Narmi is both thrilled and grateful to our investment partners, Picus Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and newest partner Greycroft for their support in securing a $35M investment – further securing Narmi’s ability to help community banks and credit unions enter the digital future.
As banks and credit unions continue to consolidate and reduce branch locations, the need to digitize is more crucial than ever to reach more customers and gain more members. That’s why Narmi sought the funding we did: to help those institutions continue to nurture and grow their communities. And of course, we wouldn’t be able to do it without our wonderful customers either.
Narmi’s investment partner, Picus Capital, recently shared why they’re excited about Narmi’s future and how they see this latest funding round benefiting the 10,000+ financial institutions in the US.
-Nikhil Lakhanpal & Chris Griffin
Originally published on Medium by Picus Capital
We first encountered Narmi’s founders Chris and Nikhil in early 2018 and were immediately struck by the fact that they had that elusive founder-problem fit. Both had first-hand experience running a financial institution, and together they were working on a software solution to improve the industry’s antiquated digital offerings.
Over the subsequent months, we saw their strong entrepreneurial mindset and ability to execute in action, and by the end of the year we led their seed round. Since then, we’ve worked together closely — supporting recruitment, go-to-market strategy and long-term product roadmap — as the team has grown. We also fully supported their Series A fundraise which was completed in 2020.
Today, we are excited to announce we are co-leading Narmi’s 35M USD Series B round together with New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Greycroft.
For the best part of the last decade, challenger banks like N26, Chime and Revolut have been forcing traditional banks and credit unions to compete with their digital-first offerings. While the large incumbent banks have been fairly able to keep pace with this digitization (due to their significant resources), an entire trove of 11,000 regional and community financial institutions have struggled to a greater extent.
In the United States, credit unions and smaller banks have been consolidating by 2–3% p.a. over the last few years. With a reduction of branches, this increases the need to digitize channels for more online interactions with customers. Interestingly, the customer/membership base of credit unions has been steadily increasing by ~4% per year over the last five years, proving that these institutions will remain a key part of the financial system into the future. Their membership and not-for-profit model also protects them somewhat from digital-first banking alternatives.
Narmi is perfectly positioned to provide a cost-efficient and effective way for both banks and credit unions to provide a modern customer experience, allowing them to retain their customers and withstand the market pressure. Its APIs and AppXChange even provide financial institutions with the opportunity to integrate with new services and sources of high-margin revenue like the offering of upcoming FinTechs — for example, insurance products through an integration with InsureTech Lemonade, or travel-booking functionality through an integration with Booking.com.
There were some very clear signs early in our relationship that proved Narmi had the potential to revolutionize the banking market and that gave us the comfort to lead their seed round 4 years ago:
Since our initial investment in 2018, Chris, Nikhil and the Narmi team have continued to impress us with their innovation and execution.
Their products offer an exceptional user experience and from a technical perspective, Narmi’s offering is more innovative, and built on a modern tech stack, providing a superior experience to the developers implementing and integrating with the platform.
The leadership team has also demonstrated their ability to grow the business at a fast pace while staying extremely capital efficient, which lays the foundation for continued growth and acceleration with the latest funding round. This growth has not just come from the acquisition of new customers, but also the development of new product modules and successful upselling to their existing customer base.
On top of all of this, the market conditions are looking more favorable than ever before. The Covid-19 pandemic increased the need for financial institutions to digitize their customer-facing services. According to the recent 2021 report by the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the urgency for smaller banks and credit unions to digitize is now twice as big as it was 3 years ago. According to the report, “nearly 90 percent of credit unions cited investments in information technology as driving spending increases over the next three years”. Also with an increase in interest rates, expect investments in technology to increase for banks.
With all these factors in play, we truly believe that Narmi is on track to become the leading provider of digital solutions for banks and credit unions in the United States — and we are looking forward to many years of working together with Nikhil, Chris and the rest of the Narmi team.