Banking as a service, Member Exclusive

Rapyd and Cross River both launch new corporate venture arms

  • Rapyd Ventures and Cross River Digital Ventures will invest in early and growth stage startups.
  • Venture arms allow both the fintech and the bank to strategically invest in underdeveloped sectors.

Email a Friend

Rapyd and Cross River both launch new corporate  venture arms

Venture capital is pouring into fintech, with $105.3 billion invested across 2,861 deals in 2020 and two firms are taking things into their own hands.

Within a few weeks of each other, payments fintech Rapyd and partner bank for many top fintechs, Cross River announced the launch of their new venture arms, following the paths of some industry staples like Square, Stripe, Paypal, Amazon and more.  

In early June, Banking-as-a-Service platform Rapyd announced the launch of its venture capital arm, Rapyd Ventures, which will invest in two types of businesses locally and globally: capability providers and end-user platforms. The former encompasses startups that are in the business of developing core infrastructure in areas where there is potential for market expansion such as money movement and embedded financial services. The latter includes companies that will directly develop financial services for customers and businesses alike.

“The impact we’re driving towards isn’t just financial returns for ourselves,” says Joel Yarbrough, managing director of Rapyd Ventures. “It’s about really making sure the gaps we see in the market are being met, and then matchmaking between solutions and our network to make sure their impact is felt.”

Yarbrough, who concurrently serves as the Asia Pacific vp of Rapyd, has some experience in strategic investments and acquisitions. He was the head of corporate development and integration at Grab, a Singaporean tech-driven transportation service, where he identified and matured acquisitions and investments to integrate into GrabPay, its premiere mobile wallet.

Yarbrough says that RV sees itself as a strategic investor that wants to support early and growth stage startups following their seed round and through their Series B funding. Yarbrough believes Rapyd Ventures capital is most effective after the seed round and up to B, when companies are either trying to figure out their product or may have done so but need to ‘supercharge it’. 

RV’s investment target is between $100,000 and $5 million for now. 

In addition to providing capital, Rapyd will also offer resources such as its own BaaS capabilities. It also provides access to its partner network so startups in Rapyd Ventures’ venture pool can take advantage of their expertise and experience. So far, Rapyd Ventures has only announced one investment with GoTrade, a stock trading platform.


“We’re investing in capabilities that complement where we think the market is going, in some cases alternative approaches to how we’ve built solutions, and in other cases areas where we aren’t investing heavily ourselves,” says Yarbrough.

While Rapyd has made other investments, it’s not ready to disclose information about them.

More recently, fintech-forward community bank Cross River launched its venture capital firm, Cross River Digital Ventures. Cross River’s interest in the space isn’t new, having already made a few informal investments in the sector. Phil Goldfeder, svp of public affairs at Cross River, says having a formal venture arm will help Cross River better explore what’s out there and identify companies that need the extra investment to make them successful.

At the moment, Cross River has no limits on the kinds of startups it wants to invest in, with a broad, sweeping ‘all of the above’ attitude as far as their investment interests and priorities are concerned. Unlike Rapyd, Cross River has not capped its investments either. Goldfeder says “it would be silly to set parameters” that would potentially limit the companies that would come through Cross River’s doors, so Cross River was ready to ‘explore anything and everything’. 

“We're looking to change the future,” says Goldfeder. “You can only do that -- number one -- by innovating [in-house]...but also investing in companies that are doing the same thing and have a shared vision.”

Cross River announced three investments across different fintech sectors including payments, personalized financial services, and real estate financing advisory services. This includes Lev, a fintech that’s trying to automate the commercial real estate process. Goldfeder says that while Cross River has a traditional commercial real estate lending business, its investment in Lev was based on holes in the industry that Lev is trying to address with automation, technology and innovation.

Typically, when companies launch venture arms, it’s either to partner with third parties or to integrate new solutions and technologies into their wider portfolios, says lead analyst at Juniper Research, Nick Maynard. He says this allows companies to increase their offerings without having to develop their own capabilities, which can sometimes be costlier. Some companies also use venture arms to scout for potential acquisitions. 

“The fintech market has recently become dominated by partnerships to a greater extent than ever before,” says Maynard. “This means that the race is on for fintechs to partner as widely as they can, and create the most attractive ecosystem possible.”

0 comments on “Rapyd and Cross River both launch new corporate venture arms”

Member Exclusive

Tearsheet Briefing: Fintech changed consumer finance — how are regulators thinking about this?

  • Welcome to the first Tearsheet Briefing, featuring weekly insights from our reporters on the intersection of finance and technology – exclusively for Tearsheet PRO members.
  • In our first briefing, we're exploring how the entry of fintech and non-bank firms has added complexity to the financial system, and its implications from a regulatory standpoint.
Sara Khairi | February 03, 2023
Announcement, Member Exclusive

Welcome to the Tearsheet PRO Newsletter

  • We're excited to introduce our new member-only newsletter, featuring fresh and exclusive content from Tearsheet Editors Zack Miller and Iulia Ciutina.
  • Tearsheet PRO is designed to connect the dots, challenge conventional thinking, and keep your finger on the pulse of established and emerging trends. In your inbox every Wednesday.
Iulia Ciutina | February 02, 2023
10-Q, Member Exclusive

Weekly 10-Q: Check cashing fees are getting an overhaul from New York’s financial regulator

  • The New York State Department of Financial Services is putting into practice an updated check cashing regulation following the proposed regulation announced in June last year.
  • And, feeling the heat of the economic downturn, JPMorgan's board has decided that CEO Jamie Dimon will take home the same base pay in 2023 as he did last year -- with no special award or bonus.
Sara Khairi | January 31, 2023
Blockchain and Crypto, Member Exclusive

Bankchain Briefing: Banks onboard the blockchain train

  • The lawsuits and insults season is in full swing within the unregulated cryptocurrency space.
  • But cryptocurrency is just one facet of blockchain technology. Tearsheet asked experts for commentary on how traditional banks are experimenting with blockchains.
Lindi Miti | January 27, 2023
Green Finance, Member Exclusive

Green Finance Briefing: VCs are betting on climate tech amid a broader down market

  • Climate tech is accelerating at unprecedented pace, in contrast to the broader tech sector, with global VC funding reaching $70 billion in 2022.
  • This year, however, the growth rate of the climate tech sector is expected to moderate due to a challenging economic backdrop.
Iulia Ciutina | January 20, 2023
More Articles