NorthOne is a mobile, tech-powered bank account built for America’s small businesses, freelancers, and startups.
Today, we’re announcing a Series A round of $21M USD for NorthOne, led by Shiran Shalev from Battery Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, and Tom Williams. This round brings us one step closer to fully solving one of the biggest sources of pain for America’s business builders. This Series A round is an important moment for us, but securing funding is not how we define success. For us, there is no finish line. We’re just getting started.
Small businesses matter
There are 30 million small businesses in America. They employ over 50% of the workforce and contribute nearly $6 trillion dollars to the economy each year. They act as a critical training ground for the next generation of great business leaders, and not just those in startups in coastal cities, but those hard at work across the nation. At the same time, they offer disempowered people and communities an opportunity to build a better future for themselves. They are also one of our best shots at reversing the widening income inequality gap that has emerged over the past few decades. Small businesses really do matter.
Every single one of these small businesses needs a bank account but business banking often acts as a hidden tax on small businesses. They lose full days of productivity each month as they wrestle with an experience, bureaucracy, and product that doesn’t consider the downstream work they impose on the business and its back office. They overpay hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars for bank accounts and service packages that they barely use.
NorthOne is built to save small businesses time and money
Our banks are filled with brilliant people. They’ve had ample opportunity to improve the situation. They haven’t because it hasn’t been a priority for them. It never will be. A small business is too, well… small to matter to them. And so their lack of focus has let this painful status quo live on. Small businesses deserve better.
We know they’ve been let down by their banks in the past. And so we consider it a privilege to serve them. We take that responsibility seriously. They’ve given us priceless feedback and have let us know their deepest wishes for what a challenger bank like NorthOne could do for them. We come to work ready to earn their trust over and over, every day.
Businesses need a fundamentally better small business bank account
We started NorthOne to undo this injustice and unleash the potential of small businesses. In so doing, we haven’t only built a small-business focused challenger bank, we’ve built a banking platform that can act as the world-class finance department most small businesses could never afford.
At the center of it all is a fundamentally better bank account. NorthOne delivers all the operational banking functionality a business might need (wires, mobile check deposit, ACH, cash deposits) through a mobile app that is designed to be intuitive, simple and delightful. No confusing forms to fill out. No 1-800 numbers to call knowing you’ll be stuck on hold. We give these business builders peace of mind by giving them a bank that solves real pain for them.
Although we’ve only just announced our Series A but we’ve already accomplished so much. 1% of all small businesses that applied for a bank account in the second half of 2019 applied for a NorthOne account. Millions of dollars are spent using NorthOne debit cards every month. And we expect those numbers to keep rising as we open thousands upon thousands of new NorthOne bank accounts each month.
The problem we’re solving is deeply personal
Eytan: I grew up amongst a family of small business owners. I saw first hand the hours a small business owner spends sitting at their dinner table trying to sort through bank statements, tracking down invoices, and close their books each month. It’s no coincidence that NorthOne’s first-ever pitch deck had a picture of my grandfather on the second slide.
Justin: I had started my first company at the age of 17 where I found out first hand the burden banking imposes on small businesses. I spent the better part of a decade leading product and growth in a number of hypergrowth startups and saw the same problem hit my teams over and over again.
In fact, our whole team knows somebody or is somebody who has been crushed by this burden. Instead of throwing our hands in the air at the status quo, we get to work. It’s in our DNA. We won’t rest until this problem is solved.
Building NorthOne has been a team sport
The number of times we’ve heard “you can’t do that” is staggering. Everybody had 101 reasons as to why NorthOne could not see the light of day. Our team has succeeded in the face of adversity enough times to know that it truly can move mountains.
We look to the future excited about the possibilities, but deeply grateful and mindful of the road we’ve traveled to date. Thank you to:
- Blake, Carter, Alice, Danielle, Eric, Dan, Patrick, Emily, Tanisha, and the rest of our unstoppable team. We couldn’t do this without you. You earn our admiration and eternal thanks every single day. Even as we sit in the office writing this post, you’re working to figure out how to roll out our next killer feature and bring delight to our customers. Thank you for your trust, tireless effort, and for being the most amazing people we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
- The Ferst Capital team: Dom, Jay, and Marko, you bought into the vision early. Crazy early. You’ve taken bruises and cuts with us along the way. Time for a (brief) celebration before we get back to business.
- Tom Williams: You push us harder than anyone could imagine, and open doors for us that nobody even knows exist. You’ve been our “secret weapon” over and over. Thank you
- Peter and the rest of our early angel investors: You took a leap of faith. You bet on a team without a product. That’s something we can’t ever forget. Thank you
- Gio Pizzoferanto, Matt McGuire, Michael Liquornik, Michael Turri for your indispensable guidance along the way
- The Radius Bank team, which has gone to incredible lengths to support our vision and enable our execution
We also want to take a moment to thank the teams at Battery Venture and Redpoint Ventures. They’re smart and know the space better than anyone else. We know they’ll help us take NorthOne to where we know it’s destined to go.
Let’s get to work.
Eytan and Justin