Investments

Building More Inclusive Financial Services; Our Investment in Kinly

Eurie Kim, Partner; KJ Sidberry, Principal

Summer 2022

2 min read

For generations, Black America has been underserved, and marginalized from many financial circles–in fact, nearly half of the community is unbanked or underbanked. Black households in the U.S. make a median of $24,100 compared to a median of $189,100 among their white counterparts. Black America represents 13% of the U.S. population, but only possesses 4% of the nation’s household wealth.

With the “great resignation” (or great reshuffling), inflation, lower levels of home ownership in the Black community, and the current economic pressures exacerbating financial security day by day, the barriers to wealth-building are only increasing for Black America. This is why Forerunner invested in Kinly. Launching out of beta this week, the company provides an inclusive financial services platform to serve the unique needs of Black America and its allies, working to reverse the wealth gap and serve as a central hub for financial health, culture, and support for the Black community.

Kinly will lead with impactful features at launch, including account analysis, goal-setting, and budgeting. But extending beyond table-stakes offerings like direct deposit and no-fees, the company will soon also include fractional investing and a cryptocurrency exchange to empower customers to build wealth by purchasing, trading, and accumulating investment assets. Kinly incorporates tailored education, which overlays the financial experience, for members to learn key concepts about credit, saving, money management, and other skills related to building financial health—all via accessible, bite-sized pieces of audio.

By improving financial livelihood through education, Black-business-focused spending, and wealth-building, Kinly helps members manage their money and develop positive financial habits—and the platform’s energy and brand has already resonated with the community it seeks to serve. Kinly’s closed beta hosts 22,000+ users, with another 300,000+ on the waitlist currently being onboarded at launch. 

We are excited to partner with Founder & CEO Donald Hawkins, who is a 4x founder and fintech product expert with a deep personal connection to the company’s mission to build more generational wealth for the Black community. Dr. Melody Robinson Wright, Director of Financial Education, is a well-respected financial education influencer who has worked for years to share her money expertise with the Black community. Kinly also works with incredible experts across financial sectors like real estate, crypto, auto loans, and traditional investing to provide continued wealth-building lessons and guidance to the Kinly community. 

The Black community has been ignored and excluded from financial access for far too long. We believe Kinly’s product and consumer experience has the right mix of ingredients to change that narrative for current and future generations. We look forward to partnering with an outstanding group of investors in this Series A round, including Point 72 Ventures, Anthemis Group, and Kapor Capital, as well as actress Gabrielle Union, basketball star Kevin Durant and former professional football player Marshawn Lynch, as we support this stellar team in being the change we need in our world today.

  • DATE

    Summer 2022

  • READ TIME

    2 min read

  • Perspective Type

    Investments