May 16, 2020

Five speakers not to miss at Finovate Berlin 2020

Benoît Legrand
Paul Spronk
Jeremy Light
Amber Donovan-Stevens
4 min
With Finovate 2020 kicking offtomorrow, FinTech Magazine shares our five favourite fintech leaders who will be speaking at the event.

1. Asaf Yacobi, S...

With Finovate 2020 kicking off tomorrow, FinTech Magazine shares our five favourite fintech leaders who will be speaking at the event. 

1. Asaf Yacobi, Solutions Architect Director, EMEA, buguroo 


Asaf Yacobi


Power Panel: Which New Technologies - DLT; AI; Cloud; Quantum; Data Analytics; Cryptography & Biometrics - Will Transform Financial Crime Management?


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 10:30am - 11:00am


Digital Future Industry Stage


With over a decade experience in the cybersecurity sector, Asaf Yacobi, the Solutions Architects Director at buguroo, has a tremendous amount of insight into some of the most important aspects of finance and technology today. Previously, he served as an Regional Presales Manager EMEA with IBM Trusteer and also worked with NICE Actimize, specialising in leadership and system engineering across MENA and APAC regions. He will be joined by Wendy Jephson, Head of Behavioral Science at Nasdaq and Joost Van Der Burgt, Senior Policy Adviser Fintech & Artificial Intelligence at De Nederlandsche Bank, with panel moderator David Birch, Director of Innovation & Global Ambassador at Consult Hyperion.

2. Benoît Legrand, Chief Innovation Officer, ING 


Keynote Address: Mapping Out Your Digital Transformation Journey & Finding New Revenue Streams By Putting Yourself At The Heart Of Your Customers' Lives


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:35am - 11:50am


Digital Future Industry Stage


Benoît Legrand will be leading the keynote address on mapping out a company’s digital transformation. The Chief Innovation Officer of ING has considerable international experience across the ING Group and has worked in investment banking, retail and private banking. With specialist knowledge marketing, sales, branch distribution and product management in Belgium, Singapore, Poland, the Netherlands and France, his keynote will certainly be interesting as draws on his extensive experience while representing one of the largest financial services companies in the world.

We reported on ING at the end of 2019 in an exclusive interview with Paul Spronk, Head of ING Labs Singapore, who details the company's close work with startups and partners to innovate for its clients in an ever-changing landscape.


Ghela Boskovich, Founder, FemTechGlobal


Opening Remarks From The Chair


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:30am - 11:35am


Digital Future Industry Stage


Ghela Boskovich is considered a champion of diversity and inclusion across the fintech industry. The founder of FemTechGlobal, Boskovich specialises in the commercialisation and innovation of the banking sector and the fostering of ethical data democracy. In addition to this, she is also Head of Europe for the Financial Data and Technology Association. She will be providing the opening remarks at the event. 

4. Jeremy Light, VP of EU Strategic Accounts, Ripple 


Power Panel: The Future Of Real Time Payments; Cross Border Payments & Real Time Cross Border Payments…


Tuesday, 11 February 2020 3:05pm - 3:40pm


Payments Industry Stage


Jeremy Light is responsible for strategic accounts in Europe for Ripple and is experienced across the payments industry, with a particular focus on cash management, international payments and trade. 

Joining him on the panel is: Steven Marshall, Chief Commercial Officer, Crown Agents Bank; David Michenry, Managing Director - EMEA Head of Global Treasury & Payment Advisory at Silicon Valley Bank; and Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director, EMEA Payments and Receivables at Citi. The panel will be moderated by Author Chris Skinner.

For insight into Ripple’s stance on the future of fintech, take a look at our exclusive 2020 prediction piece from Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple.

5. Yoni Arbel, Head of Treasury, Transferwise 


Fintech & Investor All Stars: Where Is The Smart Money Investing In Fintech Around The World? Why Do You Need Different Regional Strategies? Is The Fintech Market Due A Correction? Who Will Survive & Become The Next Generation Of Unicorns?


Wednesday, 12 February 2020 4:40pm - 5:20pm


Demo stage


Yoni Arbel has been with Transferwise for over a year and is responsible for assisting with ensuring efficiency in transfers while mitigating FX risks. Joining him on the panel is Nick Sando, Venture Capital Investor at Octopus Ventures; Luis Valdich, Managing Director, Venture Investing at Citi Ventures; and Manuel Silva Martinez, Partner at Santander InnoVentures. Hosting the demo is Meaghan Johnson, Co-Host at Breaking Banks. Transferwise has continued to gain immense popularity as it successfully navigated the shifting trends of the industry and is certainly one to catch at the summit. 

For insight into Transferwise, see our flash profile on the financial service.


About Finovate Europe 

Taking place at the InterContinental Berlin, this is the first Finovate Europe event to take place in continental Europe, providing a “truly Pan-European experience.” The event, featuring over 50 demos, 150 speakers, and 1200+ senior attendees, will kick off 2020 and the new decade with the latest showcases of practical application fintech. 

The event has been showered with praise in the past, hallmarked "the premier financial technology conference" by Bradley Leimer of Explorer Advisory and Capital, and "the best blend of innovation, content and networking" by Cesar Richardson of Strands Finance.

When: 11-13 February, 2020

Where: InterContinental Berlin, Berlin, Germany

For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.

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Apr 29, 2021

Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens

Joanna England
3 min
Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens
Payments giant Stripe continues it's startup investment streak and has also announced plans to acquire tax software fintech, TaxJar...

The digital payment solutions giant, Stripe, has re-invested in the San Francisco-based teen banking fintech startup, Step. 

The Series C round raised US$100m in capital from a number of backers, including Coatue, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, actor Jared Leto, and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, for the enterprise. 

Step provides a free FDIC-insured bank account and Visa card to teenagers. The accounts are backed by Evolve Bank and there is no subscription charge for its usage. Users don’t pay for their accounts and there are also no overdraft fees. 

The mobile banking app enables parents to set controls and limits on spending and encourage responsible finances. According to data released by the company, 88% of the platform’s users say this is their first bank account. 

Big backers

To date, Step has seen great success in the marketplace. The company has raised more than $175m from investors and now has 1.5m users.

Stripe, which was founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, previously led Step’s $22.5m Series A round in 2019.

Step's Series B funding round also brought in $50m, and has a distinctly celeb-tinged reputation with investors including Justin Timberlake and the pop duo The Chainsmokers.

Users get access to a free, FDIC-backed bank account, a spending card and P2P payments platform to send and receive money instantly.

CJ MacDonald, chief executive of Step, said the company is aiming to improve the financial futures of the next generation. “Step is the only banking platform that enables teens to start building a positive credit history before they turn 18 and does not charge fees of any kind.

He has previously spoken about the importance of financial literacy for young people. “Money is just one of those things where I think the more educated and equipped you are early, the better decisions you can make down the road,” he told PYMNTS. “And you can also prevent yourself from making costly mistakes. I mean, the average American doesn't have $400 in emergency savings and pays $350 a year in banking fees. If we can help this next generation just ultimately be smarter and more educated as it pertains to money, I think we'll all be better off.”

Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst and Step board member, explained, “Gen Z is flocking to modern financial solutions that can be easily embedded within their digital lives and Step has a unique model for how to do this right.”

TaxJar acquisition

The news follows on from Stripe’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire TaxJar. The fintech, which builds software for online businesses that automates the reporting and filing of sales taxes, will most likely be integrated with Stripe’s billing services.

Currently, No terms have been disclosed but the Boston start-up had raised more than $60m from investors including Insight Partners.

Stripe chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara said of the move, “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and make it easier for them to sell internationally.”

Stripe also recently closed a $600m funding round that valued the TaxJar at $95bn and has been investing heavily in fintech startups, including Ramp and Check

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