TechCrunch is the first to reveal that Flourish Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing only in fintech businesses in emerging nations and the United States, has raised $350 million in new funding.
The four-year-old company manages $850 million in total assets with this latest increase.
Since Flourish is an evergreen business rather than a standard venture capital firm, its investments are open-ended and have no expiration date. Pierre Omidyar, the creator of eBay, is its only investor; in 2019, the company split off from his investment organization, Omidyar Network. The investing tenet of Flourish is to support businesses that can generate a profit and those who, in its opinion, can “create systemic change” and “build a more fair financial system.”
Global managing partner and co-founder Tilman Ehrbeck remarked, “Since our capital is permanent, we are more flexible and not subject to the same pressures of other funds that have to deploy or exit in a certain time frame.” “We think that offers us a competitive edge.”
Companies that “show that either new or better ways of doing business are feasible and, via that successful demonstration, influence the performance of the entire [financial] sector for the better” are another corporation goal. Thus, Ehrbeck stated, “We are a fintech venture fund with a purpose.”
Located in San Francisco, California, Flourish has invested in 71 businesses on five continents, with most of its funds being used in the United States since its founding. Notable investments include embedded finance startup Unit, which was last valued at $1.2 billion; Brazilian neobank Neon, which was last priced at $1.6 billion; digital bank Chime, which was valued at $25 billion in its most recent funding round; and African payments infrastructure company Flutterwave, which was last valued at over $3 billion.
Managing partner and co-founder Arjuna Costa said, “We were either the seed or Series A investor in all of those deals.”
Among the company’s notable exits are the SPAC public offering of Grab Financial, the GoJek acquisition of Ruma, the Intuit acquisition of SeedFi, and the Capital One acquisition of United Income.
Flourish collaborates with legislators, regulators, business executives, and ecosystem participants, including the Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR), Financial Health Network (FHN), and Consumer Reports, to bring about systemic change.
The managing partners and founders of Flourish are Ehrbeck (focusing on India and Southeast Asia), Emmalyn Shaw (focusing on the United States), and Costa (focusing on emerging areas including Latin America and Africa).
Shaw stated that some of the company’s new funding will be set aside for further investments. Flourish typically invests between $6 and $7 million in a firm during its initial investment rounds, totaling between six and 10 million annually.
We have the option to expand or contract, she told TechCrunch. “We attempt to take on active board roles and lead or co-lead investments when appropriate.”
Shaw predicted that Flourish will continue dominating infrastructure and supporting “next-gen” businesses in the vertical SaaS and B2B payment sectors, “embedding finance more deeply in the stack.”
“We are also keeping a close eye on how inadequate legacy infrastructure is being transformed,” the spokesperson stated. Although we know that the issue is extremely complex and ingrained, we firmly believe there should be a significant systemic shift.
The company also investigates data analytics in lending identification, insurance payments, and banking.
Flourish also claims to have a “diverse” team, with mostly non-white and female members.
Ehrbeck stated, “We are trying to be equally deliberate on the investment side.” Still, he conceded that it’s challenging to define diversity when discussing international companies since what is diverse in one place may not be in another.
“In India, it has much more to do with caste and backgrounds, for example, whereas in the United States, there are certain considerations,” he continued.
However, Shaw notes that the company has had female co-founders in its previous four new transactions.
Given the larger investing landscape, the cash rise is undoubtedly positive news for fintech firms. In contrast to their peak years of 2020 and 2021, these businesses have raised far less capital in previous quarters.