MoneyLion is building a digital bank for middle America

Although the US economy has recovered from the Great Financial Crisis, 100 million Americans still remain just $500 away from experiencing a personal financial crisis.

We were introduced to Dee Choubey in June 2013 by another founder. Dee had an ambition to bring “American Express-like” financial services to America’s middle class and, in doing so, build a new model of financial institution, focused on solving an acute consumer need.

Prior to founding MoneyLion, Dee focused on specialty consumer finance at Goldman Sachs. Chee Mun Foong, MoneyLion’s CTO, designed algorithms for the U.S. government that helped predict troop movements in one region based on tank movements in another region. And CIO, Pratyush Tiwari, previously founded a big data company focused on applying ontology-based machine learning to deep patent analytics.

The team had known each other for fifteen years and were well-suited to deliver a product that would leverage cutting-edge technology to solve consumer problems in a deeply regulated market.

While early examples of digital financial services were coming to market (e.g. Lending Club, Avant) in 2013, most of them were little more than digital veneers on top of otherwise traditional businesses. And traditional banks, burned by the mortgage crisis, were predominantly focused on prime customers and more basic digital transformations of their internal processes.

Approximately 70% of Americans have less than $2,000 in liquid savings. Decades of stagnant wages have contributed to the country’s savings crisis, and many established financial institutions have also tightened banking requirements, leaving behind middle-class families. Today, in many places throughout the US, the only financial products available to middle-class Americans are those that perpetuate debt cycles that are nearly impossible to escape.

MoneyLion were unique in the market segment that they sought to serve, the expansiveness of the offering they envisioned, and the role that data and technology were going to play in building an immersive financial offering.

90 million Americans have an adversarial relationship with their bank.

Dee Choubey, CEO

Today, five years after launching, MoneyLion has over 4 million members and has evaluated financial details on over 40 million prospective customers.

The MoneyLion proposition bundles no-fee checking with investing and borrowing through a digital offering that educates, rewards, and supports members in achieving new financial goals.

FinTech Collective has championed and supported MoneyLion since leading the seed financing in April 2014.

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