FinTech Cash Advance Startup Clair Raises $15 Million

Another early-stage FinTech investment round is now in the books. This week, Clair announced that it had raised $15 million. The Series A was led by Thrive Capital — a firm which itself recently raised money, closing its Thrive VII fund at $2 billion in February. Some of Thrive’s past FinTech investments include Plaid, Robinhood, Lemonade, among others.

Turning to Clair, the latest round brings the startup’s total funding to date up to $19.5 million. In fact, the company closed its $4.5 million seed round a mere seven months ago. That round was led by Upfront Ventures, with Founder Collective, Walkabout Ventures, former Venmo COO Michael Vaughan, and Seamless founder Paul Appelbaum participating as well.

Based in New York City, Clair is a FinTech solution that aims to eradicate the need for payday loans. The platform enables businesses to offer free and instant cash advances to their workers — a perk they suggest is a win-win for employees and employers. Furthermore, with several business sectors reporting labor shortages as of late, Clair notes that instant access to pay could be leveraged as a tool to both recruit and retain talent. Currently, Clair has partnerships with platforms that are used by more than 1.5 million hourly and gig workers.

Commenting on the latest investment the firm has raised and what it means to be working with Thrive, Clair’s CEO Nico Simko said, “Thrive Capital is one of the most experienced VC firms around when it comes to backing game-changing FinTech businesses. Their investment is a testament to the way the Clair team has built a rock-solid business with enormous growth potential.” Meanwhile, offering a glimpse at his company’s vision, Simko added, “We’re on a mission to give workers easier, faster access to their hard-earned cash. We want to promote financial inclusivity for everyone, and we are doing this by enabling existing HR tech providers through innovative FinTech tools. This fundraising round gives us the runway we’ll need to expand our operations and realize that vision on a larger scale.”

As part of Thrive’s investment in Clair, the firm’s General Partner Kareem Zaki will join the FinTech’s board of directors. In a statement, Zaki said, “We’re thrilled to support Clair’s mission to transform the way that hourly workers get paid. By combining best-in-class financial infrastructure with consumer-centric product design, Clair’s offering is uniquely positioned to help a large but chronically underserved market get better access to their money.”

It’s easy to see why a forward-thinking platform such as Clair would be so appealing to venture capital firms — particularly given the current economic circumstances. Given that angle, it’s no wonder that the FinTech has gone from seed round to eight-figure Series A in just a few short month. With a major FinTech investor such as Thrive now behind them, expect even bigger things from Clair as the company expands its payday loan-threatening platform.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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