Canapi Venture Launches First $545 Million Funds to Boost Fintech Startups
Canapi Ventures, a Wilmington-based venture capital firm investing in early to growth-stage fintech companies, announced the launch of its inaugural $545 million fintech venture funds to support innovation in financial services. The funds, which are centered around early to growth-stage financial technology investment opportunities, drew supports from a wide range of investors, including banks and financial institutions as well as the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers Association. Included in the investor base is a group known collectively as the Canapi Alliance, which is made up of more than 35 banks and strategic investors seeking attractive investments and greater partnership with the fintech ecosystem.
Led by industry veterans Gene Ludwig and Chip Mahan, Canapi Ventures was launched in 2018. The firm focuses on identifying opportunities to provide growth capital to entrepreneurs building enterprise solutions for the financial services industry of the future. Canapi already has 11 employees and operates offices in Wilmington as well as Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Both Gene Ludwig and Chip Mahan are not new to finance. Ludwig co-founded Promontory Interfinancial Network, which has provided hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to its network of approximately 2,900 financial institutions. He is also the founder and CEO of Promontory Financial Group, now an IBM company, which is recognized as a premier regulatory and compliance consulting firm for financial services and fintech companies. Earlier in his career, he served as the 27th Comptroller of the Currency and is widely recognized for his expertise in fintech regulatory and compliance matters.
Mahan built his career revolutionizing the banking industry. Mahan founded and currently serves as CEO and chairman of Live Oak Bancshares, headquartered in Wilmington, NC. Its banking subsidiary, Live Oak Bank, specializes in providing lending and financial services to small businesses nationwide. During his time at Live Oak Bancshares, Mahan co-founded nCino, a cloud banking services provider to hundreds of banks globally. Mahan previously led S1 Corporation and founded Security First Network Bank, one of the world’s first internet banks.
The Canapi Alliance, which includes 11 of the top 50 and 23 of the top 100 banks in the United States by total asset size, represents a valuable potential distribution network for Canapi’s portfolio companies with more than 20 million customers across 45 states.
“Banks are looking for technology partners that can help them thrive and innovate in a rapidly changing and hyper-competitive market. We believe many of these solutions have to come from early stage companies and that is why we launched Canapi Ventures,” said Canapi Co-Managing Partner Gene Ludwig. “The best early stage company founders seek investment partners who not only provide capital but possess deep domain expertise and an ability to help fintech companies tangibly grow revenue and customers. We believe our model is unique in that it aligns the interests of both banks that want to use innovative technologies as well as the companies creating those technologies and represents a true ‘win-win’ for all parties involved.”
Co-Managing Partner Chip Mahan said, “Much of the financial services industry is running on software created decades ago, and we are at an inflection point where that has to change. Canapi is here to connect banks to the innovators who aim to make that change happen and truly revolutionize the fundamentals of our industry.”
Canapi made its first investment last year in Built Technologies, a provider of cloud-based software to the construction lending industry. “In a short period of time, Canapi has emerged as one of our most valuable investors. Canapi’s industry relationships and knowledge of financial services have been transformative for Built,” said Built Technologies CEO Chase Gilbert.
Canapi’s broad relationships root back to its deep bench of experienced partners with strong track records of building and incubating fintech companies. As operators, investors, bankers, advisors and regulators the team has created more than $5B+ of market value in the financial services industry.