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Stash, which offers a mobile app to help novices begin investing, today launched its banking service and a rewards program called Stock-Back. The New York-based startup also announced it has raised $65 million to expand its product offering and find new customers.
The four-year-old startup raised $65 million in a series E round but declined to disclose names of the participating parties. It has raised north of $180 million to date from a range of investors, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, and Coatue Management.
Through Stock-Back, Stash customers will earn parts of a stock each time they make a qualified purchase using the service’s debit card, the company said in a press release. If a customer goes to Chipotle, they will get fractions of Chipotle’s stock. When a customer pays their mobile bill at Sprint, they will receive some Sprint stock, Brandon Krieg, cofounder and CEO of Stash, told VentureBeat by email. The company says it will give 0.125 percent of each qualified spending in rewards to customers — and this could go up to 5 percent for certain deals.
If a company doesn’t have publicly traded stock, Stash will reward customers with shares in Vanguard Total World Stock ETF, it said. Krieg told VentureBeat that the Stock-Back feature is optional and that Stash has a “lot of iterations” planned for the future.
The biggest appeal of Stash, which competes with the likes of Acorns and card companies, is that it is going after millennials and average customers, not the wealthiest demographic. And its reward program, which applies to everyday purchases, is aligned with that user base.
Stash cofounder and president Ed Robinson said the company tested the program with some users before today’s launch and saw “overwhelmingly positive response from users as they [paid] ordinary bills like Netflix, and in return received Netflix stock, as well as access to dividends, educational resources, and financial advice.”
Stock-Back is part of a broader set of banking services that includes a debit account with no overdraft or monthly maintenance fees and access to a large network of free ATMs nationwide. These services are powered by Green Dot’s banking-as-a-service platform, Stash said.
Krieg said Stash has amassed over 3 million clients, up from 850,000 in mid-2017. About 70,000 people use Stash’s debit card. Krieg said the company will use a part of its revenue to fund the Stock-Back program. “The program generates sufficient revenue and margin to support the Stock-Back program without tapping the series E money,” he added.
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