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Exclusive: Bridge Money raises $5.8M for supplemental income app

Sep 28, 2022
Illustration of a phone dispensing money.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Bridge Money, a startup that has launched an app and debit card to help users earn supplemental income, raised $5.8 million in seed funding led by early-stage venture firm TMV, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The funding comes as wage increases for low-income earners are simply not keeping up with record inflation in the U.S.

State of play: While there's no shortage of consumer-facing fintechs, Bridge founder and CEO Lalit Janak says that to date, most have been focused on credit and what he calls the liability side of the ledger.

  • That includes things like "buy now, pay later," cash advances, and early direct deposit access.
  • "But credit is a double-edged sword, and oftentimes, excessive credit use can lead to a debt trap that makes upward economic mobility totally impossible," Janak says.

In contrast: “What we've built is a marketplace of money-making opportunities — with several more on the way — to help our members generate material supplemental income,” he said.

  • According to him, the most active users are earning more than $200 dollars per month by using the app.

How it works: Users download the Bridge app, link their bank accounts, and earn rewards by sharing (anonymized) spending data or doing other activities like completing surveys, ad-viewing, and referrals.

  • The company also has launched a debit card that users can use to earn rewards directly from their everyday spending.
  • Janak says the app will eventually add other income generation opportunities, like connecting users with better job opportunities, providing vetted technical training, or giving tips on how to generate more income in their current job.

Of note: Bridge’s seed round includes a number of high-profile impact investors, including Founder Collective, Kapor Capital, Acumen America, Bread & Butter Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Plug and Play Ventures, Basecamp Fund and Ulu Ventures.

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