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Startup Lithic Valued at $800 Million With Bet by Stripes

Payments-technology startup Lithic, formerly known as Privacy.com, raised $60 million in a funding round led by growth-equity firm Stripes.

Bessemer Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Exor, Tusk Venture Partners, Rainfall and Commerce Ventures also participated in the round, Lithic co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Bo Jiang said in an interview. The transaction quintupled the card-issuing platform’s valuation to $800 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

“The process for issuing cards is expensive and archaic,” Jiang said, adding that Lithic builds infrastructure and developer tools to make it simpler for companies to issue debit and credit cards. “Our goal is to make it as fast and as easy as possible.”

The New York-based startup, which Jiang co-founded in 2014 with Jason Kruse and David Nichols, will use the fresh funding to expand its team and grow its platform through strategic acquisitions and international expansion. Canada is among countries that are a “natural” next step, he said.

Lithic has grown substantially amid its application to uses including digital banking and disbursements, Jiang said. Since the beginning of 2021, transaction volumes have quadrupled to more than $1 billion in annual processing volume, a figure he expects to reach $2.5 billion by the of the year. He credited the likes of Stripe, Adyen NV and Braintree for dramatically reducing the complexity and time to market for card acceptance, and fueling demand for issuer technology from both financial-technology and non-fintech companies.

Lithic, which competes against Marqeta Inc. and SoFi Technologies Inc.’s Galileo Financial Technologies, started out with a consumer-facing product — Privacy.com, which lets users create single-use credit cards in an effort to combat fraud — before bolstering its business with an enterprise offering. “We built a platform for ourselves that we knew other developers would find useful too,” Jiang said.

“Card issuing is the next big frontier in fintech as companies of all shapes and sizes begin to understand the power of highly configurable virtual and physical cards,” Saagar Kulkarni, a partner at Stripes, said in an emailed statement. “Lithic makes it incredibly easy for developers to build on the card rails, and we are only scratching the surface of use cases that will emerge over time.”

Source: Bloomberg