Breakout Startups #21- Mercury

The Startup disrupting banking for startups

Hi y’all, This is Ankit here. how was Black Friday? We had a fun week shopping and spending time with family after a while.

Back to business now, In the 21st Edition of Breakout Startups, we are covering Mercury, the startup building a bank for startups. 


About

Mercury is a bank for startups, engineered in Silicon Valley for tech companies.

The product aims to:-

  1. Deliver a startup focused experience

  2. Financial Services

  3. Help Founders analyze the Financial Health of their Startup

The product was partly inspired by Immad’s own observations during his 13-year long entrepreneurial journey. He says,

I founded three startups in the 13 years prior to starting Mercury, and the banks I used executed these functions in pretty haphazard fashion. I ended up having to figure out a lot of it myself through a mix of spreadsheets and patched-together processes. I had to call in to send a wire and gather my co-founders at a branch for a couple hours to open an account. Getting a savings account with any interest, if it was possible at all, would usually take extensive back and forth negotiation and result in earning fractions of a percentage point. And I couldn’t rely on the banks to get any clarity into company finances; usually I’d be pulling up spreadsheets or throwing together an ugly admin page.

The last thing I wanted to do as a founder was log in to my old bank or interact with it in any way. We hope to turn that on its head and make logging into your bank the first thing you want to do every morning.

Talking about his ambition with Mercury, Immad puts it like this,

I have a pretty unbounded ambition, so I think the top four banks in the U.S. are worth a trillion dollars. In the future, they will have to be technology companies. Banking is one of the few things where technology companies are not dominant, even though it’s basically dealing with BITS. If I had to go to sleep for ten years, I’d want to wake up in one of those slots taken up by Mercury. We’ll hopefully do a really good job with banking, vison-enabled businesses, and potentially some set of consumers as well. [Source]

Product

The product came out of alpha in April this year providing startups with an FDIC-insured checking account, debit card, savings account (earning 1–2%). 

All this can be done with an application that is finished on average in under 10 minutes and approved usually within a few hours.

One unique thing about Mercury is that it supports non-US Residents as well.

Another key component of the product is Analytics which is basic right now but the company is committed to building more on this front in the future. 

Along with this, the company also released Mercury API, which lets users make payments and access balance and transaction data programmatically.

Mercury API
mercury.co

Team

  1. Immad Akhund: Co-Founder & CEO, Mercury, Previously; Heyzap(acquired by RNTSMedia for $45M)

  2. Jason Zhang: Co-Founder & COO at Mercury, Previously; Heyzap, Stanford

  3. Max Tagher: Co-Founder & CTO at Mercury

Funding

About

  1. Mercury has raised a total of $26M in two rounds of financing so far. 

  2. The company first raised a Seed Round of $6M which was led by Andreessen Horowitz in April this year.

  3. This was followed up by a $20M Series A led by Saar Gur of CRV in September 2019. 

  4. Along with this, the company also onboarded more than 100 investors which consist of big names in tech such as, Naval Ravikant, Ryan Petersen (CEO, Flexport), Rahul Vohra (founder, Superhuman), Scott Belsky (co-founder, Behance) and several others. 

Market Landscape

We are seeing a new wave of Banking Startups coming up in the past few years leading to “Unbundling of a Bank”.

However, startups are an underserved market segment when it comes to banking. We have seen some products which solve a few aspects of banking for startups but no one is solving it end to end. 

Currently, we have Stripe, which makes accepting payments as easy as integrating an API. Then, we have Brex, which is a corporate card service for startups, tech, and online brands. In line with this, Stripe has also launched its own corporate card service. 

However, Mercury is the first full-stack bank for startups focusing on everything ranging from analytics to programmatic banking. At this point in time, Silicon Valley Bank is one major competitor out there for the company.

Silicon Valley Bank is the most successful player in the startup banking world because it has taken its time to nurture relationships with venture capital and private equity firms. They not only take care of banking but also help with introductions, consultative services, networking events and several other things. 

Beating this would be hard but Mercury sure is having a headstart with the current traction it has received in the market. 

What the market is saying about Mercury👇

In fact, the company is rapidly growing and this tweet by Immad shows how great adoption is going on for the company. 

Mercury is looking to fill in a gap in the banking ecosystem for founders and given the traction the product is getting, it’s definitely the rocketship to be at. Best part, they are hiring 😄


Jobs at Mercury

Generalist Engineer at Mercury- https://jobs.xpo.network/b/xi7kzf/view

Frontend Developer at Mercury- https://jobs.xpo.network/b/nv6vt4/view


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