Propel announces $12.8M Series A to help low-income Americans get back on their feet

At Propel, we believe that people who experience financial trouble deserve first-class services to help them get back on their feet. We’re a technology company that focuses on improving financial health — and we believe that that’s how we will build an incredible business that has a major positive impact on the lives of low-income Americans.

Today, we’re announcing our $12.8M Series A financing led by Nyca Partners, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, and Omidyar Network. We’re also excited for support from individual investors like Alexa von Tobel and Thirty Five Ventures (founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman), and support from investment groups like Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, WinWin, and the Financial Venture Studio.

“Our investors are world-class experts in their respective fields. They share an understanding of the challenges of low-income Americans and a belief that Propel can build a massive business by fighting poverty,” said Jimmy Chen, CEO of Propel. “We’re thrilled to have these partners on board.”

Propel’s free app, Fresh EBT, is used by over 1.5 million Americans each month. Fresh EBT enables EBT cardholders to manage their government benefits (such as food stamps) and, with features like digital coupons and a job board, to find opportunities to save money and earn income. The app has over 20,000 five-star reviews. Fresh EBT is free for end-users and governments; it makes money through grocery coupons, employers, and other organizations who use it to promote opportunities for improved financial health.

Tracy B., from Fairlawn, VA., is an active Fresh EBT user. “Fresh EBT is great. I would describe it as resourceful and full of quality information. I’ve gotten so much more than just my SNAP balance — Fresh EBT helped me learn how to budget and manage my weekly spending. It’s my own personal financial advisor.” Like over 30,000 other people around the country this year, Tracy applied for a job that she originally discovered through Fresh EBT. She has been working in that job for the past several months.

“I’m so glad I found this app, because it helped me find discounted zoo tickets for my kids. Through Fresh EBT, I also found my current job and a training program that will hopefully help me get an even better job soon,” Tracy said.

“It’s not hard to see the huge opportunity in building better financial services for low-income people,” said Hans Morris, Managing Partner at Nyca Partners. “We just haven’t seen many companies in this space that have an opportunity to have such a large impact at massive scale. That’s why we’re so excited to invest in Propel.”

Propel is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Follow us on Twitter at @FreshEBT. Propel is hiring!