Not Another Neobank: Why the market is overcrowded and where BBGV sees opportunity

  1. They launched when it was relatively easy to capture users with a lower digital marketing spend, so LTV/CAC looked a lot better
  2. All achieved product-market fit early, by capturing single 25–35 year olds making $35–75K

Women

Of the total global population without bank accounts, 56% are women. Even in the US, until the 1970’s a woman could be denied a credit card for being unmarried, and a married woman could be barred without her husband’s signature. Today, inequality in finance still exists with things like the pay gap and credit algorithms (who remembers this Apple Card nightmare, where women were given significantly lower credit limits than their husbands with the same info!?). There is also a fintech gender gap, with 29% of men using fintech versus 21% of women. For startups looking to capture this segment, there’s a lot of room to run.

LGBTQ+

The LGBTQ+ population deals with the dual challenge of higher expenses and generally lower incomes. Many of these expenses are health-related, such as the cost of hormones, HIV management, transitioning, and mental healthcare. Facing discriminatory practices in employment leads to between 10–30% lower incomes on average; and many leave jobs because of harassment, causing LGBTQ+ people to be 2x as likely to be unemployed. Finances can even be impacted before entering the working world: many lose family support after coming out, so end up with an average of 20% more college debt.

Black & Latinx

If you know anything about the history of banks and Black America, it’s easy to see why we don’t *love* banks. From Freedman’s bank shuttering in the 1870s leaving depositors empty handed, to Wells Fargo’s recent fraudulent tactics that targeted minorities, there is warranted mistrust of institutions.

Immigrants & Immigrant Families

40 million US consumers were born in another country, and immigrants make up 55% of U.S. population growth. These consumers face unique challenges, like US credit agencies not recognizing their credit history. People come to America and have to start over as credit invisible. This impacts their ability to get a credit card, sign on an apartment, and begin building a better life.

At BBGV, here’s what we look for in these Fintech Allies:

  • Transparent business model: It should be clear how the company is making money — and how the business model is aligned with the consumer’s interests — in order to build consumer trust. One example is Current, which set out to target Gen Z and teens who are wholly overlooked by incumbent banks. The product is affordable at $36/year for teen accounts and $5/mo for pro accounts; and their upfront pricing strategy, compared to hiding behind a mountain of obscure fees, is rare in banking.
  • Unlock a new or untapped consumer behavior: In fintech, like with all new apps, companies are competing with the consumer’s most precious resource: their attention. To win, fintech companies need to create an experience that makes usage sticky. In short, they have to be more than just functional. While Venmo had a headstart on Cash App, the newer app had a stronger emotional pull with Cash App Fridays (Twitter-based giveaways that drive engagement and downloads) and fractional stock/crypto investing.
  • Serving the needs of the 99%: At BBGV, we focus on female founders addressing the needs of the many, whose big ideas will reshape the way we live.

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BBG Ventures

BBG Ventures

BBG Ventures is an early-stage fund backing female founders with big ideas that will reshape the way we live.