Startups

Plans for fintech company Savana’s $45M Series A? Market penetration and hiring

The Malvern-based, 2009-founded company accelerated its growth in the pandemic, thanks in part to the federal PPP program, CTO Mike Wolfel said.

Savana CTO Mike Wolfel.

(Courtesy photo)

The pandemic’s effect on local companies was split: While some struggled or even shut down, much of Philly tech saw accelerated business.

The latter is the case for Savana, a 2009-founded fintech company in Malvern that makes a unified banking operations platform for its clients. Though it previously raised a small seed round more than a decade ago, then raised nearly $3 million in early 2020, this summer marks its first big growth raise: a $45 million Series A led by Toronto-based Georgian. Fintech company Fiserv also participated in the round, and will expand its existing reseller agreement with the company.

“The banking industry is going through an incredible transformation,” said Michael Sanchez, chairman and CEO of Savana, in a statement. “This funding round will help support the growth of our digital delivery platform to enable any bank, whether new or going through transformation of existing technology infrastructure, to speed time to market of new products and services, support continuous digital innovation and drive significant operational efficiency.”

Savana CTO Mike Wolfel told Technical.ly the company’s API-first and cloud-native digital delivery platform creates a single architecture for banking clients to serve their customers. The technology makes sure digital account operations, statements, transactions and other applications of digital banking happen in one place.

“In order to service the customer, we’re using as many as 10 applications,” Wolfel said. “So it touches on that, a single, unified platform for user experience.”

Wolfel said Savana got heavily involved with the 2022 rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the federal loan program to help businesses stay on their feet and pay their employees. Most of their banking clients had the ability to service loans, but the PPP program and Small Business Association’s loan programs brought additional requirements, he said.

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At the start of the pandemic, the company employed about 75 people, the CTO said, but with PPP growth, and the steady growth of its digital delivery platform since 2017, Savana quickly started adding team members. The company currently counts just under 200 people, and is expected to be at about 300 within the next six months. Much of that added talent has been to the company’s tech team, and about 30 to 40 technical and some non-technical roles are currently sitting open.

The company’s HQ is in Malvern, but it operates as a hybrid workforce, recruiting and hiring from across the country. With the $45 million Series A, Wolfel said the company will be able to execute on its growth plans for the rest of 2022, which is mainly focused on continued expansion of its platform and talent acquisition.

“It’s that, and the balance of 2022, for us is continued penetration into the market,” he said. “And we’ll continue to drive our brand and recognition.”

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