Fintech start-up Curve valued at $250m after $55m investment

16 Jul 2019453 Views

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While Curve offers a range of features that are similar to those we see many challenger banks offering, it does not require users to set up a current account.

London-based fintech start-up Curve has raised $55m in its latest round of funding.

In its Series B round, it secured investment from Gauss Ventures, Creditease, IDC Ventures and existing backers Outward VC, Santander InnoVentures, Breega, Seedcamp and Speedinvest.

The banking platform is now valued at $250m following this round of funding, and it will invest this money into adding more features to the platform and further expanding operations in Europe.

With 500,000 users, the service that Curve offers is a consolidation app for bank cards. As more people turn to challenger banks, credit unions and other banks to save their money, the start-up allows users to manage all of the debit and credit cards that come with these accounts through one single app and a Curve card.

Curve explained how onboarding works: “New users download the Curve app, order their card, upload their existing debit and credit cards, and then spend with any of their debit or credit cards with one Curve Mastercard. The Curve card works anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard – and features contactless, chip and pin, and magstripe.”

No new account required

It offers similar features to Revolut, N26 and Monzo, providing the user with a virtual control centre that often includes more features than the online banking applications we typically see provided by larger banks. However, unlike Revolut or any of these challenger banks, users are not required to set up a new current account – Curve offers its services to existing bank accounts.

When cards are added to Curve, users can use the app to switch between bank accounts they want to pay with. Once a card is selected, Curve’s card serves as a proxy for it. This card can then be locked (or unlocked) in an instant through the app if anything goes wrong.

While Curve initially included American Express in its early services, it’s no longer compatible with it after a recent legal dispute.

Founded in 2015, Curve launched out of beta for the first time in Europe in 2018. By the end of that year, it had more than 250,000 users who had spent £500m through the app or Curve cards.

Curve expects to hit the 1m-user mark by the end of 2019, across the 31 countries in Europe that it’s currently available in. At present, around 30pc of the customer base is from outside of the UK.

CEO and founder Shachar Bialick told TechCrunch: “We identified a few countries where the organic pull is fantastic and we are about to double down on them.”

Bialick also claimed that Curve has seen higher engagement than many challenger banks have, adding that customers are spending an average of £1,500 per month through the company. Meanwhile, challenger bank Monzo says that 30pc of its users top up their accounts by £1,000 or more per month.

At present, Curve has more than 150 employees.

Unlike some of its rivals, the start-up has no plans to become a fully fledged bank. Instead, it will make money through cash withdrawal fees and subscription fees for premium cards and cashback offers, which it runs through six partner companies.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com