While 2022 was a challenging year for the tech ecosystem as a whole, it was also a year of significant growth, learnings, and expansion for Unit. We’d like to thank our customers, bank partners, team members, and investors.
Our team worked hard to make Unit the most complete, safe, and secure banking-as-a-service platform for customers and banks. We continued to make progress on our mission to help companies launch new banking and lending products, unlock value, and expand financial access.
As we begin a new year, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on our milestones and share what’s next.
Here’s a quick summary:
We shipped 20 times a week on average and processed 2.4 billion API calls.
Both finance and technology are overrun with complexity. We focused on making it simpler for our customers to launch financial products, while making it easier for our bank partners to compliantly deliver their banking services.
When we think of the largest untapped opportunities to create value in the financial ecosystem, embedded lending is the next big wave. We expanded our product offering into the lending space, giving companies the ability to offer their customers access to capital they need to grow their businesses. For our first launch, we made Charge Card issuing available through the Unit platform. Charge cards create a new opportunity for your company to deliver a more complete and valuable product to your customers, while also generating more revenue and building customer loyalty.
Faster money movement
We launched support for Early Payment Access to get money into your customers’ hands quicker. Programmatic Authorization of ATM transactions gives you the ability to control and act on ATM withdrawals and deposits.
Our Rewards API provides new functionality for you to offer rewards to your customers, while also improving your customer acquisition, retention, and engagement.
Faster to launch
With the launch of our Pilot Environment we delivered a way for developers to build banking instantly with real funds for testing purposes. Similar to a production development environment, Pilot helps companies build accounts, cards, and payments to make real-world transactions.
Our White-Label Application Forms have been adopted by over 50% of our customers to immediately launch secure, compliant, and low-fraud onboarding experiences. Encouraged by that success, we invested heavily over the course of the year in building more White-label UI products for companies ranging from startups to enterprises.
Our White-Label UIs make it easier and faster to get to market, stay compliant, and offer your customers a branded, consistent experience across platforms. We are thrilled to be rolling out our White-Label UI Components in the first half of 2023, which will culminate in the delivery of a complete White-Label App later in the year.
White-Label UI Components are a low-code solution built with performance and accessibility in mind. Requiring minimal engineering investment, you can choose all or some of the components to build aspects of your app’s frontend. Our full White-Label App will be a no-code solution for companies that want to go to market even faster. Look out for our full announcement in January.
We continued to grow our partnership and integration ecosystem to help you embed more financial services for your customers. For example, we made accessing data in a secure and reliable way even easier with the launch of our Partner API Token, which helps partners integrate into Unit’s growing ecosystem to deliver seamless experiences for shared customers.
We integrated with AWS S3 to give you raw data to build custom reporting solutions for better decision making, eliminating the need to build a sequence of API calls to obtain data. Our Astra Integration, Intuit Integration, and Yodlee integration make connecting accounts, funding them, and managing accounting seamless for your customers.
As an additional fraud mitigation initiative during the onboarding process, we launched Selfie Verification to ensure that your customers that apply for bank accounts are who they say they are. We also enabled authentication with Stytch, Cognito, and Auth0.
Building Unit means abstracting away many complexities for our customers. In our post earlier in the year, we laid out why Unit decided to focus on building an access layer on top of multiple banks and the three components central to our approach: multiple bank relationships; compliance tools; and software and APIs.
This past year, as we nearly tripled our team to 120 employees, we made strategic hires to drive impact across these three areas:
This is only part of the work as we build a market-leading financial infrastructure platform. We are obsessed with helping our customers launch and succeed. We brought on Kate Levin (SVP Customer Success) to lead our team of success managers providing customers with best-in-class service. We also welcomed Matthew Sullivan (VP Finance) to help build an even stronger foundation.
We love the work that goes into building our company and the people we work with. We’re currently hiring on all fronts. If you want to be part of building an industry-defining company, check out our open positions.
Our main goals in publishing content were to help companies discover the value that embedded finance can bring, as well as how to build it. The future of financial services will be powered by software companies, particularly software companies built around specific audiences. To realize this future, Unit creates content aimed to educate and power the next generation of builders.
The Apple Banking Guide is a prime example. Apple has a strong brand and loyal customer base – a key indicator of success for embedding financial products. We created a visual and detailed guide to show what it might look like if Apple built bank accounts into their Wallet app, as well as the value Apple could derive from embedded financial services.
We offered a logical framework for those deciding whether to partner with a platform or work directly with a bank. We also published a KYC guide as a resource to help demystify concepts and educate software companies exploring embedded banking.
With economic uncertainty looming, we sought to understand the impact on small businesses. We partnered with The Harris Poll to learn more about their needs. We learned that 84% would be open to getting financial services from a provider other than a traditional large bank (e.g., Chase, Wells Fargo). Read our Lending Guide or watch our webinar to learn how innovative software companies are jumping in to fill the gap.
Unit is trusted by nearly 200 leading brands to launch and scale financial features. From publicly traded companies to established SaaS platforms and marketplaces, Unit serves a growing number of diverse audiences such as small businesses, gig-economy workers, online creators, truckers, landlords, contract laborers, students, and more.
Companies like Baselane have embedded financial services into their product to help landlords better manage rental properties and saw a 50% reduction in customer acquisition costs. Veryable enabled next-day payments to help independent contractors get paid faster and saw a 3x lift in card revenue. Forage helped businesses accept online EBT (food stamps) payments and expanded digital banking access to millions of families. We are excited to work together with both our customers and partners to bring new ideas to market and build better financial services.
The growth of our customers meant significant growth for Unit:
In May, we raised a $100 million Series C led by Jeff Horing of Insight Partners. Insight was joined by existing investors Accel, Better Tomorrow Ventures, and Flourish, as well as new investors Stepstone, Moving Capital, and prominent fintech angels. This capital raise ensures we have sufficient funding to continue to realize our mission of expanding financial access and helping companies launch new banking products.
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 2022:
In 2023, tech companies will continue to rethink their priorities and focus relentlessly on generating more revenue from their existing customers. We continue to see hundreds of companies embedding financial services as part of their solution to:
Last year provided us with an opportunity to see the scale and compounding value of quality infrastructure. As we look ahead to the new year, our main priorities will revolve around helping our customers:
The financial services industry will keep transforming. Individuals and businesses will continue to choose financial services that best meet their needs, and builders will continue to provide solutions. 2023 is still early days at Unit, and we’re excited for the impact we’re making on financial inclusion every day.
January 30, 2023