London fintech startup Curve raises £2 million
By Oscar Williams Grut for BI
London fintech startup Curve has raised a further £2 million ($2.6 million), taking its total seed funding to £3.5 million.
Curve has raised the sum from:
- Connect Ventures, an investor in Citymapper;
- Payments industry veteran and Vitesse MD Paul Townsend;
- Samos Investments, which has backed Ocado, Betfair, and Kabbee.
Curve has already raised cash from a host of top tech talent:
- TransferWise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus;
- Ed Wray from Betfair;
- Tandem Bank cofounder Ricky Knox;
- Azimo cofounder Michael Kent
- Investec Group;
- the Google Wallet founders;
- and the founders of Money2020.
Curve has built a “smart” MasterCard that can be controlled from an app and aims to replace your wallet. The Curve card lets you use all your cards — debit, credit, etc. — by simply selecting the relevant card on the app, meaning you do not have to carry a huge wallet around all the time.
However, the startup ran into trouble earlier this year when American Express blocked it from using its card mirroring features. One of Curve’s key selling points was its ability to let people earn AmEx points through the card in places that don’t accept AmEx.
Curve is currently targetting small business owners but says it plans to launch to consumers early next year. The startup says in a release emailed to Business Insider that it plans to raise a “large” round of funding from financial institutions later this year.
CEO and founder Shachar Bialick, who featured on Business Insider’s coolest 40 people in fintech list earlier this year, says in an emailed statement: “We’ve started conversations with leading VCs on securing growth capital to push into the consumer space, and further develop the platform.”
As well as its all cards in one feature, Curve plans to build money management tools, financing options, and loyalty point features. Curve says over £15 million ($19.5 million) has been spent on its cards today across 80 currencies.
Bialick says in the emailed statement: “Curve is exactly ontrack in executing the vision we had almost two years ago, to consolidate a fragmented financial world into a single platform. We’re already receiving fantastic user feedback and unparalleled business results in terms of retention, engagement, and revenues.”
Bill Earner, Connect Ventures Partner, says in an emailed statement: “Despite Brexit, London Fintech continues to explode with numerous exciting prospects but we’ve not seen any other startups taking Curve’s approach of becoming your wallet. We love the fact that this isn’t just one more account or app the user needs to think about it’s the only app they need.”