Toronto mobile point-of-sale developer Dream Payments has won the US$1.5 million first prize at VentureClash, a global investment challenge for fintech and digital health companies held last week at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, beating out nearly 200 other contenders.
Second prize, valued at US$1 million, went to United Kingdom-based Hubbub, while the US$500,000 was won in a tie by four companies, including AMP Credit Technologies of Hong Kong, BondIT of Israel, LindaCare of Belgium, and Streamdata.io of France.
“It is an honour to be the winner of VentureClash as the caliber of finalists was incredibly strong. This is a significant milestone for Dream Payments as it further validates Dream’s market approach and position as an emerging global fintech leader,” said Dream Payments CEO Brent Ho-Young. “CI is a tremendous platform to help accelerate our move to becoming a world-class leader in our industry. Their work is also really bolstering Connecticut as a global innovation hub.”
VentureClash was was developed by Connecticut Innovations (CI), which provides venture financing and ongoing support for innovative companies in Connecticut.
Dream Payments offers financial institutions a turn-key platform for connecting financial institutions, merchant acquirers, retailers and value-added apps, combining mobile point-of-sale applications, payment terminals, remote device management, customer onboarding and secure payment processing into an off-the-shelf Interac debit and chip & PIN credit card enabled terminal.
In a sit-down interview with Cantech Letter earlier this year, Dream Payments CFO Alex Walker and CEO Brent Ho-Young told us, “The real core of it is that we look at all these disruptive start-ups that are out there trying to attack and disintermediate banks and large financial service providers. We have built an entire cloud that’s secure, supports EMV, is PCI compliant. It’ll support payment services today, and then we’re also looking to roll out value-added services, as well. It can be lending services, it can be analytics, or point-of-sale, to build an ecosystem that our partner FIs can draft off of. So they don’t need to go and invest and try to compete themselves. We allow them to do what they do best, servicing their core customers with products and services that we are building. An ecosystem of partnerships.”
Teams were evaluated by a panel of judges, represented by firms such as Canaan Partners, athenahealth, Inc., Kepha Partners, OAK HC/FT, Magellan Health, and Point72 Ventures, based on how innovative each company’s technology platforms are and their prospects for scaling up, their business model and go-to-market strategy, the strength of their team, their traction and established market validation, as well as their plans for operating in the state of Connecticut.
Winning the award brings with it not only a cash investment, but also an introduction to an established network of potential customers, investors, mentors and talent.
“VentureClash 2016 began with a pool of close to 200 very promising companies and ended up selecting the 11 best as finalists,” said Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “Dream Payments had a clear business model, an excellent growth plan and a fantastic team, which garnered them first place in our global challenge. We look forward to helping Dream Payments establish their presence in the U.S. and facilitating a soft landing for them in Connecticut.”
Dream Payments previously raised a $6 million Series A in early 2015 from institutional investors, including Blue Sky Capital, Real Ventures, and Rouge River Capital.
The Dream Payments team will be at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas from October 24-26.