The Mastercard Mafia

October 30, 2023
Tech Mafias

Mastercard was founded in 1966 by a group of banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America. The company was originally known as Interbank, and later became Master Charge.

The Interbank Card Association (ICA) was not dominated by a single bank. Instead, member committees were created to run the association. They established rules for authorization, clearing, and settlement.

In 1979, the organization was renamed Mastercard and began expanding globally.

The Mastercard Mafia

Mastercard is worth 343.04 billion USD today, but what interests us more is its alumni group!

Below we highlight the top 14 companies from the Mastercard Mafia, but a total of 60 companies have been founded and the alumni group has collectively raised $729 million as per Crunchbase data.

PS: Are you a Mastercard employee/alum interested in getting your community together to invest in the community (and earn carry/other benefits along the way)? Or are you a member of another community that you think would make for an amazing startup investment community? 😉

Learn more about us and sign up for the waitlist here.

Most money raised: Lending Club

Headquartered in San Francisco, LendingClub is a financial services company that connects borrowers with investors. Founded by Renaud Laplanche, It was the first peer-to-peer lender to register its offerings as securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

LendingClub has been in business since 2007 and has helped more than 4 million members get over $80 billion in personal loans. It is also the first public US neobank. 

Update] Lending Club IPO Shows The Profit Potential For Financial  Technology Investments | TechCrunch

Startup to keep an eye on: Bloom Money

Bloom Money is a savings club app designed to help growing communities in migrant communities and use technology to promote community, safety, and convenience.

What we loved: To get the business off the ground, the founder Nina Mohanty raised a $1.2 million pre-seed round from mostly female, immigrant, and BIPOC investors.

Nina Mohanty/Bloom Money

Mohanty's personal experiences, having grown up in a family of immigrants who relocated to the US and her own journeys to France, Austria, and the UK, served as the catalyst for creating Bloom.

Her initial encounter with the complexities of establishing international bank accounts while studying abroad in Paris, followed by her professional stint at Mastercard in Austria, where she resorted to using a fintech app to exchange currencies, fueled her commitment to addressing these challenges.

Together with co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dan James, Bloom has pioneered an ethical rotating savings club, essentially a 2023 fintech adaptation of the traditional 'Rotating Savings and Credit Association' (ROSCA).

All the incredible companies covered below:

  • Stride Funding
  • Lending Club
  • Ellipse
  • Markaaz
  • Kalepa
  • Statement
  • CoreChain Technologies
  • When Then
  • Tweed
  • Charm Solutions
  • Houm
  • ElectricFish
  • Bloom Money
  • AlloyX

Lending Club

Founder: John Donovan
Mastercard Role: Vice President, Global Product Development
Capital Raised: $392.2M
Investors: Coatue
Stage: Public

Lending Club is an online financial community that brings together creditworthy borrowers and savvy investors.

Stride Funding

Founder: Patrick Conner
Mastercard Role: Vice President Member Relations
Capital Raised: $150.7M
Investors: Pear VC
Stage: Series A

Stride Funding is an outcomes-oriented company offering flexible funding products such as Income Share Agreements.


Founder: Sebastien Pochic
Mastercard Role: Vice President, New Products
Capital Raised: $35.1M
Investors: Upfront Ventures
Stage: Series B

Ellipse develops EVC technology, streamlining the production of Display Cards for smart cards, led by founder Sebastien Pochic, an experienced technology executive with a background in electronic payments and a history of patent inventions.


Founder: Daniel Hillman
Mastercard Role: Vice President of Sales
Capital Raised: $14M
Investors: Inspired Capital
Stage: Series A

Kalepa is a commercial insurance company that provides an AI-powered underwriting workbench for insurers.


Founder: Hany Fam
Mastercard Role: President, Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships
Capital Raised: $14M
Investors: Sandy Watkins
Stage: Series A

Markaaz improves SME data sharing between enterprises and small businesses, streamlining processes and providing financial opportunities, benefiting individuals, families, and communities.


Founder: Idan Vlodinger
Mastercard Role: Vice President, Products and Innovation
Capital Raised: $12M
Investors: Insight Partners
Stage: Seed

Statement streamlines corporate finance, connecting real-time financial data from multiple sources into a centralized dashboard. It empowers finance teams with rule-based workflow automations for tasks like reconciliations and payments, simplifying finance while maintaining oversight.

CoreChain Technologies

Founder: Chris Aguas
Mastercard Role: Vice President, New Product Development & Platform Management, Global Commercial Products
Capital Raised: $5.5M
Investors: New Form Capital
Stage: Seed

CoreChain Technologies is a business-to-business payments network built on blockchain technology. It is led by founder Chris Aguas, who specializes in tech and fintech growth, product innovation, business development, and product marketing.

When Then

Founder: Dave Brown, Eamon Doyle, Kirk Donohoe
Mastercard Role: Principal Consultant, Senior Consultant, Senior Vice President
Capital Raised: €5M
Investors: Cavalry Ventures
Stage: Pre-Seed

When Then is the no-code platform for building powerful payment experiences and automation in minutes through simple integration and orchestration of FinTech APIs.


Founder: Julie Tauber
Mastercard Role: Merchants and Marketplaces Enablement
Capital Raised: $4M
Investors: Accel
Stage: Seed

Tweed simplifies web3 integration with its self-custodial wallet and SDK. It offers frictionless onboarding for non-crypto users and compliant payment solutions.

Charm Solutions

Founder: John Donovan
Mastercard Role: Vice President, Global Product Development
Capital Raised: $3.5M
Investors: Bootstrap Labs
Stage: Seed

Charm Solutions transforms lending through data optimization.


Founder: Bijaei Jayaraj
Mastercard Role: Associate Vice President & Account Head
Capital Raised: $3.5M
Investors: Bijai Jayarajan
Stage: Series A

Houm offers a private online space, exclusively owned and accessed by the user for unparalleled privacy.


Founder: Vince Wong
Mastercard Role: Product Manager, Climate & AI Solutions
Capital Raised: $2.6M
Investors: Cleantech Open
Stage: Pre Seed

ElectricFish, a climate tech company, is pioneering the development and deployment of XFC (Extreme Fast Charging) stations through microgrid-scale energy storage. Their vision revolves around transforming the age-old electricity grid and erasing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector.


Founder: Alexandre Liege
Mastercard Role: Product Director, Emerging Healthcare Vertical
Capital Raised: $2M
Investors: Hack VC
Stage: Pre-Seed

AlloyX makes it simple and accessible for protocols, DAOs, and institutional investors to create diversified RWA investment strategies.

Bloom Money

Founder: Nina Mohanty
Mastercard Role: Digital Strategist
Capital Raised: £1M
Investors: Zinal Growth
Stage: Pre-Seed

Bloom Money is a savings club app designed to help growing communities in migrant communities.

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