Consumer financial services are undergoing another tectonic shift. Pre the fintech revolution, which started during the 2008 financial crisis, one needed to visit a brick-and-mortar banking branch to open a checking account, get a credit card and/or receive a loan. Circa 2013-15, the wave of neo banking emerged – Monzo, Chime, N26, Revolut – all digitizing the banking experience and consumer financial services on one hand, while on the other struggling with business models that would solve the ultimate, make-or-break consumer fintech formula – LTV over CAC.
And why is that? While neo banks present a shining, “fintech for all” mantra, their biggest challenge remains the most important component – winning the consumers.
The consumer-centric approach is where the shift is happening. There are many successful, established brands winning the trust and support of millions of consumers every day – retailers, telcos, fashion, car manufacturers, etc.
The next consumer banking revolution will be for those brands to offer bespoke, well-crafted financial services to their existing (and new) loyal audiences. Be it a checking/savings account, branded credit card, loyalty or gift cards, BNPL loans, digital payments services, remittance, etc. – all “programmed” and inter-connected to suit a specific consumer segment, geography and/or need. No more “one size fits all”.
Brands will benefit from new revenue streams (e.g. interchange fee on each CC swipe), higher retention and brand affiliation, and, enhanced insights into their customer base.
But not all brands are “fintech-savvy” so there is more to it – what if all of these financial services could come pre-packaged, delivered frictionless with no integration, with upside-oriented revenue-share business model and with all the risk, compliance and regulatory licenses solved for. That’s where the magic happens.
What’s in it for the consumers? The consumers will benefit from bespoke, interconnected financial services via their trusted brand who they engage with daily. Examples include: loyalty points will be connected directly to credit card perks, remittance available to family members both domestically and cross-border, promotions at the push of a button with brand-specific benefits, accelerated payments or purchase returns… – the list goes on and the permutations are endless.
We at Viola Ventures have been proactively looking to make a play with this thesis for quite some time. Now there is a good amount of hype around “embedded finance” or “Banking as a Service”. Ultimately though, if you ask a founding team “are you deployed with a tier-1 brand serving millions of consumers”, the answers start to fade…
Then we found Alviere.
Company is led by Yuval Brisker and Pedro Silva, with an incredible team around them. Yuval was the CEO and co-founder of TOA, where he met Pedro, which was acquired by Oracle back in 2014 for >$500M. They are both carrying the B2B DNA and track record in scaling and selling to large enterprises.
The tech and product are rich and ready, battle tested with millions of consumers and $ volumes, with all the underlying independently granted regulatory licenses. And importantly, Alviere is live and deployed with tier-1 customers, so stay tuned for announcements re brand-led “neo banks” emerging: the future of consumer financial services is here.
We are proud to have led the $20M A round in Alviere, closed in April this year, together with a strong syndicate including our sister fund Viola Fintech, Commerz Ventures and leading strategic investors such as MUCAP, Wix, Cerca and Cross River Bank.
With the momentum and growth Alviere has seen in customer adoption, the company quickly added a new $50 million Series B investment led by a prominent institutional fintech investor, in which we happily doubled down on the investment, also adding BNPP to the strategic investors syndicate.
Our level of conviction in the Alviere team, tech and market could not be stronger. Hiring is in full force (join here!), live customers are deployed at huge scale and pipeline of new enterprises and brands is quickly building.
To the new era of consumer financial services!