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Innovation of the WeekIoT EcosystemStartupsMarch 4, 20220Innovation of the Week – March 4, 2022

by Brooke Bender

Curve – Fintech

What it is: 

Curve is a banking platform intended to consolidate multiple cards (like debit, credit, and even loyalty cards) into one smart card and application.  Currently in beta in the UK and Europe, Curve gives users an additional 1% cashback on all purchases in the first 6 months, in addition to the rewards received from the original cards.  Curve works with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Diners and users can add any loyalty card with a barcode or QR code (think things like library cards, gym membership cards, and even airline boarding passes). 

To activate, users download the app and load account info using the camera to scan the cards and barcodes.  Once uploaded and activated, users can choose the card they want to pay with by swiping through their digital wallet in the app and tapping the card they need.  Curve can be synced with Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. 

There are three subscription tiers (the first is free) that allow a user to gain access to only the features that they want/need.  In 2022, they launched a new BNPL segment via its Curve Flex product.

Who Made It? 

Curve was founded in 2015 by Shachar Bialic, the current CEO.  The company operates with primary headquarters in London.  Additional offices are in Bristol, New York City, and Lithuania.  The company used 2021 funding to prepare for rollout in the U.S., with a waitlist at the time of over 8,000.  As of February 2022, the waitlist still stands and the product has not officially launched. 

In December 2021, the company appointed Eric Militor to the role of Chief Technology Officer.  Molitor is a former Improbable and Amazon Vice President.  He will be responsible for taking the lead on technology advances ahead of the U.S. launch.

Funding status: 

Curve has raised almost $256M to date.  This includes the most recent crowdfunding raise in May 2021, which added $14M to the pot.  Investors range from angel investors to PE and VC, as well as corporate

Why we like it: 

  • We love the idea of an all-in-one payment card that reduces the number of cards you are carrying out and about 
  • Currently available in 30 markets across the UK and Europe with over 3M total customers (as of January 2022) 
  • Innovating and adding features, including a BNPL option 

Did you know?  

According to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review, the average American has 4 credit cardsCoupled with a debit card for their checking account, that means they could be carrying up to 5 cards at a time.  And according to Clarus Commerce, consumers belong to an average of 14.8 loyalty programs.  So a solution like Curve that consolidates all these accounts could reduce a significant amount of wallet clutter.

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