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Founded Year



Series A | Alive

Total Raised


Last Raised

$29M | 1 yr ago

About Copper

Copper operates as a digital banking platform. It is built specifically for teenagers. Its application and debit card teach teenagers to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform for parents and teens to connect. It was founded in 2019 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

Headquarters Location

221 1st Avenue West

Seattle, Washington, 98119,

United States

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Copper's Product Videos

Copper Copper App Homescreen.png

Copper's Products & Differentiators

    Copper App

    Mobile banking application built for teens

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Expert Collections containing Copper

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Copper is included in 2 Expert Collections, including Fintech.



8,086 items

Companies and startups in this collection provide technology to streamline, improve, and transform financial services, products, and operations for individuals and businesses.


Digital Banking

221 items

Challenger bank offer digitally native banking products (checking and savings account at the most basic) and either leverage partner banks or are fully-licensed banks themselves.

Latest Copper News

Here's What Could Cause the Next Financial Crisis

Aug 28, 2023

X X What You Need to Know This problem has led to 43 banking and financial crises in six nations over the past 200 years, says author Richard Vague. How to escape it? Have a regular monitoring of the pace of growth in loans outstanding, he advises. Total U.S. household debt reached $17.06 trillion on Aug. 8, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. There’s no dispute that America’s gross domestic product cannot grow without government and private debt. But paying down spiraling private debt broadly brings economic contraction: a recession or depression, argues Richard Vague, co-founder of two credit card companies and secretary of banking and securities for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 2020-2023, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “The only way to remove [private-sector debt] without destroying the economy is through some type of debt amnesty,” contends Vague, who has been dubbed a contrarian economist. Total U.S. household debt reached $17.06 trillion on Aug. 8, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Indeed, consumer credit card balances hit a record high this spring of more than $1 trillion, a $45 billion increase from March 31 to June 30. What is not widely understood is that excessive private debt has been a prelude to nearly every modern financial crisis, including the global 2008 meltdown, as Vogue writes in “A Brief History of Doom: 200 Years of Financial Crises” (2019). In his just-published book, “The Paradox of Debt: A New Path to Prosperity Without Crisis” (University of Pennsylvania Press-July 2023), he explains, among a wide range of iconoclastic ideas, how financial crises can be foreseen and prevented with modern-day “debt jubilees.” This form of debt forgiveness dates back to ancient Israel. Earlier versions were used by kings of Assyria and Babylon, among other countries. Debt jubilees would bring “increased financial health to households” Vague maintains. In the interview, he says: “We need modern-day debt jubilees to reduce accumulated debt and do it without destroying the economy.”  “Small debt jubilees” are in fact frequently held, he notes. Vague is calling for the Federal Reserve to pay considerably more attention to private-sector debt growth. “Usually, he says in the interview, “when we see a disaster, there are plenty of signals along the way.” His background is largely in banking: He was co-founder and CEO of two credit card companies, one sold to Bank One, the other to Barclays. He also co-founded Energy Plus, a supplier of electricity and natural gas, which was sold to NRG Energy. ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed Vague, who was speaking by phone from his base in Philadelphia. In our conversation — which also covered inflation and “a highly controversial” remedy for growth without debt involving the Treasury and the Fed — a  sidebar exchange had Vague campaigning for the term “printing money” to be removed from the “economics lexicon.” This “misleading anachronism” is “bad shorthand,” he insists. Here are highlights of our interview: THINKADVISOR: What’s paradoxical about debt? RICHARD VAGUE: Debt is both the creator and the destroyer. Economies can’t grow without an increase in debt. When a company wants to build a factory or an individual wants to build a new home, they usually have to employ debt to do so. What’s the “destroyer” aspect? Debt can bring a great financial calamity, as in the 2008 financial crisis. And as debt accumulates, it weighs down an economy because individuals have to spend proportionately more and more on servicing debt than they would otherwise spend on carrying the economy forward. You write that a crisis can be foreseen and prevented once attention is paid to what’s “at the heart of a crisis: excessive lending and debt.” Why aren’t the authorities paying attention? One of the astonishing things is that the Federal Reserve’s economic forecasting model, widely used, doesn’t have debt as a factor. That’s because there’s the false notion that the real economy is separate and apart from the financial economy. That’s why the Fed was completely blind to the massive build-up that brought the 2008 crisis. How widespread is that “false notion”? [It’s held by] most economists and is front and center in orthodox macroeconomics. As wealth grows, so too must debt, you write. Then you say, “Ever-growing debt stultifies economic growth, exacerbates inequality and brings risk of financial crisis.” Is there a way to grow without debt? In the way our economy is structured today, there isn’t. This is a very important fact. The economy can’t grow without growth in debt. In fact, debt for spending and debt for growth and the GDP correlate almost exactly with each other for that very reason. That’s why debt always grows as fast or faster than GDP. It’s dependent on debt growth. Seems like a catch-22, doesn’t it? Yes. The only way to remove debt without bringing a contraction of the economy is with some forms of debt jubilees. What’s a debt jubilee? Here’s a short history: Debt accumulation was a problem from the very beginning of civilization — in Syria, Babylon, Egypt, [Ancient] Israel and China. Debt pervaded those societies, and kings over-used their prerogatives to broadly forgive debt. How did that become a debt jubilee? The people of Israel took this [forgiveness] out of the realm of a king’s whim and regularized and calendarized it in what was called a “jubilee”: the year after [seven periods of seven-year Sabbatical cycles] was a jubilee year. Trumpets blared, debt was forgiven, and rejoicing resounded throughout the land. Can you, then, bring the debt jubilee concept full circle to the modern day? We borrowed the term very loosely from the Old Testament and used it to apply to the much more pragmatic programs that we have today. We borrowed the term jubilee as a kind of catch-all for anything you do to try to bring earlier relief of debt to households. The Latest Indeed, you write that we need modern-day debt jubilees to be “a component of our economic system if we’re to reduce accumulated debt sufficiently to improve lives and economic growth and do it without damaging the economy.” Please elaborate. The only way to remove debt without bringing a contraction of the economy is through some type of debt amnesty. If you have folks pay down their debt broadly, that brings economic contraction and recession or a depression. The Great Depression was a massive pay-down of bank debt. Paying down debt contracts the economy. What sorts of debt jubilees are held nowadays? There are small debt jubilees all the time. One was recently enacted in the Philippines. In a certain sense, bankruptcy laws are debt jubilees. And the military provides broad forgiveness as part of student debt. My book explores ideas for expanding these with the view toward bringing increased financial health to households. If households are healthier, the economy is healthier. I propose using community service as a means to get earlier relief from student debt. You point out that debt jubilees have been dismissed because it is held that debt isn’t only a contract but a moral obligation of the borrower. Please explain. That’s a broadly held view, and it’s not just one of creditors. People [generally] cast wiping out debt in moral terms, like there’s a moral obligation to repay. Yet most inability to repay debt among households relates to an extraordinary event, such as job loss, unexpected health care cost, divorce. It’s not just misbehavior on the part of some individual with loose morals. Debt is a contract. It’s not moral. When a business has to restructure its debt with the lender, we don’t think of that business as immoral. So if your circumstances are such that you need to restructure your debt contract with your lender, that’s not a matter of morality. Besides debt jubilees, are there any other possibilities for growth without debt? Yes, but they’re highly controversial. One is for the Treasury to issue debt that’s purchased directly by the Federal Reserve. It would constitute a form of money the government could spend that wouldn’t be tied to any debt that had a maturity or interest rate. I think that’s a realistic alternative; but it’s so far out of the realm of anything our government would ever consider, much less approve. In your 2019 book, “A Brief History of Doom: 200 Years of Financial Crises,” you write that runaway private debt has been a prelude to nearly every modern financial crisis.” So assuming there will continue to be runaway private debt, will there continue to be financial crises? Our crises come from private-sector debt. In that book, we looked at 43 major crises across the six largest economies in the world over the past 200 years. Every single one of the financial/banking crises came from runaway private-sector debt. Are we doomed, then? I don’t think we’re doomed if we pay attention to growth in private sector debt through the regulatory authority of the Federal Reserve. We could have intervened to prevent financial institutions from irresponsible lending in 2004 and 2005 if the Fed had been paying attention. Usually when you see a disaster, there are plenty of signals along the way. What can be done to ensure that such a crisis doesn’t happen in the future? We should institute a regular practice of monitoring the pace of growth in loans outstanding. Who will do that? From a macroeconomic standpoint, first and foremost, the Federal Reserve. They have the regulatory authority and are charged with oversight of the economy. Where does inflation enter the scene relative to debt? Inflation is one of the things that folks view as a way to get rid of debt. And this sometimes happens, especially in third-world countries. It doesn’t [usually] really work that way in developed economies. But if the war in Ukraine goes on and on, that would mean inflation in the U.S., wouldn’t it? You’re absolutely right. The two things that caused our most recent inflation was the decimation of supply chains as a result of COVID-19 and the Ukraine War. Since Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of oil, natural gas and wheat, costs for those shot up for all folks around the world. That took our inflation very briefly to 9%. By the end of the summer of 2022, it dropped to 3%. So that was very short-lived. My final question: Why do you think “the idea of ‘printing money’ should be retired from the economics lexicon,” as you write? We don’t print money. We use that term loosely. Printing money is something we did in the Civil War: We printed a bunch of greenbacks. It’s something that happens in a lot of third-world countries. But we don’t print money in the U.S. We issue government debt, which keeps the money supply constant. That doesn’t increase the money supply. The money supply grows through lending – debt – primarily bank lending. “Printing money” is a misleading anachronism. What people usually mean is that government debt is increasing. But that doesn’t increase the amount of money that’s out there. We’re not creating money out of thin air. We’re just lending from the Federal Reserve to the private sector “Printing money” is bad shorthand.

Copper Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Copper founded?

    Copper was founded in 2019.

  • Where is Copper's headquarters?

    Copper's headquarters is located at 221 1st Avenue West, Seattle.

  • What is Copper's latest funding round?

    Copper's latest funding round is Series A.

  • How much did Copper raise?

    Copper raised a total of $42.3M.

  • Who are the investors of Copper?

    Investors of Copper include Pioneer Square Labs Ventures, Restive Ventures, Arnold Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Clocktower Technology Ventures and 14 more.

  • Who are Copper's competitors?

    Competitors of Copper include StoreCash and 5 more.

  • What products does Copper offer?

    Copper's products include Copper App and 4 more.

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Looking for a leg up on competitive, customer and technology insights?
CB Insights puts confidence and clarity into your most strategic decisions.
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Trusted by the world's smartest companies to:
  • Predict emerging trends
  • See competitors' playbooks
  • Stalk the smart money
  • Identify tomorrow's challengers
  • Spot growing industries
  • Kill analyst data work
Let's see how we can help you!
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Step Mobile develops a mobile financial technology platform. It provides financial tools to teenage and families for modern-day banking needs. It offers solutions such as saving, investing, and earning rewards. It was founded in 2018 and is based in Palo Alto, California.

Till Financial

Till operates as a platform and suite of tools helping families work better with money. It offers users to attach the requirements for earning, saving, and spending on every dollar a kid gets, and follow through to increase accountability. The company was founded in 2018 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Current operates as a financial technology platform. It provides collaborative banking solutions, financial education, and more. It was founded in 2015 and is based in New York, New York.

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Greenlight provides financial services to help parents monitor their child's spending habits. It offers a banking and investing application for kids with an integrated smart debit card. It allows parents to reload the card with funds from a mobile application and place restrictions around merchants so that children can make purchases. Greenlight was formerly known as Greenlight Me. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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StoreCash offers a digital banking application for teens and young adults. The company provides users with an insured bank account, cash back, and a personalized debit card. The company was founded in 2019 and is based in San Jose, California.

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Kiboo is an alternative banking/payment platform designed for teenagers, young adults, and their parents that combines real-time access to checking and savings accounts with rich, customizable tools for budgeting; access to retail partnerships; participation in social causes and philanthropy; and a vast library of targeted personal finance information both from experts, as well as user generated content.

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