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帮助工人实时跟踪和兑现工资,Earnin获1.25亿美元C轮融资

在Ram Palaniappan创立Earnin之前,他曾为一家名为UniRush的支付公司员工开发了一个系统(他在这家公司做了8年的总裁)。如果你在发薪日之前需要用钱,他会从他的支票账户上给你开一张支票,当发薪日到来时,员工会对此进行报销。

尽管Palaniappan认为所发的工资是合理的,但他的工人们经常会陷入困境,需要提前几天拿到工资。

“这是一个核心的痛点,”Palaniappan表示。“全国四分之三以上的人都在靠工资过活。显然,这是一个公平问题。我们都已经习惯了每两周领一次工资,但是大多数员工宁愿在工作前领到工资。”

Palaniappan决定将他对员工的帮助转化为真正的业务,也就是现在的Earnin。作为一家初创公司,它帮助小时工、零工和薪水工人跟踪他们的收入,并使用移动应用将收入实时转账到他们的支票账户中。今天,该公司宣布在C轮融资中获得了1.25亿美元的投资,投资者包括DST Global、Andreessen Horowitz、Spark Capital、Matrix Partners、March Capital Partners、Coatue Management和Ribbit Capital。Palaniappan拒绝透露本轮融资估值。

那么工人是如何使用Earnin服务的呢?工人需要先注册Earnin应用,并绑定他们的银行账户。Earnin推断出这个人的工资周期,并从他们的账户中扣除在发薪日借款的金额。Earnin不收取任何费用或利息。Earnin用户可以选择在每次交易后“打赏”应用,而打赏的金额又会被用于资助下一个用户的提款。如果用户的打赏超过了Earnin认为给定提款合理的数额,它会通知用户,并给予他们撤回打赏费用的选项。

该公司发现,用户通常非常乐意为Earnin社区做出贡献。

Palaniappan说:“人们经常互相帮助。这也是这个社区最有力的部分。”

于2014年推出的Earnin,此前已经获得了6500万美元的融资。该公司计划利用这笔新资金,扩大其在帕洛阿尔托、辛辛那提和温哥华办公室的工程和产品团队。

该公司表示,这款应用是苹果应用商店排名前10的金融应用,下载量超过100万次,并被5万多家公司的工人所使用。Palaniappan称其用户每周工作时间超过1500万小时。如果每个用户每周工作大约40小时,这意味着该应用每周有大约37.5万名活跃用户。

他补充道,在过去的四年里,这家初创公司的增长“相当显著”。考虑到投资者对它的支持,该创企可能很快就将进入“独角兽”俱乐部。

Before Ram Palaniappan founded Earnin, he developed a system for employees at a payments company called UniRush, where he spent eight years as president. If you needed money before payday, he would write you a check from his checking account and when payday rolled around, employees would reimburse him.

Despite being paid what Palaniappan thought were fair wages, his workers often found themselves in a bind, needing access to wages they couldn’t expect to see in their own bank accounts for days.

“This is such a core pain point,” Palaniappan told TechCrunch. “Over three-fourths of the country live paycheck to paycheck … It’s an issue of fairness. We all have gotten used to getting paid every two weeks, but most employees would rather be paid before they work.”

Palaniappan decided to transform what he had been doing as a favor to employees into a real business with Earnin (formerly known as Activehours), a startup that helps hourly, gig and salary workers track their earnings and transfer them to their checking accounts in real time using a mobile application. Today, the company is announcing a $125 million Series C funding from top-tier investors DST Global,  Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, Matrix Partners, March Capital Partners, Coatue Management and Ribbit Capital. Palaniappan declined to disclose the valuation.

Here’s how it works: An employee signs up on the Earnin app and connects their bank account. Earnin infers the person’s pay cycle and debits their account the amount they’ve borrowed on their payday. Earnin charges no fees or interest; instead, it operates on a pay it forward revenue model some would balk at. Earnin users have the option to “tip” the app after each transaction and that tip, in turn, is used to fund the next user’s withdrawal. If a user tips more than Earnin thinks is reasonable for the given withdrawal, it will notify the user and give them the option to dial back the tip amount.

What the company has found is that users are usually more than happy to contribute to the Earnin community of workers.

“So often, people are trying to help each other out,” Palaniappan said. “That’s the most powerful piece — how much support the community is providing to each other.”

Earnin was launched in 2014 and has previously raised $65 million in venture capital funding. With the latest investment, it will expand its engineering and product teams across its offices in Palo Alto — where it’s headquartered — as well as in Cincinnati and Vancouver.

The app, often among the App Store’s top 10 financial apps, has more than 1 million downloads, the company says, and is used by employees at more than 50,000 companies — many of which check the app every day. Palaniappan says its users are working more than 15 million hours per week. If each user works an estimated 40 hours per week, that means the app has roughly 375,000 weekly active users.

He added that the startup’s growth in the last four years has been “quite remarkable.” Given the investor support it’s received, it’s likely to step into “unicorn” territory soon. Ribbit Capital,  for example, is a leading fintech investing firm with capital invested in Coinbase,  Revolut, Gusto, Wealthfront, NuBank, Brex and more.

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