SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Astra, a leading provider of instant card-to-card funding as a service in the U.S., today announced a $10 million Series A funding round led by FPV Ventures, with participation from Slow Ventures and Allegis Capital, as well as a $30 million line of credit through CoVenture to support the company’s rapid expansion in the payments industry.
In 2021 alone, the ACH network, which processes financial transactions nationally, transferred a total of $72.62 trillion according to Nacha. Since its inception in 2012, ACH transactions have continuously grown year-over-year in the majority of existing payment categories – including peer-to-peer (P2P), business-to-business (B2B), and direct deposit – and transaction volume is only expected to rise. However, with an accelerated increase in both dollar amounts and the number of financial accounts in use, complexity and friction often overwhelm fintech businesses.
Via a lightweight API integration, Astra offers a platform that allows developers to seamlessly add faster settlement and financial automation to their existing products. In as little as a week of implementation time, developers can enable accelerated and risk-mitigated transfers without having to take compliance specifications, capital commitments, or operational costs into account. While many payment platforms provide an incomplete solution – that is, only allowing access to payment networks without added fraud prevention – Astra’s dynamic, all-in-one solution has risk mitigation and anti-fraud measures built-in, powering a level of financial functionality that was previously unattainable.
“Time to money is one of the most vital metrics for fintechs, financial institutions, and marketplaces. How quickly a user is able to complete the onboarding process, fund their account, and begin spending money are critical aspects that will likely impact a user’s activity level,” said Gil Akos, CEO and co-founder of Astra. “Astra has earned a reputation for offering one of the simplest and most effective instant funding and payment automation solutions on the market to speed up these processes. With this new capital, we are excited to not only grow our portfolio of solutions but to bring faster money movement capabilities to a larger customer base.”
“There’s a big shift in the market where profitable growth for fintechs really matters. Astra is the case study for amazing, profitable growth that enables others to easily move money without having to build a large in-house payment infrastructure. That’s why we backed them and are excited to be on the journey with them,” said Pegah Ebrahimi, co-founder and managing director of FPV Ventures and a former global CIO at Morgan Stanley.
This Series A funding will support the expansion of Astra’s team, with a particular focus on engineering and compliance resources, to further enable faster payments from any source to any destination. Additionally, Astra aims to extend their payment solutions to sizeable enterprises as they grow their customer base in investing, lending, and business-to-business industry verticals and expand their embedded payment capabilities with other fintech infrastructure providers.
“Account funding for customers can be a startup’s worst nightmare – they are rife with fraud, slow settlement times, fees, and gatekeepers,” said Will Reeves, CEO and co-founder of Fold. “Yet, they are critical to onboarding those new customers. Astra makes it exponentially easier with instant funding and accelerated ACH payments.”
About Astra, Inc.
Astra is a leading provider of advanced bank-to-bank transfer technology for financial institutions, fintech startups, and enterprises. With headquarters in San Francisco, the company was founded in 2016 by co-founders Gil Akos and Sam Morgan. Astra’s proprietary, vertically integrated API allows developers to easily embed financial automation within their existing products. For more information, visit https://astra.finance/.
FPV is a new $450m fund focused on backing and serving mission-driven founders throughout their entire journey. Founded by Wesley Chan (former Google product leader, founder of Google Analytics and Google Voice) and Pegah Ebrahimi (former COO of Morgan Stanley Tech Banking and COO of Cisco Collaboration), the firm has backed well-known, high-impact startups including as Canva, Flexport, Guild Education, Xilis, and Manifold Bio. For more information, please see www.fpvventures.com/.
About Slow Ventures
Slow Ventures is an early-stage focused Venture Capital firm based out of San Francisco, Boston, and New York. We are generalists and invest in early-stage teams and ideas ranging from Social Networking to Consumer Brands to SaaS, and Crypto. We believe—and have seen proven time and again—that great things frequently take time to inflect, and believe that our number-one job is to back great founders on their journey. In the last ~decade we have invested in the earliest rounds of over 500 companies and counting. For more information, visit http://slow.co/.
About Allegis Capital
Allegis Capital is a global early-stage venture capital firm investing in ambitious entrepreneurs at the crossroads of fintech, enterprise software, and climate tech. For more information, visit https://www.allegiscapital.com/.
CoVenture is an asset management firm investing across the capital stack of tech-enabled companies, often providing the first institutional equity and/or debt financing to business operations across financial services, new forms of media, platform economies or industries we are yet to imagine. For more information, visit https://coventure.vc/.