Powering the Next Wave of Financial Applications: Our Series B investment in Unit
In the past few years, the fintech landscape has radically expanded, with thousands of companies launching completely reimagined financial products for the modern era. We see this with neo banks such as Monzo and Chime, stock trading applications such as Public and Robinhood, payment applications like Venmo and Melio, mortgage applications such as Lower and Better, and many more. All of this hasn’t happened in a vacuum, it’s been powered by an accompanying wave of innovation around financial infrastructure with companies like Plaid, Drivewealth, Socure, and Galileo leading the way. Galileo, in particular, we’ve been very fortunate to witness up close as lead investor prior to their acquisition by Sofi.
We believe, as many others do as well, that we are still in the very early innings of this seismic shift and that there is a next generation of fintechs yet to be built. However, in the future, they won’t all be startups building standalone products. Instead, many of these new fintechs will be existing companies already with a compelling value proposition that additionally want to offer native financial products in order to deepen their relationship with their customer set and to drive additional revenue streams.
To wit, there’s no reason why Uber wouldn’t want to offer banking services to their fleet of drivers, why Etsy wouldn’t want to offer targeted loans to their creators, or why Headway wouldn’t want to offer cash advance products to their therapists waiting to be reimbursed by payers. No reason, except for the challenge of building, maintaining, and executing such products and programs, and the complexity around compliance, risk, and fraud — all of which has up until this point proven prohibitively difficult for even sophisticated operators.
Enter Unit, a banking-as-a-service infrastructure provider, which dramatically lowers the friction to launching exactly these sorts of complex products and programs, allowing developers to offer fully integrated financial solutions in a matter of weeks. Their combination of standout technology driving their developer APIs and compliance-forward approach is resonating with developers and has led to impressive adoption across an accelerating set of early customers. This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s spent time with founders Itai and Doron, who have the clarity of vision, sense of purpose and determination, and obsessiveness around the details needed to build a category-leading financial infrastructure company.
For all those reasons, I’m so thrilled to announce that Accel is leading Unit’s series B, where I’ll be joining the board of directors. We’ll be working closely with an already stellar group of institutional investors including Aleph, Flourish Ventures, TLV Partners, and of course Sheel Mohnot at Better Tomorrow Ventures, as well as forward-thinking fintech experts and thought leaders such as Charley Ma formerly head of partnerships at Plaid, Laura Spiekerman founder of Alloy, and Aaron Frank formerly CEO/founder of Final.
For myself, this represents the continuation of a journey started when I founded CardSpring, which similarly provided developers the tools to introduce new financial capabilities. And for Accel, this represents the latest investment in a long standing belief in the power of building-block APIs that power innovations in fintech. We’ve been lucky to work with great fintech API companies like Braintree, Xendit, Galileo, Primer, and Socure, to name just a few, and Unit is the latest expression of our thesis. Quality infrastructure grows the pie, expanding the art of what’s possible, and in Unit we see the potential to build a new future of banking.