12 Mar 2019

NAB Ventures invests in fintech start-up Earnd

Backed by some of the biggest names in finance, Earnd reveals plans to empower Australians to achieve financial wellness

Earnd, Australia’s first platform empowering all Australians to access their pay as they earn it, has raised $2.5 million in funding from some of Australia’s biggest names in finance, including NAB Ventures, to modernise traditional employer pay cycles, giving employees more choice around how and when they get paid.

Earnd will help the 46% of Australians living pay-cheque to pay-cheque[1] access their income as they earn it and minimise the need for emergency cash loans, such as those from payday lenders, to ease the burden of unexpected bills and payments. Working directly with employers, Earnd helps drive financial wellness across businesses, increasing employee retention, boosting morale and fostering productivity by reducing financial stress.[2]

Founded by CEO Josh Vernon and CTO Serge Kotlyarov, Earnd’s open platform allows Australians to take control of their financial decisions, access their income as they earn it, better manage their finances, and cover unexpected costs.

In addition to NAB Ventures’ investment, a number of key strategic partners were involved in the funding round; with Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan bringing forward their experience as Pocketbook founders and Zip Co executives. John Banfield, BPAY CEO, Andrew Birch, MYOB COO and Rob Lederer, guiding the team with their experience working within the startup and financial services industries. The round will be used to grow the business and expand its presence in the Australian market with key hires and continued product development.

Josh Vernon, Co-Founder and CEO says: “Earnd was created to empower Australians with the ability to manage their own pay. Given the Senate inquiry into Financial Hardship, it couldn’t be a timelier launch. Giving access to pay that has already been earned has the potential to fix the spiralling debt cycles linked to current financial products. There is a clear need for the quick access to funds in times of crisis, but a lack of safe and fair platforms facilitating this.”

“The way we’re paid hasn’t evolved for generations, but our spending habits have changed dramatically. Instead of turning to last resort financial instruments, like payday loans, we believe Australians deserve the ability to control their finances in real-time, the way they want to. That’s what Earnd does, and we work with employers to pass this on to their workforce without hidden fees or interest. We’re excited to continue growing Earnd by expanding our product offering to achieve our mission of financial wellness for all Australians.”

With 2.1 million Australians under severe or high financial stress[3], Earnd is providing a solution that directly helps these Australians make better choices to benefit their financial health, as opposed to choosing providers that contribute to debt cycles.

By giving employers the option to grant their employees access to their pay as they earn it, Earnd aims to help drive financial wellness across the country. As a platform agnostic tool, Earnd integrates with leading payroll, time and attendance systems, allowing employers to easily and quickly switch the solution on for their staff. For employees, Earnd is often free, depending on what model employers choose — an important choice the Earnd team made to ensure the model supports Australian workers.

Earnd transfers funds instantly for nearly all users, providing almost zero wait time when funds are needed quickly or in an emergency. Employees simply download the Earnd app to access their funds, pay bills early with an in-app BPAY integration and schedule their pay cycles. With its latest app release, Earnd is empowering Aussies to decide the frequency of their pay cycles by shifting their monthly or fortnightly schedules to something more manageable, such as weekly.

NAB Ventures Managing Director Todd Forest says: “We loved how the founders were focused on financial wellness. This is a unique solution that enables people instant access to their pay. Earnd allows this to happen in a frictionless way and enhances employee financial resilience and higher engagement with their employer.” Todd will also join Earnd’s board as part of the investment.

 

About Earnd

Earnd is on a mission to change the way pay is thought about in Australia, shaking up the system to help Australians make better financial decisions.

By empowering Australians to access their pay as they earn it, Earnd believes that millions of Australians will be savvier when it comes to financial management, improving their financial wellbeing by helping them avoid making decisions that could be detrimental to financial health.

In a world that is increasingly shifting towards an on-demand economy, Earnd has given Australians the freedom to access what’s theirs, as they earn it, on their terms.

 

 

 

[1] MLC – A look at lifestyle, financial security and retirement in Australia
[2] Noted by recent Harvard Study The Power of the Salary Link the impact of advance pay apps on employees: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/publications/awp/awp88
[3] NAB and the Centre for Social Impact, Financial Security and the influence of economic resources, December 2018, https://www.csi.edu.au/media/2018-Financial-Resilience-in-Australia.pdf [page 6]

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