Disruptor 50 2020

26. Dave

Founders: Jason Wilk (CEO), Paras Chitrakar, Dr. John Wolanin
Launched: 2016
Headquarters: Los Angeles
 $76.3 million
Valuation: $1.2 billion
Key technologies:
 AI, explainable AI, machine learning
 Mobile banking, fintech
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

George Kavallines

20)Dave — shorthand for the ultimate hero in the David vs. Goliath tale — is a banking app designed to eliminate many of the features folks can't stand about legacy banks. The company started with overdraft fees. For a $1-per-month membership fee, users can access checking accounts with no fees and up to $100 in overdraft protection without fees or interest. Members who sign up for direct deposit also get automated budgeting and the ability to build up their credit scores through the reporting of rent and utility payments to credit bureaus. Dave co-founder and CEO Jason Wilk, who founded three other start-ups and counts Mark Cuban as an early investor, believes consumers should get credit for doing the right thing consistently.

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The Los Angeles-based company also offers a few other features that delight members. Side Hustle connects users to gig- and sharing-economy jobs. So far, more than 600,000 of Dave's 5.5 million users have found work through the feature and earned more than $51 million from their side hustles.  

As the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the country, Dave launched an expanded version of its Side Hustle feature to include work-from-home options. In a recent survey of more than 7,000 Dave customers, 21% said that their pay would be cut in half, and 18% said their paychecks would disappear completely. As a response, the company added scores of new options for remote work and saw a 600% increase in applications, with 70,000 customers applying. Dave also made a $250,000 donation to the Feeding America Covid-19 Response Fund, which is designed to help Feeding America secure food and distribute it to people in need across the country.

In September the company raised $50 million in equity financing and achieved a $1.2 billion valuation. Norwest Venture Partners was the lead investor in the round, and the funding is being used to expand its employee base over the coming year.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies