Partnerships / Acquisitions

Goldman Sachs Acquires Card Startup Final

Goldman Sachs will be purchasing Oakland-based credit card startup Final as part of an acquihire plan. According to Fast Company reports, the new talent coming on board will be used as part of the bank’s attempted expansion into consumer-facing products.

Final’s closure was first announced back in December by founder and CEO Aaron Frank — though no official reason was given at the time, nor plans for the future of the firm. The Final team reportedly accepted Goldman’s offer sometime after the announcement went out via blog post.

As part of the deal, Goldman will scoop up around a dozen engineers and product managers from the defunct firm. The staff will be plugged into the bank’s efforts to create consumer finance products as part of its new Consumer and Commercial Banking division.

That effort was kicked off in 2016 with the launch of Marcus — Goldman’s online lending platform targeting prime borrowers looking to consolidate credit card debt.  Marcus issued $2 billion in personal loans in its first year — that underwriting is funded by Goldman’s balance sheet (a major advantage over other online lenders who face much higher capital acquisition costs.)

Wall Street Journal reports indicate the firm is now moving to push past Marcus — and into areas like mortgages and consumer loans, as well as digital lending. All in all, Goldman is looking at pouring an additional $28 billion into its consumer lending arm over the next three years.

Apart from what it is building in-house, Goldman has also been doing some buying to enter the segment. That includes the acquisition of GE Capital Bank’s online deposit platform in 2015, retirement startup Honest Dollar in 2016, and the acquihire of Bond Street Marketplace’s staff in 2017.

“We are eager to find experienced teams of talented people who have proven themselves to be consumer-centric in their approach to consumer financial services,” Omer Ismail, chief commercial officer of Marcus, said in a statement provided by the bank.

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