US fintech funding round-up: Wink, Blip, Upwardli and Inkle
This week’s handy Friday funding round-up includes four US-based fintech start-ups – Wink, Blip, Upwardli and Inkle.
California and Texas-based fintech firm Wink has received an additional $3 million in seed investment, following $2.85 million previously raised in a pre-seed round in 2021-22.
The additional round was led by CerraCap Ventures, with participation from Flying Point Industries and a number of family offices in Texas and California.
Founded in 2021, Wink provides a biometric identity and payments platform using AI, machine learning, “advanced” face and voice recognition and ChatGPT tech for passwordless logins and payments.
With its new funding, Wink plans on strengthening and commercially rolling out its biometric identity and payment platform offering.
New York’s Blip Labs Technologies has secured a seed funding round of $2.1 million.
The round saw participation from Susa Ventures, Dash Fund, Shrug Capital, Wischoff Ventures, Picks and Shovels, Browder Capital, Rief Ventures and angel investors.
With the funding, Blip will continue developing its product and enhance its capabilities, having recently hired employees in engineering and operations.
Blip says it provides “intelligent” bill management capabilities to mobile and web applications “in days” with features including automatic user enrolment and engagement.
It adds that its solution will “increase engagement and revenue for its customers and partners while eliminating the billions of dollars spent annually by consumers on negative credit score impacts, late fees, overdraft fees and identity theft”.
Upwardli, a US fintech offering credit building products for consumers new to credit, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Dundee Venture Capital.
The round also saw participation from Techstars, J4 Ventures, Cascade Seed Fund, Avesta Fund, Temerity Capital Partners, Service Provider Capital, and a number of angel investors.
In partnership with Cross River Bank, Upwardli’s credit building solution enables customers without a social security number or a US credit file to build their US credit score, progressively unlocking access to a range of financial products.
With the new funding, Upwardli plans to hire additional staff, add features to boost credit scores faster, and expand partnerships with financial institutions to embed its credit builder solutions into their own products.
US and India-based tax and accounting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) start-up Inkle has secured $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round.
The round saw participation from Picus Capital, Saison Capital and Force Ventures.
Founded in 2021 with headquarters in Delaware, US, and Bengaluru, India, Inkle provides a chat-based certified public accountant (CPA) software to allow US start-ups created by overseas founders to “easily and affordably” handle tax, accounting and compliance.
Inkle, which was in stealth until now, claims to have grown revenues 7x in the past year to “hundreds of thousands of dollars”.
With the funding, it plans on expanding into new corridors such as US-Canada, US-LatAm and into new sectors such as crypto taxes.