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11 Fintech Startups Selected for Village Capital’s Finance Forward US 2020 Accelerator Program

August 6, 2020 (Washington, DC) Village Capital today announced the eleven early-stage fintech startups that were selected to take part in Finance Forward US 2020. An accelerator program, Finance Forward US 2020 will provide the startups with a total of 16 weeks online on improving their business models and making their solutions available to those who need them most in the current economic climate.

Finance Forward US 2020 is a part of a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal to support entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions to challenges around financial health.

Each startup selected for the accelerator will work closely with mentors representing potential customers, partners, advisors, and investors they need to scale their impact using tools developed to help their self-evaluation, such as Village Capital’s Abaca. The top five peer-selected companies will be eligible to share $150,000 USD each in grant funding from MetLife Foundation.

“Ten years ago, the emerging sector of fintech was hailed as a force to democratize access to financial services,” said Marcia Chong Rosado, Future of Finance Practice Lead, Village Capital. “A decade later, many fintech startups have indeed helped Black-Latinx households and business owners improve their financial health. But an honest look at the US fintech landscape would acknowledge that many of the best-funded fintech startups are not explicitly oriented around improving financial health and its intersections. We’re looking to change that narrative.”

The program received applications from startups operating across the US, with selected companies coming from Arizona, California, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida. Over 60% of the 11 startups in the cohort are led by Black and Latinx CEOs, along with 4 women CEOs and 3 immigrant CEOs.

The eleven startups in the cohort are working to help communities of color and low-to-middle income people gain access to formal financial services, improve their credit scores, optimize income, pay for education, plan for aging and retirement, and make their first home purchase. The startups are also helping small businesses led by owners of color navigate financing opportunities. 

Here are the eleven startups in the cohort that are improving financial health in the US:

  • All_ebt (Pasadena, California) is expanding food stamp use to online platforms.
  • Dovly (Phoenix, Arizona) is a fully automated credit repair platform built on a sophisticated algorithm proven to increase credit scores.
  • FundBLACKFounders (New York City, New York) is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform for Black-owned small businesses and startups.
  • Golden (San Anselmo, California) provides financial care for 50M senior parents - alerting families to secure their loved ones’ financial health – stopping fraud, reducing expenses, paying for healthcare, and increasing income and benefits.
  • Home Lending Pal (Orlando, Florida) is an AI-powered mortgage advisor that predicts likelihood for mortgage approval along with hidden ownership cost during research.
  • Hurry Home (South Bend, Indiana) is the path to homeownership for families looking to purchase their first home valued at $80K or less.
  • Lifesaver's (New York City, New York) platform-as-a-service allows smaller financial institutions to circumvent the limitations of their closed, out-dated systems and access a market of vetted mobile consumers with no investment in new infrastructure.
  • Manifest (Chicago, Illinois) makes 401(k) transfers seamless - maximizing retirement outcomes and eliminating administrative hurdles.
  • Nickels (Ann Arbor, Michigan) is a guide dog who helps you navigate and stay on track with your federal student debt.
  • Perch (Los Angeles, California) helps people improve their credit score, save towards goals, and learn more about personal finances— all in one app.
  • Stoovo (Sunnyvale, California) helps gig workers earn more to meet their goals and has their back for rainy days.

For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (rustin.finkler@vilcap.com).

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like Vault, Fig Loans, and Finix.

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to expanding opportunities for low- and moderate-income people around the world. We partner with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, while engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. From its founding through the end of 2019, MetLife Foundation provided more than $860 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. Our financial health work has reached more than 13.4 million low- and moderate-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.

About PayPal

Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo, Xoom and iZettle, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/about. For PayPal Holdings, Inc. financial information, visit https://investor.paypal-corp.com.