Pebble raises $6.2m to launch a financial app built to replace your bank account
Pebble has launched the first financial app that pays you to save, spend, and send your money — all in one balance. With the rollout of the product, Pebble concurrently announced their $6.2M raise to ignite the growth of The Money Revolution.
Pebble’s mission has attracted the support of Y Combinator, Lightshed Ventures, Soma Capital, Eniac Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Montage Ventures, East Ventures, Cadenza Capital, The House Fund, Spice Capital, Helium-3 Ventures, and Bluewatch Ventures — as well as NFL superstar Odell Beckham Jr, lead singer of Muse Matthew Bellamy, CEO of Quantstamp Richard Ma, CEO of Nurx Varsha Rao, and CEO of Alt Leore Avidar.
Contrary to the rapid rise of technology, banks seem to disregard keeping up with the modern times. Why are we making 1 cent in interest every month? Why don’t we qualify for any substantial cash back unless we pay a fee? The way we interact with our everyday finances still feels extremely archaic.
“Pebble was founded to introduce a new standard to personal finance,” says co-founder and CTO Sahil Phadnis. One of their biggest advantages is that Pebble isn’t a bank. They’re something better. Through Pebble’s digital wallet, users can earn 5% APY rewards on their money and unlimited 5% cash back at their 56 partnered merchants. These include Amazon, Uber, AirBnB, Adidas, Chipotle, and more. If you’re used to getting cheated by banks, you’re probably wondering what’s going on behind the scenes to make these rewards possible?
When you deposit money into Pebble, they convert it into a US dollar denominated blockchain-based currency called USDC. Then, they lend it out to highly regulated financial institutions. USDC, created by Circle and Coinbase, is asset backed 1 to 1 — meaning for every USDC there is a dollar equivalent in its reserves. USDC not only has the majority of their reserves managed by Blackrock, but has also passed every monthly audit from Granton Thorton. USDC’s technology empowers the fastest and cheapest global transactions, so many of the world’s largest financial institutions are willing to pay more to access them.
Pebble also includes a full-suite of features that innovates on your daily financial needs. Co-founder and CEO Aaron Bai states, “There’s not a single feature in traditional banking that reflects the digital age we’re in. To empower people’s money to truly work for them, we needed to build a brand new foundation from the ground up.” Within the app, you can seamlessly pay, track, and manage your bills just by snapping a picture of it. You will receive a debit card made in collaboration with Mastercard with full budgeting controls. And Pebble supports full and partial payroll connections, so you can watch your paychecks grow in the Pebble ecosystem.
Lastly, you will be rewarded with their unique loyalty points (called Pebbles) for everything you do. While there will not be more information released on Pebbles at this time, they are the key to aligning the incentives of their team, investors, partners, merchants, and you to build the new global economy on top of blockchain. “The mantra here is that it pays to be early,” says Aaron.
In the coming months, Pebble will be working towards expansion into new markets along with shipping more features on their iOS and Android app.