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Arlington fintech firm announces corporate venture capital fund

🕐 2 min read

Arlington-based First Rate, a provider of technology and services to wealth management firms, on Dec. 7 announced the launch of a corporate venture capital fund with a commitment to deploy $25 million in capital over the next three years.

The fund will operate under the name “First Rate Ventures” and concentrate on investments and portfolio support for start-ups in seed stage building WealthTech, InvestTech, and RegTech companies using innovative technologies.

“I’m delighted to announce First Rate Ventures as another opportunity showcasing First Rate’s investment into innovation and expansion into new markets,” said First Rate President Craig Wietz. “We are excited to enhance our portfolio of solutions and partner with founders and entrepreneurs who share these goals to drive emerging and innovative solutions.”

The fund will leverage First Rate’s experience serving more than 500 Banks and Wealth Managers with more than $2.4 trillion in assets, First Rate Ventures will lead investments in seed stage start-ups with proven early traction, primarily targeting WealthTech firms in North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to growth capital, First Rate Ventures will provide early-stage startups with strategic technology assets, connections to decision makers at top bank and wealth management firms, and a tier 1 bank-approved data security infrastructure to help accelerate their growth.

Leading the effort will be 15-year veteran Marshall Smith, who has played pivotal roles driving First Rate’s product roadmap, global expansion, and most recently in the role as chief operating officer overseeing all operations and service units within First Rate. In addition, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in FinTech and venture capital, Prabhakar Reddy will serve as a strategic advisor to First Rate Ventures.

“First Rate Ventures is ultimately about investing in innovative firms that share our For more than 30 years, companies have relied on First Rate to deliver trusted and innovative technology to manage, build, and grow their trust, banking, and advisory businesses. First Rate Ventures builds on this commitment by investing in and supporting a broader ecosystem focused on similar challenges with the expertise, longevity, and trusted brand of First Rate behind it.

“First Rate Ventures is ultimately about investing in innovative firms that share our mission to help promote stewardship and growth. We will aim to deploy capital in a redeemed fashion, focusing on not only the entrepreneur but also the community they do business in and investors,” said First Rate Ventures Managing Director Marshall Smith. “With First Rate as our strategic backer, we are confident that our portfolio companies will deliver more value to their customers more effectively.”

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