SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Empower, a financial technology company whose mission is to reimagine consumers' relationship with their money, today announced it has raised $4.5 million. The round was led by Initialized Capital with participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital.
This latest round will accelerate the company's new product offering, Empower banking, a new kind of mobile bank with unmatched rewards. Empower members will earn 1 percent cashback on purchases paid with the Empower debit card,1.85 annual percentage yields on savings accounts along with no maintenance, foreign transaction fees or account minimums. Members can access their checking and savings accounts for free at over 25,000 ATMs or use an out-of-network ATM anywhere in the world and get reimbursed. The service also comes with an award-winning, artificial intelligence-powered assistant that helps members make better financial decisions.
"1 out of 2 millennials would change banks if a better option came along," said Warren Hogarth, CEO and co-founder of Empower. "Zero interest rates, dismal personal service, no rewards and high fees are the norm. We are changing that by offering a service with unmatched interest rates on savings, cash back checking, and an intelligent assistant that watches your back 24/7."
A recent study conducted by Empower found that the average person banking at the top four U.S. banks receives zero interest and rewards, while two in three of them pay $360 in bank fees a year. The same person banking with Empower would earn $18 a month, or $216 a year in cashback and interest, with no additional fees.
"Consumers have been trained to have very low expectations when it comes to their banking services," said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Initialized Capital. "Empower has created a banking service that is rewarding in ways that are both quantifiable, through high interest rates and cash back, and unquantifiable, through intelligent assistance that helps members make better financial decisions. We are excited to partner with Warren and his team on this journey to reinvent consumer banking."
For more information on Empower, visit https://empower.me.
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Empower is a San Francisco-based financial technology company whose mission is to reimagine consumers' relationship with their money. Backed by Sequoia Capital and Initialized Capital, the Empower team consists of venture capital, startup and financial technology veterans. The company's flagship product, "Empower", is the mobile bank with unmatched rewards and an AI-powered assistant that helps members make better financial decisions. The Empower app is available on iOS and Android and has over 3,500 5-star ratings on the App Stores. For more information, visit https://empower.me/
Initialized Capital is an early stage venture firm based in San Francisco that has $250 million under management and an active portfolio of software startups that have created more than $20 billion in market value. The firm was co-founded by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Garry Tan, who were both previously partners at Y Combinator. Initialized's portfolio includes companies like Instacart, Coinbase, OpenDoor, Flexport, Patreon and Cruise, which was acquired by General Motors.
From idea to IPO and beyond, the Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what's possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched network and the lessons we've learned over 45 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ's total value. We're proud that their success also fuels great causes. The vast majority of money we invest is on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means that the returns generated from the incredible achievements of founders can make a massive difference.