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Are kids’ allowances recession-proof?

I’d thought that in a pandemic-induced recession, parents would cut allowances and kids would find fewer things to spend on.

But that’s not what Greenlight CEO Tim Sheehan has seen on his platform that helps parents pay their children’s allowances when they complete chores.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-based provider of an app-managed kids’ debit card announced that it had raised $215 million in Series C funding, valuing the company at $1.2 billion. Canapi Ventures and TTV Capital led the round and were joined by investors including BOND, DST Global, Goodwater Capital, Fin VC, and Relay Ventures.

According to Sheehan, the platform’s revenue grew more than four times in the past year, thanks to its subscription service and payments processing fees.

Kids may be spending less in a pandemic. But signups on the platform have continued, and allowances did not decrease on it because, well, there could’ve been a revolt from the children. And parents are generally paying a small amount for chores to be completed anyway.

But what about competition? Distill it down, and Greenlight is a way for parents to move money from one account to a subordinate—a role that several money-transfer services already fulfill with Square’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo. Many other startups are seeking to tackle the particular issue of multigenerational finances too. Greenlight has, in fact, sued a former CFO candidate who later took a job with a competitor also focused on kids’ finances, Step Mobile. “We’ve ended conversations with the former candidate,” Greenlight said in a statement.

Greenlight says it is looking to differentiate itself with a broad suite of financial teaching tools: In the fourth quarter, it plans to launch a stock-trading platform for children in which they can trade fractional shares with the approval of their parents.

PETER THIEL GETS A SPAC: Bridgetown Holdings, a SPAC formed by Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital, Pacific Century, and Pinebridge Investments, filed for a $575 million raise. It plans to seek a tech or fintech company in Southeast Asia, as the sector is “entering a new era of economic growth,” per the filing. Its CEO David Wong previously led a Series D investment in Tokopedia, a Indonesia-based tech company, on behalf of Pacific Century. Matt Denzeisen, Thiel’s husband, is the SPAC’s chairman.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: [email protected]

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