(Refiles to clarify customer segment in para 6)
By Anna Irrera
(Reuters) – Atlanta-based Greenwood, a digital banking startup designed for Black and Latino consumers and businesses, said on Thursday that it had raised $40 million from a host of U.S. financial institutions.
They included Truist Financial Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp , Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc.
The startup will use the cash injection to build the business, with plans to launch its first products this summer, Ryan Glover, Greenwood’s Chairman and co-founder said in an interview.
PNC Financial Services Group Inc, Mastercard Inc, Visa Inc, FIS, Banco Popular, as well as several venture capital firms such as SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, also participated in the round.
First announced in October, Greenwood was created to provide online banking services to help close the wealth gap faced by Black and Latino communities in the United States. It plans to offer services such as non-predatory loans, as well as the ability for customers to round up purchases and donate what they save to organizations aimed at advancing their communities.
Greenwood is one of several digital banks that have emerged over the past year focused on consumers and businesses that have traditionally been underserved by the mainstream financial sector. Other online banking startups include First Boulevard, Daylight and Cheese.
Founded by entrepreneur Glover, alongside Civil Rights leader Andrew J. Young and rapper and activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render, Greenwood has signed up more than 500,000 users to its waitlist since being announced.
“This multi generational wealth gap problem will take an all hands on deck solution,” said Glover, noting that the startup’s mosaic of new large investors could help it advance its ambitious goal. “It will take collaboration and community to advance racial equality and financial empowerment.”
The round was led by Truist Ventures, Truist’s corporate venture capital division.
(The story is refiled to clarify customer segment in paragraph 6)
(Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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