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Thought Machine raises $200M to bring legacy banking to the cloud

Thought Machine, a London-based core banking fintech, announced raising a $200 million Series C led by Nyca Partners to reach unicorn status, according to a press release.

New investors JPMorgan Chase Strategic Investments, Standard Chartered Ventures and ING Ventures also participated in the round, bringing big banking names into the company’s cap table and client list. Existing investors British Patient Capital, Eurazeo, SEB, Molten Ventures, Backed, IQ Capital and previous Series A lead Lloyds Banking Group also participated.

The company says it will use the funding to push development and expand its international reach by strengthening its five global offices and targeting new markets. The firm recently relocated to a larger London headquarters, opened an office in New York earlier this year and added more than 200 employees since 2020 to bring its global team count to around 500 globally, according to CNBC.

Thought Machine also plans to further development of its cloud-native core banking product, Vault, and its Universal Product Engine which enables flexibility in product development and configuration.

The company’s main technology is aimed at banks that want to update their financial systems away from legacy systems, in order to compete with disruptive digital startups like Revolut, Chime and N26.

“Our goal is not to pick winners in the space. Our goal is that, if anybody wants to launch a cloud-based bank, we’re available and they can use our platform,” Taylor told CNBC.

JPMorgan Chase’s investment follows recent news that the largest US bank in terms of assets would be moving its core banking system to the cloud, using Thought Machine technology. The choice means that Thought Machine is now in the spotlight as many other banks around the world look to update their core banking technology and move systems to the cloud.

The company is now making tens of millions of pounds in revenue, but is not yet profitable, according to former Google engineer and founder Paul Taylor. That isn’t entirely surprising, considering the massive amount of complexity that comes with building financial infrastructure and migrating data from legacy systems.

Thought Machine has now raised $349 million through four funding rounds, including a £18 million Series A led by Lloyds in late 2018 and a $125 million Series B led by Eurazeo and Molten in mid-2020. Looking ahead, Taylor says that Thought Machine is likely to go public in about three years.

In other recent fintech news, Marqeta partnered with Mastercard and Paycast to launch a new card product that accelerates payments to marketplace sellers. The International Community Banker of America (ICBA) also launched a new venture fund with plans to accelerate BankTech adoption.

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