A day after a bill codifying same-sex marriage in the US cleared a key hurdle in the Senate, Delight, a digital bank that positions itself as LGBTQIA+ friendly, has raised $15 million led by Anthemis Group. Completed the Series A round from which the participation was done. CMFG Ventures, Kapoor Capital, Citi Ventures and Gangels.
Daylight co-founder and CEO Rob Curtis says the new capital will be used to, in his words, “build financial products and services to help queer people live their best lives” – Daylight Starting with a membership plan called Grow, with a financial plan designed to help prospective gay families.
“There are more than 30 million LGBTQ+ Americans with nearly $1 trillion in spending power and yet the community lacks access to the suite of products and services they need to live their best lives,” Curtis told TechCrunch in an email interview. is required.” “Delite was created with a single mission in mind: to build financial products and services to help queer people live their best lives.”
Curtis co-launched Daylight in early 2020 with Billie Simmons, a trans woman, and Paul Barnes-Hoggett. Prior to starting Daylight, Curtis worked for several organizations supporting LGBTQ+ lifestyles and causes, including Gather, a dating site for gay and bisexual men. , He also co-founded Squad Social and HelsaHelps, startups aimed at improving access to mental health for members in the LGBTQ+ community.
Deloitte is part of a recent wave of neobanks – bank-like fintech companies that operate online without physical branch networks – organized around aspirational causes and missions. Rapper Killer Mike’s Greenwood aims to help Black and Latinx communities build generational assets. Majority, which launched the same year as Greenwood (2020), seeks to create banking tools and resources for immigrants. Purpose banking, aspiration and a promise by all to never allow deposits to be spent as fossil fuels.
Why found a neobank for LGBTQ+ people, with funding from ethics-forward fintech? According to Curtis, most mainstream banking products were not designed with US-based queer people in mind. (Pride Bank, a neobank with similar queer-forward branding, is based in Brazil.) For example, Delight offers debit cards with customers’ chosen names, which are not always the same as their IDs. It offers members 10% cash back every time they spend at a queuing and affiliated business that Delight has partnered with. And it provides guided targets for gender-affirming procedures such as vertex surgery and facial feminization.
Beyond cash management features like checking accounts, free ATMs, and the ability for members to get paid two days in advance, Deloitte hosts communities where customers can ask questions about “queer financial literacy,” as Curtis claims in the safe. Is. and supportive environment.
“At Daylight, our mission has always been to break down the financial barriers that hold LGBTQ+ people back,” Curtis said, referring to the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the US and addressed legal challenges to marriage equality. Opened the door.
Certainly, members of the LGBTQ+ community face financial challenges that many cisgender, straight adults never do. Some face the consequences of being thrown out of their homes because of disapproving parents. Others find themselves on the hook for HIV/AIDS treatment, hormone therapy, and reproductive procedures. Most queer people are attracted to expensive metro areas because they are more accepting and progressive, and many queer people lack a safety net – whether they don’t have family support or don’t have children who can take care of them.
For those reasons and others, LGBTQ+ people often earn less, live in poverty and have fewer pension savings than their cisgender counterparts. The situation is particularly dire for transgender people, with the poverty rate for the transgender community in the U.S. hovering around 30%—close to double the rate for cisgender adults, according to a 2019 study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. Transgender people are also twice as likely to be unemployed and four times as likely to have a household income of less than $10,000; The 2021 US federal poverty was $12,880.
The above mentioned Daylight Grow is not a cure all, but targets the major barriers many gay couples face in starting a family. It forms a significant portion of Delight’s customers. A recent survey by the Family Equality Council found that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ millennials – 63% – are considering becoming a parent for the first time or expanding their family.
When the product launches in early 2023, Simmons says Daylight Grow will offer a personalized “family building plan” that will include financial, legal and logistical milestones tailored to individual states and needs, financial advice and A “family-planning concierge” to provide logistical support, a vetted family attorney network for IVF and surrogacy clinics and a “family-building marketplace” with recommendations, and in-person financial and fertility education events.
“Forming a family is a major life event for queer people and the challenges we face are more complex than those of non-LGBTQ people,” Simmons told TechCrunch via email. “The launch of Daylight Grow will help queer people navigate through the complex legal and financial challenges involved in starting a family, make starting a family faster and easier, and unlock important intergenerational assets for our community. “
Daylight Grow will also offer access to family-building loans, a potential game-changer for queer customers dealing with discrimination from traditional banks. According to a 2019 study, same-sex borrowers were 73% more likely to be denied a mortgage or approved for a mortgage at a higher-than-average interest rate.
Curtis said Delight plans to give away hundreds of free Grow subscriptions to low-income, marginalized families in states where LGBTQ+ rights are under significant legal attack. Which states — and Grow’s pricing — are still being decided.
Daylight has raised $20 million in capital to date. Curtis won’t answer questions about revenue and hiring plans, at least for now, to focus on the company’s core mission.