US banking startup BankSimple has closed on a first funding round and set its sights on a 'friends and family' beta launch by late October.
The New York-based outfit - which plans to issue its own cards and build a modern technology interface to customer accounts - has secured backing from First Round Capital, IA Ventures, and Village Ventures, along with seed funding from Jerry Neumann, SV Angel and Nauiokas Park.
BankSimple hasn't publicly revealed how much it has raised, but TechCrunch is reporting a $2.9 million round, with an additional $190,000 raised last year in convertible debt.
In a blog on its site, BankSimple says it will name its first partner financial institutions in the near future and approach Visa and MasterCard with a view to issuing its first cards before the November/December purdah on new cards imposed by the card schemes during the peak holiday season.
"Assuming we can get our cards issued before this blackout period, we'd like to do a "friends and family" test later this year. That test will help us iron out any technical issues with our partner integrations and provide us with essential feedback," says the BankSimple blog. "Once we're satisfied that our initial service is stable and secure, we'll begin bringing on customers who signed up for an invitation."
The service is likely to remain invitation-only for the immediate future, the blog adds.