Varo Bank Raises $63M From NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook, Others

by Jeremy Porr
February 18, 2021
Varo Bank investor Russell Westbrook is a nine time NBA All Star.
photo: shutterstock

San Francisco-based fintech company Varo Bank announced Thursday that it raised $63 million in new financing by way of Russell Westbrook Enterprises. The venture firm is led by the nine-time NBA All-Star of the same name.

Following the investment, Westbrook will have direct input into the future direction of the startup’s social impact programs. Varo’s programs are specifically aimed at financially bettering communities of color.

“The banking system has ignored or underserved a large portion of the American population — particularly communities of color,” Westbrook said in a statement. “I'm passionate about making lasting social change and creating a stronger and more inclusive system.”

Varo’s last investment occurred less than 12 months ago, when it closed on a $241 million Series D round. At the time, the company was in the final stages of the application process for a national bank charter.

The charter has since been approved and the company has rebranded from Varo Money to Varo Bank. Varo Bank bills itself as the first all-digital national bank in the United States.

The company offers customers bank accounts that have no minimum balance requirement or monthly account fee.

The fresh capital will enable the company to build additional credit, savings, and transaction banking features. Varo Bank is also on the lookout for new employees to join its engineering, finance, product and marketing teams, to name a few.

“[Russell Westbrook and I] both share a view that banking can be — and needs to be — a force for good,” Colin Walsh, founder and CEO of Varo Bank, said in a statement. “Russell is a visionary and his energy and passion for design, product excellence, and community impact will help propel Varo’s next phase of growth.”

Existing investors including Warburg Pincus, The Rise Fund, Gallatin Point Capital and HarbourVest Partners also participated in the round.

Varo Bank has raised $482.4 million in venture capital financing to date, according to Crunchbase.

Also in San FranciscoSentry Raises $60M to Grow Its Team, Expand Platform Capabilities

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