Synctera, a banking-as-a-service startup, has raised an additional $15 million as it expands into Canada.
NAventures, the corporate venture arm of National Bank of Canada, led the financing, which brings Synctera’s total raised to $60 million since its June 2020 inception. Private equity firm The Banc Funds and sponsor bank partners Veritex Community Bank, Midland States Bank and Emigrant Bank also participated in the round.
In June of 2021, Synctera raised $33 million in a Series A round of funding led by Fin VC.
As part of the latest funding announcement Synctera is also announcing that it is partnering with the National Bank of Canada to help companies launch fintech apps and embedded banking products in the country.
In a nutshell, Synctera has built a platform designed to bring together fintech companies and sponsor banks.
“Our goal is to do so in a way that makes it easy, fast and flexible to scale features and engagement on the fintech side while also being very intentional, automated where it makes sense and most importantly dialed in on compliance and risk in a way that allows banks to feel confident in working with us and fintechs of all sizes,” said Peter Hazlehurst, Synctera’s co-founder and CEO.
Until now, the company has only operated in the U.S. But after a “number” of U.S. and Canadian fintech reached out to inquire about how to use its service in other markets, Synctera decided to expand its offering.
“Many of our Canadian team members would see the solutions that we helped launch in the U.S. and would ask about similar offerings in Canada — which didn’t exist,” said co-founder and CTO Kris Hansen. “A few larger brands also reached out to us to ask about the potential for a solution in Canada and there are a few customers who see the appeal of one API surface area being able to address two markets — all of these factors helped us in our decision to expand into Canada.”
The executives declined to comment on Synctera’s valuation or provide hard revenue figures but Hazlehurst told TechCrunch that the company’s revenue was up 20x year-over-year in the fourth quarter and that all of its usage metrics and revenue “are continuing to grow 30% month on month in areas like payment volume.”
Synctera is currently working with 50 fintechs — 14 of which are live, including Wayapay and Float. It has another 20+ in implementation slated for launch in March and April, according to Hazlehurst.
Examples of companies that have embedded banking into their product are Players Health, TipHaus and Solvent, a fintech working on building affordable financial services to empower formerly incarcerated individuals.
Synctera makes money by charging the fintechs it works with setup and access fees as well as taking a share of transaction fees, interest earned and interchange with its marketplace of banks.
In 2023, Synctera plans to add support for new credit, lending and other banking use cases — and expand into new geographies and client segments. Presently, the remote-first company has 110 employees — with 50 in Canada — and is looking to hire more people to help it grow in Canada, noted Hansen.
“We’re focused on putting this capital to work by setting up operations and working through all of the regulatory and compliance frameworks, for example, which is our playbook in the U.S.,” Hazlehurst said.
Joshuah Lebacq, principal of venture capital at NAventures, National Bank of Canada, noted that the growing appetite for bank-fintech collaboration has created a strong demand for technology solutions that make it easier for banks and distributors to partner.
“Synctera’s banking-as-a-service platform accomplishes this while allowing each party to focus on what it is they do best,” he said. “We believe the multibank structure will emerge as the category winner in banking-as-a-service as it solves many existing BaaS pain points and addresses emerging regulatory concerns.”
The fact that Synctera does not require a core banking integration was also appealing, Lebacq added, in addition to what he described as “the full transparency its platform provides enabling near real-time audibility and compliance monitoring.”
“Additionally, Synctera’s multicountry expansion is also significant,” he told TechCrunch. “I can imagine a future where global brands leverage Synctera’s platform to simultaneously launch banking products across multiple markets with multiple partner banks, all through a single API – such an achievement would completely reshape digital financial services.”