310 West 14th North Street, NY
(+1) 88 700 600

FintechInnovation of the WeekStartupsFebruary 4, 20220Innovation of the Week – February 4, 2022

by Nepanji Davis

Challenger – Fintech  

What it is: 

Challenger powers employer-sponsored savings accounts for America’s workforce. Challenger Savings was built to help employees save money automatically. The solution is designed to help employees retain more of their paycheck to reduce the financial burden of unexpected expenses like a car breakdown or a medical bill. Challenger works with companies across multiple industries ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500s to empower employee savings, reduce turnover, and attract talent.

They report that retention rates are 26% higher for employees that save money with Challenger and employees save $1,532 per year on average.

Challenger’s most popular program is the 1k Savings Program. Through this program, when an employee saves $900, they receive a $100 savings match through their Challenger account.

Who Made It? 

Challenger was founded in 2019 by Nate Gruendemann, Gabe Rapoport, and David Kircos. Nate, CEO, was previously the co-founder at Accept. inc, a successful VC-backed company that helps people buy homes with cash offers. Gabe, COO, was previously a banker and trader on Wall Street. David, CTO, was previously a software engineer at Techstars and Crestone Capital where his software currently tracks over $2B in assets. The entire Challenger team is passionate about helping others with financial well-being.

Funding status: 

Challenger is a venture capital-backed company. Their investors include VC funds such as Techstars and 1517 Fund.   In November 2021, Challenger received a $226K grant from the State of Colorado to power Emergency Savings Accounts for more Coloradans.

Why we like it: 

  • Savings solution for low- and moderate-income households that provides utilization to meet the immediate need to access additional savings
  • An alternative approach to retirement plans, where it is costly to access funds
  • Provides an emergency savings account so that employees can access funds for short-term needs

Did you know?  

According to PwC, “Financial matters” are the top cause of stress for employees. “Not having enough emergency savings” is the top cause of financial stress for employees.  According to a survey by MagnifyMoney, 1 in every 5 Americans admitted they saved no money at all in 2021.

Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans have enough money set aside to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, such as a trip to the ER or car repairs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *