Fintech startup Curve raises USD55m
Curve, a banking platform that consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and an app, has secured USD55 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 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, says: “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” says 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, says: "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."
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 per cent 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 GBP100,000, access to Travel Insurance, Gadget Insurance and over 1000 airport lounges worldwide.