Step, a teenager-focused US mobile banking startup, has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Coatue and joined by Stripe and a host of celebrities.
Returning investors Stripe, Crosslink Capital, Collaborative Fund and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC were joined in the round by celebs Charli D’Amelio, Justin Timberlake, The Chainsmokers, Eli Manning, Kelvin Beachum, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Iguodala alongside prominent fintech executives from the likes of Facebook, Square, Venmo and Visa.
The brainchild of Gyft co-founder CJ MacDonald and Square veteran Alexey Kalinichenko, Step is building a mobile-based bank account - held with Evolve Bank - specifically designed for teens that is interest bearing and has no hidden or overdraft fees.
The Step app and card promise to help teens learn smart money habits and build positive credit, while also giving parents visibility into their kids' spending.
Launched just two months ago, the firm has already attracted over 500,000 users, thanks in part to its celebrity strategy, which saw D’Amelio, the hugely popular dancer and TikTok star, brought in to promote the service to her 100-million-strong fanbase.
“As a Step partner and customer, I’ve been able to see firsthand how easy Step makes it to manage your money while providing the educational resources that today’s teens need but have largely been unable to find—myself included,” says D’Amelio. “I’m excited to be able to use my platform to help close this gap and have made a direct investment in Step to help them develop even more useful products.”
Movie star Will Smith adds: "We’ve reinvested in Step because not only are their products built specifically for teens but they’ve started an important conversation around financial literacy that kids are actually engaged in.”