kanalcoin.com/jpmorgan-sebut-grayscale-jadi-kunci-stabilitas-harga-bitcoin-saat-ini/

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Blockchain

Mulai Rambah Dunia Bitcoin, PayPal Diprediksi Dapat Pemasukan hingga $ 2 Miliar

Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan keuangan dan pembayaran digital terbesar di dunia, PayPal, diperkirakan akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 2 miliar atau sekitar Rp 28,14 triliun dari bisnis bitcoin yang mulai mereka rambah beberapa waktu belakangan. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh seorang analis dari Mizuho Securities, Don Dolev. Dolev menyampaikan kalau PayPal bisa saja mendapatkan pendapatan sebesar $ […]

The post Mulai Rambah Dunia Bitcoin, PayPal Diprediksi Dapat Pemasukan hingga $ 2 Miliar appeared first on Kanalcoin.

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Paypal Rambah Bitcoin


Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan keuangan dan pembayaran digital terbesar di dunia, PayPal, diperkirakan akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 2 miliar atau sekitar Rp 28,14 triliun dari bisnis bitcoin yang mulai mereka rambah beberapa waktu belakangan.

Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh seorang analis dari Mizuho Securities, Don Dolev. Dolev menyampaikan kalau PayPal bisa saja mendapatkan pendapatan sebesar $ 2 miliar dari bisnis bitcoin mereka pada 2023 mendatang.

Dolev menyampaikan kalau faktor yang mempengaruhi prediksinya tersebut adalah naiknya tingkat penggunaan aplikasi PayPal oleh para pengguna. Pasalnya, ada sekitar 50 persen pengguna mata uang kripto membuka aplikasi PayPal setiap harinya.

“Baik survei dan komentar manajemen kami mengungkap peningkatan dramatis dalam keterlibatan karena crypto,” ucap Dolev, dikutip Kanalcoin.com dari News.Bitcoin.com.

PayPal sendiri mengumumkan pada Oktober 2020 lalu kalau mereka saat ini mulai merambah ke dunia bitcoin. PayPal menyebut kalau 346 juta pengguna aplikasi mereka kini bisa membeli, menyimpan, dan menjual bitcoin dan aset digital lainnya melalui akun PayPal milik mereka.

PayPal menggunakan layanan pertukaran mata uang fiat ke mata uang kripto, yakni Paxos dan Itbit sebagai partner mereka. Sejak diumumkan, bisnis mata uang kripto PayPal mendapat respon positif dan banjir peminat.

Bahkan, survei yang dilakukan Dolev menyebutkan kalau para trader bitcoin (BTC) menggunakan aplikasi PayPal tiga kali lebih sering dibandingkan para pengguna yang tidak terlibat di dunia bitcoin. Hal tersebut terjadi setelah PayPal mengumumkan keikutsertaan mereka di dunia bitcoin.

Selain itu, para trader juga disebutkan memiliki jumlah saldo BTC lebih tinggi di Paypal daripada di dompet digital mereka selainnya.

Di sisi lain, seorang analis dari Moffett Nathanson, Lisa Ellis, memperkirakan PayPal akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 600 juta atau sekitar Rp 8,44 triliun dari lini bisnis bitcoin mereka pada 2021 ini. Selain itu, Ellis juga percaya kalau lini bisnis mata uang kripto yang dimiliki oleh PayPal saat ini bisa berkontribusi dalam keuangan jangka panjang perusahaan.

“Dalam jangka panjang, kami percaya inisiatif cryptocurrency Paypal memiliki nilai strategis yang signifikan,” ucap Ellis.

Selain mempengaruhi faktor keuangan, keputusan untuk masuk ke lini produksi bitcoin membuat PayPal menjadi aplikasi tujuan bagi para pelanggan sebagai layanan keuangan yang melayani berbagai kebutuhan.

PayPal nantinya juga akan diposisikan sebagai pihak yang membantu membentuk peran jangka panjang mata uang kripto dalam sistem pembayaran yang dilakukan oleh konsumen.

Sementara itu, saham PayPal sendiri saat ini diprediksi akan naik hingga menyentuh angka $ 350 yang semula hanya diperkirakan menyentuh angka $ 290. Selama setahun terakhir, saham PayPal sempat menyentuh harga tertinggi $ 249,85 dan terendah pada angka $ 82,07. Kenaikan harga saham PayPal tersebut juga diperkirakan berkat lini bisnis bitcoin.

(*)


Source: https://www.kanalcoin.com/mulai-rambah-dunia-bitcoin-paypal-diprediksi-dapat-pemasukan-hingga-2-miliar/

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AI

Trovata.io raises $20 million to aggregate enterprise bank accounts with AI

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Banking technology startup Trovata.io today announced it has raised $20 million in a series A round led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. The investment will be used to deliver new services and accelerate multi-bank APIs globally, the company says, and to add more bank distribution partners.

Trovata founder and CEO Brett Turner, who has spent time at Deloitte and Amazon, predicted that the rise of consumer bank aggregators driving fintech would lead to direct APIs for commercial banking and treasury services from banks globally. These prebuilt bank integrations, he believed, would remove enterprises’ need for legacy implementations or IT support and enable self-setup.

Turner launched 35-employee Trovata in 2019 in anticipation of the transformation, with a platform to aggregate companies’ bank balances and transactions natively on wholesale banking APIs. Using AI and machine learning, Trovata can automate cash-centric workflows such as cash reporting, analysis, and forecasting, allowing companies to see how much cash they have in real time while managing cash flow and building and maintaining forecasts.

Trovata acts as a high-performance data lake to store and manage bank data in a scalable multi-bank environment. The platform collects and normalizes data and then generates a forecast, leveraging machine learning to establish a baseline and analyze historical trends to increase forecast accuracy.

Trovata lets customers including Square tag data by region, entity, division, or arbitrary label. It also translates all non-USD denominated amounts into USD equivalents, offering the ability to drill down and generate forecasts for subsidiaries individually. A Google-like natural language search tool with a 300 millisecond response rate lets users find and tag key vendors, customers, and partners across millions of transactions.

“The tipping point is near, and … Trovata can play [a profound role] in wholesale banking and treasury services. The pandemic has spurned the need for better cash visibility, bank data in real time, and more proactive cash forecasting. Companies growing and contracting are in need of these things which have only accelerated interest,” Turner said in a statement. “Revenue is confidential, but our average deal size is roughly $25,00 and we’ve grown from 0 to nearly 100 mid-market and small enterprise customers in 18 months. We’ll be announcing a new up-market product for the enterprise later this month and expect to grow 4 times to 5 times this year.”

“We are keen on how technology is reinventing the treasury function into a modern, insight-driven operation that helps our clients deliver on their business strategy,” Wells Fargo Strategic Capital managing director Basil Darwish added. “Trovata provides distinctive technology and a client-centric approach to automating treasury services, and we’re excited to support their ongoing growth with this investment.”

Capital One Ventures and Pivot Investment Partners also participated in Trovata’s series A announced today, as well as existing early investors J.P. Morgan and Fintop Capital. This brings the San Diego-based company’s total raised to over $30 million, following seed and venture rounds totaling $10.6 million.

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/01/19/trovata-io-raises-20-million-to-aggregate-enterprise-bank-accounts-with-ai/

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