Raisin, the Berlin-based savings manager, has pledged to push ahead with its plans for a late-2020 launch in the US market after making a fresh acquisition on Wednesday.
Paul Knodel, Raisin’s US chief executive, told Sifted that the company — which closed a €100m Series-D round last May — is “further along” in its US roadmap than anticipated.
This comes as Raisin announced it has bought Choice Financial Solutions, a Spanish-American banking software specialist.
Choice will help Raisin secure its first US bank partnerships, according to Knodel, by offering the banks “innovative” specialised deposit products. He now expects Raisin to have 10 US partner banks on the platform by year-end, which will kick-start its launch.
The company works by strategically allocating users’ cash across various savings accounts and funds in one click. Raisin already operates in nearly 30 European countries, supported by over 90 partner banks.
The latest acquisition shows how Raisin is serious about becoming the latest in a string of European fintechs to plant its flag in North America, following in the footsteps of digital banks N26, Monzo and Revolut.
Even with creeping competition from China, the land of the free continues to hold an unparalleled status for European startups.
Raisin announced it was expanding into the US last year amid rising interest levels, pledging to help older US customers enhance their savings; a reported $12.7tn market.
Their pitch is that the US savings market remains underserved and outdated, with the average American saving less than 9% of their income. Raisin hopes to cut out the admin of “shopping around”, offering an array of products tailored to the US savings culture. It believes it can instil trust and attract large user deposits — and, by extension, large commissions.
“The consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive… the next step is to inform consumers that we have a better product, where they have a competitive yield,” says Knodel.
He also notes that while US bank partnerships tend to offer “smaller margins” than in Europe, the US’s sheer scale and services-gap could see it becoming one of its biggest markets.
The company is now in partnership negotiations with around 40 US banks, although has yet to sign any. Raisin is also beginning to ramp up its hiring efforts in the US ahead of its launch, with only two US-based employees at present, including Knodel.
It has brokered €18.5bn in deposits for 200,000 customers and 90 partner banks. Competitors include France’s Cashbee, who are targeting a younger audience.
Today’s acquisition is Raisin’s fourth major strategic purchase within the last year, with more potentially in the pipeline according to Knodel. However, the company would not discuss the value of any of its sales.