Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Future Of Business To Business Banking: Fintech 50 2024

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Compared with other fintech segments, business to business banking had a pretty good 2023–thanks in part to the failure of a conventional bank. When $209-billion-in-assets Silicon Valley Bank’s collapsed in March 2023, some fintechs saw a deluge of new business. For example, Mercury, founded in 2017, attracted more than $2 billion in deposits in the days after SVB’s
VB
implosion and had retained more than 90% of those customers six months later. While not itself a bank eligible for federal deposit insurance, Mercury makes customers eligible for up to $5 million in FDIC insurance by spreading their money across 20 banks and moves funds above that into Vanguard money market fund.

This year, nine business to business banking companies earned a spot on the Fintech 50, although only two of them are actual banks–and their specialty is serving other digital banks without bank charters, by holding deposits and processing payments. One is Column, led by CEO William Hockey, who also cofounded Plaid. Column counts fellow fintechs Carta and Nium, among its customers. The other is Lead Bank, whose customers include Affirm and Ramp. Helmed by ex-Square executive Jackie Reses, Lead brought in more than $140 million in revenue last year.

Only one of the nine is a first-timer on the list. That would be Found (formerly known as Indie Technologies) launched in 2020, as a banking platform geared to self-employed workers, owner-operators and small-business owners. CEO and cofounder Lauren Myrick started her work life as an accountant and spent eight years at Square. The company is designed with Etsy
ETSY
sellers, gig workers and independent business consultants in mind and counted 122,000 active users at the end of 2023.

Other highlights in the Business to Business Banking category include GoodLeap and Zest AI. The former works with contractors and vendors to get residential customers instant approval for financing solar panels and other sustainable home improvements. The latter works with lenders to include loan approvals for protected classes, including Black and Latino applicants.

Here are the nine business to business banking companies that made the Fintech 50 for 2024:


Column

Federally chartered bank works with fintech startups to enable their banking services—by holding customer deposits, processing bank-to-bank transfers, and helping them offer loans. Its tech also allows customers—including Carta, Brex and Nium—to build and manage their own financial products (like credit cards and lending programs).

Headquarters: San Francisco, California.

Funding: $50 million plus from cofounders.

Bona fides: Revenue reached $31 million last year, up from $17 million in 2022.

Cofounders: CEO William Hockey, 34, a one-time billionaire who cofounded Plaid in 2013 and sold some of his Plaid shares to finance Column; Annie Hockey, 34, a former Bain consultant and Stanford MBA.


Found

Launched in 2020, Found is a business banking platform designed for owner-operators, small business owners and self-employed people. Customers can use it to create invoices, manage contractors and track projects. Users range from restaurant owners and Etsy sellers to gig workers and independent business consultants.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California.

Funding: $73 million from Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Latest valuation: $350 million.

Date of last valuation: February 2022.

Bona fides: Nearly doubled its active users in 2023 to 122,000.

Cofounders: CEO Lauren Myrick, 39, an accountant who spent eight years at Square; Connor Dunn, CIO, 35.


GoodLeap

Thousands of contractors and vendors use its point-of-sale app to get residential customers instant approval for financing of solar panels and a range of other sustainable home improvements (e.g. energy efficient windows), making it the top point-of-sale platform in this space. GoodLeap makes the loans and then partner banks securitize the debt to sell to investors– about $1.8 billion in its loans were securitized in 2023.

Headquarters: Roseville, California.

Funding: $1.6 billion from New Enterprise Associates, West Cap Group, BDT Capital Partners / MSD Partners and others.

Latest valuation: $12 billion.

Date of last valuation: October 2021.

Bona fides: Since 2018, it has generated more than $26 billion in loans to one million homeowners.

Cofounders: Chair and CEO Hayes Barnard, 51, and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Dawson, 49, two longtime executives at SolarCity (now Tesla Energy); and Chief Risk Officer Jason Walker, 50, a veteran mortgage broker.


Lead Bank

A cadre of ex-Square execs acquired this now 96-year-old FDIC-insured community bank in August 2022, and are using it to move money, issue loans and process payments for fintech companies and crypto startups, including Affirm and Ramp. Clients pay variable fees based on transaction or loan volume. Like any other bank, Lead also gets interest revenue from cash deposits, which totaled $765 million at the end of last year.

Headquarters: Kansas City, Missouri.

Funding: $100 million from Ribbit, Coatue and Khosla Ventures, among others.

Latest valuation: $450 million.

Date of last valuation: August 2021.

Bona fides: $145 million in revenue and $17 million in net profit in 2023, up from $111 million and $8 million in 2021.

Cofounders: CEO Jacqueline Reses, 54; CTO Ronak Vyas, 53; Data Scientist Homam Maalouf, 40; and Chief Legal Officer Erica Khalili, 41—a team of execs who built a bank at fintech Block (formerly Square).


Mercury

Digital banking platform for startups, offering no-fee checking and savings accounts, debit cards, venture debt financing and Treasury investments. Cash management account spreads deposits across 20 banks, making customers eligible for up to $5 million of FDIC insurance on their funds; Mercury’s Treasury account can move funds above that into a Vanguard money market fund. Within days of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure in March 2023, Mercury picked up more than $2 billion in deposits, and it had retained 92% of the customers six months after.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California.

Funding: $163 million from CRV
CRV
, Coatue Management, Andreessen Horowitz and others.

Latest valuation: $1.6 billion.

Date of last valuation: July 2021.

Bona fides: Processed $95 billion in transactions in 2023, up 95% from 2022; Mercury’s customers include Immuta, Fly.io and Jasper.

Cofounders: CEO Immad Akhund, 39, a software developer turned entrepreneur who sold his mobile advertising startup for $45 million in 2016; COO Jason Zhang, 33, and CTO Max Tagher, 31, who both worked for Akhund before Mercury.


Navan

Formerly TripActions, the travel and expense software startup has its own corporate card and an expense management app that can reimburse employees for out-of-pocket business travel in just 24 hours to 48 hours. Companies pay a subscription fee to use the app, which also lets users book flights, hotels and car-rental services. Now features a virtual assistant chatbot named Ava, which uses OpenAI to field queries from travelers and company finance teams.

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California.

Funding: $1.55 billion from Andreessen Horowitz, Greenoaks, Lightspeed Venture Partners and others.

Latest valuation: $9.2 billion.

Date of last valuation: October 2022.

Bona fides: 8,400 monthly active corporate customers, including Unilever, Thomson Reuters
TRI
, Adobe
ADBE
and OpenAI.

Cofounders: CEO Ariel Cohen, 48, and CTO Ilan Twig, 50, Israeli-born executives who met at Hewlett-Packard before cofounding StreamOnce, a business collaboration platform they sold in 2013.


Ramp

Its suite of products includes a flagship corporate credit card offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, a travel-booking service and a free expense-management platform that uses machine learning to flag wasteful spending (Ramp claims it helps shave an average of 5% from expenses each year). In late 2023, Ramp integrated with Microsoft’s
MSFT
Copilot chatbot, allowing its customers to take actions like issuing new Ramp cards through Microsoft’s app.

Headquarters: New York, New York.

Funding: $1.67 billion from Founders Fund, D1 Capital Partners, Coatue Management and others.

Latest valuation: $5.8 billion in its August 2023 fundraise, down from $8.1 billion in March 2022.

Valuation Date: August 2023.

Bona fides: Founded in 2019, Ramp has 25,000 clients—including Shopify, Anduril and Virgin Voyages–up from 14,000 a year ago.

Cofounders: CEO Eric Glyman, 33; CTO Karim Atiyeh, 34; and chief product officer Gene Lee, 32. The longtime friends started Ramp after selling online savings startup Paribus to Capital One
COF
.


Unit

Tech companies—including AngelList and Bill.com—use its technology to offer their own customers banking products like checking accounts, credit cards, loans or payment services. Launched in December 2020, Unit lacks a banking license, so it partners with Blue Ridge Bank to help companies lend, store and move money.

Headquarters: New York, New York.

Funding: $170 million from Insight Partners, Accel, Aleph and others.

Latest valuation: $1.2 billion.

Date of last valuation: May 2022.

Bona fides: In 2023, Unit surpassed $22 billion in transaction volume, up from $4 billion in 2022.

Cofounders: CEO Itai Damti, 38, and CTO Doron Somech, 38, serial entrepreneurs who met as software engineers for the Israeli military and then cofounded Leverate, a tech firm that makes software for financial services brokers.


Zest AI

Works with lenders including credit unions, banks and auto lenders to increase loan approvals, using AI to try to grow approvals while reducing credit risk. The company says that it has increased approvals by 49% for Latino applicants, 41% for Black applicants and 40% for women applicants among its customers. Zest ended 2023 with more than 175 customers, up from 105 a year earlier.

Headquarters: Burbank, California.

Funding: $120 million from Insight Partners, Matrix Partners, Upfront Ventures and others.

Latest valuation: $250 million.

Date of last valuation: November 2022.

Bona fides: Brought in more than $38 million in revenue last year, up from $17 million in 2022; counts Citibank and Freddie Mac as customers.

Cofounders: Former CEO Douglas Merrill, 53; former president Shawn Budde, 58.

CEO: Mike de Vere, 50.

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