Last week, MoneyLion Inc ML, formally closed on its merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fusion Acquisition Corp. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
As part of the development, Benzinga chatted with cofounder and CEO Dee Choubey.
Background: Founded in 2013, MoneyLion is a pioneer mobile banking fintech, empowering financial wellness through machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“Our ability to predict when people will have money and when they will run out of money is still, today, one of our superpowers from an algorithm design and development perspective.”
Beginnings: The regulatory environment that came out of the Global Financial Crisis (2007-2008) made it so Silicon Valley could venture into direct-to-consumer financial services such as payments and lending.
“What we tried to do was, from the beginning, create more of an advice platform or a consumer marketplace where it’s great if you take our product, but you don’t have to,” the ex-investment banker explained. “We lead with advice and let the financial transaction really kind of be a soft sell in the life cycle for our relationship with the consumer.”
“MoneyLion empowers all Americans to access all types of financial tools,” Choubey said. “It’s a community where you join to be in the know. You join to be powered by the trends and the data of the community.”
Core functionalities highlighted during the conversation include digital asset exposure and the collateralization of behavior, so to speak.
Americans have a growing appetite for digital assets and according to a MoneyLion survey of over 30,000 adults, Choubey said nearly 60% were already investing in cryptocurrency. Of those not in the market, 77% said they would be interested in owning cryptocurrency the following year.
“The idea of allowing our users instantly to own Bitcoin BTC/USD and Ethereum ETH/USD instantly transferred from fiat, was a very interesting proposition,” the co-founder added. “What’s more interesting is that we allow consumers to dollar cost average daily through Round-Ups,” a function that rounds user transactions and invests the difference, automatically.
Another core feature allows for easy borrowing on a semi-secured basis, at very low-interest rates.
“This idea of borrowing against your own good behavior is one of the key ways we’re allowing our consumers to stay invested in the markets, keep getting the benefits of compound interest, all the while not going to expensive sources for capital in those times of need.”
Recent Events: To enable more hard-working Americans better access to modern mobile banking, investing, cash management and credit building tools, the company entered into an agreement with Fusion Acquisition Corp. to become a publicly-traded company.
The listing enhanced the firms’ access to capital, bolstering initiatives to innovate and scale.
In a statement on the decision to go public, Choubey said MoneyLion is now more visible.
“The exciting part is that MoneyLion investors are going to enjoy the value creation in the public markets that otherwise would have been in the private markets.”
Innovation Outlook: The firm is looking to expand on its Round-Up; buy now, pay later; and education products, among other things.
“MoneyLion is the intersection of life and financial services,” Choubey said.
Photo: Courtesy MoneyLion
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