March 11, 2024

Exclusive: Griffin raises $24m as it trumpets a fully fledged banking licence

The extra capital is needed as it becomes a fully regulated bank

Tom Matsuda

3 min read

Griffin, a London-based banking-as-a-service (BaaS) fintech, has raised $24m as it prepares to launch as a fully licensed bank, having secured a banking licence in the UK.  

This Series A extension was co-led by MassMutual Ventures, Nordic Ninja and Breega and also featured participation from previous investors Notion Capital and EQT Ventures. Founder David Jarvis says that the round increases the company’s previous $83m valuation but declined to share exact figures. 

Founded in 2017, Griffin provides technology for fintechs to create banking services — payments, savings and deposits — without having to build them in-house. Griffin charges clients for these services on a subscription basis.


As well as providing these products, the fintechs Griffin serves can also bank directly with the company through business accounts and credit options. Griffin's ability to offer these services with a banking licence is notable, given that big-name fintechs such as Revolut have yet to obtain one. Other BaaS providers such as Railsr and Modulr also continue to operate on e-money licences. 

The competitive edge

It wasn’t that long ago that Griffin last raised funding — Sifted reported its $13.5m Series A back in June last year. Jarvis says that this extra capital was needed to support its focus on becoming a fully regulated bank, a process which isn’t exactly a walk in the park. 

“We essentially needed 18 months of runway in order to become fully authorised,” he says. “We employ about 100 people, about half of that is engineering, product and design and the other half is everyone you need to run a bank. For better or for worse, a hundred people does carry with it a certain burn rate.”

While it’s a long and complex process, Jarvis says the licence gives it an edge over other BaaS companies in the UK, with other providers coming under heavy regulatory scrutiny in recent years. 

Notably, after BaaS Railsr was sold in a prepackaged bankruptcy deal in March last year, the FCA placed new restrictions on the onboarding of new customers for companies that sell banking services. In October last year, the embedded payments fintech Modulr was restricted from onboarding new partner clients. 

Griffin’s next moves

Before winning its full banking licence, Griffin operated with a licence with “restrictions”, meaning it was only able to hold deposits of £50k for its customers. 

“Keeping in mind that we service predominantly growth stage regulated financial institutions telling them that we can only hold £50k is pretty worthless,” says Jarvis. “But what it enabled us to do was to sign a batch of customers but not to take any of them live.”

Now wielding a fully-fledged banking licence, Griffin is able to bring its clients out of early access which will be handled in batches in the coming weeks. 

Tom Matsuda

Tom Matsuda is a fintech reporter at Sifted. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn