Mobile banking startup Zero raises $8.5m

Zero, a new mobile banking experience that combines the best features of debit and credit cards and offers up to 3% cash back, announced today that it has raised $8.5 million in funding, led by ENIAC Ventures.

Other investors include New Enterprise Associates, Nyca Partners, Lightbank, and Middleland Capital.

Zero wants to replace your existing checking, savings, debit and credit card accounts with a rewards-rich, unified banking experience powered by a mobile app and a Visa card called Zerocard. The app allows Zerocard to act like a debit card, where deposits, purchases, and transfers appear in one place in the app with a real-time, net balance. Zerocard processes on credit card networks, thus enabling Zero to pay customers unlimited cash back at a flat 1.0% to 3.0% rate on all spending regardless of category. Zero also pays customers a high annual percentage on their average daily net balance, competitive with the best interest rates on deposits paid by leading banks, and charges none of the most annoying fees of traditional banks. Almost 150,000 people have signed up for the Zero waitlist.

“We’ve been blown away by the level of enthusiasm we have seen,” said Zero Founder & CEO, Bryce Galen. “Almost 150,000 people have signed up for Zero, and our waitlist continues to grow each day. Consumers across the country have shown that they are excited about Zero, and we are grateful to have the resources needed to ensure a seamless product launch.”

“Over the past few years we have seen a major shift in the way people are banking, and the financial industry has struggled to adapt to the debit-first generation,” said Tim Young, founding general partner at Eniac Ventures. “We are excited to be working with Zero because they have built a strong team around the first product that brings together the ease of debit, flexibility and rewards of credit, and unique AI driven insights.”

Zerocard comes in four levels, offering cash back on card spending from 1.0% to 3.0%. Customers can increase their cash back level by referring friends and family to become Zero customers or by meeting annual spend requirements.

Zero reshapes the cost structure in banking through reduced overhead such as brick and mortar locations and advertising. By processing on credit card networks and taking a mobile-centric, referral-based approach to acquiring customers, Zero can provide better rewards than traditional banks. 

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