Treasury Prime co-founder and CEO Chris Dean believes that the best outcomes for consumers will result from traditional banks and fintechs working together.
The banking-as-a-service startup has worked to build relationships with both banks and fintechs. And Dean believes Treasury Prime’s ability “to keep both sides happy” has contributed to its ability to grow its revenue by nearly 400% and accounts by more than 450% since it raised a $20 million Series B in May of 2021.
Unlike many fast-growing fintech startups, Treasury Prime has paced itself when it comes to raising venture capital — today announcing a $40 million Series C funding round led by new investor BAM Elevate. Banc Funds and Invicta also participated in the financing, along with existing backers Deciens, QED and SaaStr. While he declined to reveal valuation, Dean confirmed that the fundraise was “an up round.”
San Francisco-based Treasury Prime, which has raised about $73 million since its 2017 inception, started out by building software tooling that helps banks automate and accelerate routine tasks. Over time, it has expanded its offering and today says it gives businesses of all sizes a way to integrate with banks so they can offer new services, lower the cost of deposits and ultimately generate more revenue. On the fintech side, the company claims to help startups with a range of services, including money transfer, risk mitigation and access to a chartered bank’s infrastructure.
The company plans to use its new capital to continue building out its new integrated partner marketplace (similar to what Synctera is doing) and multi-bank network — which is currently made up of 16 banks — as well as develop new products and services, including lending options.
“Now that we have enough banks, and they’re all working across a common open banking style API that looks the same for all our banks — to our bigger fintechs it looks like one giant network of banks,” Dean said. “At some point, we got enough banks here that we could attract more fintechs, and that really started this virtuous cycle. As we had more fintechs, it became easier to add more banks.”
For example, he said, Treasury Prime has clients who might have deals with four different banks and open accounts on all those banks via “just one integration” rather than four separate ones.
“And that is just this huge win for them,” Dean added. “We can do real-time reconciliation throughout the day, and allow institutions to add features attached to other bank accounts that no one else can do.”
In Dean’s view, banks are good at certain things while fintechs are good at others.
“You should let each one of them do their own thing, and that’s in some ways what embedded banking means,” he said.
For example, notes Dean, fintechs are good at marketing building products and relationships with specific verticals. Meanwhile, banks are good at risk management compliance.
Norman Chen, partner at BAM Elevate — which also counts among its portfolio Alloy, Fireblocks and Deel — notes that particularly in today’s environment, businesses that want to add financial services to their offerings are “looking for best-in-class partners,” whether they might be fintechs or banks, depending on their priorities and objectives, which might change and evolve.
“Having a network really is most suited for this time frame where banks may have different strategies as to how they’re thinking about deposits, how they’re thinking about growth, how they’re thinking about their loans,” Chen told TechCrunch in an interview. “All these elements are subject to change…so by having a network of banks, fintechs can really pick and choose the banks that share similar objectives and not be tied down to one versus the other.”
Presently, Treasury Prime has about 100 employees.