Global

Congratulations, Galileo

We wanted to congratulate Clay and Marie Wilkes and the Galileo family on today’s $1.2B sale of Galileo to SoFi.

Knowing the Wilkes, and the tremendous work they do via the Galileo Foundation in communities around the world, the last thing they’d want to do right now is shine a light on themselves. But we hope that the Wilkes and the entire Galileo team will be able to enjoy this day with their families.

When we first met Clay at Galileo HQ in Utah, he brought in his team to meet us. Everyone shared how long they’d worked at Galileo: 12 years, 14 years, 11 years. One joked about being the ‘new hire’ with only 9 years experience. 

Over time, we learned the team stayed so consistent because they all bought into a set of values that Clay prioritized in running Galileo: A family-like culture of taking care of each other, a focus on service (including the team taking regular trips to build schools and encourage entrepreneurship in places like rural Nepal and Peru), a commitment to delighting customers and building great products over accumulating press mentions, and an adherence to maintaining profitability in all market cycles.

During times like these, this ‘Wilkes playbook’ is worth emulating.

As a company, Galileo’s success touches on a number of key themes for us at Accel: It’s another proofpoint for the value of API-based businesses (that our partner, Dan Levine, discussed here); it’s another win for the Utah tech ecosystem (and we’re grateful to our friend, Qualtrics Founder Ryan Smith’s contributions as an advisor to Clay); it’s another example of real value created via the path of building a sustainably profitable business outside Silicon Valley first and then raising capital (like Atlassian, Qualtrics, Braintree, Tenable, and now Galileo).

We’re excited for the future of Galileo within SoFi. SoFi CEO, Anthony Noto, shares our vision that Galileo is the most interesting financial infrastructure company globally (as he calls it, the ‘AWS of fintech’). And going forward, SoFi will have the unique combination of a thriving consumer brand and a set of API tools in Galileo that allow the rest of the industry to build ambitious fintech projects. Both sides of the business are growing very quickly, with Galileo processing over $53B of annualized payments volume in March 2020, up from $26B in September 2019, right before we first invested in October. Together, SoFi + Galileo has a clear path to over a billion of revenue and is fintech’s equivalent of Amazon + AWS.

Our sincere congratulations to the Wilkes and entire Galileo team on today’s news. And thank you to former Braintree/Venmo CTO (& GM of Braintree at PayPal), Juan Benitez, for being a part of the Galileo board with us and his terrific contributions.

We’re grateful that you all are a part of the Accel family.

—John Locke