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Lili raises $10m for freelancer-focused banking app

Source: Lili

Lili, the all-in-one banking app designed for freelance workers, today announced it has raised a $10 million seed funding round to empower modern workers with the financial tools and services they need to balance work and life.

The round was led by Group 11, with major participation from Foundation Capital, AltaIR Capital, Primary Venture Partners and Torch Capital. Funds will be used to build out the platform further and expand the product, marketing and operations teams.

There are nearly 60 million freelancers in the U.S., making up 35% of the American workforce. Lili is the only company that combines banking services with real-time expense tracking, tax tools and financial insights, so freelancers can stay in control of their finances. The company was founded in 2018 and since its launch in 2019, tens of thousands of freelancers across dozens of industries and all 50 states have opened Lili accounts via the iOS and Android mobile apps. Whether they’re full-time independent workers or part-time freelancers, Lili’s customers span across many industries, from e-commerce shop owners to designers, programmers, fitness instructors, construction workers, chefs, beauty professionals and more.

Lili’s founders are serial entrepreneurs with 20 years of banking industry experience: CEO Lilac Bar David and CTO Liran Zelkha, who previously worked as a freelancer and was inspired to create a solution for independent workers’ financial pain points. Bar David and Zelkha previously founded Pepper, the first and largest challenger bank in Israel. They grew the company to more than 200 employees who designed the banking product from scratch, including Pepper Pay (mobile payments), Pepper Bank (banking services) and Pepper Invest (investment app).

“We've built the only solution that truly enables freelancers to holistically manage their bank accounts and their expenses for work and life, saving them up to 60 hours and $1,700 per year,” said co-founder and CEO Lilac Bar David. “We’ve analyzed the challenges of the modern worker in all aspects of banking, taxes, expenses and savings and have created an easy-to-use mobile app that helps them thrive in today’s ever-changing work environment.”

“Lili is redefining banking for freelancers and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the team,” said Dovi Frances, founding partner at Group 11. “As the future of work continues to evolve more quickly than ever in these uncertain times, Lilac and Liran’s forward-looking vision is changing how modern workers manage their finances, while saving them valuable time and money.”

Lili’s key product features in its iOS and Android apps include:

  • No account fees, minimum balance requirements, overdraft fees or foreign transaction fees
  • Free access to 38,000 ATMs across the country
  • Early direct deposit; provides access to payments up to two days earlier than with traditional banks
  • Free expense management tool that allows users to track spending and categorize expenses in real time with a quick swipe
  • Tax savings tool that automatically puts aside a percentage of income in a “Tax Bucket” sub-account
  • Visa Business debit card and mobile check deposits
  • Real-time mobile alerts and insights on all income and expenses
  • Instantly send and receive money through mobile payment apps like Cash App and Venmo
  • Immediately receive funds directly from online marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify 

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