Mastercard Expands Fintech Reach With Marqeta Investment

Launched in 2010, Oakland-based Marqeta, which provides API for companies such as Square and DoorDash to process payments and issue cards, has established itself as a front-runner for businesses to modernize their card processing systems and card issuance.

Earlier this month Marqeta and industry giant Mastercard announced a partnership to expand across new geographical regions, increase access to new products, and launch new programs. As part of this partnership, Mastercard is investing in card-issuing platform Marqeta in its continued expansion into the fintech market. The financial terms were not disclosed. The two companies have worked together since 2014 to assist financial technology companies and digital banks across North America and Europe, according to its release.

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“Mastercard’s culture of innovation and strong focus on social initiatives makes them a great DNA fit for Marqeta, and we’re excited to accelerate this relationship with our new global partnership,” said Jason Gardner, founder and CEO of Marqeta, in the statement.

The startup worked with Mastercard previously to launch the Square Card. “With Square Card, we were looking to do something that hadn't been done before — providing small businesses instant access to their sales earnings through a business debit card,” said Christopher Sweetland, head of industry relations and payments operations at Square, in the statement.

This isn’t the only investment Marqeta has received from a leading financial company. In 2017, Marqeta also added Visa as an investor with $25 million in strategic investment. Marqeta has raised $525 million since its inception and is valued at $4.3 billion, according to CNBC, which ranked it No. 33 in its Disruptor 50 companies in 2020. Earlier this year, Barron’s forecasted that Marqeta was mostly likely to sell after Visa acquired Plaid for $5.3 billion. Marqeta has said it isn’t for sale, according to Barron’s at the time. But there is a possibility that it will look to go public sometime in 2021.

With this partnership and others, Mastercard has grown quickly in the fintech space. In June, the financial giant purchased data aggregator company Finicity for nearly $1 billion. Last year, it also acquired European payments company Nets for $3.2 billion and billing and payments company Transactis.

Together, the companies said they will focus on expanding and launching more card programs. Additionally, Marqeta will participate in Mastercard’s digital enablement programs to work with newer startups on accelerating their time to market.