Cash advances made easy with Activehours

There aren’t many areas of modern daily life that financial technology can’t reach into and change. Most commonly for consumers, financial technology is changing the way consumers spend their hard-earned money. reports on Activehours, the payday lending app that has its eyes set on payday lenders and other types of traditional lending like overdrafts.

If a customer has an unexpected bill, car repair or any other unexpected cost, they can borrow up to $100 from their next paycheck from Activehours. This money can be accessed immediately after a shift has ended, making the whole process quick and easy.

Interest-free lending

One of the factors that makeActivehours most exciting here at is that no interest is required to be paid on their small loans.

So, how does Activehours make its money? The simple answer is through the consumer’s generosity. Activehours relies on a tipping system. When a customer pays back the money, they choose if they would like to add a little extra for the company’s service.

At first, this sounds like it wouldn’t work, but according to the company’s CEO Ram Palaniappan, customers are indeed tipping.

One big advantage the app has over traditional payday lending is that the amount, time period and even the interest is controlled by the user, putting the power into the user’s hands.

Activehours loans don’t require a social security number or credit rating, making this service accessible to most people with a job and a checking account.

Investors putting their faith in Activehours

The company has been receiving investments since its foundation in 2013, starting with $4.1 million in seed funding. In January this year, the company raised $22 million in series A funding, and just last month, Activehours raised $39 million to expand its operations.

Led by Andreessen Horowitz and Activehoursearly-stage investors, Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital and March Capital Partners, the company has managed to raise nearly $65 million since its launch.

Americans pay $32 billion in bank overdraft fees and $9 billion in payday lending fees, so it’s clear that the demand is there for a newer alternative to traditional lending that Activehours can possibly provide.

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Starling bank spreads its wings reports that UK-based challenger bank Starling is looking for further investment to spread expand its operations further into Europe.

Starling bank was given banking passport rights in Ireland in June, making its first expansion into the European Union. The bank’s initial funding round started in January 2016 and raised £48 million.

Starling bank looks next for an investment of £40 million to expand its operations further into the European Union.

The bank has no physical branches and claims to be the first challenger bank of its kind to offer current accounts to consumers.

What are challenger banks?

Challenger banks are banks that are built on the latest technology. They utilise this technology to provide better services to customers than legacy banks.

With the public’s loss of faith in legacy banks like Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest, challenger banks offer consumers an alternative.

Although challenger banks are designed to disrupt the lending industry, traditional banks have responded with newer technologies. Even though legacy banks have been trying to keep up with modern technologies, they have trouble effecting change in due time.

In the UK, challenger banks have been steadily growing in popularity. Here at, we understand that this is due to events like the 2008 financial crisis and mis-selling of PPI.

Even whilst the UK taxpayers were bailing out the legacy banks, the bankers received increases in bonuses and salaries as if they were doing a good job.

What does Starling Bank offer?

Starling Bank offers multiple advantages for customers. With a current account with Starling Bank, the customer can access an overdraft that is completely controlled by themselves. The interest rates are lower than with a traditional bank, and Starling boasts that there are no other fees at all when using an account.

Even when using an account abroad, there are no charges and the exchange rates are MasterCard’s most up-to-date rates.

Many legacy banks have introduced mobile banking apps, but many like the one offered by NatWest don’t offer much information and don’t update very often.

Unlike the legacy banks, when you use your card with Starling Bank, your balance is instantly updated with exact charges.

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Algomi review: Rapid expansion

London-based fintech company Algomi has bagged its third investment in just six months. In a previous Algomi review, it was reported that the company made an overall loss in 2016, but the future looks bright with these three new collaborators.

April: Openfin technology boost

Algomi’s first acquisition this year came from Openfin. Algomi invested in Openfin to access their HTML5 format, allowing the company torapidly roll out updates to its Synchronicity and Honeycomb products.

The rate that financial technology companies change and evolve according to customers’ needs is at the heart of what they do. Algomi’s new usage of the HTML5 format provided by Openfin will allow Algomi to stay on top of their customers’ needs.

Openfin will be used to deploy Algomi’s Synchronicity for sell-side traders and their Honeycomb network for buy-side traders.

May: ALFA and AllianceBernstien

Just a month later, Algomi became the sole marketer of AllianceBernstein’s ALFA technology, now called Algomi ALFA. This expanded Algomi’s software catalogue.

ALFA was originally developed by AllianceBernstein as an in-house liquidity tool. It provides the user with cross-market information on trade intent and liquidity to give the buy-side trader a real-time view of the market as a whole, all on one screen.

This is a great tool for the buy-side trader who needs to see the whole market to gain a bigger picture.

AllianceBernstein chose Algomi after a long search process and review. Algomi’s focus as a provider of data technology solutions was a vital factor in AB’s choice in Algomi.

Stu Taylor, Algomi CEO said, “The buy-side community has to navigate an increasing variety of liquidity channels yet preserve their trading and data integrity. They must remain instantly and continuously aware of relevant trading opportunities in the market to achieve Best Execution”.

September: S&P Global collaboration

The latest investment for Algomi came from S&P Global. S&P Global turns vast fields of data into actionable insights for governments, companies and individuals. The company harvests its data from an amazing collection of 135 billion data points.

S&P Global and Algomi plan to share data and technology to improve both of their businesses.

Keep an eye out for another Algomi review. This company is clearly one to watch.

Algomi review: yet another investment

Here at, we have covered lots of newsfrom software company Algomi. They have been securing investments steadily since the company’s launch in 2012.

In just the last six months, the company has secured three further investments, which will lead to collaborative work between companies. In the last six months, Algomi has partnered with Openfin, AllianceBernstein and most recently, S&P Global.

Their latest collaboration with S&P Global will result in data and product collaboration, with both companies benefitting from sharing data.

S&P Global’s investment has bought them a minority stake in Algomi, a seat on the board of directors and a development plan for new software. S&P Global will use Algomi’s bond trading technology to push into new markets.

S&P’s choice to partner with Algomi

Algomi launched into the finance world in 2012 as a software company developing cutting-edge software for fixed income traders on both the buying and selling side of the industry.

The company was founded by a group of ex-UBS bankers and now has over 140 employees, with offices in London, New York and Hong Kong.

The product catalogue helps both buy-side and sell-side traders make better-informed trading decisions. The software does this by utilising artificial intelligence and analytics to interpret vast amounts of data. Algomi’s recent partnership with S&P Global will provide Algomi with even more data.

Commenting on their recent partnership, Douglas L. Peterson, President and CEO of S&P Global, said: “We think very highly of Algomi and are excited about the opportunity to bring our data, technologies and deep analytics into additional market segments. By partnering with Algomi, we will further leverage the power of big data and artificial intelligence to create even more opportunities to deliver value to our and Algomi’s customers.”

Collaboration is key

Due to events like the 2008 financial crisis, big companies are looking for ways to diversify their businesses to gain some stability.

One way many well-established financial institutions are choosing to diversify is with financial technology companies that can provide them with cutting-edge technology that they can themselves use.

AllianceBernstein chose Algomi after a long review. Algomiis a company to look out for, stay tuned for the next Algomi review.

Fintech reviews: NOW Money

Recently there has been a wave of altruistic financial technology companies that aim to make underserved parts of the population better off. has already reported on one such company called Juvo. Juvo is a credit-building service that aims to give financial identity to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to such things.

Juvo does this by utilising prepaid mobile phone cards, allowing for top-ups to be counted towards a credit rating, which can then later be used to access life-changing financial services.

The focus of this review on is NOW Money. NOW Money is a mobile banking facility aimed at low-income migrant workers in the UAE, a vastlyunderserved part of the population. The service provides bank accounts for workers that usually wouldn´t have access to such financial services.

NOW Money´s cash injection reports that NOW Money has secured a $700,000 investment from two USA based venture capital investors. With the investment, NOW Money aims to roll out its service to more and more of the Gulf region’s underserved population.

NOW Money´s user base has grown rapidly to over 4,000 users. Thanks to this new funding from their venture capital investors, Newid Capital and Accion Venture Lab, the company expects a large amount of growth.

Katherine Budd, the company’s co-founder said: “We’re incredibly pleased to have secured funding from the US. Financial exclusion is a global problem, and we can’t wait to work alongside Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital, who work tirelessly to eradicate the issue.”

Altruistic intentions

NOW Money’s other co-founder Ian Dillon says that their company is the first UAE- based company to receive early stage investing from the USA.

The company’s ethics line up to the UAE´s current goals concerning employee´s welfare, especially considering low-income migrant workers, who work tirelessly to improve the country’s infrastructure.

Providing banking solutions for everyone is the company’s main goal and the key to providing these solutions and facilities is making them affordable for even low-income migrant workers to access.

For more interesting reviews of up and coming financial technology companies, do keep checking back here at

MaxMyWealth: making the most out of your money reports of a new company that could help maximise profits on savings and investments. MaxMyWealth is a company based in the UK and India that creates structured investments across the two locations. It comes in the form of an application that was launched in India in February earlier this year.

The initial idea for the application was to create a saving and investment application that selects only the most profitable mutual funds by using proprietary research obtained by teams in both India and the UK.

The aim of this application is to provide investors with well-informed saving and investment options, producing better and more profitable investment ideas.

Investment shows potential has found that MaxMyWealth has gained an investment from two UK-based investors. The amount of investment is as of yet, undisclosed. The reports have shown that the two investors have bought a considerable minority share in the company.

One of the two investors who acquired the minority stake in Healthwalk Advisors – the company which owns MaxMyWealth – are Global Advisors (Jersey) Ltd, which is an alternate asset management firm and leading investor in the blockchain ecosystem. The other party is Horseferry which is a diversified investment firm.

What MaxMyWealth does for users

The application provides useful features such as:

  • Projected wealth views, giving investors an idea on the return of their investment;
  • Interactive graphs, giving investors clear and well-organised information to make better decisions;
  • Goal tracking and forecasts, to see theprogress of investments;
  • Intelligent withdrawal, bringing the ability to make efficient steps to manage investments;
  • Tax loss harvesting, to give a clear view of taxation.

MaxMyWealthis at an advantage because the system connects to automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (POS) transactions via a Visa card, so users can use their accounts to make purchases or transfers.

Investing in a sector of the market that directly affects the investor’s business can prove more profitable than random speculation; this is why companies in the same sector want to invest in fintechs that will impact their daily lives.

Vinay Chauhan, founder of MaxMyWealth is an investment professional and saw the need for this service, along with his investors.

For more interesting reviews, check back at regularly.

Algomi review: effecting change in fixed-income trading

Algomi´s revolutionary software is changing the way traders work in the world of fixed-income trading. The company offers solutions to both the buy-side and the sell-side, helping both parties to make more efficient decisions and more profitable trades.

Algomi utilises modern advances in computing and artificial intelligence to develop their software and help the industry. Exciting software like Honeycomb, Synchronicity and newly acquired Algomi ALFA are available to traders from Algomi.

Algomi´s systems work together to improve efficiency bi-laterally. All information shared between platforms is completely anonymous and serves to help all parties using the software.

For the buyers

For the buy-side traders Algomi offers two different systems to help traders. Honeycomb is a system built for portfolio managers, execution desks and compliance teams.

This system interprets huge, usually incomprehensible data sets into information that can be used to help investors trade with added precision and speed. The data comes from lots of sell-side sources and is displayed in a visually engaging, intuitive and informative manner. This allows the investor to see all of the information from a number of sellers.

The other system offered by Algomi is ALFA. This system was recently acquired from AllianceBernstein.After a long and competitive selection processAlgomi was chosen to be the sole marketer of this software by AllianceBernstein.

This system is designed for quants, execution traders, portfolio managers and compliance professionals. ALFA aggregates the entire bond market onto one screen, which makes it easier to spot pools of liquidity.

For the sellers

Next on this Algomi review is the sell-side trader´s software. Synchronicity is Algomi´s system for banks. It allows the user to connect to a network of traders and salespeople, using their data to get information on the best trade opportunities. This software will help foster an efficient collaboration between investors.

Algomi has been developing Euronext’s pan-European marketplace with a system called Euronext Synapse which allows for new liquidity to be found.

Algomi is a company that hascome a long way in a short amount of time, so stay tuned to get the latest news and the next Algomi review.

Algomi review: revolutionising fixed income trading

Algomi is a software company set on revolutionising fixed income trading and helping well-established financial institutions to roll out innovative and exciting trading platforms worldwide.

We have reported on Algomi´s partnership with Euronext before. Their 10-year plan with Algomi involves the development of a new trading platform, with the intent to increase liquidity in the oftenilliquid fixed income bond market. They intend to take this platform worldwide after some fine-tuning.

Algomi´s most recent partnership is with AllianceBernstein, the well-established investment management and research firm. AllianceBernstein chose Algomi to be the sole marketer of their award-winning ALFA technology that they developed in-house.

Why select Algomi?

AllianceBernstein found Algomi to be the most suitable marketer after a long and competitive review. Algomi now market the software as Algomi ALFA and sell it to buy-side workers, allowing them to consume data from numerous electronic venues, messaging platforms and direct dealer inventory feeds.

Algomi´s main focus and drive is still software development. This was a key factor in AllianceBernstein´s choice to select Algomi to market their product. To protect customer´s data and privacy, Algomi is solely a software provider, having clients procure their own hardware via an approved vendor. Algomi simply installs and deploys the ALFA software.

ALFA is a great addition to Algomi´s software catalogue and solves several problems in the turbulent world of fixed income markets. ALFA will aggregate the entire market onto one screen, allowing the trader to see potential liquidity opportunities and helping the trader to make better informed decisions.

The team behind Algomi

Algomi is run by an award-winning team of innovators, many with backgrounds in the financial world. This is key to finding the right types of solutions to the problems that really need to be solved in the industry.

Algomi are a company that are set to innovate the industry time and time again, with new products and ideas being rolled out and networks spreading worldwide.

Algomi has been in many website´s fintech top 50 lists over the years and will carry on to appear there. Stay tuned and watch this space for the next Algomi review and even more news.

UK fintech start-up Neyber

Neyber is a UK financial technology company that grants loans that can be repaid directly from the borrower´s salary. Here at we report that Neyber has secured £21m in funding from a collection of interesting sources.

Neyber was founded by 2 former Goldman Sachs executives, Martin Ljaha and Monica Kalia, who left Goldman Sachs about 5 years ago. The investment came from Indian investment group, the Wadhawan Group. They invest a lot in UK fintech, leading to this cash injection for Neyber.

The company provides loans for around 5,000 police officers up and down the UK. It has loaned out more than £65 million in just over two and half years, helping thousands to get on the property ladder. The Police Mutual was an initial investor in Neyber and has provided the capital to fund loans for it´s officers  nationwide.

Neyber´s plans for the future

Neyber plans to expand it´s offerings by combining it´s own savings product with loans and tax-free ISAs that it could offer employees who want to earn larger returns on their cash.

The company´s interest rates on loans come in 3 different bands, depending on your financial history;

  • ´Great´charging – just 4.9% annual interest;
  • ´Good´charging – 6.9% annual interest;
  • ´ OK´charging – 9.9% annual interest. reports that a higher amount of personal loans can be granted when using Neyber. This is because of the reliability of repayments when dealing directly with employers rather than relying on the borrower to pay the money back independently. When the borrower is linked more closely to the borrower´s employer, there is also more information about their income, reducing the uncertainty around repayments.

Neyber could save borrowers money on interest

Neyber claim that they can save an average borrower a fifth on their interest on debt repayments. Another service that Neyber offer is to educate their borrowers on the ways of finance, improving their interest rate from ´ok´ to ´good´ and even ´great´, getting them a better deal.

The company has claimed that on over 7,000 loans granted there have only been thirty defaults, and most of these are down to job loss and other unforeseen circumstances.

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New company Juvo helping people´s credit rates worldwide

Here takes a look at Juvo. Juvo is a firm that aims to build the credit rating for underserved members of communities. To build credit ratings for financially excluded people, Juvo uses the use of prepaid mobile cards.

Most companies harnessing this type of big data use it to gain an advantage over their rivals, but Juvo uses this technology to help people who have been left out of the financial system. When an individual runs out of minutes or texts on their phones, they top up, which with Juvo will earn them financial credit.

Steve Polsky, Juvo´s CEO says: “We see an incredible opportunity to walk hundreds of millions of people along the path to financial services, starting with their everyday interactions with their mobile phones.”

Investment in a better future reports that recently, Juvo secured a $40 million investment in their company after a series B investment drive. Investors are putting their money into building the credit ratings of people who usually may have not had the chance.

“It has been an exciting ride to date, surrounded by passionate people who believe deeply in Juvo’s mission,” Juvo CEO Steve Polsky says. “This new funding will allow Juvo to expand and deepen our product offerings as well as continue to build the best in class teams in data science, financial services, and consumer mobile services.”

With Juvo´s new cash injection, they intend to reach more users around the world, expanding it´s already large 500 million subscribers. Juvo wants to do this by growing into more countries, going far beyond the current 25 where Juvo is available.

The technicalities of allowing better credit

Juvo teams up with financial service providers such as banks and other institutions and mobile phone providers. Through their top-up app the subscriber can build their financial credit. Some underserved parts of the community don´t have access to credit cards or similar financial services that would usually serve to build credit, so Juvo could build their credit enough for them to achieve the potential of having a credit card in the future.

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