Fortú launches Latino digital bank, raises $5m led by Valar Ventures
Fortú announced the launch of its digital bank account focused on Latino and Hispanic U.S. residents who remain underserved by the "one size fits all" approach of traditional financial institutions. Fortú is building modern banking products with a Latino cultural context. Fortú also announced Miami, FL as its corporate headquarters.
The fortú account is bringing the first holistic approach to better banking for Latinos, a distinct demographic with a higher prevalence of multigenerational families; mixed households with both immigrant and U.S.-born members; varying English vs. Spanish language preferences across generations; and a greater likelihood of maintaining financial ties with family and community across the U.S. and abroad. Traditional banking products are not designed to meet these unique, culturally contextual, household needs.
The fortú account includes the following features:
- A free FDIC insured checking account with no activation fees, monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and available to U.S. residents, including foreign nationals without a social security number1
- Up to two day early direct deposit availability
- 100% bilingual English/Spanish digital banking app available for iOS and Android
- Contactless Mastercard debit card that is mobile wallet compatible (Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay)
- Premium Mastercard benefits2 when making payments with the fortú debit card:
– Cellular phone protection for damaged or stolen phones
– Purchase assurance against accidental damage or theft of purchases
– Extended warranty protection
– Price drop protection
- Free cash withdrawals at over 55,000 participating ATMs via the Allpoint network3
- Cash deposits at over 100,000 retail locations including Walgreens, CVS, 7-11, and Walmart via the Green Dot Reload Network.4
- Secure, in-app, international remittances via Wise5
In 2020, the company raised a $5 million seed round led by Valar Ventures with participation from prominent fintech executives like Jake Gibson; co-founder of Nerdwallet; Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of TrueLayer; Joyce Kim, Executive Director and founder of the Stellar Foundation; and Andrew Endicott, COO and co-founder of Petal.
Valar, a New York-based and fintech-focused VC firm, led the funding round. Valar is an investor in several globally prominent fintech companies including Wise, N26, Albo, Xero, and Petal.
James Fitzgerald, Founder and Partner, Valar Ventures: "We're proud to invest in fortú. They are by far the most experienced and best positioned team to bring world class digital banking to underserved Latino and Hispanic communities across the U.S."
Charles Yim, CEO, fortú: "As the highest profile American city with a Latino majority and home to the most exciting emerging technology hub, Miami is clearly the best place to build a digital bank serving Latinos. We're proud to call Miami home. As fortú grows, we expect to create hundreds of new technology jobs in Miami over the next few years."
Francis Suarez, MayorM, Miami: "It's very exciting to see a mission-driven business like fortú choose the City of Miami for their headquarters. They understand the value and opportunities that come with cultural and economic diversity and there isn't a city in this country better positioned for that than Miami."