Today, I am thrilled to announce that Volante Technologies has raised $35 million in growth capital, in an investment round led by Wavecrest Growth Partners, with strategic participation from BNY Mellon, Citi Ventures, Poste Italiane, and VISA Inc. I’m especially honored by the fact that the majority of the strategic investors in this capital raise activity are Volante clients, which is a testament to the mutual trust we have built together over the years.
The official press release covers the details, so I’d like to provide a more personal perspective in this blog. I’ll go deeper into why, having ably grown Volante for nearly two decades without a penny of outside investment, we’re taking this step now – and what the news means for our customers, our partners, our employees, and the broader financial services industry.
Looking Back: The Journey So Far
In 2001, my co-founders and I observed that financial institutions were losing precious time and expending costly resources on transaction processing, mainly due to the limitations of their archaic technology. So we launched Volante with a clear purpose: to help financial institutions transcend these limitations by providing modern solutions that simplified the complexity of their operations and accelerated business outcomes, across capital markets, custody, and transaction banking.
What we offered would eventually be labeled “digital transformation”, or “payments modernization”, or one of several similar buzzwords. However, we were never motivated by buzzwords or technology for its own sake, but to make a difference in our client’s lives. By speeding up loan settlements, wage payments, stock transfers, and other essential transactions, we could give our clients and their customers the time and flexibility to focus on what was strategically important to them.
This philosophy has directly fueled the growth we’ve experienced over the past two decades. Shortly after starting the company and launching our Volante Designer financial messaging platform, we became providers to some of the world’s largest custodians and stock exchanges. Two years after entering the payments arena with VolPay, we processed the first U.S. real-time payment with BNY Mellon. In 2017, we anticipated the growth of cloud in financial services and launched our payments as a service offering in the cloud. Twelve months later we processed the first SEPA transaction on Microsoft Azure, and stand today as the acknowledged leader in cloud payments.
The industry has recognized our ability to quickly enter and dominate new markets. In the last year alone, we’ve received Global Finance Magazine’s Best Payment Solution award, topped the IBS Sales League Table for wholesale payments, and have been recognized by IDC as a Leader in integrated payments. Today, we can count four of the top five corporate banks among our more than one hundred customers.
These achievements are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees, and our track record in attracting the industry’s top talent, as we have steadily done even over the last 6 months, during which we have grown 25% despite the headwinds of a global health crisis.
Given our successful growth record, you might ask: why not just keep going? Why bring in outside investment, and why now?
Looking Forward: Where We’re Headed
We are convinced that the next wave of digital innovation will be supercharged by the shift to cloud. The coronavirus pandemic has made many financial institutions realize that legacy systems running in traditional data centers cannot deliver the resiliency and agility required by an increasingly contactless world – and as a result, the demand curve for modern cloud solutions, especially in payments and financial messaging, is steepening.
Our cloud-native, microservices-based technology, combined with our proven success in delivering category-leading solutions in this industry, positions us uniquely to meet this demand and capitalize on the generational shift towards cloud-based payments modernization. That is why we are bringing in outside investment now: to maintain this core focus, broaden our lead, and accelerate our growth trajectory even further.
How will we deploy the capital? Our efforts will be concentrated in three main areas. Firstly, investing in R&D to offer greater resiliency, scalability, and roadmap richness in our end-to-end payments processing service in the cloud. Secondly, building out all aspects of our business operations to serve our growing customer base. And finally, extending our go-to-market capabilities in all the regions in which we operate, while also expanding into new geographies, new market segments, and new lines of business.
What This Means For Our Customers – And Prospective Customers
We sincerely believe that the best way for us to achieve our full potential and satisfy the growing market need is with the support and partnership of our customer community.
So if you’re a Volante customer, here’s what this means for you.
It means that we’ll be able to continue growing our R&D team, to provide you with the industry’s broadest and deepest roadmap of solutions and technology innovations, one that only a company with our DNA and expertise can provide.
It also means that we’ll be able to accelerate our geographic expansion, to support you in your own growth, wherever you do business.
If you’re not yet a customer – please reach out. Whatever your modernization strategy, we can help you get there faster, with lower cost, and less complexity and risk. It’s a commitment that we have demonstrated time and time again with financial institutions of all sizes, from the largest global players to regional and community organizations.
What This Means For Our Partners – And Prospective Partners
If you’re a Volante partner, you already know that you’re collaborating with an organization with the world’s most advanced cloud-native payments and financial messaging technology, solutions, and services. With the backing now of the world’s largest, most respected financial institutions, you can be confident that we can continue to scale to ensure that you can meet your own growth objectives with us, whatever the scope of our partnership.
Not yet a Volante partner? This is a great time to become one – contact us. We work with cloud infrastructure providers, systems integrators, and many other types of firms across the fintech ecosystem to bring more value to the customers we have in common, every day.
What This Means For Our Employees – and Prospective Employees
At Volante, we’re proud of having a strong work-life balance culture, and putting our employees first. That isn’t just a catchphrase, it’s how we run the business.
Employees first, particularly today, means health and safety first. That’s why we’ve always fully funded health insurance premiums for all our staff and their families, without requiring employee contributions, regardless of their location.
If our staff aren’t fulfilled by their work, or can’t achieve their personal and professional goals with Volante, then we won’t be able to keep innovating, and we certainly won’t be able to keep delivering the results of our productivity and enthusiasm to our customers.
By taking on capital investment now, we are strengthening our ability to build high-performance teams based on this philosophy, and ensuring that Volante can remain a place where our staff can grow their careers, not just keep a job.
More To Come
It still amazes me that what started as a small group of like-minded individuals solving a niche and obscure problem, is now a global software company, processing mission-critical transactions every day for banks, financial institutions, market infrastructures, card networks, and corporations of all sizes.
I’m confident that what we’ve achieved so far is just a prelude to even greater success in the coming years. And I, along with the rest of the Volante team, look forward to embarking on the next phase of our growth with the support of our customers, Wavecrest, BNY Mellon, Citi Ventures, Poste Italiane, and VISA Inc.