FinTech Credit-Building Card Startup Tomo Raises $10 Million
Another FinTech disruptor has just revealed a significant early-round investment. Earlier this week, TomoCredit announced that it had raised $10 million. The Series A was led by Kapor Capital and KB Investment Inc. with additional participation from Lewis & Clark Ventures. This round follows Tomo’s $7 million seed round closed in February of this year, bring its funding to date up to $17 million. With the cash, the company says it plans to hire additional team members and work on enhancing its product in ways that will help customers raise their credit scores at an even faster clip.
TomoCredit (an abbreviated version of “tomorrow’s credit”) aims to help consumers establish and build credit while also earning rewards. The company’s flagship TomoCredit Mastercard allows cardholders to earn 1% back on their purchases but does not require applicants to have credit and charges 0% APR. Instead, using Finicity, applicants allow TomoCredit to securely access their financial information such as bank account data in order for the FinTech to make their underwriting decision. According to Tomo, more than 300,000 customers have been preapproved for the card and the FinTech expects to reach half a million cards issued by the year’s end.
In a press release announcing the Series A, TomoCredit co-founder Kristy Kim said of her company, “As a South Korean immigrant, I understood the true pain point when I came to the US and couldn’t get qualified for an auto loan. I knew there must be a solution so with my co-founder Dmitry, we built TomoCredit centered around helping consumers build credit faster.” Kim went on to note the diversity of the startup’s customers and its team, saying, “We believe we have the opportunity to not only foster a diverse and inclusive team but to break socioeconomic barriers and provide credit solutions to a much wider audience impacted by this issue. Currently we have a 50% female representation in our executive leadership team and we are proud of our inclusive culture here at Tomo.”
Fininicty (which is now a part of Mastercard) chairman, CEO, and co-founder Steve Smith said of Tomo, “TomoCredit is a glowing example of financial services innovation that meaningfully benefits individuals and families. The team at TomoCredit understands the value of open banking, the wide range of data and how it can deliver richer insights and better decisioning to drive inclusion for those who are underserved by traditional borrowing processes. We expect big things from the team.”
TomoCredit’s funding round combines several FinTech trends that have been observed in recent months. For one, alternative underwriting and credit building have proven to be immensely popular points of interest for the industry as the outdated credit score model continues to attract criticism. Elsewhere, the early round raise also shows that, amid a myriad of megarounds, younger startups are still seeing investment success as well. It all adds up to what’s sure to be a blockbuster year for FinTech — and there’s still more than three months left to go.