Current Raises $20M to Offer an Alternative to Predatory Banking

Current announced a $20 million Series B round and a marketing partnership with Visa that will help drive growth for the mobile banking app.

Written by Tatum Hunter
Published on Oct. 24, 2019
Current Raises $20M to Offer an Alternative to Predatory Banking
Current fintech jobs NYC
photo via current

In 2017, Current’s debit cards for teens gave families more ease and control in managing kids’ finances.

This year, the company added personal checking accounts to its product roster. 

Today, Current announced a $20 million Series B round and a marketing partnership with Visa that will help drive growth for the mobile banking app.

Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers in the U.S. say they live paycheck to paycheck. Current caters to this group with practical, technology-enabled tools like mobile alerts that report a user’s account balance each time he or she makes a purchase. 

Current’s banking services come from Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank. However, Current has invested heavily in internalizing operations that many mobile banking platforms outsource, vice president of marketing Adam Hadi told Built In.

With that approach, Current saves on external costs, which lets it avoid common money-making tactics like overdraft and minimum balance fees. 

“Traditional banks make money from people getting mortgages or spending a ton of money on a credit card,” Hadi said. “It’s really hard for traditional banks to make money off of regular Americans who spend a modest amount of money on a debit card. But we have far fewer costs than they do, so we can.”

By maintaining an internal ledger, Current also can offer benefits like faster direct deposits and refunds on gas holds, or those big pending withdrawals gas stations place on your account until your actual purchase clears. 

Current already partners with Visa to provide its debit cards, but its new, expanded joint marketing partnership should get Current’s name in front of more potential customers. The app just hit 500,000 accounts, and the company plans to reach one million by mid-2020.

“We’re helping people who are otherwise subject to really predatory banking options,” Hadi said. “Everything we build, we build in alignment with our consumer. Others in fintech haven’t necessarily built themselves in that manner. They make money at the expense of their customer. We don’t do that.”

Current’s team has grown 50 percent in the past year, and that growth will accelerate in the coming year, Hadi said. While he declined to provide hiring projections, he said the company is hiring across all departments. Chief technology officer Trevor Marshall, who spearheaded Current’s in-house banking technology, is actively hiring back-end engineers for his team. 

The Series B round included new investors Wellington Management Company, Galaxy Digital EOS VC Fund and CMFG Ventures. Returning investors included QED Investors, Expa and Elizabeth Street Ventures. Current’s total funding is $45 million.

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