ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Fintech startup Pontera raises $60m to expand workforce in Israel

Pontera, the developer of a software platform to help financial advisors improve management of retirement accounts, will use the funds to hire more than 50 employees in 2024

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative image of people working in finance (via Shutterstock)
Illustrative image of people working in finance (via Shutterstock)

Pontera, an Israeli-founded fintech startup that developed a software platform to help financial advisers better manage retirement accounts, said Thursday that it secured $60 million in new funding to expand its research and development operations in the country.

The fintech startup, which has offices in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, and New York, did not disclose details of its valuation, but according to reports in the Hebrew press it is estimated to be worth around $550 million.

Leading the funding round is Iconiq Growth, a global tech investor that has invested in the likes of Uber, AirBnB, and Zoom, with the participation of Lightspeed Venture Partners, Collaborative Fund, Hanaco Ventures, The Founders Kitchen, and Blumberg Capital. To date, the startup has raised a total of $160 million.

Pontera was founded in 2012 as FeeX by CEO Yoav Zurel, VP of Product David Weisz, CTO Eyal Halachmi and chairman Uri Levine. Mentored by Levine, who co-founded Waze, the startup initially developed a crowdsourcing financial intelligence platform to help reduce fees in investment or retirement accounts charged by banks, stockbrokers, and investment houses.

With the change of its name to Pontera in February 2022 when it raised $80 million, the startup refocused from marketing a platform that serves as a fee comparison tool for consumers to developing software to help financial advisers manage workplace retirement accounts and other held away assets, and improve their clients’ financial outcomes.

Pontera said since its previous financing round last year, its annual revenue has quadrupled.

“The entry of some of the world’s best investors into a partnership and investment in Pontera confirms what we have always known: that some of the best tech talent in the world is here in Israel,” said Zurel, adding that the investment is a vote of confidence in the Israeli high-tech industry.

The investment round closed in November, with Israel in an ongoing war with the Hamas terror group that erupted on October 7. The startup said it will use the fresh capital to invest in its technology and bolster its workforce in Israel and the US.

Pontera said it plans to expand its R&D operations in Israel in 2024 and recruit more than 50 people for positions in cybersecurity, software engineering, data analysis, and product management. The startup has already moved to a larger office in Israel and is seeking new office space in the US as the number of its employees almost doubled to 220 from 120 in February 2022, with the majority, or 65%, working in Herzliya.

Pontera said its platform has become more relevant in the US market as the country faces a retirement crisis since Americans will need to increasingly rely on retirement accounts offered through their employers in the coming years.

Among the users of its platform is Florida-headquartered Dynasty Financial Partners, which represents more than 300 financial advisers and is on track to oversee $100 billion in client assets by July 2024, including retirement plan accounts, which will be managed through Pontera.

“We partner with investors who recognize the significance of the retirement crisis and Pontera’s role in helping everyday people secure their financial future,” said Zurel.

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