TrueLayer raises mega-round as open banking heats up

The news: UK-based open banking startup TrueLayer raised $130 million, giving it a $1 billion valuation, per TechCrunch.

Here’s how it works: TrueLayer gives developers technology to access a range of open banking services, such as account holder verification and payment initiation.

Its clients include neobanks, crypto startups, and ecommerce companies, and TrueLayer says it enables millions of consumers’ open banking transactions. It will use the funding to extend its payment network to more regions.

How did it reach unicorn status? TrueLayer has helped make financial executives more receptive to open banking, which likely won over investors.

  • Positive sentiment among financial executives toward open banking rose from 55% in 2019 to 71% in 2021 in Europe as they realized the advantages of open banking’s commercial potential and recognized its strategic importance, per a study from Tink.
  • But 37% of European financial executives expect their companies will take longer than a decade to complete their open banking objectives. Having so many companies at the very early stages of adoption bodes well for companies like TrueLayer and gives them plenty of room for client growth.
  • Interestingly, Stripe, which hasn’t yet added open banking to its own payments infrastructure, participated in the round—potentially paving the way for a strategic investment in the future.

The bigger picture: Incumbents increasingly see the potential of open banking and are becoming the biggest force in the space, likely pushing TrueLayer to double down on its own expansion to avoid losing market share.

  • Mastercard acquired Aiia earlier this month for its European open banking push.
  • ING shut down its consumer-facing open banking app Yolt to double down on its B2B platform, Yolt Technology Services (YTS).
  • Open banking startup Tink made four acquisitions in the last year, including competitor FinTecSystems, and was later purchased by Visa.

Want more? Check out this article to get a deeper dive into the state of open banking implementation across Europe.