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Plaid and Robinhood alumni raise $75m to invest in early-stage startups

Exponent Founders Capital is an early-stage venture firm co-founded by managing partners Charley Ma and Mahdi Raza

Exponent

Charley Ma and Mahdi Raza/Exponent Founders Capital

Exponent Founders Capital, an early-stage venture firm launched by Plaid and Robinhood alumni, has launched with a $75m fund to invest in new startups.

Co-founded by Charley Ma and Mahdi Raza, the firm has raised $125m to date and is launching with the new fund to invest in early-stage companies across fintech, payments, applied AI, vertical SaaS and enterprise software in Europe, Canada and the US, as first reported by TechCrunch.

Based in New York, managing partners Ma and Raza have an impressive fintech background between them, having held growth roles at Plaid, Ramp, Codat, Alloy and Robinhood before launching their joint venture in 2021.

The two met while Ma led fintech growth at Plaid and Raza headed up growth and payments for Robinhood.

“It’s difficult to build an enduring company unless you’ve lived it,” Ma said.

“We have years of earned experience from the zero to one hundred journey at multiple high-growth companies, and we strive to be pound for pound the most high leverage investors for our founders.”

Exponent has 24 companies in its portfolio according to its website, with fintech companies making up the bulk of these.

The 10 fintechs include Latin America payments solution Clara, money tracker CoPilot, NFT developer platform Crossmint, rewards network Kard and spend management Moss.

The firm is looking to help startups “cross the growth chasm” from $0 to $100m+ in revenue, with Raza noting he and Ma are keen to back “non-consensus founders” at the earliest stages, helping them to become “tomorrow’s category leaders”.

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