Upvest, a Berlin-based start-up offering the first plug-and-play pan-European securities API, has secured an additional €5m funding. The latest financing round was led by Earlybird and ensured the close of the Series A+. This additional funding follows an initial €7m investment from Notion Capital, HV Capital and Partech. Upvest is also supported by powerful fintech angel investors such as Maximilian Tayenthal, founder of N26, Felix Haas founder of IDNow and Reiner Mauch, founder of Consorsbank.
Upvest’s Securities API is intended to transform the traditional, outdated and regulatory complex securities infrastructure. Designed as a simple gateway API that is easy to integrate into existing infrastructure, Upvest’s technology allows fintech organisations to develop and create investment products with greater flexibility and speed than ever before, while still adhering to European regulations.
Upvest enables fintechs to offer investment products at scale across countries, allowing them to add assets and modules to their offerings. This increases value for users by providing access to a broad range of investment products (ETFs, equities, and commodities) and assets from both private and public markets. Besides commonly traded assets, Upvest helps transform illiquid assets, such as real estate, into liquid assets, while facilitating an 85% reduction in cost over traditional solutions through its proprietary blockchain custody service.
Leveraging this fresh funding, Upvest will incorporate a brokerage bank license (Wertpapierhandelsbank in German) into its offering, allowing an extension of its product into investment brokerage and traditional securities custody. The startup’s latest developments follow a successful initial expansion phase and meet new challenges: neobanks and neobrokers now shift focus towards extending product offerings that drive profitability. Furthermore, maturing millennial markets are looking increasingly towards consumer friendly investment offerings, as seen in the rise of neobrokers like TradeRepublic and Robinhood. The pressure of negative interest rates is also pushing fintechs to make new product offerings, and Upvest stands at the ready.
“After a decade of fintech UX innovation, the era of embedded finance and composable backend systems began. Upvest is at the forefront of opening up securities trading and custody further. By building a scalable and modular Securities API, we will enable fintechs all over Europe to launch investment products easily,” said Martin Kassing, CEO and Founder of Upvest.
Tim Rehder, Partner at Earlybird VC, said: “An increasing demand from millennials for investment products, combined with negative interest rates, have led fintechs of all kinds to prioritise their expansion into an investment platform. Upvest lets them focus on their core business while providing a simple plug-and-play solution for integrating securities into their products. What seems simple is in fact a complex infrastructure, disrupting established national players across Europe. We are particularly excited to support Martin and the team in their journey of creating a new European category within B2B security infrastructure.”
In addition to having Bitwala and Exporo as customers who already use Upvest’s API to scale and generate €100m+ in transaction volume to-date, Upvest counts leaders from fintech giants Transferwise, Flatex, Raisin and Onfido among its team. Upvest plans to expand its team to 40 people by the end of 2020. As a regulated entity, Upvest is subject to the regulation and supervision of Germany’s BaFin.