AI-powered banking app Empower attracts $20m Series A

Ben Heathcote | March 6, 2020

App Deals

Mobile banking app Empower has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Icon Ventures, Defy Ventures and Nubank founder and CEO David Velez. The fintech startup was previously backed by Sequoia Capital and Initialized Capital, both of whom also joined the round.

Boasting 600,000 active users, Empower promises a banking experience that combines AI and human coaching to power personal financial solutions. This includes personalised recommendations, subscription management, bill negotiation and spend tracking, as well as high-yield deposit products.

The company cited research that millennials are 2.5 times more likely than Baby Boomers and 1.5 times more likely than Gen Xers to switch banks when they are dissatisfied. Empower says its platform offers guidance to tech-savvy customers that traditional banks lack.

“Empower is democratising access to financial experts and products that used to be available to only the top 1% wealthiest people,” said co-founder and CEO Warren Hogarth.

“There’s growing demand in the market for financial knowledge to be more practical – and that means actionable, personalised information in real time to create better outcomes.”

According to the Empower, its tech continuously monitors users’ accounts and provides intelligent alerts and prompts to improve their financial decision-making.

The company says every product feature has been designed with the aim of helping customers save more and grow their wealth.

Icon Ventures general partner Tom Mawhinney added:

“Today’s generation needs and wants more from their bank. Most challenger banks are trying to tackle small parts of a more significant problem, like minimising fees or early direct deposit or improving design.

“Empower has a broader mission to improve financial well-being and independence through personal impact – and that means giving people a complete toolset incorporating digital plus human mentorship to save more and make their money work harder. The company is unlocking possibilities on a whole different scale.”

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