Fintech startup Yapili has raised a Series B funding round of $51 million led by Sapphire Ventures. The company is working on a single, unified open banking API for several European markets. Developers can take advantage of that programming interface to interact with third-party bank accounts directly from their products.
“The fundamental difference between us and most players in the space is our focus on infrastructure,” Founder and CEO Stefano Vaccino told me. Unlike Tink or Truelayer, Yapili works in the background. You don’t see the Yapily logo anywhere and the company doesn’t provide any front-end interface.
Another difference is that Yapili focuses exclusively on API integration. Due to recent regulatory changes (PSD2) in Europe, banks will now have to offer official APIs to integrate with third-party services. While some still do not offer APIs, many of them are now complying with the rules.
By focusing on official APIs, Yapili can provide a faster and more reliable experience. Other startups working on a unified open banking API rely on a mix of official APIs, screen scraping and private APIs. Screen scraping can be particularly slow and private APIs sometimes stop working overnight.
When it comes to coverage, Yapily supports over 1,500 banks in eight different countries. “We have between 90 and 99% coverage in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands,” Vaccino said. You can see the complete list of banks on this page. According to Vaccino, only Tink has the same level of coverage in Europe.
You can use Yapily’s API for many different purposes. For example, the API lets you check the balance in the bank account, check the name of the account holder and get the transactions of the last two years.
But the startup has also noticed that more and more customers are relying on OpenBanking to initiate bank account payments. Compared to card payments, account-to-account payments are cheaper. The cards also run out, which leads to brainstorming. Yapily’s API can be used for one-time payments, international payments, bulk payments and recurring payments.
With today’s funding round, the company plans to expand its business presence across Europe. In addition to the UK, Germany and Italy, Yapili will hire new team members focused on France and Spain.
The startup will build integration with banks in northern Europe and the Baltics – and then in new markets beyond Europe. “Early next year, we’re going to look at Latin America, and Brazil in particular,” Vaccino said. Brazilian banks already have a lot of open banking APIs.
Right now, Yapili has around 100 customers such as American Express, QuickBooks, Bucks, Vivid Money, VoLTE and MoneyFarm. By focusing on the infrastructure layer, other fintech startups are leveraging Yapili to build applications on top of the startup’s API. It’s an interesting go-to-market strategy and it seems to be working well.