Plaid: Financial Freedom for Everyone!
Redefining the world of digital finance, one line of code at a time!
Nowadays, with so many banking institutions and different apps that claim to be safe and secure while doing transactions, it is quite difficult to find one that is really going to look after your private information and make the whole process as easier as it can be for you.
If you are a big company that’s dealing with multiple transactions to different banks daily, you need a platform that is going to act as an intermediary between apps and different banks, giving you a read-only copy while making sure your private information is safe. This type of platform was something that William Hockey was dreaming about constructing and striving to achieve.
Having a platform enabling you financial freedom, with an easy and smooth process of handling transactions is important, and Plaid is all about that!
Read more to find out how William Hockey and his friend Zach Perret managed to create a platform that truly makes a difference.
Born in rural California, William Hockey spent his childhood watching people who make their living by working with their hands. This part of his childhood greatly influenced him to start thinking about things people can create and build.
Being surrounded by farmers, welders, and craftsmen, young William was surprised and fascinated with the process of building things. What’s even more, witnessing something that was built, then getting broken and fixed again, William learned that there is always a way around things - everything can be fixed.
Even though William wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to be when he grew up, the spark about building things was always a part of him. Considering the fact that he came from a family of builders, William wanted to continue in the field of creating and building things – but in a way that is going to be a little bit different than his father’s.
Instead of working in construction, William wanted to build, but in the digital world.
William Hockey attended primary and high school in his native city of San Luis Obispo, in California. However, when the time for college came, William knew that he wanted to study someplace different and explore the country. So, he moved to the East Coast and attended the Thacher School where he studied Computer Science.
For William, studying computer science wasn’t anything different than building. Because according to William, whether you are stacking bricks on a wall or writing lines of codes digitally, it is totally the same – in the end, you are building, connecting, and creating something.
When the time for the university came, William moved to Atlanta where he attended Emory University. Fascinated with the campus and the programs this university was offering, William enrolled in ISOM- Information Systems and Operations Management. However, William was also intrigued about the university’s renowned business program offered at Goizueta Business School. So, he enrolled in both.
Not only was William studying dual degrees in computer science and business, but he also spent a whole summer as an intern at the Bain & Co - an American management consulting company. This is where everything started to shape differently. During his internship, William met the Duke graduate Zach Perret who shared the same passion and dreams for technology as him. Soon, both started collaborating together, becoming close friends.
As much as Zach and William loved the internship program at Bain & Co, they couldn’t ignore the fact that they are helping someone else get better at his company and his products. And that is something that neither Zack nor William wanted, instead, they were after creating something for themselves, a company they could call their own.
The idea was there, the dream was there. And, after long brainstorming sessions about fundraising strategies, development, and design of their software application at the beginning of 2013, both Zach and William were ready for their start-up – Plaid. And they weren’t alone.
During their internship at Bain & Co, Zach and William got all the support and help they needed from the company, even using its resources and connections. The help and support that William and Zach got from Bain & Co were fundamental for forming Plaid.
Following a business-to-business model, Plaid was already different from the start. Most businesses out there follow a business-to-consumer model. But not Plaid - the company’s first product is a product that is designed to act as an aid for other businesses for sharing financial expenditure tracking with the end-user.
A Powerful Platform
After only 8 months from the date the platform was up and running, at the end of 2013, Plaid raised $2.8 million from Google Ventures, Spark Capital, and New Enterprise Associates. And that’s not all; throughout the years, the company continued raising more and more money. In December 2018, the company declared a $250 million Series C round with a total evaluation of a whopping sum of $2.65 billion. Some of the major investors that led the funding round were Mary Meeker, Andreessen Horowitz, and Index Ventures. Except for these ground investors, Plaid revealed that former backers Goldman Sachs, NEA, and Spark Capital, as well as Visa and Mastercard, had also invested in the round.
Plaid’s biggest money raise happened in April 2021, when the company raised $425 million in Series D funding, which was valued at $13.4 billion.
Dream Coming True!
Today, Plaid is among the most successful financial services platforms that act as an intermediary between banks and different applications. Plaid’s headquarters are in San Francisco, California.
What started out as just an idea and a dream turned out to be a major company with over 500 employees. With more than 11,000 banks and financial institutions across the UK, Europe, US, and Canada, Plaid is growing every single day.
As a platform, Plaid is partnering with more than 4,500 businesses such as Microsoft, Wise, PaySend, Atom, Cleo, and Curve among many others.
Offering Single API, AIS (Account Information Services), and the technology of PIS (Payment Initiation Services), Plaid is the perfect platform to keep your costs dropping and conversions going up.
Plaid has 48 technology products and services in place. Some of its most popular products include HTML5, Google Analytics, and Google Fonts. And even though they face quite a few competitors like Stripe Connect, MX, Codat, and Lightico, Plaid has proven people’s trust and credibility.
But Plaid is not going to stop here, that’s for sure. According to its founder, William Hockey, and the co-founder and CEO, Zach Perret, Plaid is striving to become a single integrated platform that is going to be focused on helping innovators to build digital finance products.
Of course, this would require a global expansion in order to meet international demands as well as some larger scaling. But even though there is a long way to achieve this – the dream and passion are there. Digital finance is everywhere and as long as Zach Perret and William Hockey have the passion for it – Plaid will keep on thriving!