Financial Venture Studio Closes First Fund with $13 Million to Invest in Early Stage Fintech Startups

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Financial Venture Studio, a venture firm focused on early stage fintech startups in the US, today announced the final close of its inaugural fund, FVS Fund I. The Fund closed with over $13 million in commitments from an array of leading institutional investors, including pension and institutional funds, insurance companies and commercial banks, as well as family offices and notable individuals from the venture capital ecosystem.

Financial Venture Studio invests in great teams that it believes can improve the way that Americans conduct their financial lives. Selected companies receive an investment, as well as a bespoke six-month networking program, designed to help companies navigate critical elements of the financial services industry. To date, the firm has invested in 18 companies through three cohorts of its program, as well as a handful of other later-stage fintechs, including Dave, Point, Propel, and Digit.

Financial Venture Studio was founded in 2018 by Ryan Falvey and Tyler Griffin, who met through their work together at the $30 million Financial Solutions Lab, an accelerator funded by JPMorgan Chase through the nonprofit CFSI. Griffin had previously founded payments company Prism Money, which he sold to PayNearMe.

The firm has had two exits from its investments since inception: the sale of Sheltr to Hippo Insurance, and the sale of Joust Banking to ZenBusiness. Seventy-five percent of the program’s alumni have raised a total of nearly $60 million in follow-on capital from notable venture firms including QED, Valar, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins and Matrix, among others.

“Since selecting our first cohort of fintech startups two years ago, we have proven our program’s strength in helping early stage founders navigate some of the most critical parts of being successful in fintech,” said Ryan Falvey, co-founder and Managing Partner. “Our emphasis on building a network designed to accelerate growth has captured the attention of many top co-investors, some of whom have gone on to provide Series A funding rounds for our companies.”

“As a former fintech founder, I know all too well the difficulty in connecting with the right people, whether bank partners or influencers. I also know the importance of making early connections in the regulatory area, making the right technical architecture choices, and forging early relationships in the capital markets,” said Tyler Griffin, co-founder and Managing Partner. “Our program provides the access and insights needed in these critical areas to help fintech startups grow truly transformational companies.”

Cathrine Andersen, the Danish co-founder and CEO of Roger, selected for the first FVS cohort, found her experience in the program invaluable. “This is probably the most valuable program you can do as an early stage fintech anywhere in the world. Our participation took us where we wanted much quicker than we could have on our own,” she said. Roger has since raised a Series A led by QED Investors.

“The FVS program was hugely helpful in our journey of starting, building, and selling Sheltr,” said Andrew Wynn, co-founder and CEO of Sheltr, which was acquired by Hippo Insurance shortly after completing the FVS program. “The team's expertise, connections and programming are all best in class. However, their willingness to spend a ton of time working with—and sometimes for—us is what really stood out to us about this program and this team.”

One of the firm’s Limited Partners is Brian Plum, CEO of Blue Ridge Bank. “As a community bank that seeks partnerships with fintech startups, we have seen a lot of companies,” Plum said, “The FVS team has an uncanny ability to pick the best of the best of them, and help make them better. I’m excited by the Fund’s strong early performance, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Highlights from the FVS portfolio include:

  • Agentero, a SaaS company that uses robust data to empower independent insurance agents with the information they need to boost revenue, save time, and deliver a superior customer experience

  • Anvil, an end-to-end platform that automates paperwork processes using a no-code workflow builder or developer-friendly APIs, replaces endless forms with intuitive workflows that gather information once and share it wherever it needs to go, enabling digital transformation

  • Copilot, a personal finance app that learns from its users and their relationships with money, delivering hyper-personalized insights that help consumers effortlessly understand and better manage how they spend, save, and invest

  • Everlance, an app used by more than 1 million people to track mileage, expenses, and tax withholding; users range from the self-employed to Fortune 500 companies

  • Flex, which enables people to pay rent on a schedule that works for them, alleviating costly late fees traditionally levied on late rent payments

  • Harvest Platform leverages AI to increase the net worth of consumers by reducing debt and improving creditworthiness through automation; the company also helps users access the credit they need by providing lenders with alternative data

  • HoneyBee, a SaaS-based solution that enables midsize employers to create a financial safety net for their teams, so employees can access financial counseling on demand, plus no-cost, 0% interest rainy day funds to cover unplanned expenses

  • NestEgg, an AI property manager that makes it easy for independent landlords to manage a portfolio of properties of any size in minutes each month, offers financial services that boost cash flow and bring owners together with contractors and other professionals to provide safe, happy homes for renters

  • Pillar Life, a digital platform that helps people protect and care for loved ones by making it easy to organize all important information in one place, from financial accounts to legal documents and medical records.

  • Point, a mobile banking platform, has reimagined banking with a debit cards reward program that rivals the best of elite credit cards, for a new generation of card users who prefer debit

  • Roger, a solution driving the next big shift in accounting and B2B payments with a SaaS platform that enables clients to automate accounts payable and other manual workflows to save time and money while cutting down on fraud

  • Token Transit, a pre-COVID company building for the post-COVID future of transit, where payments are contactless, and legacy transit authorities can access robust route and rider data to dramatically increase efficiencies

  • Zaam, an end-to-end SaaS solution for onboarding business customers onto financial platforms, helps financial companies improve customer onboarding, increase revenue from higher conversion rates, and reduce operational costs

About Financial Venture Studio
Financial Venture Studio invests in great early stage teams who are seeking to improve how Americans conduct their financial lives. From more efficient savings to superior investments to faster payments and better information, the promise of today’s financial products has never been greater. Learn more about the firm’s portfolio and unique approach at

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

Tyler Griffin headshot Ryan Falvey headshot

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