Startup Deserve Gets $12 Million, Launches Credit Card

EXCLUSIVE – Add another credit card catering to the “credit-invisible” younger generation. That card is called Deserve Pro.

Based in Menlo Park, California, the card is being launched today by its eponymous company, Deserve.

“After the success of our first card Deserve Edu, which caters to students — particularly those students that come from out of the country — we decided to launch this product to allow the younger generation access to fair credit,” Kalpesh Kapadia, founder and CEO of Deserve, told Bank Innovation.

This new credit card caters to “Generation Z,” and does not require a candidate’s FICO score. An applicant will simply need to provide Deserve read-only secure access to their banking information. Deserve will then determine the candidate’s financial profile using this information.

“If a FICO score is available,” Kapadia said, “Then we will look at it.”

For the Deserve Pro card there is no annual fee, and the credit limit is $10,000. It is powered by MasterCard Platinum.

One of factor that distinguishes Deserve Pro from other credit cards catering to the underbanked, like for example Petal, is its rewards features. According to Kapadia, these rewards are picked specifically to appeal to Deserve Pro’s target audience of 18-29 years of age.

“1-2-3 that’s what we call it,” Kapadia explained. “Users get 1% cash back on all purchases, 2% cash back on restaurant purchases (with a $500 cap) and 3% cash back on travel and experience.”

For restaurant purchase, this includes ordering takeout via UberEats, purchases, a purchase on TicketMaster would count for rewards for experience and Uber cabs counts for travel rewards.

“It was important for us to give users relevant rewards,” Kapadia said. “For example, Discover Card has a reward tied to BJs, but that’s not a place a lot of millennials are going to spend their money.”

Founded in 2014, Deserve also closed a $12 million in Series B funding today. The round was led by California VC firm by Accel. Other investors include Aspect Ventures, Pelion Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group and GDP Venture.

Read the original story by Tatjana Kulkarni on Bank of Innovation