Fintech startup Earnd has raised $2.5 million in funding from investors including NAB Ventures and Pocketbook cofounders Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan.
Founded by Josh Vernon, now CEO and Serge Kotlyarov, CTO, Earnd helps Australians access their income as they earn it. If their employer is signed up to the platform, employees can tap into their earnings before pay day, accessing up to 50 percent of their accrued income.
With research from MLC finding that 46 percent of Australians are living from pay check to pay check and a NAB report finding 2.1 million Australians are ‘financially vulnerable’, Vernon said the platform was founded to empower Australians to manage their own pay.
“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 quick access to funds in times of crisis, but a lack of safe and fair platforms facilitating this,” he said.
Vernon believes that, rather than turning to “last resort financial instruments” such as pay day loans, Australians should be able to control their finances in real time, the way they want to.
The system integrates with various payroll and scheduling systems to allow easy access for employers, who can choose to sign on with a model that subsidises the cost of using Earnd for employees.
Employees can then use the app to access their funds, schedule their pay cycles, and pay bills in-app through an integration with BPAY.
Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures, said the fund 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,” he said.
Forest will join the startup’s board as part of the funding.
Also part of the funding round were strategic investors Tan and Singh, cofounders of budgeting app Pocketbook and now executives at Zip Co; John Banfield, CEO of BPAY; Andrew Birch, COO of MYOB; and Rob Lederer.