A day after a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States cleared a key hurdle in the Senate, self-proclaimed LGBTQIA+-friendly digital bank Daylight closed a $15 million Series A round led by Antimis Group. CMFG Ventures, Kapor Capital, Citi Ventures and Gengels.
Daylight co-founder and CEO Rob Curtis said the new capital will begin with a subscription plan called Raising Daylight, which he says is “building financial products and services to help people live better lives,” in his words. Future queer families with financial plans.
“More than 30 million LGBTQ+ Americans have nearly $1 trillion in spending power, but lack access to the products and services society needs to live their best lives,” Curtis told TechCrunch in an email interview. Daylight was created with one mission: to build financial products and services to help queers live their best lives.
Curtis debuted Daylight with Billy Simmons and Paul Barnes-Hoggett in early 2020. Before starting Daylight, Curtis worked for a number of organizations supporting LGBTQ+ lifestyles and causes, including Gaydar, a dating site for gay and bisexual men. . He also founded Squad Social and Helsa Helps, a startup that aims to improve access to mental health for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Daylight is part of the latest wave of neobanks — bank-like fintech companies that operate online, without physical branch networks — organized around aspirational causes and missions. Rap killer Mike Greenwood aims to help the next generation of Black and Latinx communities build wealth. The majority, launched in the same year as Greenwood (2020), seeks to build banking tools and resources for refugees. Purpose Bank, Wish and One Deposit have all pledged to never use fossil fuels.
Why did Neobank for LGBTQ+ people with its ethically-transcending fintech wealth? According to Curtis, most mainstream banking products simply aren’t designed with US-based queers in mind. (Pride Bank, a Neobank with similarly queer-forward branding, is based in Brazil.) Daylight, for example, offers debit cards bearing customers’ names, which aren’t always the same as those on their IDs. Daylight gives members 10% cashback on every spend they make with queer and partner businesses they partner with. And it offers goal-directed approaches to gender-affirming procedures, such as radical surgery and facial feminization.
In addition to cash management features like checking accounts, free ATMs and the ability for members to receive payments two days in advance, Curtis also hosts Daylight Communities where customers can ask questions like family planning, which is secure. and supportive environment.
“At Daylight, our mission has always been to break down the financial barriers that hold LGBTQ+ people back… In this post-Dobbs world, Daylight’s commitment to supporting queer families has never been more important,” Curtis said, citing the Supreme Court case. It legalized abortion bans in the US and opened the door to legal challenges for marriage equality.
Certainly, members of the LGBTQ+ community face fiscal challenges that many cisgender, straight adults never do. Some suffer the consequences of being kicked out of their homes by disapproving parents. Others find themselves undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS, hormone therapy, and fertility procedures. Most queer people are drawn to expensive metro areas because they are more accepting and progressive, and many queer people lack a safety net—they don’t have family support or children to care for them.
For those and other reasons, LGBTQ+ people often earn less, live in poverty and have less retirement savings than their cisgender counterparts. The situation for transgender people is particularly dire, with the poverty rate of the transgender community in the U.S. averaging around 30% — nearly double the rate of cisgender adults — according to a 2019 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Transgender people are also twice as likely to be unemployed and four times more likely to be unemployed with a household income of less than $10,000. The 2021 US federal poverty level was $12,880.
The aforementioned Daylight Growing Up is not a cure-all, but it does address the main hurdles many couples face in starting a family. This is a significant portion of daylight customers. A recent poll by the Family Equality Council found that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ millennials – 63% – are considering becoming parents for the first time or expanding their family.
The product is Launching in early 2023, Simmons said Daylight Grow will offer a personalized “family innovation plan” that covers financial, legal and logistical aspects tailored to individual states and needs, to provide financial advice and logistical support. “Family Building Marketplace” with a network of family advocates and recommendations for IVF and surgery clinics and in-person financial and fertility education programs.
“Starting a family is a major life event for queer people and the challenges we face are more complex than those for non-LGBTQ people,” Simmons told TechCrunch in an email. “Starting Daylight Growing helps queer people navigate the complex legal and financial challenges associated with starting a family, making it easier to start a family, and addressing the intergenerational issues that are so important to our community.”
Daylight Growth also offers access to family-building loans, which could be a game-changer for queer customers who have struggled with discrimination from traditional banks. In the year According to a 2019 study, same-sex borrowers were 73% more likely to be denied a loan or approved for a mortgage with an above-average interest rate.
Daylight plans to offer hundreds of free growth subscriptions to low-income, marginalized families in states where LGBTQ+ rights face significant legal assaults, Curtis said. Which states — and the cost of development — are still being determined.
Daylight has raised $20 million in capital to date. Curtis wouldn’t answer questions about revenue and hiring plans, at least for now, preferring to focus on the company’s core mission.