Payments

Virtual card company Privacy.com appoints new CRO

Fintech veteran Charlie Kroll serves as CRO to help build out its card issuing API business

Virtual card company Privacy.com has tapped a new Chief Revenue Officer to help build out its card issuing API business, the company announced on Tuesday.

Fintech veteran Charlie Kroll has joined as CRO to help Privacy.com to enable others to issue cards quickly through its new B2B API. He officially joined the New York-based company a month ago, Kroll said in an interview with FinLedger.

Kroll serves as an entrepreneur in residence for Bessemer Venture Partners. He previously served as co-founder, president and COO of consumer fintech company Ellevest, which is focused on closing the gender wealth gap.

Privacy.com creates virtual cards so that consumers can have more control when making a purchase online. Using the company’s technology a consumer can decide who can charge their card, how much, the frequency and more. Kroll described the company as historically “a consumer card for people who want to protect their shopping online. It lets you create virtual cards, turn them off if you need to, it lets you shop safely in merchants you don’t trust, it lets you cancel subscriptions.”

Last year, the company also brought on Matthew Janiga as general counsel, previously he served as Stripe’s Banking and Financial Products Businesses Product Counsel, according to his LinkedIn. Privacy.com also raised $10.2 million in a Series A funding round in 2020.

Kroll led the launch of Ellevest’s consumer debit card, and during that time Kroll said he got a front row seat as to how difficult it can be to launch a card program when you’re not a bank.

“Between finding the bank partnership, integrating with the processors, building the compliance framework — all this takes a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of expertise,” Kroll said. “It’s inaccessible to a lot of companies who would otherwise benefit. When I left Ellevest last summer, I was interested in figuring out whether there would be a better way. I spent most of the second half of last year just learning as much as I could. Along the way, I met the team at Privacy and learned about the vision, and it turned out we were thinking about things in very similar ways.”

For Privacy.com to provide its product and services, the company had to build processing infrastructure, and about a year ago decided “to offer that processing infrastructure to third-party developers and to other companies who needed the same capabilities,” Kroll said, which is what he’s stepping in to help build.

Kroll also previously founded Andera, a digital account opening and lending platform for the financial services industry.

Going forward, Kroll said he wants to focus on being API-first and developer-first, along with having strong self service tools, and keeping the product easy-to-use.

“Those will be unique capabilities too, because other companies who offer card processing, the barriers are very high,” he said “They want high processing volumes, there’s big integration, there’s high costs. There’s basically big barriers to entry and our vision is to knock those barriers down and make it easy for even the smallest startups to issue cards.”

In other recent payments news, Ramp, which provides a corporate card and spend management platform, announced $150 million in debt financing from banking giant Goldman Sachs. Specifically, Goldman Sachs Bank USA provided the credit line to the New York-based startup. Ramp, which was launched in February 2020, provides a corporate card that aims to help businesses spend less and automate their finances.

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