The Discover Financial Health Improvement Fund, a new mission-driven investment fund established by Discover Bank, supports startups and early-stage technology firms that are creating solutions to enhance the financial well-being of low- and moderate-income individuals, communities, and small businesses. A $36 million first capital commitment has been made by Discover Bank.
According to Discover Bank vice president Matthew Parks, “We constantly explore innovative ways to support our communities in which we operate. Creating the Discover Financial Health Improvement Fund is a unique way to do that. As technology develops, we want to support businesspeople who have thought up innovative methods to help those with limited resources. We anticipate that these technologies will be both profitable and advantageous to society.”
The investment fund will work in collaboration with The Financial Health Network, the foremost authority on financial health, to assess businesses for their potential to enhance financial health. Adeeb Mahmud, Chief Program Officer, Financial Health Network, stated, “With almost 20 years of experience finding and supporting fintech innovators that are shifting the needle on financial health, we are ideally positioned to assist Discover’s new fund and its objective.”
Discover’s earlier-stage investments will be managed by ResilienceVC, a Washington, DC-based seed-stage venture capital firm focusing in embedded fintech firms. “Tahira and I founded ResilienceVC to support the next wave of fintech startups in the US that are promoting financial resilience for all Americans,” says Vikas Raj, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at ResilienceVC. “We are pleased to work with Discover to increase the funds and support we provide for these businesses.”
Discover’s later-stage investments will be managed by Delaware-based B2B venture investor Chartline Capital. The Managing Director and Co-Founder of Chartline Capital Partners, Ben duPont, asserts that “New technology have improved people’s lives throughout time. It is an honor for Chartline to work with Discover to invest in firms that are utilizing new financial technologies to better the lives of people with low and moderate incomes, as well as communities and small businesses.”
Discover thinks there is a great opportunity to create profitable business models while also directly enhancing the financial lives of low- and middle-income people, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region, given the significant number of consumers and small businesses that are unserved and underserved with affordable and pertinent financial products.