FIS acquires banking-as-a-service startup Bond
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Consolidation continues apace in the world of fintech. FIS, the fintech giant that runs a wide range of payment, banking and investment services, has acquired Bond, a startup that specializes in embedded finance, multiple sources confirmed today.
Fintech Business Weekly’s Jason Mikula broke the news last week that the deal was in the works. Our sources confirm that the deal has now closed, as of today.
FIS is not sharing how much it paid for Bond, a San Francisco-based BaaS (banking-as-a-service) startup. But as a point of reference, PitchBook notes that Bond was valued at $182 million the last time it raised money, in 2020. Since 2019, Bond has raised a total of $42 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.
It has an impressive list of backers. Coatue Management led the company’s last round, a $32 million Series A in 2020, which also included participation from Mastercard, Goldman Sachs, Canaan Partners, B Capital Group and former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack.
BaaS, sometimes called embedded finance, helps brands (sometimes those well outside the world of finance) integrate financial services like credit cards and bank accounts to in turn sell on those services to their customers.
Touting “an AI-powered infrastructure,” Bond works to help digital brands – including other fintechs such as Pocketbook and Everest – offer “personalized and compliant banking products.”
With roughly 30 employees, Bond’s focus has been on building APIs and software that enables commercial and consumer credit card solutions, as well as debit cards and accounts.
According to an internal memo by FIS viewed by TechCrunch, the FIS and Bond leadership teams “will determine how the two companies will work together,” including how FIS will bring Bond’s capabilities into FIS’s existing relationships.
FIS SVP of Platforms Himal Makwana, in partnership with the company’s integration management office, will be leading post-purchase planning activities, the memo added.
It’s not clear why Bond has opted to get acquired, but the deal comes amid a very unsettled period in the worlds of technology, venture funding and financial services. Funding activity has largely ground to a halt in the world of startups compared to previous years, which partly contributed to the collapse of two major banks focusing on the tech sector.
It’s not clear what the financial state of play was at Bond, but it’s notable that it hadn’t raised money since 2020, and amid a decline in fintech venture funding in particular, M&A may have become an interesting option for the startup.
On the other side of the equation, bigger incumbents like FIS, as well as larger fintechs, have been making a number of moves to buy companies like fintechs to bolt on talent and technology in a race to update their own products and services amid the competitive landscape.
Earlier this year, Marqeta acquired financial infrastructure startup Power Finance in a $275 million deal. JP Morgan closed its acquisition of Aumni. And Brazilian fintech infra company Pismo is said to be in the midst of being courted by the likes of Visa and Mastercard in a reported $1 billion transaction.
Not every M&A deal works out well, of course, with the biggest often being the hardest to digest. FIS made one of the largest-ever acquisitions in the world of payments when it acquired WorldPay for about $43 billion in 2019. That deal never really came up trumps, though. In February of this year, FIS confirmed that it would be spinning WorldPay off.
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