Wilmington-based financial technology firm Apiture has new support to stretch and grow thanks to a just-concluded successful capital raise. The $10 million fundraising round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. Others of Apiture’s existing investors participated as well, according to a news release Tuesday.
The new infusion brings to $79 million the total funding Apiture has raised since it launched in 2017.
“We’re lucky to have very supportive investors,” CEO Chris Babcock said Tuesday, noting that two-thirds of the money raised comes from users of Apiture’s Digital Banking Platform. “We appreciate their vote of confidence.”
For the recent funding round, Apiture chose to stay within its existing circle of investors, Babcock said.
“We raised $29 million last year from our existing investors and wanted to keep it simple and clean this time so there would be no need to change the structure of the company,” he said. “Compare the market today with a couple of years ago. With interest rates higher, people are being more selective and expecting more from their investments.”
The capital will boost product development work and support the firm’s sales and marketing efforts to meet demand for its Digital Banking Platform.
“We continue to expand, and will grow both our engineering and our sales and marketing teams,” Babcock said. “Every time we seal a deal, we put together an implementation team for that client.”
The company’s client roster has grown to more than 300 banks and credit unions throughout the United States, mostly institutions that do not have their own technical teams.
Apiture's Digital Banking Platform will soon offer them a new feature, thanks to a recent partnership agreement. On Nov. 8, officials announced that the company will provide enhanced fraud detection through a new alliance with DefenseStorm, which offers “the only built-for-banking cyber risk management platform,” according to the news release.
“Integrated with the Apiture Digital Banking Platform, the DefenseStorm GRID Active Fraud Detection solution protects financial institutions and their account holders by providing continuous monitoring and real-time alerts to identify fraud before funds leave the financial institution,” the release stated. “This proactive approach is proven to reduce an institution’s total cost of fraud by at least 50%.”
“We have worked with Live Oak Bank to get that done,” Babcock said. “We will cross-sell to our existing customers and sell it to new customers. This is a good example of how we leverage partnerships: working with specialists … helps expand our product offering.”
Apiture uses feedback loops from customers to help the firm identify needs that its platform can address.
“We have product advisory councils, whose members provide feedback,” Babcock said. “We break them out into affinity group divisions, which allows us to get more specific feedback and more participation. We also get great feedback from Canapi and other groups that provide Series A and early-stage investing into fintechs. It’s a front-row seat into [financial technology] innovation; what makes sense to integrate into our product.”
Atlanta-based DefenseStorm has an office on the Live Oak campus, where Apiture is also located. Both DefenseStorm and Apiture, which is a joint venture between Live Oak Bancshares and Atlanta-based First Data Corp., have received funding from Live Oak Ventures.
Currently, Apiture employs about 350 people, of whom between 100 and 150 work at the company’s Wilmington headquarters, according to Babcock. Others are at Apiture’s offices in Austin, Texas or work remotely. Babcock said the awards Apiture has picked up recently
help its recruiting efforts.
The latest accolades come from NC Tech Association, which named Apiture the winner of its 2023 Technology Corporate Award in the financial technology/insurance technology category. Companies are recognized for their innovation, excellence and growth. Apiture was also one of NC Tech’s five “Great Tech Places to Work” winners this fall.