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Dec. 5, 2021

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Finance startup Embed raises $80 million, readies for launch in Vancouver’s Uptown Village

By , Columbian Innovation Editor
Published:

A new finance-tech company that raised $80 million in investor funding is about to launch its product with its headquarters in Vancouver’s Uptown Village.

In an unmarked office space at 1703 Main St. near Relevant Coffee, the city’s newest entrepreneurial venture will operate under the name Embed Financial Technologies Inc. The company, Embed for short, is a business-to-business financial infrastructure company.

Company materials say its product “provides a securities execution, clearing, settlement and custody platform to embed equities, options and more into any product.”

“The Embed platform has the ability to power the next Robinhood, Acorns or Cash App Investing,” wrote Embed founder and CEO Michael Giles in an email to The Columbian.

The startup employs 25 people, with six of them in the Vancouver and Portland area, Giles wrote in an email. As of Thursday it’s hiring for six positions.

Giles said he’d like to one day make the company publicly owned, joining the ranks of ZoomInfo, AbSci, nLIGHT, Northwest Pipe Co., Nautilus Inc. and other companies in Vancouver’s growing business scene.

“I think the dream for every entrepreneur is to one day IPO your company on a stock exchange,” he said. “If we execute successfully, I see no reason why Embed could not be a publicly traded company in the future. Having said that, so long as there is capital available in the private markets, it’s safe to assume Embed will remain private for as long as it makes sense.”

Background

Giles was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and moved to the U.S. in 2011. His wife, Carmen Giles, is from Portland, where the couple moved in 2017. With Washington being more friendly to business in Giles’ view, they moved to Vancouver, “on the doorstep of Portland, where there is a lot of talent,” he said.

Giles showed an interest in stocks from an early age, when his parents noticed that he was reading the stock prices section of the newspaper. It led him to invest in stocks at age 12 or 13 with his father’s help.

At 19, he earned a job at Computershare, the world’s largest transfer agent, founded in Australia. Before he turned 21, he founded his first startup, an online brokerage called OneTrade, then sold it to a small publicly traded firm in Australia and briefly worked there before moving to the U.S. to complete his master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation, he wrote in an email.

In 2010, Giles founded his next startup called Roboinvest, sold it in 2012, then founded his third startup in 2014 called Third Party, an API platform for building investing products.

In 2019, Giles sold Third Party to Square, the ubiquitous point-of-sale tech company, and became an executive for the company, according to Embed’s website.

Since then, Giles has been seeking investors for his fourth startup, Embed Financial Technologies Inc., formerly called Embedded that he started last year. He’s raised more than $80 million in equity and debt, and all the permitting and approvals are complete for executing, clearing and settling U.S. listed equities through Embed.

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