Waspit.me is a banking platform for college students that puts together banking services, social connections, local venue reviews, and rewards and promotions.
Life around college can be a very tight microcosm where students always interact with the same friends, always go to the same stores and venues, and always have the same money needs. These money needs can be to have a bank account, a debit card, to move money between social connections, and, of course, pay bills.
Waspit.me provides a platform that has all of these things together and helps college students interact with their money in a much more organized (and fun!) way.
In this interview Kasey Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer at Waspit.me, talks about the different components of the service and how it is helping students manage their money:
Everybody is talking about trading strategies using “Twitter sentiment” this is by capturing and measuring the tweets about investments and understanding if that means people are negative, neutral, or positive about them.
Imagine doing this about the investments you follow like gold, Apple stock, the Euro, Bitcoins, or even Treasury Bonds, but instead of using only Twitter using all the information in the world! Well, this is exactly what Heckyl does.
Heckyl captures what is being said about investments from blogs, social networks, investment bank analysts, exchanges around the planet, news websites, to any other source you can imagine. The system then filters and excludes the irrelevant parts and organizes the rest by investment or category. So if you want to know what’s happening with interest rates or what is a specific hedge fund doing it is as easy to get as a stock quote.
In this interview Mukund Mudras and Som Sagar, founders of Heckyl, explain how it works:
While he was studying in New York Adhil’s friend in India was going crazy trying to find, negotiate, and finally get approved for a bank loan. This overwhelming trouble was their motivation to start BankBazaar, a consumer lending market place in India.
BankBazaar puts together bank lending products from the best Indian providers, your relevant credit information, and consumers seeking bank loans to make everything happen. The result is that consumers get approved instantly and banks save tremendous amounts of money by automating the lending offer and approval system.
In this interview Adhil talks about his background and explains how BankBazaar works:
Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt are two Stanford mathematicians applying their knowledge to Wall Street in two very unique ways.
Not only are they putting together a community of investors, traders, and pros to crowdsource their knowledge to enhance investing performance, but, in doing this, they are also breaking a long standing hold on Wall Street: control of information.
It could be said they are acting as a “Robin Hood” of stock market information. In fact, their app is calledRobinhood!
Robinhood democratizes who rates stocks by letting members assign buy or sell recommendations, price targets, and in what time frames to stocks. Just like in new media we can all be journalists, commentators, or opinion leaders, with the Robinhood app we can all be research analysts.
Credit Karma is a huge, fully integrated personal finance portal and community.
Where many have failed to successfully put together online financial services, with editorial information, with member participation, Credit Karma has created a vibrant space where not only you can monitor and manage your credit situation, but you can also have all of your financial accounts in one place, find the best financial products for your profile, and review and interact with other people in your same situation.
It originally started as a credit score monitoring service in 2007, later they integrated credit cards, loans, and other financial products comparisons and reviews, and now they added “Insights” which is a full service account aggregation and monitoring section.
In this video Bethy Hardeman, Communications Director of Credit Karma, explains the different services and how Credit Karma gives you all the information you need to manage your personal finances:
On the eToro platform you can open an account, participate in their Social Trading Network, and follow and “copy” other traders.
Mati Greenspan is the Senior Financial Consultant at the company and in this video he talks about Gold’s lates movements (downwards!) the US, Japan, and where the Yen is going, and, of course, we talk about Bitcoin in a world where currencies are manipulated for political reasons:
Given the market volatility and “technology volatility” when it came to trading Bitcoin I decided to talk to Mati Greenspan, Senior Financial Consultant at eToro, and Stefan Thomas, Founder of WeUseCoins, to give their respective trading and technological perspectives.
It is important to clarify that the Bitcoin is the unit that is used as a currency and this is a separate entity to the exchanges where it trades. It is the same difference between a stock and the stock market. The exchanges are central marketplaces, like eBay, that aggregate traders and investors, and their technology is separated to that of the Bitcoin network itself.
In this interview Mati talks about market volatility, Stefan explains what happened in the last few days in terms of technology, and some issues are clarified:
As an IFA (Independent Financial Adviser) he works in a traditional financial planning practice, Jacksons Wealth Management, but he decided to embrace the internet to expand his message and that of Financial Planning.
His mission with online video, and also podcasting, is to make financial planning not exclusive to the rich, but to help everybody who wants to hear. The concept is to educate and spread the word, but it happens that MeaningfulMoney.tv has also turned into an effective prospecting tool for his business.
This is a great lesson as many of us turn to the internet to blog, video, podcast, and sincerely spread the word of our values and help others, many times some of that help comes back in our direction!
In this video Pete talks about his background, the lovely views in Cornwall, and explains how he leverages the internet to amplify Financial Planning:
Chris is the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of StockTwits and is largely responsible for the development of the website and mobile apps.
Some of the most useful features of StockTwits are the sentiment tools. Normally, when we go to financial websites we have the classic stock quote pages. On StockTwits you can also see price action and quotes, but they include the sentiment and give you the “color” of the market. They do this by combining message volume in their platform instead of stock trading volume like the traditional websites do.
In this interview Chris talks about his background and explains the “Signals” features on StockTwits including the Heatmap, Stocks, and People pages:
Imagine going to Craigslist and finding a button to pay whatever you bought on the website. Also, imagine using this service without having to register or go through any signup process. Well, Trustly does exactly that.
Carl-Henrik created Trustly with his partners and it operates in Sweden and three other European markets. The company uses a unique system to move money from any bank account to any bank account instantly. The service is applied to online market places to enable peer to peer payments and is also used for regular e-commerce websites to sell to their customers.
In this interview Carl-Henrik, COO of Trustly, talks about the origins of the company and how the service works:
The Bitcoin exchange MT.GOX handles more than 80% of global daily Bitcoin trading. In all of 2012 they opened 10.000 accounts, but since the beginning of 2013 there have been 75.000 new accounts opened.
At the same time daily trading volume (the amount of Bitcoins actually traded in a single day) has gone up from a few thousand Bitcoins to more than 220 thousand (and growing exponentially).
In this video, Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, MT.GOX Marketing Director and Corporate Communications Manager, explains how the exchange works:
Dan Egan’s interest in what are the reasons why people do things go back to his years in college where he majored in economics, but also took some courses in psychology. He applied this way of looking at things in his career in general, but now, as Director of Behavioral Finance and Investing, he is taking Betterment’s investment service to the next level.
With Dan’s work Betterment has become a very interesting mix of high technology, sophisticated investment strategy, and behavioral science. When we use Betterment we not only get investment and asset allocation advice, but we get it in a way that we actually use it!
In this video Dan talks about his background and explains how the company is applying behavioral finance to better manage your money:
Stefan is a strong supporter of the Bitcoin ecosystem and for that, along with other Bitcoin community members, he created WeUseCoins.com which is a website that explains and educates about the digital currency.
On WeUseCoins is where I saw the best video I have found up to now that explains the concept of the currency and how it is used.
In this interview Stefan talks about his background and explains how Bitcoins are created and how this decentralized system works:
For ten years the team that makes up Refundo has been helping tax professionals process their client’s tax refunds. At the same time they were always helping their unbanked and under-banked end users actually get their refunds by opening bank accounts.
So it was only natural that now they have integrated their services and provide the Refundo platform where end users can process their tax refunds and get banking services all in one place.
Roger is a NY based financial pro and as CEO of Refundo and a Latinamerican immigrant himself knows his market very well. His mission: finally enable the unbanked and under-banked population (68 million only in the US) get a state-of-the-art, low cost, banking service.
In this video roger talks about his background and explains Refundo’s features and services:
The keyword is “social leverage”. As creator of StockTwits Howard Lindzon knows that the chatter is going on even if regulators like it or not: it’s part of freedom and how the internet enables us to interact.
Howard’s vision is that first came the markets, then the internet democratized information, and now it’s going social. When I say “going” it seems it’s something of the future, but the reality is that StockTwits already has tens of thousands of users that, on a daily basis, talk about stocks on the platform.
The “future” part then is that not only market savvy traders, but also mainstream investors, companies, analysts, and publishers are going to adopt StockTwits as a stock investing idea, market sentiment, and communications center.
In this interview Howard talks about his background, explains StockTwits, and gives his outlook on Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and BlackBerry (BBRY):
How can we capitalize the stock buzz on twitter to make more money in the market? StockBuzz.es is doing it!
I was astounded when Marisol and Luz explained to me how BBVA is reshaping financial technology in Europe and elsewhere. They are a new finance accelerator! This cannot be true, how will a huge traditional European bank disrupt its own industry?
Well, BBVA created a special division just for this, the “Open Innovation Team” (and they even included the “O” word in the name!).
StockBuzz.es is one of the projects being developed by the team and they are sure revolutionizing “big data” in finance. In any given day the service picks up all the twits about stocks and stock markets, interprets them, and draws conclusions of what is the sentiment in social media about stocks and stock indexes.
In this interview Marisol and Luz talk about their backgrounds, tell us how the BBVA Open Innovation Group works, and explain StockBuzz.es:
TransferWise will change the money transfer business forever. And Taavet should know, he already did it in the global telecommunications industry. Taavet was the first employee of Skype when it originally started in Estonia!
For TransferWise he is applying the same concepts: use the internet to harness the power of peer-to-peer. But in this case he is enabling people transferring money in opposite ways to match their transactions and thus lowering the total transfer cost to a fraction of what it was. And a “fraction” is not 10% discount, think 90%!
As brilliant and simple as this sounds this has never been an easy task. Banks and international financial institutions have held this market hostage for years where their commissions have been anywhere from 5% to 10% for an ordinary remittance.
In this interview Taavet talks about his background and explains how TransferWise works:
3 Days ago Christian Cruz posted on Stockr that he bought shares of Zynga (ZNGA) and I commented on his post asking if Zynga was already “independent” from Facebook.
The way I wrote it made him laugh and then he answered that he followed another Stockr user, Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, for fundamental information about that stock and that he based his decision on his own technical analysis.
This made me think of how the social investment network was connecting different types of experts and investors and how it helped form investment and trading opinions by providing a place on the internet to share investment ideas.
So I decided to invite Christian to a Google Plus Hangout to talk first about his opinion about Zynga and then to share our experience using Stockr, here is the video:
Mati Greenspan is senior investment consultant at eToro and he kindly took the time to talk to us about the Cyprus crisis. Also, he explained the Bitcoin, its popularity, and that it will be used on the eToro platform.
Sometimes the best service is not attained by providing an online platform only. Proof of this is NestWise, a financial planning firm that effectively combines an integrated online financial solution, with account services, with real life financial planners.
This is not a surprise since Esther Stearns, NestWise’s CEO, is an experienced executive in the financial services industry, and NestWise is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer.
In this interview Esther talks about her background, NestWise’s philosophy, and some of its features:
Vinny Jindal migrated from science in the biotechnology business, to technology, to finance where things are not that different after all.
The biotechnology sector has always been a fertile industry for opportunities for investors as mature companies and start ups regularly find new ways of improving our health. Information technology is about math, science, engineering, and Silicon Valley billion dollar companies, and finance is where they all meet to trade their stocks!
So its only natural that Vinny decided to start Stockr.com, a place where we can all meet to talk about these and any other topic regarding current trends in business and stock prices.
In this interview Vinny talks about his background, Stockr and we debate about Amazon, Facebook and Apple stocks:
Simple is a real new finance banking service in the sense that it is totally dedicated to provide the best service possible to their clients. This is because the company is not a banking institution, but a service provider that offers debit card and checking account services sourced from a partner bank.
Shamir Karkal is the company’s co-founder and CFO and with this model he makes sure that Simple’s business is not to make money out of deposits and loans like banks do. The company only concentrates in providing the best debit card and checking account services so they don’t have a dual focus, they only have one, and that is you!
But the Visa debit card and the checking account are only the first part of a complete suite of services that include real time spending assistance and control, money management, customer support, and an incredibly intuitive and intelligent personal finance system.
Soroush Pour and Fabio Berger created the best resource to learn how to invest wisely and protect young investors from the perils of the markets and the risk of naive investing.
They started in the Berlin tech scene and then moved their base to Durham, NC, where they attended Duke University.
WealthLift starts with an e-learning type of course with videos, web pages, and quizzes, and then it introduces you to an active community of experienced and amateur investors who help each other in topics ranging from basic stock picking to advanced balance sheet analysis.
After Expensify announced yesterday their adoption of Bitcoin as a currency to submit expense reports and get reimbursements within their app, the value of the digital currency went up from $78 to $94.
This is not surprising as Expensify is the first big business to adopt the currency for the mainstream market. Before Bitcoin was mainly used within the hi-tech world.
Expensify is a compnay focused in delighting their customers with great service and in line with their philosophy “Expense reports that don’t suck” the inclusion of Bitcoin is another step in that direction.
In this video Ryan Schaffer explains the basics of what is Bitcoin and how it can be used with the Expensify expense report solution:
Adam Nash is part of a growing team of pros managing one of the best investment advisory services in the new finance segment. From Silicon Valley Wealthfront is helping thousands of young professionals and executives manage over $170 million in investments (and growing).
It is not difficult to see why the company is experiencing this success given the level of detail and attention they pay to the real investment needs. From the impact of the right asset allocation, the cost of management fees, to how taxes can significantly change the outcome of your results, everything is analyzed and thought of.
And Wealthfront is not only an excellent online investment service, but is also a company with a mission. Their initial profile and asset allocation service is open so anyone, not only clients, can use it to manage their portfolios even if their accounts are at other firms. Their investment research and advisory team communicates their findings to the world through their blog and the company conducts live seminars to explain money management to anybody who wants to hear. Wealthfront wants to bring sophisticated money management to the world.
In this interview Adam Nash, COO of the company, talks about his background, how Wealthfront works, their philosophy, and explains different parts of the service:
Andy Creak is taking advantage of a regulatory disruption in the Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) industry in the UK to enable users manage their own money and invest directly in financial products saving in management fees and commissions.
For this he created rplan.co.uk which is not an online financial adviser, but an application that lets you calculate, plan, and implement your investment strategy.
In this interview Andy talks about investing in the UK and explains rplan:
Michael Kent has experience in the half a trillion dollar international remittance market since he is one of the founders of Small World, one of the biggest offline money transfer players in Europe.
But for the online and mobile world he and his partners decided to start Azimo.com to capitalize on the internet and social trends in the business. Also, the fact that they do it online and they enable many kinds of payments systems to send and receive money the have lowered costs for users to a fraction of what traditional players charge.
In this interview Michael talks about his background, the global money transfer industry, and Azimo: