Centana Growth Partners closes $375m fintech fund

Centana Growth Partners, a New York and Palo Alto, Calif.-based growth equity firm, closed its second fintech fund valued at $375 million this week.

Eric Byunn, partner, Centana Growth Partners

The firm, which closed a $250 million fund in 2015, primarily invests in business-to-business technology companies. Its portfolio includes nine firms, including digital identity companies Jumio and SheerID, workplace benefits platform Ease and alternative investment solution Alaia Capital.

Partner Eric Byunn told Bank Innovation the focus areas of the second fund will remain the same as the first, which amounts to a validation of Centana’s long-held investment strategy.

“We continue to look at how payments are evolving and the next layer of [customer] paths, how we’re making paths more efficient and improving the customer experience,” he explained. “In asset management, we continue to look at the next level of democratization of tools to [reach] broader audiences and broader sets of customers, and for identity and security, we look at how technologies and customer behaviors evolve.”

Centana invests between $5 million and $30 million in  portfolio companies within its core sectors, including asset management, insurance, banking, digital identity, wealth management, payments, capital markets and enterprise technologies that sell into these verticals. The company seeks out companies that have a proven business model and customer base, noted Byunn.

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“We invest in growth-stage companies, which are companies that have established their initial customer traction have shown that initial product market fit, and the next chapters are really about scaling the growth of the business,” he said.

Fintech startups raised $24.6 billion in funding the third quarter of 2019, surpassing 2017’s total of $18.8 billion, according to CB Insights.

“Financial services continue to be a very exciting place for innovation, for entrepreneurship, for growth — we’re delighted to see all the activity going on in the sector and we’re super excited to invest in leading companies in this category,” said Byunn.

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