Charlie: A new era in retirement banking with a $7.5m kickstart


Charlie, a ground-breaking startup that delivers banking services specifically for the 62+ demographic, has just launched, redefining retirement banking.

The firm’s innovative approach aims to address the financial challenges that retirees and those nearing retirement face, ensuring they get the most out of their limited resources.

In its initial funding round, Charlie secured $7.5m in investment, according to a report from TechCrunch. The round was led by Better Tomorrow Ventures, with participation from Expa, Carbon Health Chief Product Officer Ayokunle Omojola, and Gokul Rajaram.

Charlie’s primary mission is to offer banking services that cater to the unique needs of retirees. With features such as faster access to Social Security checks, a generous 3% earning rate on balances, and no monthly fees or minimums, Charlie seeks to make retirees’ financial lives easier. In addition, the company has plans to offer users “frictionless, embarrassment-free discounts” by using their debit cards. Charlie is not a bank itself, but partners with Sutton Bank to provide its services.

The newly raised funds will be employed to further develop Charlie’s innovative features and to enhance its user interface, making it even more accessible for those with visual or physical limitations. The company also aims to address the transition into the “deaccumulation mode” that retirees face by allowing customers to withdraw their Social Security benefit up to four weeks early.

Kevin Nazemi, co-founder and CEO of Charlie, has a strong background in the healthcare technology space, co-founding Oscar Health and Renew Health before starting Charlie in 2021 along with Ivan Nausieda, Ibrahim El Tatawy, Ramesh L. Nori, and Richard Kang.

In a statement, Better Tomorrow Ventures founding partner Jake Gibson praised Nazemi’s vision and operational skills. He said, “I’ve known Kevin for many years, and he’s a formidable operator, with experience founding Oscar Health and then Renew. He’s been passionate about this problem for a long time. When he came to us for advice on the problem, the market, the product approach, etc., we jumped at the chance to lead his seed round.”

Nazemi views big banks, designed for full-time workers with a steady income, and community banks, which offer a better consumer experience but are still not built for the unique needs of the 62+ demographic, as Charlie’s main competitors. He has future plans for Charlie to build an age-based, risk-tolerance-based deaccumulation ETF and a product called a home pension, allowing users to supplement their social security check using their home equity.

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