Curve rolls out Amazon cliché in $50m funding quest
Payments firm Curve is aiming to raise $50 million in funding and become the “Amazon of banking”.
Shachar Bialick, CEO of Curve, told CNBC that it has started a funding round and took at swipe at challenger banks.
In the CNBC interview, Bialick says the three-year-old firm is looking to become more of a platform to offer services from various providers, which is why it hasn’t applied for a banking licence.
“We believe that your bank is doing a great job. Because when I say that you need to ask me the job the bank needs to do. The only job we think banks are good at, are exactly the job the regulator set them to do – take deposits and move the money back into the economy. The banks are doing a great job keeping the money safe,” Bialick says.
“All the other stuff you don’t need a banking licence to do that. You can give loans, can give FX, can give pensions, give trading, without being a bank. The only reason you want to become a bank and take deposits, the only reasons to become a bank is when they think they want to provide their own lending from their own balance sheet.”
In a clever dig at challenger banks, Bialick says that venture capital funds, concerned about the rise of the plethora of challenger banks, have paid attention to Curve’s activities.
‘We are seeing a huge concern from VCs. They all believe challenger banks won’t be able to become that interface, the operating system of money,” Bialick told CNBC.
That’s why he referred to Curve as the “Amazon of banking” – he wants it to become a marketplace for financial services, and that’s the CEO’s plan to make money.
One example he gave to CNBC is how Curve could work with a bank. Say a user buys an expensive $1,000 item using their Curve card, which is linked to their credit card, the company could offer a lower-priced loan than the interest it would pay with its credit account. That loan that is offered by Curve would be provided by a bank. Curve would take a cut of that transaction.
Compared to other fintech firms, Curve is smaller. Revolut, for example, has two million users, while Monzo has one million.
Curve’s funding, whenever that appears – we don’t know – would be used to expand its product.