Progressive-backed Varo raises $63 million

Varo Bank, which last year became the first US neobank to be granted a national bank charter, is announcing a new $63 million round of funding and an “extensive engagement” NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook. The player is joining Varo as an investor and advisor where he will have direct input into the future direction of Varo’s impact programs inclusive of communities of color and African American communities. Other investors participating in the round include Gallatin Point Capital, HarbourVest Partners, The Rise Fund,  and Warburg Pincus.

Founded in 2017, Varo, which counts 3 million accounts, offers a digital banking experience with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The startup also features ‘smart insurance,’ promising users coverage by “creative insurance companies” that can help users save and make sense for the way they live and one such creative partner is Ladder Insurance.

“The banking system has ignored or underserved a large portion of the American population – particularly communities of color. I’m passionate about making lasting social change and creating a stronger and more inclusive system. I am excited and ready to work with Varo to be a part of an economic revitalization for those who never had the access they deserved.” – Russell Westbrook.

“The Varo team is thrilled Russell is joining us on our trailblazing journey as the only all-digital, mission-driven national bank in the country. We both share a view that banking can be – and needs to be – a force for good. Russell is a visionary and his energy and passion for design, product excellence, and community impact will help propel Varo’s next phase of growth. “Working together will accelerate our efforts to reimagine banking for all of us.” – Colin Walsh, founder and CEO of Varo Bank.