London-based fintech Curve recently raised $95 million in a funding round led by Vulcan Capital, IDC Ventures, and Fuel Venture Capital. Other investors were Novum Capital and OneMain Financial.
The round was a Series C funding round. Curve, which initially began in Ireland and was later based in the U.K., now hopes to bring its product to the United States. Other fintechs originating from Europe have recently launched in the U.S., including Revolut, N26, and Monzo.
While Monzo and Revolut have checking accounts through their apps, Curve instead combines all of its customer’s cards onto a single platform along with a linked smartcard they’re able to use for payments. Curve’s app also has a “Go Back in Time” feature, allowing its users to change the account they’ve already used to pay for a transaction.
Curve uses its mobile app to combine its consumer’s credit and debit cards, then use a single “smart” card for payments. The British tech firm was founded in 2015 with seed funding of $2 million. Since then, younger consumers have been flocking to online banking services in droves, fueling the fintech momentum.
Some fintechs struggled last year, in particular, Monzo. The company even stated that it had doubts about the company’s ability to proceed. While many other fintech organizations face the same pressure, analysts believe the sector is ripe for consolidation.
Shachar Bialick, Curve’s Founder and CEO, said: “Despite the challenges COVID created for many businesses, we’ve seen great growth and are delivering on many of our targets.”
While Curve has yet to disclose its financials for 2020, Bialick contends Curve wasn’t impacted the way many of its bank rivals have been. In 2019, Curve’s pre-tax losses had quadrupled to $38.7 million, however, the company doubled its revenue.
Curve also had to move its payments processor from Wirecard to Checkout.com after British regulators froze Wirecard’s operations. The halt in operations meant customers were unable to access account information.
Now, Curve plans to use the cash it raised from its funding round to roll its services out in the U.S. So far, 8,000-plus Americans are on a waitlist should Curve launch in the U.S.
Bialick said Curve’s position as an “over-the-top” banking platform that combines all a customer’s accounts sets it apart from other digital bank rivals. He noted, “We’re very differently positioned. Americans have seven to eight cards on average. They love rewards. If you look at the number of banks in the U.S., you’ll find thousands of banks from small countryside city banks to major banks like Bank of America and Chase. The fragmentation in the market is remarkable.”
Curve also plans to launch a feature similar to Affirm and Klarna that allows consumers to split up their purchases in installments, touted as a “buy now, pay later” service. The company hopes it would usher in more revenue in the coming future.
Curve boasts of two million customers but doesn’t acknowledge how many are active users.