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Chime was founded in 2013 with headquarters in San Francisco. The founders are Chris Britt (CEO and cofounder) and Ryan King (CTO and co-founder).
Chime is an online-only bank that offers services on the go with no fees and the intention to disrupt and make a change in the fintech and banking industry. The U.S.-based digital bank is among the 50 companies of the CNBC Disruptor List. These companies want to change the world — and Chime’s case, it specifically want to change our habits about how we make payments online. The key technologies at the core of Chime are cloud computing, machine learning, fintech and online banking applications. It is an online bank only, after all — it has no physical branches.
“The Global Fintech Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 20% during the forecast period. The market is expected to witness progressive growth and reach a market value of around $ 305 billion by 2025."
Chime is currently rated as the most valuable U.S. consumer fintech company
As more of our business moves online, major banks such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will face intense competition from startups and other banks with disruptive technologies, focusing on niche markets.
“The key reason for the growth of the fintech market includes high investment in technology-based solutions by banks and firms. Moreover, the infrastructure-based technology and APIs are reshaping the future of the financial services industry, thus aiding the growth of the Global Fintech Market. Furthermore, financial technology companies are delivering low-cost personalized products on account of emerging developments in the technology sector, leading to rising customer expectations, thereby, boosting the market growth globally.”
Chime, the leader in the U.S. challenger banking segment, helps members avoid bank fees, save money automatically, and lead healthier financial lives. Based in San Francisco, California, Chime offers a modern, mobile, and connected approach to banking that gives members complete control of their finances.
Challenger bank Chime has closed a round of fundraising that puts its worth at $14.5 billion. At that figure, the company has more than doubled its valuation since December and jumped nearly ninefold since March 2019.
ACQUISITIONS & INVESTORS
Chime has acquired Pinch on Sep 17, 2018.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
The company says it is signing up hundreds of thousands of new customers each month, and some of them are ditching big banks for Chime. And while big banks such as Wells Fargo (WFC) and Bank of America (BAC) have lost tens of billions of dollars in market value during the pandemic, Chime's price tag is going parabolic. Chime is known for giving Americans early access to their paychecks through a feature called Get Paid Early when they sign up for payroll direct deposit using their Chime account.
In just 18 months, Chime's private market valuation has spiked by a staggering 1,015% to $14.5 billion, according to PitchBook. That makes Chime more valuable than publicly traded companies including United Airlines (UAL), Tiffany (TIF) or Whirlpool (WHR).
"We've gone through explosive growth," Chime co-founder and CEO Chris Britt told CNN Business.
"We're a company that's in the right place at the right time because so many Americans are feeling anxiety about their money."
WHAT MAKES CHIME DIFFERENT
Another key distinction is that Chime isn't at the whims of the Federal Reserve and the bond market. Main Street banks make money off the difference between interest charged on loans and what is paid out on deposits. Right now, that gap is extremely narrow, making it challenging to make money on loans and deposits.
But Chime doesn't really have a lending business, meaning it isn't being hurt by rising bankruptcies nor historically low interest rates. If anything, Chime is being helped by these trends. Rock-bottom rates have made investors around the world desperate to generate healthy returns on their cash. They are being forced to gamble on risky stocks, where valuations have surged to 20-year highs, and plow money into fast-growing startups like Chime.
"Investors really like the predictability, recurrence and margin structure of our business model. It's very predictable and not subject to the credit cycles," Britt said.
From a $1.5 billion valuation to $14.5 billion in less than two years is quite a run for any startup.
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