UK BaaS provider Griffin lands £6.5m to fund banking licence
Griffin, a London-based banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, has landed £6.5 million in funding.
The round, led by EQT Ventures – the venture capital (VC) arm of Swedish investor EQT Partners, will underpin the fintechs’ efforts to secure a banking licence.
Other participants in the round include Seedcamp, Tribe Capital, and Indeed.com’s co-founder, Paul Forster.
It also includes investment from two GoCardless executives – co-founder Matt Robinson and chief operating officer, Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas.
The £6.5 million round follows its lesser £3 million seed round completed earlier this year.
Skipping the banks
Ex-Airbnb software engineer, David Jarvis is the CEO of Griffin. The BaaS platform allow firms to open ring-fenced accounts with a tighter, less record-heavy compliance structure.
The start-up’s platform, which is yet to be fully built, is based on application programme interface (API) architecture.
It will allow fintechs and non-financial companies to jump the banking partner step and go straight to product launch.
As well as building out its platform and securing regulatory approval, funds will also go towards a small hiring spree to flesh out the team.
Jarvis’ fellow co-founder, Allen Rohner, previously founded developer tools company CircleCI. Rohner also worked with Funding Circle on its ledger technology.
FinTech Futures caught up with Griffin last year. The start-up said the team was building everything from scratch. That goes from its core banking ledger, to its customer information system, to its payments integrations, to its API front-end.
Avoiding a patchwork quilt
As well as reducing their go-to-market time, Griffin also wants to simplify firms’ banking infrastructures.
“Every company needs a banking partner, a ledger, and the necessary compliance infrastructure to launch a financial services product,” says CEO Jarvis.
“These systems all need to be kept in sync with each other, which is why it’s crazy that everyone ends up stitching together ad-hoc solutions rather than leveraging a single vertically integrated solution.
“We want to be the one-stop shop for companies seeking to bring something new to market.”
EQT Ventures discovered Griffin via its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Motherbrain, which takes a data-driven approach to investing.
To date, the AI-driven tool has dictated $100 million in portfolio company investments. Griffin marks the ninth firm to land investment through Motherbrain.
Tom Mendoza, a deal partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures, says the investor is “bullish” about Griffin’s potential.
The firm takes a “developer-first” approach, which entails integrating compliance, the ledger and a bank licence.
“Also, timing couldn’t be stronger due to the combination of explosive fintech growth, consumer brands launching financial services, such as Apple, and the advent of embedded finance.”
A number of fintech and non-financial firms are moving into finance. FinTech Futures reported just earlier this week that Uber is reviving its financial play with a series of new hires, following its decision to put the breaks on it five months earlier.