*AS FEATURED ON THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
August 17, 2017
FinTech Titans Invest in Cross River
Venture Capitalists Get Radical and Invest in a... Bank
Startups aiming to disrupt banks have been a decent bet for venture capitalists. But what do some think might be an even better bet? Banks. For the first time in over a decade, a group of Silicon Valley’s top venture firms are making a sizable bet on a deposit-taking U.S. bank. Battery Ventures LP, Andreessen Horowitz, and Ribbit Capital are investing $28 million in a fundraising round for CRB Group Inc., the holding company for eight-year-old Cross River Bank, according to the firms.
In many respects, Cross River looks like many other small lenders: It is a New Jersey-chartered community bank with one branch, in Teaneck. It makes commercial loans to businesses like specialty grocery stores in and around New York City, and offers personal savings and checking accounts.
But the little-known bank, with $543 million in assets, has quietly risen to national prominence in tech circles. Since its founding in 2008, it has partnered with some of the highest-profile financial technology, or fintech, startups offering online loans and payments, such as Affirm Inc., Stripe Inc., and TransferWise Inc. It is also linked up with tech giants MasterCard Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.
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