Earnin is an app that enables anyone with a job and a bank account to get paid ahead of payday. Recently, Earnin announced that it raised $125 million in equity financing from DST Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, Matrix Partners, March Capital Partners, Coatue Management, and Ribbit Capital. The a16z Cultural Leadership Fund also invested in this round.
Interestingly, Earnin does not charge fees, interest, or hidden costs for the payday advance. Earnin provides the advances by receiving tips from users based on what they think is fair. Earnin essentially helps Americans gain better control of their money by helping them avoid predatory financial products. Workers from over 50,000 employers across all 50 states are utilizing Earnin. And the apps logging a combined 15 million hours of work a week.
“We’ll continue to shine a spotlight on unfairness,” said Earnin founder and CEO Ram Palaniappan in a statement. “Our work doesn’t end with the pay cycle. We will expand our team and develop new partnerships, but most importantly, continue to drive awareness around the financial challenges faced by so many Americans.”
Palaniappan previously worked at a payments company called UniRush as president. While working at that company, he wrote employees a check from his account and receive reimbursements on payday. This is how he came up with the idea for Earnin, according to TechCrunch.
Earnin’s “pay it forward” model provides access to those who need the service the most and it has inspired more than 6 million thank you messages between customers. This was especially helpful during the recent hurricane season as Earnin assisted community members in evacuation zones on the Atlantic Coast by covering fuel expenses.
“Earnin is a champion for everyday Americans,” added Andreessen Horowitz general partner and Earnin board member Alex Rampell. “It’s rare for a company to tackle social change while also solving financial challenges, but Earnin’s advocacy and unwavering drive to redefine the banking system is what sets them apart.”
Earnin only gives users money for hours that they have already worked and will not act if a member of their community suffers hardship and cannot repay.
DST Global managing partner Rahul Mehta said that Earnin’s “innovative and unique approach has shielded people from unnecessary fees.” And Matrix Partners and Earnin board member Dana Stalder pointed out that Earnin’s rapid growth makes it clear that there was a “huge gap in the financial system.”