Discover Bank has launched a new mission-driven investment fund, the Discover Financial Health Improvement Fund, to support startups and early stage technology companies who are developing solutions to improve the financial health of low- and moderate-income people, communities, and small businesses. Discover Bank has made an initial capital commitment of $36 million.
“We continually explore innovative ways to support our communities in which we operate and creating the Discover Financial Health Improvement Fund is a unique way of doing that,” said Matthew Parks, vice president of Discover Bank. “As technology continues to evolve, we want to fund entrepreneurs who have identified creative ways to benefit those of modest means. It is our expectation that these technologies can both be profitable and beneficial to the community.”
The Financial Health Network, the leading voice on financial health, will partner with the investment fund on evaluating startups for their potential impact on improving financial health. “With nearly 20 years of expertise identifying and supporting fintech innovators that are moving the needle on financial health, we are well positioned to support Discover’s new fund and its mission,” said Adeeb Mahmud, Chief Program Officer, Financial Health Network.
ResilienceVC, a seed-stage domestically focused venture firm investing in embedded fintech startups based in Washington DC, will be managing Discover’s earlier-stage investments. Vikas Raj, Co-founder and Managing Partner at ResilienceVC says, “Tahira and I started ResilienceVC to support the next generation of fintech startups in the US who are driving financial resilience for all Americans. We are thrilled to partner with Discover to augment our funding and support for these companies.”
Chartline Capital, a broad-based B2B venture investor based in Delaware, will be managing Discover’s later-stage investments. Ben duPont, Co-founder and Managing Director at Chartline Capital Partners says, “throughout time, new technologies have made people’s lives better. Chartline is honored to partner with Discover to invest in companies leveraging new financial technologies to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income people, communities, and small businesses.”
Given the large number of consumers and small businesses that are unserved and underserved with affordable and relevant financial products, Discover believes there is an excellent opportunity to develop successful business models while also directly improving the financial lives of low- and middle-income people, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region.
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