2021 has been an incredible year for Unit, thanks to our customers, team, partners, and investors.
In the demanding day-to-day of building a company, it’s easy to lose track of the bigger picture sometimes. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished and share what’s next.
Here’s a quick summary:
What we shipped
We designed Unit to be the simple and robust platform that empowers the next generation of fintech builders. When we signed our first customer a little over a year ago, we didn’t imagine that we’d finish the year serving nearly 100 customers. Throughout the year we’ve continuously practiced our customer obsession by listening to and learning from them.
We shipped 15 times a week on average and focused on the following themes:
Building Unit also means focusing on the invisible complexity behind the scenes and how we scale it to serve our customers best. To that end, we’ve added our third partner bank, improved our connectivity to the payment networks and made big investments in our compliance, banking ops, success and support functions. These improvements are less visible than an API or Dashboard feature, but they help deliver important value to our customers: significantly lower fraud rates, faster response times and experts they can talk to at all times.
The speed at which our product evolved, and its growing complexity, made us ask our customers - and ourselves - what’s the best way to communicate Unit’s present and future with the world. We decided on a combination of features page (present), changelog (recent changes) and roadmap (future). We invite you to visit them, subscribe to updates and share your feedback with us.
Our content is our product
We strongly believe that a new generation of builders requires not only new tools, but also new knowledge. This year, we wrote 25+ detailed guides with two audiences in mind.
One audience is companies that explore the addition of financial features, and seek to better understand the costs and benefits in doing so. For this audience, we wrote our guides to Revenues in Financial Features, Banking Infrastructure and Interchange.
A second audience is customers and prospects that seek to better understand Unit and the process of building on it. For this audience, we wrote more than a dozen guides including our Onboarding Guide, Card & Collateral Guide, Reserve Account Guide, Disclosures Guide, End Customer Terms Guide, Disputes Guide, Card Issuance Guide, and ATM Guide and more.
Our traction: banking grows
When Doron and I started Unit, we believed that the best way to expand financial access is to make it easier for builders to build.
In 2021, we saw this reality starting to emerge. We’ve been lucky to serve companies that are quickly gaining traction in their markets. In consumer banking, we saw Mos building for students and Bridge building for the underbanked. The rise of freelancers and creators also catalyzed a trend: companies like Lance, Moves, Wethos, and others have all created unique products for independent workers.
We’ve also seen established companies adopt banking as part of their product. AngelList launched Stacks which simplifies formation for startups and provides the banking capabilities they need to operate. Invoice2go provides banking that complements their invoicing and payments solution for small businesses.
The growth of our customers meant significant growth for Unit:
Some notable customers who built and launched their product on Unit this year are:
With our first year of customer growth and learning behind us, we solidified a north star metric that helps us align the work we do with the success of every company building on Unit: number of active end-users. Our goal is to help every Unit customer increase the number of active end-users they serve by helping them launch quickly and offer flexible, reliable and engaging experiences.
Raising our series B
Unit’s unique approach – a modern tech stack built on a native ledger, embedded compliance, and built-in bank relationships – resonated with the market quickly.
In May, we raised a $51m Series B led by Accel, which had brought our total funding to $70m. The capital helped us speed up product development, grow our team and become a market leader in banking-as-a-service. Existing investors Better Tomorrow Ventures, Aleph, Flourish, and TLV Partners joined the round. We were also fortunate to welcome 20+ notable angel investors, including Packy McCormick, Sriram Krishnan and others.
Growing the team
In January we were building the product as a team of 10. In December we were a team of nearly 50 operating across 2 countries and 5 time zones. This year, we’ve hired leadership in important areas: Louise Ng in marketing, Jeremy Bass in sales, Ehud Fisher in product, and Alex Cramer in platform.
It’s still early days at Unit. We love the work that goes into building our company and the people we work with. We’re currently hiring on all fronts: sales, success, support, engineering, compliance, and more. If you want to be part of building an industry-defining company from the ground up, check out our open positions.
Unit in the media
Unit’s progress throughout the year has been noticed by industry experts and top publications. Here are some of the notable times Unit was highlighted or awarded in 2021:
In the first few months of 2022, we plan to launch with 50+ new customers who are currently going through our onboarding process, including some notable names.
Our roadmap is always a reflection of what our customers need: building better end-user experiences and doing it faster. For us, it means supporting more financial products, building a richer software stack and adding valuable integrations. It also means being excellent at handling the invisible complexity behind the scenes.
As far as financial products go, an important area of focus for us in 2022 will be credit. We currently offer accounts, cards, payments and certain forms of credit, such as factoring or business cash advance. We see a big opportunity in expanding our credit stack and helping our customers offer credit products, from early wage access to credit cards to small business lending. We love thinking through the many details that go into this product evolution. Expect some exciting product announcements in the coming months. If you’re looking to build credit products, we’d love to hear from you.
Scaling a tech company is an art that changes with every passing year. Becoming a scale-up isn’t easy, but we’re up for the challenge and we’re starting 2022 with the right foundation: team, product and traction. We owe our progress to our amazing customers, and expect this year to be an even bigger one for Unit, them, and banking-as-a-service as an ecosystem.
PS- we’ll say it again. We’re hiring!