Social impact FinTech Wagestream lands $175m

Wagestream, a flexible pay and financial well-being app founded by charities and designed for frontline workers, has closed a $175m Series C round.

The round comprises $60m equity investment led by new investors Smash Capital, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and $115m in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

Wagestream said that historically, frontline workers have been excluded or forced to pay more for the financial services they need compared to those making a set salary or higher wages. With a social charter at its core, Wagestream was founded in 2018 by Peter Briffett (CEO), Portman Wills (CTO) and a group of leading financial charities to solve this problem by giving people access to a set of fairer financial services, delivered through their employer, and built around flexible pay (also known as earned wage access).

Originally launched in the UK, the Series C capital primarily will be used to scale up Wagestream’s presence in the US, the company’s fastest-growing market.

Workers access Wagestream through participating employers, who subsidise the service. The app syncs with payroll systems and allows employees to access and manage their income – either directly through the app, or as an integration with workforce management technology partners such as OneSource Virtual.

Additionally, with financial inclusion in mind, the app provides users with a variety of financial services to help them build up their financial health over time. For example, people can choose how often they’re paid, track their shifts and pay each day, build savings and win prizes, access free financial coaching, and soon get fairer deals on financial products such as insurance and credit, than they would have access to elsewhere.

Peter Briffett, Wagestream CEO and co-founder, said, “When we launched Wagestream, many employers viewed financial well-being in the workplace as a long-term aspiration; now they realize it is a national emergency.

“For example, 93% of companies we recently surveyed in the United Kingdom plan to put a financial well-being program in place, and we’re seeing a similar shift in the US By addressing the financial well-being of their employees, employers become the hero and solve their own HR challenges in the process – from recruitment, to retention, to productivity.”

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