Building software for the banking industry can be convoluted and inefficient due to legacy systems and arcane regulations. Innovation is being stifled when emerging companies are not able to find an established banking partner. Griffin, the banking API platform, seeks to enable companies large and small to build on their platform, leverage their accounts, all while being compliant with all regulations. Offering a novel bank-as-a-platform model, Griffin is in the process of securing their banking license in the UK to foster the next wave of fintech innovation.
London TechWatch sat down with CEO and Cofounder David Jarvis to learn more about the future of banking through accessible APIs and platform partnerships, Griffin’s future plans, and recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
£3M seed round Seedcamp and Tribe Capital, and angels including the founders of Indeed.com.
Tell us about the product or service Griffin offers.
Griffin is on a mission to be the banking partner of choice for fintech innovators. By providing an API platform enabling firms to open ringfenced accounts for customer funds with a built-in compliance engine and ledger, firms can get their financial products to market quickly and cost-effectively.
5 years ago, I worked at a YCombinator and Index Ventures-backed API banking startup called Standard Treasury; we were too early to market then and realized if we wanted to succeed in this space we would need our own banking license.
How is Griffin different?
We’re fanatically obsessed with providing the best customer experience. We want to speed up our customers’ time to market by providing integrated compliance and a superior API platform.
What’s your business model?
We primarily make money on fees and transactions, though we also lend to an underserved part of the fintech market to finance their working capital requirements.
Who do you consider to be your main competitors?
SolarisBank in Germany. Clear Bank and Starling are also semi-competitive with us.
What was the funding process like?
Fundraising is never fun but we’re delighted and honored to have found backers who believe in us and our vision.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Belief in us as a team (technical founders, prior startup experience – my cofounder founded CircleCI), market validation, belief in the size of the opportunity.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We’ll be launching a sandbox environment in the summer but we’re otherwise pretty heads down on building and going through the authorization process with the PRA and FCA.