Greenlight, maker of money management app for kids, raises $215 million

An undated handout photo shows the BuildforFamilies app screen, provided by Greenlight Financial Technology
An undated handout photo shows the BuildforFamilies app screen, provided by Greenlight Financial Technology, a debit card for kids that is paired to an app for the family to teach financial responsibility. Greenlight Financial Technology/Handout via REUTERS

September 24, 2020

By Jane Lanhee Lee

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Greenlight Financial Technology Inc, whose products include an app for parents to help teach financial responsibility to kids, said on Thursday it raised $215 million in its latest funding round, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.

The funding was led by Canapi Ventures and TTV Capital.

Financial technology, already a hot investment category in recent years, has gained traction during the coronavirus pandemic with retail moving online and consumers seeking options for contactless payment.

The Atlanta-based startup launched its first product in January 2017 and in the last year the number of parents and children using the Greenlight app quadrupled to 2 million, according to Tim Sheehan, chief executive and co-founder. The valuation grew five times in 10 months as well.

Greenlight’s main product is a debit card for kids and teens linked to the app that parents and kids can manage on their smartphones.

Sheehan said the pandemic, which has left millions jobless, has made people realize the importance of saving. “That probably caused our message to resonate extra hard among the American public,” he said. The extra funding will help the company market the app more widely and add more functions, he said.

The Greenlight debit card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank. Parents can use the app to assign chores and dole out allowance money, approve the stores where their children can shop and monitor their spending. They can also set up a savings account in the app.

(This story changes Greenlight Financial to Greenlight on second reference in 5th paragraph.)

(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Matthew Lewis)