Meet Spiral, a bank with a moral compass
This week is an incredibly exciting one for me and all Team8 Capital. Spiral, our second ever investment, has gone beta live and has opened its waiting list for new potential customers.
Spiral is a next generation banking app for the charitable sector. The opportunity is huge: there are 93 million people in the US who donate to charities every year. There are also 1.5 million non-profit businesses in the US that raise close to $450B in contributions every year.
Spiral is creating a banking service that targets this opportunity. Its mission is to create an ecosystem for the entire charitable sector that will empower casual donors to help their communities and the world.
Our mission at Team8 Capital is to democratize financial services through the digital transformation of enterprises and sectors. What Spiral is doing by bringing together banking and charitable giving is a perfect example of this.
Doing well through doing good
There have been a number of neobanks set up around the world in the last 10 years, but Spiral has a few unique factors, which we believe set it apart from the rest.
Firstly, Spiral is the first digital solution to seamlessly combine banking and charitable giving. Spiral offers customers a holistic, modern banking experience with attractive rates, monthly cash bonuses, and the opportunity to support the causes they care about. Spiral even matches donations, up to a limit.
At the same time, Spiral makes it easier for nonprofits to grow their support base and increase donations from existing donors. Those nonprofits that partner with Spiral can receive donations without any fees and share content directly through the app to engage supporters.
Together, this creates a virtuous circle, or even a virtuous spiral. The more individuals join, the more they can give, which attracts more nonprofits, which in turn can bring more of their donors into Spiral.
Spiral was created to make charitable giving as simple as possible, within a digital banking environment. This gave us cause to take a deep look at the potential customer base of loyal, mission-driven people who regularly give money to charity. Our investment thesis rests on one simple fact: people who regularly donate money to charitable causes are great banking clients around whom we can successfully build a suite of banking products.
Success depends on UX
Building a banking brand and winning new customers is hard work, especially when it comes to winning customers who will get their paychecks paid into their current account. To get to this level, you need to build a trusted brand that chimes with the ethos of the times and the personal values of its customers. This is all about flawless execution.
Strong Core Team
And this is the third element of the investment that is so attractive — the quality of the founders and our belief in their ability to execute. Shawn Melamed, the CEO of Spiral, is a serial fintech entrepreneur who, prior to setting up the company, was Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Technology Business Development and Innovation Offices. He also founded software company Correlix, which was acquired by TSA, and led StrikeNet to its M&A with TMX Group.
Dan Blumenfeld, the President and CMO, is another serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in building consumer products that engage customers via design, branding and user experience (UX). He is the former head of product and growth at Skype. He founded Kifi (acquired by Google) and held leadership roles at Check (acquired by Intuit) and IncrediMail (that undertook an IPO).
These founders are experienced, with great domain knowledge and are resilient and sharp. We have worked closely with them to bring Spiral to life. For instance, within a few weeks of our initial engagement we introduced Spiral to a key hire for its technology team, bringing to bear the value proposition of our Team8 Village concept.
Building a banking service is a tough journey, with many steps along the way. Technology, regulations, business models…there are many component parts. The last year and a half has seen us working hand in hand with Spiral to get to this stage. We know that great founders — like Danny and Shawn — are looking for more than just money from their VC investors. And we like to think that we have delivered, bringing them our network, our deep knowledge of digital security, as well as bringing new investors into this funding round.
We’re excited to back Spiral’s unique vision and incredible growth potential. Brands like Tesla, Whole Foods and Lemonade have galvanized specific demographics to become the front-runners of their industries, while at the same time making the world a better place. Spiral is on a mission to do the same in the world of banking.
If you are in the US, click here to check out Spiral’s website and sign up to its waiting list.
Originally appeared on Medium