Fintech platform TrueLayer secured $70 million in Series D funding to build an open banking network, a concept in which banks open up their application programming interfaces for third parties to develop new apps and services.
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Francesco Simoneschi and Luca Martinetti started London-based TrueLayer in 2016 to build financial apps that connect to bank data, verify accounts and access transactions in real-time. Their aim is to build a network that brings together payments and financial data, as well as identity, to redefine how people spend, save and transact online, Simoneschi told Crunchbase News.
“We started looking at how to get access to all of the APIs, but banks all have different interfaces and there were no standards, so we went about building a new financial network that software developers could build the next generation of services on top of,” Simoneschi said. “Open banking is about open architecture and creating better, faster, more secure and fair ways of transacting for digital business.”
One of those services became TrueLayer’s newest product, PayDirect, which competes with credit cards by giving users a lower fraud method to transfer money and pay for services with one-click verification.
New investor Addition led the round and was joined by existing investors, including Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone and Temasek, as well as a group of individual investors including Visionaries Club, Surojit Chatterjee, Zack Kanter, Daniel Graf and David Avgi. The Series D brings TrueLayer’s total investment to date to $142 million, according to Crunchbase data. It also comes seven months after the company raised $25 million in Series C extension funding.
Jeppe Zink, general partner at Northzone, said TrueLayer is a classic example of what the early-stage venture firm likes about international talent coming to the United States, developing an idea and deciding they were better off scaling in Europe.
Zink previously worked in the space and said it is a good time for financial services technology. It had been difficult to tap into bank data. TrueLayer is now translating that data into tools that developers and businesses can use, he said.
“It is shocking how cumbersome financial transactions are, and how much you have to pay to move money in a digital world,” he added. “It is just packages of data, like typing an email and sending it, but moving money has value and is regulated, so it is probably one of the highest friction things we do on a regular basis, and it is massively overcharged. It screams for digital innovation to step in.”
TrueLayer is focused on Europe currently, but Simoneschi said further international expansion is near — it is already doing work in Australia. As such, the new funding will be used to fuel that expansion, product and technology development, as well as making new hires across engineering, product and commercial.
In terms of growth, TrueLayer’s platform accounts for more than half of all open banking traffic in the U.K., Ireland and Spain, processing billions of pounds in payments, Simoneschi said. In the past year, the company expanded across 12 European markets, growing payment volumes by 600x, and adding hundreds of new customers. On the back of that, TrueLayer doubled its staff, he added.
“We want to solve deep customer problems, so we plan to take use cases one by one and industry by industry, like we did with PayDirect, to create layers of products enabled by the open banking network we are building,” he added. “We are getting the company into more international plays. We believe Europe is on the same trajectory the U.K. was six months ago, so we will continue with that.”
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