Astra Inc. was founded in October 2016 by Gil Akos and Sam Morgan, modern finance executives who believed in the power and potential of advanced, automated technologies. Observing a need for a full stack money movement platform with risk mitigation, anti-fraud and accelerated settlement capabilities, the co-founders set out to create an infrastructure that supports financial transfers at a market competitive price.
"Our mission is to increase the efficiency of the financial system for all by mapping the financial graph and automating the movement of funds through it," Morgan said. "Our technology is designed for all so that any two accounts can be connected and leverage automation to ensure more automation and less manual management in personal finance."
Morgan recalled that Astra launched its Automated Bank Transfer API in 2021, and subsequently entered into numerous strategic partnerships with leading fintech firms, including Daylight, Dwolla, Unifimoney, Overflow and Purple Financial. In addition, he noted, Astra launched a mobile-friendly web app that enables users to manage their Astra profile quickly and easily from any device. Developers can also use the web app for authorizations and graceful fallbacks to facilitate customer onboarding in multiple web environments, he added.
Morgan characterized Astra's Automation as a Service offering and full stack API as its primary differentiators, stating that the SaaS provides clients, partners and resellers with competitively priced, essential infrastructure. He also noted that the full stack API provides developers with a lightweight integration that facilitates funds transfers between depository accounts, either on demand or using prebuilt automations such as round ups or sweeps. He cited the following additional products and services:
Designed to remove friction, delays and uncertainties from money movement, Astra solutions eliminate cumbersome balance reconciliation processes and use integrated anti-fraud to prevent lost funds, Morgan stated. He also pointed out that Astra solutions facilitate fast and accurate funds transfers without return codes or transfer failures.
"By working across the payments ecosystem, with ISOs, MLSs and other payments enterprises, Astra forges symbiotic partnerships, especially with companies that receive or originate funds transfers," Morgan said. "Astra's orchestration technology benefits these organizations, eliminating any worry about return code errors or fraudulent transfers. Partners can instead focus on other aspects of their operations or differentiating features for their products."
As he looked ahead to Astra's near-term product road map, Morgan indicated the next big releases will be all about payment rails. After spending years developing complex financial automations that leverage the ACH network and successfully completing millions in transfers, we're going to open them up to even faster payment rails like push-to-debit and RTP, which are coming later this year, he stated.
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