SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE) –Kikoff, a credit-building platform for Millennials and GenZ, announced its release today, raising $ 42.5 million in total funding. The company recently secured a $ 30 million Round of B series led Portage Ventures. The Series A was driven by Lightspeed Venture Partners and joined by GGV, Coatue and Basic Innovation Fund. Kikoff is also backed by investors such as basketball star Stephen Curry, Wex CEO Melissa Smith and former Treasury Secretary CFO Teresa Ressel.
Having a solid credit history is a fundamental building block of financial health. However, for many people, the hardest part of building a credit history is gaining access to it from the start. Kikoff’s typical product, the Kikoff credit account, helps consumers without credit history to create one and those with credit history to continue to create credit. Unlike other credit manufacturers in the industry, Kikoff is free, with zero interest rate, providing an easy way to create credit in 30 days.
“There are a lot of Americans who do not come from affluent families and have tons of student loans. For them and many others, we wanted to create a better way to generate good credit from existing market offerings, ”said Cynthia Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of Kikoff. “We are delighted to be able to present this fundamental tool that can help clients on the path to financial health.”
Customers apply for a $ 500 revolving credit line, which helps create a credit history like a credit card by allowing purchases at the Kikoff Online Store. By using the Credit Account, within months, Kikoff customers can become eligible for better interest rates, competitive credit cards and mortgages, among others. The platform has already seen strong demand, fueled in part by a low-interest environment that makes car and home loans less expensive.
According to the Consumer Economic Protection Council, 45 million Americans do not have access to major credit products. And for those who have credit, many have difficulty with their credit scores. The average credit rating of a GenZer (aged 18-24) is just 674 and that of a Millennial (aged 25-40) just 679, both below 700 which is generally considered “good”. according to Experian Credit Reporting Agency. A better credit score can be worth thousands of dollars in customer savings. The difference between good and bad credit on a $ 25,000 car loan can be as much as $ 6,000 in interest charges, for example.
“Building and building credit is the key to accessing the US financial system, but the ramps are completely broken for millions of Americans,” said Ansaf Kareem, a Lightspeed Partner. “Kikoff solves a critical problem for consumers in the first part of their financial journey. “We are excited to continue working with them as they develop the platform and offer more innovative products that allow better imports into the financial system and help people achieve their financial goals.”
Credit-building tools are just the beginning of Kikoff’s financial well-being platform. The Kikoff Credit Account is an initial product as part of a broader planned financial ecosystem. Kikoff is committed to helping customers throughout their financial journey and building an easy and positive banking relationship: by stabilizing cash flows, accumulating savings and achieving long-term goals such as mortgages. The company will use some of the recently raised funds to develop its technology and team, in all areas of operation, to bring new products to market.
Kikoff was co-founded by executives with a good knowledge of consumer credit and financial technology. Chen’s deep financial experience includes serving as Figure Risk’s Chief Risk Officer and senior executive roles at Capital One and OnDeck. Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Christophe Chong was a former head of Growth at Lime and played key technology roles on Facebook and Square. Kikoff’s wider executive team brings leadership experience from Credit Karma, Square, Plaid and Deserve.
For more information or to download the app, visit www.kikoff.com
Kikoff is a personal finance platform designed to help clients achieve financial well-being. Kikoff’s core product, the Kikoff Credit Account, allows customers to build credit history from scratch or improve an existing one. Guided by the personal experiences of the co-founders and the team, Kikoff’s mission is to provide invigorating fair, efficient and simple paths to achieving your financial goals. Kikoff has an instant approval process and allows customers to create a credit history within 30 days. Based in San Francisco, Kikoff is a licensed lender and uses bank-level encryption to protect customer data. For more information, please visit www.kikoff.com or download the application.
About Portage Ventures
Portage Ventures, the venture capital arm of Sagard Holdings, an alternative multi-asset investment platform, is an early-stage investor dedicated to supporting financial technology companies. Its team has deep business and industrial experience and provides its founders with privileged access to the company’s partners, internal specialists and the wider global ecosystem. Portage Ventures has offices in Montreal, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Paris and Southeast Asia. To learn more, visit p3vc.com.
About Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital company focused on accelerating subversive innovations and trends in the Business, Consumer and Health sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400+ companies worldwide, including Snap, Affirm, Carta, Nutanix, MuleSoft, Guardant and GrubHub. Lightspeed and its subsidiaries currently manage $ 10.5 billion on the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and consultants in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia and Europe. www.lsvp.com