We’re excited that Current recently raised a $131M Series C, with funding led by Tiger Global Management. They’ve also doubled their membership base in just the past 6 months and recently reached 2 million users. This new round will enable Current to further build out their team and reach even more users across the country.
Current was started by Stuart Sopp and two colleagues in the Expa New York office in 2016. It was one of Expa’s first projects. It was great to work together with Stuart and his small team to identify product/market fit, and help with the important task of creating a name and brand that fit their product. The magic at Expa happens when a talented founding team is matched with the right startup idea, and working with Current was exactly that.
Stuart Sopp has had an impressive career in banking. He’s worked as a foreign exchange trader on Wall Street, trading currencies and working in cities around the world — London, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong. While most bankers tend to stay on a traditional career path, instead Stuart chose to take a massive leap. Realizing that there were real financial problems in the United States that could be solved through innovation in technology, he switched gears and created Current: a mobile-first bank for Americans who have been overlooked by traditional banks.
Current began as a banking app built for teens, and the team has evolved their product and added features to turn Current into what it is today — a bank that’s focused on creating better financial outcomes for people and their unique lives. For Current, building powerful features that genuinely benefit their members is at the core of what they do. Stuart and his team built their own banking technology, which means that they’re able to offer their members benefits that other banks just can’t — things like faster direct deposits, instant gas hold refunds, and blocking charges from specific merchants. Current is also the first and only U.S.-based fintech to offer points redeemable for cash back based on debit.
Stuart’s approach to building a startup helped him get Current to where it is today. He looked to hire other risk takers, like himself, as he tackled something incredible — building a bank entirely from scratch. “It’s that whole Viking analogy,” Stuart explains. “If you don’t burn your boats at the shore, you’re never going to go that far forward.” He looked for people who were passionate enough about the new possibilities of banking that they were willing and excited about taking the risk of a startup. This strong early-stage team, combined with Expa’s hands-on support, helped to create the framework for what Current is today.
This is what the Expa model is all about — we love being there in the earliest stages and helping put in that foundational work to create a successful startup. We were lucky enough to support Current in the early days when they were a team of just three talented people working out of our New York office. We’re thrilled with how far Current has come, and what the team has accomplished. Current is serving a genuine need for a transparent banking tool with powerful features, which is reflected in their impressive membership growth. Current is revolutionizing what it means to be a bank, and we can’t wait to see where they go next.