Data Ag­gre­ga­tor Plaid Raises $250M for Ex­pan­sion

National Mortgage News - - Technology - By Nathan DiCamillo

What do Robinhood, Bet­ter­ment, Acorns, Venmo and Coin­base have in com­mon?

They are all fin­techs pow­ered by Plaid. The San Fran­cisco data ag­gre­ga­tor has qui­etly be­come the leader in build­ing in­for­ma­tion con­nec­tions be­tween fin­techs and banks, said Mark Gold­berg, a part­ner at In­dex Ven­tures, one of Plaid’s new­est in­vestors.

“I meet with hun­dreds of con­sumer fi­nance com­pa­nies ev­ery year, and it just felt like ev­ery one of them was a cus­tomer of Plaid,” Gold­berg said.

In­dex Ven­tures joined An­dreessen Horowitz and lead in­vestor Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins in a $250 mil­lion Se­ries C fund­ing round, Plaid an­nounced Tues­day. The ag­gre­ga­tor plans to use the funds to ac­cel­er­ate hir­ing and scale up prod­ucts and op­er­a­tions. The com­pany has more than 175 full-time em­ploy­ees in three of­fices: its San Fran­cisco head­quar­ters and in New York and Salt Lake City. Plaid de­clined to com­ment for this story.

“As dig­i­ti­za­tion sim­pli­fies fi­nan­cial prod­ucts, bank­ing ser­vices are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly self-con­tained and em­bed­dable,” co-founders Zach Per­ret and Wil­liam Hockey wrote in a blog en­try on Plaid’s site. “Plaid’s role is to em­power these in­no­va­tors with a plat­form — and a data net­work — that de­liv­ers ac­cess to the fi­nan­cial sys­tem.”

Plaid has raised $ 309.3 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Crunch­base. Its ap­pli­ca­tion pro­gram­ming in­ter­face prod­ucts are in­tended to help fin­techs and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions curb risk, pre­vent fraud and stream­line trans­ac­tions. Plaid moves data in­volv­ing a quar­ter of U.S. bank and credit union ac­count hold­ers, up from 13% last year, the com­pany says.

“They pro­vide APIs to de­vel­op­ers so in­stead of hav­ing to build in­te­gra­tions into [JPMor­gan] Chase and Wells Fargo and the next 10,000 banks, you can ... have a quick line of code to in­te­grate into any­one’s tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion,” Gold­berg said.

In May, Plaid ex­panded into Canada. Gold­berg pre­dicts that the com­pany could spend some of its new ven­ture fund­ing on in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion.

“It’s not a U. S. prob­lem that they’re solv­ing, it’s a global one,” Gold­berg said. “There’s still a huge need for some­one like Plaid in Europe and other places.”

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