Verse, the social payments app, has managed to rake in $20.5 million in a Series B funding round, backed by existing investors. Specifically, the round was led by Spark Capital, along with participation from eVentures and Greycroft Partners. Soft launching in February 2016, the firm raised $8.3Mn a Series A in October last year, with the app having accumulated approximately 550,000 users across Android and iOS by fall.
The commission-free p2p payments app is “predominantly” being used by millennials, with its best markets currently in southern Europe, specifically Spain, Italy and Portugal. France and the UK are also markets where the app is gaining currency.
The app is currently live in 27 countries. With its new inflow of funds, Verse plans to launch in two more countries to add to its European detail: Switzerland and Norway. There are also launches outside Europe in the pipeline: according to co-founder Alex Lopera, the most likely ones will be in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Speaking about how they plan to use the funds, Lopers said:
Consolidate the markets where Verse already has a presence, launch in non-European markets and build an amazing engineering team in the payments industry
Lopera won’t provide an update on user numbers at this point, as he says the team is coming to the end of a two-year process of obtaining an Entity of Payment license for Verse — so wants to wait until it’s passed that regulatory hurdle before making new figures public.
Saying that the user count has been “growing 30 per cent month-over-month”, he explained that the recent launch of a feed within the app has really led to a boost in usage, since it allows users to check out what their friends are doing, on the basis of their Verse transactions. He said:
It’s a fun and easy way to keep organized and stay connected. There’s a World and Friends feed so you’re able to see on the feed the users that are implied on a transaction and the transaction comment but not the amount.
Another growth driver is also a social addition: it is basically an Events feature that allows people to share expenses for an upcoming event easily and conveniently, making the planning ahead process much less of a hassle. Commenting on the Series B in a statement, Alex Finkelstein, general partner at Spark Capital, said:
They have surpassed my expectations including product execution and growth-related milestones. This is a young, product-focused team that is obsessed with creating the type of consumer product experience that makes sense for their generation that older banking institutions struggle to provide.