FintechM&A / FundingPayments

Credit card transformation startup Deserve raises $50M Series D

Deserve, a California-based fintech which develops a cloud-based credit card software platform, announced raising $50 million in a Series D funding round co-led by Mastercard, Mission Holdings and Ally Ventures, according to a press release.

The company says it will use the funding to modernize the credit card technology stack, allowing the “credit card-as-a-service” to offer modern APIs that can quickly scale credit card programs.

The funding round also included participation from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Sallie Mae and existing investors. Founded in 2013 by Kalpesh Kapadia and Michael Hallinan, Deserve has now raised over $287 million through a mix of capital injections and debt financing through nine funding rounds.

Deserve’s credit card-as-a-service platform uses Mastercard’s Digital First Program to offer instant issuance and provisioning for credit through mobile-first digital software. The platform allows users to apply, activate and provision cards into digital wallets within minutes, and offers a 24/7 “single call resolution” for customer support.

“This investment validates the industry’s embrace of a digital-first approach,” Deserve CEO Kapadia said in the release.

“We have rebuilt the consumer’s entire credit card experience from the ground up, transforming the plastic credit card into software that delivers a superior digital experience and forever changes how we use credit cards to make payments, earn rewards and borrow money.”

In addition to developing and providing credit card technology upgrades, Deserve recently launched its own payment card last month. The “Digital First Card” was released on April 28 and offers no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, cashback up to 1.5% and Mastercard World Benefits.

Deserve’s API and SDK-based solutions are integrated into the card, connecting it to mobile software that gives visual context for spending data and allows users to digest financial data and understand their spending habits.

The startups’ updated credit card technology is aimed at banks, fintechs and other financial institutions who want to offer new reward programs, past the standard cashback, points and miles offered by many existing credit cards.

Deserve currently serves Sallie Mae, BlockFi, OppFi, Seneca Women and Notre Dame cards. Deserve has been building business relationships in the past few years, partnering with Mastercard and, most recently, crypto platform BlockFi, according to Finance Magnates.

In other fintech news, Visa has agreed to acquire European open-banking startup Tink for over $2 billion following a previously failed attempt to purchase Plaid. Atom Finance also raised $28 million in a Series A led by Softbank. 

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