Goldman follows PayPal with investment in German startup
Just a few months after leading a funding round for Berlin-based fintech company Elinvar, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is backing another startup in the German capital.
The U.S. lender is investing 25 million euros ($28 million) in Raisin, an internet platform for bank-savings products, in exchange for a low single-digit percentage stake. The new funding brings the total volume of primary investments in the startup firm to 195 million euros. Earlier backers include PayPal Holdings Inc.
Raisin intends to use the money to enter two additional European markets and the U.S. It has hired robo adviser Wealthfront’s Paul Knodel to create its American business. “Our goal is to start in the U.S. in 2020, the sooner the better,” Chief Financial Officer Frank Freund said in an interview. Some of the money raised could also be used for acquisitions, he said.
Berlin has become a hotspot for ambitious German fintech firms: Peter Thiel-backed smartphone bank N26 is also expanding to the U.S., while banking platform provider Elinvar was set up by former employees of Deutsche Bank AG.
Raisin was founded in 2012 by Tamaz Georgadze, who is chief executive officer, Freund and Michael Stephan. So far, the company has brokered 14 billion euros in customers deposits to 80 partner banks. Freund expects that number to increase toward 20 billion euros by the end of this year. On Raisin’s website, financial institutions offer their savings products, mainly competing on interest rates.
“Raisin has developed a unique savings marketplace with a solid business model, impressive growth and a loyal customer base,” said Rana Yared, managing director at Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments.