Goldman Sachs backs card issuing, processing startup Marqeta

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N has joined a $45 million investment round in Marqeta, a U.S. fintech company offering technology businesses can use to issue payment cards, the startup said on Tuesday.

The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The round, which brings Marqeta's total funding raised to $116 million, was led by venture capital firm ICONIQ Capital, according to a statement from the companies. Marqeta is also backed by Visa Inc V.N.

Marqeta will use the funding to grow the business and expand operations internationally, Chief Executive Officer Jason Gardner said in an interview.

“We have established ourselves as the go-to player for card issuing and processing,” Gardner said. “Whether it is based in the U.S. or Canada, or very soon within Europe.”

Founded in 2010, the Oakland, California-based startup has developed a platform for payment card issuing and processing. It says its technology makes issuing pay cards easier and more efficient.

Marqeta's clients include Square Inc SQ.N, the payments company founded by Twitter Inc TWTR.N CEO Jack Dorsey, Affirm, the lending startup led by PayPal Inc co-founder Max Levchin and Alipay, the payments business spun out of China-based technology giant Alibaba Group Holding BABA.N.

The investment from Goldman comes as the Wall Street bank seeks to expand its retail operations to offset weakness in other divisions such as trading. Last year, the bank’s executives laid out a goal to generate $5 billion in revenue from new sources, including consumer banking.

Goldman is reportedly preparing to launch a credit card with Apple Inc.

Gardner declined to disclose whether Goldman and Marqeta had plans to work together.

“We have gotten close with them over the years,” Gardner said. “They are doing a lot in retail, they are building a pretty large challenger bank and that is something we focus on.”

Marqeta, has been growing fast, with payments volume more than doubling in the last six months, Gardner said.

It is the process of launching operations in Europe and has made its first hires in the UK, but also plans to open an office somewhere else in the European Union, Gardner said.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by David Gregorio