WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Village Capital today announced that Xendoo and Worthy Financial were peer-selected for funding during Finance Forward US 2019, an accelerator program that is a part of Finance Forward. A multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal, Finance Forward is supporting entrepreneurs on four continents who are building tech-enabled solutions to challenges around financial health.
Each startup will receive $75K in grant funding from MetLife Foundation to help them grow and scale their businesses. The two companies are focused on the following:
- Xendoo (Fort Lauderdale, FL) is a flat-rate subscription service that takes the hassle out of bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses (fewer than 20 employees). Eight out of ten businesses of this size fail due to cash flow issues.
- Worthy Financial (Boca Raton, FL) is a platform for everyday people to lend to impact-driven small businesses, creating a "fairer, more human face of finance". Worthy offers 5% fixed interest bonds that can be purchased for as little as $10.
"Both Xendoo and Worthy Financial are democratizing access to financial services for small business owners and everyday consumers," said Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital. "Xendoo is making accounting services available for a new generation of business owners, and Worthy Financial is helping people grow a nest egg while supporting Main Street instead of Wall Street. Along with the rest of the cohort, these two companies are developing creative, outside-the-box solutions to improve financial health in the United States."
"By bringing together an emerging group of fintechs through the Finance Forward coalition, we are able to elevate organizations that are at the forefront of financial health in the United States," said Sarah Willis, Director, Financial Health at MetLife Foundation. "We congratulate Xendoo and Worthy Financial for developing powerful new business models that help ensure lower-income people and small businesses benefit from the financial sector."
"As a company driven by technology and committed to the democratization of financial services for both people and small businesses around the world, PayPal is a proud ally of Village Capital and its Finance Forward initiative," said Julie Vennewitz-Pierce, Director at PayPal. "We hope this global effort for financial health ignites action and positive change in the United States."
Xendoo and Worthy Financial were selected by a group of peer entrepreneurs on the final day of Finance Forward US 2019, a two-month accelerator program managed by Village Capital in collaboration with MetLife Foundation and PayPal. The eleven entrepreneurs in the program evaluated each other through an investor lens and Xendoo and Worthy Financial were ranked "most investment ready."
Diversity is a core value for Village Capital and the Finance Forward initiative: Village Capital believes that "a diversity of backgrounds leads to a diversity of ideas, and diversity of ideas leads to a diversity of solutions." This cohort was far more diverse than the average make-up of venture capital investments in the United States.
- 55% of the startups participating in the program had a female founder or co-founder
- 55% had a Black and/or Latinx founder
- 73% are headquartered outside of New York, Boston, or San Francisco/Bay Area (where over 75% of VC is deployed)
The full list of companies in the Finance Forward US 2019 cohort included:
- Bond.ai (Little Rock, AR) is an AI platform for banks whose Empathy Engine™ helps banks intimately understand user behavior and nudge customers toward improved financial health.
- Edquity (Brooklyn, NY) supports students through every financial obstacle on the road to college graduation with its cash-flow management, emergency resource referral and emergency aid platform for college students, and an emergency aid management platform for higher education institutions.
- EnrichHER (Atlanta, GA) is a lending platform that connects revenue-generating women- led businesses and ventures with up to $250K in non-dilutive capital.
- Everyday Life (Boston, MA) uses technology to make it easy for everyday people to get personalized insurance that is more effective and less expensive than traditional, one-size-fits-all solutions.
- Flourish Savings (Berkeley, CA) helps financially excluded people establish savings habits and achieve financial security by making saving money feel like play.
- Qoins (Atlanta, GA) is a financial wellness app that helps consumers pay off their debt faster, by combining financial education and automation.
- SendMi (Lehi, UT) is a global flex-pay solution that integrates with an employer's payroll system, allowing employees to send money back to their home countries, top up phones and pay international bills.
- Uulala (Ontario, CA) is a mobile blockchain-powered fintech company and neo bank in Mexico seeking to provide a complete financial ecosystem designed to serve underbanked communities.
- Worthy Financial (Boca Raton, FL) is a platform that helps customers grow wealth through community-based investments.
- Xendoo (Fort Lauderdale, FL) is a cloud-based, flat-rate, monthly subscription providing bookkeeping and accounting to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
- ZayZoon (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is an HRTech company that partners and integrates with payroll companies to provide employees with financial wellness tools such as wages-on-demand, financial literacy and responsible banking solutions.
For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital ([email protected]).
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like Vault, Fig Loans, and Finix.
About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife's long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2019, MetLife Foundation provided $860 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 295 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit paypal.com.
SOURCE Village Capital