The Fall 2021 cohort of fintech startups is driving innovation in financial services
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Financial Venture Studio (FVS), the country’s premier seed stage fintech venture capital firm, today announced the eleven companies it has selected to comprise its next cohort of startups. After meeting hundreds of startups in 2021, the selected companies receive both an investment of capital from the Studio and will receive direct support through a bespoke networking program designed to help early-stage fintech companies navigate critical elements of the financial services industry and quickly scale.
“There’s so much innovation taking the world by storm right now,” said Ryan Falvey, Managing Partner and co-founder of Financial Venture Studio. “The pandemic accelerated both the adoption of fintech products and the innovation cycle within the startup ecosystem. With companies no longer constrained by geographic boundaries, we’re seeing teams form faster, build more innovative products and scale more quickly than ever before. It’s an incredible time to be in fintech.”
The Fall 2021 class includes:
Copper is the first of its kind, all-digital bank, that we’ve built specifically for teenagers. Copper has cracked the code on teaching teens how to make smart financial decisions by developing patterned behaviors in their supervised app experience. Eddie Behringer is the CEO and Co-founder of Copper. Prior to Copper, he was the Co-Founder and CPO at Snap! Raise, the largest group based fundraising platform for teens in their parents, serving 17 million users in 2019.
Telivy empowers retail insurance agencies and security compliance platforms to quickly and easily distribute cyber insurance to their small business customers. Unlock novel digital distribution opportunities and capabilities with Telivy’s multi-carrier digital cyber insurance brokerage and embedded insurance solution. Telivy is led by CEO Naren Sathiya, formerly technical lead at Hippo Insurance, Benjamin Grosser from insurtech At-Bay, and Venkata Ventrapragada from Google.
Canary operates an emergency relief fund platform contributing to the evolution of the 21st century safety net. While businesses offer emergency relief funds for employees, the challenges inherent in management overhead and tax consequences of these products are manifest. Canary automates the process for them, offering fund management, disbursement, and reporting. The team has deep experience in this space: the CEO, Rachel Schneider, worked at Merrill Lynch and Financial Health Network, and has published extensively on helping workers weather financial shocks.
Frich is a personal finance app for Gen Z that does for money what Strava did for fitness. By introducing personalized challenges among users and their friends, Frich makes saving and setting goals more enticing than the daily coffee habit. Founders Katrin Kaurov and Aleksandra Medina have the pulse on Gen Z. In addition to her modeling career, Katrin started Modelclub – a social app for models and influencers. Co-founder Aleksandra Medina’s background is in digital media and web development.
Lunch Payments is building the payment infrastructure for the offline economy. By providing instant payment to vendors in legacy verticals, Lunch creates a credit card experience for paper check transactions. Lunch is led by co-founder and CEO, Cullen Gallagher who founded REELY, a computer vision company that tracks and tags digital media to optimize content monetization.
Ivella is building the best banking products for couples. Their first product, the Split Account, is a debit card that allows couples to automatically split transactions while maintaining individual bank accounts. Their CEO, Kahlil Lalji, comes from a background in influencer marketing and started Ivella to tackle problems in his own relationship.
Varos is building planning software for marketing, product, and finance teams that aggregates and uses real-time competitor data to help guide key decisions. Through an API-driven data cooperative, the software allows companies to compare their metrics to similar companies to gain insights and better define their KPIs. The co-founder and CEO, Yarden Shaked background is in private equity and investment banking.
Ascend is the first modern insurance payments platform that provides automated all-in-one financing, collections, and payables. It helps distributors sell more by eliminating labor-int, expensive processes while providing customers with the great online checkout and financing experience they've come to expect. Co-Founders, Andrew Wynn and Praveen Chekuri, previously founded Sheltr, a previous FVS investment focused on home maintenance that was acquired by Hippo Insurance in late 2019.
“After having worked with the FVS team when we built our first company, Sheltr, I know first hand how transformational their support can be. Based on the experience, not only did I invest in both FVS funds, but Tyler and Ryan were our first call when we were thinking about starting Ascend. We’re pumped to work with them again to build Ascend.” said Andrew Wynn, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Ascend.
In addition to these companies, there are three companies operating in stealth. This is FVS’ fifth class of startups. Since launching in 2018, the FVS portfolio of 35 firms has raised over $500 million in follow-on capital and 84% of the portfolio companies have raised subsequent rounds or been acquired. FVS is now home to two unicorns, (with valuations over $1b) and the portfolio of firms is serving 10’s of millions of users.
About Financial Venture Studio
Financial Venture Studio invests in great teams who are seeking to improve financial services. Through increasing transaction speeds, an improved understanding of risk, and user-focused product innovation, the promise of today’s financial products has never been greater. Learn more at www.finventurestudio.com.