Grasshopper Relaunches with New Leadership and Technology
Grasshopper, the client-first digital business bank, today announced the relaunch of its digital banking platform to meet the shifting demands of small businesses and innovators across the country. With needs unmet by the traditional banking system, small businesses are eager to find services and technology that will help them grow. Grasshopper has the capabilities to help these businesses exceed their potential and is set to lead in the innovation economy by building tools specifically designed for small businesses, startups and the venture community.
The revamped management team is led by former Radius Bank CEO, Mike Butler, and the bank has entered into new lines of business and developed partnerships with industry-leading fintech companies. All of this has been done as a way to expand Grasshopper’s mission of providing a superior digital banking experience for the business and innovation economy. The new direction is buoyed by substantial growth over the past year with total loans increasing by 19 percent, total deposits increasing by 75 percent and total assets increasing by 32 percent.
“Grasshopper is in its best position yet to help small businesses address the key challenge of taking advantage of digital tools to control their finances and deliver value to their customers,” said Mike Butler, CEO of Grasshopper. “The past two years have underscored the fact that the small business market has been traditionally underserved by banks, causing many business owners to seek digital solutions to fit their needs – a trend that will continue beyond the pandemic. As serving small businesses is core to our business, and with our leadership and technology, we are uniquely positioned to solve this problem.”
Beginning with Butler’s hiring in May 2021, Grasshopper has strategically expanded on its mission to serve new businesses and the innovation economy. Grasshopper is unveiling several new technologies today, all developed by examining client pain points and working inward to develop innovative solutions. These technologies include:
BaaS APIs – An application programming interface (API) layer for both direct use and in conjunction with a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform for fintechs.
New technology – Digital deposit account opening, online and mobile banking platforms for small business and venture clients, and a new core banking system were implemented to allow for scalable growth and provide flexibility with the new API tools.
Innovator Business Checking – A new digital checking account with a Visa debit card designed for startups and small businesses.
Redesigned website – Grasshopper’s new public website and client-facing online and mobile banking platforms; access it here.
Following Butler’s hire as CEO, Grasshopper set into motion a strategy of broadening its range of clients. The digital bank now operates in the fields of the tech and innovation economy, small and midsize business (SMB), fintechs via a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Commercial API Banking platform, with additional solutions for SBA, commercial real estate and yacht lending.
Key hires and promotions to deploy this strategy include:
- Chris Tremont as Chief Digital Officer to lead SMB, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), product, marketing and client services.
- Stephanie Dunn as Head of SBA Lending.
- Arthur Birenbaum as Head of Commercial Real Estate.
- Jeremy Shure and Barbara Fleming remain Co-Heads of Technology Banking, working closely with venture capital, private equity and their portfolio companies.
- Jim Velez as Head of Yacht Lending.
- Mike Lenahan as Chief Financial Officer to lead finance, accounting and operations.
- Pete Chapman as Chief Technology Officer to lead technology and product management.
- Grant Skeens as Chief Risk Officer to lead credit, risk, information security and compliance.
- Lynn Gibson being promoted to Head of Human Resources to lead all employee recruitment, retention and engagement efforts.
“Expanding into new business lines required us to bring in experts in each field, as well as proven leaders to oversee our daily operations,” said Butler. “Great people make great companies, and in line with our goal of operating like a tech company with a banking charter, we’ve established a team that understands technology in addition to banking – a critical benefit for our clients. Whether it’s small business, tech banking, or anything in between, our clients can be confident that they’re being guided by experienced leaders with deep knowledge of their industry and the challenges they’re facing.”
Grasshopper has also engaged in strategic partnerships with a number of industry-leading fintechs, including FIS, Treasury Prime, Narmi, Alloy, Hummingbird and Autobooks to provide a best-in-class banking experience for its clients across all lines of business. These partnerships play a critical role in rounding out the Grasshopper product line, and ensuring that unique solutions exist for any problem a client may present.
Butler added: “Grasshopper’s new leadership, technology and partnerships have the bank well positioned to reassert itself at the forefront of the business-to-business digital banking field. Each addition to Grasshopper’s platform was designed with clients in mind – to meet the needs of a new generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders who require a nimble and forward-thinking banking partner to match their ambitions.”
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