the fintech crisis

LGBTQ+ Daylight to close down by June 2023

daylight lgbtq+ bank

The history of the LGBTQ+ neobank Daylight is coming to an end. A statement on the company’s website says they are closing down because they were not able to find a sustainable business model.

This is a crushing blow for the idea of minority banking. Daylight affirms that banking works well at scale, and it is hard for a small company to identify a path toward profitability.

In truth, Daylight has been in the spotlight for weeks, because of an article by the NY Magazine about alleged inappropriate behaviour by Rob Curtis, CEO of Daylight. Former employees allegedly filed a lawsuit for discrimination and fraud against Curtis.

Daylight business model also included Daylight Grow, a financial and family product for LGBTQ+ families.

What was Daylight

Daylight bank is a digital banking solution native to the United States of America that focuses on the financial and investment needs of the LGBTQ+ community. It's one of the first in the country. There's an online platform with a similar mission called Pride Bank in the United States. 

The startup’s, which was created in 2020, main goal is to use its capital and influence to expand its flagship line of products and services. All of them are designed to better the financial independence and equality of over 30-million plus Americans, a huge base that identifies as LGBTQ+.

Daylight also planned to help build an optimized LGBTQ+ business marketplace and create a platform that offers discounts, rewards, and other perks when its members shop at qualified merchants that support the community. 

In the last 10 years, the LGBTQ+ community has really made gigantic strides in gaining recognition, and with that recognition came a bounty of things that had been withheld from them. Amongst them, legal and civil rights. A 2020 investigation by the Movement Advanced Project (MAP) compared the equality status of the LGBTQ+ community in each state of the Union and found gigantic improvements in most areas. 

Nonetheless, we are still a long way off from being 100% equal in the eyes of the law thanks to certain political hurdles and mindsets. The LGBTQ+ community faces massive challenges in their everyday lives and huge discrimination issues that ultimately hurt their financial future. 

For example, 11% of LGBTQ+ community members surveyed in that study said that, regardless of their income, they constantly face housing discrimination. A greater number can’t afford the medical cost — same-sex married couples are still in a gray area when it comes to their insurance covering their spouses. And, finally, financial planning as a whole, due to various factors, is a huge problem that the LGBTQ+ community has to face daily. 

Daylight’s Mission

Daylight Bank’s mission, as its founders have claimed, is to “build a more equitable financial life for LGBTQ+ folks and their chosen families. Valuing our consumers and supporting the queer community.”

The company’s many services are targeted towards the LGBTQ+ community — and not only individuals but family members and companies and organizations that support it. Founded by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs Paul Barnes Hoggett (CTO), Rob Curtis (CEO), and trans-woman Billie Simmons (COO) Daylight announced in 2021 that it has secured over $5 million in seed money with the help of Kapor Capital and Precursor Capital. Participation for this first round of investment came from 13 premier investors, amongst them, Citi, Financial Venture Studio, Clocktower, and Anthemis Group.

Daylight’s Features

Right now, Daylight is a digital banking institution with all the perks and benefits associated with such neobanks. Still, it’s important to note that it has a couple of Aces up its sleeves that really put a spotlight on its values and overall mission. 

Daylight’s Features are:

  • A mobile account with your chosen name, not the one that appears on your ID.
  • Digital wallets through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and anywhere Visa is accepted. 
  • No minimum balance.
  • 1 Free ATM withdrawal per month.
  • Analytics that help you get insight into your spending habits.
  • Personalized goal setting for your financial future.
  • Community services — Maher your goals and get advice from leading financial experts.
  • Financial literacy — access content and education hubs regarding your money and how to make it work for you. 
  • Content tailored to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • One-click freezing gives you total control over your card in case you think it’s being used fraudulently.
  • End-to-end inscription.
  • Visas’ Zero Liability program — your protection if your card is lost, stolen, or used without your consent.
  • FDIC insurance — your deposits are insured up to $250,000 through Metabank.

Daylight’s present action plan is centered on giving its members basic banking needs and supplying its consumers with vital financial planners that can help them reach their goals. Nonetheless, its trio of founders wants to expand Daylight’s reach further down the line by offering services like mortgage lending and personal loans.