Ribbit Capital Raises $100 Million With the Goal of Modernizing Money
Ribbit Capital is a new Silicon Valley fund focused on making investments in anything to do with money — from lending to tax preparation to mobile payments.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company is officially announcing a $100 million fund today. It will target the financial services sector, which has seen a flood of startups over the past couple of years as companies try to create new ways for customers to pay using online and mobile services.
Several companies have sprouted up to challenge incumbent providers, such as Square, but many other large institutions, like PayPal and Google, are also interested in making transactions digital.
Ribbit is critical of the amount of innovation that has occurred to date. Fittingly, Ribbit’s motto is, “It takes money to change money.”
Today’s announcement by Ribbit is its formal launch, but since getting off the ground last year, it has made four early-stage investments. They are:
- Borro: The U.K.-based startup provides financing to high-net-worth individuals who want cash for their fine arts, antiques, vintage cars and jewelry.
- Fuze Network: A U.S.-based payments company that provides merchants with new ways for their customers to make payments at banks and retail locations nationwide.
- ContaAzul: The company provides accounting and invoicing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in Brazil.
- Capital Access Networks: A non-bank lender to small businesses.
The fund was founded by Meyer Malka, who goes by the name Micky. He has been an active entrepreneur in the space — he co-founded Lemon, a mobile wallet company, and Bling Nation, a mobile payments company — and currently serves on the board of Wonga, an alternative lender for consumers and businesses.
Malka has a global perspective, having lived all around the world, including stints in Venezuela and Brazil, where he witnessed more than half of the banks fail.
Ribbit’s investors include Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Silicon Valley Bank, and various institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals.