LEHI — Utah-based fintech company MX has become Silicon Slope's next unicorn after a staggering $300 million funding round quadrupled its valuation to $1.9 billion — making it one of the largest private companies in the Beehive State.
MX, which was founded in 2010, works behind-the-scenes to aggregate data for banks that give the consumer a better user experience. If you've ever been shaken by a transaction showing confusing letters and numbers and think it must be fraud, you'll appreciate MX's data cleansing, which takes all of that away and replaces it with the company's name. That's just one example of how MX is working to make finances easier for everyday life, according to CEO and founder Ryan Caldwell.
"We're actually not just guiding your finances, but we're able to help automate more and more of it to help the user understand what they need to do next; and eventually there's not going to be a bank that will continue to thrive or exist that won't be leveraging this data to a really strong degree," he said.
The term unicorn is used to describe a private company that is valued at more than $1 billion, named after the mythical creature for its rarity. And while it is rare, MX is actually the second Utah-based fintech company to achieve the coveted status this month; Divvy was valued at $1.6B last week.
To date, MX has raised $475 million in three funding rounds, with this recent round breaking a record as the largest funding round at a Utah-based company. The latest round was led by global investment firm TPG and several other investors, including CapitalG, an independent growth fund that also invested in Airbnb, Lyft, Robinhood and CreditKarma.
MX will use the new funds to launch its Money Experience Category that is aimed at making a customer's money experience as personalized as shopping on Amazon or using Spotify, according to Caldwell.
For example, when a Spotify user skips a song or listens to a song multiple times in a row, the app pays attention to that and generates personalized playlists based on the user's behavior. MX's new category is trying to take the same idea and apply it to personal finance, Caldwell said.
"At the end of the day, if you don't have your finances in order ... there's nothing more important than that, but yet we don't have the same benefit of data in the financial industry that we have in these other industries," he explained. "MX brings that vision to reality. So what we do is we collect that data and enhance it so that it can be used to power these experiences, … and bit by bit, we've been automating finances."
Additionally, MX plans to continue working on its product with more plans to expand its team which will in turn bring new job opportunities to Utah.
"(We will) continue to double down on increasing the quality and reach of our data and the degree to which we're able to enhance it, creating even more powerful money experiences for our customers and our end users," Caldwell said.
Over the last year, the company has reached more than 200 million consumers and powered more than 2,000 financial companies, as well as 85% of digital banking providers.
Like many other fintech and tech companies, Caldwell said MX's growth was boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which drove business online.
"There was already this shift that was well underway to digital ways to interact with your money, which was driving the need to connect to data they need to enhance that data," he said. "So the need for better money experiences were already in full swing; COVID just accelerated it, kind of almost skipped it forward."