Fintech Startup Greenwood Bank Raises $40 Million in Funding to Provide Black and Latino Banking Services
The biggest names in finance invest in Greenwood including 6 of the top 7 banks and others – Truist, Bank of America, PNC, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Mastercard, Visa, and SoftBank
Greenwood, the digital banking platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners, today announced it has closed $40 million of Series A funding from six of the seven largest U.S. banks and the top two payment technology companies: Truist, Bank of America, PNC, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Mastercard, and Visa.
The group is joined by FIS, a leading provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms globally, and Popular, the largest Hispanic-owned bank in the U.S.; venture capital firms TTV Capital, the SoftBank Group Corp’s SB Opportunity Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners (Scout Fund); sports and entertainment names including Quality Ventures, the private equity arm of sports media conglomerate Quality Control, and All-Pro NFL running back Alvin Kamara. Greenwood will continue to build a community focused on financial empowerment and deliver a range of financial products and services.
Greenwood Bank closes $40M of Series A funding from 6 of the 7 largest U.S. banks and the top 2 payment technology companies.
“The net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family and eight times greater than that of a Latino family. This wealth gap is a curable injustice that requires collaboration,” said Ryan Glover, Chairman and Co-founder of Greenwood.
“I am elated that many of the world’s top fintech companies have invested in Greenwood and join us in this mission. The backing of six of the top seven banks and the two largest payment technology companies is a testament to the contemporary influence of the Black and Latino community. We now are even better positioned to deliver the world-class services our customers deserve.”
The company’s $40 million capital raise is led by Truist Ventures, the corporate venture capital division of Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC). The investor group is committed to advancing economic empowerment of minority and underserved communities and racial equity in financial services. A video featuring the investors in this funding round can be viewed at www.bankgreenwood.com/bankingtheculture.
Greenwood will feature best-in-class online banking services, innovative ways to support Latino and Black-owned banks and give-back programs focused on Black and Latino causes and businesses. “We think it is critical that our actions live up to the promise of our name,” said Glover, referring to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District of the early 20thCentury, which included the prosperous “Black Wall Street”.
“Truist Ventures is helping to inspire and build better lives and communities by leading the Series A funding round for Greenwood’s innovative approach to building greater trust in banking within Black and Latino communities,” said Truist Chief Digital and Client Experience Officer Dontá L. Wilson who oversees Truist Ventures.
“In addition to the opportunity to work with and learn from this distinguished group of founders, our investment in Greenwood is reflective of our purpose and commitment to advancing economic empowerment of minority and underserved communities.”
“Greenwood is the right idea at the right time,” said Shu Nyatta, Managing Partner of SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund. “Galvanizing a broad coalition of consumers and companies to close the racial equity gap is very closely aligned with our mission at the Opportunity Fund. We are enthusiastic supporters of what Greenwood is trying to accomplish.”
Greenwood was announced in October 2020 and already has signed up more than 500,000 community members.
Jesse Williams invests in Greenwood, the banking platform for Black and Latinx communities
The actor/activist joins the Greenwood ownership group and collaborates to create content about financial empowerment
Actor, director, producer, and community activist Jesse Williams has become an investor in Greenwood, a new digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners.
“I’m excited to join the Greenwoodteam and work to advance economic prosperity for people of color,” said Williams.
While Williams is known by many for his role on the long-running ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” he also has been an activist for humanitarian and racial justice causes. Williams won the BET Humanitarian Award in 2016 and an NAACP Image Award in 2019. He is involved with multiple organizations focused on racial justice.
“I’m excited to join the Greenwood team and work to advance economic prosperity for people of color,” said Williams. “The time has come for Black and Latinx communities in America to strengthen our economic condition and influence. By increasing access to essential banking services and financial education, Greenwood is a key part of that movement.”
Greenwood Bank founders include Andrew J. Young, civil rights legend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Mayor of Atlanta; Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, rapper and activist in Black financial empowerment; and Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman and founder of Bounce TV network.
Just a month after launching the company, more than 200,000 people have joined the Greenwood community and the waiting list for Greenwood’s digital banking platform. This growth makes Greenwood one of the most successful launches in the history of the financial services industry.
“Jesse Williams has long been a voice for equality and opportunity,” said Ryan Glover. “We are thrilled to have the chance to work with him. He is a perfect fit for the mission of Greenwood.”
Greenwood and Williams have produced a series of videos about the financial empowerment movement. The first spot, titled “You Ready,” available at www.bankgreenwood.com/you-ready, posts to Greenwood’s social media channels today. All the videos were produced, directed and staffed by a nearly all-Black cast and crew and feature a number of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and Black- and Latinx-owned businesses. In addition, the videos were executive produced by Ri-Karlo Handy, who has become a vocal advocate for Black equity in Hollywood. The spots were scored by noted artist, songwriter and producer Johnta Austin.
Greenwood’s initial product is a debit card and account that comes with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features are included, such as Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations with no hidden fees.
Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash rewards as a thank you from Greenwood. All deposits will be FDIC-insured by a partner bank. Additionally, Greenwood plans to provide deposits to help strengthen historically Black banks.
The Greenwood name pays homage to the prosperous “Black Wall Street,” part of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early 20th Century – a center of African American enterprise, entertainment, skills, wealth and investment capital. Though it was destroyed by white mobs in 1921, the Greenwood District remains an enduring symbol of the economic potential of community solidarity.
Lynn Tillman-Cherry, a payments industry veteran and fintech industry leader, has joined Greenwood as Chief Compliance and Risk Officer.
Lynn Cherry began her banking career at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo). In 1998, after completing the Bank Card Services Management Training Program, she moved into the debit and prepaid card verticals and has since designed, built and managed bank-centric regulatory compliance programs for several top card issuers in the United States and Europe.
“We are proud to welcome Lynn to the Greenwood executive team and are confident her expertise will bring a great deal of value to the company and our customers,” said Ryan Glover, Greenwood Co-Founder and Chairman. “Lynn’s knowledge and innate understanding of the fintech payments landscape are key to her success and will ensure that Greenwood customers will conduct their banking safely and securely.”
Lynn Cherry is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and a graduate of the American Bankers Association Graduate School of Compliance Risk Management.
She has served on the Prepaid Advisory Board at FIS and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professional (IAPP) and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). In 2020, Lynn was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in FinTech for 2020 by The Financial Technology Report.
Greenwood, a mobile application digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people, was founded by Civil Rights leader Andrew J. Young; rapper and activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render; and Ryan Glover, founder of the Bounce TV Network and other companies.
Having achieved more than 500,000 sign-ups to the waiting list for its virtual modern banking services in just 100 days, Greenwood’s initial banking products are savings and spending accounts with advanced features like Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile banking with check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations with no hidden fees.
The name pays homage to the prosperous Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which included the “Black Wall Street” of the early 20th Century, an enduring symbol of the economic potential of community solidarity and empowerment. Greenwood partners with the NAACP to support civil rights, the King Center to champion social justice, and UNCF to support minority education.
Greenwood tops 100,000 sign-ups in the first week
Strong demand for minority banking solution makes Greenwood one of fintech’s most successful launches
A mere five days after the October 8 announcement of the company, Greenwood has received more than 100,000 sign-ups to the waiting list for Greenwood’s digital banking platform at www.bankgreenwood.com. This pace illustrates the demand for a modern solution for minority banking and makes Greenwood one of the most successful launches in the history of the financial services industry.
Greenwood will feature best-in-class online banking services and innovative ways of giving back to Black and Latinx causes and businesses. “This highlights the need for a new financial services platform that understands the Black and Latinx community.”
Greenwood’s founders include civil rights legend Andrew J. Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Mayor of Atlanta; Michael ‘Killer Mike’ Render, rapper, businessman, and activist in Black financial empowerment; and Ryan Glover, GreenwoodChairman and founder of Bounce TV network.
“This incredible reception highlights the need for a new financial services platform that understands the Black and Latinx community, a platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities,” said Ryan Glover. “Greenwood clearly is an idea whose time has come — modern banking for the culture.”
“Lack of fairness in the financial system has a long and sordid history in our country,” said Michael ‘Killer Mike’ Render. “It is heartening to see so many people respond to a banking concept that seeks to increase the circulation of dollars in Black and Latinx communities, thereby increasing opportunities for wealth creation for these families and the entire economy.”
Greenwood’s initial products are savings and spending accounts that come with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features like Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations will be offered with no hidden fees. Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash awards as a thank you from Greenwood.
For every customer sign-up, Greenwood will provide five meals to a family in need. Every swipe of a Greenwood debit card will prompt a donation to UNCF for education, Goodr to feed the hungry, or the NAACP to support civil rights. And every month, Greenwood will provide a $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx small business owner that is a Greenwoodcustomer.
The Greenwood name pays homage to the prosperous “Black Wall Street,” part of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early 20th Century — a center of African American enterprise, entertainment, skills, wealth and investment capital. Though it was destroyed by white mobs in 1921, the Greenwood District remains an enduring symbol of the economic potential of community solidarity.
Greenwood is not a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Banking services will be provided by FDIC-member banks. Deposits will be FDIC-insured by a partner bank. Additionally, Greenwood plans to work with brick-and-mortar minority-owned banks to provide products and services that will help strengthen historically Black banks.