Bond bags $32m from Coatue, Goldman Sachs and Mastercard
Bond Financial Technologies, a San Francisco-based fintech building a platform to connect digital brands to banking partners, has raised $32 million.
The Series A round was led by Coatue, the $18 billion asset-heavy firm which has backed US challenger bank Chime and grocery delivery service Instacart.
Existing seed investor Canaan also joined the round, alongside new strategic investors Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
Other investors included B Capital – the firm set up by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin – and XYZ Ventures. Former chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, John Mack, also invested.
What is Bond?
Bond’s offering is based on “developer-focused” application programme interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs).
Its platform is designed to make it easier for brands to build technology which integrates “quickly” with banks. In other words, it provides software for non-financial companies to offer products such as credit cards and debit cards.
The fintech says its solution centralises and streamlines the particular processes inherent in the “bank-brand” partnership.
This involves breaking down product monitoring and oversight for both brands and banks, by automating compliance steps.
The latest funding round will help Bond expand its team. It will also underpin the fintech’s product launch with its first brand and bank partners.
Enabling all companies ‘to do’ fintech
“Opportunity starts with access,” says co-founder and CEO, Roy Ng.
Ng tells Fortune that banks are focused on their core services, which means they’re never going to be adept in building bespoke products for third-party partners.
“All brands will become fintech companies eventually,” he says, pointing to Apple’s credit card launch as the beginning of a trend.
Bond’s technology will allow companies to integrate with dozens of such banks at once, so firms don’t have to rely on one banking partner.
This will make it easier for non-licensed companies to offer a greater variety of financial products, and insure larger deposits.
“We want to be in the middle so a brand is not always tied to a single bank,” Ng tells Fortune.
“One company told us, ‘We have outgrown sponsor bank and would like to be rid of them.”
Ng also believes Bond will help increase access to the banking system for segments of the population traditionally underserved by banks – particularly black Americans and other people of colour.
A heavyweight fintech team
Michael Gilroy, general partner at Coatue, praises the fintech’s “top talent” across the team. Ng is the former chief operating officer of cloud platform Twilio.
Its head of product, Dilip Ramachandran, previously headed up product at Marqeta – the California-based card issuing firm which is planning a 2021 IPO.
Head of technology partnerships, Harsha Krishnappa, worked at Visa and Citi for more than 14 years. Whilst chief banking integration officer, Tim Bogan, was a chief exec at Lending Club for six years.
Head of data, Sophia Toh, comes from burgeoning San Francisco-fintech SoFi and Visa.
“I haven’t seen a team execute so quickly and attract top talent the way the Bond team has,” says Gilroy.
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