Wingocard, a brand new Montreal-based startup targeted on private finance for teenagers, has closed a $2 million seed spherical led by Diagram Ventures.
The FinTech startup, launched in January, is likely one of the latest members of Diagram’s portfolio, which invests in and co-develops firms. Wingocard didn’t disclose some other traders within the all-equity spherical.
“Financial literacy is an important skill that many U.S. students don’t learn in school.”
Wingocard is based and led by Sebastien Brault (CEO), Mehdi Mehni (head of product), and Salvatore D’Agostino (CTO), all of whom had labored collectively at earlier firms. Brault, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, is notably an investor in fellow-Diagram startup Nesto. Mehni served as product lead for Diagram’s innovation workforce till August 2019.
Wingocard has developed a private finance platform targeted on youngsters. It provides a cell banking app paired with a pay as you go Visa card for teenagers, permitting dad and mom to immediately switch cash and maintain observe of spending.
The combo of the cardboard and cell app are supposed to enable teenagers to buy objects anyplace, in addition to ship and obtain cash between family and friends.
Brault informed BetaKit the mission of Wingocard is to “empower” teenagers to take management of their private finance by creating sturdy monetary literacy expertise from a younger age.
“We are excited to help bring Wingocard to families this summer,” stated Francois Lafortune, CEO of Diagram, which is funded largely by Energy Monetary-backed Portag3 Ventures.
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“Financial literacy is an important skill that many U.S. students don’t learn in school,” added Lafortune. “Wingocard gives families the tools they need to teach teens good spending and saving habits in a digital environment.”
The thought for Wingocard happened from a dialog between Brault and Mehni, who was working at Diagram on the time. The 2 co-founders each have youngsters and the shared expertise of the challenges that include managing the allowances and spending of their youngsters. They needed to seek out a simple answer for giving their teenagers cash with out having handy over their very own bank card on a regular basis.
Brault famous that given their very own experiences, he and his co-founders discovered that there was not a powerful teen-focused cell banking answer available on the market.
“Our mission is to help connect teens to the cashless economy [and] give them access to the cashless economy with a really good banking experience, which does not exist for them right now,” Brault informed BetaKit.
Whereas there are some monetary options and bank cards designed for youth, the CEO argued Wingocard has only a few opponents. He stated what differentiates Wingocard is its deal with teenagers. “We speak to the teens first, our brand is built for teens,” stated Brault. “At the same time, we solve the parent’s problem. [Our] competitors are usually talking to parents and trying to solve the parent’s problem by offering a solution for the parents … while we are really targeting teens.”
Wingocard is about to launch within the US in alpha model over the subsequent few months, with plans to launch in beta by the top of Fall 2020 and enter the Canadian market in 2021.
The choice to launch within the US first stems from Wingocard trying to reap the benefits of an addressable market that has near 50 million youth between the ages of 14 to 24. Comparatively, Canada has roughly 5 million between the identical ages.
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“There was already more traction in the US, so we wanted to jump in as fast as possible,” Brault informed BetaKit. “But, we’re very confident that we’ll be the leader in Canada.”
In line with a 2019 survey by US funding bank Piper Jaffray, Technology Z (these born between 1995 and 2015), contributes roughly $830 billion to US retail gross sales yearly. Nonetheless, many youth should not taught about monetary literacy. One survey from 2017 discovered that 69 % of US dad and mom are reluctant to speak about funds with their youngsters.
“By using this app [teens] will learn through small experiences,” Brault stated. “And gradually, when they become young adults, instead of just getting a credit card and getting burnt, they’ll already be more financially educated, and hopefully that will have a very, very positive impact on their lives.”
“Instead of just getting a credit card and getting burnt, [teens will] already be more financially educated.”
Wingocard has signed letters of intent with two totally different banking companions, one within the US and one in Canada, so as to have the ability to launch its product. Brault famous that the COVID-19 pandemic led to some delays in working with banks and cost processors, however informed BetaKit he expects Wingocard to have the ability to announce these offers throughout the subsequent month.
Wingocard is at present a workforce of round eight workers and launched as a totally distant firm. Brault informed BetaKit, even previous to COVID-19, the startup by no means had any intention to have bodily workplace areas.
The startup’s small workforce, which the CEO hopes to double over the subsequent variety of months, is supported by the co-founder and former CEO of Frank And Oak, Ethan Music. Music is at present working as interim head of promoting for Wingocard, driving a “strategic partnership” play with manufacturers that wish to attain a teen market. Music just lately departed from Frank And Oak, which is at present going by means of insolvency proceedings.
Wingocard declined to supply particulars on the strategic partnerships side of its enterprise, noting “we’ll be able to share more about potential partnerships later in the year.”
The Diagram-backed startup plans to make use of its new-found seed capital to construct out its workforce and product, whereas buying extra customers to its present waitlist.
Brault famous that Wingocard will probably look to lift a seed extension spherical on the finish of this yr to make sure that the startup has sufficient runway to get to a future Sequence A.
Function picture supply Wingocard