B9 Raises $5 Million In Seed Capital And Doubles Year-End Customer Acquisition Target To Keep Pace With Rapid Growth
Fintech Company that Serves Customers Who Are Underserved by Traditional Banks Experiences 10-Fold Month-over-Month Growth in Customer Transactions
B9 Inc., a fintech startup, recently launched a full suite of app-based financial services, creating a platform to serve customers who are underserved by traditional banks and are seeking an alternative payroll solution. The company offers “unbanked” customers, those who are overlooked by banks or banking institutions in any capacity, access to services like direct payroll deposit, peer-to-peer instant payments, interest-free payroll advances and a VISA debit card. B9’s AI creates an accurate portrait of each customer’s economic behavior based on their earning patterns, needs, and wants. Proprietary BnineScore, based on economic behavior, allows customers to build credit and gain access to more products and services at lower pricing.
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As the fourth quarter of 2021 gets underway, B9 is in hypergrowth mode, having raised $5 million in seed funding. B9 is experiencing massive transaction and new customer growth as it closes in on the goal of reaching 200,000 customers by year’s end — a figure that is double the original objective. Topline growth numbers include a 10-fold month-over-month increase in customer transactions, primarily paycheck deposits, which have continued at a record-setting pace every week, signaling customer trust in the B9 platform. B9 makes it easy to deposit checks and withdraw funds from online accounts, and the company has not only seen spikes in the number of paychecks deposited but also in the average size of deposits. Customers from across the country are joining B9.
B9 customers have deposited paychecks from more than 1,500 companies, including Amazon, Walmart, Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and the U.S. Postal Service, and this number is growing rapidlyB9 estimates that approximately 40% of customers are full-time employees, with freelancers and gig workers comprising up to 60% of the total customer base. The typical customer is between 18 and 35 years old, with peak earning years ahead. Customer acquisition costs are in the single digits, and B9 is growing organically through referrals.
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“We’re serving a huge market that has been virtually invisible to traditional banks, and I’m proud of the benefits we’re delivering to this hardworking community,” said B9 CEO Sergei Terentev. “Immigrants, part-time students, young workers, gig employees and others who often fall through the cracks with big banks now have an alternative to predatory payday lenders. We provide better service and options, and as we scale up, we’ll be able to use our data to better understand and anticipate customer needs.”
Recently launched features include access to Apple, Google and Samsung mobile wallet options to withdraw funds and facilitate mobile spending, a physical card to use at stores, plus a pull-from-card feature to facilitate B9 account deposits and instant digital payments. B9 also now offers remote check depositing with instant access to funds and free unlimited check cashing.
“I’m not surprised we’re growing so quickly because we make it easy for customers to access a full range of financial services at a fair subscription price,” said Terentev. “It’s an equality issue when people don’t have access to the modern financial services, they need to build credit and plan for the future, and it’s a safety issue too because unbanked people are victimized by predatory lenders and are vulnerable when traveling with cash. I’m grateful to the investors who are helping B9 address this need.”
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