2nd Annual Boston FinTech Meetup Demo Night

The Boston FinTech Meetup group held its second demo night Tuesday, with six companies presenting to a standing room only audience at the IBM Innovation Center in Kendall Square. Here’s a rundown of the presenters, in alphabetical order.

Cardinal Wind

On Twitter at @CardinalWindInc

This is the youngest presenting company, founded in 2014, and one I was not familiar with previously. Here’s what they say about themselves:

“Helping developers, lenders and investors more accurately assess financial risk and long-term returns of their existing and future wind investments. Our system uses a proprietary wind revenue prediction technology and advanced financial risk simulation models to more accurately quantify and score the key risks of a project.”

They are providing analytics as a service to the $300B wind market, assigning a proprietary “credit score” to wind projects. They believe standard financial models used by investors lack the sophistication needed price risk in this market, that both equity and debt investors may be missing the boat, and that attractive projects may be paying too much for capital. They are currently engaged in a paid pilot with five large wind investors. Helping institutions invest in wind projects with greater confidence will helping bring more capital to wind projects.

Co-Founders Teasha Feldman-Fitzthum and Mike Reynolds believe their biggest opportunity may be in raising and allocating capital to these alternative energy projects themselves. They are looking into creating a REIT or equivalent for wind projects that gets smarter money to projects faster using their superior data analytics.

EidoSearch

Founded in 2009. On Twitter at @EidoSearch

EidoSearch showed off a spiffy new user interface. A winner at the 2012 FinTech Innovation Lab in New York City, they offer pattern recognition software that answer the question “When has this happened before and what was the outcome?” It’s a search engine that uses time series data (such as the movement of a stock or an interest rate). EidoSearch will soon also offer multidimensional search (Stock price and volume, for instance).

Clients are primarily mutual funds and hedge funds researching investment theses or looking for profitable trades. EidoSearch yields insights without requiring the use of complex models  and so avoids the bias they can introduce.

Mavenomics

Founded in 2007.

Mavenomics’ platform is built for quick delivery and effective management of advanced financial applications. They position their product as the right choice when an Excel spreadsheet won’t do but a custom development effort from your IT department or other technology partner will take too long. Mavenomics is marketed primarily to hedge funds.

peerTransfer

Founded in 2009 and on Twitter at @peerTransfer

peerTransfer may have the deepest pockets of all the evening’s presenters, having raised over $20MM from Spark, Devonshire Investors, Maveron, Boston Seed Capital, and others.

Their mission is to improve the cross-border tuition payment process, to help non-U.S. families pay tuition to U.S. schools and to save time and headaches for the schools.

They are addressing a big market – $50 billion crosses borders for tuition payments annually with half that going into the U.S. There are plenty of pain points in this process, particularly for parents, who can fall victim to predatory local banks and a process that is confusing and opaque. Sometimes money doesn’t show up. Or the wrong amount shows up. Or the wrong account gets credited.

peerTransfer makes its money from families making payment – primarily on the currency exchange rate – not from the schools.  Per its Terms of Use, peerTransfer “is not a financial institution, money transmitter or money services business”.

peerTransfer has more than 500 partner schools and has processed over $1 billion in tuition payments for families from 200 countries. They are now adding 20 – 30 colleges and universities per month. And they are hiring.

Screener.co

A 2011 MassChallenge participant, Screener.co offers institutional-quality tools retail investors can use to narrow the universe of available securities.

Screener.co is offered as an alternative to Bloomberg and FactSet at a much lower cost. Subscriptions are $50/month for emerging managers and $25/month for retail investors.

Screener.co offers a free 30-day trial with full functionality – no credit card required. 3% of all users who have signed up for a free Screener.co trial since 2011 are current paying subscribers.

Lenny Grover, Founder of Screener.co, used the meetup to announce a new product called FinToolbox, an advanced Excel add-in with line-item detail of as-reported / amended XBRL disclosures taken from SEC filings. XBRL line item detail is normally readable just by machines, not by people. (Somewhat confusingly, FinToolbox is also the name of the parent company of Screener.co.)

TrueCurrency

As a pricing analyst or brand manager, how do you know if you are pricing your products optimally in each market around the globe? Simple currency conversions don’t give you the whole story. If you normalize your pricing, are you missing out on expanded margins in certain markets? True Currency helps by giving you access to the prices of hundreds of thousands of items they track globally and algorithms for analysis.

Licenses for access to True Currency data and analytical tools can be either user-based or server-based.

A mobile app for consumers, which will tell international travelers what is cheap and what is dear, is in the works.

*********************

Many thanks to Sarah Biller, Ty Danco, and Doug Nelson for organizing.