Fintech startup Curve raises $55M, valuing the company at a quarter of a billion dollars
In a record year for Fintech investments, Curve is now amongst the top 5 UK Consumer Fintechs*
London – July 16th 2019 – Curve, the Over-The-Top banking platform that consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and an even smarter app, has secured $55 million from a leading group of investors as part of a successful Series B funding round, valuing the company at a quarter of a billion dollars.
The investment marks the beginning of a new era in banking – an Over-The-Top Banking Platform that provides a better banking experience, and places Curve in the top five UK consumer fintechs next to Transferwise, Monzo, Revolut and Starling.
The round is being led by Gauss Ventures, a fintech investor whose team has a track record of funding some of the brightest UK fintechs, as well as backing high impact technologies that reshape industries, and comes less than two years after Curve secured its Series A investment. The Series B round also welcomes other prominent investors such as Creditease, Cathay Innovation, IDC Ventures and further participation from Outward VC (previously Investec’s INVC fund), which has historically backed other fintech category leaders Monese and Bud.
Several of Curve’s early stage investors such as Santander InnoVentures, Breega, Seedcamp and Speedinvest have also shown their confidence in Curve by participating again.
Shachar Bialick, founder and CEO of Curve said, “While the challenger and traditional banks are busy fighting to win or retain new customers, Curve is building an Over-The-Top Banking Platform that provides customers with a better banking experience with no need to change their bank. Curve is playing a completely different ball game, it is not a challenger bank which means that we can focus on creating a radically better customer experience, without asking customers to trust their salaries with us, or the significant overhead of becoming a regulated bank. Receiving this level of investment from such prominent investors is a fantastic endorsement of the value and experience Curve brings to its customers.”
Curve, which launched out of Beta in February 2018, is growing at a spectacular pace and is on track to welcome its millionth customer by the year end. The Curve team now has over 150 people in its UK offices in London and Bristol.
Curve is already available in 31 European countries and plans to use the fresh funding to expand its product offering in the UK, Europe and overseas. It will officially launch into six European markets later this year: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain, and aims to launch its operations in the US by mid next year.
“The success of Curve, demonstrated by its outstanding growth, is a clear testament to the opportunity in rebundling of financial products and services” said Daniel Gusev, founding partner of Gauss Ventures. “The strength in Curve over the challenger banks is its product strategy which avoids competing directly with the banks by building an over the top banking platform” he added.
Ben Marrel, a founding partner at Breega, one of the original investors in Curve said “Curve is a real trailblazer and we’re very proud of their amazing trajectory. Their unique solution offers consumers a seamless banking experience by aggregating both traditional retail and neo banks services through the same card and app. Over-the-top banking solutions like Curve are here to redefine the future of banking like over-the-top video reinvented TV.”
Curve engages with its customers exceptionally well thanks to its Over-The-Top model. A Curve customer spends on average £1,500 a month through the Curve platform which acts as mission control for their money. This is significantly higher than the big challenger banks. For instance, Monzo’s last annual report stated that only 30% of their customers spend, which is roughly £1000 a month, goes through Monzo.
Bialick acknowledges that as a new product, Curve’s appeal is driven by customer advocacy: “Curve has developed a completely new category in banking and has a wave of followers that drive 85% of our growth from word of mouth. Our customers don’t stop talking about the product to their friends and family, pointing out all the tiny improvements that together give them a significantly better experience.”
Fans of the business include Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus, previous COO of Deutsche Bank Henry Ritchotte, Betfair’s founder Ed Wray and Tandem Bank founder Ricky Knox, who backed Curve at various stages and continue to be advocates of Curve’s business model.
Curve’s funding announcement comes amid a wave of new product launches on Curve’s platform. In June, Curve launched Curve Cash which gives Curve customers unlimited 1% instant cashback at leading retailers such as Amazon, Uber, Spotify, Netflix, Tesco, Sainsbury and over 100 more retailers. Earlier this year, Curve launched enhanced Customer Protection, protecting customer for purchases made up to £100,000, access to Travel Insurance, Gadget Insurance and over 1000 airport lounges worldwide.
*According to Dealroom data on Series B fundraises, and Invyo Insights
Curve is an over-the-top banking platform, consolidating all your cards and accounts into one smart card and even smarter app. It allows customers to supercharge their legacy banks to the 21st century without leaving their bank or topping-up. Curve offers a host of benefits to its customers; it makes all your cards fee-free when spending abroad, you get instant notifications and categorisation of spend, you can earn instant 1% cashback at the likes of Amazon, Uber, Netflix and Sainsbury’s and Time Travel enables customers to swap spend to a different card in the app for up to two weeks after the purchase was made.
Curve also offers Curve Customer Protection, a policy that covers all credit and debit card payments made via the Curve card up to £100,000, giving cardholders an extra layer of protection for disputes with merchants and any unauthorised use of their Curve card. Whether you have a Curve Metal card, Curve Black card or Curve Blue card, Curve Customer Protection offers you a better level of protection in many ways – filling in the gaps that Section 75 leaves.
ABOUT SELECTED CURVE INVESTORS:
Breega is a founder-friendly VC, with €250M under management, investing in promising European high tech start-ups at Seed/Series A stage. Breega is more than just a normal investor. Built by founders for founders, Breega supports its portfolio companies through each phase of their development, providing them with free-of-charge operational expertise (HR, biz dev, marketing & legal) and international development opportunities.
Outward VC invests in ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to build category defining Fintech and Enterprise Technology companies. Outward addresses a recognised funding gap in the UK venture capital market: the late-seed, pre-Series A stage where technology businesses are ready to scale and call for investors that provide expertise as well as long term capital. Leading funding rounds at this pivotal stage, Outward is able to leverage the global platforms of its founding investors in order to provide unique support to entrepreneurs in the most challenging yet exciting phase of growth for their businesses.
Speedinvest is a pan-european brand of venture capital funds with €230M under management that invests in seed stage technology start-ups. The company operates under a focus fund structure in the areas of Fintech, Marketplaces and Deep / Industrial Tech. Besides providing financial investments, the fund actively deploys its network and know-how to support its portfolio companies. Speedinvest’s office in San Francisco supports portfolio companies entering the US market. Find out more: www.speedinvest.com.
Santander InnoVentures is Santander’s $200 million corporate venture fund. It is tasked to find and qualify prospective fintech businesses that will help Santander innovate with a purpose – either to transform the bank or serve customers better. InnoVentures provides capital, scale and expertise to help ambitious founders build and grow their fintech business internationally. Since launching in 2014, the fund has invested in 24 portfolio companies and has been named as the most active bank-backed fintech corporate venture in the world by CB Insights. Over 70% of the fund’s portfolio companies are now in strategic engagements with Santander. More info:http://santanderinnoventures.com
Seedcamp is Europe’s seed fund, identifying and investing early in world-class founders attacking large, global markets and solving real problems using technology. The Seedcamp Nation includes over 330 startups building breakout businesses that change the way people live, interact and buy and includes three European unicorns: TransferWise, Revolut and UiPath. Seedcamp fast-tracks a founder’s vision and creates value through immediate access to smart capital, a lifelong community of support and a global network built upon more than a decade’s experience backing exceptional talent.
The CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund invests in innovative fintech companies and has invested nearly USD 300 million across 60 companies in the US, the UK/Europe and China since its launch in 2016.
IDC Ventures is the venture capital arm of Grupo IDC, a Latin American investment bank founded in 1995. Grupo IDC’s activities cover Private Equity, Venture Capital, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Corporate Finance and a Guatemalan Broker Dealer. For the past decade, IDC has been involved in technology start-ups trough co-managed funds, direct investments, and joint ventures, working with tech companies to accelerate their penetration and expansion across LATAM. The latest fund is created by a select group of corporate leaders, successful entrepreneurs & venture capitalist from Latin America. This fund will invest in tech start-ups from Pre-Series A to Series B with a global evergreen approach, bridging prominent LATAM investors with global industry changing opportunities, as well as helping leading tech companies win in LATAM. First close is planned for 3Q19. Curve will be in the fund’s portfolio along with 10 other companies such as Tradeshift, Evrythng, and BrandHouse.