Mercury

Growth Stage

Banking built for startups

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $4,983,689

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

Wefunder

Start Date

10/01/2021

Close Date

10/23/2021

Min. Goal

$2,499,977

Max. Goal

$4,999,955

Min. Investment

$100

Security Type

Equity - Preferred

Funding Type

RegCF

Series

Series B

Price Per Share

$76.82

Pre-Money Valuation

$1,620,000,000

Rolling Commitments $

Status
Funded
Reporting Date

10/31/2021

Days Remaining
Funded
% of Min. Goal

199%

% of Max. Goal

100%

Likelihood of Max
Funded
Avg. Daily Raise

$226,531

Momentum
Funded
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Location

San Francisco, California

Industry

Financial & Insurance Products & Services

Tech Sector

Fintech

Distribution Model

B2B

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

Low

Business Type

High Growth

Mercury is raising funds on Wefunder. The company is reimagining banking for startups. The full financial stack of Mercury includes core financial products, including checking and savings accounts, debit cards, and domestic and international wires, and more products like custom team management, API access, and multi-account logins. Mercury already has over 40,000 customers, including Lunchclub, Mighty, and Linear. Immad Akhund and Saar Gur founded Mercury in August 2017. The current crowdfunding campaign has a minimum target of $2,499,977 and a maximum target of $4,999,955. The campaign proceeds will be used for hiring, marketing, working capital, and other expenses.

Summary Profit and Loss Statement

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Revenue

$2,713,633

$473,123

COGS

$1,149,081

$105,167

Tax

$0

$0

 

 

Net Income

$-8,708,185

$-3,662,243

Summary Balance Sheet

Most Recent Year Prior Year

Cash

$27,877,909

$19,241,054

Accounts Receivable

$468,617

$704

Total Assets

$30,884,122

$21,758,890

Short-Term Debt

$17,838,348

$291,670

Long-Term Debt

$1,000,000

$1,400,000

Total Liabilities

$18,838,348

$1,691,670

Financials as of: 10/01/2021
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Synopsis

The dominance of traditional physical banks over the banking market has been shaking. These older institutions can have long delays, heavy fees, and frustrating user experiences. Additionally, many traditional banks have been slow to adopt digital services for their clients. Neobanks have emerged as a digital-first alternative to physical banks. These banks are accessible solely online and often have cheaper rates than their older counterparts. Neobanks are focused on attracting  millenials and Gen Z customers who appreciate their fast services. However, they also appeal to small and medium businesses. Neobanks also have more flexibility to innovate, launch features, and develop partnerships than traditional banks. 

Mercury is a neobank especially tailored for the needs of startups. The company provides fast and affordable banking services for growing startups that want to avoid fees and access services quickly. The company has created a full stack of financial services. Free of charge, Mercury provides different levels of account access, allowing various startups employees to use Mercury with adjusted levels of access, security, and confidentiality. Mercury also integrates with major payment processors like Shopify and Amazon. In order to appeal to a wide swath of startups, the company allows startups to personalize the bank’s program and tailor the services and automation they need. Additionally, Mercury connects startups with major venture capital firms. Customers can apply to “Mercury Raise” batches, and selected businesses will be personally introduced to interested investors in Silicon Valley and more than 26 countries. 

Mercury’s current Wefunder raise has been rated a Top Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Price

Mercury is raising capital via preferred equity with a $1.62 billion valuation cap. This valuation is more than 597x Mercury’s revenue from 2020. However, Mercury also raised $160 million in July 2021, and that capital infusion could help justify such a high valuation. In fact, the current raise is an extension of the company’s most recent raise. Its main purpose is to allow customers to own shares at the same terms that were offered to accredited investors. Nonetheless, Mercury’s valuation is still high given the steep ratio between valuation and revenue. 

Market

Mercury is operating in a rapidly growing market. The global neobanking market was valued at $34.77 billion in 2020 and is growing at an annual rate of 47.7%. It is expected to reach $722.6 billion by 2028. Mercury is only targeting startups in the United States or foreign startups needing a bank in the United States. Although that is a limited niche of the overall banking market, neobanking is growing enough to give the company ample opportunity for expansion. Mercury’s niche is actually its strength. It gives the company a strong brand identity and incorporates the founders’ experiences and networks. The effects of COVID-19 and the rise of dispersed startup teams have led to a greater need for decentralized banking services. Mercury’s market segment has high potential for growth.

Team

Mercury co-founder and CEO Immad Akhund is a serial founder and angel investor. He started his first company, Clickpass, after graduating with a master’s from the University of Cambridge. Clickpass closed after more than a year of activity, and Akhund co-founded Heyzap soon after. He raised $8 million for Heyzap and led the company to a successful exit in 2017. He collaborated with Y Combinator for a few months and then founded Mercury with two former Heyzap employees. 

Co-founder and COO Jason Zhang has an undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford and was the vice president of business development at Heyzap. Heyzap and Mercury are the only work experiences that Zhang lists on his LinkedIn profile. 

Maximilian Tagher is the third co-founder and CTO of Mercury. He studied at Western Kentucky University and was previously a software engineer at Heyzap.

Together, the three founders impressively have more than 30 years of experience in startup environments combined. Considering their shared history, they likely work well together and have a low risk of splitting prematurely. The co-founders are also deeply connected to the Silicon Valley venture capital space. This connection is an asset not only to raise funds for Mercury but also for providing financial services to clients. 

With close to 150 employees, Mercury’s co-founders are surrounded by a diverse and competent team. Roles include engineering positions, customer-facing positions, and business development positions. With strong co-founders and a fully developed team, Mercury is positioned to grow and scale.

Differentiators

Startups usually have specific financial needs, such as fast-paced services, flexibility, automation, and low fees. Mercury distinguishes itself from competitors by offering innovations to fit startups’ requirements. The company allows businesses to personalize their experiences and add a wide range of automated payments. As Mercury earns revenue from deposits, the success of its customers will bring success to the neobank. Notably, the company doesn’t offer loans, credit cards, or interests on deposits. This may make it less appealing to less risky start-ups.

A few competitors offer banking products for startups. Traditional banks such as First Republic and Wells Fargo have startup banking solutions. Contrary to Mercury, they can manage cash deposits in their physical locations and give access to credit cards. However, the performance of their online platforms is lower, and they charge fees to startups. Silicon Valley Bank and Brex Cash also offer products similar to Mercury. They have the advantage of giving interests on deposits, but their virtual tools are more limited than what Mercury offers. 

Mercury’s founders have a deep connection to Silicon Valley. This connection helps Mercury both access customers and provide startups with access to successful venture capital firms. Mercury has built a selection process called Mercury Raise to take the most promising startups among its customers and personally introduce them to investors. This selection process protects Mercury’s investor network, but it also is a way to keep customers. Selected startups will experience the greatest benefit of Mercury’s services and may remain with the neobank for longer.

The main cause for concern with Mercury is its lack of defensibility. The company holds no patents on its platform, and it could be easy for competitors to start offering no-fee services to startups. Mercury benefits from being an early mover in an emerging market, but it will need to work to maintain that advantage.

Performance

In 2020, Mercury’s annual revenue exceeded $2 million. By July 2021, the company had also raised $200 million, mostly from traditional investors. However, the neobank burned more than $8 million in 2020 alone, a particularly high amount for a software company. This new raise is essential to ensure a sustainable runway and a chance to reach profitability.

Mercury recently concluded a partnership with StartX. StartX is Stanford’s accelerator program, a non-profit selecting the most promising entrepreneurs from Stanford to become a part of its founder community. Mercury is offering its Tea Room features to StartX founders. The Tea Room is normally reserved for startups reaching $250,000 in deposits and offers dedicated customer service and access to exclusive events. By lifting the deposit minimum for StartX founders, Mercury can attract some of the most promising startups in Silicon Valley. StartX is one of the top three accelerators in the country. Mercury is proving with this partnership that its product is efficient enough to gain the trust of top players in the US startup ecosystem.  

Mercury has globally received many positive reviews from customers. They appreciate its quick and easy onboarding process as well as its free services and streamless design. It already has 40,000 customers, including high-potential start-ups like Lunclub and Mighty. Mercury’s positive reputation is likely to draw in more customers. For a four-year old startup, the company has exceptional traction. 

Risks

Mercury’s risk profile is pretty low compared to other crowdfunding opportunities. Its greatest risk is financial. Even if the company is earning significantly high revenue, its burn rate is more than $700,000 each month. At that rate, the company could consume its recently raised funds in just 20 months. It is crucial for Mercury to address this issue, acquire customers, and reduce costs. 

Bearish Outlook

Mercury’s neobanking solution for startups is facing many competitors. Other neobanks such as Chime have a bigger share of the market in Northern America. Also, Mercury is not offering some of the key traditional banking products like credit, loans, or interests on deposit. Its digital experience seems smoother than traditional banks, but Mercury doesn’t have a direct phone line to quickly solve customers’ issues. As a result, Mercury could limit its customer base to those who are satisfied with its simple given features. Customers looking for non-digital transactions or loans will find Mercury’s services underwhelming.

The company also has a high valuation in this funding round. It could be considered fair if only considering how much the company has raised, but Mercury’s current revenue does not justify the value. Additionally, Mercury is burning more than $700,000 each month. This burn rate is unsustainable and needs to be resolved quickly.

Bullish Outlook

Mercury is offering a banking solution tailored to startups’ needs. Its product specifically targets the startup banking niche by offering API access, payment automation and customized access with no fee. Moreover, Mercury differentiates itself from other business-to-business neobanking companies by offering investor introductions to its most promising customers. This strong differentiator is likely to increase customer retention. Because it earns revenue through transactional fees and interest from deposits, Mercury’s success is tied to the success of its customers. Its banking services are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which will likely make customers feel more secure.

In 2020, Mercury considerably increased its revenue, and it has raised $200 million in funding during its lifetime. Mercury has received great reviews from customers across different channels. It just concluded a partnership with StartX to access the most promising startups from Stanford University. Overall, the team is strong and committed. The co-founders have worked together in the past, and CEO Akhund already has a previous exit under his belt. In a rapidly growing market, Mercury has strong growth potential and a low risk of failure.

Executive Summary

Mercury is a neobank tailored for startups. Since its launch two years ago, the company has already acquired 40,000 customers and brought in more than $2 million in 2020 revenue. The company has been able to raise more than $200 million over its lifetime, which shows strong support from investors. However, Mercury’s valuation is quite high and the company has a considerably high burn rate, putting the company in financial risk. Its current raise and recent partnership with StartX will hopefully allow the company to reach higher revenues in the near future.

Mercury operates in a disruptive and rapidly growing market. It differentiates itself from traditional banking and other neobanks by offering personalized, automated payments and the chance for introductions to private investors. The neobank also allows startups to customize what services they need while providing account-specific access functionalityIts intuitive design and features are enough to convince most startups since Mercury has received a considerable amount of positive reviews. The neobank is led by a committed team with shared experience in leading the startup Heyzap to acquisition. Their connections to the Silicon Valley network is one of their biggest strengths. Therefore, Mercury’s current Wefunder raise has been rated a Top Deal by the KingsCrowd’s investment team.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com.

Analysis written by Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau.

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Mercury on Wefunder 2021
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Platform: Wefunder
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $1,620,000,000

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