The world of digital payments continues to power ahead — fuelled by the continuing growth of e-commerce and fintech — and now one of the bigger startups making waves in the sector is raising a huge round of funding.
TechCrunch has learned that Marqeta — a payment processing company that works in the area of powering payment cards on behalf of other brands along with related financial services — is in the process of raising $250 million on a valuation of $1.875 billion.
The figures come by way of a Delaware filing, provided to TechCrunch by PrimeUnicornIndex. Marqeta declined to comment on the filing, but we understand from a source close to the company that the round is in progress and could close as soon a weeks from now.
That also means the final figures might change although sources tell us that $250 million on a $1.875B valuation are the target figures for now.
It’s not clear who is in this round, but previous investors in the company that is based out of Oakland, CA have included Granite Ventures (which is its largest shareholder), Iconiq, Goldman Sachs, Visa (which led its most recent previous round, a Series D of $25 million), Max Levchin, CommerzVentures, 83North and more. Previous to this round, Marqeta had raised $116 million.
The round, a Series E offering of $3.8908 per share (with a little more on financials here), represents a big jump on Marqeta’s previous valuation, which was $545 million as of last year (when it raised an extension to that Series D round led by Iconiq — and that speaks both to Marqeta’s growth as well as the bigger opportunity in commerce.
The company — whose customers include other companies working in the fintech space such as Square, Alipay, Kabbage, Klarna and Affirm — said last October that its payment volume had grown 100 percent.
In the same month, it also spearheaded its first moves into the European market, where there has been a mini-boom of digital-only “challenger” banks like N26, Monese, Starling and Revolut. These have been successful in eating up market share from traditional incumbents: A recent report from Accenture, cited by Reuters, notes that challenger banks collectively now account for 14 percent of the banking market’s revenues in Europe, or €206 billion ($238 billion) compared to just 3.5 percent of the US market (which is worth $1.04 trillion).
That represents a big opportunity for Marqeta, which has built a set of services that complement those that commerce or payments companies might be building themselves. Alongside powering cards for others, Marqeta’s products include virtual cards, payment reconciliations, real-time fund transfers to optimise where a company’s cash is best utilised, customer interactive voice response services and more.