NCFAs innovation and funding ecosystem

Former Koho CTO, head of Uber Money launch new FinTech startup with $15.8 million CAD seed round

Betakit | | Dec 8, 2020

Peter Hazlehurst - Former Koho CTO, head of Uber Money launch new FinTech startup with $15.8 million CAD seed roundThe FinTech sector in North American is a tale of partnerships; startups having to find banking partners due to extensive regulations, and financial institutions trying to keep up with the digital age and looking for innovative solutions.

All this all encompassed by an industry that is slow to adapt to such changes and hard to break into for newcomers. This reality has led to the need for even challenger bank-style FinTech startups to partner with existing financial institutions in order to offer their products.

Enter Synctera, a North American startup looking to streamline partnerships between community banks and FinTech companies.

Newly launched out of stealth mode, Synctera is co-founded by Peter Hazlehurst, former head of Google Wallet and Uber Money, who left the latter organization earlier this year after Uber decided to shift focus away from financial services. Synctera’s founding team also has some notable Canadian FinTech pedigree with the now-former CTO of Koho and Portag3 Ventures, Kris Hansen.

See:  Why Partnerships Are the Future for Fintech

The pair, along with head of product Dominik Weisserth, created Synctera and have been operating in stealth mode since earlier this year. Now, with $15.8 million CAD ($12.4 million USD) in seed capital, the startup is officially launching its product in the United States.

Synctera provides a two-sided marketplace, connecting startups and financial institutions so they can partner to launch products. “We’re basically building a layer that fits between banks and partners to facilitate … FinTech partnership, and to create a marketplace in the middle … that helps bring these worlds together,” Hansen told BetaKit.

Synctera may be a young company, but that value proposition has attracted notable investors in the FinTech landscape.

The startup was created with the support of Portag3-backed venture builder Diagram Ventures, which invested in the seed round. The all-equity round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, and included a number of angel investors such as Affirm and PayPal founder Max Levchin; Zachary Perret, CEO of Plaid; Alexa Von Tobel, founder of LearnVest and Inspired Capital; and Henry Ward, CEO at Carta.

Following the investment, Synctera’s board of directors consists of Hazlehurst, who serves as CEO, Ansaf Kareem, the lead Investor at Lightspeed, and Diagram partner Frederic Latreille.

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Founded during the year of a global pandemic, Synctera is a fully remote company with operations in the United States and Canada. Incorporated in America, Synctera also has a Canadian subsidiary and its engineering team is based out of Toronto.

The startup is building a partnership banking marketplace in order to connect community banks with FinTech platforms. The idea is to reduce risk, ensure compliance with various regulations such as Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC), and increase the speed at which FinTechs and banks can bring tech solutions to market.

“What I saw was really an opportunity to decouple that relationship, which is typically bilateral agreements and a one-to-one integration per partner, and just really create more of a marketplace,” said Hansen.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Former Koho CTO, head of Uber Money launch new FinTech startup with $15.8 million CAD seed round The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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