Dwolla has raised $9.7 million in a funding round led by exchange operator CME Group in a move that signals the digital payments startup's intentions to move beyond the retail world.
Dwolla set out to build a scalable, global payment network capable of taking on national automated clearing houses and card schemes, promising to make it easier and cheaper to move money and operating a 'flat fee or free' pricing model, with a 25 cent transaction charge kicking in for payments over $10.
The firm has signed up thousands of businesses, secured alliances with banks and credit unions for its FiSync real-time money transfer system, and even struck a deal with its home state of Iowa to process taxes.
Now, it is looking for new applications of its technology in new markets, and says that bringing in CME Group as a strategic investor will help it do this.
In a blog post, Dwolla CEO Ben Milne says: "They [CME Group] will have an immediate impact, helping us realise, accelerate, and distill Dwolla's potential to you, to enterprises, and to the world's marketplaces."
Meanwhile, Mark Fields, MD, strategic investment operations, CME Group, told TechCrunch: "We believe Dwolla's real-time infrastructure solutions can benefit the financial ecosystem within which we exist."
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Village Ventures also participated in the latest funding round.