Source: Agora Services
Agora Services LLC (“Agora”) is announcing its exit from stealth mode, launching in the US.
After participating in Mastercard’s Start Path program, Mastercard’s global effort to support later-stage FinTech and other tech startups, Agora was selected by the ICBA to participate in its newly launched FinTech accelerator.
Agora’s mission is to help community, credit unions and regional banks ramp up their digital experience without replacing their existing core banking systems. Agora’s platform is based on the latest European challenger bank tech - less than 3 years old, already serving hundreds of thousands of clients. Leveraged as a digital factory, Agora provides real-time banking using an innovative platform with best-in-class FinTech technologies and products already deployed as European standard.
Agora aims at building an updated bridge between traditional banks and millions of banking customers with the most innovative and agile FinTech products running today’s legacy banking systems. Agora’s value proposition is to do so using reduced time-to-market implementation with no financial risk and no changes to the existing cores of its banking clients. Running in real-time, these features include mobile accounts, shared accounts, children/parent accounts, advanced real time card controls, budgeting and saving tools, money pooling, and many more. Agora has two integration models, either APIs for standard solutions or co-creation of complete mobile banking suites.
Agora was started by founder and CEO Arcady Lapiro, a FinTech veteran based in New York since 2008. Arcady was part of the groundbreaking team and member of the Executive Committee of one of Europe’s leading online banks, Fortuneo Bank, with over $25B in assets. Arcady is also a venture partner of the largest independent FinTech VC in Europe, BlackFin Capital Partners, as well as a mentor and advisor to many other US and Israeli FinTech companies.
Regarding Agora’s future plans, Arcady says, “I’ve heard so many times from community, credit union and regional banks that they had no solution from their legacy core banking provider to really digitize their offering to compete with larger banks and other FinTech startups. That’s why with my partners we decided to launch Agora, a solution for all these banks to ramp up their digital experience without replacing their legacy core banking system and be able to compete, retain, and expand their engagements with their clients. Self-funded, we’re looking to significantly expand our team to answer the demand from US and LATAM banks joining our platform next year. To fuel future growth, we are in discussions with major FinTech VCs and plan our Series A round for some time in 2019.”
Agora’s selection and financial backing by ICBA, a voice for almost 5,000 community banks, and its FinTech accelerator, is a definite validation of the need for, and positioning of, Agora’s services and technology in today’s financial market. The ICBA will provide a monetary investment in Agora.
Agora’s solution relies on a robust back-end geared for scalability and ease of deployment through its cloud-based architecture and APIs. The modern foundation encompasses clean APIs and PCI-DSS environments developed with the latest technologies, including Node.JS and PostgreSQL, under a complete microservices architecture hosted on AWS’s scalable cloud service. This top-of-the-line IT architecture enables Agora to serve multiple B2B providers simultaneously with a much-reduced time-to-market (between 8 to 20 weeks) deployment, as compared to the years it takes other banks to either switch out their legacy core banking platform or redevelop a new payments architecture internally.