Earlier in March 2021, FinTech wallet app Eco announced that a 426 million fundraise in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. While the investors included some big fund houses and companies, there have been some celebrity and athlete investors as well.
During the March fundraising for Eco some of the celebrity participants included Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Durant, Tiffany Haddish, Carmelo Anthony, DJ 3LAU, NFL star Larry Fitzgerald, and others.
Celebrity participation in the crypto space has increased in recent times. Especially with the explosion of NFTs. So far, Eco has raised a total of $34.5 million in total funding while its app is in closed beta.
The fintech wallet app Eco is not a full-fledged crypto platform. Rather it runs crypto operations in the back-end. The startup, however, serves as a bank alternative and rewards users with a cash-back system similar to credit card points. The Eco app generates business by lending users’ deposits in the form of USDC stablecoin. Apart from the cashback rewards, the app also offers 2.5% returns on the deposits. Eco CEO Andy Bromberg, also the former CEO of Coinlist said:
“We say Eco is a single wallet for your spending, sending, saving, and making money all in one place, which is kind of the best we can do in terms of explaining it. We found that the counter-positioning is actually the easiest way to explain what it is. By saying we’re not a bank – which, we are not a bank – it makes it clear that there’s kind of something that we are trying to replace, a function in a user’s life that we’re trying to replace. And same with the credit card, checking account, anything”.
Eco: an All-In-One FinTech Application
Although crypto plays an important part in Eco’s lending business, the company carefully chooses not to mention it in its marketing efforts. The idea here is not to scare mainstream users away by mentioning things like stablecoins. Bromberg also agrees that they have been avoiding inviting crypto people. He said:
“We didn’t want crypto savvy people, we didn’t want tech people, even though that’s of course many of our networks at the company. Those people will get it. We’re not worried about those people. What we really wanted to do was nail the messaging and product positioning and product features that makes it appealing for everyone.”
Eco aims to be an all-in-one FinTech app while competing with giants like Square and PayPal. With its cashback rewards system, Eco can be competing with shopping apps and extensions like Fold and Lolli. Besides, while offering interest rates on crypto savings, it also competes with the like of BlockFi.