If you’re familiar with legendary rap group Outkast, then here’s a story of interest. A person once closely affiliated to the group and famous in the core Hip-Hop community, has worked his way into FinTech. Killer Mike is co-heading Greenwood, a new digital banking start up, with 3 others. And their new project has raised $45-million in their funding round, placing it among the Top 10 startups for December 2022 on Fintech Global.
The four partners of Greenwood Bank are Killer Mike aka Michael Santiago Render, Andrew Young, Dr. Paul Judge, and Ryan Glover. The 4 Co-Founders hope to bring modern banking to Black and Latin cultures in America that are under-served by other financial institutions.
Over 100,000 have registered to join the digital banking app to date. Founded nearly 2 years ago, the Black-owned bank has been successfully thriving and expected to reach 500,000 users by the end of 2023. This number could explode much further should Urban and Hip-Hop celebrities begin to promote the brand.
2 Reasons To Bank with Greenwood
A standout feature of Greenwood Bank is their grants program. Each month the POC-owned financial institution will invest profits generated into grants that will be given to Black & Latin-owned businesses they service.
To educate users, the new Fintech powerhouse has also launched “Greenwood Studio.” Financial literacy and investment content that can help empower both cultures, will be shared through it.
The Investors & Co-Founders
The $45-Million-dollars raised in the digital bank’s latest funding round was led by Pendulum company, an investment advisory firm. Traditional financial powerhouses such as Bank of America, PNC, Citi Ventures (CitiBank), Wells & Fargo, Popular, Truist Ventures, and TTV Capital have invested in Greenwood. NextEra Energy, The George Kaiser Family Foundation, Cercano Management, & Cohen Circle join that group of investors.
Controlling ownership of Greenwood shall remain with the 4 Co-Founders.
Andrew Young is a former Atlanta Mayor and politician.
Killer Mike is a platinum Hip-Hop artist and activist. He’s collaborated with the likes of Outkast and Bone Crusher. Mike’ network of popular culture icons & everyday citizens is powerful.
Ryan Glover is the founder of Bounce TV. He has a background in digital applications and software development.
Dr Paul Judge is a serial entrepreneur and noted scholar. He’s been an angel investor and creator behind several multi-million dollar projects. Judge is a prominent black figure in Silicon Valley, the home of major technology.
Greenwood Bank Goals
The goal of the 4 Black businessmen is to help their target audience build generational wealth. Also the Greenwood team wants to help raise the percentage of Black & Latin-X people who are homeowners in America.
Statics currently show the two cultures have the lowest rate of registered home ownership in America. Many believe this is due to major banking institutions still practicing red-lining. And it’s been exposed that appraisers have been devaluing market value of homes owned by Black & Latin-X (read here) purposely to sway economic wealth is also done.
It is not clear if Greenwood will offer courses on cryptocurrency but it is expected. Perhaps Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin Academy can join forces to provide crypto-literacy.