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Latest Digital Creatives News

Karat Financial Banks $26 Million for its Credit Card for Digital Creatives

Jul 1, 2021

Finovate This week in our Finovate Fintech Halftime Review eMagazine, Senior Analyst Julie Muhn explored the trend of niche banking . Niche banking leverages the current explosion in identity-awareness to create unique and tailored banking experiences for members of a growing number of different communities. The news that Karat Financial, a Los Angeles, California-based company that offers a credit card designed for digital creatives, has raised $26 million in Series A funding is the latest indication that this trend may only be growing stronger. Launching its “Black Card for Creatives” last year, Karat is targeting the digital influencer economy of YouTubers, Twitch livestreamers, and others who often struggle to translate their online earnings into creditworthiness in the eyes of traditional lenders and banks. And while this challenge extends to a broader population than just digital creatives, there is no small benefit for a banking services company in being associated with one of the more vibrant developments in 21st e-commerce and entertainment. Karat offers a business card with cash back rewards, and zero-cost credit advances for sponsorship payments. The corporate card acts much like an American Express card, with balances paid off monthly. This lack of interest charges – as well as Karat’s no-fee policy – helps keep the cost of using the card as low as possible, a priority for digital creatives with potentially volatile revenue sources. To this point, in lieu of a traditional bank application, Karat wants to know about Instagram followers and sponsorship deals, YouTube subscriber counts and Twitch donations in order to get digital creatives the access to credit that is commensurate with their success as online influencers. Karat was founded by Eric Wei, a former product manager at Instagram, and Will Kim. This week’s Series A round – which consisted of $15 million in debt financing and $11 million in venture funding – was led by Union Square Ventures and featured participation from GGV Capital and SignalFire. Share this:

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