Yapily, a UK-based Open Banking infrastructure developer, has completed the first close of its $51m Series B round led by Sapphire Ventures.

Current backers Lakestar, HV Capital and Latitude also joined the fundraising.

So far, Yapily has raised $69m in total capital.

The fintech firm, which connects businesses to thousands of banks through an open API, looks to foray into new markets including France and Spain using the capital.

Its aim is to expand open banking across Europe, covering 95% of the continent by the end of 2021.

The firm also plans to use the fresh infusion to invest in existing markets including the UK, Italy and Germany.

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Plans are on to expand beyond Europe in 2022. The firm also looks to invest ‘heavily’ in its offerings and people, focusing on expanding its engineering capabilities significantly over the next 12 months.

Sapphire Ventures partner and co-founder Andreas Weiskam said: “FinTech is evolving from a vertical to a horizontal sector as companies in many verticals are moving to embed financial services into their offerings. This is a trend we believe is here to stay and relies on the development of a robust financial infrastructure layer.

“The decision to invest in Yapily was clear: an infrastructure-first approach to deliver better and fairer financial services for everyone.”

The client list of Yapily includes American Express, Intuit Quickbooks, Moneyfarm, Volt, Vivid and BUX.

The open banking outfit has a workforce of over 90.

Yapily CEO and founder Stefano Vaccino said: “Europe is leading the world in open finance, and consumers and businesses will start to see more innovation from industries such as mortgages, pensions and insurance, with easier access to financial data and payments infrastructure.

“With more frameworks coming into effect around the globe, the time is right to double down on our growth plans by entering regulatory-led markets and enabling companies to build better and fairer financial products and services.”