Axios Pro Exclusive Content

LGBTQIA+ neobank Daylight shutting down

Ryan Lawler
May 23, 2023
Illustration of a piggy bank on its back with X's for eyes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Daylight, a neobank startup for the LGBTQIA+ community, is shutting down following a lawsuit brought by three former employees and a recent exposé detailing questionable management practices at the company.

Driving the news: In a blog post Monday, CEO Rob Curtis announced Daylight would cease operations June 30.

Flashback: Daylight was founded in 2020 to provide digital banking services and improve financial inclusion for Americans who identify as LGBTQIA+.

  • To that end, the startup raised $20 million in funding, including a $15 million Series A round led by Anthemis Group announced in November.

Between the lines: Things got murky this spring when a feature in New York magazine called into question Curtis' management of the company.

  • Citing conversations with 15 current and former employees, as well as Slack conversations and other records, it claimed Curtis had inflated numbers and created a “psychologically unsafe" work environment.
  • The article was published the same day that three former employees filed a lawsuit against the company alleging age and wage discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and fraud.

What they're saying: "Daylight had a great run paving the way for U.S. LGBTQ+ customers — we opened thousands of trans-inclusive debit accounts, supported thousands of prospective LGBTQ+ parents’ plans for their families," Curtis wrote in the blog post announcing the shutdown.

  • "Ultimately, though, we couldn’t provide these services in a way that covered our costs — this is likely a job for big banks and I hope they pick up the torch and carry forward our legacy."
Go deeper