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British fintech start-up TrueLayer raises $70 million to take on Visa and Mastercard

Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of U.Ok. fintech start-up TrueLayer.


LONDON — British monetary know-how start-up TrueLayer says it is raised $70 million in contemporary funding, highlighting continued urge for food from buyers for fast-growing fintech corporations.

TrueLayer lets fintech apps like Revolut and Freetrade join with prospects’ financial institution accounts utilizing know-how often called APIs, or software programming interfaces. This means customers of these apps can then make funds from their financial institution or view balances and transactions from totally different accounts.

The firm mentioned its newest funding spherical was led by Addition, the enterprise capital agency based by former Tiger Global associate Lee Fixel. Existing buyers Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone and Singapore’s Temasek additionally invested.

Francesco Simoneschi, TrueLayer’s CEO and co-founder, mentioned in an interview that the agency determined to elevate extra cash on the again of robust development in 2020, helped in no small half by the coronavirus pandemic and a shift from customers towards digital technique of managing their funds.

“We were closing 2020 in an extremely positive way,” Simoneschi advised CNBC. “We were going through an incredible year of growth,” he mentioned, including the corporate noticed its cost volumes spike as a lot as 600 instances.

TrueLayer declined to share its financials or valuation. The firm, which additionally counts Chinese web big Tencent as a shareholder, has now raised $142 million in funding to date.

TrueLayer mentioned it is going to use the contemporary money to broaden its companies internationally, constructing out its presence in Europe first earlier than focusing on a rollout in Australia. It’s additionally exploring whether or not to launch in Brazil additional down the road.

Open banking

The news comes a day after Silicon Valley agency Plaid — which competes with TrueLayer in Europe — introduced it had raised $425 million in a brand new funding, valuing the corporate at $13.4 billion. Plaid had initially agreed to be acquired by Visa final yr for $5.3 billion, however scrapped the deal after the U.S. authorities raised antitrust considerations.

Plaid and TrueLayer are a part of a brand new motion in finance referred to as “open banking,” which goals to open up treasured banking information and cost companies to fintech corporations and different accepted third events, supplied they have consent from prospects. Other gamers within the house embrace Sweden’s Tink and Britain’s Bud. They’re making the most of tech-friendly new guidelines within the U.Ok. and European Union, often called PSD2.

TrueLayer and another corporations are actually wanting to undercut card networks like Visa and Mastercard, by permitting fintech apps to provoke financial institution transfers on behalf of their customers, at a lot decrease charges. GoCardless, a fintech platform that processes direct debit funds, can also be growing open banking know-how for transactions.

“Open banking can be a real contender to the traditional card networks,” Simoneschi mentioned. “The question is, can the card companies embrace this change, or will they resist?”

It’s price noting Visa remains to be an investor in Plaid, in addition to TrueLayer, which means it may benefit long run from the rise of open banking companies. Meanwhile, Mastercard final yr purchased Finicity, one other participant within the house.


Plaid plans to greater than double its European workforce from 40 to 100 workers by the tip of 2021.

“I think competition is good and benefits the ecosystem,” Keith Grose, Plaid’s head of worldwide, advised CNBC. He added the agency has “good competitors” however that its rivals do not supply the “transatlantic bridge” it is constructed with operations in each the U.S. and Europe.

TrueLayer has plans of its personal to enhance its workforce. The firm at present employs 200 folks and plans to improve its headcount by one other 50 workers this yr, Simoneschi mentioned.

Fintech has attracted billions of {dollars} in enterprise capital as buyers purpose to capitalize on wild development within the sector. Globally, enterprise capitalists pumped over $17 billion into fintechs within the first quarter of 2021, in accordance to information from PitchBook, up 44% from the identical interval a yr earlier and the best quarterly quantity for the reason that second quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, tech corporations like PayPal and Square have seen their market values surpass that of Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs.

Still, the sector’s meteoric development has rattled some leaders within the banking world. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon lately mentioned banks needs to be “scared s—less” of fintechs, and accused Plaid of “unfair competition” and “improperly” utilizing banking information. Plaid, which counts JPMorgan as a consumer, mentioned that “data privacy and security are core to everything we do, including the data exchange agreements we have with JPMorgan Chase among many other banks.”

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