Spade’s Series A and our path toward revolutionizing critical decision-making for card issuers

Spade’s Series A and our path toward revolutionizing critical decision-making for card issuers

Today, we’re thrilled to share that Spade has raised $10M in Series A funding led by Flourish Ventures with continued participation from a16z, Gradient Ventures, Y Combinator, Dash Fund, and Everywhere Ventures (The Fund).

How Spade is transforming decision-making for your favorite fintechs and financial institutions

The founding Spade team has experience across many sectors of the financial services industry, and we’ve all seen the low quality of transaction data get in the way of building innovative products and services. Strings of letters and numbers obscure the actual merchant on the other side of a transaction – making it difficult for financial institutions to make accurate decisions about whether to approve or decline transactions, and for consumers to take control of their spending. We believe that a fairer, safer, and more accessible financial system can only be built on top of more meaningful data – so together, we’ve set out to become the fastest and most accurate provider of real-time merchant intelligence for the card ecosystem. 

The problem: Billions of card transactions made each year on messy, incomplete data

Each day an average of 1.86B transactions take place globally. That's 77.4 million per hour, 1.29 million per minute, and 21,510 per second. Each of these instances, when a card is swiped or typed, prompts card issuers to decide whether or not to authorize the transaction in a matter of seconds. 

Card issuers have long been forced to make critical authorization decisions without true visibility into all of the available transaction information. While issuers hold a plethora of information on consumers, the same historically cannot be said for information they have on merchants, often pulling vague strings of text like “10202LAN12102903” as a means to identify a merchant. This limited scope of information can cripple accurate decision-making and stifle innovation, resulting in false declines, billions lost in interchange revenue, false positives for fraud, and countless negative customer experiences that leave patrons feeling distrustful of their banks. And those challenges aren’t cheap– each year issuers spend $60 billion to combat things like card fraud, disputes, and chargebacks. 

Enter Spade: The fastest and most accurate real-time merchant intelligence 

For banks and fintechs that use Spade, each transaction prompts an instant return of enriched merchant intelligence, providing issuers with granular details across true merchant name, category, and geolocation. 

Gone are the days of guesswork. We arm our customers with access to cleaner, richer, and more actionable data so that they can ensure all of their important decision making are well-informed and enriched by accurate information.  

Left hand side: card network data; right hand side: Spade enriched data
“The problem of poor transaction data hasn’t been solved for lack of trying, but Spade is truly differentiated on both depth of data powering their enrichment and speed – in a payment transaction authorization window, every millisecond counts,” said Kabir Kumar, Partner, Flourish Ventures. “Over the last year, Spade has demonstrated it can be a critical part of the answer to card fraud, disputes and chargebacks for a range of companies from large-scale global fintechs to banks. We’re thrilled to work with Oban, Cooper and Tess and for Spade to become part of Flourish’s portfolio of companies with the ambition to evolve key components of the financial infrastructure.” 

Spade’s customers have already improved their fraud models by more than 15%.

Spade’s real-time merchant intelligence unlocks a wealth of new possibilities for card issuers. Fraud detection is greatly advanced by the addition of a consistent merchant identifier and exact latitude and longitude points for each transaction, strengthening issuers' ability to flag suspicious activity. Real-time authorization is enhanced tremendously, allowing issuers to offer granular spending controls and optimize for a more customizable user experience. Visibility into customer spending becomes more granular, allowing issuers to strengthen their personalization efforts and offer a more tailored experience.  

“As a leader in fraud prevention, our primary goal is to help customers detect and stop fraud with minimal impact on customer experience. Accurate data is a key part of that endeavor," said Izel Niyage, Product Manager at Sardine. "By calling Spade’s API, we can get granular details about the merchant and the payment terminal, such as an accurate identifier for the merchant and location down to the latitude and longitude, which helps us create precise spend activity aggregations and geolocation mismatch indicators for our fraud models. Combining Spade’s data to our existing mix of device and behavior signals provided a meaningful lift to their performance."

What’s Next?

This year’s incredible strides would not be possible without the help of our treasured partners; our investors including Flourish Ventures, who led our Series A, our customers, including Mercury, Sardine, Ramp and Unit, and our amazing team of employees who continue to drive this ship full steam ahead. We cannot emphasize enough - we are just getting started and anticipate a year of unstoppable growth.

 With our new funds, we plan to expand our team so that we can continue supporting new product development for our merchant intelligence solution and expand our merchant coverage outside of the United States. To stay up to date on our latest product updates and job openings, be sure to follow Spade on Linkedin and check out our careers page

And if you’re curious about what real-time merchant intelligence can unlock for your business, contact us at to learn more.