Children’s debit card provider Greenlight Financial Technology has raised $16 million from investors TTV Capital (lead investor), New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Relay Ventures, SunTrust Bank, Ally Financial, nbkc bank, Canapi, and Amazon’s voice tech-focused Alexa Fund. Greenlight’s product allows parents to monitor their kids’ spend, send them money on an automated or as-needed basis, and even set controls for what stores they can spend it at from an accompanying app.
“These are banks that are really focused on trying to impact financial education for everybody,” says Greenlight’s CEO Tim Sheehan. “That’s really the goal of these partnerships, giving parents the tools to make their jobs easier.”
The raised money will partially go towards executing on strategic partnerships with several of the above investors, particularly on products and services geared towards the banks and financial institutions. Greenlight’s product is an easy way for parents to move away from giving cash or checks to their kids into a bankable solution.
“At Ally, we focus on providing our customers with the right tools and offerings to make a real difference in how they manage their money. Our investment in Greenlight aligns with our vision to be a relentless ally for our customers’ financial wellbeing,” said Dinesh Chopra, Ally Financial’s chief strategy officer in a statement. “Through the relationship, we’re supporting unique financial solutions aimed at helping families to teach children good money habits for the future.”
Sheehan says that their integration with Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, Alexa, will also be coming out soon.
“We’re going to create an Amazon skill so parents and kids will be able to use Alexa to interface and interact with Greenlight,” he says.
This round follows a period of major growth for the company — from June to September of last year, Greenlight more than doubled their customers from 10,000 to 25,000. Prior to this they raised a $7.5 million seed round and $1.7 million pre-seed.
The company also expects to aggressively grow its headcount, doubling the team of 30 this year with hiring across all departments. Currently they are based at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech, where they are a Signature portfolio company, but Sheehan says are “starting to burst at the seams” and will likely need to lease more space soon.
They plan to announce a number of additional product features this year.
“Teaching your children how to be smart with money is a major challenge that should start at a very early age,” Sheehan said an interview with Hype last year. “Parents need a safer, more trackable and manageable way to give spending money and allowances to their kids while teaching them the concepts of money management.”