Plaid Raises $2.8M for API that Opens Banking Data to Developers

Amy Castor
Sep. 26 2013, 09:00AM EDT

Banking APIs seem to be all the buzz these days. As such, Plaid, a startup that is launching what it calls a "modern API for banking data,” received $2.8 million in seed funding. The round was led by Spark Capital with participation from Google Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Felicis Ventures and Homebrew Capital. The San Francisco startup offers a REST API that allows developers to programmatically interact with banks and credit card companies. The API, now in private beta, gives developers access to account and transaction data, including merchant names, street addresses and geocoordinates. According to company's website, the Plaid API currently has access to transaction data from American Express, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. Now developers can create innovative apps that link to your bank information. Imagine, for example, an application that tracks your budget and tells you what kind of new car you can afford or how much you have left to spend on entertainment before the end of the month. Plaid is not the only business that is touting open access to bank data. Y Combinator startup Standard Treasury is getting a lot of attention for its collection of white label banking APIs. Open Bank Project, developed by Berlin-based TESOBE, also has a bank API. The Open Bank Project API enables developers to create tailored apps and services for bank customers. For example, TESOBE used the platform to develop an app that helps non profits to be more financially transparent by reporting transactions to outside stakeholders. With so much security and risk involved, the question remains, how far are banks actually willing to go in trusting financial data to outside developers?

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