vivid money, a defiant Berlin bank with 500,000 customers, has gained fame with a one-stop financial “super app” that, in addition to basic money verification and management services, also includes investments in stocks and cryptocurrencies. Now, as it prepares to add more services to its platform and expand across Europe, the startup has raised €100 million ($114 million), in a funding round led by Greenoaks Capital with Ribbit Capital and the new SoftBank Vision Fund 2 sponsor also participating.
The financing values Vivd at €775 million ($886 million at today’s rates). For some context, this is more than double the company’s valuation (€360 million) when it last raised money, a €60 million round in April 2021. Its user base has also increased fivefold in that period and its revenues grew 25 times, the company said. Vivid does not share the total amount deposited on its platform, nor details on transaction volumes, but Alexander Emeshev, co-founder of Vivid, said the goal is to reach 1 million users by the end of this year.
Vivid is currently active in four markets – Germany, France, Spain and Italy – and the plan is to add five more this year and be available across Europe by the end of 2023. In terms of new products, the company is in the stages launch initials insurance offersand Emeshev said it will launch its first credit products later this year (Vivid currently provides users with a Visa debit card).
Launched in 2020, you could call Vivid a “covid-native” startup, with a mobile-first offering striking the right chord with its 30-something users who were not only already moving away from traditional banking and investment services, but they found themselves spending more time at home due to the pandemic and were reconsidering how to manage their financial lives.
As with several other neo-banks, Vivid’s basic free banking is built on the infrastructure of another provider – in your case, Solarisbank, one of the big embedded financial players in the region. She augments this with more personalized money management services she has built herself – for example, clients can split their money into up to 15 “pockets” based on specific purposes; money can be moved between pockets very easily — and other personalization services.
Alongside these core services, new waves of financial services involving cryptocurrencies and other newer trading formats such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were also gaining ground, so this was something Vivid also set out to explore.
“Our vision was to target Continental Europe, a huge market for investment and savings,” Artem Iamanov, another co-founder of Vivid Money, said in an interview. “We knew that decentralized finance and other types of alternative investment approaches were growing that weren’t really connected to the traditional banking world.”
That disconnect was not just in terms of understanding, but also in terms of how to get into newer services when your entire financial life is based on more traditional platforms.
Vivid’s solution was to create a set of services for users to easily learn and subsequently invest in stocks and currencies using their existing fiat accounts. It does this through a portal that offers a fairly wide range of options – for example, it currently has 50 cryptocurrencies to choose from, along with 3,000 stocks and ETFs – designed to appeal to users who are likely new to the field of decentralization. finances and may be trying different things. (SPACs are also among these new investment vehicles; Vivid is one of the few platforms that allows ordinary consumers to invest in these vehicles in the region.)
“We saw a huge gap between old and new stuff, so we saw an opportunity to create a super app to give users access to products that cross these two worlds,” Iamanov said.
Investing in the platform is free, with Vivid making money from exchange rates and other fees, for example when users invest in US stocks. It also created a subscription level that sells as “best” (I wonder how Amazon feels about this), which allows users to skip fees if they pay a flat monthly fee of €9.90.
In a market full of challenging banks — and some very close competitors to Vivid, such as the Sequoia-backed neobroker Trade Republic — Vivid’s supporters believe the company’s traction and easy, all-around approach that attracts new consumer investors will make the company to attract more users and usage as it expands.
“In just over a year, Vivid Money has already built one of Europe’s most beloved consumer banking platforms, allowing users to manage their entire financial life in a single application. Since investing last year, we’ve been excited to see the rapid pace of new product development, which has delighted existing users, attracted new customers and deepened the platform’s value proposition,” said Patrick Backhouse, partner at Greenoaks, in a statement. . declaration. “We think we are still in the early stages of a revolution in consumer banking and are delighted to deepen our partnership with Vivid as they continue to grow.”