All big brands will become fintechs. Since 2016, the fintech team at Canaan has been chasing and building off of this thesis. We believe that the future of financial product relationships will be owned by businesses that offer financial products as a secondary feature of their core offering. Examples today include Square, Shopify, Amazon, Uber and Lyft.
Notably, there are a number of companies that are launching financial products much earlier in their lifecycle: Brex, Divvy, ScaleFactor, Pleo and Spendesk. Additionally, we’re seeing fintechs that have built brands rebundle financial products to become a one-stop shop; SoFi, Robinhood, Revolut, Wealthfront, Acorns and Moneylion.
The demand-side of this equation is inflecting, however the supply-side has not been equipped with the right tools to support this burgeoning market.
There are a large number of enterprising regional banks that have been looking around that corner and working to support this effort over the last five to ten years. These banks include but are not limited to Celtic, Sutton, WebBank, Coastal, Bancorp, Stride, Lincoln, Eaglebank, First Tennessee, TriState Capital Bank, Wex and Evolve.
All of these banks understand the opportunity to partner with brands and fintechs in order to extend financial products to their end users. However, to date, there hasn’t been an effective software platform created to provide the technical connective tissue efficiently, scalably and in a compliant way. Their response has been to staff up headcount linearly with brand partnerships, which is a stopgap solution at best. Enter Bond.
Having heard constant frustrations from brands, fintechs and regional banks with existing solutions on the market, I decided to go out and recruit a world class team to solve the problem.
I first met Roy earlier this year and was instantly blown away by his experience, sense of urgency, and passion for enterprise software and developer-led platforms. Even with a background that includes Goldman Sachs, SuccessFactors, Twilio and Mapbox, his most impressive quality is that he’s also a fellow UC Berkeley alum – Go Bears!
I pitched Roy on the thesis and opportunity, and asked whether he’d take this on as his next startup adventure. The very next day, Roy sent me a link to the Apple credit card powered by Goldman – and we were off to the races!
Over the next couple of months, we jammed on the product strategy and spoke to banks and fintechs to fully understand the depth of the issues that they’re facing. We recruited co-founders Matt and Yan who have deep domain expertise in responsible AI, data science and applying these technologies to building an enterprise-grade, full-stack and compliant-first platform.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce our partnership with Roy, Matt and Yan, and the formation of Bond. We have led a $10M seed round with participation from Coatue, led by co-founder Thomas Laffont, and a number of angels with expertise in fintech, enterprise software and banking including Sarah Friar, Steve Frieberg, Ryan Peterson and Eric Yuan, among others.
All of us and the founding Bond team believe that the pace of fintech innovation is only going to accelerate – but that with the right developer platform – we can really grow this market in a scalable, and compliant way.