As I wrote beforeManilla is a unique case within the new finance sector. Unlike the majority of services, they are not really trying to convince users to quit their financial providers, in fact they are enhancing the relationship between providers and their customers. A majority of Manilla customers are reporting that they prefer to connect with their providers through Manilla and that they actually visit their websites more.
The other unique part of Manilla is its blog. It is a rich source of content, articles and videos, that focuses on the two objectives of Manilla’s mission: money and organization. Not only does it feature great articles and “mini” videos, but its list of contributors is impressive.
In this interview Sara Kaufman, Marketing Manager and head of Manilla’s blog, talks about Manilla and how the Manilla’s blog enhances the company’s strategy and users lives!
Now smaller investors can participate in the real estate investment market using Realty Mogul and the power of crowdfunding. For now “accredited investors” have access with minimums of $5000, but as soon as the SEC implements the JOBS Act everybody will be able to participate.
In a market that has always been reserved for the wealthy and sophisticated Jilliene Helman, Co-founder and CEO of Realty Mogul, is providing key value added to small investors not only with Realty Mogul’s crowdfunding platform, but also with a team of experts that analyze and approve selected investment opportunities.
In this video Jilliene talks about her background and explains how Realty Mogul works:
eToro already surpassed the 3 million user mark globally. With this mass of traders around the world connecting and sharing their trading activity and investment opinions it is no wonder the social investment network is a case study for M.I.T academics.
They are analyzing “The Wisdom Of The Crowds” and have been able to confirm that social trading delivers better returns than doing it alone.
But eToro is not only enabling higher returns for its users, it is doing so by connecting investors everywhere in the world. On its platform you can see from a Canadian sharing what he bought to a Cypriot copying him for his own account.
Like this eToro is empowering and enabling traders and investors in many ways and in this interview Yoni talks about the platform, its purpose, and what is his vision for social trading:
Kabbage provides working capital for small businesses in a smart, easy, and incredibly fast way. If information about your business and how you are selling and making money is already on the internet, why not use it?
This is what Kabbage does to approve a working capital line of credit for your small business in a matter of seconds. You only need to go to their website, you register with your email and just like you would do on other websites you link your social networking accounts, but also your eBay or Amazon accounts, other e-commerce accounts and other services where you might have important business information like Google Analytics, Bills.com, Expensify, Ups, etc. With your permission, Kabbage then retrieves that information, analyses it, and gives you a credit line that you can withdraw to a PayPal or business bank account.
In this interview Marc Gorlin, co-founder and Chairman of Kabbage, explains how the service works:
TipRanks is a game changer for the research analysts industry.
For decades services like Morningstar have been tracking mutual fund manager performances and therefore investors and the media always had the information of who was who, who was better, and who was not delivering the returns to warrant a high reputation. Data like assets under management, absolute performance for different periods, and performance compared to the S&P where always used and referenced when selecting a manager in the case of investors or who to interview in the case of financial journalists.
In the meantime investment bank research analysts always had great influence in the markets, the media, and investors, but nobody knew for sure what was the performance of their recommendations. This has always been a business gimmick of the brokerage firms and investment banks: the less the people know the better, its all about generating trades. and thus commissions.
Who would read an article of an analysts that consistently trails the market or his peers? which financial journalist would interview or air a report on TV about a pro that is ranked in the bottom 30% among his fellow researchers? Nobody! But the problem is that we never had this information.
TipRanks is a game changer for the industry of selling stock investing ideas because they are already providing this information and much more. The company has rolled out the web browser add-on that pops up every time we need it. Its a matter of time until every investor has the “real full story” when it comes to following stock research analyst opinions.
In this video Uri Gruenbaum, TipRanks’ co-founder and CEO, explains how the service works:
NerdWallet started as a credit card service where you could find news and recommendations about credit cards and then you could use their tool to search, select and then apply for a card. Today their service is much broader and you can find from credit cards to banking products to coupons.
It is all about helping you manage your money and in line with that philosophy they recently launched a service called Ask An Advisor where you can ask questions about your money, search for questions already answered, or contact a professional financial advisor directly.
In this interview Cliff Goldstein, head of the Ask An Advisor project, talks about NerdWallet and how the advisor platform works:
From budgeting to retirement to investing there are many new finance companies that help us manage our money in different ways. But one of the most important things that we need is to provide access to the information about our money to our trusted advisors.
Balance provides a solution based on work spaces and collaboration where financial professionals and clients can have all their information in one place, connect, and work together to plan for financial goals and implement the corresponding projects.
In this interview Devin Miller, CEO and Co-founder of Balance, talks about the service and how it works:
As insurance companies don’t cover elective treatments and procedures in the healthcare space American Healthcare Lending is providing an efficient solution with the power of technology.
As Graham Anderson, the company’s Marketing Director, tells me they provide a patient financing solution through doctors and they can approve a loan within seconds. Patients can finance cosmetic, bariatric, and other elective surgeries.
In this video Graham talks about American Healthcare Lending’s platform and how they connect doctors, patients, and lenders:
If you want to borrow money from a bank in Mexico the rates can be very high and if you want to invest what they pay you doesn’t even hold a proportion. Due to high concentration in the banking system and thus a lack of competition the spreads the banks enjoy are abnormally high.
Given this situation it was only natural that a company like Prestadero would come to solve this problem for consumers. The service is a peer to peer lending market place where investors get a much higher rate for their money and borrowers pay a much lower cost.
In this interview Gerardo Obregon, CEO of the company, talks about the Mexican market and Prestadero’s service:
For those of us who just need to organize our paper bills and statements Finovera is an ideal solution.
The best way to describe it is that Finovera is the DropBox of your financial documents. Not only you can store them, but you can set it up to automatically receive your bills and statements to your Finovera cloud space.
In this interview Purna Pareek, Founder and CEO of Finovera, explains the service:
Like I said before, business expenses and the process of reporting and getting reimbursed was always a task I didn’t like (and this is putting it in a nice way).
This is why I do like Expensify and its philosophy of making “expense reports that don’t suck”. But David Barret and his team always surprise me with something new and in this case it was the introduction of invoicing in their service.
In this interview David explains Expensify’s services and the logic of adding invoices:
The money parents give their children in allowances is a huge sum annually, but for kids to use that money to spend it online is a problem because of privacy and lack of payment options.
Virtual Piggy was created by Jo Webber to solve this and provides a solution that is COPPA compliant (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) thus a solution for parents, children, and merchants alike.
In this interview Jo explains the services and demo’s the app that kids and teenagers use:
It took a lot of time and effort to set up, but Jilliene Helman is now enabling individuals to participate in real estate investments with as little as $5000.
The main effort has been (and is still a challenge with the SEC and its delay in implementing the JOBS Act) the legal side, so for now the service is available to “accredited investors” according to current regulations.
But Realty Mogul is set to change how we invest in real estate properties using the power of crowdfunding.
It’s not a savings account and it’s not a checking account, but it will be the account we will all use to save for our kids’ futures.
Since the crusades and for a thousand years mankind has been using trusts to safeguard assets and ultimately take care of loved ones, but it has always been difficult to explain and used by the wealthy. Not anymore.
TrustEgg is here to change all that and finally make a millenary institution mainstream. In this interview Jeff Brice talks about TrustEgg’s services:
Marc Gorlin presented Kabbage’s new partnership with Intuit, the makers of the Small Business accounting software Quickbooks.
Just like they use eBay’s profile and transaction information to analyze small business information to approve loans, the company now has the ability to use, with the clients permission, Quickbooks’ information to lend money in less than 7 minutes.
In this video Marc talks to me about Kabbage’s services and the new alliance with Intuit:
Walla.by has three services: It helps you decide which of your current cards to use to maximize rewards and minimize costs, it provides the Wallaby smart card, and it recommends you other cards that may help you get better deals depending on your spending patterns.
In this interview Mathew Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Walla.by, talks about their card advice services:
Every body thinks and does something about their taxes in “tax season” which is always late because it’s in April of the next year of the one we are dealing with. This may generate problems of over payments, but it gets particularly bad when it’s about underpayments and we find ourselves with an ugly unforeseen fiscal debt.
Fortunately GoodApril is doing something to solve this!
In this interview Mitch Fox, co-founder of GoodApril, gives me some details about the service:
Peter Vessenes has a math and cryptography background so Bitcoin and how it works was a natural fit for his interests. He is the founder of CoinLab and his mission is to make Bitcoin accessible to individuals and corporations.
CoinLab provides several infrastructure services for the Bitcoin network and one of those is a storage service that is targeted, for now, to high net worth individuals.
In this interview Peter talks about CoinLab’s services and his vision for the Bitcoin network:
The insurance industry has always been a competitive landscape with companies selling directly to consumers or through agents. Consequently the main problem was never a lack of supply or variety, but rather an excess of providers, types of services, and fragmentation.
Just as a lack of competition in banking is bad for consumers, a wide variety of brands, products, and prices in insurance can also be a problem. Many companies, types of insurance coverage, and sales channels can be overwhelming to make a decision and even more given that insurance as a concept is already a complex issue.
But Basil Enan, Founder and CEO of CoverHound, is solving this by providing an online service that puts together the best companies, insurance products, and personal service.
CoverHound is an online insurance shopping and comparison website that is also integrated with a professional insurance agent service. In this way it is easy to shop and purchase insurance with all the necessary information to make an intelligent decision and the advice and continuous service of a broker.
In this interview Basil talks about his background and how CoverHound works:
Where in western countries we see peer-to-peer lending as a novelty enabled by the internet in China it has been a common practice for years!
As the banking system is state owned and they never had any real competitive drive financial institutions have always catered to big corporations and government. With economic development in the last four decades there was a huge void in consumer and small business finance. This space has been covered by “underground banks”, pawn shops, and “guarantee companies”.
Consequently the lending market in China has been rather unstable, prone to fraud, and only geared to short term, high rate loans.
But this is changing as many online companies like Pandai.cn are bringing transparency and accountability to the system.
In this interview Roger Ying, Founder and CEO of Pandai.cn, tells us how the company is helping retail and business borrowers get much better deals, and explains how the platform works:
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:
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: