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Financial
Apr 27, 2021

Fueling The Leaders Of The Fintech Revolution

Sponsored Content provided by Neil Underwood - Partner, Canapi Ventures

Neil Underwood, Co-Founder & Partner, Canapi Ventures

At the start of 2020, Canapi Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early to growth-stage fintech companies, launched its inaugural venture capital funds. The funds have received $660 million in commitments from a robust institutional investor base. Included in the investor base is a group known collectively as the Canapi Alliance, which is made up of more than 40 banks and strategic investors seeking attractive investments and greater partnership with the fintech ecosystem.

Canapi focuses on identifying opportunities to provide growth capital to entrepreneurs building enterprise solutions for the financial services industry of the future. The Canapi Alliance, which includes 11 of the top 50 and 23 of the top 100 banks in the United States by total asset size, represents a valuable potential distribution network for Canapi’s portfolio companies with more than 20 million customers across 45 states. The American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers Association and several state banking associations are also Canapi investors.

“Banks are looking for technology partners that can help them thrive and innovate in a rapidly changing and hyper-competitive market. We believe many of these solutions have to come from early-stage companies and that is why we launched Canapi Ventures,” said Canapi Co-Managing Partner Gene Ludwig. “The best early-stage company founders seek investment partners who not only provide capital but possess deep domain expertise and an ability to help fintech companies tangibly grow revenue and customers. We believe our model is unique in that it aligns the interests of both banks that want to use innovative technologies as well as the companies creating those technologies and represents a true ‘win-win’ for all parties involved.”

Co-Managing Partner Chip Mahan said, “Much of the financial services industry is running on software created decades ago, and we are at an inflection point where that has to change. Canapi is here to connect banks to the innovators who aim to make that change happen and truly revolutionize the fundamentals of our industry.”

Canapi made its first investment in Built Technologies, a provider of cloud-based software to the construction lending industry. Since then, Canapi has made investments in eight more impressive fintechs that we believe will help revolutionize the financial industry and will be used right here in Wilmington by banks such as Live Oak.

“In a short period of time, Canapi has emerged as one of our most valuable investors. Canapi’s industry relationships and knowledge of financial services have been transformative for Built,” said Built Technologies CEO Chase Gilbert.

Canapi’s broad relationships root back to its deep bench of experienced partners with strong track records of building and incubating fintech companies. As operators, investors, bankers, advisors and regulators the team has created more than $5 billion of market value in the financial services industry.

Management Team

Ludwig co-founded Promontory Interfinancial Network, which has provided hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to its network of approximately 2,900 financial institutions. He is also the founder and CEO of Promontory Financial Group, now an IBM company, which is recognized as a premier regulatory and compliance consulting firm for financial services and fintech companies. Earlier in his career, he served as the 27th Comptroller of the Currency and is widely recognized for his expertise in fintech regulatory and compliance matters.

Mahan built his career revolutionizing the banking industry. Mahan founded and currently serves as CEO and chairman of Live Oak Bancshares, headquartered in Wilmington. Its banking subsidiary, Live Oak Bank, specializes in providing lending and financial services to small businesses nationwide. During his time at Live Oak Bancshares, Mahan co-founded nCino, a cloud banking services provider to hundreds of banks globally. Mahan previously led S1 Corporation and founded Security First Network Bank, one of the world’s first internet banks.

The team includes several other financial services and venture capital veterans including Partners Walker Forehand, Neil Underwood, Dan Beldy, and Jeff Reitman as well as Senior Advisors Jeffrey Goldstein and Jim Hale. Canapi has offices in Wilmington, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

About Canapi Ventures

Canapi Ventures is a venture capital firm investing in early to growth-stage fintech companies. Our partners have been at the forefront of financial services innovation as operators, investors, bankers, advisors, and regulators. Our venture capital model connects high-quality fintech companies to our extensive network of banks and strategic partners. Canapi Ventures is advised by CenterHarbor Advisors and Canapi Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Live Oak Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOB). For more information, visit www.canapi.com.


Neil Underwood currently serves as Partner of Canapi Ventures, a strategic fintech venture fund, and as President of Live Oak Bancshares (LOB), the holding company of Live Oak Bank. While at the bank, he co-founded nCino (NCNO), a cloud-based bank operating system now serving over 1000 financial institutions globally. 

Through the venture arm of Live Oak, Underwood helped incubate companies focused on digital bank transformation, including Finxact, Payrailz, DefenseStorm and Greenlight. In 2017, he co-founded Apiture, a joint venture between Live Oak and First Data, serving as a cloud-native omni-channel onboarding and servicing platform. 

Prior to Live Oak, Underwood served as General Manager of S1 Corporation (SONE), where he was responsible for the S1 Enterprise Retail division. S1, since acquired by ACI (ACIW), built and deployed financial services systems such as online banking, payments and mobile solutions to over 3,000 financial institutions worldwide.

Underwood currently serves on the board of Live Oak Bank, Greenlight, Notarize, Defense Storm, Apiture, Payrailz, and is board observer at Blend and Finxact. A native of Miami, FL, he holds a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

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