London-based API Fidel secures $65M in Series B funding, proving fintech infrastructure is hotter than ever – TechCrunch
Financial infrastructure start-up Fidel API raised $65 million in a Series B funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures.
The London-based company provides identity, data and payment products that it says offer developers a way to capture consent permissions and “securely” connect payment cards to a service or application.
“With this infrastructure, developers are able to create highly contextualized, event-driven user experiences at the point of sale,” he says. Fidel API is industry-neutral, with clients ranging from “hundreds”, from startups to giants such as Google, Royal Bank of Canada and British Airways. Developers use company tools to power a range of features, including digital receipts, omnichannel attribution, loyalty and rewards, expense management, and personal finance management.
Fidel API says it has tripled its growth metrics and quadrupled its card base year-on-year since launching in 2018, says CEO and co-founder Dev Subrata, who declined to reveal concrete revenue figures. It currently powers services for “tens of millions” of cardholders and “hundreds of thousands” of merchants globally.
Existing backers NYCA Partners, QED Investors and other anonymous investors also participated in the Series B funding, bringing the total raised by the company to $88 million since inception. Other funders include Citi Ventures, RBC Capital and Commerce Ventures. The company did not disclose its valuation.
The increase is another example of how infrastructure companies in the fintech world continue to hold their own despite an apparent slowdown in global funding as a whole. The ability to empower other businesses in the world of financial services is proving both lucrative and attractive to investors. Last week Cross River Bank landed an investment of $620 million which pushed its valuation to over $3 billion. In February, Blockchain infrastructure startup Alchemy has announced that it has shut down the a $200 million Series C1 funding round which valued the company at $10.2 billion.
In the case of Fidel API, Subrata says the company has has built the infrastructure that can help developers create “programmable money”.
“Our role in the ecosystem is to enable other developers to create what we call programmable experiences on top of existing cash flows which can be quite archaic,” Subrata said. “What we’ve done is build a layer of modern connectivity that sits above the payment systems on the core networks of the global network. And then we expose that through a modern API for other developers to innovate on top of that.
Its technology, he adds, removes “a lot” of process complexity, as well as compliance needs.
“It cuts build time from two years to two days and compresses thousands of lines of code into just seven lines of code,” Subrata said.
Specifically, he added, the company’s data product can capture each time a cardholder marks a transaction using their card at any location. Its identity product provides a way to verify a cardholder’s identity. Additionally, its payment product offers businesses a way to put money back on an employee’s card.
“Once consent is collected from consumers, developers can then capture payment information in real time and then use it payment event to make programmatic real-time decisions on every purchase and then trigger events as a result of that,” Subrata said. “And once you’ve done that, you can start creating experiences that can really transform the way we do things and fix broken processes and create new value for consumers that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.” For example, a company can ask itself in real time if a purchase respects its policy.
The Fidel API has offices in its London base as well as in Lisbon, Portugal and New York. Currently, it has 130 employees spread across the world. It plans to use its new capital to double its workforce, with a focus on engineering, sales and leasing of products, as well as investing in existing products and new product features in the areas of identity verification, consent management and payments.
“We’re in hyper growth mode,” Subrata told TechCrunch. “And this capital will help us continue to accelerate in this direction. The vision and the way forward are really clear. Today, it’s really just execution.
Since the launch of its offer in 2018, Fidel API claims to have entered markets in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Expense Management Solution
There are a number of US-based players in the crowded spend and expense management space, including Ramp, Airbase, Brex, and TripActions, among others. They’re mostly focused on North America, for now.
Merritt Hummer, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, said she doesn’t see Fidel API as a competitor to, but rather an enabler of, expense management players.
“In fact, the Fidel API can augment the business models of expense management platforms by allowing them to track expenses on any third-party card, not just branded cards issued by the expense management company. “, she told TechCrunch. “And for expense management platforms that don’t want to issue cards at all, the Fidel API gives them the ability to match the capabilities of platforms that issue their own cards. Ultimately, employees should be able to use any card they want without degrading their user experience or redemption speed. The Fidel API enables this future. »
She believes that Fidel API stands out from other infrastructure players by offering real-time connectivity to major card networks.
“There is no other platform that gives startups and enterprises the ability to leverage real-time card transaction data.”
The applications of granular, real-time card transaction data are vast, she continued.
“Just look at the wave of innovation in expense management right now. Startups are popping up all over the world to solve the universal problem of managing employee expenses,” Hummer told TechCrunch. “The Fidel API is particularly suited for this use case, as it provides real-time, highly granular and accurate spending data. All of these are important in the context of employee expenses, where accurate and timely information is essential to manage approvals and reimburse employees.
Along the same lines, Ramp earlier this year – when it announced it was expanding into the travel space – said it was now able to give businesses the ability to create travel policies with air travel, accommodation and per diem limits that “would be automatically applied.” For example, managers would receive real-time alerts when employees spend out-of-policy expenses.
Meanwhile, Hummer added that in general, the financial services industry is “moving towards a faster, more digitized and less expensive phase,” with automation replacing manual processes across the industry.
“API platforms like Fidel play an important role in this transition because they facilitate the seamless transfer of information between parties,” she told TechCrunch. “Previously, information such as card transaction data had to be transferred in batches or with human intervention.”