Austin, Texas–based Episode Six, a payments and banking infrastructure provider, today announced that it raised $48 million in a Series C funding round led by Avenir with participation from Anthos Capital. In an email, CEO John Mitchell said that the tranche shall be used to expand Episode Six’s go-to-market efforts and scale its business as the corporate looks to drive digital transformation journeys for banks and firms operating inside the payments space.
Episode Six was founded in 2015 by Mitchell, Chermaine Hu and Futeh Kao. In search of to beat the constraints of legacy payments tech, the co-founders built a platform designed to streamline various payment processes while reducing costs.
“For CTOs and heads of product who need to grow their books and create competitive products, our platform allows them to launch recent products quickly to satisfy a customer’s evolving needs and capture market share,” Mitchell told TechCrunch in an email interview. “For CIOs in search of payments at scale with safety, security, reliability and value effectiveness, the platform delivers bank-grade payments’ infrastructure built by industry experts.”
Episode Six offers a spread of various products to tackle specific, typical roadblocks in payments. For instance, one among its clients, First Fidelity Bank, used the platform to create a real-time payments system with card issuing and processing capabilities in addition to fraud detection. One other customer, TransPecos Banks, launched a bank card offering built on top of Episode Six’s infrastructure, while e-commerce checkout firm Montonio is tapping Episode Six’s tech to power bank card processing and acquiring.
“The burden of counting on legacy technology continues to present challenges, especially at a time when innovation is essential to winning and retaining customers,” Mitchell said. “This, paired with the rising cost of operating legacy technology, is the explanation we’re seeing a major increase in interest in our solution.”
To Mitchell’s point, a growing number of monetary institutions, particularly banks, need to modernize their tech stacks in light of the increasing adoption of digital payments. A recent survey from Finextra found that 94% of banks are considering varied levels of investment in payments tech in the subsequent 24 to 36 months. Of those respondents, 65% plan a “significant” or “moderate” level of investment in payments tech throughout the same period.
After all, there’s no shortage competition within the payments and banking infrastructure space. Streamlined, headquartered in San Diego, California, recently raised $4 million for its business-to-business-focused payments product suite. Kushki is a much larger player — the Ecuadorian payments infrastructure startup landed $100 million last 12 months at a $1.5 billion valuation. Other rivals include Pagos and Liquido, the latter of which goals to turn out to be the “Stripe of LatAm.”
Episode Six, for its part, definitely appears to be attracting business, with a presence in 38 countries and customers that include the highest 50 global banks. Mitchell wouldn’t answer questions on recurring revenue. But he said that the startup expects to grow to 200 employees by the tip of the 12 months, up from 150 currently.
“Our strong commitment to long-term business management allowed us to navigate the challenges of the pandemic with resilience,” Mitchell said. “Because of this, we were less impacted. As well as, we’ve got been laser-focused on modernizing payments and banking infrastructure from the very starting.”
Up to now, Episode Six has raised around $100 million in enterprise capital.