Leading identity and fraud prevention platform closes competitive Series A, led by AirTree Ventures and Greycroft, as well as participation from 20VC, Reinventure, Tidal Ventures, APEX Capital Partners, and Mantis VC
Identity and fraud-prevention platform FrankieOne has announced today it has closed a star-studded $20 million Series A round, off the back of phenomenal growth, to power its international expansion.
The round was led by Australian VC heavyweights AirTree Ventures, and Greycroft, a US-based VC firm whose prior investments include Bumble, HuffPost, and Venmo. Harry Stebbings’ UK-based 20VC, as well as Reinventure, Tidal Ventures, APEX Capital, and Mantis VC also contended to join the highly competitive and oversubscribed round.
In an Australian first, multiple celebrity investors have joined the mix, including international music sensations The Chainsmokers, Robinhood Founder and CEO Vlad Tenev, Monzo Founder Tom Blomfield, and senior executives at Revolut and Public.com.
FrankieOne’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) has exploded by 20x year-on-year, driven by significant international growth, with sales outside of Australia now comprising approximately 50 per cent of the company’s revenue, compared with 1 per cent only six months ago. In the last 18 months, the platform has attracted over 80 new clients across banking, BNPL, digital exchanges and fintech, including tier 1 companies such as Afterpay, Westpac, and Zipmex. To date, all growth has been organic, as until now the company has not had a sales or marketing team.
Serial fintech entrepreneurs Simon Costello and Aaron Chipper co-founded the startup back in 2017, after initially seeking to become a neobank. It was during this process that they discovered first-hand how disjointed customer onboarding processes were within banks and other fintechs, and quickly turned their attention to focusing exclusively on resolving this global problem.
According to FrankieOne CEO Simon Costello, the ameliorated customer experience arising from the seamless onboarding process has been a real competitive advantage and driver of FrankieOne’s success.
“With the threat of severe penalties if customer onboarding is not performed correctly, the primary focus for banks and fintechs has been on compliance, which usually comes at the detriment of the customer experience. What we have learned is that it does not need to be one or the other.
“Regulatory and technical challenges are often a major roadblock in a fintech’s ability to rapidly scale internationally. Our mission is to create a platform that provides fintechs with the convenience of consuming the world’s identity verification and fraud-prevention services via a single unified API. This allows fintechs to “switch on” geographies and services as they need, enabling them to focus on innovation and their core business.”
With a strong global presence in Asia Pacific, Europe and a recently-opened office in the US, the funds raised from the Series A round will be put towards furthering their international footprint, which already connects more than 350 third-party providers and data-sources across 46 countries. In addition, FrankieOne will be offering transaction monitoring for both fiat and cryptocurrencies later this year.
“We are extremely grateful to have attracted such a high-calibre cohort of prominent investors who believe in our mission, and are very much looking forward to helping more fintechs scale with our next phase of growth,” added Costello.
“We have been fortunate to attract such high-profile global investors, as they recognise the huge market potential for FrankieOne as more companies begin to embrace embedded finance, essentially becoming fintechs,” he said.
After already doubling its headcount in the last three months, which included welcoming senior hires such as former McKinsey & Co associate partner Warren Oakes as FrankieOne’s Chief Operating Officer, the company’s growth trajectory is expected to continue into the new year as they look to bring in sales and marketing talent to double-down on the impressive organic customer growth they’ve had to date through customer referrals.
John Henderson, Partner at AirTree Ventures said: “Know your customer (KYC) and digital identity verification are board-level issues for financial services companies. The current, manual systems used by fintechs and FTSE100 companies alike are both bespoke and broken. The world needs a better solution, and we believe FrankieOne provides it. After seeing the incredible progress and undeniable traction Simon and the team have had, we’re excited to be leading their Series A as they position themselves to be the leading identity verification and fraud risk provider”.
Will Szczerbiak, Partner at Greycroft, said: “Financial services companies pay top dollar to acquire customers. Upon signup, customers undergo a series of checks—including KYC, identity verification, and anti-fraud—that can force companies to turn away potentially great customers because of reliance on inadequate systems. FrankieOne’s APIs extracts the complexity away, allowing their clients to onboard more great customers while delivering a delightful end user experience. It is a unique approach that scales globally, and we are excited about the partnership”.