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Fintech Startup MoneyLion Raises $100M Series C, ‘Nears Unicorn Status’

From Crunchbase News July, 2019:

Mobile banking platform MoneyLion has raised a $100 million Series C funding round. The amount is more than double the $42 million raised in a Series B just 18 months ago. MoneyLion would not go on the record about its valuation, but sources claim it’s “near unicorn status.”

MoneyLion has now raised a total of $227.5 million since its inception in 2013. Investors in the latest round included a combination of strategic investors—Capital One and MetaBank —and existing financial investors Edison PartnersGreenspring Associates, and FinTech Collective.

Despite saying the company was seeing “hypergrowth,” CEO and co-founder Dee Choubey declined to provide any metrics regarding the company’s revenue growth over time. The company does say it has “over 5 million members” currently. That compares to over 4 million back in April and more than 3 millionlast October. The startup also said its bank membership has grown “at an annualized rate of greater than 1,000% with respect to both accounts and daily average transactions.”

Describing itself as a “Costco/Netflix” of the financial industry, MoneyLion offers an array of services to its customers using a membership model: new mobile online​ ​banking​ ​and managed​ ​investment​ ​services, a no-fee checking account, savings, credit-building, cash advances, and personal loans. Membership costs depends on the services used. MoneyLion says it uses AI and machine learning to “deliver personalized money-saving recommendations” and do things like help people improve their credit scores. Looking ahead, the company said it plans to launch a trading platform in Q4 of this year.

Its membership is concentrated in Texas and the South and the startup plans to use the new capital in part to expand it more broadly throughout the rest of the U.S. The company’s headquarters are in New York and it has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, San Francisco, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s also “very selectively looking at international opportunities as well,” according to Choubey. MoneyLion also plans to continue investing in its underlying technology and finding ways to further engage members over time.

Chris Sugden, managing partner of Edison Partners, noted his firm led MoneyLion’s Series A and co-led its B and C rounds. Sugden said Edison has been impressed with the company’s ability to provide a “holistic” solution to customers.

“MoneyLion provides everything you’d get it if you walked into a physical branch of a bank,” he told Crunchbase News. “They offer a full suite of capabilities, which is pretty compelling from a consumer standpoint because you don’t want to have 4-5 apps to replace a bank.”

Sugden also believes that while the digital bank space is getting a lot of buzz and attention, from an investor standpoint, “the opportunity is still in the early innings.”

“Adoption rates of these challenger banks is still low,” he told Crunchbase News. “There’s a lot of room for growth. Overall, this is one of the more exciting stores I’ve been around during my time investing over the last 17-18 years.”

There’s clearly lots of investor interest in the space. Earlier today, mobile-first trading platform Robinhood announced a $323 million Series E. With its new investment offering, MoneyLion will now directly compete with that company.