Business Venture

Bank Startup Chime Secures $200M

Chime has raised $200 million in a new round led by DST Global, bringing the digital-only banking company’s total funding to $300 million. The San Francisco company’s total valuation is at $1.5 billion, according to the company.

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The new push of cash will be used to launch new products in both credit building and short-term lending, broadening the smartphone-friendly company’s offerings, Chime said in its press release.

Chime’s appeal comes from its lack of fees. “No overdraft. No minimum balance. No monthly service fees. No foreign transaction fees. No transfer fees,” according to its website. If you couldn’t tell, it’s targeting a millennial audience that wants an easy-to-use banking app.

Just a little less than a year ago following its $70 million Series C, the San Francisco company was valued at $500 million post-money, according to Crunchbase data. Since that round, Chime grew its staff to 120 people and acquired fintech company Pinch, for an undisclosed amount. This fresh flow of capital will also expand the team to 200 people, the company said.

Chime CEO Chris Britt told Crunchbase News that Chime has gone through “explosive, triple-digit growth rates” since its May 2018 Series C. Last year, the startup had about 1 million accounts, and upon announcing this new round, Chime has 3 million bank accounts.

The company does not share its revenue.

“What’s most exciting (is that) a majority of new accounts each month, (our) largest channel of growth is from existing members referring their friends and family,” he said. Further, he said the best kind of growth comes from when customers are advocating for it.

Britt said DST’s involvement shows that international investors are realizing that online banking is inevitably going to happen in the United States as well.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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