Russell Westbrook Banks On Varo In New $63 Million Funding Round

CBx Vibe:New Bank Account” Ooohikaru

By CultureBanx Team

  • Russell Westbrook lead Varo Bank’s latest $63 million funding round
  • The Black community makes up 18.2% of the unbanked and 31.1% of the underbanked group

Nine time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook joined fin-tech firm Varo Bank as a new investor and advisor after helping to lead its latest $63 million funding round. Varo was created to make a measurable impact on financial inequality and address issues of access, fairness, and fees that have often had a discriminatory legacy. When you consider the Black community makes up 18.2% of the unbanked and 31.1% of the underbanked group in the U.S., according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Varo can be a real game-changer for this demographic.

Why This Matters: Even though terms of Westbrook’s investment were not made available, he was exclusively advised by Jefferies LLC in this transaction to lead the round, and plans to improve banking relations with minority communities. In 2020, Varo became the first consumer-focused fintech company to get approval from the FDIC, so it’s considered a national bank and allowed it to take customer deposits. Previously, the fintech firm was valued at $417.8 million, according to Pitchbook.

Varo doesn’t have any physical bank branches, customers have access to a network of 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs

“The banking system has ignored or underserved a large portion of the American population – particularly communities of color,” Westbrook said in a statement.

Even though Varo doesn’t have any physical bank branches, customers have access to a network of 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs. The neo-bank offers an easily accessible bank account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, also with an easy to use modern mobile app experience.  

Situational Awareness: Last year Varo raised $241 million in Series D funding. Its existing major investors include Warburg Pincus, The Rise Fund, Gallatin Point Capital, HarbourVest Partners, and funds managed by BlackRock also participated in the round.

CBx Vibe:New Bank Account” Ooohikaru

CONTRIBUTOR

CultureBanx Team

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