Payments startup Dwolla raises $6.85M more, debuts Access API

Some news today from Dwolla, the startup that competes with banks (but also works with them) to provide payments and money transfers with reduced fees by way of more efficient software. The company has raised another round of funding of $6.85 million, and at the same time it’s announcing the relaunch of its white-label API, which it is now calling Access API.

The funding round was led by previous investor Union Square Ventures and new investor Foundry Group, with participation also from Next Level Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, High Alpha, Firebrand Ventures, and Detroit Venture Partners.

It comes more than two years after Dwolla raised its last round, $9.7 million from strategic backer CME Group, and brings the total raised by Dwolla to just under $40 million.

The company says that it will be using the funds both hiring in sales, to be based out of its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. “The Midwest has a wealth of resources, but its biggest strength is its people and that’s a competitive advantage we plan on continuing to invest in,” Ben Milne, founder and CEO, said in a statement.

While the API has been around since last year, it’s adding new functionality as of today, specifically Dwolla is moving its same-day transfer service and a new dashboard to manage transactions under the Access API umbrella.

Back in 2014, when Dwolla took on the CME Group as an investor, Dwolla used the moment to being a shift in its service to expand beyond consumers, government relationships and mobile payments — its first three targets. Now, that shift appears to be the company’s sole focus, as underscored not just by the API but how Dwolla is growing it.

“Building the ideal API to move money is a phrase that has become a part of our DNA,” Milne noted in a blog post today.

“Also, turns out brands like their names, rather than ours. So we’re white label now,” a spokesperson added.