London fintech Yapily raises $5.4M to offer a single API to connect to banks

Europe

Yapily, a London fintech startup that offers an Open Banking-based API platform to enable financial services providers and other types of enterprises, such as merchants, to connect to banks, has raised $5.4 million in seed funding.

Leading the round is HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and LocalGlobe. Investors also include Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise Chairman and co-founder), Ott Kaukver (Twillio’s CTO) and Roberto Nicastro (UniCredit’s former deputy CEO).

Founded in mid 2017 by ex-Goldman Sachs employee Stefano Vaccino, Yapily is another platform play aiming to grasp the opportunity of Open Banking by making it easier for various service providers to connect to banks. The platform provides a way to retrieve financial data and initiate payments via a “single secure API” that in turn connects to each supported bank’s open API.

Customers include accountancy firms, companies in the payment space, crypto currency providers, digital wealth applications and e-commerce companies.

“Yapily removes the technical barriers for enterprises that want to benefit from Open Banking, helping them to innovate and bring new products to life faster,” Vaccino tells TechCrunch. “Legislators have been implementing Open Banking differently in various countries and even within the same jurisdiction banks all have disparate technical implementations. For a service provider that wants to benefit from it, the technical barriers to integrating with hundreds or thousands of banks are very high”.

To that end, Vaccino says Yapily’s mission is to enable service providers to connect to all banks, both for data retrieval and payment initiation, via one single API. “We manage the upfront integrations and the ongoing maintenance of these connections,” he says, thus removing the technical obstacle for companies that want to benefit from “the Open Banking revolution”.

In that sense, similar to a cloud provider, Yapily is positioning itself as a pure technology enabler. “Our objective is to offer all the tools that an enterprise will need to manage this connectivity layer easily,” adds Vaccino.

To date, the Yapily API supports 35 of the biggest banks in Europe, both for data retrieval and payments initiation. This equates to 250 million bank accounts, the startup says. By the end of the year, Yapily aims to have connected to 536 banks, as more banks across Europe bring their open APIs online in order adhere to European Union PSD2 legislation.

“By mid-september, 5,000 banks across Europe will need to have an API in place,” notes Yapily. “Governments in Australia, Japan, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Mexico and several other countries are also committed to delivering open banking”.

Meanwhile, Yapily says this seed round will be used to help the company expand its tech team and further develop the platform. It also plans to build out a sales team to respond to demand for its Open Banking product.

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