Posted April 28, 2021

Online share of commerce is growing rapidly, especially with children and teens. In the U.S., the average age of cell phone adoption is now just 10 years old, and 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. Increasingly, social and gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite are giving these younger users the opportunity to make online purchases. However, a vast majority of parents still give their children spending money in cash because there hasn’t been a safe, purpose-built financial service for families. With 47 million households in the U.S. with kids, it’s been an underserved market, until now.  

Greenlight helps parents raise financially-smart kids with a debit card and feature-rich app for managing family finances. Kids and parents have companion apps with two different experiences. Parents are in control with the ability to approve transactions, set rules around where and how kids are allowed to spend, manage chores and allowances, set parent-paid interest rates, and more. Kids receive a debit card and can save for college, earn an allowance through chores, invest in stocks, set direct deposit, and more. 

Greenlight has established itself as a trusted family bank, serving 3 million parents and kids, with a 4.8/5 app store ranking and over 160,000 reviews. The company has more than tripled year over year revenue, more than doubled the number of parents and kids on its platform, and doubled the size of its team within the past year.

We believe Greenlight is positioned to become a broader financial services platform for families. Founders Tim Sheehan and Johnson Cook lived the pain of financial management with their own kids, then decided to start the company. They have since spent years rolling out product features that serve parents and children alike, and increase stickiness of the product within the family. With Greenlight Max, for instance, children can learn how to invest, and those users are engaging with the app at even higher rates. 

As a part of our diligence before making the investment, we interviewed parents, both those who were and were not Greenlight customers. The product feedback was remarkably positive, showing how much parents appreciated having multiple family financial services in a single app:

“Before Greenlight I just used cash, but it was a headache – I would have to run to the ATM before school if my son needed money for something.”

“Greenlight provides the opportunity for my children to learn. The other night at dinner my 12-year-old talked about how she thinks travel is going to come back and so she bought a share of Southwest on her Greenlight Max account.”

“We LOVE the chores feature. Weekly and daily chores are loaded into Greenlight and my children have to check off their chores in order for the allowance to be paid each week.”

Greenlight announced their Series D round of fundraising led by our a16z Growth fund and I am thrilled to be joining the board and partnering with Tim, Johnson, and the Greenlight team. We believe they have the opportunity to build the next great bank for families in the U.S. and beyond!


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