After the crisis of 2008, it became abundantly clear that our staid financial institutions needed reinventing. So, as they do, talented entrepreneurs got to work. We are now seeing the first wave of post-crisis innovation starting to bear fruit across lending (e.g. p2p), investing (e.g. crowdfunding), payments (e.g. simple api’s) and other key financial services categories. But we are just getting started.
I am convinced that we will see sweeping changes to our financial system and its institutions over the coming years. Although the financial services industry has typically been a laggard, it can’t hold on forever. Technology will fundamentally change this industry, like it does all others. In order to realize this vision however, the proper infrastructure needs to be in place.
Enter Plaid, a new service founded by Zach Perret & William Hockey that I am thrilled to announce Spark’s investment in today. Plaid is a modern API for banking and credit card data that provides developers with a clean, categorized view of user transactions and account balances. In addition to making financial data actionable and accessible, Plaid connects every transaction with a clean merchant name, address, and category.
By focusing on simple integration and high-quality data, Plaid enables developers to programmatically interact with core banking infrastructure and build applications that leverage financial data. Financial technology has always had significant barriers to entry, but with a modern API and rich, contextual data, Plaid is helping developers transform the way consumers and businesses utilize financial information.
In doing so, Plaid is enabling the developer community to create the next generation of companies. The company has seen significant early traction within accounting, tax, expense, and lending; however, as the platform has grown, developers have begun using Plaid across a number of other verticals that we never would have expected.
Zach & William have created a service with Plaid that has the potential to serve as the backbone for a new wave of financial innovation, and I’m excited to see what’s next!