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Online banking firm Aspiration raises $47m in funding

Published 13 December 2017

Financial firm Aspiration has raised a $47m Series B funding round, the largest B round ever raised by an online banking company in America.

Aspiration will be using the investment to accelerate its growth in customers and new products as it builds the most pro-consumer, pro-conscience financial firm in the country.

The round, which brings Aspiration’s total funding to $67 million, was led by Social Impact Finance, along with new and existing investors including Allen and Company, Omidyar Network, Alpha Edison, AGO Partners, Reyl & Cie, and Capricorn Investments.

Individual investors include award-winning actor Orlando Bloom, Los Angeles Clippers coach “Doc” Rivers, former Citigroup Chief Operations and Technology Officer Deborah Hopkins, Bad Robot President Brian Weinstein, Rustic Canyon Partners founding partner Tom Unterman, and others.

Aspiration offers banking, investing and retirement products that help people improve their own financial situations while making a positive difference in the world. Since it opened for business in 2015, Aspiration has become one of the fastest growing online banking and investing companies in America, adding thousands of new customers every week. Aspiration customers currently transact over $2 billion a year on the Aspiration platform and save over $100 million in bank fees.

Aspiration’s growth has been driven by its revolutionary “Pay What Is Fair” business model that trusts customers to choose the fee they pay, even if it is zero.

The vast majority of Aspiration customers choose to pay a fee, even though they are not obligated to – a testament to the honorable nature of most Americans and the value that Aspiration customers see in its products. This foundation of trust has led over 20,000 customers to switch from Wells Fargo to Aspiration since news of the big bank’s recent scandals broke. Aspiration is also one of the most charitable financial firms in America, donating 10% of its earnings to charitable microloans and mentoring for low-income Americans.

"We had our fair share of doubters when we first started Aspiration, but we've shown that profit and purpose can go hand-in-hand,” said Andrei Cherny, CEO of Aspiration. “Aspiration is growing fast because we have found innovative ways to put both our customers’ interests and their values first. I'm so excited about our ability to do so for many more people in many more ways in the months and years ahead.”

Aspiration’s high interest, no-fee banking account was named the “Best Checking Account in America” by Money magazine. Earlier this year, the company launched a new Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) feature of its mobile banking app that allows customers to see their own personal Sustainability Scores and choose where they spend based on businesses’ impact on people and the planet.

The company partners with the Sierra Club and offers a 100% fossil fuel-free and firearm-free sustainable investment strategy available at a minimum investment of $100. By investing sustainably with Aspiration instead of the S&P 500, Aspiration customers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 3 million fewer miles driven by American cars.

“Aspiration has seen astonishing growth in just a couple of years and we’re convinced this is just the beginning of an even bigger trend,” said Ibrahim AlHusseini, Managing Director of Social Impact Finance. “Consumers are ‘voting with their money’ now more than ever, which means they are increasingly investing in companies that share their values. Aspiration is the world’s leader in bringing this spirit of investing with a conscience to the financial services industry.”

“This milestone is a tribute to the Aspiration community of customers whose demand for people-centered banking and investing is blazing the trail for better financial services for everyone,” said Aspiration co-founder Joseph Sanberg.

Source: Company Press Release