Fintech startup MX, Blend each raise $300 million

(Reuters) - Fintech startups Utah-based MX and San Francisco-based Blend both said on Wednesday they each raised $300 million in their latest funding rounds, as investors seek to bet on companies benefiting from a surge of business moving online.

MX was valued at $1.9 billion in its funding round led by private equity firm TPG Capital, and Blend was valued at $3.3 billion in its round led by Coatue and Tiger Global Management.

The boom in e-commerce and other contactless payment technology during the pandemic resulted in a record year for venture capital investments in U.S. fintech companies with $20.6 billion invested, according to data firm PitchBook.

Globally around $41.4 billion were invested in fintech companies in 2020, still lagging the record $51.4 billion invested in 2018 due to big investments in Asia, PitchBook said.

These two fintech startups are part of a group of technology firms that are the picks and shovels of the financial industry, including startups such as Stripe, which raised $600 million in April last year, and Plaid which Visa had agreed to buy for $5.3 billion in January last year before calling the deal off on Tuesday following a U.S. government lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal on antitrust grounds.

Blend helps create the digital infrastructure needed for online lending. MX technology helps make financial transactions clearer and payment processing easier, where consumers can stop looking for that check book to find routing numbers and bank account numbers, said Ryan Caldwell, founder and chief executive officer, MX.

While companies such as Amazon, Spotify, and Tesla have been using consumer data to improve the consumer experience for many years already, the financial industry has lagged behind, Caldwell said.

MX said it is working with 2,000 banks, credit unions, fintech companies, as well as 85% of digital banking providers, and has a combined reach of over 200 million consumers.

Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Chizu Nomiyama