Fintech startup Wise has raised a $12 million Series A round. The company offers business bank accounts with an interesting go-to-market strategy. Wise partners with other companies so that they can offer bank accounts to their own customers.
For instance, if you’re running a marketplace or an e-commerce platform that matches companies with individual customers, you can leverage Wise to offer bank accounts to your partner companies. RemoteTeam is using Wise to improve its payroll experience for… remote teams.
Leading today’s funding round is e.ventures, with Grishin Robotics also participating. Seed investors Base10 Partners and Techstars are also investing again.
Wise isn’t a classic bank-as-a-service company, as it doesn’t want to power neobanks and help them get started. Instead, the startup targets other companies that touch on financial services but can’t offer those services because it’s such a big investment.
Integrating Wise in your product doesn’t require significant development or regulation efforts. You don’t have to develop an entire banking user interface, as you can just redirect your customers to Wise. The fintech startup also handles know-your-customer and know-your-business (KYC and KYB) processes.
When your clients have their own Wise accounts, it lets them do all the basic things you’d expect from a business bank account. You can hold money, pay with bank transfers, a debit card, a virtual card or checks, and get paid using card payments, ACH and checks.
Behind the scene, BBVA provides banking services, which means that your deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000. The company also uses Stripe for some features and other infrastructure companies.
Wise co-founder and CEO Arjun Thyagarajan describes those partners as building blocks. The company can swap those partners and integrate with other APIs to launch in new countries for instance.
Interestingly, if you choose to offer Wise bank accounts to your partners, you’ll share the revenue on deposits and interchange fees.
Up next, the company plans to expand to other countries, such as Canada. It’ll also try to tackle specific verticals, such as marketplaces for telemedicine and healthcare startups in general. It could require adding different features for different types of customers.
Wise is also negotiating some partnerships with high-profile companies, which should bring new customers to the platform.