Kids-focused fintech Greenlight raises $260M in a16z-led Series D, nearly doubles valuation to $2.3B

Greenlight, the fintech company that pitches parents on kid-friendly bank accounts, has raised $260 million in a Series D funding round that nearly doubles its valuation to $2.3 billion.

The funding comes just months after the Atlanta-based startup landed $215 million in funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. With the latest round, Greenlight has now raised over $550 million.

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led its Series D, which also included participation from return backers TTV Capital, Canapi Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, BOND, Fin VC, Goodwater Capital, as well as new investors Wellington Management, Owl Ventures and LionTree Partners.

Since it launched its debit cards for kids in 2017, the company has managed to set up accounts for more than 3 million parents and children, who have saved more than $120 million through the app. That’s up from 2 million parents and kids having saved $50 million at the time of its September 2020 raise.

Overall, Greenlight says it has “more than tripled” YoY revenue, more than doubled the number of parents and kids on its platform and doubled the size of its team within the past year. 

Image Credits: Greenlight

“Greenlight has quickly emerged as a leader in the family finance category,” said Andreessen Horowitz general partner David George, who will join Greenlight’s board of directors, in a written statement. “Greenlight was built to help parents raise financially-smart kids, and with its breakthrough combination of easy-to-use money management tools and educational resources, the company is well-positioned to become one of the most loved and trusted brands for families around the world.”

The company pitches itself as more than just a debit card, with apps that give parents the ability to deposit money in accounts and pay for allowance, manage chores and set flexible controls on how much kids can spend. In January, Greenlight introduced its educational investing platform for kids — Greenlight Max. Through that platform, kids can research stocks with analysis from Morningstar and actually make real investments in companies like Apple, Tesla, Microsoft and Amazon as long as their parents approve.

As TechCrunch previously reported, it’s a potentially massive business that can lock in a whole generation to a financial services platform, which is likely one reason why a whole slew of companies have launched with a similar thesis. There’s Kard, Step, Till Financial and Current pitching similar businesses in the U.S. and Mozper recently launched from Y Combinator to bring the model to Latin America. (Step and Current also announced big rounds today, while Till Financial announced its seed round last week. Notably, a16z also led Current’s raise).

“Our vision at Greenlight is to create a world where every child grows up to be financially healthy and happy,” said Tim Sheehan, co-founder and CEO of Greenlight. “Today’s financing will enable us to bring even more value to families as we continue to introduce new innovative products that shine a light on the world of money.”

 Greenlight says it will use the new capital to accelerate product development to add more financial services to its platform as well as to invest further in strategic distribution partnerships and geographic expansion. It also plans to hire another 300 employees over the next two years, with an emphasis on engineers.

 

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Payment startup Curve has raised a fresh $95 million but faces questions over its late financial filings

Summary List PlacementPayment card startup Curve has landed a fresh $95 million in Series C funding, but has raised eyebrows for filings its 2019 financial accounts late.
Founded in April 2018, Curve has now raised some $175 million in funding. The startup offers a payment card that digitally aggregates all of a user’s debit and credit cards.
Unlike in the US, private firms of a certain size in the UK are obliged to file detailed annual accounts. It can be a valuable snapshot into the state of a business.
Curve was due to file its full-year results for 2019 on 31 December but missed the deadline. Sifted reported that the firm had already been granted extensions to its filing deadline in March and October. Curve is also under caution by the UK’s financial regulator over its lack of records.  The fine for not filing accounts is, however, negligible. 
Asked why the filings were late, a Curve representative said: “We have now filed our 2019 accounts at Companies House. These were delayed by a few days, as a result of our focus being fully centered on a successful Series C fundraise.”
Insider has previously raised questions about Curve’s transparency.
During a crowdfunding drive in September 2019, Curve did not reveal a monthly active user figure, but claimed in an investor pitch deck it would reach 4 million customers by the end of 2020. The firm subsequently raised £6 million ($7.7 million) from the drive. Figures obtained by Insider for May 2019 indicated monthly active users were a tiny fraction of its then-500,000 customer number, implying the firm was struggling at that point to keep users loyal.
A Curve representative on Monday declined to disclose active user base, but said the company had seen significant growth.
“The number of active users is commercially sensitive information, but what we can say is that over the past 12 months we have seen significant growth both in customer numbers, which now total 2 million up from around a million at the start of 2020, and the value of transactions processed by our platform, which now exceeds £2 billion up from around £1 billion over the same period,” they said. “Both of these metrics demonstrate our impressive growth trajectory of the business and the appeal of our products and services. Investors too are comfortable with our progress as proved by our successful Series C round.”
And one early investor in Curve told Insider that they were fully on-board with Curve and had no issue with either its lack of filing or MUA figures. 
With its new funds, Curve is planning to grow its headcount from around 300 currently to around 600 in the next 12 months by hiring across Europe and the US. The company also plans to develop a new product called Curve Credit. 
In addition to its 2019 accounts being overdue on Companies House, , the company has been accused of a lack of transparency. 
The funding round was led by IDC Ventures, Fuel Venture Capital and Vulcan Capital, with participation from OneMain Financial and Novum Capital. Curve previously raised a $55 million Series B in September 2019. 
“The proceeds of the fundraise will be used to support international expansion and research and development,” Shachar Bialick, founder and CEO at Curve, told Insider.”Our expansion plans will focus primarily on launching in the US and deepening our foothold in the European market, which has shown a very strong pool during 2020. Both markets offer incredibly exciting growth prospects in 2021 and beyond.”
The company declined to comment on its new valuation. SEE ALSO: The London fintech aiming to become the ‘Spotify for money’ raised $55 million using this pitch deck
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