Fintech is white hot these days, with major acquisitions and funding rounds galore. It’s also a relatively new space, with startups only really breaching the thicket of regulations that defines the modern banking and finance world in the past few years.
So it is fascinating to watch how Shamir Karkal, one of the original fintech entrepreneurs, is coming back for a second round in this still-nascent industry.
Karkal co-founded Portland-based Simple back in 2009, a company that was among the first of a wave of startups now generally known as “neobanks.” Karkal and his co-founder Josh Reich grew the online banking startup for a while before eventually selling the company to BBVA for $117 million in 2014. He then spent several years integrating Simple’s systems into BBVA’s as well as building out the company’s API products like BBVA Open Platform.