While plenty of companies hope to follow in Apple’s footsteps and launch their own financial products, doing so is no easy feat. In fact, technological and regulatory hurdles can cause delays and lost opportunities for firms both big and small.
Enter Bond, which provides software that allows companies to offer products such as credit and debit cards. The startup also ensures the software integrates with a network of banks that can handle the regulatory obligations for its customers.
Launched by CEO Roy Ng, the former COO of cloud platform Twilio, along with Matt Bradley, VP of Technology and Yan Wu, VP of Data Science & Operations, the company believes it can provide stability and services to the 77 percent of Americans who are unhappy with their bank, as well as the 25 percent of households who are unbanked or underbanked. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased time on digital and mobile apps, a boost in remote work, and a rise in the need for delivery services.
“The pandemic is accelerating the transformation of how people access core day-to-day services like banking. Financial services will meet people where they work and live,” said Ng. “Gig workers’ banking solutions will be right on their gig platform of choice. Landlords will refinance their apartments via their favorite online rental marketplace. With Bond, brands can design and build innovative financial solutions for their customers. Banking will become seamless.”
Ng decided to launch Bond after seeing how difficult it was for companies to launch their own financial products, which often entails an 18-month turnaround. By then, the company has missed out on key market opportunities.
Yet while the need is there, Bond’s work will not be easy, and it will need the funds to continue growing its platform. Last year, the company closed a $10 million seed funding round, and this week it announced it had closed $32 million in Series A funding, led by Coatue with new investors Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, and B Capital. Former Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, John Mack, also joined existing angel investors such as Sarah Friar, Steve Frieberg, Ryan Peterson, and Eric Yuan.