Step, a teenager-focused US mobile banking startup, has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round led by General Catalyst and joined by Stripe and a host of celebrities including Will Smith and Jared Leto.
Coatue, Charli D’Amelio, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, and Franklin Templeton joined the round, while NBA All-Star Stephen Curry has also been confirmed as an investor.
The funding comes as Step reports rapid growth, hitting 1.5 million users after less than six months in the market, 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.
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.
The new funding will be used to build new products and features that help teens budget and save and to make hires.
Says two times NBA MVP Curry: "As a parent of three young kids, I know what a critical life skill money management is but it’s hard to know when and how to start talking to them about finances.
"Step helps facilitate conversations about money and makes it easy for parents to give their kids a taste of financial freedom with a built-in safety net and lots of teachable moments."