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Live from Finovate Startup – First Demo Session

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I'm blogging live from Finovate today. Here's an update from the first demo session:

  • Expensify - "Expense reports that don't suck..." Gets all information from a credit card import and can produce an IRS tax-compatible receipt. Import from 92% of the US credit cards... Fairly impressive reporting.
  • kaChing - KaChing follows fund managers and reports extremely detailed information. The CNBC crowd should love this.
  • CircleUp - Their SmartPay product solves a very common problem, collecting information from groups of people. Sounds like it only uses Amazon payments (no Paypal?). They pushed integration with AOL Web Mail - not really that interesting in my opinion.
  • The Receivables Exchange - I'm a little hazy on this one... it's not in my wheelhouse (i.e. not personal finance related). Allows companies to sell receivables, in a P2P marketplace. You bid on invoices that you like and collect the money. The company gets their money early to bring in more business... at least I think that's how it works.
  • Strands - Competitor to Mint and Wesabe... The widget-based interface looks impressive... Good analysis of your income/expenses... Financial alerts could be useful... They integrate a news reader where you can add some blogs... You probably don't care since they don't offer Lazy Man and Money despite the fact that I helped them in a focus group. (I'm not bitter, not a small bit...)
  • iThryv - Pretty cool banking platform for financial institutions. They are big on the customizable UI (as you'd guess), but also allow good customization of the widgets. Also can target customers based on demographics... a 23-year old woman may get a different interface than a 60-year old man. They built in some reward point system in. It was more impressive than it sounds, but I don't think you'll find value in them unless your bank partners with them.
  • Lending Club - They talked a lot about the secondary marketplace... we already knew that, so it wasn't that interesting. They previewed an upcoming feature. They previewed a feature to compare your performance to other lenders.
  • Tempo Payments - Tempo claims to offer higher reward debit cards. You can customize your card. Can you say Hello Kitty awesomeness?!?! They claim to offer an 80-90% approval rate. I will look into this a little more, but I wonder if the rewards will compete with my credit card rewards.
  • Wesabe - Cool, you can group together two credit cards. Wesabe has started selling Springboard - a whitelabeled version of Wesabe. They've signed Georgia's largest credit union.

That's it for the first round... I think I like Strands and CircleUp as the most useful new personal finance apps (Wesabe and Lending Club were already in my favorites. Expensify could be great for the business person on the go. Everyone seemed to love iThryv, but it means nothing to me without banking partners.

As Blog Traffic Exchange mentioned via Twitter, the buzzword here seems to be "widgets." I don't mind because I love me some widgets.

Posted on April 28, 2009.

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4 Responses to “Live from Finovate Startup – First Demo Session”

  1. Tom says:

    Great reviews! I’m watching the live webcast…

  2. The Expensify blurb made me think of this. I’m not suggesting this this is what they are doing.

    There’s at least one site out there that allows you to order a receipt. You tell them the specifics, and they print a receipt for you. They use the same fonts, paper, etc as the real company. The samples look very good.

    This is a concern for a lot of companies due to the potential for expense report fraud.

    Note: I intentionally avoided posting the URL because I don’t want to give publicity to a company that enables fraud.

  3. Thank you for your great coverage and, of course, for mentioning CircleUp’s SmartPay. Glad you like the service!

    The AOL Mail integration brings SmartPay to AOL’s (still huge) ~50 million user base. But, it’s just one of many ways to use the SmartPay service, including via eteamz, Facebook, our CircleUp.com site and, of course, the new SmartPay Widget announced @ Finovate. Best to you!

  4. Abbas Ali says:

    Hello everyone!

    There’s a ton going on at http://Expensify.com : new API, closed a $1M round of seed funding, Salesforce application, QuickBooks integration, new iPhone app, and lots more. We’ve been working hard and people are starting to notice! Expensify’s Salesforce integration was recently picked the “audience choice” expense reporting application, AlwaysOn picked us as a “Global 250 innovator and disrupter”, we just demoed our new API at the SF New Tech meetup and we’ve got much more in store. Please check out our latest coverage below:

    http://venturebeat.com/2009/08/12/expensify-raises-1m-for-online-expense-reporting/
    http://www.examiner.com/x-4003-Techie-to-Trendy-Examiner~y2009m8d13-SF-New-Tech-is-a-fun-factory

    Thanks for your help. It’s hard work getting the word out, and I really appreciate the attention you’ve given us. (And if you would be so kind as to tweet or post us somewhere, that’d be rad!) If you have any questions at all, or if you’d like to see a live demo or learn more, please contact me or David Barrett (the CEO) directly at [email protected] (801-860-0540). Thanks!

    – Abbas ([email protected])

    You should follow us at http://twitter.com/expensify

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