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May 2 - First Boulevard raises $5M for its digital bank aimed at Black America



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 2 weeks ago '06        #1
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DominicanLou  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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May 2 - First Boulevard raises $5M for its digital bank aimed at Black America
 

 
The murder of George Floyd last May ignited many things in the United States last year — one of which that was perhaps unexpected: a rise in the number of digital banks targeting the Black community.

Some members of the Black community took their belief that big banks are not meeting their needs and turned them into startup concepts.

One of those startups, First Boulevard (formerly called Tenth), has just raised $5 million in seed funding from Barclays, Anthemis and a group of angel investors such as actress Gabrielle Union, Union Square Ventures’ John Buttrick and AutoZone CFO Jamere Jackson.

For co-founder and CEO Donald Hawkins, the genesis for the Overland, Kansas-bank came after Floyd’s murder, when he and friend Asya Bradley were talking about what Black America “really needed to get out of a vicious cycle” of dealing with the same issues with no real solutions in sight.

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“After viewing yet another tragedy engulf the Black community, and the all-too-familiar protests against persisting issues,” Hawkins said, “it was beyond clear to me that the solutions Black America needs must be financially focused and developed within our community.”

The pair both had fintech experience. Hawkins had founded Griffin Technologies, a company focused on providing real-time, contextual intelligence to community banks and credit unions. And Bradley most recently was a founding team member and head of revenue at Synapse, a platform that built banking-as-a-service APIs to help bank the unbanked of America by connecting fintech platforms to banking institutions.

They discovered there were only about 19 Black banks in the U.S., collectively holding about $5 billion in a*sets.

“And their technology was really behind the times,” Hawkins said. “We also took a hard look at some of the existing digital banks to really see who was really going about it in the same way that we felt like America needed, and it was pretty clear at that point, that no one was really attacking the issue of helping Black America build some level of financial stability through the form of a wealth-building play.”

The pair formed First Boulevard last August under the premise that Black Americans are “massively underserved consumers” of financial products and services despite having a collective spending power of $1.4 trillion annually. The startup’s mission is to empower Black Americans “to take control of their finances, build wealth and reinvest in the Black economy” via a digitally native platform. First Boulevard has 100,000 people on its waitlist currently with an expected launch in the third quarter.

Part of its goal with the new capital involves building out a Black business marketplace, which will give its members Cash Back for Buying Black™. It also plans to use the money to expand its team, increase its customer base and grow its platform to offer fee-free debit cards, financial education and on developing technology to help members automate their saving and wealth-building goals.

“History has proven that oppressed communities can succeed when their finances are centralized, and when it comes to financial services for the Black community, a centralizing force is long overdue,” Hawkins said.

The bank’s Cash Back for Buying Black™ program helps members earn up to 15% cash back when they spend money at Black-owned businesses.

“I believe the most recent stat was that 41% of Black-owned businesses have closed since COVID-19 started,” Hawkins said. “We want to support them as much as we can.”

First Boulevard also is focused on passively building wealth for its communities.

“Black America as a whole has been blocked from learning how money works. We want to connect our members to wealth-building a*sets such as micro investments like money market accounts, high-yield savings and cryptocurrency — things that Black America has largely been blocked from,” Hawkins said.

Bradley, who serves as First Boulevard’s COO, believes the current financial industry was not built to serve the needs of melanated people. Its goal is to take their understanding of the unique needs of the Black community to provide things such as early access to wages, round-up savings features, targeted financial education and budgeting tools.

The pair aims to have a “fully inclusive” team that represents the community it’s trying to serve. Currently, its 20-person staff is 60% Black and 85% BIPOC. Two-thirds of its leadership team are women and 100% is BIPOC. The company plans to boost its headcount to 50 by year’s end.

“We are very proud of that considering that in the fintech space, those are not normal numbers from a leadership perspective,” Bradley said.

Katie Palencsar, an investor at the Female Innovators Lab by Barclays and Anthemis, said that her firm has always recognized “that access to financial services has long remained a challenge despite the digital evolution.”

“This is especially true for Black Americans who often reside in financial deserts and struggle to find platforms that truly look to serve them,” she said. “First Boulevard deeply understands the challenge.”

Palencsar believes that First Boulevard’s mission of helping Black Americans not just bank, but actually build wealth, is unique in the market.

“First Boulevard sees the wealth gap that continues to grow within the U.S. and wants to build a digital banking platform that addresses the systemic and structural challenges that face this population while enabling Black Americans and allies to invest in the community,” she said.

The company also recently announced a partnership with Visa, under which First Boulevard will be first to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto APIs. First Boulevard will also launch a First Boulevard Visa Debit card.

First Boulevard is one of several digital banks geared toward Black Americans that have emerged in recent months. Paybby, a digital bank for the Black and brown communities, recently acquired Wicket, a neobank that uses AI and biometric technology to create a personalized experience for users. Hassan Miah, the CEO and founder of visit this link Paybby, said the bank’s goal is to be “the leading smart, digital bank for the Black and brown communities.”

Paybby, which started by offering a bank account and a way to expedite PPP loans, will soon be adding a cryptocurrency savings account for the Black and brown communities.

“Black buying power is projected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2024,” Miah said. “Brown buying power is over $2 trillion. Paybby wants to take a good portion of this multitrillion-dollar market and give it back to these communities.”

Last October, Greenwood raised $3 million in seed funding from private investors to build what it describes as “the first digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners.”

At the time, co-founder Ryan Glover, founder of Bounce TV network, said it was “no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community.”

visit this link SOURCE

I know the article is from Feb, but seems like this one slipped under the radar
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visit this link https://bankblvd.com/
+7   



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25 comments
 

 2 weeks ago '15        #2
Ace dealer 
Props total: 35711 35 K  Slaps total: 2334 2 K
Good sh*t
+1   

 2 weeks ago '18        #3
antisocial100 
Props total: 15374 15 K  Slaps total: 4452 4 K
Definitely like seeing stuff like this. I’ll put my support behind it
+1   

 2 weeks ago '20        #4
Xiox  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Dude looks like Benjamin Dixon

 2 weeks ago '17        #5
Rule 336  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x13
Props total: 142044 142 K  Slaps total: 53045 53 K
Didn't we just go through this with k*ller Mike? Is this one actually black owned?
+10   

 2 weeks ago '06        #6
DominicanLou  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3 OP
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 Rule 336 said
Didn't we just go through this with k*ller Mike? Is this one actually black owned?
from the website

Yes it is. You’ll find that we take pride in putting action behind our words. In addition to our President and Board Chairman being Black, two-thirds of First Boulevard’s executive team are Black women.
+2   

 2 weeks ago '17        #7
Rule 336  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x13
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 DominicanLou said
from the website
So the other 1/3 is non-black? Hmm..
+3   

 2 weeks ago '17        #8
punchlineking  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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Feedback...

Don't advertise it for black people...

see when white people do sh*t only for white people they don't advertise it that way so no one can hate or try to stop it

when you have a school like UCLA saying something like oh we are giving access to 100 black students' scholarships that leaves room for the white people to say look they are racist...

just do it for black people but don't advertise it

we have to be smart so they don't start trying to take things away from us...

that's why when I'm a billionaire I will be building the black community but will never advertise what I am doing...

gonna funnel that through 100 different offshore companies so good luck tracking who is doing the work...

:dwig htdatass:
+7   

 2 weeks ago '19        #9
FPOT  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 Rule 336 said
So the other 1/3 is non-black? Hmm..
Right ? On sum BLM George Soros sh*t
+3   

 2 weeks ago '16        #10
HugheStone 
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Wtf is latinx
+2   

Top 10 most propped recently  2 weeks ago '19        #11
GetYaCoinsKing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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This is what a real bank looks like, Not the junk that k*ller Mike was pushing.
+1   

 2 weeks ago '17        #12
Rule 336  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x13
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 punchlineking said
Feedback...

Don't advertise it for black people...

see when white people do sh*t only for white people they don't advertise it that way so no one can hate or try to stop it

when you have a school like UCLA saying something like oh we are giving access to 100 black students' scholarships that leaves room for the white people to say look they are racist...

just do it for black people but don't advertise it

we have to be smart so they don't start trying to take things away from us...

that's why when I'm a billionaire I will be building the black community but will never advertise what I am doing...

gonna funnel that through 100 different offshore companies so good luck tracking who is doing the work...

:dwig htdatass:
Reminds me of Nipsey. He was talking way too much about his moves.
+4   

 2 weeks ago '17        #13
punchlineking  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 Rule 336 said
Reminds me of Nipsey. He was talking way too much about his moves.
Exactly ...

48 laws of power...

Say less than necessary

No need to say anything just do it so people cant hate or try to stop your moves

Rest in peace nipsey salute
+5   

Top 10 most propped recently  2 weeks ago '19        #14
GetYaCoinsKing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 punchlineking said
Feedback...

Don't advertise it for black people...

see when white people do sh*t only for white people they don't advertise it that way so no one can hate or try to stop it

when you have a school like UCLA saying something like oh we are giving access to 100 black students' scholarships that leaves room for the white people to say look they are racist...

just do it for black people but don't advertise it

we have to be smart so they don't start trying to take things away from us...

that's why when I'm a billionaire I will be building the black community but will never advertise what I am doing...

gonna funnel that through 100 different offshore companies so good luck tracking who is doing the work...

:dwig htdatass:
This x100

I fu*king HATE when black owned businesses advertise themselves this way, Not realizing that its a double-edge sword. When white people want sh*t to be only 'white' what they do is increase the barrier for entry and/or make it difficult and add loop-holes making it hard for minorities ie; the current cannabis licensing procedures which are extremely discriminatory to minorities as they require upwards of $500k in liquid a*sets etc.

Instead what we need to do is literally fund a black owned financial institution, I would go as far as making a white CEO the 'face' of it, While the founder is in the shadows.

I also have had the same idea/dream, When i'm a billionaire i want to legitimately build a small self-sustaining invite only community.
+5   

 2 weeks ago '06        #15
DominicanLou  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3 OP
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 Rule 336 said
So the other 1/3 is non-black? Hmm..
Also I found

The pair aims to have a “fully inclusive” team that represents the community it’s trying to serve. Currently, its 20-person staff is 60% Black and 85% BIPOC. Two-thirds of its leadership team are women and 100% is BIPOC. The company plans to boost its headcount to 50 by year’s end.
There's a lot of depth into "black-owned". Does that mean 100% or majority? They've received funding, so they would have a majority stake.

Are they 100% black staffed? It's not clear. Does that matter? I guess that depends on the person.

I will say that it seems they are actually targeting the black community unlike Greenwood Bank or Pharrell's accelerator or even the other "black bank" mentioned in the article that will put "For Black People" in the headline but "for black and brown/Latinx communities" in the fine print. I don't have a problem with that, just pointing out something I noticed.

They at least seem unapologetic about catering and serving the black community.

 2 weeks ago '20        #16
DrDisrespect 
Props total: 496 496  Slaps total: 218 218
Ayo,Funding from Barclays?

Rothschild owns 54-60% of Barclays

Look at the Investors...sh*t ain't change. The same dudes behind the current fu*k up of a banking system are the same dudes funding this. If It was 100% black funded,I would have given it my utmost support,But it's not.

Can't be a king in another man's kingdom.
+4   

 2 weeks ago '06        #17
DominicanLou  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3 OP
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+1   

 2 weeks ago '06        #18
LYTE 
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 HugheStone said
Wtf is latinx
If I remember correctly, latinos & latinas who don't identify their gender.

 2 weeks ago '18        #19
Most Palone 
Props total: 12382 12 K  Slaps total: 905 905
They going to now start using “black owned” because it’s trendy now

Watch out for these leeches using our energy for their own

No different than politicians

I keep saying we give our energy almost willingly to others who then turn around and sh*t on us.
+2   

 2 weeks ago '10        #20
PaperBoy971 
Props total: 1718 1 K  Slaps total: 136 136
 DrDisrespect said
Ayo,Funding from Barclays?

Rothschild owns 54-60% of Barclays

Look at the Investors...sh*t ain't change. The same dudes behind the current fu*k up of a banking system are the same dudes funding this. If It was 100% black funded,I would have given it my utmost support,But it's not.

Can't be a king in another man's kingdom.
What you mean another man's kingdom ? You're advocating for black folks to leave America ? You have access to one of the biggest markets on earth and the funding that goes along with it. Use that sh*t. When's the last time you've heard about a black bank in Brazil ? Or in Colombia ? Who gives a fu*k who owns the bank that funds your operation ? You take that money and you build something durable with it smh
-1   

 2 weeks ago '04        #21
franchise  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 LYTE said
If I remember correctly, latinos & latinas who don't identify their gender.

Its just a way to say Latin people without it being a gender specific word like Latina or Latino - Latinx means every Latin - male/female/other
+1   

 2 weeks ago '17        #22
punchlineking  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 GetYaCoinsKing said
This x100

I fu*king HATE when black owned businesses advertise themselves this way, Not realizing that its a double-edge sword. When white people want sh*t to be only 'white' what they do is increase the barrier for entry and/or make it difficult and add loop-holes making it hard for minorities ie; the current cannabis licensing procedures which are extremely discriminatory to minorities as they require upwards of $500k in liquid a*sets etc.

Instead what we need to do is literally fund a black owned financial institution, I would go as far as making a white CEO the 'face' of it, While the founder is in the shadows.

I also have had the same idea/dream, When i'm a billionaire i want to legitimately build a small self-sustaining invite only community.

 2 weeks ago '05        #23
Flatbush85  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 2 weeks ago '20        #24
Agent Vakabon 
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 punchlineking said
Exactly ...

48 laws of power...

Say less than necessary

No need to say anything just do it so people cant hate or try to stop your moves

Rest in peace nipsey salute
I get it but at the same time, you got a lot of black folk who will sh*t on something if it isn't explicitly pro-black

 1 week ago '20        #25
DrDisrespect 
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 PaperBoy971 said
What you mean another man's kingdom ? You're advocating for black folks to leave America ? You have access to one of the biggest markets on earth and the funding that goes along with it. Use that sh*t. When's the last time you've heard about a black bank in Brazil ? Or in Colombia ? Who gives a fu*k who owns the bank that funds your operation ? You take that money and you build something durable with it smh
In South Africa, Billionaire Patrice Motsepe owns Tymebank. 100% owned black owned bank business. Funded by him only.

I care,Cause that's how we are gonna grow, By owning the factors of production, So the whites don't fu*k us over like they did the past 400 years



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