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Banking Startup Amount to Modernize Banking with Speed

Amount, a Chicago-based fintech startup, announced in early December 2020 that it successfully raised an $81M Series C funding round. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Growth and included participation from existing backers August Capital, Invus Opportunities and Hanaco Ventures. The investment comes just months after the company’s quiet series B funding round in March 2020. According to a press release, Amount plans to invest the newly acquired funds in platform research and development and to accelerate its go-to-market strategy. Since its founding in 2019, Amount has raised $140M in cumulative funding and is currently valued at $681M.

“With the pressure to provide world-class origination and account management experiences to customers and buy-now-pay-later tools to important merchant partners, banks need a proven platform for quickly going digital, delivering a seamless customer experience and driving growth without disruption,” said Adam Hughes, CEO of Amount. “We are honored that Goldman Sachs and our other investors are backing Amount with capital that will help us continue to develop and deliver technology that pushes the envelope and helps our bank partners expand digitally and grow with ease.”

Simply put, Amount is a digital banking platform designed to help financial institutions go digital in months – a process that previously could take years to complete. Amount accomplishes this by partnering with financial institutions in order to help them build an online and mobile-enabled solution to digital banking, enabling their customers to open a bank account or apply for personal loans/credit cards digitally. Amount’s formation took place just before the pandemic, and since then, the demand for their technology has skyrocketed. 

To date, the company operates with a 350-person team and has built what it describes as “battle-tested” retail banking and point-of-sale technology. It is this technology that the company claims will accelerate the digital transformation for financial institutions with the goal to equip financial institutions with the tools to offer “a secure and seamless digital customer and merchant experience” that leverages Amount’s verification and analytics capabilities. Sure enough, financial institutions such as TD Bank, Regions Bank, HSBC and Banco Popular are among a list of banks that utilize Amount’s technology in an effort to streamline their transition to digital financial services. Additionally, Amount’s clientele collectively manages nearly $2 trillion in US assets and serves more than 50 million US customers.

Adam Hughes, the company’s CEO, said that banks are facing pressure to provide what he describes as “world-class” origination and account management experiences to customers as well as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) tools to merchant partners. 

“…Banks need a proven platform for quickly going digital, delivering a seamless customer experience and driving growth without disruption,” said Hughes.

COVID-19 has had an impact on Amount’s business by driving the demand for user-centered retail banking experiences in a post-pandemic environment, according to Hughes.

“During COVID-19, the branch banking model changed entirely, leaving banks responsible for accelerating digital growth in a condensed period of time,” he told FinLedger. “There has also been a significant increase in demand for buy now, pay later point-of-sale financing from consumers, banks, and merchants alike. As e-commerce continues to grow, we feel that banks can compete against the fintech challengers and win in that space by expanding their merchant relationships. We’re here to help empower that growth.”

Jade Mandel, a VP in Goldman Sachs’ growth equity platform—GS Growth—explained that most banks are looking for resources and infrastructure to hasten their digital strategy “and meet the demands of today’s consumer.”

“Amount enables banks to navigate digital transformation through its modular and mobile-first platform for financial products,” said Mandel, who will be joining the startup’s board, in a press release.

Notably, in 2020, Hughes was featured on The Breakfast Show hosted by 11:FS and was named to The Financial Technology Report’s “Top 50 Financial Technology CEOs of 2020” (ranking 21 on that list). Prior to his role with Amount, Hughes studied at Northwestern University. Shortly thereafter, Hughes was the Head of Product and Marketing of United Kingdom Installment Lending, Senior Strategy and Operations Manager, and Senior Program Manager at Enova Financial, and began his career as a Consultant at Accenture.

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