Announcing our $44M Series B
When we started building Plaid in 2012, our goal was simple: We wanted to make the financial services industry developer-friendly and enable new innovation in a space that had traditionally not had much. Largely driven by legacy technologies, intense competition, regulatory scrutiny, and security challenges, the banking industry has long been one of the hardest areas to launch new products—so for a long time, not many tried.
We founded Plaid out of our own personal frustration when trying to build a consumer personal finance and recommendations application. We spent nearly a year wrestling with every financial dataset available, but ultimately found that any product we created would be forever limited by a lack of basic developer infrastructure. APIs weren’t even an afterthought.
So that’s what we built. Plaid is the technology fabric that connects consumers, their bank accounts, and third-party applications. Our suite of APIs enables developers to build applications that interface with users’ bank accounts—whether to collect and use account data, set up payments, verify identities, or much more.
Over the past four years, and since we launched publicly in April 2015, we’ve seen tremendous innovation by startups in financial services. These new applications are almost universally focused on creating new and better ways for consumers and small businesses to live their financial lives. Whether helping consumers manage their money (Digit, Truebill), build better budgets (Level Money), invest (Wealthfront, Betterment, Robinhood, Acorns), make donations (CharityWater), take loans (LendingClub, Upstart), transact (Stripe, Coinbase), transfer funds (Venmo, TransferWise); or businesses to run payroll (Justworks, Gusto, Zenefits), manage employees (Expensify, Abacus), provide financing (Affirm), or manage their cashflow (OnDeck, Fundera), the financial technology industry has seen massive growth over the past few years. We’ve even seen the emergence of a new industry term—“fintech”—that refers to the thousands of new and existing companies helping push financial services ahead.
Startups are not alone in innovating in financial services. The bank account is the hub upon which everything in banking relies. Every deposit we receive, investment we make, bill we pay, and budget we make starts and ends with the funds or data in our accounts. It is the banks themselves who ultimately build the foundation of our industry, and so it is especially encouraging to see the largest financial institutions becoming a growing part of the fintech ecosystem.
With this spirit of cooperation and innovation in mind, I’m excited to announce that Plaid has raised a $44 million round of financing led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, with participation from our existing investors.
We’re at the beginning of what promises to be a busy few years in financial technology. Banks, startups, incumbents, regulators and policymakers are finally cooperating to build a better financial future for consumers and businesses alike. There’s a lot of work to do, and we’re excited for Plaid to play a small part in shaping the future of our industry. Onward.