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Investor Pours $150 Million Into Goldman Sachs-Backed Fintech Building Global Money Platform for Big Tech Innovators

In its latest funding round announced on Thursday, Goldman Sachs-backed Marqueta has raised $150 million from an unnamed institutional investor.

The Bay Area-based fintech offers a global modern card issuing platform for innovators to build highly configurable payment cards. The company, now valued at $4.3 billion, includes DoorDash, Instacart, Uber and Square among its client base.

According to Marqeta, new commerce disruptors, tech giants and digital banks are turning to physical, virtual and tokenized card products for a growing number of use cases, fueling a multi trillion-dollar industry.

The race to embrace digital payment platforms is widespread and well underway in countries like China where CGAP researchers note in a 2019 report that Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent process 90% of the $17 trillion mobile payments market for 890 million users.

Marqeta, which is also backed by Visa, 83North, Coatue, Granite Ventures and ICONIQ Capital, is pushing to reengineer the global payments industry at a time when big tech initiatives – from Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra; to major blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin; to incumbents such as MoneyGram – are gaining more traction and attention for their ability to rewrite how money moves around the globe and how merchants can settle transactions.

Marqeta founder Jason Gardner says the new funding round will be dedicated to accelerating the company’s mission of deploying more products.

“We’re building a single global platform to define and power the future of money for the world’s leading innovators … The transformative possibilities of modern card issuing are more commonplace than ever for the everyday consumer in 2020. Marqeta has a deep commitment to powering the innovators driving these shifts in the market and is well-positioned to support the current surge in demand for digital payments following COVID-19 lockdowns. We see Marqeta becoming an indispensable part of the global payments infrastructure, and we’re in a solid position to realize that vision for our company.”

Unlike blockchain-based systems that can operate peer-to-peer, processing secure payments from shopper to merchant without middlemen, Marqeta’s tech allows clients such as DoorDash and Instacart to provide card services instantly and connects companies easily to big payment networks, like Visa and Network, without a startup needing to develop their own infrastructure.

By allowing tech innovators to scale rapidly, Marqeta says it has been able to meet a surge in on-demand deliveries due to stay-at-home orders.

“Modern card issuing platforms not only make it possible for on-demand delivery companies to get physical and virtual cards in the hands of new drivers quickly, they also add layers of security…

To minimize their drivers’ risk of exposure to viruses and germs, on-demand delivery companies like Instacart are leveraging platforms like Marqeta to provision payment cards directly to digital wallets. This makes it possible for drivers to tap and pay at a register without touching potentially contaminated surfaces. These contactless payments are faster than physical payment methods and reduce the amount of time drivers spend in-store.”

Roughly 140 million cards have been issued through Marqeta, which operates in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

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