I’m happy to share the news that our challenger bank One is merging with Even, a leading financial benefits platform. Moreover, the combined entity, which will be known as ONE, is being acquired via a strategic investment by Walmart and Ribbit Capital. When the transactions are finalized, the companies will be integrated into a single app that will be available to consumers everywhere, and the unified business will have over 200 employees and more than $250 million in cash on the balance sheet to fund future growth.
When I led the initial investment into One in 2020 — during the most frightening economic moment of the pandemic — I didn’t expect that its founders’ and Foundation Capital’s vision for a full banking solution for core bank customers, built atop a modern technology stack, would begin to bear fruit so rapidly. But less than two years later, ONE will be broadly available to users everywhere as an all-in-one app to holistically manage their finances, and be made available to leading employers and merchants through partnerships. ONE is also on the brink of having access to Walmart’s 1.6 million U.S. associates and 100 million-plus weekly shoppers.
For Foundation Capital, this deal confirms our prediction that non-financial-services incumbents, such as Walmart, would also be getting into banking. And it validates our longstanding thesis that traditional banks are past their sell-by date. Their technology is antiquated and rigid, built on inflexible mainframes that limit what products and services can be created and offered to customers. And they rely on outdated distribution models — the average bank still uses its brick-and-mortar retail location as its primary customer-acquisition strategy.
We’ve been active investors in neobank startups that use a modern tech stack to offer superior options for consumers. In addition to ONE, we also invested in Lili, Current, and Nearside during the pandemic — a new class of digital banking applications that are serving unmet market needs. I’m proud to say that the progress that they and ONE have made testifies to the fact that Foundation Capital’s unmatched record of success in fintech investing continues unabated. And the pride I feel stems not only from the success of these companies as investments, but also from how they’re collectively transforming a sclerotic sector of the economy that was overdue for innovation. They’re giving consumers who were being poorly treated or ignored a better way to bank.
A quarter of American adults are unbanked or underbanked. Ten of millions can’t access credit or build savings, and have to rely on multiple accounts to manage their finances. Many middle-income households and working families deal with financial stress on a daily basis and are largely unsupported by current bank offerings. ONE is offering consumers who might otherwise have been left behind the best way to spend, access their wages, save and grow their wealth. What I’m proud of is that ONE will improve the financial lives of millions.
On behalf of the partners at Foundation Capital, I want to thank co-founder and CEO, Brian Hamilton, and his entire team (special FC shout-out to ONE’s CMO, and formerly Foundation Capital’s Marketing Partner, Meg Sloan) for the amazing work they’ve done up to this point. Congratulations on this milestone, we’re very excited for ONE’s next supercharged chapter!