News Magazine

Vancouver financial technology startup, led by former Square exec, raises $20 million

A former executive at mobile payments company Square has launched a financial technology startup in Vancouver.

The business, Embedded Financial Technologies, is building software to add stock-trading capabilities into mobile apps. The company said Monday it has raised $20 million and CEO Michael Giles told The Wall Street Journal that investors valued the business at $80 million in February.

Before starting Embedded, Giles had been CEO of Square subsidiary Cash App Investing. That business emerged from another company Giles ran, Third Party Technologies, which also provided online investing features for financial technology firms. Third Party, too, was based in the Portland area.

It wasn’t clear how many people Embedded employs and Giles didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. In an online posting, he said his backers include Propel Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and startup incubator Y Combinator.

The Portland area has been home to a number of prominent financial technology companies, among them Vesta, online banker Simple and Nvoicepay.

For many years, ambitious startups rarely chose to locate in Vancouver even though it’s just a few miles from downtown Portland.

Clark County’s tech industry has been on a steady upswing for much of the past decade, though, with laser manufacturer nLight expanding to a new headquarters in Camas, HP Inc. planning a new campus in east Vancouver, and marketing data company ZoomInfo holding the Portland area’s biggest-ever IPO last June.

Washington has no personal income tax, which has helped make the state attractive to entrepreneurs. On Sunday, though, the Washington Legislature voted to establish a capital gains tax on stocks and other valuable assets doled out by startups.

— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699