Neobank LGBTQ+ Daylight is raising money to launch family planning subscription

A day after a bill that would codify same-sex marriage in the US cleared a major hurdle in the Senate, Daylight, a digital bank calling itself LGBTQIA+, closed a $15 million Series A round led by Anthemis Group with participation from CMFG Ventures, Kapor Capital, Citi Ventures and Gaingels.

Daylight co-founder and CEO Rob Curtis says the new capital will be used to, in his words, “create financial products and services that help queer people live their best lives,” starting with a subscription called Daylight Grow, which aims to help potential gay families with financial planning.

“There are more than 30 million LGBTQ+ Americans with an estimated $1 trillion in purchasing power, yet the community lacks access to the array of products and services it needs to live the best lives,” Curtis said in a statement. an email interview. 🇧🇷 “Daylight was created with a single mission: to create financial products and services that help queer people live their best lives.”

Curtis co-founded Daylight in early 2020 with Billie Simmons, a transgender woman, and Paul Barnes-Hoggett Men. He also co-founded Squad Social and Helsa Helps, startups that aim to increase access to mental health for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Daylight is part of the wave of new neobanks, bank-like fintechs that operate online, without physical branch networks, organized around ambitious goals and missions. Rapper Killer Mike’s Greenwood aims to help black and Hispanic communities build generational wealth. Launched the same year as Greenwood (2020), Majority seeks to develop banking tools and resources for immigrants. Purpose Banking, Aspiration and One vow never to allow deposits to fund fossil fuels.

photo credit: lightweight

With the plethora of ethically progressive fintechs out there, why create a neobank for LGBTQ+ people? According to Curtis, most mainstream banking products are simply not designed for queer people living in the US (Pride Bank, another queer brand neobank, is based in Brazil). For example, Daylight offers debit cards with names chosen by the customer that do not always match the names on their identity card. It offers members 10% cashback every time they spend on a queer and related business Daylight partners with. And it provides guided targets for gender-affirming procedures, such as high-performance surgery and facial feminization.

In addition to cash management features such as a checking account, free ATMs, and the ability for members to get paid two days in advance, Daylight is home to communities where customers can ask questions about “weird financial literacy,” such as family planning, which it says Curtis a safe space. and supportive environment.

“Our mission at Daylight has always been to break down the financial barriers that hold back LGBTQ+ people… In this post-Dobbs world, Daylight’s commitment to supporting gay families has never been more necessary,” said Curtis, referring to the Supreme Court case. which legalized the U.S. ban on abortion and opened the door to legal challenges to marriage equality.

Certainly, members of the LGBTQ+ community face tax challenges that many cisgender and heterosexual adults never have. Some suffer the consequences of being evicted by parents who do not accept them. Others become addicted to HIV/AIDS treatment, hormone therapy and fertility procedures. Most queer people are attracted to expensive metro areas because they are more tolerant and progressive, and many queer people have no safety net, because they don’t have family support or children to care for them.

For these and other reasons, LGBTQ+ people often earn less, live in poverty and have fewer pension savings than their cis colleagues. The situation for transgender people is particularly dire, as the poverty rate for the transgender community in the US is about 30%, nearly double that of adult cisgender people, according to a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. people are also twice as likely to be unemployed and four times as likely to have a household income of less than $10,000; Federal poverty in the US in 2021 was $12,880.

The Daylight Grow mentioned above is not a panacea, but addresses the main obstacles many queer couples face when trying to start a family. This is a significant portion of Daylight’s customers. A recent survey by the Family Equality Council found that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ millennials (63%) are thinking about becoming first-time parents or expanding their family.

photo credit: lightweight

When the product launches in early 2023, Simmons says Daylight Grow will offer a personalized “family building plan” with financial, legal and logistical milestones tailored to individual circumstances and needs, “family planning janitors” offering advice, financial and logistical support, a Family Creation Marketplace featuring networks of vetted family advocates and referrals to IVF and surrogacy clinics, and in-person fertility and financial education events.

“Starting a family is a major event in the lives of queer people, and the challenges we face are always more complex than those faced by non-LGBTQ people,” Simmons told TechCrunch via email. “The launch of Daylight Grow will help queer people navigate the complex legal and financial challenges associated with starting a family, make family formation faster and easier, and unlock crucial intergenerational wealth for our community.”

Daylight Grow will also provide access to family loans, a potential breakthrough for gay clients struggling with discrimination from traditional banks. According to a 2019 study, same-sex borrowers were 73% more likely to decline or approve a mortgage at an above-average rate.

Daylight plans to offer hundreds of free Grow subscriptions to low-income and disadvantaged families in states where LGBTQ+ rights are under heavy scrutiny, Curtis said. Grow’s states and price are yet to be determined.

Daylight has raised $20 million in capital to date. Curtis did not respond to questions about earnings and hiring plans, preferring to focus on the company’s core mission, at least for now.

Source: La Neta Neta