Line is a Public Benefit Corporation mission-driven to deliver unprecedented access to financial services with uncompromising quality and without restrictions like income type, income level or credit history.
SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) May 03, 2022
Line, the company building a modern inclusive financial network, today announced it has secured $25M in Equity and Debt, with Massive leading the round. Line is a Public Benefit Corporation mission-driven to deliver unprecedented access to financial services with uncompromising quality and without restrictions like income type, income level or credit history. The long-term vision is an inclusive, interoperable financial network that replaces today’s fragmented mess that either forces folks who can least afford it to subsidize the ecosystem’s inefficiencies with fees and higher interest rates, or simply blocks them from access to products for not fitting outdated criteria.
“Most of the financial industry focuses on the same group: people with a monthly or biweekly W2 paycheck and some mix of checking, savings and maybe investment accounts - and still indexed mostly towards men. Meanwhile, a growing portion of the population is making life work through a combination of gig work, hourly jobs, government assistance and cash wages. At least 50% of whom are women who earn a fraction of what men who do at the same job and lose pay when they take a leave of absence for caretaking responsibilities,” said Akshay Krishnaiah, Line’s founder and CEO. “My own experience immigrating from India where I was raised by parents who came from extreme poverty drove me to create Line to provide a relevant, inclusive and easily accessible financial product for everyone - without the added weight and cost of predatory practices constantly telling people who’s worthy and who’s not.”
Despite being qualified, banked, in essential jobs and working hard to spend less than they earn, over three billion people globally and more than 100 million people in the US are unable to access commonly needed financial services. This group has insufficient credit histories, what are considered nontraditional work arrangements, and/or traditional work arrangements with poor corporate policies that render their income irregular (i.e. lack of paid leaves, loss of child care credits, etc.). Rather than resulting in new solutions that meet this group where they are to lift them up, this has instead led to a trillion-dollar predatory financial services industry that includes things like cash advance apps, check-cashing services, credit-finance companies, payday loans, pawnshops and title loans.
Line’s investors know that existing financial institutions have been built by and for a subset of the population, and that building something new for folks left out of existing systems is essential to truly create financial inclusion. Their backgrounds are varied, but their vision for a better future is singular: Line. The round was led by a carefully chosen group of investors aligned with Line's mission as a Public Benefit Corporation - led by Massive and followed by TASC Ventures, along with a group of BIPOC investors, social impact funds and women-led funds like Goodwater Capital, SustainVC, Avesta Fund, Strada Education Network, The Josephine Collective, Overtime VC, Techstars and Kelmhurst. They are joined by angel investors Alex Haro, CTO of MyMoneyKarma; John Kim, CEO of Sendbird; Chris Nguyen, co-founder of LogDNA; Soups Ranjan, CEO of Sardine; and Ethan Austin.
Line’s proprietary technology both dynamically adjusts to meet individuals where they are on their financial journey and actively accounts for micro and macro-economic trends, which allows it to support customers when neither financial companies or public and corporate policies can. For a nominal monthly subscription fee, Line gives users an emergency line of funds without interest or credit checks, or the need to establish either credit history or a steady income. Line also helps people avoid overdrafts and late payments, actively monitors each customer's credit, gives users up to 20% cash back on everyday transactions, and will soon help them build credit on those transactions.
“We are built on a partnership rather than a predatory model, with the fundamental belief - from having lived it - that people are doing their best with what they’ve got for themselves and their families,” continued Akshay. “By knowing that to be true, and coming from a place of trust, we’re able to have an industry-leading repayment rate and incredibly high customer retention that credit cards and products for the ultra wealthy would envy.”
Since coming quietly out of stealth last July, adoption has been rapid and consistent, with over six hundred thousand people registering from 5,200 cities across 50 states. Other momentum since coming out of stealth a little over six months include:
- Becoming profitable with revenue growing close to 300% quarter over quarter
- Adding over a million dollars in customer lifetime value every single month
- Going from disbursing instant cash for emergencies in the thousands to millions per month
- 100% month over month user registrations, with over 70% of it coming organically
- Industry-leading loss rates, proving the overlooked customers are actually great bets if you serve them with intention
"Most of the investment and innovation in personal finance over the last 20 years has been focused on providing more products and features to the same affluent customer base that already has plenty of choice. Line, on the other hand, has thoughtfully and carefully built a financial system for the substantial underserved population. The incredible growth and performance the company has seen in the last year demonstrates to the world that the underserved population is worthy of access to great financial products,” said Ari Newman, Managing Director at Massive. “We are proud to be part of this important mission and working with Line to build a long overdue solution for millions of people."
The new capital will go toward growing Line’s team and expanding its service. The company’s latest funding round follows the success of its previous $2M round that included luminaries such as Amrish Rau, CEO of fintech unicorn Pine Labs; Andre Hadad, CEO of Turo, Avinash Gangadharan, CTO of Turo; James Barrese, SVP of Technology at Chime; Karthik Balakrishnan, President of Actual; Sri Narasimhan of PayPal Angels; Ivo Distelbrink, EVP and Head of Asia Pacific at Fiserv along with CMFG Ventures Discovery Fund, Techstars, TASC Ventures, Strada Education Network and Avesta.
To learn more about today’s announcement, visit here. To learn more about Line, visit https://useline.com/.
Line is building a modern, inclusive and interoperable network of people, tools and services that work together to put more money in the average American’s pocket. Line allows individuals to establish trust and credit-worthiness without the need for credit history, credit score, traditional working arrangements or a steady income, while delivering essential financial services such as instant cash for emergencies for a monthly subscription fee as low as $1.97/month via its iOS and Android apps that are powered by the Line network. Line is founded and supported by a team of doers who come from humble beginnings just like their users, and have built financial platforms that bring in over $5B year-over-year, personal finance management apps that rank #1 in over 27 countries and the world’s leading platform for the underbanked and unbanked individuals worldwide. To learn more, visit https://useline.com.