Home Is Where the Helping Hand Is. Finovate Spring: Proptech and AI

by Cesar J. Richardson on May 10, 2017

It was a pleasure to take part in Finovate Spring this year in sunny San Jose, and have the opportunity to meet and catch up with all the new and existing players on the FinTech circuit. Two full days of demos, lunches and networking opportunities, to share ideas and stay abreast of the latest concepts and innovations.

Of all the presentations I attended, two sparked my interest the most: Unison and Alpharank.

Unison was one of many PropTech startups at the event (I counted some 7 presentations in this space), but their value proposition was particularly impressive, with a new revolutionary take on the classic mortgage product, through deposit co-ownership and co-investment.

As property prices continue to rise, especially in key cities, people are pushed to extend their search for homes to the suburbs and beyond, before they can find properties they can afford. Unison proposes to provide 50% of the down payment as an investment, rather than a loan, thus eliminating interest charges and monthly payments. Not only does this allow buyers to avoid costly mortgage insurance and reduce their monthly outgoings, but it presents them with an opportunity to purchase a property which would otherwise have been unattainable.

Finovate Spring 2017 / Unison

How to Enrich Data & Influence People

Alpharank on the other hand, focused on the untapped resource banks have at their disposal but have yet to exploit: the use of enriched transactional data to understand more fully who their most important customers are, and unleash the potential of their most profitable clients and the value of networking. Alpharank’s CEO and Founder, Brian Ley gave a masterclass on effective presentation techniques, demonstrating how to craft, prepare and deliver a presentation that involves complex concepts but that can be understood by all.


Finovate Spring 2017 / Alpharank

Brian proposes using the bank’s unique position as a holistic transactional hub to identify customer behavior trends and driver nodes with simple transactional metadata (purchase time and merchant information). Once banks have identified who their influencers are, they can focus their marketing efforts more effectively for maximum impact. It is important to highlight that all this can be done with customer transactional data that is already owned and easily sourced by the bank.

This introduces the concept of Networked Lifetime Value (LTV)  as a way of measuring a customer’s network value.

At Strands, we believe the natural next step for our clients, after initial implementation of our money management tools, is to leverage the value of enriched data generated and apply our in-house expertise in Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics.

Looking forward to the next Finovate event in NY in September! … See you all there!



Cesar J. Richardson
Cesar J. Richardson

Head of Alliances at Strands. Over 15 years experience identifying business opportunities, implementing plans and generating revenue growth in investment banking technology, online travel and educational technology companies.

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