Griffin, a full-stack Banking-as-a-Service platform, is now officially a bank.

The news means the company can operate as a bank subject to restrictions. During this period, Griffin can hold a limited amount of deposits and carry out a limited amount of payment services.

Griffin was founded by Silicon Valley engineers David Jarvis and Allen Rohner, who co-founded tech unicorn CircleCI, and is led by a team of banking and technology executives from Form3, Monzo, SWIFT, GoCardless and more.

The  London startup, which has unicorn ambitions, was founded in 2017,  with the mission to help FinTechs and innovative companies quickly launch and scale financial products.

Griffin has been backed by investors EQT Ventures, Notion Capital, Tribe Capital, and Seedcamp.

David Jarvis, CEO and co-founder of Griffin, said: “This moment has been years in the making. Becoming a bank is testament to the determination of our team, who have been tirelessly building a modern core banking system, a resilient operational backbone and a robust compliance framework. This will enable us to deliver an exceptional banking platform for the UK fintech community.”

John Weguelin, chair of the board at Griffin, said. “We are honoured to receive authorisation in the UK and grateful to the partners and customers that have supported us along the way.

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“The team will continue to work closely with the regulators in building an API-first bank while delivering a best-in-class customer experience.”

During mobilisation, Griffin will also further develop its systems and controls, grow the team and continue to evolve its BaaS product portfolio.

Griffin will begin working with a select group of customers who will receive early access to its BaaS products and provide valuable feedback as the bank prepares for general availability.

One such early adopter is embedded finance solutions provider Liberis.

Rob Straathof, CEO of Liberis, said: “Griffin’s proposition is to offer a suite of banking products that will help embedded finance platforms like Liberis deliver more value to small businesses and differentiate our proposition in a competitive market. We’re thrilled to be an early adopter of Griffin.”

Griffin’s UK banking licence comes on the heels of a string of key executive appointments, a partnership with global financial services leader 11:FS and the launch of its first product, Verify.

Griffin secures £12.5m to launch ‘OS for embedded finance’

In 2022, the company landed £12m in a funding round led by Notion Capital, during a difficult time for the fintech industry where uncertain economic conditions slowed investment.

Griffin provides easy access to its suite of BaaS products via its sandbox- a free, comprehensive test environment. The sandbox allows users to experiment with the API, build prototypes of financial products and test drive new features.