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Goldman Sachs Acquires Team Behind Credit Card Startup Final

The Wall Street giant continues to invest in its consumer-centric business, which has already lent over $2 billion.

Goldman Sachs Acquires Team Behind Credit Card Startup Final
[Photo: courtesy of Final]

Goldman Sachs has agreed acquire Final, an Oakland-based credit card startup, the bank confirmed to Fast Company on Monday. The new talent will help fuel the big bank’s expanding consumer efforts.

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Final cofounder and CEO Aaron Frank first announced the startup’s closure in early December, via blog post, but did not give a reason or disclose future plans. He and his team accepted Goldman’s acquisition offer shortly thereafter.

With Final, Goldman gains about a dozen engineers and product managers with experience building a consumer finance product from scratch. When they arrive at Goldman in the spring, they will join a growing roster of consumer-oriented employees, all part of the bank’s new Consumer and Commercial Banking division.

The Wall Street giant launched its first consumer product, an online lending business dubbed Marcus, in late 2016.  By targeting prime borrowers looking to refinance their credit card debt, Marcus was able to issue over $2 billion in personal loans in its first year of operation. Goldman is able to fund Marcus’s loans using its own balance sheet, unlike online lending startups dependent on outside capital. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank is now exploring products complementary to Marcus, like mortgages and ecommerce loans, as it looks to pour another $28 billion into lending over the next three years.

Goldman has also grown its consumer presence via acquisition. The bank acquired GE Capital Bank’s online deposit platform in 2015, snapped up retirement startup Honest Dollar in 2016, and hired the employees of small-business lender Bond Street Marketplace in 2017.

“We are eager to find experienced teams of talented people who have proven themselves to be consumer centric in their approach to consumer financial services,” Omer Ismail, chief commercial officer of Marcus, said in a statement provided by the bank.

Final, founded in 2014, offered consumers a credit card with digital features designed to protect against fraud and theft. For example, the company could generate unique virtual cards specific to each consumer-merchant relationship. It also sent push notifications for purchase receipts, allowing consumers to carefully monitor their spending. Final had raised $4.1 million from investors including Kima Ventures, KPCB Edge, Ludlow Ventures, T5 Capital, and Y Combinator.

About the author

Staff writer Ainsley (O'Connell) Harris covers the business of technology with a focus on financial services and education. Follow her on Twitter at @ainsleyoc.

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