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Kikoff raises $30M for its hybrid consumer-credit and financial-literacy service – TechCrunch

KikovAnnounced today that a personal finance platform aimed at helping consumers build credit has raised $ 30 million in Series B rounds.

The capital was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, in addition to $ 12.5 million raised by startups in previously unannounced seed and series A rounds.

Portage Ventures led Kickoff’s Series B, including participation from Lightspeed, GGV, Coatue and Core Innovation Capital. The company’s former backers include NBA star Steph Curry, Wex CEO Melissa Smith, and former US Treasury CFO Teresa Ressel.

CEO Cynthia Chen and CTO Christophe Chong co-founded a San Francisco-based company in late 2019 to help consumers without credit history establish credit and help consumers with credit history continue to build credit. Did. According to Chen, the pair comes from a “low to medium income” family and wants to help others with similar financial backgrounds. Chen says he grew up in Beijing before going to college on a scholarship and was impressed by the experience his parents had to borrow money from family and friends to buy a TV.

The company refused to reveal tough revenue figures, but Chen said it had “hundreds of thousands” of customers after Kikoff was out of beta for half a year.

Kikoff’s product, the Kikoff Credit Account, is the first in a series of planned products aimed at improving the financial position of consumers.

“There are many Americans who don’t come from wealthy families and have a lot of student loan debt,” Chen said. “For them and many others, we wanted to create a better way to build better credit than the existing offers in the market.” Anyone can use the platform, but Chen The majority of customers are millennials and GenZers, who say they need the most ways to build credit.

Using Kikoff, this pair aims to provide people not only with a way to build credit history, but also with a way to improve consumer financial literacy. Kikoff does not offer debit or credit cards that can be used anywhere, but limits the use of credit lines to the online store that created it. Users can buy ebooks that cover a variety of financial topics, such as planning, budgeting, and profits from Bitcoin trading. There are also resale rights-purchased courses that cover topics such as personal financial education, how to set up an e-commerce store, and how to acquire Python programming skills.

“When consumers buy something from our store, [that] Items help people improve their financial habits and make money by making smarter investments and establishing small businesses and learning skills, “Chen told TechCrunch. Told.

The company also does not charge credit line interest or financing fees.

“There is no cost to borrow money,” she said. Instead, Kikoff collects revenue by taking a margin between the wholesale price of the goods sold in the store and the retail price paid by the customer.

To sign up, customers first apply for a $ 500 revolving credit line that they can use to make purchases at Kikoff’s online store. Within a few months, the company advertises that customers can “be eligible for better interest rates, competitive credit cards, and mortgages” in a relatively short period of about 45 days.

Kikoff has deliberately worked to help customers build credibility, as Chen describes it as “a very economically responsible method.”

“That’s why they can only use their products within our proprietary online store, and the store has a lot of affordable items they can buy,” she told TechCrunch. “So it’s relatively easy not to overuse or overuse any kind of impulse purchases they can’t really afford to pay later.”

Lightspeed partner Ansaf Kareem said he can sympathize with Chen and Chung’s experience of having to create and build credits for the first time “especially as immigrants and first-generation Americans.”

“”Credit scores hold the key to your financial future, yet so many Americans struggle to create and build credit, “he said. “We can see your credit score on adjacent products, but we don’t provide any tools or guidance to improve your credit score without charging fees or demanding large down payments,” he said. Added. “Kikoff has built products that offer real value through a simple, free structure for starting and building credits, and they are just getting started.”

Kikoff’s management certainly has an impressive FinTech background. Chen was previously Chief Risk Officer for Figures and was a senior manager at Capital One and On-Deck. Chong was a former growth manager for Lime and headed the growth teams for Facebook and Square. Andrew Brix, Product Manager at Kikoff, was Credit Karma’s 15th employee and Director of Product Management. He was also a senior product manager at E-Trade. Marketing Officer Patrick Glover works for both Plaid and Square, and Operations Officer Vinni Bala is Deserve’s former CMO and Chief Marketing Officer.

Other companies with similar goals that have recently raised venture funding include: Tomo Credit And Welcome Tech, Above all.

Kikoff raises $30M for its hybrid consumer-credit and financial-literacy service – TechCrunch Source link Kikoff raises $30M for its hybrid consumer-credit and financial-literacy service – TechCrunch

Source: on 2021-06-30 08:00:00

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