Atomic aims to give consumers more control over their income with payroll-connecting APIs

·3 min read

Fintech startup Atomic announced this morning that it has closed a $22 million Series A. Core Innovation Capital led the round, which saw participation from preceding investors. The company has raised just under $39 million to date.

The company's API-delivered product, which focuses on payroll data, helps power a number of fintech startups that we track -- Dave and Bond, among others -- making it an interesting company to dig into.

Atomic's APIs allow consumers to connect their income to different services, helping them set up direct deposit at a neobank, for example. Other use cases include income and employment verification that is simpler for workers.

The company's head of markets, Lindsay Davis, told TechCrunch in an interview that her company wants to "unlock the power of the paycheck."

Notably, the company does not currently compete with Plaid, perhaps the best-known provider of financial APIs, according to Davis.

Plaid's products are used for linking consumer banking accounts to financial services and products. In contrast, Atomic focuses on income streams, allowing them to be partially or completely diverted to new financial buckets, or simply made observable to other parties with user permission for verification purposes.

Atomic charges corporate customers for income and employment verification services on a usage basis, and for its direct deposit product in a more SaaS-like manner. Davis added that some customers bundle the two services together, underscoring that Atomic's business model is a blend of both on-demand and subscription pricing.

Thinking broadly, a cohort of fintech startups are building business products that may provide consumers with more control over their money. Businesses are willing to pay for their services as they can lessen friction to bring new funds onto their own platforms. That neobanks and other financial services that compete with traditional banking companies are paying up to help end-users make provider choices is not a surprise. The result of that work is fintech making -- to a degree -- the financial world a bit more amenable to consumer control.

Money

TechCrunch asked the company why it decided to raise its Series A now -- a question that we've added to our regular arsenal thanks to increased round pre-emption by investors; gone are the days when startups were expected to reach a certain revenue threshold to raise one round type or another.

Davis said that, in her view, companies are ready to raise a Series A when they have both have a product in market and customer traction, so it made sense for Atomic to raise this particular round now.

She added that her company was offered more capital last year, but that it wasn't ready to take on the funds. But with market demand demonstrated for Atomic's direct deposit product, she explained, and a few preemptive term sheets, the startup decided that now was the right time.

Atomic has around 55 staffers today, a figure that it is looking to rapidly expand. The company has 20 open roles, Davis noted.

The company has lots of white space around its current business to expand into. With income verification, TechCrunch will be curious to see whether Atomic eventually digs into the credit scoring market. Credit scores in the United States are a mess, to be polite. And we're looking for the startup that will take on the traditional agencies in charge of deciding how worthy you are of loans and other financial products.

Let's see if that winds up being Atomic.

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