Greenwood is a new financial platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners that was launched in October 2020. The company derives its name from the Greenwood Financial District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a prosperous area from the early 20th century commonly referred to as Black Wall Street.
On March 25, 2021, the financial platform announced that it had raised $40 million. The Series A funding round included contributions from six of the seven largest banking organizations in the United States, along with two of the top credit card issuers. The complete list of contributors includes:
- Alvin Kamara of the NFL
- Banco Popular
- Bank of America
- JP Morgan Chase.
- Julio Jones of the NFL.
- Lightspeed Scout Fund.
- Quality Ventures
- TTV Capital
- Wells Fargo
Contributor Banco Popular has the distinction of being the largest Latino-owned bank in the United States.
Net Worth Inequities Across Racial Lines
In the United States, the typical net worth of a Black family is approximately 10 times less than that of a White family. Latinos do not fare much better, with a family net worth eight times lower than the typical White family. Ryan Glover, the co-founder and chairman of Greenwood, stated in March 2021 that the wealth gap is a huge injustice, but a curable one.
Glover expressed appreciation for the 2 individuals and 14 companies that made it possible for Greenwood to raise $40 million with this Series A funding round. Glover went on to say that receiving backing from six of the country’s top seven banking companies and two of its largest payment processors underscores the importance and purchasing influence of Black and Latino communities.
Truist Ventures Leads March 2021 Funding Round
Truist Ventures is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as TFC. The primary mission of the investor group is to advance the economic empowerment of minority and underserved communities. One way that Truist achieves its mission is by promoting racial equity in personal and business loans and other economic opportunities.
Money from the most recent funding round will make it possible for Greenwood to provide more services to its customers while also improving its efficiency. Specific services that Greenwood intends to provide include:
- Best-in-class online banking services.
- Innovative programs to support minority-owned banks.
- Philanthropic endeavors that focus on giving back to Black and Latino businesses and causes important to those communities.
Donta Wilson, the chief digital and client experience officer at Truist, described how honored everyone at the company feels to lead the Series A Funding and contribute to economic improvements in underserved communities. The most commonly requested service offerings provided by Truist Ventures include money movement, payments, and financial technology.
Darien Dash, CFO of Global Corporate Strategy Quality Ventures
Darien Dash, founder of The Movement Advisors and currently CFO and Head of Global Corporate Strategy for Quality Ventures, the investment firm founded by the owners of QC Media Holdings which also partnered with Greenwood for its Series A funding round, said “We are inspired by the Greenwood mission to bridge the cultural wealth gap in our communities.” Dash also said “The Greenwood vision is completely aligned with our social and corporate principles.”
Dash has a long personal history of advancing economic opportunities for minority and underserved communities. In September 2000, Dash developed DME Interactive, based in New York City, to advance the cause of making technology and the internet accessible to people who could benefit from it the most.
Even though the internet was still in its infancy 21 years ago, 41 million White Americans had early access, while only five million Black households did. At that time, Dash created DME to help close the digital divide, and he and his company are contributing to closing the economic divide now.
The co-founders of Greenwood launched the financial platform in response to the failure of the U.S. financial system to keep wealth within Latino and Black communities. Specifically, they noted problems with lack of wealth, circulation of money within Black communities, and generational wealth transfer. The co-founders believed that creating a modern Black-owned financial institution was one way to start addressing these long-standing issues of economic inequality.
Taking its name from the Greenwood Financial District has significant meaning for the founders of Greenwood. People who operated in the Oklahoma-based financial district in the early 1900s thrived because they recirculated Black wealth every day. Greenwood, which uses the tagline “Modern Banking for the Culture,” is a Black-owned business designed exclusively to benefit Black and Latino communities.
Greenwood is not a bank; rather, it is a platform to connect people from minority and underserved communities with greater financial resources. The platform operates through Coastal Community Bank, which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Its current list of services includes:
- Apple and Android pay.
- Community reinvestment.
- Digital savings and spending accounts.
- Global ATM network.
- Mobile check deposit.
- No hidden fees.
- Peer-to-peer transfers.
- Two-day early pay.
Because Greenwood is a new platform and so many people have expressed interest in signing up for its services, the company currently has a waitlist. Allies of Black and Latino communities are welcome to request membership, and the co-founders of Greenwood want them to know how much they appreciate their support.