AP NEWS

Cohen’s venture capital firm leads $11M fintech investment

April 10, 2019

STAMFORD — Point72 Ventures, billionaire hedge fund investor Steven Cohen’s venture capital business, announced Wednesday it was helping to lead a $11 million investment in Manhattan-based financial-technology firm Extend.

The “Series A” fundraising, which was co-led by Manhattan venture-capital firm FinTech Collective, would support the growth of Extend, whose services focus on allowing cardholders and certain recipients to securely and instantly send and receive temporary “virtual” credit cards.

“Growing customer expectations are driving fintech startups and financial institutions to develop and deliver more dynamic, feature-rich digital payments experiences for their customers,” Ventures partner Tripp Shriner said in a statement. “Extend’s platform enables that innovation and we are thrilled to support the team as they execute on the large opportunity in front of them.”

Ventures was founded in May 2016, about two-and-a-half years after Cohen founded the main investment firm that he runs today, Stamford-based Point72 Asset Management. Ventures’ launch responded to the large volume of deals pitched to Cohen.

“In the U.S., there are a lot of venture capital firms, so you have to think carefully about how you differentiate yourself,” Matthew Granade, the head of Ventures, said in an interview last year. “Of all the venture capital firms in the world, we probably have the best set of relationships into the financial sector of anyone.”

As of last year, Ventures reported having made about three dozen investments.

The firm declined to disclose the cumulative amount of those allocations, but it confirmed several deals have individually totaled several million dollars.

“We have a ‘do the work’ philosophy — and that phrase comes directly from Steve,” Granade said. “We’re very rigorous in terms of our diligence and thinking about how a business is going to evolve over the next five to seven years, capital requirements, how its economics are going to work. We really pride ourselves on that.”

Ventures has offices at Point72 Asset Management’s headquarters at 72 Cummings Point Road, but it operates separately. Its insights, however, are shared with Asset Management.

“Steve enjoys it a lot; he loves meeting the entrepreneurs,” Granade said. “There’s an energy they bring and a passion for what they’re doing that he very personally resonates with, being an entrepreneur himself.”

Point72 Asset Management moved into hedge fund management last year.

In January 2016, Cohen was banned for two years from supervising hedge funds as part of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission connected to allegations that he failed to properly monitor a former portfolio manager convicted of insider trading.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott