Gabriela Ariana Campoverde sits down with James Garvey, the CEO and Founder of Self Financial. Since 2015, Self has helped tons of of hundreds of individuals construct a powerful monetary future. It supplies instruments obligatory for constructing on-time fee historical past and accountable use of credit score, in collaboration with issuing financial institution providers for individuals who are new to credit score or who may not have entry to conventional monetary merchandise. Self understands that constructing a monetary basis is a frightening activity for most individuals, in order that they’re devoted to constructing a product that can assist their clients transfer two steps in the precise course.
Last month, Self raised $50MM in a Series E spherical which included buyers like
Altos Ventures, Conductive Ventures, and Meritech Capital Partners. In 2020, Self raised a Series C and a Series D spherical.
In this episode we talk about:
- Self’s Credit Builder Account: “Our flagship product is technically a CD secured installment loan. So it’s a small dollar loan that is linked from our bank for to the consumer, and the money is placed into a certificate of deposit bank account that’s in the customer’s name that’s held that same bank. These products, they range from $25 a month to $150 a month, in terms of size. We’re talking about $500 up to a little bit less than $2000. And basically, just to walk through an example, I’m going to pay $25 a month for 24 months, so $600. I’m going to pay $9 open up the account, so I’m going to pay $609 and after two years of making on time payments, I’m going to be established. I will have established credit history. I will get about 520 back, so in that simple, simple example, we’re talking about a customer that pays $89 and net expense over two years to help themselves build credit but also to help themselves save $520. We’re talking 10s of dollars of costs, typically. So it just depends on which [loan] they choose. But at the end the day, these are very affordable products that are designed to help people responsibly build credit and save money.”
- Why a credit score historical past issues: “So the one thing that Credit Karma has done really, really well is educate consumers on the value of having a good credit score, and how important credit is. Credit karma has done a credible job there. So what we definitely see are people who want to improve their score — that’s the thing that they want to do. But they are goal driven. Every customer we have, we ask them, ‘Hey, what kind of goals do you want? What kind of things do you aspire to have?’ Owning your own home, getting a mortgage is a goal that our customers have. Getting their first credit card is also a goal that our customers have.”
- James’s profession as a serial entrepreneur: “My very first job — I was a software engineer for a startup — that’s how I paid for college. It’s the year 2000. It’s a crazy, crazy, crazy time. I was 18 years old. I was able to pay for college by working at a startup, and after having that experience, I realized that I wanted to do something different. The first company that I started was an email service writer company that sent a lot of emails for a lot of big brands. I never had to raise money, didn’t have a board of directors, small team never had more than a dozen employees. But basically, the company ran for about six years, and I had a great experience, a great opportunity. But I didn’t really feel, you know, the exciting drive every day, like waking up being so excited to work on something. And, you know, I would say that, after starting that company, operating it, and selling it, I was a little aimless for a while trying to figure out what I do next. I tried a couple of things but ultimately fell in love with this idea that I could create a product that helps people, that helps myself, that has this ability to solve these amazing problems. And, it’s been the most exciting thing I’ve done in my life.”
- Self’s work tradition: “We now have employees in 14 states. We’ve been able to hire some amazing people that don’t live in Austin, that don’t live in Texas. That was never a possibility. Because if you lived in San Francisco, you wanted to work for a company in the Bay Area. If you’re living in Chicago, you want to work for a company in Chicago, right? And so being able to work at home and do it effectively, and do it outside of where the company is located, it’s been a huge benefit for us, because we’ve been able to bring on some amazing people that we may not have otherwise been able to do so. ”
- And way more!
Full interview → Spotify | Soundcloud | Apple