North Carolina-based WalletFi got off the ground to tackle what very well be one of the most frustrating experiences for any adult…dealing with a lost or stolen wallet.
The process of monitoring transactions, re-ordering cards, and reinstating auto pay subscription can take hours and leave you with a major financial headache.
On the other side of the equation, financial institutions have to deal with the hassle of re-issuing and sending out a replacement card, which takes several days to reach the customer. In the interim, a consumer is likely to switch to a backup card for upcoming transactions.
“So what was my primary financial institution [as a customer] may become my second,” fintech entrepreneur Marc Miller explained to Hypepotamus. While his startup WalletFi started as a B2C play, it pivoted to be a subscription management solution for banks, credit unions, and financial services companies to help such institutions navigate the ever-complicated personal finance and payments space.
“We saw [WalletFi] as a way for banks to retain customers when a card is lost or stolen and get them back up and running with those services right away,” he added.
The startup, which got off the ground in Raleigh, has evolved significantly since it launched back in 2016. Ultimately, WalletFi is looking to provide financial institutions with better data around consumer spending habits while helping drive better practices around financial wellness.
The startup attracted $1 million in outside capital over the years from investors in the local and national fintech space, according to available Crunchbase data.
WalletFi’s next stage is being ushered in via acquisition.
Fellow Raleigh fintech startup Constellation Digital Partners announced in August plans to acquire WalletFi and integrate the technology and the team into its digital financial services platform.
The official terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The two teams met at a Fintech Meetup several years back, and ultimately Constellation became an early customer of WalletFi’s solution, according to Miller.
Moving from customer to acquirer appears to have been a natural fit for Constellation, a startup that most recently raised a $18 million round in 2021.
“Our culture aligned, our vision aligned,” Miller said.
Constellation will retain the entire WalletFi team, with Miller moving in as Constellation’s Chief Revenue Officer.
Making Moves In Fintech
M&A remains the most popular exit strategy across fintech startups. But seeing two North Carolina-based fintechs strike a deal is a rarer occurrence.
The overall health of the state’s fintech landscape continues to grow. Other major headlines from the last year include Finmark raising a $6.5 million seed round, Payzer closing a $23 million Series D, and Apiture continuing to grow with a $29 million venture round.
Continuing to build WalletFi in North Carolina is a strategic move, added Miller.
“From a financial services perspective, [North Carolina] is a hotspot…the biggest names in the business are here,” Miller told Hypepotamus. “This allows us and enables us to continue to innovate right in our backyard with customers who are right here.”