Central Payments, architect of the award-winning Open*CP Fintech API Marketplace℠ and the country’s fastest growing prepaid card issuer*, announced today that it has completed a $30 million growth equity raise. Castle Creek Capital led the round with additional investment from Launchpad Capital. The transaction spins the banking-as-a-service leader out from Central Bank of Kansas City and further accelerates its rapid growth trajectory.
“Since inception, we have remained steadfast in our belief that new technology and the stability of a bank charter create opportunity for banks in fintech and embedded finance, while others may have perceived a threat,” said Central Payments Founder & President Trent Sorbe. “This raise will enable us to continue trailblazing with our Technology | Charter | Choice℠ approach.”
“We see the future opportunity for banks in embedded finance and fintech. Central Payments’ team of fintech bankers and its Open*CP API platform are lynch pins for those relationships,” said Tony Scavuzzo, Managing Principal at Castle Creak Capital. “Trent and his team at Central Payments saw this opportunity and executed on it before most knew what ‘banking-as-a-service’ meant.”
The transaction also serves as the inaugural investment for Castle Creek Launchpad Fund I. Launchpad Capital, an Oakland-based venture firm, recently announced its joint venture with Castle Creek and the closing of its new $90 million fund, raised from 34 community banks. “We’re backing innovators and new financial technologies,” said Launchpad Capital’s founder Ryan Gilbert, who added: “Central Payments’ origin inside a community bank and its positioning at the intersection of banking, payments and fintech made it an ideal first investment for our new fund.”
Sorbe founded Central Payments in 2014 with Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC), one of the country’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Steve Giles, CEO of CBKC, recalls: “Central Payments grew from a vision of expanding CBKC’s reach among low and moderate income consumers through products like payroll cards, prepaid cards, and remittances.” The Bank will continue as an investor, issuer, and strategic partner. Proceeds from the raise will be used to facilitate strategic growth initiatives such as additional investments in technology, product, and staffing. Giles adds: “This transaction allows Central Payments to expand on the original vision, and we’re excited to remain a part of it.”
The Central Payments leadership team remains intact, and a board of directors is expected to be announced shortly. The company will also soon share exciting plans for its Falls Fintech accelerator, which focuses on fast-tracking market readiness for early-stage financial technology startups.
In conjunction with the announcement, Central Payments has dropped a new episode of its Fintech Brews & News podcast. Sorbe and co-host Nikkee Rhody talk with Scavuzzo and Gilbert about what brought the teams together and the shared vision for community banking, fintech, and the embedded finance market. The company is also hosting an open webcast for all interested partners, prospects, vendors, and industry followers to discuss the transaction and Central Payments’ future plans. Details are available on the Central Payments’ LinkedIn page and at Central-Payments.com.