PayPal is backing a German startup that supports saving over spending
A German fintech firm that counts PayPal Holdings Inc. among its investors wants to expand its internet platform for bank-savings products to the U.S.
Raisin GmbH, which claims to be “first and only pan-European deposit marketplace,” has hired Wealthfront’s Paul Knodel to create its U.S. business. If all goes to plan, the operation will go live within 12 months.
“We had initial discussions with potential American partner banks,” Chief Executive Officer Tamaz Georgadze said in an interview. “There’s been great interest.” He was born in Georgia and was once a partner at McKinsey & Co.
Raisin was founded by Georgadze, Frank Freund and Michael Stephan in 2012 and has raised almost $200 million in funding.
So far, the Berlin-based company has brokered more than 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in customers deposits to over 75 partner banks. Georgadze wants to increase that to 20 billion euros by the end of 2019, and double that number next year. On Raisin’s website, financial institutions offer their savings products, mainly competing on interest rates.
Raisin’s entrance into the U.S. market is being supported by the German government’s U.S.-based German Accelerator program. The firm "was selected as one of 12 German startups that are looking to bring successful business models to the U.S. market," Raisin said.
Berlin has become a hotspot for ambitious German fintech firms: Peter Thiel-backed smartphone bank N26 also plans to expand to the U.S., while banking platform provider Elinvar recently won Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as an investor.
Raisin’s last round of funding was at the beginning of this year, when it raised 100 million euros. The company’s investors also include Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital and Orange Digital Ventures.
“Our goal is to use the money from this financing to reach profitability, which should be achieved within the next two to three years,” Georgadze said, adding that he might eventually like to stage an IPO.