Just a few days after Till Financial picked up a $5 million investment for its “kids-focused” spending management app and Greenlight raised a whopping $260 million for its technology that helps parents raise “financially smart kids,” teen banking app Step announced that it had scored $100 million in Series C funding for its financial wellness solution dedicated toward helping young people develop sound financial habits.
“Our mission is to help improve the financial futures of the next generation and we’re thrilled to have such a massive vote of confidence from investors, especially during Financial Literacy Month,” Step CEO and founder CJ MacDonald said. “Thirty-eight percent of teens say they lack the financial resources needed to achieve financial independence and this is a problem Step is well positioned to help solve as we educate millions of households every day.”
The round was led by General Catalyst and featured participation from an exceptionally diverse group of existing investors. This roster included Coatue, Stripe, Charli D’Amelio, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s firm WndrCo, actor Jared Leto, Franklin Templeton and NBA All-Star Stephen Curry. The investment takes Step’s total funding to more than $175 million.
In the time since Step launched in September of 2020, the company has amassed more than 1.5 million users of its financial wellness app. Step gives users a free, FDIC insured bank account, a secured spending card, and access to a P2P payments platform that enables users to send and receive money instantly. With 88% of the company’s users saying that Step is their first bank account, the platform claims that it is the only banking platform that enables youth to build a positive credit history before they reach 18 years old.
“For too long, conversations about money –– specifically how to manage it –– have been avoided despite what a critical role they play in shaping the future of the next generation,” actor, musician, and serial tech investor Jared Leto said. “Over twenty years ago, I set out to tackle this problem by starting a company in the space, so I’m excited to see Step addressing the financial literacy crisis head on with game-changing technology built to help young people learn about money in their digitally native environments.”
Step is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and was co-founded by MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko. The company’s financial solutions are backed by bank partner Evolve Bank & Trust.