Teen-focused fintech app Copper raises $29M

Copper, a digital banking service aimed at teens, has raised $29 million in Series A funding in a “preemptive” round led by Fiat Ventures.

The investment comes just over seven months after the startup revealed it had raised $9 million in a seed round, and included participation from Panoramic Ventures, Insight Partners, Invesco Private Capital and “all existing investors,” according to the company. It has now raised a total of $42.3 million since its 2019 inception.

Since its launch last May, Copper has grown to have more than 800,000 users. That’s up from 350,000 last October. While the company would not reveal its valuation or hard revenue figures, it did say that its revenue growth is in line with its user growth, which — as noted above — has more than doubled since October 2021.

Seattle-based Copper offers features such as personalized debit cards, access to 50,000 ATMs and support for digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Parents use Copper to send money to teens and monitor their teens’ spending, the company touts. Teens can do things like set up direct-deposit for after-school and summer jobs and pay friends using P2P transfers. The fintech also offers tips on what it describes as “finance fundamentals” such as dividends, budgeting and compound interest.

Over the last year, Copper has been gearing up to expand into investing, with plans to onboard its first group of customers within the next month. The startup aims to give its customers the ability to direct funds from their accounts into a “wide range” of investments — from stocks to mutual funds to cryptocurrency. The move was in part based on demand from its users, according to CEO and co-founder Eddie Behringer.

“It was really driven by a tremendous amount of demand from teens. And then when we asked parents about it, this was the one financial topic that they assigned the highest value — as far as us being able to provide their teens access, and then really the education behind that access,” he told TechCrunch.

Further reasoning behind the move, added Behringer, was that it would support the company’s mission of being a teen’s “financial first.” Also, Copper wants to give teens “a safe space” in which to invest overall, but especially in crypto, the executive added.

“What we’ve seen is that despite parents’ best intentions, teens are getting access to investing and cryptocurrency,” he told TechCrunch. “So at the highest level, this was about ‘How do we provide teens access and freedom in an environment that is really based on safe controls by parents’,” Behringer told TechCrunch. “We knew teens were getting access to Robinhood, for example, which is completely incentivized around monetization on frequent trading. We set about building a product that worked in a complete opposite fashion.”

Investing through Copper, the company claims, gives teens a supervised setting where they “can learn as they invest, and where parents can see where every dollar is going.”

Copper is among several teen-focused fintechs that have recently expanded their offerings to include a crypto component. Step, a Series C fintech app providing banking services to teenagers, recently announced that it would be offering a new product that will enable its 3 million-plus users to invest in equities and cryptocurrencies on its app. The company plans to launch the new product, Step Investing, sometime early this summer.

As Anita Ramaswamy previously reported, investing app Onu launched custodial accounts for children with access to 22 cryptocurrencies last month, and children’s social network Zigazoo started dropping NFTs in April. And earlier this year, Acorns CEO Noah Kerner told TechCrunch that the youth-focused savings and investing startup plans to include “no more than 5% exposure” to crypto as an option for customers who would like to participate, according to Kerner, who emphasized there “will not be crypto trading on the Acorns platform.”

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