PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Let’s face it; the financial services industry is stuck in a time warp. Paying bills online or trading stocks with the click of a mouse may have felt revolutionary in the 1990s, but with innovation accelerating in countless other industries, the reality is that consumers and businesses today are still relying on financial tools and processes developed in a bygone era.
Ribbit Capital, a new Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm led by serial entrepreneur Meyer “Micky” Malka, has set its sights on changing this by raising a significant amount of venture funding that will be aimed singularly at driving innovation around the world in lending, payments, insurance, accounting, tax preparation and personal financial management. Ribbit targets disruptive, early-stage companies that leverage technology to reimagine and reinvent what financial services can be for people and businesses.
“Banks have proven to be difficult environments for innovation to flourish, resulting in an antiquated financial services industry that remains relatively untouched by the technology-driven evolution transforming other markets ranging from social media sharing to professional enterprise services,” said Micky Malka, founder of Ribbit Capital. “The technology to unlock this innovation is in place, and there are entrepreneurs around the world with groundbreaking ideas that have the potential to turn this industry on its head. What’s lacking is the investment, will and expertise to develop and make them reality. It is going to require focused investment to ignite this change, and Ribbit is here to answer the call.”
Ribbit provides global entrepreneurs with both the financial and intellectual resources to help them scale their businesses, accelerate growth and navigate the inherent challenges in the complex and nuanced financial services industry. The firm has already made four investments across several key industry categories, including:
- borro: The fastest-growing personal asset lender worldwide, borro provides “spot financing” to millions of high-net-worth individuals who want no-delay liquidity for their fine arts, antiques, vintage cars and jewelry. Based in the U.K. and recently expanded to the U.S., borro is a creating a new “asset economy” by lending as much as $1 million per loan, with speed, efficiency and privacy.
- Fuze Network: A U.S.-based payments technology company that provides merchants and billers with radically simpler options for their customers to find and make payments at over 17,000 banks and 100,000 retail locations nationwide. The Company’s proprietary application programming interface (API) breaks down the decades-old wall between cash and credit cards, allowing consumers and businesses to push money to any card.
- ContaAzul: The leading provider of easy-to-use SaaS accounting and invoicing solutions to SMBs in Brazil, the world’s fastest-growing small business market. Since its founding in 2011, ContaAzul has helped thousands of customers save time and focus their efforts and resources on growing their businesses.
- Capital Access Networks (CAN): The U.S.’s largest non-bank lender to small businesses, CAN is redefining small business owners’ ability to access the funding they need to manage and grow their businesses. CAN has provided small businesses access to $2.5 billion in working capital through its subsidiaries CapTap, NewLogic Business Loans and AdvanceMe.
“I believe there are huge market opportunities in the financial services industry, but, as an entrepreneur, have witnessed the difficulties of raising capital in this sector,” Malka continued. “Ribbit strives not only to disrupt existing financial services, but to create significant value in an industry that has been otherwise untouched by an entire generation of technology and the thinking that drives it while promoting economic growth and global development.”
Ribbit was founded in 2012 by Malka, who is the fund’s sole General Partner. Malka has started five financial services companies – his first at the age of 18 – in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He lived through hyperinflation in Venezuela and Brazil, where he witnessed more than half of the banks in his home country fail. Malka was an early investor in, and currently serves on the board of directors of Wonga, a company transforming the way consumers and small businesses access credit in the U.K. and other countries. He also serves on the boards of Peixe Urbano, the first and largest local Latin American commerce website, and Banco Bracce, a merchant bank for mid-cap companies in Brazil.
Ribbit’s investors include multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Silicon Valley Bank, and a range of institutional investors and high-net-worth clients from around the world.
About Ribbit Capital
Ribbit Capital is a venture capital firm that invests globally in unique individuals and brands who are aiming to disrupt financial services. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Ribbit believes the category is profoundly under-innovated and is looking to support entrepreneurs who have already launched the businesses of the future. For more information, please visit http://ribbitcap.com/.