Fintech startup Meemo came out of a year-long stealth period Tuesday to launch its social finance app with a seed investment of $10 million.
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“Financial management is the No. 1 cause of stress in America, so our goal is to be artificial intelligence for your finances,” Meemo co-founder André Madeira told Crunchbase News.
Saama Capital, Greycroft, Monashees and Sierra Ventures led the round with additional participation from Amit Singhal, Hans Tung and several former colleagues from Google and Snap. The total investment included a $5 million seed round in early 2019 and a $5 million seed extension at the end of 2019, Madeira said.
Most of the funding was used on personnel, growing the company from nine engineers to a team of 30 people, he said. Another part of the investment will be for research and development.
What you should know
Madeira, Ranveer Kunal, Robson Araújo and Wisam Dakka started Meemo in 2019. Madeira and Dakka were part of the veteran engineering team that worked on Google Search and helped found Snap’s San Francisco office.
“We worked with Evan Spiegel at Snap for a few years building out a lot of products,” Madeira said. “After the IPO, we wanted time to pursue our own thing. We had learned how to build products for the masses, and we saw that there were very few products in the financial space that are built for the masses.”
Meemo’s name is taken from the Portuguese word “mimo,” which means “an affectionate treat.” Users get a “meemo” from the company based on purchase history, such as an electronic gift card that reimburses recipients when they spend at certain merchants. Users can also send peer-to-peer meemos, sharing favorite restaurants, brands or even cash using Meemo cash.
The app also helps users understand their finances. When a user adds a credit card to the app, they have access to the last 20 transactions, Dakka said.
“We killed the financial barriers put in front of us,” he added. “It’s subconscious empowerment at any time.”
What investors are saying
Ash Lilani, managing partner at Saama Capital, said in a written statement that Meemo is poised to be a leader in the fintech space given Dakka and Madeira’s previous experience of building teams and viral products.
“We are very excited to back Dakka and Madeira in their creation of a new age finance app at Meemo that will combine improved financial management with deeper social engagement for today’s generation,” he said.
Next steps for Meemo
Now that the company is out of stealth mode, Madeira said Meemo can work on sharing its message and preparing to raise a Series A round of funding in the next few months.
What Google is doing for processing web data, Meemo is doing with private data to help users, he said. Instead of aggregating data and selling it to others, the startup will make data work for the user, as well as help merchants create loyalty relationships with customers based on users’ likes.
“We know our goal is ambitious, but this will be a very powerful new outlet for merchants to re-engage and attract new customers,” Madeira added.
App illustration courtesy of Meemo
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias