Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Dwolla Raises $21 Million Venture Round

Dwolla announced today that it has raised $21 million in funding to continue to build out its strategic roadmap and to expand to markets outside of the U.S.

The round was led by Foundry Group. Additional investors include Park West Asset Management LLC, Union Square Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, Firebrand Ventures and Next Level Ventures.

Dwolla has seen an 80% increase in transaction volume since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Dwolla processed $11 billion in gross payment volume. In 2020, that number grew to $20 billion. This year, the company is expecting to exceed $35 billion in 2021, CEO Brady Harris told Clay & Milk.

“The first three months of the pandemic, it was a great time for us to relook at our core product and technology and where we wanted to fit into the payment space. So we went through a pretty methodical process internally and redefined some of our strategic roadmap,” said Harris. “That was good timing because our payment volume really started to drop precipitously as the pandemic took off and we really buttoned down the hatches and dial in our operational efficiencies. And then around Q3 and Q4, our payment volume came roaring back and it surpassed pre-pandemic levels and we’ve been able to ride that tailwind really nicely all the way through the fundraise.”

Over the last 12 months, Dwolla has pushed out several new product expansions including Real-Time Payments, Push-to-Debit and low-code Drop-in Components. 

“Originally we set to raise about $50 million and thought that was the right number. But then as our financial model was changing during the fundraise, we realized we really didn’t need to raise as much money as we thought,” said Harris. The path to profitability and the ways we could expand the product using our own resources versus investor dollars continued to come down. So we ultimately settled on $21 million and think that’s the right number.”

To date, Dwolla has raised more than $70 million in capital. This $21 million is its largest round to date. Harris says he expects the company to raise a larger Series C round some time next year.

Dwolla Raises $21 Million Venture Round | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now