Open banking provider TrueLayer’s $130m raise was one of the headlines at Money20/20, particularly given the investment, from Tiger Global Management and Stripe, has given the company a $1bn+ valuation for the first time. It also reflected a growing focus on open banking within payments, so I caught up with CEO Francesco Simoneschi to find out more.
TrueLayer is one of several open banking companies to attract significant funding of late. Others include Tink, which raised €175m in 2020, Railsbank, which raised almost $70m in July, and Volt, which raised $23.5m in June. US leader Plaid, meanwhile, came close to being bought by Visa for $5.3bn but has since seen its value climb to $13.5bn after raising $425m in April. Each is also approaching open banking from a different angle.
TrueLayer, then, is competing in an increasingly valuable space, and is focusing its efforts on its potential in payments. You can read my full conversation with Francesco in my Forbes column, but some of the key points from our discussion:
- One of open banking’s biggest benefits for payments is the data it can carry along with it – and the improvements to the payment experience that can make.
- Francesco sees open banking as a “no-brainer” for ecommerce, particularly given the cost, speed, security and customer experience factors.
- Tiger Global’s investment is a vote of confidence in TrueLayer’s potential to become a leader in the space, while Stripe brings a shared focus on improving the payments experience, particularly finding alternatives to traditional card payments.
- TrueLayer is currently focused on expanding in Europe. The UK is its biggest market, but it has plans further afield, starting in Australia where it has already launched.
- Looking to the future, Francesco sees the cross-border element as a challenge that open banking still needs to solve – and hopes to be able to tackle the FX part of the process more.