Move over Gong, there’s a new king on the block. Earlier this year, Rapyd raised $300 million at a $2.5 billion valuation; now returning with another $300 million round, led by Target Global. Joining the Series E round are several new investors including Fidelity Management and Research, Altimeter Capital, Whale Rock Capital, BlackRock funds, and Dragoneer, along with participation from existing investors: General Catalyst, Latitude, Durable Capital Partners, Tal Capital, Avid Ventures, and Spark Capital.
The company refused to comment on the new post-money valuation, but reliable sources put it north of $9 billion. If this is even remotely close, then Rapyd becomes top dog, demoting Gong to second place in the Israeli startup valuation ranking, quadrupling its valuation in a little more than 6 months.
Rapyd’s golden years... So far
These past two years have been quite intensive for Rapyd (formerly CashDash). Towards the end of 2019, the company announced a $120 million funding round at a $1.2 billion valuation. This was in a time before the Unicron word became a weekly adjective for Israeli startups. Though this didn’t keep Rapyd from growing, eventually doubling its valuation after a massive Series D. The company used capital to acquire Islandic startup Valitor, and start its own venture capital fund.
Rapyd is developing a platform that enables electronic money transfer between countries through bank transfers, digital wallets, cash and other means of payment. This way the company can help replace the outdated systems used by credit card companies and banks, and offer a smarter system that allows for a greater variety of payment methods. The platform, which Rapyd defines as FinTech-as-a-Service, is currently deployed in more than 100 countries, supporting over 900 alternative payment methods and real-time global transfers while saving on fees.
Rapyd was founded in 2015 by Arik Shtilman, who founded 2013 Avaya acquired -- Itnavigator; Arkady Karpman, and Omer Priel. The company has a roster of 550 employees, with 220 of them based in Israel. The Israeli FinTech startup announced it will use the capital to expand its acquisition portfolio, in addition to expanding into new markets, and developing new products.
High-tech talent? Check back in a decade
Rapyd CEO and co-founder, Arik Shtilman, explains while chatting with Geektime that the company has seen revenues climb above $200 million so far in 2021, with $300 million in sight for next year. And while Rapyd looks to be on a path to IPO, Shtilman claims: : “We’re not rushing to go public at the moment… We have set internal goals for the company over the next few years.” However, he does note that if these goals are achieved, Rapyd will be ready to go public in 3 years. In the meantime, Rapyd Ventures has been launched, and Shtilman says that the fund has already invested $3 million in an Israeli startup, which he requests to keep anonymous until later this year. Additionally, the company has established its own accelerator as a way to support startups through the Rapyd payment platform.
Any Israeli startups in the pipeline?
Shtilman: “We cannot currently reveal the names of the companies, but obviously due to Israel’s superior tech scene, there are also Israeli startups that we may be looking to acquire.”
We hear quite a bit of criticism and requests to "stop the madness" of capital raising and talent recruiting in Israel. What do you think about the issue?
Shtilman: “Just like other companies, we at Rapid also want to build a large corporation in Israel, but with all due respect to talking about connecting Israel to high-tech, it should be understood that in Israel there isn’t enough talent for all the companies. Foreign workers must be brought in for this purpose. We are currently building a center in Dubai where we received, for example, permission to bring in 200 workers a day. In Israel, it takes a long time to get a permit to hire one employee. Beyond that the education system needs to be designed for that. In Israel, product management is not taught, the studies here aren’t relevant to high-tech at all. If we change the education system then in another ten years there will be a generation here that will be suitable for high-tech and until then - we will have to build elsewhere.”