Affirming the position of tech advocates, Supreme Court overturns Trump’s termination of DACA

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that President Donald Trump’s administration unlawfully ended the federal policy providing temporary legal status for immigrants who came to the country as children.

The decision, issued Thursday, called the termination of the Obama-era policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “arbitrary and capricious.” As a result of its ruling, nearly 640,000 people living in the United States are now temporarily protected from deportation.

While a blow to the Trump Administration, the ruling is sure to be hailed nearly unanimously by the tech industry and its leaders, who had come out strongly in favor of the policy in the days leading up to its termination by the current President and his advisors.

At the beginning of 2018, many of tech’s most prominent executives, including the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google, joined more than 100 American business leaders in signing an open letter asking Congress to take action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before it expired in March.

Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Sundar Pichai who made a full throated defense of the policy and pleaded with Congress to pass legislation ensuring that Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and were granted approval by the program, can continue to live and work in the country without risk of deportation.

At the time, those executives said the decision to end the program could potentially cost the U.S. economy as much as $215 billion.

In a 2017 tweet, Tim Cook noted that Apple employed roughly 250 of the company’s employees were “Dreamers”.

The list of tech executives who came out to support the DACA initiative is long. It included: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; Brad Smith, the president and chief legal officer of Microsoft; Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman; and CEOs or other leading executives of AT&T, Dropbox, Upwork, Cisco Systems, Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, Intel, Warby Parker, Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Box, Twitter, PayPal, Code.org, Lyft, Etsy, AdRoll, eBay, StitchCrew, SurveyMonkey, DoorDash, Verizon (the parent company of Verizon Media Group, which owns TechCrunch).

At the heart of the court’s ruling is the majority view that Department of Homeland Security officials didn’t provide a strong enough reason to terminate the program in September 2017. Now, the issue of immigration status gets punted back to the White House and Congress to address.

As the Boston Globe noted in a recent article, the majority decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts did not determine whether the Obama-era policy or its revocation were correct, just that the DHS didn’t make a strong enough case to end the policy.

“We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Roberts wrote. 

While the ruling from the Supreme Court is some good news for the population of “dreamers,” the question of their citizenship status in the country is far from settled. And the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has basically consisted of freezing as much of the nation’s immigration apparatus as possible.

An Executive Order in late April froze the green card process for would-be immigrants, and the administration was rumored to be considering a ban on temporary workers under H1-B visas as well.

The President has, indeed, ramped up the crackdown with strict border control policies and other measures to curb both legal and illegal immigration. 

More than 800,000 people joined the workforce as a result of the 2012 program crafted by the Obama administration. DACA allows anyone under 30 to apply for protection from deportation or legal action on their immigration cases if they were younger than 16 when they were brought to the US, had not committed a crime, and were either working or in school.

In response to the Supreme Court decision, the President tweeted “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”

 

 

Facebook and PayPal invest in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant GoJek

Facebook and PayPal have made investments in GoJek, joining Google and Tencent among other high-profile technology companies that have backed the Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm.

Facebook, for which it is the first investment in an Indonesia-based firm, and PayPal did not disclose the size of their checks. Five-year-old GoJek said the companies were participating in its ongoing financing round.

Gojek, WhatsApp and Facebook are indispensable services in Indonesia. Working together we can help bring millions of small businesses and the customers they serve into the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia,” said Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer at WhatsApp, in a statement.

More to follow…

New Orleans-based Resilia raises $8 million from Mucker Capital to make nonprofits more efficient

Sevetri Wilson founded her first company, a public relations firm catering to non-profit organizations, as soon as she graduated from Louisiana State University back in 2009.

Eleven years later, and with a fresh $8 million round of funding in the bank, Wilson has taken the experience she amassed working in the nonprofit world and turned it into her new business, Resilia. From offices in New Orleans and New York, Wilson’s company offers a suite of services for nonprofits to better manage and report their finances and for grant-making and philanthropic organizations to find the groups that are working in the areas they want to support.

“We are serving a two-sided market,” Wilson said. “We are providing software solutions from non-profits.. Helping them come online… whether you’re a charter school or healthcare clinic and from there we have helped non-profits with their compliance and fundraising and built that into a subscription platform.”

There are approximately 1.56 million nonprofits in the U.S., according to a 2019 report from the Urban Institute. And those organizations contributed roughly $985.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, according to the last available data. That’s roughly 5.4% of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Of those non-profits, public charities accounted for three-quarters of revenue and expenses representing $1.98 trillion and just under-two thirds of the total assets of the nonprofit sector, which amount to a whopping $3.67 trillion.

Those are huge numbers and represent a massive opportunity for companies that can find better, lower-cost ways to service these organizations and help make the entire industry run more efficiently.

“For large funders, their job is to deploy capital,” Wilson said. “They have to monitor them and pull reports and track data and do evaluations.. If you are Oxfam America we are essentially covering their southern territories and the organizations they’re funding around workforce development.”

Now, in the wake of the economic collapse that’s accompanied the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., nonprofits are taking an even more central position in the U.S. economy.

With a market representing hundreds of billions of dollars its no wonder that the Louisiana-based investment firm Callais Capital chose to back the company. Notably, Resilia also managed to bring in Mucker Capital, the Los Angeles-based investment firm that’s coming off one of the best years in its history.

Mucker, which raked in marquee returns last year off of its seed investment in Honey, the browser extension coupon service which PayPal acquired for $4 billion, is steadily expanding from its Los Angeles home and building up a presence in the Southeast.

“Entrepreneurs outside of LA look more like LA entrepreneurs than they do like Bay Area entrepreneurs” said William Hsu. “Working with them… we saw that skillset of working with LA could be replicated somewhere else.”

That somewhere else was Nashville, where Mucker has a presence through Monique Villa, the firm’s investor and scout for deals across the Southeast.

“We charged her with looking at every deal in the Southeast,” said Hsu. In the year-and-a-half that Villa has been investing, Mucker has made three public investments: Go Check Kids, Blueprint Title, and now, Resilia.

“One of the things that is interesting to us is how the rest of the US looks at New York and San Francisco as an elitist enclave,” said Hsu. “The populist part doesn’t connect or look up to the ethos of SF or NY.. We want to be an accessible and populist VC brand.”

It’s hard to get more populist than investing in a company founded by an African American woman who went to a land-grant university in Baton Rouge, La.

There’s already real revenue coming in for Wilson’s startup. Large donor customers pay $199 per-seat per-month for access to the company’s list of well-run nonprofits, and nonprofits pay $99.99 per month for access to the management tools, grant writing support and other features that they may need.

We’re in such a good position because our product was created to capture innovation and mitigate grants and connect to capital in organizations to have a better understand of where that’s money is going and wether or not it’s being wasted,” Wilson said. 

Nigeria’s Helium Health raises $10M Series A for Africa expansion

Nigerian startup Helium Health sits in a good position during a difficult period, according to its co-founder.

The Lagos based healthtech venture is in the black, has batted away acquisition offers, and just raised a $10 million Series A round, CEO Adegoke Olubusi told TechCrunch.

The startup offers a product suit that digitizes data, formalizes monetization and enables telemedicine for health care systems in Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana.

Helium plans to use the latest funding round to hire and expand to North and East Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco, Olubusi confirmed on a call.

He co-founded the startup in 2016 — with Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia — to bring better delivery of medical services in Nigeria and broader Africa.

“It’s really about tackling three core problems that we see in the healthcare sector in Africa: inefficiency, fragmentation and a lack of data,” said Olubusi.

When he and co-founders Sofowora and Oviato set out doing research for Helium, they noted a data desert on medical info across the continent’s healthcare infrastructure.

“We figured out very quickly that that is a long term problem to solve. And the best way to get the data and access to it is to give simple technology to the providers and let them use it to make their lives more efficient.”

Helium Health has since developed several core product areas for healthcare entities with application for providers, payment, patients, and partners.

It offers tech solutions and developer resources for administration, medical records and financial management. Helium Health has digital payment and credit products for hospitals and insurance providers.

As part of the latest financing, the startup is launching several new products — such as the MyHelium Patient app to facilitate appointments and information sharing between healthcare providers and citizens.

Images Credits: Helium Health

Helium also accelerated deployment of a telemedicine platform in response to the coronavirus hitting Nigeria and the lockdowns that ensued.

“In the last three weeks since we launched we’ve had roughly 360 hospitals sign up, and they’ve had thousands of [online] visits already,” Olubusi said.

Helium Health generates revenues by charging percentages and fees on its products, services and accompanying transactions. Current clients include several hospitals in the West Africa region, such as Paelon Memorial in Lagos.

Helium Health’s model got the attention of the startup’s $10 million Series A backers and Silicon Valley accelerator Y-Combinator — which accepted the startup into its spring 2017 batch.

Global Ventures and Africa Healthcare Masterfund co-led the investment with participation that included Tencent and additional Y-Combinator support.

Global Ventures General Partner Noor Sweid confirmed the Dubai based fund’s co-lead of the round and that the firm will take a Helium Health board seat.

The path of the startup’s CEO —  Adegoke Olubusi — to tech founder passed through the U.S. and traditional corporate roles. He went to Maryland in 2014 to complete an advanced degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University, then did a stint at Goldman Sachs before landing positions in big tech with eBay and PayPal.

Olubusi found work with big corporates less than stimulating and gravitated to forming his own company and returning to Nigeria.

“When I was at eBay and Goldman I was really bored and I wanted to do something more challenging,” he said. “We thought, ‘why don’t we pick a problem that is a long-term problem in Africa,'” Olubusi explained.

Helium Health founders (L to R) Dimeji Sofowora, Tito Ovia, and Adegoke Olubusi: Image Credits: Helium Health

The founder believes the products Helium Health creates can improve the poor health care stats in countries such as Nigeria — which stands as Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.

Nigeria also ranked 142nd out of 195 countries on health performance indicators in The Lancet’s 2018 Healthcare Access and Quality Index.

On the dismal stats, “We need more properly run hospitals, and we need more profitable hospitals, health systems and health care providers,” said Olubusi.

Better monetization and organization of hospitals could lure more doctors back to African countries, he believes.

“Half my family are doctors but none of them practice in Nigeria. Everyone’s practicing all over the place, but Nigeria,” Olubusi said.

The founder also sees a more digitized and data driven health care sector as something that can draw more entrepreneurs to African healthtech. Compared to dominant sectors, such as fintech, health related startups in Africa gain a small percentage of the continent’s annual VC haul — only 9.3% by Partech’s 2019 stats.

“There are people who want to invest in the market but they can’t…and founders can’t really tackle a healthcare problem because they don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

As for his venture, Olubusi expects growth even given the precarious economic outlook COVID-19 is creating for countries, such as Nigeria — which is expected to enter recession this year.

The coronavirus and lockdowns are shining a light on the country’s healthcare inadequacies (according to Helium Health’s CEO) that people can’t ignore, including the elite.

“This is the first time they can’t get on their jet and leave so they have to go to the hospitals we have. The system was neglected for the last few decades because people had that [previous] option,” said Olubusi.

“I’m hoping this coronavirus crisis will be a period that forces everyone to rethink what we’re doing [on healthcare].”

That could lead to more business for Helium Health.

The startup doesn’t release financial information but has positive net income. “We do generate revenues in millions of dollars and are profitable,” Olubusi said.

Helium Health has received acquisition offers, but declined them, according to its CEO. Olubusi and team intend to grow the venture to the point where it can list on a major global exchange.

“We know this is the kind of business we can take public, without having to sell,” he said.

Equity Monday: Intel covets Moovit, two early stage rounds, and Uber’s earnings

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a jumpstart for your week.

Equity had a busy last few days, so to help you catch up: Friday’s episode was a lot of fun (Duolingo, Figma, OMERS, and aquafaba), and we also dropped an Equity Shot on Saturday, digging into the first major technology earnings week.

But this morning we were busy digging through what’s happened over the last few days, and what’s to come. Here’s the rundown:

We wrapped asking that’s going to come for companies that were still speculative businesses before the slowdown. They’re going to vaporize, right?

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

Extra Crunch Live: Join Roelof Botha for a live Q&A on May 6 at 2pm ET/11am PT

23andMe. MongoDB. Eventbrite. Evernote. Bird. Square . Tumblr. Unity. YouTube. Xoom.

Roelof Botha has had a board seat in each of these companies, but his list of investments is much, much longer.

The Sequoia partner and managing director is legendary in Silicon Valley and the broader tech world, and we’re very excited that he’s joining us for an upcoming episode of Extra Crunch Live that will air on Wednesday, May 6th at 2pm ET/11am PT. Extra Crunch members may join the Zoom call or view the broadcast live (or on demand) on YouTube. If you’re not already a member, you can join here.

Before Botha graduated from Stanford, he had joined the ranks of the PayPal mafia, serving as the fintech startup’s director of corporate development. He climbed the ranks to vice president of finance and was eventually named CFO in 2001. He was just 28 went PayPal went public in 2002.

Following PayPal’s sale to eBay, Botha left the company to join Sequoia Capital in January of 2003; since then, he has been investing in some of the world’s fastest-rising startups.

Botha has been on Forbes’ Midas List every year since 2008 and was ranked third in 2020. He led Sequoia’s investments in companies like Instagram, YouTube and Square and is one of the most respected voices in tech and venture capital alike.

With the coronavirus thrashing the economy and forcing quick adaptation from the tech sector and beyond, Botha can provide a unique look at what comes next for tech and offer advice to startups that are trying to chart a course through a storm that has no end in sight.

We’ll ask Botha how he’s advising his own portfolio companies, any decision-making frameworks he suggests for business leaders who find themselves between a rock and a hard place and his general outlook on VC appetite over the next six to twelve months. There will also be plenty of time for questions from the audience, so come prepared.

You can find the Zoom info below.

Botha joins an incredible list of speakers joining us on Extra Crunch Live, including Kirsten Green, Mark Cuban and Hunter Walk. We’ll be announcing new speakers soon, so stay tuned!

Google switches its Shopping search service to mostly free listings

Google is making a change to its product search offering meaning that unpaid listings picked by algorithm will dominate results displayed on the Google Shopping tab, instead of mostly paid product listings.

In a blog post announcing the move, Bill Ready, president of Google’s commerce division, cited the coronavirus pandemic as a catalyst for Google to speed up a pre-existing plan to switch from Shopping results being determined by paid ad auction to mostly free listings.

Making Shopping listings free for merchants is one way the tech giant is looking to support struggling retailers through the COVID-19 crisis, he suggested.

“Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google,” wrote Ready. “With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.”

The expansion of free listings is slated to be completed by the end of April. Initially it will only take place in the US — but Google says it intends to roll out the change globally before the end of the year.

While Google is packaging the change as a gesture to help cash-strapped retailers during a time of economic crisis there’s no doubt the tech giant is also spying strategic opportunity to expand its role in ecommerce in the midst of a coronavirus-shaped boom.

With millions of people stuck at home, and scores of physical stores closed or with heavily restricted access, online shopping has seen huge uplift.

So far, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has been the most notable winner, adding a reported $24BN to his personal wealth since the shutdown began — while ad giants like Google are facing heavy exposure to the crisis, as advertisers hunker down and rip up their 2020 marketing budgets.

If Google Shopping can start returning better results for products, and indeed results for more products, there’s an opportunity for the search giant to grow its share of shopping traffic and grab listings clicks from shoppers who might otherwise have run product queries directly on Amazon.

Google is also using the new free product listings feature as a value add ‘carrot’ — to encourage advertisers to (keep) paying it for ads.

“For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings,” is how Ready pitches the switch.

As SearchEngineLand points out, this is actually Google returning to its roots — given the first version of its Shopping service (which was then called Froogle) was also free to list.

The switch to purely paid came in 2012. Though the changes now will still see paid product listings slotted into the top of Google search results if users search for product keywords, as well as into the top of the Shopping tab. So Google isn’t giving up all product ad revenue.

In terms of how it works, existing users of Google’s Merchant Center and Shopping Ads who have already opted into the “surfaces across Google program” won’t have to do anything else — and may already be eligible to show products in what Google’s help center describes as “the unpaid experiences”.

Those needing to opt in can do so by selecting “Growth” and then “Manage programs” in the left nav menu and then choosing the “surfaces across Google” program card.

“You can also add products to your product feed, to make even more products discoverable in these free listings,” Google adds.

For new users of its Merchant Center it says it’s aiming to ramp up the onboarding process “over the coming weeks and months”. But presumably there may be some delay in getting access.

Accompanying the switch is a “new partnership” with PayPal — which Google says will allow merchants to link their accounts in order to “speed up our onboarding process and ensure we’re surfacing the highest quality results for our users”.

Existing partnerships to help merchants manage products and inventory, including those with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, are ongoing, it adds.

What’s not mentioned in Google’s blog post is that its Shopping service has faced antitrust intervention in the European Union which slapped Google with a $2.7BN fine back in 2017 — finding it had systematically given prominence to its own shopping comparison service in results while also demoting rival comparison shopping services.

The company later rolled out tweaks to the Shopping service in Europe that it said are intended to comply with the antitrust ruling.

Using AI, Yes Health cuts costs, improves adherence for weight loss and diabetes treatment

Using a combination of machine learning and computer vision, Yes Health claims it can cut costs and improve adherence for behavioral-based treatments targeting diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions.

Those claims, and the company’s technology based approach has netted the company a new $6 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures .

The company’s technology automates patient’s reporting requirements by allowing them to take a picture of their meals rather than entering their daily food intake into a system. The company’s software recognizes meals from the images and converts that information into data that physicians and patients can use to monitor their progress.

If the ease of use for patients is one selling point, then the company’s automated messaging service is another. Using computer generated prompts instead of human consultations reduces the cost of the service and ultimately the price that folks have to pay.

 Founded by Alexander Petrov, a former PayPal executive who is, himself, pre-diabetic, Yes Health takes the therapies that have been pioneered by companies like Virta Health and Omada and makes them easier for patients to manage. 

“The biggest difference is that we have a level of personalization that then translates into engagement that is very unique,” says Petrov. “We are doing it through what we call an image-based in-the-moment approach… We capture analyze and share data not just through text but through images.”

The company, which launched six years ago, is working with Blue Shield of California and other healthcare partners. Yes Health has tens of thousands of paying members, according to Petrov, and the vision is to reach millions of people. 

Yes Health sells through both healthcare plans and direct to consumers — and the market the company hopes to address is huge. Roughly 34 million Americans had diabetes in 2018, according to data from the CDC and another 88 million are considered pre-diabetic. The cost of caring for these conditions in the US is an astonishing $327 billion each year. Healthcare costs for these patients can also reach more than 230% of the average American’s healthcare expenditures.

These issues take on new significance given the COVID-19 epidemic. Conditions like diabetes or obesity are linked to increasing chances of fatality from COVID-19 infection, according to reports.

“Americans are more conscious than ever about their health, and digital health has become one of the most important markets for innovation,” said Samir Kaul, founding partner and managing director of Khosla Ventures, in a statement. “Yes Health is proven to tackle difficult and costly chronic conditions through an AI-augmented and all-mobile solution, aligning it with our firm’s thesis in healthcare.”

 

PayPal, Intuit & Square approved to offer loans to small businesses through coronavirus relief program

Fintech companies have been lobbying for weeks to be able to participate in the U.S. government’s emergency lending program for small businesses. Now those efforts have paid off, as PayPal, Intuit and Square have all been approved to participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program, which provides aid in the form of forgivable loans for small businesses that keep all employees on their payroll for at least eight weeks.

The $350 billion small business loan program is a part of Congress’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, and is aimed at those businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

PayPal on Friday announced it had been approved as one of the first non-bank institutions able to help distribute the loans under the SBA program, after having received its approval to participate in the program.

The company has already operated as a small business lender before today, it noted. Since 2013, PayPal has provided loans and cash advances to business owners. Those efforts, to date, have provided access to more than $15 billion in funding for over 305,000 small businesses.

“We are eager to deploy our capital and expertise to do our part in helping small businesses survive this challenging period,” said PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman, in a statement. “The first loans have been applied for and issued. We expect more loans to be issued in the coming days. Thanks to Congressional leaders and the Administration for ensuring the CARES Act allowed companies like PayPal to help distribute funds quickly to those businesses that are most impacted,” he added.

Meanwhile, Intuit on Monday detailed several of its new programs launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting governmental aid programs. It debuted the latest of these efforts with the launch of Intuit Aid Assist, a free website designed to help small business owners and self-employed assess how much federal relief they’re eligible for under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, administered by the SBA.

And like PayPal, Intuit’s QuickBooks Capital on Friday received approval as a non-bank lender for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). With QuickBooks Capital, small business owners are able to get assistance with determining their eligibility for the federal relief. The software simplifies the application process using automation, as well. In coordination with the SBA, it then disburses the PPP funds, making it faster to gain access to the relief.

“Many consumers and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families. They are facing a loss of income and a lack of savings to weather the storm,” said Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi. “The U.S. government has stepped in with much-needed relief and we’re partnering closely to help. We applied our artificial intelligence and rapid innovation capabilities to help Americans navigate these offerings and get access to the relief they need quickly,” Goodarzi said.

Intuit had also recently launched Stimulus Registration, a new service from Turbo Tax aimed at helping consumers register to receive their stimulus checks from the government. In less than two weeks’ time, Intuit says more than 165,000 Americans used the service to register for more than $230 million in federal stimulus money.

Square Capital on Monday joined PayPal and Intuit with its announcement of having received SBA approval as a PPP lender. The company said it would start rolling out its PPP loan applications this week, working in partnership with Celtic Bank.

Square Capital said it would notify sellers through Square Dashboard when their application is available, starting with employers whose application data can be verified automatically.

Online lenders and fintech companies have been lobbying to become authorized SBA lenders over the past few weeks.

On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury responded by publishing a form that would allow fintech companies to apply for approval to the SBA lending program. But the lack of approval hadn’t stopped some online fintech firms from soliciting applications from those seeking relief, NBC News recently reported. Kabbage, for example, initially failed to note on its website it wasn’t yet an approved lender, the report said.

An alliance of fintech technology leaders known as Financial Innovation Now in March had written a letter to lawmakers that asked to participate alongside banks in the distribution of funds to small businesses. The alliance — which includes Square, PayPal, Intuit, Stripe and others — argued they had “the reach, relationships, and digital capabilities to reach those businesses most vulnerable” in a more timely fashion than traditional financial institutions.

Los Angeles-based challenger bank HMBradley officially opens its virtual doors

The Los Angeles-based digital challenger bank, HMBradley, opened its virtual doors to the public today, allowing the thousands of waitlisted would-be users to set up direct deposits and collect their sign-up bonuses.

The company is offering banking customers an up to 3% return on their savings based on the percentage they save of their quarterly deposits.

HMBradley also set up a new feature which allows users to save towards specific goals.

Backed by PayPal founder Max Levchin’s HVF Labs, along with Walkabout Ventures, Mucker Capital, Index Ventures, and Accomplice, to the tune of $3.5 million, HMBradley was designed to benefit savers, the company said.

Account holders with balances up to $100,000 can receive up to 3% annual percentage yields on their accounts. These account holders qualify by receiving one direct deposit and saving at least 5% of the total amount deposited in an account monthly.

HMBradley accounts are held through Hatch Bank, which is FDIC insured.

To qualify for the 3 percent rate, customers need to save over 20 percent of their income, account holders who save between 15 percent and 20 percent receive 2 percent of their cash per year, and those saving less than 15 percent but more than ten percent receive a 1 percent APY.

“We want to empower and protect every consumer financially to show them that a bank can be on their side, regardless of how much money they make,” said Zach Bruhnke, co-founder and CEO of HMBradley, in a statement.

Account holders have access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs around the country, mobile check deposit and around-the-clock support, the company said.

The company’s MasterCard comes with all of the standard features including zero liability protection and an ability to set up travel, fraud alerts, and cancel cards all through an online portal, the company said.