TechConnect: Arlington Fintech Startup Doubled Employee Headcount and Raised $11M in 2021

This month’s TechConnect Profile will highlight Arlington-based Rize. Founded in 2015, Rize is a fintech infrastructure platform that provides new and established companies access to all of the tools they need to build, launch, and scale financial products and services. The company’s patent-pending Synthetic Account technology seamlessly integrates checking, saving, and individual brokerage with one flexible platform. In September 2021, Rize announced it raised $11.4 million in Series A funding, which is being used to continue to improve Rize’s core product and to work on additional projects to further expand the company’s customer base.  

We connected with Rize’s Co-Founder & CEO, Justin Howell, to discuss the state of the fintech industry, the company’s recently announced Series A raise, and some of the strategic advantages of being headquartered in Arlington. 

Rize works with a lot of companies in the fintech industry. Can you tell us more about some of the recent trends you have been seeing in the fintech industry? Any exciting developments on the horizon for businesses and individual consumers? 

Justin: We’re seeing three major trends in the space right now. The first is what the industry calls embedded finance. Fintech is moving out of pure-play fintech as more and more non-financial companies look to embed financial capabilities into their already existing user experiences. The second trend is a focus on serving small businesses. There has been a fair amount of innovation that’s happened on the consumer side of fintech but more and more companies are seeing an opportunity to do the same for small and medium-sized businesses. Lastly, fintechs are looking for ways to break down the barriers between traditional silos of financial services and enable a world where money and assets can move across account types.  

Congratulations on the recently announced $11.4 million in Series A funding! How do you see this funding round contributing towards Rize’s strategic customer and employment growth in the near future? 

Justin: Thank you! We’ve had an immense amount of inbound activity from potential clients so we’re using this funding round to expand the team to handle that and to execute an aggressive product roadmap. Our series A will allow us to continue to improve our core product to further support the needs of our clients, as well as launch a variety of new products. As for team growth, we have more than doubled the size of the team to 40 people in 2021 and expect to see even bigger growth in 2022.  

As an Arlington-based fintech company, what do you see as some of the biggest advantages of having Rize headquartered in Arlington?  

Justin: While we do have team members all around the country now, we love having our headquarters here. Seeing as we’re in a highly regulated environment, the proximity to DC and having regulators in our backyard can be a great advantage for us. Additionally, as the world transitions and post-covid travel becomes prevalent again, Arlington is easily accessible to financial hubs such as New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and Miami. Lastly, Arlington has always been a very friendly environment to new businesses and supportive of the startup community. 

For more information on Rize and its products and services, visit https://rizefs.com/. If you are a startup tech company looking to launch or grow your business in Northern Virginia, please visit AED's resource page and contact Adam Henry, Business Development Manager, for more information.  

 About this Profile Series  

Arlington's startup ecosystem has been rapidly expanding over the past five years and is quickly becoming recognized as an established innovation hub in the United States. Since 2015, Arlington-based companies have raised over $1.3 billion in venture capital covering several industries, including software, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, big data, digital media, and more. AED launched its monthly TechConnect Profiles to highlight and profile companies in our technology startup ecosystem.  

Topic: BIG Update
 
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