Plaid is a fintech startup that has been making the news for the last few years. This is a company that was established to provide technology that helps people to connect with their financial accounts in one easy-to-navigate platform. It's like a one-stop shop for personal financial data and services. The company has come a long way in a short time, reaching a pinnacle of success in a couple of short years. When we looked into Plaid's history we were impressed with how quickly it has grown and expanded. There are a lot of good things to say about the new startup and to get started, here are 20 things you didn't know about Plaid.
1. Plaid provides a revolutionary new app that connects all of your financial accounts safely
According to Plaid's official website, the founders of Plaid were looking for a solution for people who have several different financial accounts. They discovered technology that could link all of an individual's accounts under one convenient platform. It doesn't matter if you have accounts at local banks National banks investment banks digital banks or credit unions the Plaid app can help you to connect with them all.
2. Plaid offers versatile products and services
One of the most impressive things about Plaid is the myriad of services that it offers users. You can use it to send money to others to pay bills, or to receive funding. There are thousands of apps for consumers to choose from that are compatible with Plaid's technology.
3. Plaid is all about consumer experience
Part of the raging success of Plaid is that it is consumer-centric. The services are designed to fully accommodate all customers and meet their every need with seamless transactions that are fast and easy for the sake of convenience. It offers multiple services for end-users but it's also designed to provide businesses with tools that their developers can use to customize experiences for their customers.
4. Plaid connects everyone
We also learned that Plaid's technical infrastructure APIs connect traditional financial institutions, consumers, and developers with a host of analytics products. The platform provides key insights into data access that are useful for businesses for making strategic plans.
5. Plaid connects consumers with thousands of new financial app options
Users can find a broad range of financial service providers and new apps when using Plaid. The platform provides discovery services that allow consumers to preview some of the best financial apps that are out there today. It's opening up a brand new world of convenience with apps that are approved as being safe to use. Individuals and businesses can find new companies to deal with for their financial transactions through Plaid.
6. The CEO of Plaid is also the co-founder
According to Expanded Ramblings, Zach Perret is the CEO and co-founder of Plaid. He and his partner William Hockey launched the fintech company in 2012. The headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. Zach has served as the leader of the firm for the past 9 years.
7. Plaid's analytics have analyzed billions of transactions
Businesses depend on analytics statistics to find the necessary data that provide them with information about the consumers they serve. By June of 2019, Plaid had already analyzed over 10 billion financial transactions. That was two years ago and the company continues to expand its customer base. It provides a wealth of information for decision-makers in addition to quality and useful end-user financial technology services.
8. Plaid has achieved unicorn status
When a company grows to a valuation of at least $1 billion or more, it falls under the category of a unicorn. Plaid has achieved this lofty objective and more. In 2019, the company had already reached a valuation of $2.35 billion. This is impressive growth by anyone's standards. What is even more impressive is that it is still growing and expanding. Plaid is on a positive trajectory for becoming the largest fintech company in the world if its growth continues at its present rate.
9. Plaid is in the business of integrating
Plaid has put integrated with as many financial institutions as possible. It's in the business of forming partnerships with financial firms to provide its versatile platform that helps to connect consumers with useful technology. By 2019 the firm hit a major milestone with 15,000 banks using its technology. This was just the starting point. Plaid has continued to add thousands of more institutions within the past two years and it will continue to do so as long as new bans and credit unions keep opening. It's going to be an ongoing process for the professionals who lead the company forward.
10. Plaid's deal with Visa fell apart
Plaid's owners had recently entered into negotiations with Visa to acquire the startup in a deal that involved $5.3 billion. This is the figure that Visa threw out to Perret and Hockey, and they bit on it. However, as market conditions have been bumpy, the changing environment created issues that made it impossible for Visa to follow through with the acquisition. Recently, Visa pulled out of the deal. Instead of selling the company for more than $5 billion, Hockey and Perret are still the owners and Zach is still working as its CEO, according to Tech Crunch.
11. Forbes compares Plaid's founders as plumbers
According to Forbes, Plaid is a company that is busy building connections that are much like plumbing pipes. The only real difference is that instead of plumbing water to the house, these are the pipelines that are all interconnected and plumb in a variety of different apps that may be all connected to your checking account. Forbes goes further to ask the question that has been on everyone in the business's mind. Are the big banks going to try to put an end to Plaid's pipeline? This is a question that nobody can answer yet. It's going to be a matter of waiting to see what happens.
12. Plaid has solid investor support
Perret and Hockey were able to secure the necessary funding to expand Plaid and put the company on solid footing. Plaid raised $44 million in 2016 in a round of Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs, along with other venture capital rounds that included Spark Capital, American Express, and Citi along with multiple other big-name investment firms. There is no lack of funding resources as major investors see the wisdom of investing in the company because of its high-profitability potential that likely has not yet been fully tapped. It could be that the best is yet to come, but only time will tell.
13. Plaid's co-founders were in their 20s
If Perret and Hockey look young to you, it's because they are. Perret is just 30 years old and he's been with plaid for 9 years. This puts him at the tender young age of just 21 when he and Hockey first established the firm. Hockey is currently 28 years old which would have made him just 19. There is certainly no room for age discrimination as these two powerful and talented young men have shown the world what young people are capable of. They both became billionaires when they were still in their 20s, which is a remarkable feat given the current economic conditions in the world
14. Perret and Hockey aim to change the financial world
Both owners of Plaid shared that they are on a mission, and for them, it's personal. One of the goals of Plaid is to democratize the financial industry. They seek to enable innovation across the financial industry. It's one thing to develop innovative technology, it's quite another to convince financial institutions to buy into the dream and participate.
15. Zack and William met at a different job
Hockey and Perret met while they were both employed for another company. They were working at Bain in Atlanta as consultants. They became friends as well as co-workers and began sharing their thoughts and dreams for the future. Both men enjoyed coding and they would do projects when they weren't busy on the job. Together, they developed a financial planning tool, but they weren't successful at first. They discovered a way to connect the app to their bank accounts. This was the beginning of Plaid, but it took them a while to iron out all the kinks.
16. Plaid's founders are both highly educated men
We were looking into the history of Plaid and discovered that both Zach Perret and William Hockey completed their college educations. Both attended prestigious institutions of higher learning. Perret is a graduate of Duke University. Hockey graduated from Emory. Each understands the value of an education when entering into the business world, but they've also learned that the world is continually changing and evolving. With nine years in executive leadership to their credit, these young men have more experience and knowledge about big business than many people who are decades older.
17. Zach and William had their share of struggles
When Perret and Hockey first went to Silicon Valley to try to make their business a go, they encountered a lot of negativity. They already had customers with a product that worked and it was generating revenue. The pair had already established Plaid, but it was a small business and nothing close to what they wanted it to be. The two had relocated to San Francisco and they attempted to explain the new business to venture capital firms in an attempt to raise funds for expansion. The two were rejected more than fifty times before they finally found investors who were willing to take them seriously and give their new startup consideration. In the end, their perseverance paid off but there were a few rocky moments beforehand.
18. Plaid was started on a shoestring budget
We also learned that the early days of Plaid were not that comfortable for its founders. Perret had met a girl who became his girlfriend and he moved into her home. Hockey camped out on the couch of a friend. These were lean times for the two, and they relied on friends to take them out to dinner. Although they're currently both billionaires, in the early days, neither of them owned their own homes and they were financially strapped.
19. Spark Capital was the first investor to believe in Plaid
Finally, in July of 2013, Plaid's founders could breathe a sigh of relief. After putting every cent they had into the company and foregoing many of life's simple pleasures, their sacrifices paid off. Spark Capital came around and led a round of seed venture capital fundraising that brought in an initial investment of $2.9 million for Plaid. This was enough to help them get to the next level and begin to expand Plaid towards its potential. This was the fortunate event that opened up a floodgate of other investors who are happy to help the pair expand their now unicorn status company.
20. Zach and William have been officially recognized for their brilliance.
Although these two entrepreneurs were young businessmen, the co-founder of Spark saw something unique in them. He acknowledged that both men were very young when they first embarked on their new startup in fintech, but he also saw that they were impeccable with the running of their business. In addition to that, both men were listed on the very prestigious Forbes' 30 under 30 lists for 2015. This was another accolade that let everyone in the business world know that the founders of Plaid are successful young entrepreneurs who had made significant accomplishments in the fintech industry. Only those with a proven track record of success ever make it to the list. They are young, successful, rich, and brilliant and they're just getting started.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee