Powered by national banking partner Pathward®, N.A., Clair enables companies to offer unique employee benefits, improving financial health amid worker shortage
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Clair, a mission-driven fintech company, today announced it raised $175 million in funding to launch the first free, consumer-friendly, on-demand pay solution as a consumer lending program backed by an FDIC-insured bank. The new program provides for a participation amount of up to $150 million, which allows front-line workers to take wage advances from Pathward. Through the partnership, consumers get access to Pathward established FDIC-insured Clair Spending and Savings Accounts, among other financial services. The funding includes an additional $25 million in equity in a round led by Thrive Capital. Upfront Ventures and Kairos also participated in the equity round, bringing Clair’s total venture capital funding to $45 million. As part of the deal, Michael Presser, Investing Partner at Kairos, has been appointed as a board observer.
On the heels of 10x revenue growth over the past year, Clair will use the new funding to expand its team and accelerate adoption, especially among the 76 million hourly workers who represent 56% of the U.S. workforce. Through integrations with platforms like TCP Software’s Humanity Scheduling, When I Work, Gusto Embedded and 7shifts, Clair is already helping more than 50,000 workers get paid as soon as they finish their shifts, instead of waiting weeks for a paycheck – with zero fees. Clair’s award-winning mobile banking app enables mainly millennial and Gen Z customers to avoid paying $15 million a year in overdraft fees, and using payday lenders that can charge more than 600% APR.
Small and large businesses have embraced this solution amid the front-line worker shortage, with 4 million more job openings than people to fill them, as they’re seeking unique benefits to attract and keep employees. Companies using Clair to provide earned wage advances to employees include EverView, Viking Ranges, and SanStone Health & Rehabilitation, along with franchisees of DoubleTree by Hilton, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and GNC. This is a strong tool that may give employers an edge in attracting and retaining talent despite the worker shortage.*
Clair also announced the launch of Clair for Employers, a set of free, holistic financial wellness benefits for employees of businesses that are not on Clair’s partner platforms. Offering an on-demand pay benefit usually means human resources teams must commit significant time and resources to implement and manage it, but Clair for Employers integrates seamlessly with companies’ payroll providers for free. The integration does not require ongoing maintenance and is fully compliant. Employees of companies using Clair for Employers also can access additional features in their Clair Spending Account, including 3% cash back on gas and groceries purchased on their Clair Debit Mastercard®.
“Front-line workers are astonishingly underserved, as big banks don’t see them as profit drivers and aren’t building the solutions they need,” said Nico Simko, Co-founder and CEO of Clair. “This lack of support is unfair when half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have $500 in savings for an emergency, so timely pay is crucial for them to keep up with their bills. We’re grateful to join forces with investors, partners and employers who believe in our mission of enabling people to responsibly customize their pay cycles to their needs.”
“We share common values with Clair, and our partnership has exponential power to increase financial access for more Americans regardless of the economic cycle,” said Pathward President Anthony Sharett. “Through our Banking as a Service solutions and strong risk and compliance framework, we’re proud to be their bank partner, supporting their issuing and lending needs to meet the evolving demands of their growing business.”
“Clair’s product has enabled both workers and employers to adapt in a uniquely challenging labor and economic environment,” said Kareem Zaki, Partner at Thrive Capital and Clair board member. “In addition to their exponential growth this past year, we’ve been pleased to see that Clair has consistently prioritized compliance and delivering tangible value to their customers.”
Clair was founded in 2019, inspired by Simko’s experience as an Argentinian-Swiss immigrant working an hourly job in the U.S. Beyond on-demand pay, every Clair customer can access additional digital banking services, including a Spending Account; a high-yield savings account; and a Clair Debit Mastercard issued by Pathward with free withdrawals at 40,000 in-network ATMs, through a strategic partnership with Mastercard. The top-rated Clair mobile app is available on iOS and Android.
Employers who want to offer Clair as an employee benefit can learn more and see a demo at getclair.com/employer. Employees of companies using Clair’s workforce management platform partners can sign up at getclair.com/employee.
Clair is the mission-driven fintech company behind the first free, consumer-friendly, on-demand pay solution backed by an FDIC-insured bank. Clair’s financial services, supported by partnerships with Pathward and Mastercard, help over 50,000 workers get paid as soon as they finish their shifts – with zero fees. Clair is available at over 10,000 employers and a dozen workforce management platforms to increase employee retention and financial wellness amid front-line worker shortages. Companies using Clair include EverView, Viking Ranges, and SanStone Health & Rehabilitation, along with franchisees of DoubleTree by Hilton, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, and GNC. Clair is based in New York and has raised $45 million in VC equity funding from investors including Thrive Capital, Upfront Ventures, Kairos, and Founder Collective. For more information, visit getclair.com.
Pathward, N.A., a national bank, is a subsidiary of Pathward Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq: CASH). Pathward is a U.S.-based financial empowerment company driven by its purpose to power financial inclusion. Pathward strives to increase financial availability, choice and opportunity across our Banking as a Service and Commercial Finance business lines. The strategic business lines provide end-to-end support to individuals and businesses. Learn more at Pathward.com.
*Earned Wage Access Consumer Survey, Pathward, N.A., January 2022
Clair Spending is a demand deposit account established by, and the Clair Debit Card is issued by, Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC. Mastercard® and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Clair Savings Account is established by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC. Advances provided by Pathward, N.A.
While earned wage advances are free, certain other fees may apply depending on how users use their account.
Cash back is an optional rewards program offered by Clair. It is not a Pathward, nor Mastercard product or service nor does Pathward, or Mastercard endorse this program. Cash back is only available to eligible users for a 90-day period and is limited to the first $2,500 spent using their debit card.