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Highnote emerges from stealth with $54M and a plan to take on Marqeta in the world of card issuing as a service


Fintech startups have thrown a curve ball into the world of financial services by building more flexible, cheaper and user-friendly tools to businesses and consumers, who in turn are walking away from older incumbents and taking their custom to newer providers. In the latest development, a startup called Highnote is launching with ambitions to make waves in the world of card issuing, by making it easy for any company of any size to provide virtual payment cards to their customers. Founded by PayPal alums, the company is exiting stealth mode today and also announcing $54 million in funding to take its first steps.

The sum includes both a Seed round and a Series A, with Oak HC/FT both leading the Series A and co-leading the Seed with Costanoa Ventures. XYZ, SVB Capital, and WestCap also participated, alongside some notable individuals, including Bill Ready (the former COO of PayPal and current president of commerce and payments at Google) and Renaud Laplanche (the CEO of Upgrade).

Own-branded payment cards from retailers and other companies are far from being a novel idea at this point: they and their loyalty programs have been around for decades. There have even been other incredibly successful startups, like Marqeta, that have been built on the premise of democratizing that opportunity.