Funding Circle co-founder Samir Desai secured $30 million from investors to back his new payments startup in a push to disrupt legacy players like Visa and Mastercard, Sky News reported on Wednesday (April 20), citing unnamed sources.
Desai, who stepped down as Funding Circle CEO last year, was reportedly backed by Accel Partners, Local Globe and Union Square Ventures to launch the FinTech startup Super Payments. The new venture has a pre-money valuation of $60 million.
The particulars about Super Payments are still under wraps, but a source told Sky News that the startup is planning to target the biggest brands in the payments sector.
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The entrepreneur was a trailblazer in getting the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending model off the ground in Europe. The P2P lending sector has struggled due to tighter regulations, oversight and the effects of the pandemic. As a result, Funding Circle exited the sector.
Desai founded Funding Circle in 2010 and remains a non-executive director on its board. He holds a 4.5% stake worth an estimated £13 million ($16.9 million) in the London-listed firm and was greenlighted to start a new venture. Super Payments is not anticipated to compete with Funding Circle.
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“The board discussed, and are supportive of, Samir’s desire to explore a new business venture, whilst continuing as a committed long-term shareholder and valued member of Funding Circle’s board,” a Funding Circle spokesperson told Sky News.
Super Payments has not yet launched and the timetable wasn’t released. Desai declined to comment about the new venture.
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Funding Circle has a proprietary machine learning and technology platform to help small businesses tap financing to scale their businesses. Founders can get a decision in minutes after applying.
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