Several influential names have banded together to found Greenwood, the first digital banking platform geared towards people of color. Even more exciting is that the platform has now secured $3 million in seed funding from private investors to fuel its many features such as best-in-class online banking and other initiatives to help the Black communities.
Greenwood’s founders include civil rights leader and former Atlanta mayor, Andrew Young, rapper/entrepreneur Killer Mike and Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman, and Bounce TV network founder. The executive leadership includes Aparicio Giddins, who will serve as President & Chief Technology Officer, David Tapscott as Chief Marketing Officer, with Andrew “Bo” Young, III and Dr. Paul Judge serving as Board Members.
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” said Glover. “We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture.”
Killer Mike, who has been an advocate for banking black, also expressed how the Black community is not treated fairly financially.
“Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” said Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, said. “Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood.”
Andrew Young also spoke to Greenwood’s goal, one of which is to empower Blacks to grow the economy through ownership.
“The work that we did in the civil rights movement wasn’t just about being able to sit at the counter. It was also about being able to own the restaurant. We have the skills, talent, and energy to compete anywhere in the world, but to grow the economy, it has to be based on the spirit of the universe and not the greed of the universe. Killer Mike, Ryan, and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering black and brown people to have economic opportunity.”
Greenwood’s products will include savings and checking accounts, as well as Apple, Samsung, and Android pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations.
According to the press release, the company is also planning to work hand in hand with minority-owned brick and mortars to provide deposits to help strengthen historically black banks.